PREWAR WALHALLA HETZBERGER GALLERY

The upload issue is solved, so here are some more pix as I promised. Computers are a bit like cars, just never give up. There is always a solution if you are patient enough and think logically… Continue to see more pix

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PREWAR WALHALLA AT THE HETZBERGER TROPHY

You may never have heard of this event before. The Hertzberger Trophy is a very discreet Dutch event for a specially selected group of owners of amazing prewar cars. This is a 2-day rally with tour and sports class. The participants are battling for the Hertzberger trophy, which is a brons sculpture. Another prize was a nice limited edition watch made by jewelers Schaap – Citroen from Amsterdam and designed by Van der Klaauw from Friesland. The rally goes from one historic estate to the other, while making sure the drivers and especially their navigators are put to the test to follow the rules, which is of course not made easy!

This year’s Hertzberger Trophy was the third edition and since this is a young event, the zest is increasing each year. A prestige event with 45 dream cars and many interesting participants. It all started with Eddie Hertzberger himself. Eddie was a Dutch race driver and the first and only GP winner until… Continue reading

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BEACHIN AND ROARING ENGINES ALL THE WAY FROM ITALY

The world of vintage and classic cars is an impressive world to discover with so many great elements. One of them is the rally sport, or as some say the sport of reading maps. This is something that raised my interest after I met some very interesting rally drivers. At first I thought I would not really like to navigate, and still I prefer to drive myself, but actually navigating can give great satisfaction too when you are good at it (or becoming good at it). After my first adventures with rallies and navigating, I will share my adventures with you, but first something that is really great, the Tulpen Rallye or Tulip Rallye!

The Tulpen Rallye is the crème de la crème when speaking of Dutch rallies. For 63 years a huge number of participants (this time more then 200) start in Italy and drive to the finish in the coastal town of Noordwijk where the party takes part in Huis ter Duin. This year the start was at Saint-Vincent in northern Italy from where the participants covered some 2674 exciting and Spartan kilometers, with a number of them exposed to… Continue reading 

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SERIOUS BUSINESS AT TECHNO CLASSICA ESSEN – 4

Hello, I am your host for today, and may I present you my next tour around Essen’s treasures. When I was walking between those irresistible automobiles, I found my next holiday location, Osnabrück! This might sound not so exotic, but I found out that it actually is… This is why: a Porsche 904 GTS, Maserati Mistral, Horch 853, Jaguar D-Type, the streamlined Fiat Abarth 1000 Pininfarina Record car and many more from tropical Osnabrück.

The great thing about exhibitions, concours and most of the auctions, especially if I go there with my dad, is that I learn so much. After such an event I realize that I have discovered so many new icons of automobiles and many other exciting cars. Perhaps you forgot, but it was only one year ago when… Continue reading

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SERIOUS BUSINESS AT TECHNO CLASSICA ESSEN – 3

You probably already know that Techno Classica is in scale the largest exhibition in Europe when it comes to vintage and classic cars, so there is still a lot to share with you. Last report we were at the ‘card board’ replica palace. Around it several very special cars were exhibited that have been driven in the Mille Miglia. One of the most iconic superstars was the Mercedes 300 SLR. Juan Manuel Fangio was second on the stage of the 1955 Mille Miglia with this German marvel. More sporty icons were a Ferrari 750 Monza, a highly original Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo, Fiat 8V Zagato, Maserati 300 S, Maserati A6GCS, a Porsche 550 Spyder, etc.

Another part of the exhibition was the upstairs hall where a lot of clubs found their spot. By the way, I have not even seen the entire exhibition in one day, sadly. While making a short walk around the clubs, I was first not so impressed, but then… Continue reading

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SERIOUS BUSINESS AT TECHNO CLASSICA ESSEN – 2

Jetzt gehts los! Let’s get back in the German mood, because we need to finish the Essen tour. In Paris I found my ugliest car, but at Essen I had a second encounter with this Mercedes-AMG CLK GTR. Now that I know that it is carrying a super serious engine I kind of love it, and I had heard of its performance and other stories…

I can imagine that most ladies don’t care much about car facts and stories, but luckily there were enough Louis Vuitton bags, and for the more openminded even exquisite lamps for decoration in your house. A large vintage headlamp on a tripod, how cool is that? To stay a bit closer to Paris, I encountered two other lovely automobiles that I had seen before. Mark Hyman displayed a couple of car striking like… (I am not allowed to say this word anymore), the Pininfarina aerodynamic X Concept, and guess what I found out… You can soon admire this unique car in The Hague… do I need to say more? One car I fell in love with the first time I saw it… Continue reading

