During my holidays in the wonderful region Breisgau (Germany) and Alsace (France) I made a stop in Speyer, which is located between Frankfurt and Strasbourg. The museum of technology in Sinsheim once built an annex for their exhibits and picked Speyer for the location. It gradually expanded to become another great exhibition, stuffed with cars, planes, boats and locomotives. Even an original Buran can be found there. What is the Buran? I will show you in a minute. First things first.
Before you reach the museum, several aeroplanes on stilts can be seen from far away . Entering the hall after you bought your tickets might overwhelm you, because every single room is stuffed with exhibits: motorcycles are standing between old trains, a WW I plane (Fokker Dr.I) hangs from a wall, a boat is waiting in the left corner of the building, various mechanical organs standing amongst the tons of… Continue reading
We mee at Lincolnville Beach and take the ferry to Islesboro Island. Maine has over 3,000 islands along the coast, ranging from tiny rocks to full-fledged year round communities. Islesboro is the latter, 14 miles long with 560 year-round residents. Settled by westerners in the 1760’s, by the mid 19th century Islesboro had the largest shipping fleet on Penobscot Bay. By the end of the 19th century however it had become a popular destination for wealthy families from Boston and New York. The large summer homes built in the ‘cottage style‘, are evident today. This summer respite was invaded by the roaring and snorting GP Bugattis… Continue reading
It doesn’t end with the Historic GP at Zandvoort, because soon after it was already time for the British Racing Festival plus the Vintage Revival, each organized by the Dutch Vintage Sports Car Club. This year was a bit more quiet than last year and the last day was a bit wet, but this was a great track party! The old formula beasts had the chance to show off their glory again, super fast Mini’s of which a modern really cool FJCW turbo monster, a nice selection of vintage cars, the Jaguar, Lotus and Morgan clubs, etc.
Obviously my main focus was on the vintage section, but Morgan was calling for my attention too. Sadly Amillion was not ready to join, because there is a painful crack in the engine block in between 2 intake valves… Last year I told everyone that this year I would join them with my own vintage sports car, and I almost made it! Instead… Continue reading
On Sunday, September 25, the Alden Sherman Classic, an informal invitational concours was held in Weston, Connecticut on the grounds of the handsome local high school.
The usual modern marques were there in force: Jaguar, including two replica D-Types, Ferrari, with a 250 Lusso that was the most appealing to my taste, Lamborghinis and Porsches. A representative of the Riley Club was there with a very spiffy Riley Sports saloon. Many of the most popular American makes, such as Cadillac and Chevrolet, were there in abundance. Outstanding among the Americans was a gorgeous silver… 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
The latest report was all about Amillion and its cheeky performance at the Concours Palace Het Loo, but of course there was much more to admire! Sadly I have not had enough time to see much, but still enough highlights to mention. The gardens of Palace Het Loo are royal, so plenty of choice for everyone, from American bad boys to the most elegant and classy dandies. I guess the most brutal beasts were the RR Merlin V12 Spitfire 27 litre Bentley special, the blue Renault Nervasport des Records (record car) and the little robot car… Sadly I have not seen the little car, which was said to have more personality than Amillion. I heard it was flying and opening its doors and interacting with people, but… Continue reading
Camping is something Dutch people love to do. You create your house on wheels, just like you’re used to at home. The same foods, because hey, in a foreign country they don’t have peanut butter, chocolate sprinkles and several other typical Dutch goods. “What the farmer doesnt know, he doesn’t eat”. Some fun Dutch old-fashioned culture for you and to make it even better… I found a vid showing a Bugatti T57 Stelvio as towing car… Continue reading
We have already seen some wonderful pix of the 57S that once belonged to Charles Chayne. His daughter Nancy was so kind to send another great photo with her Dad behind the wheel of a Bugatti Type 23 Torpedo from 1921. This was chassis n°. 1253, originally with a 16-valve engine, n° 850, later on converted to a V8 engine, but this time from a Ford.
Sadly this is the only way we can admire this T23, because it is said that the car was scrapped during the WW2 scrap drives. Only the radiator and cambox survive.
