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

THE BUGATTI 101C EX-CAGE SUPER STAR!

Today’s article is about the very special and rare 1954 Bugatti Type 101C two-seater fixed-head coupé with unique coachwork by Antem, which was one of the last 1950s Molsheim built Bugattis. Only seven of these evolutionary T57s were ever built, one prototype and six production cars!

This 101C, chassis and engine  #101504, once belonged to American actor Nicholas Cage of Carmichael in California. Can you remember his Miura of an earlier article? It seems that he collects cars and not just young supercars! I must say he has a GREAT taste concerning cars!The Bugatti will be actioned at Bonhams’ Chantilly Sale coming Saturday! If you bring between €1.5 and 1.8 million then here is perhaps your chance to become the owner of this fabulous car! I say perhaps, because you never know where the bidding will stop, especially… Continue readinghttp://crankhandleblog.com

GRANDIOSE PEBBLE BEACH CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE 2015

Miura has to wait another day, because today the results of the Pebble Beach Concours are revealed! So, sit back and enjoy!

The weather was fine, the people were great and of course the cars, or better say automobiles, were grandiose… as always! The judges have chosen their Best of Show, Best of Show Nominees, Most Elegant Awards Winners, Special Awards Winners and Class Winners.

Best of Show this year was again one of those great European marques from the past, Isotta Fraschini, with the grand 1924 Tipo 8A with coachwork by F. Ramseier & Cie of Worblaufen, Switzerland.

When this automobile was sold at the Artcurial auction at Retromobile in February 2014 and bought by parties which included Rob Myers, chairman and founder of RM, it was obvious that… Continue readinghttp://crankhandleblog.com

THE ART DECO LOVING DANDY MAHARAJA YESHWANTRAO HOLKAR II OF INDORE – PART 2

http://crankhandleblog.comYeshwantrao had a deep understanding of the automobile. He knew exactly which car to buy, how the car’s lines should flow and how the body was to be fabricated. Unlike his dad he was a true patrol head who knew almost how to build a car by himself.

Every car that Yeshwantrao owned had the ‘Holkar Hallmark’ – an outstanding sense of design and proportion with individually designed interiors. Attention was paid to every single detail of the car and even the door handles were specially designed with Art Deco motifs. Correction, a true perfectionist patrol head!

His cars were all painted in sunglow and black and had black ebony dashboards with orange dials and white lettering. The cars were famed by… 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

OTHER THAN THE LAGO MAGGIORE BUGATTI BRESCIA…

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!

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CALL 9-1-1! A TALBOT-LAGO T150 C FIGONI-FALASCHI TEARDROP IS BEING SLAUGHTERED!

We have all seen the sleeping beauties, barn-finds and perished cars, passing by, but this? You might wonder how it is possible that anyone destroys such stunning cars on purpose! A Talbot-Lago T150 C – or CSS – with Figoni-Falaschi teardrop coachwork, an exceptional Delahaye 135 M – or MS – with Saoutchik coachwork and a Bugatti – probably a type 44, that definitely didn’t survive. Many other special cars have been sacrificed like this at stockcar racing events. If only they had known what there were doing… Continue reading

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LA CLINIQUE DES CHOCS AND THE RUSSIAN PRINCESS

I would like to introduce my blog with a great story written by my father, a year after I was born. The English version of the story was first published in Bugantics (1992), the magazine of the Bugatti Owner ‘s Club.

It was some time the mid-seventies when I met a Mr Wartelle in northern France who told me, among lots of other interesting things, about a Bugatti in the cellar of a house belonging to an old lady.

http://crankhandleblog.comAt the time he refused to give me any further details, so I decided a few years later to try again.

This time I got the full story. The car was a ‘Petite Royale’ drophead… Continue reading