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THE STOLEN USTINOV HISPANO – 1

Everybody will very well remember Peter Ustinov, the unforgettable interpreter of Nero in “Quo Vadis”, the actor who performed so perfectly Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s legendary detective. But Peter Ustinov was much more than an actor; he was a great humorist, a novelist, and a true car enthusiast. A man who had been dreaming of cars all his life, and who spent so much time, as well as money, to satisfy his passion.

In his last interview Sir Peter (he had been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990), said: “[…] there was no one yet qualified to exorcise an internal combustion engine from a small boy. I know to this day precisely what make of car I was, an Amilcar… Continue reading

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SERIOUS BUSINESS AT TECHNO CLASSICA ESSEN – 1

The largest classic car exhibition as it is known, and I had never been there before!… shame on me. It was a perfect occasion to compare with Retromobile, which for me always has rated first class… It is hard to tell which is better, since Retromobile and Techno Classica are so different, and each has its own charm. The German show appears in many ways like more serious business, while the French has that typically jovial, cosy and charming Paris atmosphere, brightened up by the many evening parties. As I visited Essen only one day, I was not able to see everything (Paris is usually 3 days stay for me), but what I have seen was just great.

A fun thing I noticed is that there are multiple cultures… Continue reading

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CARS I HAVE FOREGONE – 1

It was 1987 when I came across the fabulous Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Pininfarina roadster seen in these photos. I had been given a lead that the car, which apparently belonged to a notary in Geraardsbergen in Belgium, was languishing in a garage and for sale at around 600,000 BF (just over 15,000 Euros!). However, when I finally got to see the car I was disappointed with its condition and I also didn’t quite like Pininfarina’s double headlamp design. So, I left the car where it was and forgot about it. Until many years later, when prices for the 6C 2500 SS with attractive coachwork soared. In 2011 I placed an enquiry on postwarclassic to see if anyone knew what had happened to the car subsequent to my visit in 1987. Strangely there was only one response, from a gentleman who said… Continue reading

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BONHAMS INVISIBLE RUNWAY – PART 1

The last spectacle of the Parisian week starts with a little war… The day before the Bonhams auction in the Grand Palais the party already took off and since Mr. Brown ‘from London town’ and his wicked friends chose this auction over the RM one, I followed. However, before we arrived at the Grand Palais we ended up in a taxi war. Since the fake Uber taxis are not appreciated by the official ones, the official taxis parked their cars in the middle of the roads and left them there as a protest. Were we glad that we were fit enough to simply walk and not spend hours in a taxi!

The Grand Palais is incredible, just look at the view of the roof construction. I saw something even better then stars… Continue reading 

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RM SOTHEBY’S PARIS ‘BARGAINS’

The first auction that was to be held in Paris during Retromobile was the RM Sotheby’s sale at the impressive Place Vaubain. Earlier on I presented you my shopping list of a few of their more affordable stars. Let’s now take a look how they actually did. I took a good look at the lots during my preview and I will make a list of the, for me, most striking ones. But first my shopping list from an earlier article.

One of my fave lots was the 1965 Maserati Mistral 3.7 Coupé by Frua. The Mistal is one that is making a good name and so it was not a surprise that this one sold for… Continue reading

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SEQUEL TO “BACK FROM PARIS! – PART 2”

Remember Artcurial’s auction in Paris on the Champs-Elysées last year June 22, and the formidable price paid for the Ugly Duckling, the barn find 1925 T13 Brescia Bugatti with sporting body by Maron-Pot et Cie?

Sold for 834,400 EUR, chassis 2628 reappeared at Retromobile in fine fettle, as if reborn after a swift restoration. Fortunately its new owner has kept some of the original patina, although its colors have changed to match its patinated appearance. And of course he has removed… Continue reading

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BACK FROM PARIS! – PART 2

Let’s continue the party with two Atalantes. As an Atalante myself, I am obviously always on the hunt for those masterpieces made by hero Ettore. The Bugatti stand exhibited a 57 with a strange color combination… moss-green and yellow. But the real treat was at the Lukas Hüni stand, a 57SC! I understood that this ex Dr. Williamson Atalante had long been in Japan and agreed with the color combination, it is fabulous. Lukas Hüni is known for high class automobiles and the collection which was exhibited didn’t disappoint, on the contrary. Next to the 57SC, I was really impressed by the stunning Alfa 8C 2300 Figoni cabriolet, Jaguar D Type dans son jus, the Bugatti T59, a smashing black Mercedes 26/120/180 Saoutchik, an Aston DB3S, and pretty much everything else Lukas had on display. What I also really like is to meet young people with the same interest and luckily I did.

