THE CAR THAT NOBODY WAS ALLOWED TO TALK ABOUT FOR DECADES

Of the many stories my dad told me about his chases for collectible cars in the 70s and 80s of the last century, one stands out because I was never allowed to talk about it until now.

In the July 2016 issue of the magazine The Automobile (Volume 34, number 5) author Rutger Booy reveals the story of the ‘Secret SS1’, breaking decades of silence and telling the intriguing tale of an SS Jaguar that has been hidden in The Netherlands since the late 1950s.

This car will be one of the preservation treasures shown at the Concours Paleis Het Loo next weekend in Apeldoorn, so if you want to see this unique car in real, then come to Apeldoorn. Or buy yourself a copy of The Automobile.

It was in 1974, while renovating an old town house, that my dad, then still a student, invited a tiler for a beer after having completed his work. Getting to talk about cars, the man told him that he knew of a Jaguar SS100 somewhere… 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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WITH TWO TO ZELL AM SEE – PART 2

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.

An intriguing story, but now comes the best part… Continue reading

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WITH TWO TO ZELL AM SEE – PART 1

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 See in 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

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POTW-TRAVELING 1950s STYLE

It is mid winter (at least in Europe), although it looks and feels like spring this year. Normally this is a time when people start making plans for their next summer holidays. This German couple traveled to their holiday destination by Messerschmitt KR200, a lovely period shot. Note the Goggomobil in the background.  And note the almost… 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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LE YACHT DE LA ROUTE AND BIKINIGIRLS

In the summer of 2007 my dad discovered by chance in France this unique Réard in the garage of a widow. This particular car was the advertising vehicle of Louis Réard, the inventor of the bikini.

Réard commissioned coachbuilder Henri Chapron to design a ship-like car. It is a nice story to tell, because we own two Delahayes with Henri Chapron coachwork.

http://crankhandleblog.comOriginally this very special coachwork of Henri Chapron was built on the chassis of a 866 Hotchkiss, but the engine was not strong enough for the heavy car. Therefore the chassis was later replaced by that of a Packard Super Eight from 1937. Thereby the steering wheel was moved from the right to the left.

Louis Réard was an automobile engineer from Paris … Continue reading