Next door is Liberty Graphics which makes beautiful silk screened products. We then followed the Moosehead Trail on our way to a picnic lunch in Unity, ME. Unity has become the center of sustainability and the organic movement, with the headquarters of the Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association being cited here as well as Unity College. MOFGA and their annual fair are the authorities on all things organic, and the college has developed a strong curriculum featuring green living and sustainability. The Town is also home to a growing Amish population, as we leave town you may spot signs for the Amish Butcher/Charcuterie where you can pick up some… Continue reading
MAINE RALLY – 1
We mee at Lincolnville Beach and take the ferry to Islesboro Island. Maine has over 3,000 islands along the coast, ranging from tiny rocks to full-fledged year round communities. Islesboro is the latter, 14 miles long with 560 year-round residents. Settled by westerners in the 1760’s, by the mid 19th century Islesboro had the largest shipping fleet on Penobscot Bay. By the end of the 19th century however it had become a popular destination for wealthy families from Boston and New York. The large summer homes built in the ‘cottage style‘, are evident today. This summer respite was invaded by the roaring and snorting GP Bugattis… Continue reading
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
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
THIS IS WHAT A LEGENDARY WORKSHOP LOOKS LIKE! – 1
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
THE FINEST COACHWORKS AT THE PREMIER CONCOURS SUISSE – 3
Finally the great day had arrived. On Sunday the endeavour began seriously, as my friend and I were cleaning his Hispano before the judges started their work. I was looking at these wonderful cars gathered in the yard of the Coppet Castle, one of the most significant Swiss castles. More than fifty automobiles were participating in this event, divided into twelve classes, defined by Chief Judge Adolfo Orsi and Honorary and Chief Judge Ed Gilbertson, the great Ferrari expert. Twelve prizes plus five special ones, such as Best Line Award, Miura’s 50th Anniversary prize, etc., were going to be… Continue reading
THE FINEST COACHWORKS AT THE PREMIER CONCOURS SUISSE – 2
The sight of all these automotive jewels coming from the past, with the beautiful XVIIIth century castle as a backdrop, was incredible. I allowed myself to have a nice walk among all these beauties, admiring their wonderful shapes handcrafted by the best craftsmen from the 1930-1960 era. The Pourtout bodied Talbot Lago was so sporty and elegant and at the same time la crème de la crème of Pourtout styling, while the unusual Thrupp & Maberly bodied Hispano H6C was looking perfect in all aspects.
A bit further there was a Swiss UFO, a 1920 PIC PIC R2 which has retained its original Parisian torpedo body. This car is powered by a patented sleeve valve engine and fitted with a 14 disc clutch (yes 14!), anyway it’s exotic specifications is too complex to cite here. Next to the Pic Pic, Jaap Braam Ruben‘s early… Continue reading
THE FINEST COACHWORKS AT THE PREMIER CONCOURS SUISSE – 1
A while ago the organizer of the Swiss Concours d’Elegance, Mathias Doutreleau, contacted me (thanks to Rosemarijn Atalante) to ask if I was interested to become part of the organizing staff of his new Concours, as a contributor as well as Master of Ceremony. What a great honor, being part of such an important event and furthermore being among so many famous connoisseurs. It was like a dream come true.
Mathias Doutreleau is really a very enthusiastic and dynamic organizer. Many people know him as member of staff of very important concours and race meetings, such as the Quail Lodge, Le Tour de France Automobile and many others. He immediately saw great potential for his Geneva event. With the help of many important sponsors, such as Zenith watches, Watchonista and Rolls-Royce, this first edition of the Swiss Concours d’Elegance was surely to become a success…. Continue reading
HOW THE DUTCH USED THEIR BUGATTIS?
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
WW2 DEVASTATED CHARLES CHAYNE’S T23 TORPEDO
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
WHY BUNNY DIDN’T CONVERT HIS BUICKATTI
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
RENCONTRE INTERNATIONAL BUGATTI (PARADISE) MONTREUX
The moment had finally come… A friend of mine (thanks Walter) told me some months ago that the International Bugatti meeting was scheduled to take place in Montreux (the Swiss Monte Carlo), where I happen to live. My Bugattist heart was beating like mad and I felt like a kid waiting for Christmas to come.