To continue with Alfa, I have a very special one for you in store, as the price might be approaching that of a GTO. It is probably even more… Continue reading

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THE GREAT ARTCURIAL MOTORCARS AUCTION CINEMA

We have all been waiting for the legendary sale of the Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti, or as my mom called it, that “little red car” of the auction. The Retro week was quite busy with three major auctions, but for sure Artcurial stole the show in a typically passionate French way. A large collection went under the hammer, and 80% sold for a total of €56 million, a European record, of which the 335 is claimed to be the world record for a motor car at auction. The 335 sold for €28 million, but with premium added, it actually yielded €32.1 million! A price unaffordable except for the few. Four automobiles were sold over a million, so enough ‘bargains’ still.

The big and black room downstairs was incredible and very very busy! The auctioneers knew how to fill the space with their voices/songs, and even if they made a mistake, I still like them. The 335 was one big spectacle. The lights were switched off and then… A movie started showing in full song the excitement of the 335. It took a while to… Continue reading

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THE MOST FAMOUS INFAMOUS CARS – PART 3

Italian temperament is famous and Alfisti Mussolini was a great driver who looked for extremities. Sadly he also had a very evil mind and the combination made him one of the most atrocious fascists there ever was. Nevertheless his car is a marvel!

BENITO MUSSOLINI

The Italian dictator surely was much less powerful than his fearsome German allies, but when it came to cars, Mussolini was not afraid to look for the boundaries and go for the extreme. He is reported as having been a keen driver and faithful supporter of Alfa Romeo. He even saved the Arese brand from going into liquidation in the early 30’s. Alfa Romeos and Lancias were his favorites. He owned… Continue reading

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ITALIAN PASSION BRUSSELS

Italian Passion means nothing less than fierce classics. The stallions are resting and behaving well, but somehow you see how badly they want to hit the road again to roar loudly and catch every car in front of them. There was one holy bull featured and it was such an honor to meet a machine like the…

Some of you have already been waiting for this report, so here it is: the report of the Italian Passion exhibition in Auto World Brussels. This event runs from 3 December to 31 Januari and at the same time you can see the standard collection of Auto World, which has the best of Belgian marques on show. All great, but… Continue reading

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CAN INTERCLASSICS BEAT RETROMOBILE? – PART 1

As promised, here is a report about Interclassics Maastricht. It was my first time visiting this “Premiere Classic Car Show of the Benelux”, and I did not expect all that much, since Retromobile really is the holy exhibition for my dad and me. Earlier on I wrote you a report of Interclassics Brussels, which is a nice exhibition, but it needs to mature, which is not unusual for such a young show… So there I was with my lovely dad, the most popular day, Friday. In the parking it seemed that there was quite a crowd accompanying us. While entering the arena, a DB5 and a DB4 welcomed us with a tempting wink. I was already in trance ; )

Divided in three spacious halls, there was a wide range of stands and cars. Obviously you see that post-war sports cars are high in demand, especially the famous classic Porches 911, of course. Classic sports cars continue to gain compared with for instance prewar cars, because the mid-aged generation is now able to purchase their dream poster car that was once hanging above their beds when they were a kid. Not many of them may have had a poster of a 1947 Alfa 6… Continue reading

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WORKSHOP PITSTOP FOR THE NEEDED COMPETITION SERVICES

After the intro of what is going to be an intense story, we’ll make a pitstop at a very nice and impressive workshop located in Wommelgem in Belgium. This area is one I love to come, since there are many great places with fine automobiles, and this is one of the workshops I have to tell you about. By the way, close to this workshop is another one, LMB. The showroom of LMB will be the next home of Amillion, so soon more about that and LMB.

