As the development of the successful Hispano-Suiza automobile engines has a direct and strong link with the aircraft sector, it must be clear that Hispano car engines are not just some cute machines. As often as we speak about the master pieces of Ettore Bugatti, I don’t hear many people saying that they admire the master pieces of Marc Birkigt. By showing you plenty of his wonderful technical genius, I hope to gain more respect for his amazing automobiles with their beautifully designed engines. Where others developed their cars often thru trial and error, Birkigt was capable of developing successful products right on the drawing board.
The beauty of Hispano engines is that they are made with only what it really takes to build a great engine, although this is not making the restoration process easy at all. Every Hispano is unique, which means that you cannot… Continue reading
Sadly the car was stolen sometime in the 1980’s. Peter Ustinov hired the best private detectives to trace his beloved car, which was a bit funny since he performed the famous detective Hercule Poirot so many times himself. Unfortunately all this was to no avail and it wasn’t until many years later that the car resurfaced. Ustinov hired a lawyer to get his car back from its new owner. Alas for him the court decided that the car had been bought in good faith. Demoralized the actor said: “The outcome was predictable. Napoleon rewrote a French law to justify his own thefts and the French don’t like anyone other than Frenchmen owning the best car they ever made.”
Maybe he found comfort in owning his equally good H6C Vanvooren «faux cabriolet », but Ustinov’s love affair with prewar rolling marvels didn‘t stop there… Continue reading
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
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
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.
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