Hi all, thank you for reading the first part of my review of “Technikmuseum Speyer”. This is the second part.
When leaving the first hall, you should turn right. In the narrow space between fence and the building, you can see a few locomotives. In the furthest space, there is a Chinese steam powered one which is really really huge. Some plants, crawling out from the edges, create a still life which contrasts with the massive power of the machine. My favourite on tracks is the German V200 (represented by the successor V220) which looks as if if it had been designed by a comic artist… Continue reading
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
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
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
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
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
Another infamous automobile you’ll love, like I do. Let’s have a look in the garage of another nasty criminal.
The infamous, but flamboyant Reichsmarshal had been one of the key figures who enabled the German dictator to took power of his country. He then helped his master in his evil plans which lead to world destruction.
Goering was also a car enthusiast. He used to visit most of the Automobile fairs and ordered a lot of one-off… Continue reading
On February 3rd it is shopping time in Paris at the RM Sotheby’s auction, the first of their 2016 European calendar. Here is a great opportunity to get yourself a fine thematic collection of 1950s and 1960s top class coupés at ‘affordable’ prices. And what is more, if you happen to be so eclectic that you want to acquire one from each major automobile manufacturing nation, i.e. Italy, France, Germany, Great Britain and the USA, then here is your chance!
As I was standing in front of and admiring a friend’s Mercedes 500K, the owner told me that wherever he went with his jewel, he often heard people yelling “Oh Hitler is out for a ballade again”, or even worse: “Who could be mad enough to own such an infamous car?”
I suddenly realized that public opinion may associate some of my favorite cars with cruel and devilish dictators who owned likewise models, like in the case of my friend’s 500K. Are these cars to be blamed for the suffering in an earlier life? It’s a matter of opinion, but a car cannot choose its owner, nor its destiny.
Since we were now in the barn find corner, I spotted another ‘dans son jus’. This was again a very special experience, because I saw two different worlds… On the left we see a Porsche 356 AT2 in excellent condition, while on the right we see the true ‘dans son jus’ 356. This is something that impressed me, and what you don’t see very often. Most special cars in this show I saw double or even triple, and I was not stoned! I saw a discrete ‘dans son jus’ E-Type between the other well restored E-Types on the stand of E-Type Center Europe. The ‘dans son jus’ look is something I really appreciate, and I hope we all will continue preserving rather than restoring everything to the finest detail. Although some cars can handle that perfectly restored look very good… like for instance our Delahaye 135M Chapron convertible super star.
Just around the corner, I saw an unfinished Mercedes 190 SL, a super sexy car that caught my attention. In the same corner, I saw a 1958 Porsche 356 A Cabrio, which told my to mint (mint green…) my own business. Well, sometimes you also meet cars with a grumpy attitude… I wonder if you must first complete a study to become a Porsche expert, because… Continue reading
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
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
“Let’s enjoy a great story told by our hero, legend Denis Jenkinson. This incredible man gave us petrol heads so many lovely stories, so let’s honor DSJ. With that said, I don’t mean CHB’s DSJ obviously ; ) Thanks Robin Batchelor for this great Christmas suggestion.”
I began to think about doing something appropriate to wind up the year at Christmas time. Other magazines were doing Christmas road tests of unlikely vehicles, with esoteric things like measuring the acceleration of a pogo stick, or the maximum speed of a steamroller. For Motor Sport my thoughts were totally on Grand Prix racing, though I occasionally helped the editor by road-testing the more exciting vehicles. For this purpose I plotted out a figure-of-eight route that pretty well covered the whole county of Hampshire, where I lived, and did timed runs in the faster road-test cars, There were no motorways in those days and, more to the point there were no… Continue reading
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
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.
CHB stands corrected – the Mercedes 540K in yesterday’s article is a 1936 Special Coupé by Sindelfingen and not an Autobahn Kurier… Of the original Autobahn Kuriers only 6 were built, 4 on a 500K chassis and 2 on a 540K chassis. The car in the Arturo Keller collection, chassis 408336, ex prof. Barraquer, is believed to be the only remaining of those 6, although …? (read on). That doesn’t make yesterday’s article less fascinating and in this part 2 we continue this amazing story, still calling ‘our’ car an Autobahn Kurier for the sake of the great story!
My uncle and father definitely fell for the charms of the Autobahn Kurier, without knowing that it was one! They were impressed like they had never been before by any other car. They both began to convince their father to buy the car. Saying that my grandfather was interested, is an understatement! He simply was shaken by this apparition. He asked if the cars could be started… The Colonel told them that they… Continue reading
Get ready for a fine barn finding story from a great CHB reader! It is just awesome to see stories from my precious readers. Thank you so much Simon for this intriguing story! : ) If you also have such a great story, don’t hesitate to share it with CHB.