The pitstop I am talking about is at Historic Competition Services. To start with the background of HCS, the knowledgeable owner Julian Messent, has many years of experience working on world’s most exotic and special automobiles, and other exotic machinery. From helicopter engines to race winning pre-war GP cars, endurance rally cars, and just about everything in between.

The connoisseur Julian has earlier been active for LMB Racing, the workshop I already mentioned. Not long ago Julian decided… Continue reading

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POTW – ALFISTI DREAM MACHINE WITH MARIO TADINI AT THE GAISBERGRENNEN IN 1933

Today we will forget all the trouble and look at this gorgeous and breathtaking Alfa Romeo – Scuderia Ferrari. This masterpiece is accompanied by the heroic Mario Tadini. As you might have heard, CHB had some trouble with FB and due to this CHB will not be able to share stories, except on www.crankhandleblog.com and the CHB FB page until Wednesday. This is probably the work of FB and has to do with money, which sadly can destroy great initiatives. I hope that all the CHB readers will continue to support the work of team CHB : ) Please support by sharing this link as much as possible in FB groups, your own FB page, or any other great place you know: https://crankhandleblog.com/news/pic-of-the-week/potw-alfisti-dream-machine-with-mario-tadini-at-the-gaisbergrennen-in-1933/

Let’s make sure CHB is exploding all the social media…

Luckily I became good friends with the one and only Brooke Swan Car and she will go and visit to the FB headquarters to steam them all out with hot water, perhaps even… Continue reading (there is some fine Scuderia history to be found…)

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LOUWMAN WILL TELL YOU HOW TO PURCHASE A DREAM AUTOMOBILE! – PART 2 

All of this made a great time journey, BUT the real deal started for me when I stepped into the world of the finest of the finest. Before I did, accidentally, I grew like a giant after drinking something from a little bottle. I wasn’t able to get out of the Spyker hall with the wonderful aircraft, which was not a bad place at all to hang around. Luckily I remembered from Alice in Wonderland that I I had to eat some cake in order to get back to normal size. I was now smaller as before, especially when staring at those great historic heroes…

Next I ended up at the section of race icons and wonderful vintage and classic supercars. I listened with interest to some great stories about these heroic automobiles, told by… Continue reading

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VEYRON IN HIS BUGATTI TYPE 51 

Last Year, I spotted two Veyrons casually parked just 20 meters away from my house in front of the Montreux Palace. Montreux, Veyron… these words reminded me of one of my grandfather’s souvenirs: The inaugural Montreux Grand Prix, held in 1934. “This is where I met my hero Pierre Veyron. You know, Veyron was a great driver and even better when driving a Bugatti. He even won Le Mans with one” he reminisced, as he went back to the 1930’s, recapping his youth.

The 1934 Montreux Grand Prix? Most of you may never have heard of this GP, but I think that a race in which VEYRON, MOLL, VARZI, TROSSI and ETANCELIN all took part is worth remembering, don’t you agree?

Montreux, where I live, is a kind of Swiss Monte-Carlo which has always been very appreciated by High Society (Napoléon the 3rd, Strawinsky, The Shah of Iran and so on) thanks to its wonderful landscape, mild climate and quietness. Then, one day, some car enthusiasts decided to turn the peaceful historical city center into a roaring and spectacular racing circuit.

The result was… Continue reading

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POTW–LIKE FATHER, LIKE DAUGTHER

Let me first wish you a HNY, now that we are in 2016! Today I like to share with you a photo I absolutely love… why? It shows a Hispano-Suiza, an Amilcar and a fierce racer which could perhaps be a Mors? This year I will definitely be on the road in a number of rallies with Amillion (my Amilcar CGS), but there is one more thing I wish for this year. I hope my dad will accompany me in his, hopefully finally completed, Hispano ‘Grand Sport’, so that we can both have fun in our prewar beasts, one of which is a small beast ; ) Hispano Senior and Amilcar Junior, or as Simon, one of CHB’s writers told me, Hispano the elder and Amilcar the younger. These terms are used in the art world and as I call vintage and classic cars art as well, the elder and the younger it is! Or as we say in Dutch, like father, like daughter (although it would usually be son instead of daughter, obviously…).