Luckily Nancy can tell us a bit more about this great historic photo… Continue reading
The wonderful thing about sharing the history of special cars via CHB is that it might result in solving a mystery, or you get the exact answer you were looking for. It was a most pleasant surprise when I received a mail concerning the Buickatti and not just from someone… The daughter of Charles Chayne himself! Nancy Chayne was so kind to tell me more about the Buickatti since our story had ended with a mystery: “What remains a mystery to me is why Bunny didn’t convert…”
So let’s find out from Nancy’s letter why the Buickatti didn’t loose its special nickname… Continue reading
The moment had finally come… A friend of mine (thanks Walter) told me some months ago that the International Bugatti meeting was scheduled to take place in Montreux (the Swiss Monte Carlo), where I happen to live. My Bugattist heart was beating like mad and I felt like a kid waiting for Christmas to come.
And last week Santa Claus indeed delivered my presents, many months before his anniversary: more than 40 Molsheim born jewels arrived in my hometown. What a beautiful uproar… Continue reading
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
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
This 1934 Bugatti Type 57 Gangloff Roadster with chassis number 57217 and engine number 122 is a very special car. It is a prototype and it looks quite outrageous with its burgundy and pearl colors and straight eight engine.
The Bugatti Type 57 is almost unequivocally one of the most revered models in the history of the automobile. The cutting edge engineering (for the time) in all aspects of its chassis, suspension, engine, and driveline, allowed for… Continue reading
Dear CHB readers, this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza had a participant I wished I had seen in real, the Bugatti 57 SC Atalante. For me the ultimate dream car! Of course next to several gorgeous other automobiles. Sadly I didn’t make it this year to Villa d’Este, but luckily one of my great readers did, and he captured his experiences for you. Enjoy! – RAV
Another big cars’ event has just finished. I’m talking about the famous Concorso d’Eleganza Villa D’Este. This famous event, launched in 1929, shows the best classic vehicles and prototypes from around the globe at one of the best locations in the world, Cernobbio, on the shores of Lake Como. On Sunday May 22 there was… Continue reading
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
Charles Chayne was one of the most famous early Bugatti collectors. He was a former chief engineer and VP at GM in the 50’s and 60’s, and was a true car afficionado. His first classic car was a Bugatti, and his last was the famous ex Dr Fuchs Royale by Weinberger.
But among Chayne’s Bugatti collection (Type 23, 41, 43 and 57S) there was a very special one, a 1937 Type 57S (57482) a Vanvooren bodied DHC that he bought in the late 50’s, originally built for a certain Mr Halphen. This 57S had been owned at some point by a Frenchman (the car was registered in the late 40’s with Parisian plates), and then was purchased by the legendary Jean de DeDobbeleer from Brussels, who… Continue reading
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
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
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
A rare Type 44 Bugatti coupe fiacre was spotted in front of Sardi’s Restaurant on West 44th Street in Manhattan on Saturday, April 2. We would have been quite prepared to disbelieve our eyes had it appeared a day earlier, but the apparition was in fact an actual car, reputed to be runner despite its essential, and quite amazing, originality… Continue for more pix
Walter Köng had a very interesting life. In fact he was more a designer than a coachbuilder. He began his career working for the famous Italian coachbuilders Cesare Sala in Milan. In 1927 he moved to Paris where he went to work for coachbuilder Louis Gallé. At the age of barely 20 he became their chief designer and was responsible for many of Gallé’s luxury bodies on expensive chassis. Among his designs was a wonderful Bugatti Type 38 Tourer, but sadly this one was never built. In the late 1920s Köng went to work for the Chrysler Corporation in the USA and later was employed by Packard as designer. He left Packard in 1935… Continue reading
Hermann Graber (1904-1970) is without doubt the most famous of all Swiss coachbuilders, and his personal style is easily recognizable in most of his designs. In 1924 he took over his father’s wheel making business, and quickly converted it for the production of car bodies. Graber creations soon became very sought after by clients who were fond of his style, mixing classical elegance with a sporty touch. He coachbuilt numerous great and prestigious chassis, such as Duesenbergs (he is one of the few who dared to cloth a roadster without the traditional Duesie‘s radiator shell), Packards, Hispano-Suizas, Rolls-Royces, Bentleys, Talbot-Lagos (sadly Graber rebodied a wonderful T150 SS „Teardrop“ by Figoni et Falaschi after the war as a roadster, and scrapped the magnificent original body) and Bugattis, of course. Graber Bugattis are in most cases… Continue reading
Prince Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, seen here in a picture which is believed not ever having been published before, so this might be a scoop for CRANKHANDLEBLOG!