And last week Santa Claus indeed delivered my presents, many months before his anniversary: more than 40 Molsheim born jewels arrived in my hometown. What a beautiful uproar… Continue reading
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
THE SPLENDID BUGATTI T57 PROTOTYPE GANGLOFF ROADSTER
This 1934 Bugatti Type 57 Gangloff Roadster with chassis number 57217 and engine number 122 is a very special car. It is a prototype and it looks quite outrageous with its burgundy and pearl colors and straight eight engine.
The Bugatti Type 57 is almost unequivocally one of the most revered models in the history of the automobile. The cutting edge engineering (for the time) in all aspects of its chassis, suspension, engine, and driveline, allowed for… Continue reading
LOST BUGATTI T44 APPEARS IN NYC!
SWISS COACHBUILDING MASTERS – 3
Walter Köng had a very interesting life. In fact he was more a designer than a coachbuilder. He began his career working for the famous Italian coachbuilders Cesare Sala in Milan. In 1927 he moved to Paris where he went to work for coachbuilder Louis Gallé. At the age of barely 20 he became their chief designer and was responsible for many of Gallé’s luxury bodies on expensive chassis. Among his designs was a wonderful Bugatti Type 38 Tourer, but sadly this one was never built. In the late 1920s Köng went to work for the Chrysler Corporation in the USA and later was employed by Packard as designer. He left Packard in 1935… Continue reading
SWISS COACHBUILDING MASTERS – PART 2
Hermann Graber (1904-1970) is without doubt the most famous of all Swiss coachbuilders, and his personal style is easily recognizable in most of his designs. In 1924 he took over his father’s wheel making business, and quickly converted it for the production of car bodies. Graber creations soon became very sought after by clients who were fond of his style, mixing classical elegance with a sporty touch. He coachbuilt numerous great and prestigious chassis, such as Duesenbergs (he is one of the few who dared to cloth a roadster without the traditional Duesie‘s radiator shell), Packards, Hispano-Suizas, Rolls-Royces, Bentleys, Talbot-Lagos (sadly Graber rebodied a wonderful T150 SS „Teardrop“ by Figoni et Falaschi after the war as a roadster, and scrapped the magnificent original body) and Bugattis, of course. Graber Bugattis are in most cases… Continue reading
Prince Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, seen here in a picture which is believed not ever having been published before, so this might be a scoop for CRANKHANDLEBLOG!
SWISS COACHBUILDING MASTERS – PART 1
When we think of Switzerland, most will immediately think of chocolate, watches, precision and tax evasion. But did you know that during the golden era of the automobile numerous talented coachbuilders were active in this mountainous and austere country? Swiss coachbuilders are of course not as famous as their French, German or English colleagues, but you will see that some of their creations are really worth taking a closer look at. And then you will realize that you may have already seen Swiss coachbuilt cars before, without even having noticed. Many prestigious chassis such as Duesenberg, Isotta Fraschini, Bentley and Alfa Romeo have been clothed by Swiss craftsmen, but let’s focus on Bugatti in particular… Continue reading
WITH TWO TO ZELL AM SEE – PART 2
About a year later I was with the jolly group of Bugatti friends who I have already mentioned in my article titled “The incredible unknown Atalante barn find”.
A new member who I had not met before was there and he told me that he had acquired a quite stunning T57 Stelvio (the convertible model) about a year earlier. He then went on to tell that, since he was dealing in natural stones, he often stayed in the south east of Austria. One lonely evening, while having a drink in the hotel bar, the barkeeper told him that there was a Bugatti in the basement of the hotel, which had been sitting there for many years. Being a small collector himself, I believe he had a Peugeot of some sort at that time, he showed interest in seeing the car. It must have blown his minds when he made his way into the basement and finding the forlorn Bugatti there.
