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Burning holes through mountains or ferrying passengers to a royal tea?

Banfield auction

It is always good to meet people who lead a life driven by a passion and Michael Banfield was just such a man. When he died in 2013 he had accumulated a unique collection which Bonhams are selling at auction on 13th  and 14th June in Staplehurst, Kent. The car I would most like to take home is the 1904 Mors 24/32-HP Roi Des Belges. An imposing 4 cylinder Brighton car that represents the pinnacle of veteran motoring with chain drive, impressive acceleration and enormous Blériot headlamps that look as though they could burn holes through mountains. Seating for six friends promises memorable motoring. Amongst several more veteran cars on offer is a second Roi de Belges option:  a 1906 Minerva 40-HP which has seen service ferrying passengers to tea with the Queen at Windsor Castle.

However, Banfield’s principle interest was early motor transport of even bigger size. If early fire engines take your fancy, then you have a choice ranging from a 1913 Merryweather model to a 1917 Leyland DEU4 example bought from a Peckham scrap dealer for £100. Let’s say it’s ‘ripe for restoration’.  The description of the 1922 Tilling-Stevens TS3A Petrol-Electric bus is an education and the other familiar sight on 1920s roads of London was the 1922 AEC S Type Open Top Double Decker Bus where the driver was paid £4 per week. Read the description to learn how Banfield’s father was caught ‘moonlighting’ from his bus driving job and thus setup Banfield’s Coaches. 1913 Wolseley CR-Type Lorry is believed to be the sole surviving example of a Wolseley commercial chassis and the 1914 ‘Subsidy' Leyland was built specifically to secure the War Office grant of £110 paid annually for keeping them in good mechanical order ready for use when war broke out.  There is also a life time’s collection of books, automobilia, catalogues, petrol globes, signs, lamps and more available,  check  Bonhams' catalogue.

(text Robin Batchelor; photos courtesy Bonhams)

Wednesday, 11 June 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

The weirdest Amilcar ever

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Yes, the car on the main picture is an Amilcar, we haven't gone mad. Specifically this vehicle was born as a regular 1920s C4, probably wearing a sporting body. Later, in the 1950s it was converted into this nice "Giardinetta", with the particular purpose of being a beach car. And despite its italian appearance, this body was handmade by an amateur body maker called Francisco Ejarque, who owned his own workshop in Barcelona and later produced other very original bodies, always on his daily driver cars. The discovery of this truly unusual Amilcar was made by Spanish automotive Historian Javier Rucabado, in whose blog you can see the other creations of this little workshop.  The rebodied Amilcar received "La Monda" as name, and although being the first creation of Ejarque the outcome seems of a very good overall quality. We suppose that the engine had to be relocated to the front, so the mechanic work should be also hard. Unfortunately the car dissapeared many years ago and this sole photo has been preserved. And yes, probably was one of the very last Amilcar bodied as a "modern" car and not with collector purposes.

(Text by Francisco Carrión)

Tuesday, 10 June 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

Free entry to friendly Concours near Antwerp?

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Every year in September since 2004 - this time Sunday 14 - a friendly, almost intimate Concours d'Elegance is taking place in the pleasant gardens of the 'Kasteel Belvédère' near Antwerp. Some 100 truly exceptional motorcars will be displayed and a selection of more mundane but still very attractive classics will be presented before public and jury in true ‘concours’ style. Depicted above last year's winner, the 1924 Aston Martin Sidevalve 'Jarvis'. Among other celebrities also the 1935 Talbot Lago Baby Sport Coach owned by Karl Ludvigsen.

This year's edition is the 10th edition of the Antwerp Concours and we managed to trick out five sets of two tickets for our readers.  What do you have to do to win? Well, just upload one of your own photo(s) of a true concours car in your most personal view (it may be post-war as well) . We will publish all photos, from these  senders we will select the lucky ones.  Five winners will get two tickets for the Antwerp Concours. And hey, wait, don't stay out because you are too far away from Antwerp. We have our ways to reward you when you live in Alaska or New Zealand.

And don't be shy. We're looking for interesting cars, not for prize winning photos. You can upload your photos untill Monday next, June 17.



Monday, 09 June 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

You'll never guess this one!

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You probably suspect we have gone bonkers disturbing you with a set of post-war beach bum wheels on these solemn pre-war pages (this instead of more appropriate beach bum gear). Of course we have good reason for doing so. For a moment we thought to make this a quiz and let the army of fanatic competitors have pull their last hairs out in despair. We decided that it would be childish so this is only for the fun of it during this (hopefully) sunny pentecost weekend.

Hiding only skindeep under its fifties appearance is a refined cyclecar. Dig that? Nothing, really nothing - except for the right hand drive maybe - is giving away anything of that, yet this doesn't change the story. We eagerly look forward for your un-educated guesses what could be the chassis and engine of this vehicle. The day after tomorrow we'll tell the true history. Have fun!  At your PC, with your Pad or on the beach.

Sunday, 08 June 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

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1968  Bizzarrini 5300 GT Stradale
Much lower than the 911: the bizarre Bizzarrini 5300 GT Stradale....  Go >>