When we think of Switzerland, most will immediately think of chocolate, watches, precision and tax evasion. But did you know that during the golden era of the automobile numerous talented coachbuilders were active in this mountainous and austere country? Swiss coachbuilders are of course not as famous as their French, German or English colleagues, but you will see that some of their creations are really worth taking a closer look at. And then you will realize that you may have already seen Swiss coachbuilt cars before, without even having noticed. Many prestigious chassis such as Duesenberg, Isotta Fraschini, Bentley and Alfa Romeo have been clothed by Swiss craftsmen, but let’s focus on Bugatti in particular… Continue reading
About a year later I was with the jolly group of Bugatti friends who I have already mentioned in my article titled “The incredible unknown Atalante barn find”.
A new member who I had not met before was there and he told me that he had acquired a quite stunning T57 Stelvio (the convertible model) about a year earlier. He then went on to tell that, since he was dealing in natural stones, he often stayed in the south east of Austria. One lonely evening, while having a drink in the hotel bar, the barkeeper told him that there was a Bugatti in the basement of the hotel, which had been sitting there for many years. Being a small collector himself, I believe he had a Peugeot of some sort at that time, he showed interest in seeing the car. It must have blown his minds when he made his way into the basement and finding the forlorn Bugatti there.
He managed to strike a deal and brought the Stelvio home in the back of one of his heavy dump trucks in which he normally transported his natural stones.
This was the title of a most entertaining series of articles published in the very thin and poorly printed, as well as poorly illustrated, Dutch magazine Motor during WW2.The Dutch language version of the title was much better, i.e. “Met z’n twee naar Zell am See”, with See rhyming with twee.
The series related the story of two Dutch motorcycle friends who, shortly before war broke out, had made a holiday trip on their motorcycles to Zell am Seein Austria. Zell am See is located in the Salzburgerland, about halfway between Salzburg and Innsbruck.
In the early seventies I was living in a student’s house on a canal in the center of the old city of Delft and I clearly remember the day when one of my housemates brought home a small pile of De Motor magazines that had been given to him by an uncle. Of course I had to take a look and I was stupefied by a small picture, showing the two motorcycle friends in the company of a smashing Bugatti T57S roadster… Continue reading
Other gear came in from Bart Loyens, the Amsterdam stockist, including a correct steering wheel and the lovely Marchal headlamps. “New” brake drums came variously from a friend in Massachusetts and another in Colorado. The latter wouldn’t release his pair until I had arranged for another set for his car to be shipped from England. All this took a bit of doing, but it was fun, also.
The main problem now was that the Bugatti never seemed to get finished, so I finally persuaded Russ Sceli to take it on as one of his projects for 1971. In the fifties, Russ had operated one of the first foreign car dealer-ships in Hartford, and had restored several Bugattis of his own before retiring to the quiet of his hilltop retreat in Canton, Connecticut. Here, he would take on one car at a time in his meticulous garage–! was glad to have the T-40 in his care. Russ took everything apart, and… Continue reading
While the Jean Comte crew were working away on the body proper, I busied myself trying to learn what a correct T-40 Bugatti really looked like, what sort of instruments were needed, and a million other essential details. Letters went out to various information sources in England and America, and bit by bit some information came back. A brand new Rene Thomas steering wheel turned up in a local Chinese general store; the Jean Comte machine shop was making up carefully copied parts from unsalvageable originals; and when I heard there was a group of vintage enthusiasts in Singapore, I hied myself down there for a look. It was great fun, and I met some wonderful people who were enormously helpful. I even found two Bugattis in my prowling, but they were the property of a terribly keen Chinese race driver and, at that time, were not for sale This man’s house was crammed from floor to ceiling with the most amazing collection of parts I had ever seen, and before leaving… Continue reading
Although the French word “carcasse” can be used to describe an automobile frame, “chassis” is far more common and one can only suspect that “carcasse” meant what it said –namely, a carcass. After 1950, the T-40 passed through several more hands before ending up with Cao van Tung who apparently had some notion of using its engine in a small ferryboat somewhere in the delta. Fortunately, this project never got beyond the stage of naval (sic) contemplation, and the Bugatti came to its penultimate resting place on a side street in the aforementioned city of Bien Hoa.
