WELCOME @ CHB PETROLHEADS!

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

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THIS IS WHAT A LEGENDARY WORKSHOP LOOKS LIKE! – 2

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

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THIS IS WHAT A LEGENDARY WORKSHOP LOOKS LIKE! – 1

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

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SCHLOSS DYCK MADE SOME NOISE…

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

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THE FINEST COACHWORKS AT THE PREMIER CONCOURS SUISSE – 3

Finally the great day had arrived. On Sunday the endeavour began seriously, as my friend and I were cleaning his Hispano before the judges started their work. I was looking at these wonderful cars gathered in the yard of the Coppet Castle, one of the most significant Swiss castles.  More than fifty automobiles were participating in this event, divided into twelve classes, defined by Chief Judge Adolfo Orsi and Honorary and Chief Judge Ed Gilbertson, the great Ferrari expert. Twelve prizes plus five special ones, such as Best Line Award, Miura’s 50th Anniversary prize, etc., were going to be… Continue reading

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THE FINEST COACHWORKS AT THE PREMIER CONCOURS SUISSE – 2

The sight of all these automotive jewels coming from the past, with the beautiful XVIIIth century castle as  a backdrop, was incredible. I allowed myself to have a nice walk among all these beauties, admiring their wonderful shapes handcrafted by the best craftsmen from the 1930-1960 era. The Pourtout bodied Talbot Lago was so sporty and elegant and at the same time la crème de la crème of Pourtout styling, while the unusual Thrupp & Maberly bodied Hispano H6C was looking perfect in all aspects.

A bit further there was a Swiss UFO, a 1920 PIC PIC R2 which has retained its original Parisian torpedo body. This car is powered by a patented sleeve valve engine and fitted with a 14 disc clutch (yes 14!), anyway it’s exotic specifications is too complex to cite here. Next to the Pic Pic, Jaap Braam Ruben‘s early… Continue reading

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THE FINEST COACHWORKS AT THE PREMIER CONCOURS SUISSE – 1

A while ago the organizer of the Swiss Concours d’Elegance, Mathias Doutreleau, contacted me (thanks to Rosemarijn Atalante) to ask if I was interested to become part of the organizing staff of his new Concours, as a contributor as well as Master of Ceremony. What a great honor, being part of such an important event and furthermore being among so many famous connoisseurs. It was like a dream come true.

Mathias Doutreleau is really a very enthusiastic and dynamic organizer. Many people know him as member of staff of very important concours and race meetings, such as the Quail Lodge, Le Tour de France Automobile and many others. He immediately saw great potential for his Geneva event. With the help of many important sponsors, such as Zenith watches, Watchonista and Rolls-Royce, this first edition of the Swiss Concours d’Elegance was surely to become a success…. Continue reading

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SOME MORE CONCOURS DANDIES

I have showed you the muddy part, so now we head over to the luxurious part of het Loo, the iconic palace were most jewels were parked. I think next time the awards ceremony should be here again instead of the stage on the muddy field. My walk around the Palace was at the end of the concours, so thats why is looks a bit abandoned with not all cars present anymore… Look at that De Tomaso, 2000GT, Regal Underslung Racer, Daytona prototype, Bentley 3 liter and Amilcar with a secret under the hood… It has… Continue reading

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