He managed to strike a deal and brought the Stelvio home in the back of one of his heavy dump trucks in which he normally transported his natural stones.
An intriguing story, but now comes the best part… Continue reading
FROM BIEN HOA TO BALD MOUNTAIN – PART 4
Other gear came in from Bart Loyens, the Amsterdam stockist, including a correct steering wheel and the lovely Marchal headlamps. “New” brake drums came variously from a friend in Massachusetts and another in Colorado. The latter wouldn’t release his pair until I had arranged for another set for his car to be shipped from England. All this took a bit of doing, but it was fun, also.
The main problem now was that the Bugatti never seemed to get finished, so I finally persuaded Russ Sceli to take it on as one of his projects for 1971. In the fifties, Russ had operated one of the first foreign car dealer-ships in Hartford, and had restored several Bugattis of his own before retiring to the quiet of his hilltop retreat in Canton, Connecticut. Here, he would take on one car at a time in his meticulous garage–! was glad to have the T-40 in his care. Russ took everything apart, and… Continue reading
FROM BIEN HOA TO BALD MOUNTAIN – PART 3
While the Jean Comte crew were working away on the body proper, I busied myself trying to learn what a correct T-40 Bugatti really looked like, what sort of instruments were needed, and a million other essential details. Letters went out to various information sources in England and America, and bit by bit some information came back. A brand new Rene Thomas steering wheel turned up in a local Chinese general store; the Jean Comte machine shop was making up carefully copied parts from unsalvageable originals; and when I heard there was a group of vintage enthusiasts in Singapore, I hied myself down there for a look. It was great fun, and I met some wonderful people who were enormously helpful. I even found two Bugattis in my prowling, but they were the property of a terribly keen Chinese race driver and, at that time, were not for sale This man’s house was crammed from floor to ceiling with the most amazing collection of parts I had ever seen, and before leaving… Continue reading
FROM BIEN HOA TO BALD MOUNTAIN – PART 2
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
FROM BIEN HOA TO BALD MOUNTAIN – PART 1
Stopping my Bugatti in a public place these days frequently brings forth the awful probe, “what’s it worth?” I never know quite how to reply, and usually try to duck the question. It’s not because I’m particularly shy; rather, I am ever appalled by what the traders and general inflation have done to vintage car values. You see, it gives me no real pleasure to know that my car is supposed to be too valuable to use on public roads, run in competitive events, or be parked in front of the IGA–all of which I very much like to do. I prefer to remember that I got the Bugatti for $150, and this is the story of how that came to pass.
In 1956 I was assigned to the American Embassy in Saigon, which, during my tour of duty there, was a pleasant and peaceful city. Soon after my arrival, I met David Mize. David had preceded me by about a year, during which he had managed to find not one but two Bugattis… Continue reading
POTW-A LIMERICK BREAK FROM NYC
Lets take a short break before we go home from Paris with this great limerick and magnificent photograph with probably a T23 Bugatti Brescia. Please correct me if I am wrong.
Whoever invented that jack
Knew it would work front and back
A quick… Continue reading
SEQUEL TO “BACK FROM PARIS! – PART 2”
Remember Artcurial’s auction in Paris on the Champs-Elysées last year June 22, and the formidable price paid for the Ugly Duckling, the barn find 1925 T13 Brescia Bugatti with sporting body by Maron-Pot et Cie?
Sold for 834,400 EUR, chassis 2628 reappeared at Retromobile in fine fettle, as if reborn after a swift restoration. Fortunately its new owner has kept some of the original patina, although its colors have changed to match its patinated appearance. And of course he has removed… Continue reading
AN ADDICTED 57S ATLANTE COMES TO HER SENSES, TIME TO CONFESS
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
YOUNG WOMAN IS LOOKING FOR THE VINTAGE CAR OF HER DREAMS
How does a young (female) car fanatic achieve her goal of chasing the “classic” of her dreams? I’ll gladly take you on my journey to achieve this and the outcome.
