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Hats off - goggles on.

Hats off - goggles on. ( friday lady )

We are lucky to live in this digital age and today we invite you to revisit an old friend we introduced back in 2012. Our picture shows Joan Newton Cuneo in 1911 at the wheel of her Pope Hummer (corr. 1911 Knox) with which she set the woman’s speed record of 111.5 MPH. This was after her previous successes had helped The American Automobile Association  ban women from entering their events .

Even before her motoring career, Cuneo had displayed her spirit when she helped start the Ladies Four- in-Hand Club for driving a coach and four – a pastime not for the faint hearted!  Men had their own Coaching Club open only to gentlemen.

The digital age has helped author Dr. Elsa A. Nystrom complete her painstaking research into today’s subject and publish the fruits of her four years’ labour in Mad for Speed - The Racing Life of Joan Newton Cuneo and it has also helped us receive a copy through the letterbox with an easy click of a mouse.

The book was published in 2013 and more pictures have emerged since our first story. This one is rare since it is the only ‘staged’ shot where Cuneo looks clean and posed as opposed to her usual business like images. You’ll like this one of her at the bench and here she is changing a tyre.

Surviving pictures often show our Friday lady wearing an elegant hat, but as Dr. Nystrom says in her comment on our original story,  “ The hat came off and the goggles went on when she put the pedal to the metal.”


Text Robin Batchelor, picture courtesy Pettee Memorial Library / Wilmington Historical Society.

Friday, 29 August 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

The Pierce Arrow must go

1936 Pierce-Arrow_model_1601_Stan_Hywet_470
What do you do when you find  a superb unrestored 1931 Lincoln Dietrich convertible sedan? No issue for David Schultz, director of the Stan Hywet Concours d'Elegance. He has Lincoln blood in his veins, so he will always choose the 'Lincoln highway'. Even when it will ask for sacrifices in other areas. In this particular case he probably will need to say fare well to the untouched, never restored 1936 Pierce Arrow 1601 Sedan pictured above.

When David is taking care for a car he likes to do it properly. See what he has done with the unrestored Lincoln ... (not a drop of paint added so far).  The paint is not original,  so he considers bringing the car back to factory livery with Slate Green(upper) over Hamilton Green(lower). 

Sorry you won't see the Pierce nor the Lincoln at the Stan Hyweth Concours as David doesn't want to be distracted from his organising role and most probably will use a golfcart only. But no worries, no less than 160 superb other automobiles that were carefully selected will turn up there.  Stan Hywet Concours d'Elegance, 19-21 September 
Thursday, 28 August 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Portugese pumper mysteries

Fire pump mysteries

Not a long time ago several interesting fire pumps were exposed at a Portuguese classic car event. The 1930 Citroen C6  (photo 3) or the 1929 Brockway (Photo 4) seem to be fully original while others like the 1929 Buick (photo 5), 1930 Cadillac (photo 6) or 1920s Packard (photo 7) have suffered of deep transformations during the postwars years. The Packard seems to be derived of a grand luxury, maybe even from the desirable "Twin six" if we observe the steering wheel. Also there were two trucks that despite their original appearance we haven´t been able to find the concrete marque. The one of the main photo is a real oddball with this rounded radiator. The round shape indicates a possible french origin (Delaunay-Bellevillle?) but this baroque words in the front are unidentifiable for us, as is the little badge of the more current fire engine of photo 2, equally difficult to name. Do you have any idea?

(photos Unai Ona; text Francisco Carrion)
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

A $200 American Dream

Auburn Auction offers Americas Finest

Auctions are wonderful opportunities to dream, and we all need our dreams. We must believe that dreams can come true and so when deciding which one car to buy at the 7th annual Auburn Auction held by Worldwide Auctioneers on Saturday August 30th in Auburn, Indiana (Labor Day weekend) we are faced with a difficult decision.

One man whose dream came true is Virgil Sciolaro who always admired his brother’s Auburn and so one day in 1945, he took out a chattel mortgage for $200 and bought a 1935 Auburn 851 SC Boattail Speedster. He was only 18, but he had eyes for a girl called Delores Sayers and his new car helped his courting. Whether it was the throaty burble of the 4.5 litre supercharged Lycoming straight 8, or the oh-so-stylish body lines, or Virgil’s own charm which won Delores but they married in 1948 and went on honeymoon in the Auburn thus naming it the ‘Honeymoon Auburn’.

Lot 38 is a 1938 Talbot-Lago T-23 Sport Cabriolet with rare and fabulous coachwork by Figoni & Falaschi. The race-bred four-litre inline six transmits its 140 horsepower through a Wilson competition pre-selector gearbox offering you just over 120 mph. We confess our preference for the Talbot, but if we are out-bid we will have missed the chance to buy the Auburn in Lot 17. But enough dreaming – there are plenty of other exquisite cars on offer. Lot 55 is a 1934 Packard Twelve 1108 Convertible Sedan sporting aristocratic custom coachwork by Dietrich in vivid two-tone green and black canvas top.

The catalogue entry describes its 7 litre 160 H.P. V12 engine, three-speed selective synchromesh gearbox with vacuum-assisted clutch and brakes. In 1934 America was in the throes of the great depression but Packard threw caution to the wind and offered a dazzling choice of 55 different models and the select models designed by Dietrich had price tags double those of standard models. If this one is too expensive, the auction offers 17 other Packards.

There are just two Cords however, a 1929 Cord L-29 Town Car and a 1931 Cord L-29 Convertible Sedan. They both have 4.8 litre straight eight Lycomings, three-speed gearboxes and hydraulic brakes but the surprise is their front wheel drive – a remarkable feat of engineering for a car of its day. The town car’s 1929 owner transferred the body from his Minerva and it has retained its wonderful patina to this day.

There are 189 lots of automobilia offered before the cars including a Circa 1948 Schwinn Whizzer Gasoline Motorbike – it’s all in the name, as we found out with the owners of the Honeymoon Auburn.

(Text Robin Batchelor, picture courtesy Worldwide Auctions.)

Tuesday, 26 August 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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