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Remi Weber sent this charming picture of his grandma: "This picture was taken in Champagne (France) in a small town called Damery. My grandmother Henriette was very young, about ten years, so this must be in 1906. She had a servant who would drive her around. The car was owned by her father, monsieur Charles Justin Lepron. He was a wealthy rentier who would spent his summers in this house to fish and visit his champagne 'farms'. He was a real bon vivant and, like a decent Frenchman is supposed to, died at the dinner table in 1907."
Editor: a wonderful story which adds lots of colour to the otherwise B&W photo. One thing we disagree with Remi Weber is the year 1906. Looking at the car we presume 1912 is more close to the truth, which means his grandma was more like 16 here and possibly even allowed the refined torpedo. Remi presumed we're looking at a Delage. Possible, but we couldn't find proof for that. It could be Delahaye, Berliet, Lorraine Dietrich, Roland Pillain, Turcat Méry. Low bonnet, no side louvres. Then take into account the number of front wheel spokes: 10, rear: 12. And finally, don't overlook those small hubcaps. Delahaye?
Early in the American summer concours season is the Concours of America at St John's, Plymouth, Michigan. According to our on location witness JP Vandebundt it's getting better and better every year. And there's good reason he's using those two words as by tradition this concours is selecting not one but two best of show cars. One US made car and one of foreign manufacture. The first - not very surprising - a 1932 Duesenberg Model J Convertible Victoria by Murphy and a lot less obvious, not because of the fact that it's a Bugatti T57C, but because of the much lesser known roadster body by Voll & Ruhrbeck. This superb restoration by our friends of Classic & Exotic Service in sharp contrast with the well taken care for but very much unrestored 1910 Maytag Runabout pictured above. But contrast is what we like. Check the ex- Al Capone the Duesenberg formerly owned by Al Capone's lawyer ( yes, crime pays well!) and the 1924 Isotta Fraschini by LeBaron (looks almost like a Stutz) presented by our reporter JP. Some more St John spectacular? Check this post-war space gear.
(photos JP 'Victorycars' Vandebundt)
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