Nice meeting you, I am Rose Atalante Veenenbos from CRANKHANDLEBLOG, the author of this article. The editors of the Louwman Museum newsletter had asked me to put the events of my quest for a vintage/classic car on paper. Perhaps a bit unusual as a young woman, but this gives the story a nice twist.
If you want to get hold of a classic or vintage car, a detailed plan is required, much more than with a modern car. Elements of such a plan are the following… Continue reading
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
VEYRON IN HIS BUGATTI TYPE 51
Last Year, I spotted two Veyrons casually parked just 20 meters away from my house in front of the Montreux Palace. Montreux, Veyron… these words reminded me of one of my grandfather’s souvenirs: The inaugural Montreux Grand Prix, held in 1934. “This is where I met my hero Pierre Veyron. You know, Veyron was a great driver and even better when driving a Bugatti. He even won Le Mans with one” he reminisced, as he went back to the 1930’s, recapping his youth.
The 1934 Montreux Grand Prix? Most of you may never have heard of this GP, but I think that a race in which VEYRON, MOLL, VARZI, TROSSI and ETANCELIN all took part is worth remembering, don’t you agree?
Montreux, where I live, is a kind of Swiss Monte-Carlo which has always been very appreciated by High Society (Napoléon the 3rd, Strawinsky, The Shah of Iran and so on) thanks to its wonderful landscape, mild climate and quietness. Then, one day, some car enthusiasts decided to turn the peaceful historical city center into a roaring and spectacular racing circuit.
The result was… Continue reading
THE BARN FIND OF AN ATALANTE-PART 2
We went into a very small dusty and cold room filled with a delicious smell of old gas and oil. This so called ‘workshop’ was packed with work-benches, tools, shelves filled with books and wooden boxes all over the floor. While admiring this delightful mess, I noticed a wonderful Bugatti front axle on a work-bench, just like a hunting trophy. “Nice, isn’t it, I’ve just finished polishing it. I’ll show you my treasure, here is a crankshaft, here is another one, some clutch parts should be somewhere here and oh, did you see the engine block behind those shelves?” And so on… The man enumerated all these precious parts as if they were fruits and vegetables. The Bugatti man had been collecting… Continue reading
THE BARN FIND OF AN ATLANTA-PART 1
“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
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
GOOD INTENTIONS AND TARGETS FOR A SUCCESFUL AUTOMOTIVE 2016
“Today we can enjoy the story of an interesting CHB reader, who has the aim to involve the youth in this wonderfully mad car world. CHB totally agrees with CSR, let’s make 2016 an outstanding year with new chances. Let’s especially give the youth a place on the vintage and classic automotive stage. To me it was not that hard to earn a spot in this lovely car world and to get access to an incredible little vintage racer. Unfortunately not everyone can achieve this in such a short time, so let’s make sure every petrol head gets chances. That sounds perhaps a bit arrogant and charitable at the same time… haha, forgive me it’s Christmas and you know, I always have nothing but good intensions : )”
When I pick up a classic car magazine, I either turn to the events section, or to see what has been… Continue reading
CHB WISHES YOU HAPPY HOLIDAYS, PERHAPS ON THE ROAD?
Especially for you a fine design of an artful Christmas card by CHB’s NYC correspondent. The car shown is a Bugatti Royale with chassis number b, the Weinberger cabriolet. The buildings are on rue Robert Mallet-Stevens, Paris 16.
The magnificent #41121 was painted very dark green or black at the time and to be honest, it was never… Continue reading
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
THE ITALIAN ALCHEMISTS – WHEN GENIUS AND VISION CAN CHANGE STEEL INTO GOLD
Changing base metal into gold has always been the ultimate quest of any alchemist, but after centuries of studying and trials, no one has ever achieved this goal. So, let’s forget Nicolas Flamel and any so called philosopher, for there have only been two men who succeeded in transforming steel, aluminium and magnesium into precious metal.