David brought the car to a garage in Saigon which is where I first saw it. Picture, if you will, in a dank corner of a fairly run-down establishment, this veritable carcass of a Bugatti. The unmistakeable radiator was flanked by the empty sockets of what once had been the headlights. The cycle fenders were dented, sagging, and badly rusted. The body shell was so porous in places that a finger could be put through by poking… Continue reading
Stopping my Bugatti in a public place these days frequently brings forth the awful probe, “what’s it worth?” I never know quite how to reply, and usually try to duck the question. It’s not because I’m particularly shy; rather, I am ever appalled by what the traders and general inflation have done to vintage car values. You see, it gives me no real pleasure to know that my car is supposed to be too valuable to use on public roads, run in competitive events, or be parked in front of the IGA–all of which I very much like to do. I prefer to remember that I got the Bugatti for $150, and this is the story of how that came to pass.
In 1956 I was assigned to the American Embassy in Saigon, which, during my tour of duty there, was a pleasant and peaceful city. Soon after my arrival, I met David Mize. David had preceded me by about a year, during which he had managed to find not one but two Bugattis… Continue reading
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
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
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
An event to look forward to all year is the Parisian super exhibition Retromobile. Even though Retro is not as huge as Techno Classica in Essen, the variety of cars is better and, the quality is definitely as good and the atmosphere is just incredible. When entering the hall of fame, it is hard to decide where to start! There is so much to see and of course so many great people to meet.
I had some fantastic days, and will make you a list of the highlights. Four days were not enough to complete my whole to-do-list and I obviously forgot to… Continue reading
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
About 40 years ago, when still a student, I frequented the Saturday lunch of a group of jolly Bugatti enthusiasts. One of them told me how, in the early sixties, he had acquired his Bugatti T44 in France and that the owner had two. So, who knows, perhaps the other one might still be there, I thought.
The name of the village was not fully known, but with the World Atlas of Time Magazine, I figured out where this Bugatti might possibly be hiding.
The next summer, this was 1977, on a holiday trip, I stopped in the supposed village at around two in the afternoon, when everybody had dozed off to sleep. A small garage business in the main street was still open, and I walked in to ask if the good man knew if there was perhaps a Bugatti in the village? “Yes”, he said!
Dear me, could this really be true? “Drive down the main street a bit further and turn into a narrow dead end street on your left, and you will see… Continue reading
Today I planned to write you the last part of the Barnato story, but I need to clear up something first.
As many of you know, I am a young Atalante, who started this blog less than 8 months ago as a rookie with VERY little knowledge. This blog is among other things for me a way to learn as much as possible about vintage- and classic cars, especially because I enjoy exploring such fantastic automobiles! I am so enthusiastic, perhaps a bit too much, that I now found that I also make errors, like many others do, and I am not ashamed to admit this. That’s how a Bugatti 57S behaves, sport stands for speed…
You probably know that petrol heads can talk for hours… I became just the same in less than a year. Today the final part of my Interclassics adventure. I hope my reports made you enjoy the event, especially if you weren’t there. Or that you can now look back at this event to remember what made it so nice.
I was sad to leave without completing my to-do-list, but at 8.00 pm it was time to close the doors for the crowds. Of course we left a bit later as it was too cosy at the stand of LMB… Adventurer, world traveller, Bentley driver, Bugattist, and so on… Kjeld Jessen told me all about the Barnato family history, and the Blue Train story. As you know, I recently wrote about this on CHB. There are however some corrections that should be made following Kjeld’s explanations, but that’s not to be ashamed of. This was quite a blooper, talking to a Bentley connoisseur, but luckily Kjeld is… Continue reading
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
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.
