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My Packard Six Touring Sedan 1938


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What colour to choose for George Roesch's finest saloon?

1935 talbot_ba110_james_young_sports_saloon_470
This is about the dilemma of Stewart Wilkie. While restoring his Talbot Saloon (hear-hear!) he has arrived at the point where he needs to decide about colour.

Stewart adds: "Very few of the type 110 saloons have survived as they were broken up for racing spares or converted into racing specials. Even more rare than the standard saloon is the James Young creation. Two were made and only one survives. My 1935 Talbot BA110 James Young sports saloon has the wonderful 160 BHP engine - designed by George Roesch the maestro. It was with a similar production car (not a single seater) that he lapped Brooklands at 130 m.p.h. After a 22 year restoration it wil be seen on the road by early next year. The photo above is the other one while my car - the survivor - was made for the Birkin family (Tim was one of the Bentley boys) so Brooklands green or Bentley BRG are the favourite colour options at the moment and with a month to decide I will have a bit to think on..."

Editor: In view of the Brooklands story, that shade of green seems to be more close to the essence of the car. Yet that's only our humble opinion. What would be your vote?

Editor (2): James Fack adds to the info about the James Young coachwork as provided by Pass & Joyce Ltd.. Archie H. Pass & Charlie J. Joyce were the partners in a car-dealing business which they described - rightly or wrongly - as the largest in London and its surrounding counties (the so-called 'Home Counties'). They also fancied themselves as coachwork designers, and during the early 1930s they were either the owners of James Young & Co., or its financial backers in one form or another: I've just received an e-mail from Tom Clarke, probably the greatest authority on coachbuilding in Britain - if not in the world! - and he has a 1936/7 Pass & Joyce Rolls-Royce and Bentley sales brochure in which every single body is by James Young & Co.!

I've heard it said that Charlie Joyce died young - in about 1937. Whatever, James Young & Co. was then bought by the major Rolls-Royce & Bentley dealer Jack Barclay, and he re-named it James Young & Co. Ltd. He then bought J. Gurney Nutting & Co., and transferred the latter's Chief Designer A.F.McNeil - whom many believed to be the best in the country - to James Young & Co. Ltd. Gurney Nutting then carried-on with John Blatchley as its Chief Designer - but he went to work for Rolls-Royce during the War and never left it afterwards: he part-designed the Mark VI Bentley/R-R Silver Dawn, and totally designed the Bentley S/Silver Cloud and the Bentley T/Silver Shadow! Gurney Nutting basically never recovered from this, and went out of business in about 1947...

Wednesday, 20 August 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Art-deco Ruxtons overwhelm at Pebble Beach

Colourful Ruxtons overwhelm at Pebble Beach
Right. Holiday is over and we’re going back to work. Well, okay – just one more look back at Pebble Beach before we do just that. Now, there was quite a lot that impressed. How about a Bentley Speed Six with drophead coupe body by Saoutchik. Yes – a Bentley! Or that gorgeous little 1913 Peugeot L45 racer in between all that big machinery and century-old BIS Mercedes racers.

But it’s this image of a string of 1929/1930 front wheel driven Ruxton Sedans at the prestigious concours that stays with us above all. To see one of those crazy multi-coloured creatures is something you won’t forget soon – but four of them! We learned that this unusual colour scheme was designed by art-deco architect Joseph Urban to lengthen the appearance of the car through broad bands of white intermixed with vivid colours. Certainly a most daring feature to put on the market in the middle of the big crisis…

(Picture courtesy Kimball Studios)
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Pebble Beach 2014: “The most interesting, breathtaking, swoopy cars ever built”

Pebble Beach 2014: “The most interesting, breathtaking, swoopy cars ever built”
Concourses d’elegance will never get rid of all their stigmas about piano-gloss paint jobs shining deeper than the Kaspian sea and waxed tyres on glass plates. But then you may like to know that Pebble Beach – the concours of concourses that took place yesterday – every year submits their participators and their vehicles to the ‘Pebble Beach Tour d’elegance’ – a 65 mile drive along the winding roads of Carmel-by-the-Sea, with bonus lap at Laguna Seca raceway. Entrants are not obliged to do the tour, but the organization of the concours states ‘If two vehicles tie in class competition at the concours, the vehicle that has successfully completed the Tour gets the nod."

And so a most extraordinary range of cars could be seen along the California coastal roads last weekend, ranging from early steam cars to bright coloured Ruxtons - both featured classes for this year. Or how about this 1934 Hispana-Suiza K6 Fernandez et Darrin Coupe? It’s one of two cars commissioned by Anthony Gustav de Rothschild, and this one actually was for his wife! Another 1934 Hispano-Suiza with Fernandez et Darrin Coupé de Ville body – this time a J12 – was for himself. In true American fashion co-owner Anne Brockinton Lee said: “This is the most interesting, breathtaking, swoopy pair of formal cars ever built. For anybody. By any coachbuilder.” We’re not too sure, but she has a point!

Interestingly, the 'Best of Show' award went to a not quite so swoopy post war car for the first time since 1968. The silver grey Ferrari 375 MM of former Microsoft-boss Jon Shirley was given top honours. See the footage and Shirley's reaction here.

(Picture courtesy Kimball Studios)
Monday, 18 August 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Monster - A different kind of hot rod

The Monster - A different kind of hot rod
After Tuesday's controversial Lakester, how about this for an altogether different type of hot rod? This Antipodean special started life as a 1920s Crossley 20/70 tourer, owned by Mrs Vida Jones of Sydney. Vida and her husband John were keen motor sport participants in races, trials and hill climbs in a variety of interesting cars – Vida even owned an Alfa Romeo 1750SS at one point. The Crossley was sold to Bob Pritchett in 1938, and after an accident left the engine and radiator unusable, he did what anyone would do, and fitted a supercharged Mercedes engine to the chassis...

Bob didn't complete the car until the 1950s, and quickly made a splash on the VSCCA scene with his thoroughly over-the-top creation. It soon earned the nickname that it still carries today – Monster. A most appropriate name for a true Australian hot rod, which is still causing a stir today. Current owner Tim Shellshear has recounted its history in the latest issue of The Automobile, which is out now.

Sunday, 17 August 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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