Hi all, thank you for reading the first part of my review of “Technikmuseum Speyer”. This is the second part.
When leaving the first hall, you should turn right. In the narrow space between fence and the building, you can see a few locomotives. In the furthest space, there is a Chinese steam powered one which is really really huge. Some plants, crawling out from the edges, create a still life which contrasts with the massive power of the machine. My favourite on tracks is the German V200 (represented by the successor V220) which looks as if if it had been designed by a comic artist… Continue reading
Time to go back to this year’s adventures, one of which was our visit to the VSCC’s Prescott Hillclimb last July. A couple of articles ago I showed you around in Keith Bowley’s Ashton Keynes Vintage Restorations workshops and garage. A most interesting restoration business with a fascinating time-warp machine shop. Directly after that wonderful visit I rushed with my dad to the next restoration workshop, Thornley Kelham Ltd. This was so cool, as a follow up after Bowley’s, because it is a completely opposite world… Going from old school to hyper modern… Continuereading
Another infamous automobile you’ll love, like I do. Let’s have a look in the garage of another nasty criminal.
The infamous, but flamboyant Reichsmarshal had been one of the key figures who enabled the German dictator to took power of his country. He then helped his master in his evil plans which lead to world destruction.
Goering was also a car enthusiast. He used to visit most of the Automobile fairs and ordered a lot of one-off… Continue reading
“Let’s enjoy a great story told by our hero, legend Denis Jenkinson. This incredible man gave us petrol heads so many lovely stories, so let’s honor DSJ. With that said, I don’t mean CHB’s DSJ obviously ; ) Thanks Robin Batchelor for this great Christmas suggestion.”
I began to think about doing something appropriate to wind up the year at Christmas time. Other magazines were doing Christmas road tests of unlikely vehicles, with esoteric things like measuring the acceleration of a pogo stick, or the maximum speed of a steamroller. For Motor Sport my thoughts were totally on Grand Prix racing, though I occasionally helped the editor by road-testing the more exciting vehicles. For this purpose I plotted out a figure-of-eight route that pretty well covered the whole county of Hampshire, where I lived, and did timed runs in the faster road-test cars, There were no motorways in those days and, more to the point there were no… Continue reading
CHB stands corrected – the Mercedes 540K in yesterday’s article is a 1936 Special Coupé by Sindelfingen and not an Autobahn Kurier… Of the original Autobahn Kuriers only 6 were built, 4 on a 500K chassis and 2 on a 540K chassis. The car in the Arturo Keller collection, chassis 408336, ex prof. Barraquer, is believed to be the only remaining of those 6, although …? (read on). That doesn’t make yesterday’s article less fascinating and in this part 2 we continue this amazing story, still calling ‘our’ car an Autobahn Kurier for the sake of the great story!
My uncle and father definitely fell for the charms of the Autobahn Kurier, without knowing that it was one! They were impressed like they had never been before by any other car. They both began to convince their father to buy the car. Saying that my grandfather was interested, is an understatement! He simply was shaken by this apparition. He asked if the cars could be started… The Colonel told them that they… Continue reading
Get ready for a fine barn finding story from a great CHB reader! It is just awesome to see stories from my precious readers. Thank you so much Simon for this intriguing story! : ) If you also have such a great story, don’t hesitate to share it with CHB.
When I was a young boy (that was a long time ago), I was always waiting for the weekends, because on Sunday we used to go for lunch at my Grandparents’ home. After the meal my beloved grandfather, a great car enthusiast, always liked to tell us some fairytale-like car stories. I remember those moments very well. My father, my uncle and I suddenly got sparkling eyes when it came to listen to grandpa’s marvelous stories. Such as the story of his 16 valve Bugatti Brescia, that he owned for just one week, the Rolls Silver Ghost converted into a towing car, but the most appreciated and sought after tale was for sure the story of the Autobahn Kurier near the lake… Continue reading
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
Sooner than expected… my goal of snatching up a nice cyclecar has already been achieved! : ) After some initial orientation and looking and enquiring around, it transpired that I had to take a quick decision! Sometimes you just need to have faith and believe in miracles! The next day after having contacted the seller my dad and I left to start our journey to Austria to see the CGS and to get things sorted out. I must admit that before we left we already had seen a lot of details and pics of the CGS. It looked perfect and that made us decide to be madhatters and just GO… 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!
I am a bit ashamed, because this is something that I am supposed to know, but am I alone in this? So let me tell you this little story. I was working at the gym (which has a great view on the Maas river) on a ‘Maharaja’ article, yes I use the gym as my office, but also to work out of course : )
Anyway I thought my friend from the gym might be interested in the Maharaja cars, because she is of Indian origin. While talking she told me about her dad who was an engineer for Mercedes-Benz. She made me aware of… Continue reading
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.