We went into a very small dusty and cold room filled with a delicious smell of old gas and oil. This so called ‘workshop’ was packed with work-benches, tools, shelves filled with books and wooden boxes all over the floor. While admiring this delightful mess, I noticed a wonderful Bugatti front axle on a work-bench, just like a hunting trophy. “Nice, isn’t it, I’ve just finished polishing it. I’ll show you my treasure, here is a crankshaft, here is another one, some clutch parts should be somewhere here and oh, did you see the engine block behind those shelves?” And so on… The man enumerated all these precious parts as if they were fruits and vegetables. The Bugatti man had been collecting… Continue reading
“An impressive story this is exiting till the end! As an Atalante myself, I love to read about one of my look-alike sisters ; )”
One day my father was called to make an appraisal for furniture and other pieces of art and as usual, I joined him. We arrived at a wonderful but faded Louis XVI style castle from the late 18th Century. As we entered the yard we were told that the client hadn’t arrived yet, which gave my father and me time to admire the wonderful small castle and two very nice period stone barns. The barns were closed by very heavy wooden doors. I did just what you expected me to do, I opened one of the doors to see what was hidden inside. As I looked into the dark barn, I saw a dusty and dirty car frame hanging on the wall. This frame looked familiar to me and I decided to inspect it more closely. My initial thought was that it looked very much like a Bugatti frame… Continue reading
“Today we can enjoy the story of an interesting CHB reader, who has the aim to involve the youth in this wonderfully mad car world. CHB totally agrees with CSR, let’s make 2016 an outstanding year with new chances. Let’s especially give the youth a place on the vintage and classic automotive stage. To me it was not that hard to earn a spot in this lovely car world and to get access to an incredible little vintage racer. Unfortunately not everyone can achieve this in such a short time, so let’s make sure every petrol head gets chances. That sounds perhaps a bit arrogant and charitable at the same time… haha, forgive me it’s Christmas and you know, I always have nothing but good intensions : )”
When I pick up a classic car magazine, I either turn to the events section, or to see what has been… Continue reading
Especially for you a fine design of an artful Christmas card by CHB’s NYC correspondent. The car shown is a Bugatti Royale with chassis number b, the Weinberger cabriolet. The buildings are on rue Robert Mallet-Stevens, Paris 16.
The magnificent #41121 was painted very dark green or black at the time and to be honest, it was never… Continue reading
Changing base metal into gold has always been the ultimate quest of any alchemist, but after centuries of studying and trials, no one has ever achieved this goal. So, let’s forget Nicolas Flamel and any so called philosopher, for there have only been two men who succeeded in transforming steel, aluminium and magnesium into precious metal.
Each was born in the north of Italy and I know that you have already guessed whom I’m speaking about… Continue reading
Three months after I was born, I probably missed out on my only chance ever to buy a barnfind Bugatti. At least Sotheby’s thought so, when they took this beautiful T57 Atalante to auction in 1987. The auction catalogue literally said: ‘This must surely be one of the last Bugatti barn discoveries’. Boy, were they wrong! And every time a new Bugatti… Continue reading
A number of articles ago, CHB presented a special one-off concept car for those who still have hidden socks with cash. On December 10th RM Sotheby’s held their NYC Driven by Disruption auction. Our NYC correspondent Walter Jamieson was present and noted down for you the hammer prices of his favorites, which he dealt with in a previous article about great dashboards.
Although some of you may have had their first driving lessons on an empty airfield strip, most of us will remember these moments as a never ending hour with an inexhaustible number of nerve-racking moments. I suddenly felt great respect for my mother, who could easily practice French with us, while parenting my brother during the daily drive to school. She and Juan Manuel Fangio must have been from another planet.
Whether you call it the dashboard, le tableau de bord or even The Office, as some serious petrol heads do, it can be one of the most appealing and attractive parts of any fine Vintage or Classic car. Dials and switches, some of which have functions long ago replaced by more modern technology, proliferate in impressive array. The numbers and letters are handsome; the knobs and handles often suggest that some heft might be needed to… Continue reading
The sole goal of my stories is to show that the vintage car hobby is very attractive, even if you already have another hobby. Many youngsters are crowding highways, speedways and London, to ‘spot’ supercars of today’s playboys. Both the spotters as well as the playboys in their supercars should read this story and should realize that their hobby is not new at all. Why would you crowd up around a Ferrari while you could have a Morgan for yourself? So become vintage supercar spotter or a playboy in a prewar (super)car!
As in many cases, the Americans were the first to do outrageous things, and it is thus not surprising that… Continue reading