SOME MORE CONCOURS DANDIES

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

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CAN INTERCLASSICS BEAT RETROMOBILE? – PART 1

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

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A PLAYBOY MANSION FULL OF BENTLEYS AND A MYSTERIOUS MURDER – PART 2

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

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A PLAYBOY MANSION FULL OF BENTLEYS AND A MYSTERIOUS MURDER – PART 1

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

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SPEED, RECORDS, FINE AUTOMOBILES, A PLAYBOY AND ALL THIS IN A BLUE ENVIRONMENT… – AN INTRO

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

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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 2

As we drove over some typically Dutch dykes, without any light (the headlights were ‘a bit’ weak), we almost hit the water when falling half into a ditch! Well, okay that might be a bit exaggerated… Those narrow dyke roads were the best ones, but also the most difficult as we drove into some black holes full of surprising bends.

After many spooky dykes there was a checkpoint in the famous walhalla for shopaholics, the Chopard store (sponsor of the 100MOA) in the PC Hoofdstraat in Amsterdam. As I am not addicted to shopping we raced down the luxury street, off to more of the city centre and some more spookiness… Continue reading

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