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The COYS auction house are holding their ‘True Greats’ sale on 2 December at the Royal Horticultural Society in London’s Westminster . They start at 3pm with nearly 200 lots of film and poster art with some autographs> included. Then at 7pm bidding starts on the cars and motorcycles with the first car offered being a 1969 Fiat 500 F. Benefiting from a re-spray in ‘cheeky emerald green’ and all necessary mechanical work, this 500cc car with its all-round independent suspension will be FUN to drive. Then we have two British sports cars from 1960/1961 and I find it difficult to choose. The one –owner LHD 1961 Austin Healey 3000 MK II versus the 1960 Lotus Elite S2 in ‘superb sorted condition’ after being restored by Lotus specialists. Two different driving styles – the throaty exhaust of the heavier Healey with hood down versus the agile handling of the lighter 1200cc OHC Lotus. Both have similar top speed around 113mph and 0-60 time around 11 seconds. Still undecided, but slightly favour the Healey.
Somebody once said a Bristol is a thinking-man’s Rolls Royce so the 1948 400 model with BMW influenced engine & chassis will give you 95 mph and sure-footed cornering all with an air of distinction. If it’s Jaguar that floats your boat, there’s a 1955 XK 140, or a 1959 XK 150 (18,300 miles from new) or a very smart 1971 Series I E Type. I would normally wax lyrical over the 1958 Porsche 356A having owned one years ago, but I’ve just spotted the 1964 Works Prototype Porsche 904/6 Carrera GTP and the description makes fascinating reading. This car is said to be the first to be fitted with the 2 litre flat 6 engine. A 904 won the Targa Florio in 1964.
I travelled to London in the 1970s with the late Hamish Moffat to buy a Ferrari 275GTB – he had a choice of two, both priced £15,000. The one in this auction is a LHD 1964 275 GTB/2 - 6C Berlinetta with an estimate of £1m - £1.4m and lot 439 is a 1965 Ferrari 330 GT with Berlinetta’s aluminium bodywork, the description of which includes the following…” The road cars produced by Ferrari in this period owed so much to the GT racers that, under the skin, chassis and mechanical elements were almost identical. This means that it is a relatively straightforward task to rebuild a road car such as a 330 GT to the specification of the legendary 250GT SWB Berlinetta.”
No time to dwell on the well-preserved genuine 1968 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTAm or the breathtaking 1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint Speciale 1600 or the 1972 Alfa Romeo GTV 2000 Bertone GT Veloce (painted not brown but period “cava beige”) because I want to fight my way over to the holy grail – a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing. The 300SL was originally created as part of Mercedes Benz return to Formula One and there was no plan for mass production... until American importer Max Hoffman ordered one thousand cars and straight away it became the most desirable road car in the world (80% of the entire production sold in USA). It was just as happy on a quick trip to the shops as it was in competition. The 6 cylinder engine is canted over at 45° to permit the lower bonnet line and with its innovative fuel injection produced almost double the power of the carburettor version. Just three careful European owners since delivered new to Paris, and I think it was the second who fitted the shorter side exhausts. This is an exceptional example of one of the most desirable sports-coupes ever made and in the eyes of the cognescenti 'The' classic sportscar of the 1950s and no serious collector or Mercedes-Benz enthusiast should be without one.
(Text Robin Batchelor, Pictures courtesy COYS)
Last Sunday we stumbled over this flagship of Detroit seventies car art. Nowadays these last of the dinosaurs have become quite rare in this part of the world. Especially with new tax legislation for gasguzzling youngtimers one needs to put these on the side for at least the three dutch winter months. While lacking a decent warm & dry barn many cars have to endure the elements in ways as depicted above. Especially the plastic tarp is a killer blanket making sure that the not so very robust engineered window and door electronics probably will not survive. Not to mention their tin surroundings.
Don't you think these big animals should enjoy a well deserved pension in the OPEC heavens?
Another strange carribean contraption sent by chinese car expert Erik van Ingen, he wonders what he's got here. Is it a Tchaika - Packard? That is to say a bastard son of the russian state limousine and the mid fifties Packard? Well there's some truth in all this. Presumably the 1959-1981 (!) GAZ Tchaika was inspired by the 1956 Packard Carribean/Patrician. Elements which come nicely together when you realise that the car is spotted in Cuba where East met West so to say. Not convinced, check the front bumper of the Tchaika!, not very Packard but very Tchaika indeed. In fact we are near but should look a few feet further. We're looking at a 'light' transformed Packard Clipper 4-door Sedan. One needs to be creative to keep your car in tip-top shape without any parts coming in from your local Packard dealer....
It's not simple and most probably is not what you thought at first glance! So stop thinking for a moment and go back to your books or other good references that you may have and start wondering why we make your weekend miserable in this exquisite way. Question is who of you knows this car and manages to add some nice bonus facts in their 100-words answer, preferably not from web sources. To win the fabulous PostWarClassic T-shirt, please check The Rules under 'Read More'. Results will be published next Saturday November 29, 2014.
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