Time to go back to this year’s adventures, one of which was our visit to the VSCC’s Prescott Hillclimb last July. A couple of articles ago I showed you around in Keith Bowley’s Ashton Keynes Vintage Restorations workshops and garage. A most interesting restoration business with a fascinating time-warp machine shop. Directly after that wonderful visit I rushed with my dad to the next restoration workshop, Thornley Kelham Ltd. This was so cool, as a follow up after Bowley’s, because it is a completely opposite world… Going from old school to hyper modern… Continue reading
OMG!!! Too much to report after such a long radio silence… So many events to write about and my apologies for the delay, but due to some personal issues it was way too quiet out here. Let’s go for the London Brighton Run today. As I had to go to the UK, which is yet another story and I will tell all about that next up, I was not far from London, just at the right moment. Some friends with an addiction for veteran cars were participants and convinced me to give it a try, because you know I am all about vintage swag, at least most of all… How does a day look when doing this crazy event? Well… 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
Good days… While waiting for the engine, the soul of Amillion to be fixed, let’s dig into some fun memories. A CGS is the ideal mud machine, and seriously it is so much fun! The day after my trial Amillion was suddenly clean… Yes, I have a father who likes clean cars haha.
It takes some patience and efforts to get Amillion is super shape, but I am getting there. I like to use a car, so I do anything possible with it, because thats what they are made for. Imagine… Continue reading
On each rally I might make some mistakes, but the most important is that I learn a lot too, and on this rally it was all about the safety concerns with vintage automobiles and the need for regular checking of the brakes, etc. The experience I gain is a valuable lesson and a reminder for you all, especially when this is all new to you…
Luckily the last day of this magnificent rally was very safe, because Tino and Luca had fixed the brakes as well as possible the evening before. Safe enough to drive across the Simplon pass back to Brig. It is very pleasant to wake up and have the view of an amazing collection of cool bolides with the hills of Lago Maggiore as a backdrop, palm trees, and petrolhead friends already preparing their car for the next tour. And then there is the best part! Roaring engines which are just awakening and excited to hit the road again. The most fun part is… Continue reading
VERY SHOCKING and terrifying…!!! That’s what I promised in my last report, so sit back and enjoy my horror experience. It all started at 9 AM again as we took off to explore Lago Maggiore after we did some tinkering to make sure all engines were ready for conditions that were going to be quite challenging. Especially for us Dutch people who live in a totally flat country. My dad was joining me this day, but what he didn’t know was that his nerves were going to be tested to the extreme after he had taken his seat next/behind me. The first kilometers were a party, because Amillion was really feeling like an athlete. The RB magneto did the trick and we were enjoying the sun, the sound, the roads and the surroundings.
Our first stop was a cave, again… In Vaals, with the International Cercle Pegase Club rally we had been trapped in at least 3 caves, so Amilcarists seem to be real cavemen and to love caves, although I am a bit claustrophobic. It was a cultural thing with a museum attached to it, showing how the mountain people used to live a long time ago. I learned that… Continue reading
First of all my apologies for my radio silence, September is a busy month… You will get the Prescott report and all the other reports soon, but let’s first start with the latest rally I did in Italy and Switzerland.
Last Thursday we trailered Amillion for some 1000 km to the start of the Escapade Cyclecars et Grand Sport – Le Tessin et ses Vallées in Brig in the Rhone valley in Switzerland. After a glimpse of Molsheim and the famous Bugatti heritage, the first serious mountain pass that Amillion faced was the Grimsel Pass (2,164 m – 7,100 ft) and my reliable German Black Beauty did a great job pulling the red dandy across the pass. Of course there are many ways to Rome and we choose the Grimsel Pass to say hello to my dad’s fave Swiss Alps hotel, the idyllic hotel Baeren in Guttannen.