Also a good moment to show my appreciation for my parents for giving me this most incredible name Atalante, and for my dad for passing on this great automotive passion, which is FORMIDABLE! To come back to a question raised by Simon, my dad started at young age with… Continue reading

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HAPPY NEW YEAR’S DIVE IN A VINTAGE HYDROPLANE

“CHB wishes you a great automotive 2016 with lots of fine automobiles and most of all, to have fun with the old dusty and rusty or shiny and striking historic treasures! What was your vintage/classic highlight of 2015? Let me know in the comments below.”

First of all I want to wish you all the best for the New Year. I hope you will have a year full of rich petrol fumes, gentle patina, and exhilarating exhaust blasts! In the Netherlands we have the tradition of starting the New Year fresh with a dive in the North Sea. It is seen as start of good intentions. Since the invention of… Continue reading

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THE ULTIMATE FERRARI IN EXISTENCE

In any Ferrarist’s discussion there is one question that always recurs: “which model would you chose if you were a billionnaire?”

Most of us will reply that the 250 GTO is the one, others will say that the 250 Testa Rossa or the 250 California or the legendary 330 P4 are for sure the perfect cars to match the ideal. I noticed that few (even among the real Ferrarists) will chose the 335S… Continue reading

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THE 100 MILES OF AMSTERDAM, DITCH DANGER… – PART 2

As we drove over some typically Dutch dykes, without any light (the headlights were ‘a bit’ weak), we almost hit the water when falling half into a ditch! Well, okay that might be a bit exaggerated… Those narrow dyke roads were the best ones, but also the most difficult as we drove into some black holes full of surprising bends.

After many spooky dykes there was a checkpoint in the famous walhalla for shopaholics, the Chopard store (sponsor of the 100MOA) in the PC Hoofdstraat in Amsterdam. As I am not addicted to shopping we raced down the luxury street, off to more of the city centre and some more spookiness… Continue reading

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THE 100 MILES OF AMSTERDAM, DITCH DANGER… – PART 1

Driving 100 miles thru Amsterdam and surroundings at midnight with an out of date roadbook (on purpose)… can it get any better? Most of us petrol heads will probably have the Mille Miglia on their bucket list, if not already completed! Please add this 100MOA rally to your list as well, it is something you just have to experience once or more in your lifetime.

Last Sunday/Monday was THE day! And I can ensure you it isn’t about chilling in the sun… Although it was not cold at all and no snow whatsoever, YEAH! I was probably one of the few who was happy with a normal view without white flakes all over.

Sadly Amillion, my Amilcar CGS, wasn’t ready yet to perform, so I had to… Continue reading

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AN UNEXPECTED 8C ADVENTURE THANKS TO FB…

My dad always tells me to plan and organize or prep a bit more, not really my kind of thing… The best days are when I get in my car unprepared to experience some great adventures! To name some very nice examples, I went to Denmark on my own, to join that great Bonhams auction of the Frederiksen collection. You can read those reports by clicking here for part 1, or here for part 2. Unexpectedly I left for Denmark, without any plan but getting to the auction in time. Where to stay? Just see how it goes, no commitments, just total freedom and fun. This adventure crossed my path thanks to a great friend who knows a lot about the fine art of Saoutchik and Figoni & Falaschi. That reminds me, I still need to write that article about Figoni… Expert Peter Larsen and his companion Ben Eriksen invited me to come to the action and that is what makes this blog so rewarding, these unexpected encounters! Peter Larsen is author of a number of magnificent books, so make sure to check them out via the Dalton Watson site.

The second example of a great day was when I… Continue reading

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VOTW-WHO DOESN’T REMEMBER ‘THE GRADUATE’?

Specially for the babyboomers among CHB readers, here is the final scene from that Oscar winning 1967 movie THE GRADUATE, starring Dustin Hoffman in his shabby Alfa Duetto 1600.

He also races into a black tunnel, just like the Miura in THE ITALIAN JOB, but this time he is not alone on a deserted mountain road and… Continue reading

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THE ART DECO LOVING DANDY MAHARAJA YESHWANTRAO HOLKAR II OF INDORE – PART 1

http://crankhandleblog.comFirst some background! Maharaja Tukojirao Holkar III (1890-1978) ruled the Princely State of Indore (9,519 square miles with 19 gun salutes) from 1903 to 1926. He was already quite an unconventional Maharaja and one of the first in Central India who, around 1906, acquired an automobile! He always purchased (lots of) cars for a reason… for some kind of a utilitarian purpose. He was just more of a practical collector than a petrol head.

Now about that futuristic master dandy, which he really was… Continue reading