A TOW TRUCK THAT PROVES THAT EVEN THE BEST IS FUGITIVE

My grandfather René has always been a very open minded and active man. After the war, money was really hard to earn, that is why my grandpa decided to start a business with rental cars with chauffeur, in addition to his antiques dealing business.

In Switzerland there were plenty of rich people who were looking for that kind of rental car service. My grandpa’s best client was the son of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. To please his clients, René purchased some prewar cars since they were very cheap, classy and comfortable. His rental ‘fleet’ consisted of a Chrysler, a Packard and a Lancia Astura drophead by Pininfarina. The Pininfarina Lancia was particularly… Continue reading

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SEQUEL TO REARD’S BIKINI GIRLS

From Louis de Funès to Louis Réard! I like to share with you that CHB has gained some great friends thanks to the article I wrote about the Packard Super Eight with yacht coachwork by Henri Chapron! See ‘LE YACHT DE LA ROUTE AND BIKINI GIRLS’.

First of all about the current owner of the brand Réard! He plans to re-launch the Réard brand in the summer of 2016, which is absolutely great news. I hope to see a lot of people wearing Réard fashion again soon! It would be even better if the Packard is present at the launch, to add lustre to the event! Who knows if that will happen… Continue readinghttp://crankhandleblog.com

THE SPORT OF SHIKAR, AT YOUR SERVICE YOUR HIGHNESS!

http://crankhandleblog.comIf you heave read the previous ‘Maharaja’ articles, you may have noticed the term shikar several times. Before Independence in 1947, the Indian Royalty had an exclusive privilege for hunting, known as the sport of shikar. As a vegan quite sad to write about those shikar expeditions where many of those beautiful and now very rare (Bengal) tigers were killed. Anyhow, some very fine shikar vehicles were involved with this ‘sport’! It was a way of sharpening the senses, keeping the reflexes up to date and being active. The Maharajas needed to be prepared for war at all times… Continue reading

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

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