When I was a young boy (that was a long time ago), I was always waiting for the weekends, because on Sunday we used to go for lunch at my Grandparents’ home. After the meal my beloved grandfather, a great car enthusiast, always liked to tell us some fairytale-like car stories. I remember those moments very well. My father, my uncle and I suddenly got sparkling eyes when it came to listen to grandpa’s marvelous stories. Such as the story of his 16 valve Bugatti Brescia, that he owned for just one week, the Rolls Silver Ghost converted into a towing car, but the most appreciated and sought after tale was for sure the story of the Autobahn Kurier near the lake… Continue reading
Sooner than expected… my goal of snatching up a nice cyclecar has already been achieved! : ) After some initial orientation and looking and enquiring around, it transpired that I had to take a quick decision! Sometimes you just need to have faith and believe in miracles! The next day after having contacted the seller my dad and I left to start our journey to Austria to see the CGS and to get things sorted out. I must admit that before we left we already had seen a lot of details and pics of the CGS. It looked perfect and that made us decide to be madhatters and just GO… Continue reading
As promised a report of the grandiose Chantilly Arts & Elegance concours! This year was only the second time such a concours at Chantilly took place and for me the fist time to visit this event. I guess this concours is a keeper for the coming years! If I have to describe Chantilly in one word… MASSIVE! The castle gardens are massive and of course beautiful, historical and elegant. Next to the Concours d’Etat there were also many clubs present, such as Delahaye in which we were participants. Sadly the Delahaye Club didn’t win, because they had already won last year, so the Delage Club did this year. Even so the Delahaye Club field looked formidable with 22 cars present. A very pleasant club to join!
But let’s go back to the beginning of the journey, which was not as smooth as we had expected… Continue reading
Tinted car windows are not a hype of the 21st century, they were already used since the 11th century for the purdah, which means the seclusion of women. Purdah found its way thru India by the conquest of the Islam. The Royal Muslim as well as Hindu Maharanis lived quite unseen. Outside of their zenana (secluded women’s apartments) they were moved around in different kinds of vehicles like palanquins and (animal dawn) carriages, that were shuttered with heavy curtains. And of course later also cars with blinded windows… that we still use today!
I am a bit ashamed, because this is something that I am supposed to know, but am I alone in this? So let me tell you this little story. I was working at the gym (which has a great view on the Maas river) on a ‘Maharaja’ article, yes I use the gym as my office, but also to work out of course : )
Anyway I thought my friend from the gym might be interested in the Maharaja cars, because she is of Indian origin. While talking she told me about her dad who was an engineer for Mercedes-Benz. She made me aware of… Continue reading
I found this Mercedes-Benz photograph while searching for 500K Special Roadster pics. This one I could not use for the article of ‘the butcher’s car’, but a very good one for this week’s pic! The Mercedes-Benz (I believe it is a 380K A-Carbiolet?) has such a nice background, that shows how cars were hauled onto a ship in the good old days.
Concerning the article about ‘the Butcher’s car’, I stand corrected. One of the CHB readers was so kind to point out to me the fact that the ‘Pearl’, as I’d like to call the 500K Spezial Roadster, isn’t truly a pearl. While restoring a 500K he surprisingly discovered that the dashboard is made of “faux mother-of-pearl”. The material of the ‘pearl’ dashboard is also used for drum kits and other musical instruments, he told me. This is quite disappointing to hear, but it doesn’t make the 500K any less precious. If that was the case I would immediately try to buy one! My ‘pearl’ bubble has burst, but at least I learned a little secret of the 500K. That is what
CHB is all about, learning more about classic cars!
Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, it will be most appreciated because critique – positieve or negative – is what I need to improve my knowledge as well as CHB!
Today I indulge in the history of the aerodynamics of cars and windtunnel testing. You may wonder what the Zeppelin has to do with this? I will explain…
The Hungarian engineer Paul Jaray was the man who presented numerous designs for streamlined car bodies. Initially he designed seaplanes, but later he focused on streamlining airships. The LZ-120 Bodensee was one of his airship designs.
The detailed series of experiments in the LZ’s windtunnel were also a start of something new, the use of aerodynamics in car design. Jaray studied the effects of wind direction and airflow over an airship at ground level. This way he also developed his theories about streamlining motorcars. With his streamlining theories Jaray founded in 1927 the Stromlinien Karosserie Gesellschaft. But of the many car manufacturers to whom he presented his designs for streamlined bodies Tatra was the only one which… Continue reading
Related to the 500K Spezial Roadster article, I wanted to share this advertisement that I noticed on prewarcar.com. This American genius/master fabricator has built the most magnificent Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster replicas – not really what you call replicas – with his special workshop tooling. The tools are used to restore original Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadsters to exact specifications of the factory.
