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
As promised a nice overview of all the award winning cars of this years Concours d’Elegance Palace het Loo. The Best of show winner together with the 2000GT were for me deserved winners, but obviously it is always hard to choose between so many great cars. Since the 2000GT did not win an award, today I give the 2000GT the award for best designed car!
Sadly there was not price for the most dirty car of the event, because that would have been my award… Continue reading
When digging in their yard (back in 1978) the boys actually discovered a 1974 Ferrari Dino 246 GTS buried just a few feet under the dirt in their yard. The family had just moved into the house and immediately called authorities who came and roped off the area. A team of investigators arrived and unearthed the rare car.
Farmers Insurance was contacted and because of the VIN number they traced the last owner. After the investigation, it turns out that the owner of the car had actually… Continue reading
In total more than 20 Ferrari 250 GTEs from 8 European countries shall be present 8, 9 and 10th of July for the Third International Ferrari 250 GTE meeting, during the fabulous Le Mans Classic 2016 event. Ferrari 250 GTE and 330 America owners are invited to join us, a few more entries are still possible…
David Wheeler from the USA, Editor for the 250 GTE Register & Newsletter, is coming over to Europe for the international event and shall join… Continue reading
This is not to say genuine discoveries cannot be made, we know of many many cars that disappeared, and periodically they reappear, for example Wayne Carini’s Stutz discovery. But look at what he did with the car, replaced a few key components, took it to Pebble Beach and kept it. (It should be noted that even that Stutz was known to people, but the owner had held off selling) Those of us who live in rural areas see many old neglected barns with potential treasures inside, but the car magazines and auction companies are not talking about this.
Going back to the Baillon Ferrari, or indeed any of the cars from that collection, those that can be restored should be. The Ferrari has many incorrect later modifications, the engine and chassis should be completely restored mechanically, replacing old fuel lines and wiring etc. At Retromobile this year a restoration shop proudly displayed a Baillon Talbot they are rebuilding. This will show us… Continue reading
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
In any Ferrarist’s discussion there is one question that always recurs: “which model would you chose if you were a billionnaire?”
Most of us will reply that the 250 GTO is the one, others will say that the 250 Testa Rossa or the 250 California or the legendary 330 P4 are for sure the perfect cars to match the ideal. I noticed that few (even among the real Ferrarists) will chose the 335S… Continue reading
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
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
In 1953 Ferrari was preparing to show new road cars at the 1954 Geneva and New York Auto Shows. One of those chosen to represent the still up-and-coming marque would be built on a 250 Europa or 375 America chassis by Turinese carrozzeria Alfredo Vignale.
Since 1950 Giovanni Michelotti had been the designer responsible for much of Vignale’s output, Ferraris mostly, but on other marque chassis as well. He had already designed more than 80 Ferraris bodied by Vignale, one of which had been called The Most Beautiful Car in the World by one of the American car magazines. His 1953 design for S/N 0313 was strikingly different from any of the others. When an almost identical one was… Continue reading
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
Tinted car windows are not a hype of the 21st century, they were already used since the 11th century for the purdah, which means the seclusion of women. Purdah found its way thru India by the conquest of the Islam. The Royal Muslim as well as Hindu Maharanis lived quite unseen. Outside of their zenana (secluded women’s apartments) they were moved around in different kinds of vehicles like palanquins and (animal dawn) carriages, that were shuttered with heavy curtains. And of course later also cars with blinded windows… that we still use today!
Traveling in purdah wasn’t very easy… Continue reading
Now that we know more about Pininfarina, we can take a look at a contrarian ‘trapezium styled’ futuristic creation that resulted from the relationship between Pininfarina and Ferrari… the Ferrari 512S Modulo! This is a one-off concept car designed by Pininfarina’s designer Paolo Martin. The pearl light blue creation was unveiled at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show, where it was definitely a highlight as the weirdest Ferrari ever!
The looks of the car are not like any other Ferrari, so why did they come up with an experimental
one-off prototype like this… Continue reading
Most of the glorious coachbuilders we can remember have disappeared, but Pininfarina is of course still very much alive (sadly not literally, because big boss Battista Farina as well as his son Sergio aren’t there anymore)! We know Pininfarina for its magnificent classic designs and the Italian design house continues to come up with highly refined designs, like for instance the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé, also thanks to their expensive windtunnel and R&D that I briefly discussed in the intro.Carrozzeria Pininfarina is an independent Italian car design house and coachbuilder in Cambiano, Italy. It was founded by Battista ‘Pinin’ Farina in 1930. A fun little fact about the name ‘Pinin’ is that… Continue reading
Without any warning the car spun and there was just time to think what a desolated part of Italy in which to crash, when I realised that we had almost stopped in our own length and were sliding gently into the ditch to land with a crunch that dented the tail. “This is all right,” I thought, “we can probably push it out of this one,” and I was about to start getting out when Moss selected bottom gear and we drove out – lucky indeed! Before we could point the car in the right direction we had to make two reverses and as we accelerated away down the mountainside. I fiddled about putting the safety catch back on the reverse position of the gear-gate, while we poked our tongues out at each other in mutual derision.
At the Siena control we had no idea of whether we were still leading or not, but Moss was quite certain that Taruffi would have had to have worked extremely hard to catch him, for he had put all he knew into that last part of the course, he told me afterwards. Never relaxing for an instant he continued to drive the most superb race of his career, twirling the steering wheel this way and that, controlling slides with delicateness of throttle that was fairy-like … Continue reading
Just beyond the control were a row of pits and there was 723, Castellotti’s Ferrari, having some tyre changes, which was not surprising in view of the way he had been driving. With a scream of “Castellotti!”, Moss accelerated hard round the next corner and we twisted our way through the streets of Ravenna, nearly collecting an archway in the process, and then out on the fast winding road to Forlì. Our time to Ravenna had been well above the old record but Castellotti had got there before us and we had no idea how Taruffi and the others behind us were doing. Now Moss continued the pace with renewed vigour and we went through Forlì, waving to the garage that salvaged the SL we crashed in practice, down the fast winding road to Rimini, with another wave to the Alfa Romeo service station that looked after the SLR that broke its engine. I couldn’t help thinking that we had certainly left our mark round the course during practice … Continue reading
A week before the event we went to Stuttgart to try out the actual car we were using in the race, and several laps of the fast Hockenheim circuit convinced us that we had a truly magnificent 3-litre sports car under us, the eight-cylinder fuel-injection engine giving well over 290 bhp on normal pump petrol, and the car geared to give a maximum of 170 mph at the peak revolutions of 7,500 rpm, though we were given no ultimate limit, should the car wind itself over this downhill. On this SLR the seats were made to measure for us, being cut-and-shut just like a tailor would make a suit, while every detail in the cockpit received our personal attention, and anything was altered to our desire without question. When we finally left the racing department at 5 pm on Tuesday, April 26th, we had the pleasant feeling that we had just left an organization that knew no limit to the trouble they would go to in order that we might start the Mille Miglia with everything on our side.
Next day we flew to Brescia and when we went round to the garage in the evening the cars were already there, having been driven down in the fast racing lorries overnight. We were now satisfied with almost everything we could think about; we had practised wheel-changing over and over again, in case we had tyre trouble, and I would add that we impressed the Mercedes-Benz mechanics … Continue reading