PREWAR WALHALLA HETZBERGER GALLERY

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

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PREWAR WALHALLA AT THE HETZBERGER TROPHY

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

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MIURA AND PESAGO PARADISE

For the ones who did miss Amelia Island, here is a nice photo report for you. It was the perfect place for Lamborghini to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Miura. A large selection of Pegasos did accompany the Miura’s, probably 12 in total, which were also at Retromobile in 2015. The Louwman Pegaso won the postwar Best od Show award. The prewar Best of Show award went to the Nethercutt Colllections’s RR P2 Town car with rear door caning. If the RR was really the best one, some might doubt about that… And always a pleasure to see the blue Hispano-Suiza twins! Click here for the photo report

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BONHAMS INVISIBLE RUNWAY – PART 1

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 

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LOUWMAN WILL TELL YOU HOW TO PURCHASE A DREAM AUTOMOBILE! – PART 2 

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

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THE 100 MILES OF AMSTERDAM, DITCH DANGER… – PART 1

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

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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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HIGH CLASS FROM VANVOOREN

As we continue with the Parisian coachbuilders, today is the turn for Vanvooren who was located with his workshop in the north-western Parisian suburb of Courbevoie. This coachbuilder was one who built on high class chassis like Hispano-Suiza, Bugatti, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Delahaye and Delage. A great example of one of his creations is the 1939 Bugatti 57C Atalante that won an award at Chantilly. Vanvooren is best known for his work from the 1930s on those grandiose chassis of the era, but the company had already been active from 1910 and persisted until 1950. Vanvoorens style could be described as advanced with a conservative elegance, combined with very high standards.

Achille Vanvooren did good business with those expensive marques… Continue readinghttp://crankhandleblog.com

HENRI CHAPRON, THE VANGUARD AMONG THE GREAT FRENCH COACHBUILDERS!

The next couple of days CHB will be dedicated to some great Parisian coachbuilders, kicking-off with Henri Chapron! Of course… because we have two Delahayes with Chapron coachwork.

Henri Chapron is definitely a big name when talking about prominent French coachbuilders. His influence can be detected in nearly every custom-built French body from 1935 to 1955, regardless of the house by which it was designed and built. His designs are sober as well as elegant, in an outstanding way. His identity could be described as vanguard, never ahead of his time.

Let’s first take a look at where it all started, how he developed into this profession and how his style and his business evolved… Continue readinghttp://crankhandleblog.com

LE CORNIAUD GANGSTER – UN CAPOLAVORO FRANCESE!

http://crankhandleblog.comAnd … ACTION! Let’s get into some French humor with the incredible Louis de Funès movies! I’ve been watching all those movies and the Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez series since I was very young and I continue to just love it! And another good thing about these movies is that they used great cars, as well as funny ones, on the set. Not to forget the ultimate French actors Louis de Funès and especially Bourvil, who plays truly convincing as a naïve Corniaud, which… Continue reading

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

PURDAH CARS, THE HISTORY OF TINTED CAR WINDOWS

http://crankhandleblog.comTinted 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!

Traveling in purdah wasn’t very easy… 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

BIG SPENDER HIS HIGHNESS SIR JAI SINGH THE MAHARAJA OF ALWAR

Colonel HH Raj Rishi Shri Sawai Maharaja Sir Jai Singhji Veerendra Shiromani Dev Bharat Prabhakar Bahadur of Alwar, was quite a striking Maharaja with some really crazy stories (the one of the Rolls garbage vans is the most bizarre story I have ever heard)! If you have read the previous articles you already know something about this brilliant and eccentric Indian Prince.

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Jai Singh (1882-1937) succeeded his father in 1892 and ruled Alwar until 1933. He came on the throne of Alwar when he was quite young, only 10 years old! Initially he reigned the 3,213 square mile state of Alwar in Rajasthan under the control of a Regency, until he was able to carry the full ruling powers in 1903.

There were quite some rumors around Maharaja Jai Singh, some had a hint of truth, others were mere figments of the imagination… Continue reading

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU HAD TOO MUCH MONEY IN THE BANK?

This week we dive into a world full of decadence and madness with the new theme ‘Maharaja automobiles’! Get ready for some real crazy stories where money is immaterial! It is all about the Indian Princes, many of whom were Maharajas, but also other titles, about which you can read below.

http://crankhandleblog.comWith this introduction article I will attempt to briefly explain the culture of this ‘princely’ world. Until Independence in 1947 (when India was freed of British governance), two-fifths of the Indian sub-continent comprised over 565 Princely States, ruled by Maharajas, Rajas, Ranas, Jams, Nawabs, Mirs and one Nizam. This Nizam was once considered… Continue reading