The content of CRANKHANDLEBLOG (CHB) will mainly consist of unique and often unknown stories about historic/classic cars. This makes it a blog that can be interesting for everybody, both for real car- enthusiasts as well as anybody else who is not yet an enthusiast.
I want to increase my knowledge about these cars, so I also plan to publish articles about the origin of well-known brands, extravagant coachbuilders and the mechanical aspects. CRANKHANDLEBLOG aims, inter alia, to raise the enthusiasm about these special cars as much as possible.
The Dutch version is available on crankhandleblog.nl
On each rally I might make some mistakes, but the most important is that I learn a lot too, and on this rally it was all about the safety concerns with vintage automobiles and the need for regular checking of the brakes, etc. The experience I gain is a valuable lesson and a reminder for you all, especially when this is all new to you…
Luckily the last day of this magnificent rally was very safe, because Tino and Luca had fixed the brakes as well as possible the evening before. Safe enough to drive across the Simplon pass back to Brig. It is very pleasant to wake up and have the view of an amazing collection of cool bolides with the hills of Lago Maggiore as a backdrop, palm trees, and petrolhead friends already preparing their car for the next tour. And then there is the best part! Roaring engines which are just awakening and excited to hit the road again. The most fun part is… Continue reading
VERY SHOCKING and terrifying…!!! That’s what I promised in my last report, so sit back and enjoy my horror experience. It all started at 9 AM again as we took off to explore Lago Maggiore after we did some tinkering to make sure all engines were ready for conditions that were going to be quite challenging. Especially for us Dutch people who live in a totally flat country. My dad was joining me this day, but what he didn’t know was that his nerves were going to be tested to the extreme after he had taken his seat next/behind me. The first kilometers were a party, because Amillion was really feeling like an athlete. The RB magneto did the trick and we were enjoying the sun, the sound, the roads and the surroundings.
Our first stop was a cave, again… In Vaals, with the International Cercle Pegase Club rally we had been trapped in at least 3 caves, so Amilcarists seem to be real cavemen and to love caves, although I am a bit claustrophobic. It was a cultural thing with a museum attached to it, showing how the mountain people used to live a long time ago. I learned that… Continue reading
First of all my apologies for my radio silence, September is a busy month… You will get the Prescott report and all the other reports soon, but let’s first start with the latest rally I did in Italy and Switzerland.
Last Thursday we trailered Amillion for some 1000 km to the start of the Escapade Cyclecars et Grand Sport – Le Tessin et ses Vallées in Brig in the Rhone valley in Switzerland. After a glimpse of Molsheim and the famous Bugatti heritage, the first serious mountain pass that Amillion faced was the Grimsel Pass (2,164 m – 7,100 ft) and my reliable German Black Beauty did a great job pulling the red dandy across the pass. Of course there are many ways to Rome and we choose the Grimsel Pass to say hello to my dad’s fave Swiss Alps hotel, the idyllic hotel Baeren in Guttannen.
After a 10 hour drive it was time to meet new friends… This rally had been organized by the Swiss representation of the Cercle Pegase, the French Amilcar Club. A nice turnout of all kinds of cyclecars and light sports cars with around 40 equipes were ready to… Continue reading
Chapron at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance… During a car week obsessed with auctions and economics, Pebble Beach shared the grace and elegance of Carrossier Henri Chapron.
Located in Levallois-Paris, Chapron was part of the French Art Deco movement along with Figoni et Falaschi, Pourtout, Guilloré, Saoutchik and Franay. Eventually his firm was bought by Delahaye and reached a height of 350… Continue reading
Preservation of cars whenever possible is what AKVR is striving for, of course all in close consultation with the customer. It is wonderful to see so many cars being preserved and the extreme craftsmanship that goes into this ‘artwork’. I think the most surprising fact of the visit was to discover that the mechanics crew also includes a young female mechanic, about as young as I am. So a young female petrol head can also be a mechanic at Keith’s workshop… and why not?
There was one car which was for me the most striking, a Riley. Between all those great cars I pick this Riley because it looked so special and so eccentric. It is to Keith a very special car, which he has owned for a very long time. The body looks very unusual, all aluminum with a light ocean blue chassis. There are some notable parts made on the body that are very clever but that remains… Continue reading
Let’s finally start with the reports of some great visits my dad and I made in the UK. The main purpose of our trip was the Prescott hillclimb, and visiting our friends of the Bugatti Trust, but fortunately we had scheduled a number of other visits as well. However, before I report about all this, I like to briefly mention the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Best of Show winner. I was delighted to see a Lancia Astura Pininfarina cabriolet winning Best of Show this year, although I am a bit sad that neither a Delahaye or Chapron coachwork won the award, since it was the year of the Delahayes and Charpon bodied master pieces. The Lancia features that typical Pebble winner’s look, i.e. black all over with chrome wheels and chrome elements, just like last year’s winner and more than one of the years before.
Back to the UK… After a long drive, first to Calais and then via the Euro Tunnel train to Dover and then heading for Cheltenham, we had a very nice treat… Continue reading
This year was my first time at Classic Days in “Schloss Dyck” and it was overwhelming! We arrived on Friday and after wandering around and getting used to the area, we met some great racing legends, like Walter Röhrl and John Fitzpatrick amongst many others. The event at Schloss Dyck (Castle Dyck) is known to be one of the large vintage cars events, so you really need the complete weekend to have an opportunity to see everything.
The first cars that watered my mouth were the British racing green Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Supercharged from the end of the 1920s – better known as “Blower Bentley” – and the 8 Liter Bentleys and the famous silver colored “Mother Gun”. It’s incredible how much power these cars send out, even if they are not running. On the opposite side, there were their old rivals of the supercharged era: the Mercedes SS and SSK with their lovely exhaust manifolds. Soon their engines would burst to life and race against each other, just like in the old days. Until then we had a view at those good old Bristols with their very special… Continue reading