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Classic rally prep in Beijing

CHina4C: classic prep in Beijing.

Imagine a country, a big country; a huge country, where the horse-drawn carriage and bicycle were the number one transport mode untill not too long ago. Imagine the world's big six motor manufacturers finding a way in there, always eager to enlargen their market share, soon resulting into world's largest motor market. The country exists and is called China. And we are there to drive a rally.
So when you want to rally China you need to learn a little history first. Less than 29 years ago, there were hardly any cars in the roads here. Currently Beijing is planning to build its 7th ringroad/ peripherique. Paris has 'only' 2 peripheriques. So China is a very young automative nation with zillions of cars. Road safety is asking for a totally different approach. In order to get a temporary drivers licence any foreign driver must take a safety training. The head of the traffic department of Tianji gave us a short history lesson starting with Karl Benz and the first automobile accident victim in the USA.

Bottomline of his speech was that preserving human life is the most important rule in Chinese traffic today. When all rally participants in the room had agreed on this with a handshake, he signed off our temporary drivers licenses (below). Off we go.

To be continued.

(Text and pictures by Joris Bergsma)

Sunday, 12 October 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

About Quiz #380: 1928 Ford Model A taxi!

about quiz_380_1928_ford_model_a_courtesy_stew_dean_470

Finally we had an extremely simple car in Quiz 'What is it' #380 and now people were afraid to answer. At least it seems that this was the case. Four competitors were spot on with 1928 Ford Model A Tudor. When you check in to see the quiz results you can read that John Elema came up with most details; well done John. Still it's our opinion that this week's prize should go to somebody else as we asked also to be very correct on the accessories. And there was only competitor to identify the extras on the car correctly as from a taxi!

His wording: "It's a 1928 Model A Tudor sedan. You can see the Drum tailight which was only used in 1928. Later cars had a light mounted on the rear fender.It is being used as a taxi; has a luggage rack on the back and a for hire light on the lefthand screen post. Accessories include left hand welled fender for spare tyre and a tool box on the running board." Congratulations John Cochran! Please send us your T-shirt size and mail address. See you all next week. 

(Family photo collection Stew Dean)

Saturday, 11 October 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Fun in a GN

Fun in a GN.

Tomorrow is October 11th and that can only mean one thing - the annual VSCC Welsh Trial when a large proportion of the active membership converge on Presteigne in Wales for a weekend of vintage motoring up steep muddy hills in glorious autumn countryside. One of the most popular and successful cars to enter is the GN, with its light weight, solid chain driven back axle and ample power. Here is Caroline in her GN at a more gentle event in Wales, but her smile assures us it was just as much fun and I think her husband Peter will agree.

(Text & pictures Robin Batchelor)
Friday, 10 October 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

The most desirable brass era Toy at $500 only?

1912 mercer_type_35c_raceabout_ex_david_v_uihlein-1_470

Arguably one of the most successful supercars of the pre WWI era is the Mercer Raceabout. Being the iconic brass time race car it is also the daddy-toy which has been replicated most. In sizes ranging from Matchbox to scale 1:32, to scale 1:16 and yes of course 1:1 replicas as well. But in the end you want to go beyond your fantasyyou only want the real thing... It may be clear that it takes an expert car historian to tell you which ones are fully authentic and which ones aren't. And no wonder the price of the real-real thing - if ever available - is deep into the 7 digit numbers. When you started saving 50 years ago you most probably will never be able to buy one. So you were either born rich or you are a Warren Buffett adept or you bought this 1912 Type 35C Raceabout sixty years ago. At least that weas what David Uihlein  did. He paid US$ 500 in cash (check the receipt) for the car which was in need for a lot of TLC. Back then already he joined the exclusive (and small!) club for owners of Mercer Raceabouts. Today it is nearly impossible to find or buy a Mercer Raceabout. The expected hammerprice is between 2 and 3 million dollars which is a lot of money. But hey, maybe people will look back at that figure as a steal... sixty years from now.

October 18, Dragone Classic Auctions
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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Post War Choice

1974 Volkswagen SP2 Coupe
The 'next topmodel' sister of the uggliest Volkswagen ever, the 411 1974 SP2 Coupe...  Go >>