Saab 900 GLi 1983
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The Magazine

The future of 1976. In 1956. A musical

We've seen an awful lot of images and film footage here on PostWarClassic, but a musical? This has to be the first and since it Sunday, we dared sharing it here with you, too. It was produced by General Motors for the 1956 Motorama auto show. It's called 'Key to the Future' and as of the fashion of the day, it is an almost sedatingly naive future vision set in the far-off future of 1976. Interestingly, it predicted self-driving cars through an 'electronic control strip'. The star car is the Firebird II, which ticks all the boxes for 1950s future visions with huge fin tails and jet-like openings. Enjoy this short musical and feel free to add your opinion below.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

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About tough to crack puzzle #167: BMW 3200 Michelotti Vignale

About tough to crack puzzle #167: BMW 3200 Michelotti Vignale
You could describe last week’s quiz car as ‘a BMW 507 but not as we know it’. Well - you knew! The car was the 507 based BMW 3200 Michelotti Vignale, shown at Turin in 1959 with a body mixing up the work of Vignale, Michelotti and Scaglietti. Steve Bousfield described the mix as a mongrel: “Dating from 1959, some would call it a mongrel as so many took part in its creation. It has a BMW 507 chassis together with its 3.2 litre V8 engine. Styling is by Giovanni Michelotti, production responsibility went to Sergio Scaglietti in Modena whilst assembly was by Alfredo Vignale in Turin. It is usually known as the BMW 3200 Michelotti Vignale. It is currently with the BMW Mobile Tradition Collection.”

That was a perfect answer and most of you managed to puzzle this information together easily. So let’s see who could add some more? Don Siemers: “Pass it down through a few owners, paint it red and park it in the Blackhawk Museum. Does anyone know what became of those hubcaps? That hardtop design is a clone of the lid put on the Triumph TR4.” Bart Dhondt: “This car was in the Zoute concours d’elegance.” Herman van Oldeneel: “Conceived as a coupé, but in fact a roadster plus hardtop. Estimated price tag if produced: 20% less then an ordinary 507. Many design clues in other Michelotti designs as the Triumph Italia and Jaguar D-Type Michelotti.” Alan Spencer: “This one-off prototype was intended to be a second generation 507, but despite anticipated cost savings, it was not approved for production.” Tobias Wenzel: “Prototype for which should become the second BMW 507 series, but it never reached production. BMW Classic bought the car in 2004.” So far so good, but no fireworks.

Now, there came Luk Martens, spicing things further up: “Michelotti didn't like the original 507 by Albrecht von Goertz. The car premiered at the 1959 Turin show and made quite an impression on the direction board of Triumph, who hired Michelotti for styling their cars. One can see hints of the future TR5 and TR6 models. The car has the smallest BMW badge ever. Nowadays it's painted bright red and lacks the chromed wheels.” That’s the kind of fact we like, thank you Luk. Could it be bettered? Yes, it could. Till Jauernig from what he describes as ‘Bavaria, the land of BMW’ himself, wins. He added in his answer: “In 1986 the American collector Oscar Davis bought the car at a auction in Britain (from the Earl of Chichester collection) without knowing that it was no normal 507.” That's lovely. Thank you for that.

(Words editor, picture source unknown)

Saturday, 23 September 2017

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Happy with Honda

Happy with Honda
Perhaps we should have waited another year as it will be 70 years since the Honda Motor Corporation was incorporated then. We’ll opt for their 69th anniversary instead, as we’re eager to share this lovely photograph with you, so fitting with our Friday Ladies-theme.

When you know Honda you will know it’s a clever brand. And it fits perhaps very well into our modern times, too. Back in the early 1970s Honda already focused on affordability, fuel efficiency and eco-friendliness (as far as that is even possible in the automotive branche). Their internal adagium is ‘Blue skies for our children’, which should say something though.

And what strikes us in the photograph above, are not just the girls. It’s from an advertisement of Honda in the US and heads: ‘The less you spend on a car, the more you can spend on other things.’ Honda’s copy writers were just about as clever as those of Volkswagen, not focusing on the car’s beauty or power but on things different. Read the full advertisement text here.

Soichiro Honda, who founded the company 69 years ago was an extraordinary man. He was a race car driver, but had also worked as a babysitter and an amateur distiller. Even his wife said he was a ‘wizard at hardly working.’ He had a factory before he had a plan to build cars. Initially he used it for making weaving machines; glass windows, woven bamboo roof panels. It was only when he decided to build small motorcycles that he turned it into a profitable business. The cars followed soon and really took off in the early 1970s. Perhaps aided by some clever copy writers…

(Words editor, picture Honda US)

Friday, 22 September 2017

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From Africa to Germany. But where is MG now?

From Africa to Germany. But where is MG now?
And here's another Africa sourced mystery motor, needing your help. One enthusiastic reader wrote: "Here are some photos of a 1947 MG TC, with Livingston, Northern Rodesian/Zambian number plates. The car was once owned by Richard H. Stracey, now of Brisbane, Australia. This MG was originally imported into Southern Rhodesia. Richard sold the car in the late 1960's to a German gentleman, who had it flown to Germany. He has been trying to find out what happened to the car since he sold it. Perhaps one of your readers may have some recollection of this car coming to Germany from Rhodesia or know where it is now?" That would be really nice, wouldn't it. Perhaps some of you have links with the German chapter of the MG owners Club or MG Car Club; the MG Drivers Club Deutschland or one of several others?

Thursday, 21 September 2017

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