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Direct heritage of iconic marques forever gone.

1920 6_cylindre_Hispano_Suiza-470

Direct automobile links of econic marques forever gone ? Messier-Bugatti-Dowty & Hispano-Suiza  become Safran.

The French aerospace giant Safran recently published a press-release explaining that Hispano-Suiza is now renamed Safran Transmission Systems and Messier-Bugatti-Dowty now is  Safran Landing Systems. Possibly not everybody realises, but the names Bugatti and Hispano-Suiza were still alive as suppliers of specialists aviation components. The direct links with the iconic names of Bugatti and Hispano-Suiza have now disappeared.1935 Bugatti-800

Of course the Bugatti name is still very much alive today, as part of Volkswagen group, but the modern supercar has no bloodline with the original company. After the death of Ettore Bugatti in 1947 the company went in decline and the original car manufacturing business of Bugatti ceased in 1952, but the production of aircraft components continued. In 1963, the Bugatti company was sold to Hispano-Suiza, which on its turn was bought by Snecma in 1968, who also acquired Messier and so the Messier-Bugatti branch was formed in 1977.

1913 Vauxhall_Viper_NJ_hispano_suiza_engine-800Since WWI I, Hispano-Suiza had, next to its exotic car production,  a long history of aircraft engine manufacture, and when after WW II the French branch's car division was stopped, it went on to build aircraft landing gear and Rolls-Royce jet engines under licence. It was then integrated in the Snecma group who later merged with Sagem into Safran. The original Spanish company had faded already long before...

It is sad news indeed when these old names are erased by our brave new world. However, the cars live on! The names will not be forgotten by those who care and who are passionate about important cars and their history.


1913 Vauxhall 'Viper' special with V-8 Hispano-Suiza aircraft engine built under licence by Wright Bros in 1918. 12 litre V-8, 300hp, 700 ft-lb. 15 gallons fuel per hour.

1920 6 cyl Hispano-Suiza

1935 Bugatti

Words and pictures: Nick Jonckheere
Sunday, 10 July 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

What is it? Quiz #424

What is_it-470
This car was especially designed for competition in a country, where reliability trials were thought to be more effective for car development than road racing. One of these trials was held during a number of successive years and had rigid rules with respect to engine as well as body dimensions. Hence these trials influenced strongly car design and especially aerodynamics. The name of the trials lives on in several world famous car models, but this one, though made by a well-known - and still existing -  company, never reached that status. It is even doubtful if one survived!

Well, it's up to you to tell us make, year and model and whatever other interesting facts you come across during your research, but in not more than 100 words. Don't forget, your victory may depend on small if not trivial details! Be sure to send in before Monday 11 July to have a chance to win.
Before posting your answer in the comment box below be sure to check The Rules under Read More.

Have a great weekend!
Saturday, 09 July 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Sprints, smiles and silver linings

Friday lady_Het_loo_knox_palace_dark_clouds
The photo captures all elements in a nutshell. Great cars from the early days of motoring, vintage, pre-war, post-war and smiling girls. Sprints on the palace driveway and dark clouds plus lots of silver lining over a superior location.
This was last weekend's Concours d'Elegance Paleis Het Loo.

Large crowds didn't let themselves defeat by massive showers, luckily limited to the morning hours. Not all of the sprint cars were in the fast Lane, and some of the sprint drivers had double joy due to the circumstances. Like renowned Austin Seven driver Bas Jansen.

The Pionier Automobielen Club celebrated its 60th birthday with a grand show up at the Royal Stables.PAC royal_stables-800 
The 45 year younger PreWarCar celebrated with a new "PreWar Well Preserved" concours class. Won by an amazing never restored 1930 Lancia Dilambda tourer by Viotti (we particularly loved the supershort description "...bought from a man across the street in '59 ; since then in the family." ) 

More atmosphere pics here

(Concours d'Elegance Paleis Het Loo, next year 1 & 2 July )

Friday, 08 July 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

3 Free Invitations for the Antwerp Concours d'Elegance

1924 minerva_ab_touring_800
Greg Mackie from Australia was kind enough to send a photo of his magnificent 1924 Minerva AB in response to our recent search for great unrestored cars. Too bad he was not in the position to send over the car for last weekend's show, but we are very grateful that he took the trouble to share the photo with us. Like the owner the car is very much unrestored and still kicking.

Perhaps he will reconsider when he will read that Minerva cars 1918-1934 are a featured category at the Antwerp Concours d'Elegance September 18 & 19 September.  
Main theme: Aston-Martin, Lagonda. Featured Marque: Minerva. Further categories: Pre-war Sports & French curiosities.
Post-war categories: featured marwue : 70 years Bristol, Red Arrows 1947-1957, Fast Litle Gems, Italian cars of the 1960s, Supercars of the 1970s. 

There will be three (3) free invitations for cars that will apply through PreWarCar-PostWarClassic. When interested please send one or two photos with a very short description of the car to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and do so before Saturday July 16. 

photos courtesy Greg Mackie who added: "The first photo - taken about 15 years ago - shows the second owner at the wheel. The Minerva has not been restored, just maintained.  The photo below shows the original owner at the wheel, with the second owner on the running board. I am the third owner."
1924 minerva_ab_touring_400

Thursday, 07 July 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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