King Michael 1 of Romania Car
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What is it? Quiz #460

What is it? Quiz #460
Last pre-war quiz was a bit of a post-war. Still, a lot of good answers also this time. But for this week, we will go back to a real pre-war, back to the early days of the automobiles. Do you know what it is? Let us give you a clue; the car we have in this week's quiz is built in an European country and doesn't built cars any more. Well, that is all we are going to tell you about it. The rest is up to you. Send us your answers in no more than 100 words before Monday.
Good luck!

Saturday, 16 December 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

A fashionable Auburn 8-120 driven with a fashionable coat


Todays Friday Lady is proudly posing with her new Auburn 8-120. You can see her posing in front of the showroom with a “Duesenberg 8” advertise. But inverted, you can also spot the big “AUBURN” letters through the glass. I missed the CORD letters, but as the first Cord, the L-29, appeared during the year the photo was made, it´s just logical, that you don´t see them. The lady must be really happy, as the 1929 Auburn was (and is) a masterpiece of design, even if it´s not a spectacular boattailed Speedster, but a “normal” two-door convertible. And with its straight eight engine, producing 120 HP (yes, that´s the origin of the name 8-120), it also was a fast car. Auburn belonged to the Cord Company in those days, a big holding company, directed by E.L. Cord. We all know, that Cord owned Duesenberg, Auburn and later built cars, carrying his own name at the Auburn factory, but there were some more companies in this holding. And “some” means about 150 in this case. Further automotive companies in this holding were for example Lycoming, Lexington, Checker or Ansted. Shortly after taking control over the Auburn factory, Cord insisted on an eight cylinder car and so, in 1925, the type 8-63 was launched. It was powered by a side-valve Lycoming engine. After yearly upgrades, the power of the Auburn “8” increased to the 120 HP of our lady´s car. After the great depression, sales decreased from 34.000 cars in 1931 down to 5000 cars in 1933, but even though, Auburn launched the fantastic and astonishingly cheap 12 cylinder car, followed by a new, often supercharged 8 cylinder. This final series contains the best known Auburn, the 851 Speedster.

But back to our lady. Why did she buy this fast car? I think, she wants to catch the Morgan Threewheeler pilot, who ruined her new coat. But even if her Auburn has triple of power, it will need many straight and non-twisting roads, to outrun the light and agile little rascal! But on American roads, I believe, she may have used her chance!?

Words and picture: Hubertus Hansmann


Friday, 15 December 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Kings and old car: a tribute to King Michael I of Romania

Kings and old car: a tribute to King Michael I of Romania
Kings and old cars. This is a combination we actually do not talk about a lot in the magazine. The value of cars with historic documentation goes up, especially when there is some regally involved. But that is not what this is about. Today we would like to share a story with you about a great person in the History covering many aspects. Although we will only talk about his (yes, it is a man) link to the automotive history. We would like to dedicate this article to His Majesty King Michael I of Romania. As some of you maybe have heard, he recently passed away at the age of 96.
We understand that the name HM King Michael I not directly rings a bell with everyone. Maybe if we tell you the name of his spouse Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma and later Queen Anne of Romania. HM King Michael I reigned from July 1927 to June 1930, and again from September 1940 until December 1947 when he abdicated from the throne. Cars have always been his lifetime passion. From an early age, cars played a role in his life, as you can see on the first photograph. We are not sure, but can this be a Gräf & Stift? 

