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Proud future owner of the 1929 Standard
Lea Francis J Type 1926




The Magazine

Immortal and extraordinary Alfa Romeo at Monterey.

Immortal and extraordinary Alfa at Monterey.

Athlete Usain Bolt called himself  'immortal' since he won olympic gold for the third time on the 100 Meter sprint. If the black Alfa Romeo 8C pictured above could talk it would be allowed a similar claim. It's arguably the non plus ultra Alfa Romeo in this world.

Whenever RM Sotheby's announce an auction of cars, you may be sure there will be some exciting examples, and the lots in their Monterey sale on 19/20 August do not disappoint.
To read the catalogue description of the 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider is to slowly be drawn into a subject which we find irresistible and makes us hungry for more.  Fortunately our appetite can be satisfied since Simon Moore has published his meticulous research into every known 2.9 Alfa and his book is properly credited as the source of chassis no 412041's catalogue description.
Cut him and he bleeds Pre War Alfa Romeo - and his lifetime's passion is evident in the scrupulous accuracy expected when a potential buyer is possibly going to bid more than 20 million dollars for this car.
To understand why this car has become so highly prized means taking the time to read about each legendary car - its adventures and its owners.  But to really appreciate this beautiful machine you have to settle into the driver's seat, close the door and after pressing the starter button just listen to that explosion of sound as the DOHC 2.9 straight eight bursts into life and screaming gears remind you that two superchargers are working hard to keep the beast fed with fuel.
Guide her out onto the open road and begin to understand why the 8C 2900 was not a mere sports car, but the most advanced, modern, and compelling sports car that money could buy. To the gentleman who was accustomed to watching the workings of his Swiss watch or mastering the intricacies of his yacht’s sails, it was a symphony.

The auction house describe the car as immortal and extraordinary and they helpfully add this definition..." extraordinary adj. 1) very unusual; very different from what is normal or ordinary 2) extremely good or impressive. "
Yes - this car ticks all those boxes...  and more.

Text Robin Batchelor, picture courtesy RMSotheby's.

Thursday, 18 August 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

PWC Workshop: a nearly forgotten tuning patent


by our rookie reporter:
Sometimes one discovers the most incredible garages of individuals tinkering on their bolides. I found one of them, but not just an amateur, because he can restore anything. He has an impressive technical knowledge, skills and machines that are blowing your mind, all in a tiny garage where his great Salmson is stored as well. He has even learned himself the skill to pour babbit and do the line boring to name just a few.

As I was looking around, my eye was caught by a strange looking machine. The man started explaining me what it was and showed a poster which said "New patent. Also your car can last longer". It is a Belgium patent that is not very well known, but after WW2 it was quite a successful piece of engineering and thousands of such pistons were made.

The man of the special garage did see its potential to continue on with this almost forgotten patent. He knew the owner of the workshop Rafeco in Amsterdam who used this pattern. Only one of such machines still exists and he purchased it. You can add a waffle pattern to pistons. This will result in a better lubrication of the pistons. Caused tby the up and down movement of the pistons and helped by the law of inertia at every 'crossroad'  in the waffle patter small 'eruptions' of oil will occur resulting in a liquid bearing all around the piston. 

In the old days pistons had another quality as we have nowadays, but still it can be a very useful to apply the waffle pattern on modern pistons. The vintage engines, often side valves, and with a thermosyphon system often have hot zones that have problems getting rid of the heat. This genius idea will solve the problem.

Your engine is believed to last longer with the waffle pattern and with better compression! Other benefits are less slack and thats great news, because it caused the engine to release heat in a more efficient way as told above. Smoothly the waffle cylinders will cool the oil, connect all points in a balanced way and most of all with less resistance. The motion will be smooth as never before.

While starting the engine it will be running smoothly within a very short period of time. So make your engine happy just apply for a waffle pattern and your car will last at least one more century.

text: Rosemarijn Atalante Veenenbos, who is starting up a company referring to her initials:  RavvaR

Wednesday, 17 August 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

A Holiday Caravan Towing Mystery (update: Sunbeam Twenty Five )

large caravan_tow_car_mystery_470

Chris Jones sends this nice holiday shot of his Grandparents before the war.
"They were keen caravaners and being motor dealers always chose a large tow car to take them on holiday from the available stock. I previously sent a photo of my Grandfather's brothers Thornycroft which was about the largest motorhome available before the war. Whilst the size of this car doesn't compare with this, it is a large vehicle. The question is, what is the tow car? "

Editor: first of all, the caravan looks very much like a mid twenties Eccles very similar to this example.  The big towing car...Sunbeam perhaps? Further we are interested how far and how quick the Eccles users were. What kind of cruising speed was realistic? And did they ever leave the British Isles? As usual we love to see your comments.
Tuesday, 16 August 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Where to sell a one-off 1928 REO Wolverine "Period Rat Rod" ?

1928 REO Wolverine phaeton survivor ,period rat rod survivor believed rare
David Williams writes: I stumbled upon a estate barn find and purchased the car from the granddaughter of a man who bought the car from a wrecking yard in El Paso, Texas. In the dark barn I saw the "V6" and the wrong type of wheels. In fact I saw a cool low dollar driver. Once I got it home I realized the v6 was a V8 and had been with the car for decades. Parts were tacked on and repaired junk yard dog style for decades. This was not only a barn find but a true period rat rod!.As I research I learned we had an obscure model a Wolverine. Serial number BA1722. I also noticed in research no phaetons made or advertised, NOTHING on the internet. In '29 the Wolverine became the MATE there are 2 or 3 known MATE phaetons. REO Club thought are this a Mate but (I think) they are wrong, this must be a Wolverine and if my hunch is correct possibly 1 of 1. My theory early on was it was special ordered for the desert climate where it obvously spent it's full life. The REO OLds museum is baffled so far by the strange serial #. My research shows B. to indicate Wolverine and A. to indicate Flying Cloud which includes a 4passenger roadster....Makes sense to me...Please, any input including best venue to sell is most welcome David Willams.

 Well David, regarding 'best venue to sell'. WE don't want to be presumptuous, but by posting the car for sale at,  you'll have hard time finding a better place...we think. Why not try a first free advert (CLICK) ?
Monday, 15 August 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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