After a 10 hour drive it was time to meet new friends… This rally had been organized by the Swiss representation of the Cercle Pegase, the French Amilcar Club. A nice turnout of all kinds of cyclecars and light sports cars with around 40 equipes were ready to… Continue reading
Preservation of cars whenever possible is what AKVR is striving for, of course all in close consultation with the customer. It is wonderful to see so many cars being preserved and the extreme craftsmanship that goes into this ‘artwork’. I think the most surprising fact of the visit was to discover that the mechanics crew also includes a young female mechanic, about as young as I am. So a young female petrol head can also be a mechanic at Keith’s workshop… and why not?
There was one car which was for me the most striking, a Riley. Between all those great cars I pick this Riley because it looked so special and so eccentric. It is to Keith a very special car, which he has owned for a very long time. The body looks very unusual, all aluminum with a light ocean blue chassis. There are some notable parts made on the body that are very clever but that remains… 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
I have showed you the muddy part, so now we head over to the luxurious part of het Loo, the iconic palace were most jewels were parked. I think next time the awards ceremony should be here again instead of the stage on the muddy field. My walk around the Palace was at the end of the concours, so thats why is looks a bit abandoned with not all cars present anymore… Look at that De Tomaso, 2000GT, Regal Underslung Racer, Daytona prototype, Bentley 3 liter and Amilcar with a secret under the hood… It has… Continue reading
As promised a nice overview of all the award winning cars of this years Concours d’Elegance Palace het Loo. The Best of show winner together with the 2000GT were for me deserved winners, but obviously it is always hard to choose between so many great cars. Since the 2000GT did not win an award, today I give the 2000GT the award for best designed car!
Sadly there was not price for the most dirty car of the event, because that would have been my award… 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
Two days before we were still busy testing and fixing Amillion, but just in time the job was done with the help of the magic hands of a Bugattist. Time to pack my CHAPAL helmet and goggles, because the Concours d’Elegance was waiting for a very cheeky and special little sportscar, which planned not to leave the concours before it had given its own show… Before arriving I drove the last 40 km in Amillion on wonderful country roads, after we had left the motorway and dropped her off the trailer. The horses underneath the bonnet of Amillion were excited and restless. The little race monster did it… As I was playing a bit with the throttle the tachometer did not stay at its usual maximum speed of 90 km/h (the Amilcar kind of 90 km/h is in reality not more than 75-80). Usually at a speed of ’90 km/h’ the engine starts to scream a bit and I calm her down, but this time that was not the case. From ’90’ the needle went up to ‘115 km/h’… Continue reading
Some of the pitstops were quite interesting. One of them was a visit into a now defunct Belgian mine, for the ones who dare to overcome their claustrophobia. When in the elevator to descend in this earth, you feel like a prisoner with a death sentence. When in the rusty, cold, wet, and creepy tunnels we heard the stories from an ex-mine worker. It was impressive to see, but most of all to imagine how bad the circumstances were when our spokesman was still a miner. Only imagine to be underground all day with a noise that makes you feel like a lunatic. Even horses were down there and once they were, they did not come to the surface anymore until they had died. Quite a sad situation. There was some equipment left in the mines, like a drill, producing a noise like hell. After this experience even the C6 racer… Continue reading
It was a close call, because two days before the rally started my Amilcar was not running so well. Luckily magic does exist. My CGS “Amillion” still needs to run-in as it never really had been driven after its restoration many years ago.
As we arrived in Vaals (NL) I saw next to me a fine CGSs arriving, that had just attended the Mille Miglia, so I felt like this was going to be a fantastic race as well. I parked Amillion in a field and one after the other arrived, in total 60 voiturettes from all over Europe! I am new to this cyclecar world and so is my dad and we were happily surprised with our first impressions. In the hotel we were welcomed by a fine Amilcar boat-tail model and of course by the organizers. After we all gathered there was a fine first event. Some of us, who were too lazy to… 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
Yesterday I discovered more about the amazing life of Maria Teresa de Filippis. Someone told me that I reminded him of her, which is the most wonderful compliment possible. I learned soon, as I started looking up her name, what a legendary female race driver she was, always wearing her lovely helmet… Just like my CHAPAL helmet. The combination with Maserati is epic as I love Maseratis, including their new masterpieces.