Now all of that tooling is for sale! This is a chance of a lifetime for any Mercedes-Benz builder/restorer. As you can see in the photo, this is craftsmanship at a very high level! No wonder that some cars in the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart feature his work. His concours-winning work is the real deal! Time with the retiring fabricator included in the price of 40,000 USD.
My father told me a while ago a short story about a Mercedes-Benz that was found behind a butcher’s shop in the UK. It sounded like an interesting story, so I wanted to find out more details about this car and its story. That is why I am now publishing this story about what I like to call the ‘pearl’, because of its stunning pearl dashboard!
The 500K Spezial Roadster from 1936 is known as one of the most prestigious cars that Mercedes-Benz has ever built. Less than 30 of these great cars were built. But the ‘Spezial Roadster’ which is the subject of this article was not always as liked as it is today, because this car was immured behind walls at a British butcher for 32 years! Unfortunately I have to tell you that this ghost story was just one big delusion… Continue reading
This photograph shows an unknown Spezial Roadster. Could this be ‘the butchers car’? This roadster also has right-hand steering. As far as known only ‘the butchers car’ and the Olympia Motor Show model had this… Who can solve this mystery? Please let me know in the comments below!
Without any warning the car spun and there was just time to think what a desolated part of Italy in which to crash, when I realised that we had almost stopped in our own length and were sliding gently into the ditch to land with a crunch that dented the tail. “This is all right,” I thought, “we can probably push it out of this one,” and I was about to start getting out when Moss selected bottom gear and we drove out – lucky indeed! Before we could point the car in the right direction we had to make two reverses and as we accelerated away down the mountainside. I fiddled about putting the safety catch back on the reverse position of the gear-gate, while we poked our tongues out at each other in mutual derision.
At the Siena control we had no idea of whether we were still leading or not, but Moss was quite certain that Taruffi would have had to have worked extremely hard to catch him, for he had put all he knew into that last part of the course, he told me afterwards. Never relaxing for an instant he continued to drive the most superb race of his career, twirling the steering wheel this way and that, controlling slides with delicateness of throttle that was fairy-like … Continue reading
Just beyond the control were a row of pits and there was 723, Castellotti’s Ferrari, having some tyre changes, which was not surprising in view of the way he had been driving. With a scream of “Castellotti!”, Moss accelerated hard round the next corner and we twisted our way through the streets of Ravenna, nearly collecting an archway in the process, and then out on the fast winding road to Forlì. Our time to Ravenna had been well above the old record but Castellotti had got there before us and we had no idea how Taruffi and the others behind us were doing. Now Moss continued the pace with renewed vigour and we went through Forlì, waving to the garage that salvaged the SL we crashed in practice, down the fast winding road to Rimini, with another wave to the Alfa Romeo service station that looked after the SLR that broke its engine. I couldn’t help thinking that we had certainly left our mark round the course during practice … Continue reading
A week before the event we went to Stuttgart to try out the actual car we were using in the race, and several laps of the fast Hockenheim circuit convinced us that we had a truly magnificent 3-litre sports car under us, the eight-cylinder fuel-injection engine giving well over 290 bhp on normal pump petrol, and the car geared to give a maximum of 170 mph at the peak revolutions of 7,500 rpm, though we were given no ultimate limit, should the car wind itself over this downhill. On this SLR the seats were made to measure for us, being cut-and-shut just like a tailor would make a suit, while every detail in the cockpit received our personal attention, and anything was altered to our desire without question. When we finally left the racing department at 5 pm on Tuesday, April 26th, we had the pleasant feeling that we had just left an organization that knew no limit to the trouble they would go to in order that we might start the Mille Miglia with everything on our side.
Next day we flew to Brescia and when we went round to the garage in the evening the cars were already there, having been driven down in the fast racing lorries overnight. We were now satisfied with almost everything we could think about; we had practised wheel-changing over and over again, in case we had tyre trouble, and I would add that we impressed the Mercedes-Benz mechanics … Continue reading
On May 1st motor-racing history was made, for Stirling Moss won the 1,000-mille Mille Miglia, the first time in 22 years that this has been achieved by a British driver, and I had this great privilege of sitting beside him throughout this epic drive.
But let us go back to the beginning, for this win was not a fluke on the spur of the moment, it was the result of weeks, even months, of preparation and planning.
My enthusiasm for the Mille Miglia race goes back many years, among the reasons being the fact that it is permissible to carry a passenger. This event is for all types of road-going cars, from family saloons to Grand Prix type racing/sports cars, and when I had my first taste of the lure of the Mille Miglia as a competitor last year, with Abecassis in the HWM, I soon set about making plans for the 1955 event … Continue reading