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Now that the razzmatazz of Paris has died down, let’s travel to the South West of France to a place called Saumur beside the River Loire. Let us also ignore the fact that it is Friday 13th today and concentrate on tomorrow’s date – Valentine’s Day.
Photographer H. Armstrong Roberts captured this romantic image in 1928 of two girls deep in conversation and we are left to guess at the subject. Is it about the Delage CO which brought them to the river bank? We don’t think so, but we are grateful to John Warburton and Peter Jacobs for identifying the car and its details (6cyl. 4.5 litre. Approx. 1400 produced 1917-1921.)
The area is surrounded by vineyards, all immaculate as only the French know how, and is home to several impressive chateaux – sublime and romantic as only the French know how. So the subject must be love and we take our hats off to the two lucky young men who join these girls on the rest of their Valentine's Day journey.
(Text Robin Batchelor, image by H. Armstrong Roberts)
Hugo Modderman is wondering if this special bodied 1935 Packard is still around, possibly in North West Europe, or even in the Netherlands where the body was made by Schutter en Van Bakel. Aside the european understated lines, one should pay special notice to the twin side-by-side sliding roof(*). He has a very concrete reason to ask this. Very soon there will be an exposition in Amsterdam about the coachbuilder Schutter & van Bakel who had their workshop in de narrow Kerkstraat in Amsterdam. The exposition will be in the same street, so very near to the original premises.
The Schutter & van Bakel bodies known to Hugo are now in Great Brittain and the USA. Except for one which is in Holland, but that's a Bugatti and of course the 1928 Lincoln earlier discussed on these pages. The Packard we're looking for was first prize winner in 'Concours de Carrosserie' organised by the Royal Dutch Automobile Club (KNAC) in 1935. We're looking forward to receive any information you may have about this car. And hey, maybe you have another Schutte & van Bakel parked in your Dutch shed. We're equally happy to learn about that!
(*) according to the Dutch car history society Conam the car got badly damaged during the war.
In the semi-psychedelic lighting of the VIP-room of Retromobile a new award was presented to Model T world travellers Dirk & Trudy Regter by Directeur du Salon François Melcion (right) and Malcom Forest (left) "Antiquemobilist of the Year". The idea of the award - and the brazilian word 'antiquemobilist' itself - came from Malcolm Forest, he is a true old car fan from Brazil. You may have seen his name connected with Isotta Fraschini and a very rare Gräf & Stift limousine as well.
The idea behind 'Ántiquemobilist' is to honour a driver (or driver couple in this case) who made an exceptional effort for the old car scene while making use of their car (a not unimportant addition, so it is a prize for real drivers). Malcolm expressed his enthusiasm for the exceptional tour Dirk (!) and Trudy started in June 2012, starting from the Louwman museum in Holland.
From there they crossed Europe, took Africa north-south, made a 16,000 mile tour in the US, went from there to Ushuaia deep down in South America and up again to Brazil. And will soon continue travelling New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, India, Tibet, Mongolia (where they built two children schools with the proceedings of earlier journeys) and from there through Siberia...back home. All this in view to create a better world for children in hardship. All proceedings and gifts go to SOS children villages. Congratulations Dirk & Trudy and long live their Model T!
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