Each was born in the north of Italy and I know that you have already guessed whom I’m speaking about… Continue reading
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
PREWAR-STYLE DRIVING LESSONS FOR THE YOUNG BUGATTI DRIVER
Although some of you may have had their first driving lessons on an empty airfield strip, most of us will remember these moments as a never ending hour with an inexhaustible number of nerve-racking moments. I suddenly felt great respect for my mother, who could easily practice French with us, while parenting my brother during the daily drive to school. She and Juan Manuel Fangio must have been from another planet.
But how could you learn to drive your dad’s Bugatti in the… Continue reading
MY KIND OF OFFICE!
Whether you call it the dashboard, le tableau de bord or even The Office, as some serious petrol heads do, it can be one of the most appealing and attractive parts of any fine Vintage or Classic car. Dials and switches, some of which have functions long ago replaced by more modern technology, proliferate in impressive array. The numbers and letters are handsome; the knobs and handles often suggest that some heft might be needed to… Continue reading
HOW TO SHOW OFF? DO IT THE AMERICAN WAY
The sole goal of my stories is to show that the vintage car hobby is very attractive, even if you already have another hobby. Many youngsters are crowding highways, speedways and London, to ‘spot’ supercars of today’s playboys. Both the spotters as well as the playboys in their supercars should read this story and should realize that their hobby is not new at all. Why would you crowd up around a Ferrari while you could have a Morgan for yourself? So become vintage supercar spotter or a playboy in a prewar (super)car!
As in many cases, the Americans were the first to do outrageous things, and it is thus not surprising that… Continue reading
UPDATE ON MY APPRENTICESHIP
As promised, I will keep you posted about my apprenticeship at ERK. I must admit, every day this work gets more and more fun! We even have a barn find section in the garage, just to relate to yesterday’s article… ; ) The diversity of cars that come in is large, pre- or postwar, patinated like a Brescia, finely restored like a Hispano H6C (the gorgeous H6C with Kellner coachwork shown below is mostly restored by ERK, also the special Chromos bumpers), or sporty like a Lambo GT400, all great to work on.
A job I really enjoyed, was installing the overhaul sets of the 6-double Weber carburetors for the Lambo GT400 V12. When assembling 6-double Webers you soon find out how they are put together and what every part means for the function of the carburetor – fascinating. With an excellent manual, which had every part numbered, it was almost as simple as assembling an Ikea closet… ; ) While dong the job… Continue reading
BARN FINDING FOR DUMMIES
Years ago, when Bugattis were still to be found in junkyards and barns were for sheep, nobody had heard of barnfinds. Nowadays the world has changed, and the word ‘barnfind’ is growing in popularity every day. In the past year I have seen ‘barnfind wines’; cars at auctions with fresh hay spread over the roof; cars that are clearly in a garage but sold as barnfind; barnfind classes on Concours d’Elegance; barnfind museums; and most strikingly you can even buy dust to turn your over restored car into a proper barnfind. And you know what, I understand it all. When done in a proper way, barnfinding is the new city safari!
For all of the new guys who join the vintage car world, I have some simple rules to make it a real adventure. Furthermore… Continue reading
‘DANS SON JUS’, THE NEXT GENERATION
Sometimes you have to be lucky. In my daily search for a ‘digital barnfind’ I encountered a very special find: CRANKHANDLEBLOG. Probably most of you have found this great blog in this way, but for me it was a special day. After visiting automotive related events and people all over the world, since I was eight, this was the first time I realised there are youngsters like me with exactly the same love for the weird, the dusty, and the rusty. Many times I was asked where my dad was when I asked if this was a Briggs and Stratton or a Smith Flyer. There are not too many girls and boys in their twenties who share this crazy hobby. All of a sudden I found one, Rose Atalante. Although not as patinated as vintage cars, she jumped the subject with the fanaticism of a Bugatti Brescia.
I contacted her and she soon… Continue reading
CHB IS BECOMING FAMOUS THANKS TO PREWARCAR/POSTWARCLASSIC
Have any of you noticed my first article on PostWarClassic? Make sure to check it out by clicking here! Luckily the owner of Prewarcar/Postwarclassic appreciates my youthful and fun way of writing, so he challenged me to start writing some articles for his amazing site, I feel honored to do so. My first article was about the Brussels Interclassics exhibition earlier this month. Joris Bergsma, the owner of PWC, wanted me to look for the weirdest car at the event and the result can be found here.
