It was 1987 when I came across the fabulous Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Pininfarina roadster seen in these photos. I had been given a lead that the car, which apparently belonged to a notary in Geraardsbergen in Belgium, was languishing in a garage and for sale at around 600,000 BF (just over 15,000 Euros!). However, when I finally got to see the car I was disappointed with its condition and I also didn’t quite like Pininfarina’s double headlamp design. So, I left the car where it was and forgot about it. Until many years later, when prices for the 6C 2500 SS with attractive coachwork soared. In 2011 I placed an enquiry on postwarclassic to see if anyone knew what had happened to the car subsequent to my visit in 1987. Strangely there was only one response, from a gentleman who said… Continue reading
Although the French word “carcasse” can be used to describe an automobile frame, “chassis” is far more common and one can only suspect that “carcasse” meant what it said –namely, a carcass. After 1950, the T-40 passed through several more hands before ending up with Cao van Tung who apparently had some notion of using its engine in a small ferryboat somewhere in the delta. Fortunately, this project never got beyond the stage of naval (sic) contemplation, and the Bugatti came to its penultimate resting place on a side street in the aforementioned city of Bien Hoa.
David brought the car to a garage in Saigon which is where I first saw it. Picture, if you will, in a dank corner of a fairly run-down establishment, this veritable carcass of a Bugatti. The unmistakeable radiator was flanked by the empty sockets of what once had been the headlights. The cycle fenders were dented, sagging, and badly rusted. The body shell was so porous in places that a finger could be put through by poking… 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
Oh my God, we have been discovered. Where is my wife? It took me minutes to recover, but it seemed ages… She was already talking to the apparently unfriendly guard with his dogs, explaining that we were not thieves and that we were advised to go into the yard by the nextdoor neighbour.
The yard attendant did not seem to be impressed at all by my wife’s story, but as he could clearly see my only tool was a camera, he let us escape. Phew…. That was an unpleasant experience.
Next year I decided to make my way back to Phill Passey’s yard to see what could be salvaged from the saloons. As usual on these sort of excursions, we took the trailer down as well.
On arriving at the yard we had no trouble finding the owner this time. We enquired about the MG SVW (SA, VA and WA models – Ed.) cars that we had seen in his yard in the past, but it seemed he couldn’t remember having any. “Ah”, he said, “You mean those large bangers?” And then: “we have had a fire, you see… Continue reading
“An impressive story this is exiting till the end! As an Atalante myself, I love to read about one of my look-alike sisters ; )”
One day my father was called to make an appraisal for furniture and other pieces of art and as usual, I joined him. We arrived at a wonderful but faded Louis XVI style castle from the late 18th Century. As we entered the yard we were told that the client hadn’t arrived yet, which gave my father and me time to admire the wonderful small castle and two very nice period stone barns. The barns were closed by very heavy wooden doors. I did just what you expected me to do, I opened one of the doors to see what was hidden inside. As I looked into the dark barn, I saw a dusty and dirty car frame hanging on the wall. This frame looked familiar to me and I decided to inspect it more closely. My initial thought was that it looked very much like a Bugatti frame… Continue reading
I must make a confession while it is still 2015. I found something hidden in a church, a church find! Who doesn’t dream about finding a sleeping beauty hidden under dust and behind broken windows. I know you are a barn find junk too, so I need your help. Who can tell me which car this is? I looked for hours at the photo, but I can’t discover what it is.
But let me first tell you a nice and exciting story which will give you so much adrenalin, like I felt that moment. I was doing a prep drive with a friend just before the 100 Miles of Amsterdam when the friend told me about a place he knew with a mass of barn finds… Continue reading
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
“I like to present you again a very fine story from one of our CHB readers. After yesterday’s D8 Fernandez et Darrin (only details shown) we will now take a look at a true barn find D8. Is it the same D8 as yesterday’s…? Sadly not. There was no photograph attached to this story, but I found a stunning D8-120 roadster Devillars, a one-off, that might come close to the D8 of today’s story. If you know the car of the story below then please let me know in the comments”. – RAV
When I was a high school boy, in the mid to late 50s, we lived in a town called Stanningly near Leeds in West Yorkshire. In this town, there was a local auto wrecking yard and they had a… Continue reading
Wait! We start with a mini quiz. I am sure you noticed this many times, as it has been sitting there already for the past 8 months since CHB popped up on the world wide web. Guess what the marque is of the spooky-like automobile in the banner above every page…
Dear readers, this article will be about you! We, RAV and DSJ, want to thank you so much for visiting and reading our stuff, we appreciate that truly so much. As I, RAV, am writing this, I thought today would be a good time to… Continue reading
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
It is great to see some action caused by a CHB article. Barn finding is something that is so intriguing for most of us, a special dream we are all looking for. Sometimes this dream becomes reality, but the next question will be, will your dream actually come true, or will it become one of the most disappointing experiences in your life. I suppose this last possibility will have been experienced by many…
My father used to look for barns a lot, with the hope of finding that old rusty and dusty treasure, mostly Buagttis. Like the story I shared with you titled ‘La clinique des chocs and the Russian princess’ (the very first article on CHB). To find that special sleeping beauty is just the jackpot in a lottery, especially in the time we live in now. I very much believe that unknown barn finds don’t really exist and if they do, it is a real miracle on earth. Most of the time there are people who know about the barn find, but their lips are sealed ; ) Once… Continue reading
For those looking for a restoration project from the Polish Socialist days… Look at this nice original 1952 Chevrolet Deluxe Sedan! This American was found in a garage in central Warsaw after having been locked and sleeping for 27 years! The car carries quite some history with it as it was ordered new by the Polish State and used for many years by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Poland. The Chevy goes under the hammer on the 17th of September by Ardor Auctions in Warsaw. Bid EUR 9 500 – 11 500 (listed) and it might become yours. With its Socialist history it might also be a great contender for the preservation class.
Tomorrow we head off to Chantilly which of course will be reported! During the Chantilly concours you can also follow CHB on Instagram! Click here for more pics!
We have all heard of barn finds, but now I have found 1400 ‘sea finds’ for you! This time no classic cars on my blog, I make an exception because this is CHB worthy! A number of yeas ago, a Bugatti Brescia was hauled from the bottom of the Lago Maggiore after 70 years of being a well-known diving-attraction. This sea find is quite different, because on board were no less than 1400 brand new cars!
About 40 miles off the Dutch coast lies the wreck of the car-transport-ship Baltic Ace, which sank two and a half years ago. The wreck is located in one of the busiest shipping routes in the North Sea and hinders a smooth and safe passage for the 16,000 ships that sail annually to the port of Rotterdam.
The Baltic Ace collided on December 5, 2012 with the containership Corvus J and sank immediately. 13 of the 24 crew members survived the accident.
Here are some impressive pictures of the sea finds. I think I’m going to apply for copyright for the word ‘sea find’! Click here for more sea find pics!