That he liked cars was known by various important and influential people. A 1936 Aero 30 was a gift from former Czechoslovakia’s president Edvard Beneš.
For his 16th anniversary, the Romanian Ministry of the Air ordered the very first SS100 3.5 Jaguar (#39001). The aviation officials wanted the young prince to remember them through this gift, so they specifically ordered the car in "the color of the sky" for which Jaguar created "Blue sheen". This colour Jaguar reused in the fifties for the X120. To make the car even more special, this is the only SS100 3.5 to have a mascot, called now the "Prince Michael mascot". On October 19, 1937 the car was delivered to the Prince, which was just in time for the October 25th anniversary. In Romania a book is dedicated to this car. The intricate history of the Blue Jaguar, written by a subsequent owner, journalist Radu Portocala.
HM King Michael I also owned a Mercedes 540K Sindelfingen cabriolet, a Delahaye Type165 and a Talbot Lago Record.
Another fascinating car King Michael I added to his collection was an Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 Touring from 1942. Which presumably was the very first Alfa with the iconic heart-shaped front grille.
Besides these wonderful above-mentioned cars HM King Michael I also collected (military) Jeeps of which there are still several exhibited in Romania. In Săvârșin Castle to be more precisely, one of his country houses. Two of the Jeeps being quite significant, the very early prototype Bantam BRC 40 and the Jeep in which General Patton entered Paris in August 1944. Which again was a gift. This time from his cousin the Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg. The photographs below show Michael at a later age when performing his hobby. And as icing on the cake, he was the honorary president of Retromobil Club Romania.
His Majesty King Michael I of Romania lived a turbulent life. But cars have always been his joy and lifetime passion. His funeral will be held on Saturday the 16th of December 2017.
Words: editor. Photographs and inside information Radu Portocala.
(c) Royal House of Romania
Thursday, 14 December 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

A real treasure for Invicta fans

A real treasure for Invicta fans
 “Probably the best-looking sports car in the vintage tradition”, said by J.R. Buckley the Invicta S-Type Low-Chassis lives on as one of the most sought-after classic cars and a fan favourite 90 years later – even though only 75 automobiles were built at the time. Why such manageable amounts? 
The Invicta’s story is nothing if not fascinating. It offers two main reasons for the compact model count. One may have been the rumour of its “tricky handling” after Sammy Davis’ accident at the Easter Monday meeting at Brooklands 1931. The other – more probable – reason being the timing of its production right after Black Thursday and in a phase of economic distress, not only in Britain but in the whole of Europe. Paired with the fact that the great Invicta could not really compete in a market of mass-produced automobiles and that WWII soon called for a change in focus on the part of its makers, the Invicta S offers only a short history, albeit an exciting one. 
To celebrate the ongoing admiration for the Invicta S, the icon’s history and legacy have now been turned into a beautiful book for which all the best materials have been collated. 
264 pages, large format, full colour: this love letter to the Invicta S was written by Mike Riedner and tells its entire story. Starting with Noel Macklin’s great vision for a one-of-a-kind automotive powerhouse that is said to have been inspired by something Philip Lyle’s young wife Eileen had mentioned over dinner at the time, the book takes its readers on the journey of the Invicta S, bringing to life its most iconic race and rally victories and spectacular milestones. 
From Donald Healey’s magical Monte Carlo Rally triumph in 1931 to Violette Cordery’s around the world journey that won her the Dewar trophy, it features many anecdotes and memories of the Invicta’s biggest moments. Of course, the journey also touches on the trials and tribulations which, in the end, cut short the lifespan of this quintessentially British pre-war beauty first presented to the enthusiastic public and excited press in October 1930 at the London Motor Show. Furthermore, the book features an interview with the long-time president of the Invicta Club, Bob Wood and a foreword by Miranda Kelly, Macklin’s granddaughter who – despite never getting to meet Noel – paints a great picture of an even greater man.
Of course, the reader will also find profiles on every S-type ever made, complete with photographs of the models and some fascinating historic shots that turn this book into a true historical document. 
The green hardcover edition comes with a sleek, green linen slipcase and truly is a must-have for any serious pre-war car enthusiast. The edition is strictly limited to 500 with some of the lower numbers echoing the model numbers of the Invicta S-Type. Of course, many of these are already in the hands of the respective owners. But interested Invicta fans still have the chance to order a numbered edition now while stock lasts. A great opportunity, not only for those who have the vehicle to go along with it. Or as a last Christmas present!
You can order your limited copy at their website >click here<
Wednesday, 13 December 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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