With 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
That opened the door to what came next. In the late 1940s, Ghia, one of Turin’s
oldest coachbuilders, had established a close working relationship with Chrysler in the US. That effort was led by Ghia design chief Mario Boano and commercial director Luigi Segre, but, not too long after the Conrero project entered the Ghia works, Boano had a serious row with Segre. Boano and his son, Gian Paolo, left Ghia to form their own carrozzeria, so Segre contacted Savonuzzi, and overnight Ghia had a new design and technical director. They organized a small production run using the shape created for Conrero, calling it the Supersonic. First used with spectacular effect on nine Fiat 8Vs, a one-off Aston and Jaguar followed.
I found this Mercedes-Benz photograph while searching for 500K Special Roadster pics. This one I could not use for the article of ‘the butcher’s car’, but a very good one for this week’s pic! The Mercedes-Benz (I believe it is a 380K A-Carbiolet?) has such a nice background, that shows how cars were hauled onto a ship in the good old days.
Concerning the article about ‘the Butcher’s car’, I stand corrected. One of the CHB readers was so kind to point out to me the fact that the ‘Pearl’, as I’d like to call the 500K Spezial Roadster, isn’t truly a pearl. While restoring a 500K he surprisingly discovered that the dashboard is made of “faux mother-of-pearl”. The material of the ‘pearl’ dashboard is also used for drum kits and other musical instruments, he told me. This is quite disappointing to hear, but it doesn’t make the 500K any less precious. If that was the case I would immediately try to buy one! My ‘pearl’ bubble has burst, but at least I learned a little secret of the 500K. That is what
CHB is all about, learning more about classic cars!
Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment, it will be most appreciated because critique – positieve or negative – is what I need to improve my knowledge as well as CHB!
Today I indulge in the history of the aerodynamics of cars and windtunnel testing. You may wonder what the Zeppelin has to do with this? I will explain…
The Hungarian engineer Paul Jaray was the man who presented numerous designs for streamlined car bodies. Initially he designed seaplanes, but later he focused on streamlining airships. The LZ-120 Bodensee was one of his airship designs.
The detailed series of experiments in the LZ’s windtunnel were also a start of something new, the use of aerodynamics in car design. Jaray studied the effects of wind direction and airflow over an airship at ground level. This way he also developed his theories about streamlining motorcars. With his streamlining theories Jaray founded in 1927 the Stromlinien Karosserie Gesellschaft. But of the many car manufacturers to whom he presented his designs for streamlined bodies Tatra was the only one which… Continue reading
After Artcurial’s auction of the wrecks from the Baillon collection last February, Bonhams will sell end September the incredible collection of 48 cars from the Frederiksen collection. This time not a heavily neglected collection, but a ‘PERFECT’ one, with emphasis on perfect!
Watching the video it seems that Henrik is not entirely sure about his decision… He literally said this when he saw his collection for the very first time lined up outside his wonderful property; “So maybe I should cancel it, to sell, because… Continue reading
Related to the 500K Spezial Roadster article, I wanted to share this advertisement that I noticed on prewarcar.com. This American genius/master fabricator has built the most magnificent Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster replicas – not really what you call replicas – with his special workshop tooling. The tools are used to restore original Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadsters to exact specifications of the factory.
Now all of that tooling is for sale! This is a chance of a lifetime for any Mercedes-Benz builder/restorer. As you can see in the photo, this is craftsmanship at a very high level! No wonder that some cars in the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart feature his work. His concours-winning work is the real deal! Time with the retiring fabricator included in the price of 40,000 USD.
My father told me a while ago a short story about a Mercedes-Benz that was found behind a butcher’s shop in the UK. It sounded like an interesting story, so I wanted to find out more details about this car and its story. That is why I am now publishing this story about what I like to call the ‘pearl’, because of its stunning pearl dashboard!
The 500K Spezial Roadster from 1936 is known as one of the most prestigious cars that Mercedes-Benz has ever built. Less than 30 of these great cars were built. But the ‘Spezial Roadster’ which is the subject of this article was not always as liked as it is today, because this car was immured behind walls at a British butcher for 32 years! Unfortunately I have to tell you that this ghost story was just one big delusion… Continue reading
This photograph shows an unknown Spezial Roadster. Could this be ‘the butchers car’? This roadster also has right-hand steering. As far as known only ‘the butchers car’ and the Olympia Motor Show model had this… Who can solve this mystery? Please let me know in the comments below!
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
On May 1st motor-racing history was made, for Stirling Moss won the 1,000-mille Mille Miglia, the first time in 22 years that this has been achieved by a British driver, and I had this great privilege of sitting beside him throughout this epic drive.
But let us go back to the beginning, for this win was not a fluke on the spur of the moment, it was the result of weeks, even months, of preparation and planning.
My enthusiasm for the Mille Miglia race goes back many years, among the reasons being the fact that it is permissible to carry a passenger. This event is for all types of road-going cars, from family saloons to Grand Prix type racing/sports cars, and when I had my first taste of the lure of the Mille Miglia as a competitor last year, with Abecassis in the HWM, I soon set about making plans for the 1955 event … Continue reading