Everyone is telling me that I drive too fast, that I take too many risks, but I love risks and driving the maximum speed possible. It is my true passion, although… Continue reading
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
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
Have you always been dreaming of a rolling automotive museum? Then pay attention, because Athlon (market leader in car leasing and mobility in The Netherlands, see athlon.com) is looking for striking cars to join, especially prewarcars! From September 16th to 18th Athlon will celebrate its 100th anniversary in the ‘Werkspoorkathedraal’ in Utrecht see werkspoorkathedraal.nl. The event will be quite unique as Athlon aims to show a car from each year between 1916 and 2016 and to show as many different marques as possible.
First the participating cars will be exhibited for the public and of course well guarded, knowing how valuable those prewar treasures are. The Athlon crew will also take good care of the participants who join in this event. Especially the last day will be a great party when … Continue reading
We all know how challenging trials are. The mud flying around your ears and the fabulous bouncers trying to prevent the car from getting stuck in the mud. Compared to the trials we used to see, I guess this one is a bit more extreme… The Dodge Brothers having a bumpy ride in the oilfields in the 1920s, I believe as a commercial. This is how it all started, and you mist admit that those guys are real professionals. It seems they know exactly what they do, especially when… Continue reading
First of all let me tell you that I had planned to follow the Mille Miglia. Sadly my BMW spent those wonderful days at the dealers because of a delay with the delivery of a new clutch/flywheel. Not surprising that after more than 350.000 km the flywheel needed a replacement. But soon I will post loads of wonderful photos and possibly even a nice report of the 2016 Mille Miglia, with the help of a friend who participated. I lend him a wheel-nut from my CGS, which allowed him to participate with his Amilcar CGSs plus a bit of extra luck, so he owes me something now…
But let’s get back to Amillion. After several months I get to know my CGS better bit by bit, and this is a nice adventure. Of course Amillion had by far not… Continue reading
As the development of the successful Hispano-Suiza automobile engines has a direct and strong link with the aircraft sector, it must be clear that Hispano car engines are not just some cute machines. As often as we speak about the master pieces of Ettore Bugatti, I don’t hear many people saying that they admire the master pieces of Marc Birkigt. By showing you plenty of his wonderful technical genius, I hope to gain more respect for his amazing automobiles with their beautifully designed engines. Where others developed their cars often thru trial and error, Birkigt was capable of developing successful products right on the drawing board.
The beauty of Hispano engines is that they are made with only what it really takes to build a great engine, although this is not making the restoration process easy at all. Every Hispano is unique, which means that you cannot… 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
As you know this is my ultimate place to spend hours and admire all things surrounding me. The place to be for a girl with a Hispano obsession. Just like in the past I used to drive 40 km to admire my horse, I now drive some 630 km to admire our Hispano and all its sisters of course. Great trips I do with my dad in one day (1260 km). Nothing better then driving all day and setting another record in traveling time and then ending up in a world that is like magic. I think I will just show you a nice slideshow again, since I am short of words to describe all there was to admire. When you look thru the slideshow you will even find two J12 engines, one is the more usual 9.4 liter and the other a 11.3 liter! This larger J12 engine is a very uncommon and rare one that was also used to drive trains.
Since the owner, and best Hisso mechanic in the world, is a great friend and also an addicted… 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
As promised, I will reveal my ‘Best of Show’ of this year’s Techno Classica, Essen. I must say there were several cars that stole my heart, but only one could be the winner.
When I walked up to this incredible speed-machine, I was so impressed that I entered another world. Already from a distance I knew that this was for me THE highlight of the entire show. This 1925 short chassis Hispano-Suiza 8 liter, with factory Boulogne racing body, is just awesome, to paraphrase an American onlooker. Hispano’s are known for their super clean design and outstanding quality, thanks to Marc Birkigt, and like one of my ultimate idols said… Continue reading
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
Let’s first finish the older selection with the Edwardians. How are those vehicles doing in the current market, and how wanted were they in the Grand Palais?
