LET’S HIT THE TRACK AGAIN!

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

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THE ALDEN SHERMAN CLASSIC GATHERING

On Sunday, September 25, the Alden Sherman Classic, an informal invitational concours was held in Weston, Connecticut on the grounds of the handsome local high school.

The usual modern marques were there in force: Jaguar, including two replica D-Types, Ferrari, with a 250 Lusso that was the most appealing to my taste, Lamborghinis and Porsches. A representative of the Riley Club was there with a very spiffy Riley Sports saloon. Many of the most popular American makes, such as Cadillac and Chevrolet, were there in abundance. Outstanding among the Americans was a gorgeous silver… Continue reading

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AN EXPERIENCE NEVER TO FORGET! – 3

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

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AN EXPERIENCE NEVER TO FORGET! – 2

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

 

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AN EXPERIENCE NEVER TO FORGET! – 1

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

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CHEEKY TRIAL RUINED THE GARDENS OF PALACE HET LOO-1

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

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ROARING STREET PARTY IN THE STREETS OF VAALS-2

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

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A DREAMING GIRL WITH A STIRLING MOSS HELMET

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

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MILLE MIGLIA 2016: IN BOCCA AL LUPO! – 2

Anyway the Amilcar made it, though the magneto gave some trouble due to the rain. Luckily we had a technical team following us for such circumstances. Mike Kastrop and Frido Roetgerink were following us in the van of Lammertink, fully prepared for anything that might happen…

Next up Sander Drijber and Fons Aarents were ready to start with the Salmson 2300 sport. Comfortable and dry at least, and enough horse power to keep up the speed. Myself, I left the starting line with Djuri Jambor in the Alpine A106, which had done the race twice before and also… Continue reading

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MILLE MIGLIA 2016: IN BOCCA AL LUPO! – 1

I admit… the last weeks of Februari were nerve-shattering. Would we be allowed to participate or not? Although I was fairly certain about my Alpine 106, which had already taken part in the Mille Miglia twice before, I had dared this time to enter two more cars of mine, which, admittedly, would be driven by friends. These were an Amilcar CGSS from 1927 and Salmson 2300 Sport from 1956. So, a French party. We were overwhelmed when we heard that all three cars had been accepted. But that’s where things really begin!

Everyone who thinks that the Mille Miglia is a luxury tour through Italy will be deceived. You really need to put your foot down those 4 days, from early in the morning until late at night. And all this… Continue reading

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AMILLION’S BEHAVIOUR IS A BIT REBELLIOUS

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

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POTW–LIKE FATHER, LIKE DAUGTHER

Let me first wish you a HNY, now that we are in 2016! Today I like to share with you a photo I absolutely love… why? It shows a Hispano-Suiza, an Amilcar and a fierce racer which could perhaps be a Mors? This year I will definitely be on the road in a number of rallies with Amillion (my Amilcar CGS), but there is one more thing I wish for this year. I hope my dad will accompany me in his, hopefully finally completed, Hispano ‘Grand Sport’, so that we can both have fun in our prewar beasts, one of which is a small beast ; ) Hispano Senior and Amilcar Junior, or as Simon, one of CHB’s writers told me, Hispano the elder and Amilcar the younger. These terms are used in the art world and as I call vintage and classic cars art as well, the elder and the younger it is! Or as we say in Dutch, like father, like daughter (although it would usually be son instead of daughter, obviously…).

Also a good moment to show my appreciation for my parents for giving me this most incredible name Atalante, and for my dad for passing on this great automotive passion, which is FORMIDABLE! To come back to a question raised by Simon, my dad started at young age with… Continue reading

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BUGATTI IN A BARN – ARE THEY STILL LANGUISHING OUT THERE?

Three months after I was born, I probably missed out on my only chance ever to buy a barnfind Bugatti. At least Sotheby’s thought so, when they took this beautiful T57 Atalante to auction in 1987. The auction catalogue literally said: ‘This must surely be one of the last Bugatti barn discoveries’. Boy, were they wrong! And every time a new Bugatti… Continue reading

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THE AMILLION JOURNEY CONTINUES

Most of you know that the first step towards my goal was to purchase a lovely Amilcar or other cyclecar. That first step has been accomplished, but it is just the beginning of great adventures which are yet to come! Every vintage car has its own issues or things that can be improved and so has Amillion (that is the nickname I have given to my Amilcar CGS). To make sure you can hit the road safely and have lots of fun you need to make sure you check the car thoroughly and go for mechanical perfection as far as possible. Later you will probably still find new things that can be improved. This is a part of the journey/adventure and you should enjoy it because it is a great experience to get to know your car.

A while ago I posted a fun tour of the workshop of a true professional near Amsterdam. I know the very nice and relaxed man of the workshop and his wife from the Bugatti Club Netherlands and decided to… Continue reading

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THE AMILLIONCAR HAS ARRIVED! MEET MY RED AND MOST ELEGANT DRAGON/UNIKORN ; ) – PART 2

Off we went again to Austria! This time to collect, so a somnolent slow journey towing a trailer… No hanging around ‘en route’ in workshops, just GO GO and GO, because the next 2600 km had to be covered as quickly as possible! After a very long drive and a stay 70 km before Salzburg we arrived in Carinthia again.

We secured the ‘Amillioncar’ in the trailer, after having visited a friend of the seller. The seller is a great enthusiast who owns many great Puch motorcycles, a modern 300SL and even an Abarth Monomille GT! The seller loves Mercedes and so does his friend, who owns a… Continue readinghttp://crankhandleblog.com

THE AMILLIONCAR HAS ARRIVED! MEET MY RED AND MOST ELEGANT DRAGON/UNIKORN ; ) – PART 1

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 http://crankhandleblog.com

HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF THE SAMILCAR – YOUR AMBITIOUS BLOGGER ; )

To give you a personal update, which is also about that surprise I announced before… First of all I am looking for my very first own vintage car! After driving those two GREAT Delahayes, I can’t wait to also have a taste of a fierce little cyclecar-racemonster! Nothing better than driving all different kind of cars! The Bugatti drives made me really excited to acquire a fine and manoeuverable little racer, but a bit less expensive than a Bug… So a ‘poor man’s Bugatti’ it should be! : )

I have already seen quite a few charming cars like the Amilcar, Salmson, Riley and Rally… BNC is also very nice. I don’t mention Bugs, because for now they are unaffordable for me… The first experience was an Amilcar while on our way back home from Martin Waltz’s museum near Freiburg. It was the first time I saw (and drove in) an Amilcar in real life and I was impressed! One thing I kept in mind was to… Continue readinghttp://crankhandleblog.com