From now on I will write an article each week for him, which will mostly be published on Wednesday. I suppose most of you already know the website – if not, shame on you! PWC has also played an important role in my life… Continue reading
CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF THE WORKSHOPS!
Sorry for my radio silence again… As I already announced, I am in my learning process about mechanical things, restoration and revision. One of the jobs I also have to do is to make sure some car parts are delivered at special workshops for modifications or specialized work. This is one very interesting thing to do, because I get to see so many great places where real craftsmanship is delivered. So for now I will send a series of POTWs about workshops that are specialized in a specific field.
The first workshop I visited was Nuyts, located near Antwerp. They are an engine overhaul/repair company and have some very impressive and monstrous machinery! Their workshops looked just great and I was lucky enough to get a tour around the premises. They showed me some very special engines they are now working on, like a Delage, a Bugatti T37 and a Rally… Continue reading
I AM IN MECHANIC’S CLASS AT A SPOOKY BARN!
If there is one thing that you need to experience… Driving on a dark rainy evening in a open racer, like in a Teal! This is the best way to spend your evening, especially when it is followed by a highly educative private class about all things mechanical! As you will see I had a GREAT evening with a great petrol head friend! Initially Hans, the owner of the Teal, didn’t want to pick me up with the Teal because of the rain, but before starting work on it that evening it needed a warming up… For me rain, thunder, darkness, etc. no problem at all! In all circumstances I love to drive such cars, no matter what. Even better because it is a bit spooky and adventurous, right? ; ) Even better when the FUN ride ends at a barn, not just a ordinary one… Continue reading
THE INTERCLASSICS BRUSSELS PREMIERE WAS…!
For those petrol heads who missed the 2015 edition of the Interclassics Brussels exhibition on November 6-8, you might wonder was this first ever exhibition in Brussels a flop or top? Judge yourself after reading my report! : ) I always love to go and see some nice events and to make a report about it. It sounded very special to visit the first Brussels Interclassics exhibition, so let’s take a look at the first day of this new event! I also had the mission of finding the weirdest car of this event, commissioned by PreWarCar, so make sure to check out PWC frequently!
Friday was the first day that Interclassics Brussels opened their doors, a good day to have look at the cars they had collected and see some nice stands! The entry was already GREAT! The original T35 Bugatti of Luc Slijpen was your host while entering the arena of brute HP! : ) This Bug was also a good teaser… Continue reading
MY MECHANICS APPRENTICESHIP!
A lot of good news to tell you! To start with my learning process of becoming a mechanic! As mentioned before Erik Vandalon from ERK Automobiles is one of the mechanics/restorers of our cars. He does some fantastic work on exclusive cars, like Bugatti Brescia, Delahaye 135, Lamborghini GT400, Hispano-Suiza H6C, etc! I am lucky enough to have a chance to learn from him since I started my ‘apprenticeship’ with him. This is a good way to start at the bottom of the ladder and first of all to gain a good knowledge of the basics.
Some time ago, when I was driving back from Chantilly with my dad in the Delahaye, we discussed… Continue reading
POTW PHOTOREPORT – THE AFTERGLOW OF THE BCN RALLY!
THE DUTCH BUGATTI CLUB RALLY, THE PLACE TO BE
As announced on CHB the BCN (Bugatti Club Netherlands) held its autumn rally this past weekend and it was MAGNIFICENT! So sit back and relax, here is the full report of this very enjoyable long BCN weekend. I call this a rally, but in fact it isn’t an official rally with strict rules to get from A to B in a certain time… it is more a relaxed tour, but you know those Bugatti people…!
On Friday my dad (who is a long time BCN member) and I left with our black beauty, the 1950 Delahaye 135MS cabriolet Chapron (of course not on a trailer!). The adventure started right away as everything went wrong that could go wrong… Continue reading