The 1914 Renault 22CV Type EE Limousine with coachwork by Letourneur et Marchand did not go for €180,000 – 240,000. That same year the 1914 Adler 35/80hp Phaeton was built, and it is a sole survivor of only four made! Not rare enough as it didn’t go for the estimate of €130,000 – 160,000. Again, from the same year was the 1914 Peugeot 14hp Type 144A ‘Coloniale’ Tourer, which sold for €34,500. But it was a no go for the 1906 Ford Model N Cabriolet. An estimate of €25,000 – 35,000 seemed too much. The 1912 Clément-Bayard AC4A 10hp Tourer had been owned since 1958 until the moment in Paris, when a new owner had €26,450 in his pocket and spent it. The 1913 Renault DG Tourer was again another woody goody in the wheels and did sell for €41,400, also a new owner after a long time… The previous ownership had been since 1968. Hard to tell if they are really that high in demand, since it was a bit of a mixed bag here… Anyway, I think they didn’t do too badly and fetched very reasonable prices.
Now the real treat for me… Continue reading
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
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
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
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!
To begin with, there is this splendid 1965… Continue reading
Dear CHB reader,
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…
As I publish every day with pleasure, I now see that… Continue reading
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
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
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
Barney Barnato brought his three nephews Jack, Woolf and Solly Joel into the business, but this may have lead to his death…
With that said, Barney becomes even more interesting when looking at his death in 1897. At the time Woolf was only one or two years old. The death of Woolf’s dad has been verdicted as suicide, but rumors went around that it was actually a murder because of some mysterious circumstances… The waters between South-Africa and Londen are the only ones which know if Barney drowned himself, or if someone else pushed him overboard. This accident happened when Barney, his wife and three children, of which Woolf was one, were on their way to the England for a holiday in their fatherland. Beside his family, nephew Solly also journeyed with them. One of the rumors is that Barney was on deck with Solly and that they were arguing… Did Solly push Barney, or was he trying to stop Barney from jumping? Did Solly have a motive to commit a murder? Personally I don’t think it was suicide, because two other things might suggest that it was a murder committed by one of Barney’s heirs, Solly…
First of all Barney’s other nephew, Woolf Joel, was shot and killed a year later his business offices in Johannesburg by a blackmailer. Secondly… Continue reading
Dear reader, today was a lovely day at the Dutch Interclassics in Maastricht. This exhibition is one that I will permanently put in my agenda from now on, because it is well worth visiting! Since it was a long and exiting day with many great things, I’ll take a break today and write you a nice story tomorrow again. I’ll also post a fine report of this event very soon, way too much to share with you! : )
After yesterday’s introduction of the Blue Train races, we continue today with the life of the most famous Bentley Boy. The bespoke playboy Woolf ‘Babe’ Barnato (1895-1948) was a British financier, like his dad, but most of all a daring racing driver of the 1920s. His life consisted of sex, drugs and cocktails with a lot of roaring Bentley engines and exhaust fumes.
Why you should never ever have gotten into one of his daily cars? Well, those were blinded with curtains. You probably already know now what the reason was that his cars really were a playboy mansion on wheels… Next to his image of being a Woolf, he was a true star in the automotive and racing world. He won three times the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a row, and of course also the Blue Train victory in his Bentley Speed Six with body by H.J. Mulliner.
To start at the beginning though, there was a most interesting family history behind this man. Our protagonist was… 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
One of the things we petrol heads like is speed and this is something that gave us so many great stories thru history. The Land Speed Records are one amazing example, but the Blue Train Races were most exiting races as well. So let’s get back to these glorious races, with first some blues to end up later in a crazy world full of sex, drugs and cocktails, the life of one of the most famous playboys as well as an important man in Bentley history.
But first the blues. Back in history there were supercars just like we see today and as we petrol heads are a bit crazy, we come up with great and crazy ideas. One of these ideas was The Blue Train race. A series of record-breaking attempts between automobiles and trains in the late 1920s and early 1930s. I am not sure if there are people still holding such races today, but sadly times have changed and it would be impossible to beat a high speed train nowadays, unless you… Continue reading