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Athens Concours d'Elegance

athens concours_d_elegance-1_800

While on the RECE for the Via Hellenica, next autumn, we visited the Athens Concours d’Elegance. That turned out to be a rather pleasant event at the Flisvos Marina in Athens. Entrance was free to all and the show attracted a large number of visitors. It being free did not mean that the event was not taken seriously. There where 3 prizes to be awarded in 18 categories. A serious task for a small army of dignitaries. Of course the Elva from the Athens museum would fall in the prizes, it looked pristine, restored as it was, meticulously erasing all traces of history.

Not so for the 1957 Turin Auto show Fiat Viotti. After the wheels had been restored to Greek taste Mr. Athanasios Yannoukos, saved the car and did just do the mechanics. Or did it not win because it was parked on a place reserved for disabled? We had the pleasure to drive in the little Fiat up to the Acropolis where the Via Hellenica will have a stop and meet the classic cars from the Greek clubs. Looking forwards to that allready!

(Text and pictures by Bart Kleyn)

Monday, 20 October 2014

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More Bling-bling… (UPDATE: Vintage Bling-bling!)

more post_war_bling_470

Purists may well remember that poor Fiat 1500 convertible of a while ago. Well, folks - we found another striking example to the art of adding as many bolt-on accessoiries to one vehicle, and this time it's a Ford. We believe it to be a Fairlane of the mid-1950s but are not completely sure due to the overwhelming amount of ad-ons, obscuring much of the vehicle's identity. We noted bigger bumpers and overriders, extra spotlights, badges, antennas with fox tails, fake air intakes, fake air outtakes, wire wheels, white walls, mirrors, sun visor, footboards and so on and so on.

But it's the vast quantity of chrome ornaments with no purpose other than shine that make you dizzle. Like the Fiat, this is Bling-bling overblown. This is so much of it, that it would even scare Liberace (that may be an exaggeration, but hey...). Oh - and is that a Cadillac crest on the grille? Underdog complex, anyone?. One thing is for sure, though, you'll have to admit this car is a show stopper par excellence. Thanks to Henry Norberhuis we now know it's a piece of period bling-bling - see comment.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

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About Tough to crack puzzle #94: Monteverdi 2000 GTI

About Tough to crack puzzle #94
No it’s not a Jensen, and also not a Frua BMW, or is it? Well, yes and no, since that suggestion actually provided the link that we mentioned. Regular Till Jauernig knew that and wrote: “It is based on a BMW 2000ti. But BMW didn’t want series production and so only one was build.” Tobias Wenzel, another regular puzzle buff, knew that too, and even mentioned the car’s chassis number and the alleged selling price of 90,000 Swiss Francs!

But hang on, Swiss francs? Yes, for this boys and girls, is the Monteverdi 2000 GTI - born in Basel in 1968. And Luc Ryckaert is our winner. He wrote: Peter Monteverdi (Swiss BMW dealer) presented the car in 1968. It was designed by Pietro Frua and based on a BMW 2000Ti. Release plans at the 38th Automobilsalon in Geneva were cancelled, some say the prototype was damaged in Turin during transport, other claim it on the dispute between Frua and Monteverdi that ended their co-operation. Production never started, as BMW saw this ‘Volks Monti’ as a rival for their own brand. Later that year, Frua presented the same car with BMW badges in Paris as the 2000 Ti Coupé. The featured one-off is in the Monteverd Car Collection in Binningen Basel Switzerland.” Indeed it is, as seen on the unaltered images now. Congratulations Luc!

(Pictures Jeroen Booij)

Saturday, 18 October 2014

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Chinese girls do like classic cars. We think.

Chinese girls do like classic cars. We think.
You know we are doing China in that faithful little MGB for the Beijing to Shanghai classic. Or actually you may not know it’s a faithful thing – but we really are getting attached to that marvellous piece of British engineering. Anyhow. What you will know is that China hasn’t got too much of a thriving motoring heritage like the UK, to name just one country. That, however, doesn’t mean Chinese women are not interested in old cars. In fact, they seem to love them, cheering to us wherever we pass them. Oh, and, yes, the boys like them too.

It did prove a hard task to find a picture of a Chinese lovely with a classic car in it, though. In fact the only one we came across was this girl adorning the sweepy lines of an... Excalibur! (don't say we didn't warn you) In fact, this one could be a Chinese-built car, as some sources suggest China had its own take on the original neo-classic. Let us know if you know more about that. Or if you happen to have a file of pictures with Chinese girls with classic cars...

(picture courtesy The Irish Times) 

Friday, 17 October 2014

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Pre War Choice

1933 Salmson S4C
From that other French aircraft builder: 1933 Salmson S4C...   Go >>