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A racing driver's choice: 1959 Chevrolet Biscayne

1959 Chevrolet Biscayne

Andre van de Loo sends this intriguing photo of a right hand drive (!) 1959 Chevrolet Biscayne 6-cylinder, cornering hard in a club event on the old Kumalo Circuit in Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) circa 1963.
Most certainly not the most ready available car. Check for yourself this early sixties photo of Bulawayo. French cars prevail with a few bits of british tin in between. We understand the Biscayne is more basic than the Impala. But is this also visible at the front of the car?  
 

Thursday, 25 August 2016

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A 1954 Skoda 1200 "Love & Peace" Special

Mobilisti: Skoda 1200

 In 1971 a young painter, Marja-Liisa Ilvesjärvi, in the Vaasa region of Finland bought herself a 1954 Škoda 1200 Kombi. Since she’d already cut her teeth in the family’s painting business, the old wagon received a new and psychedelic paintjob in the hippyish fashion of the day. 

The road safety inspection officials didn’t quite agree with it, claiming that more than two colours would be a road hazard. The car failed it’s MOT, but that didn’t stop the youngster driving around local b-roads in it for a while. Then after a summer of love, the Škoda was laid up to rest in a shed. 

For decades it sat there, until Marja-Liisa’s sons decided to sell it, for the shed was being demolished. It ended up wih Jari Valtonen, a car enthusiast in the neighbouring town of Seinäjoki. The floor had totally rotted away, but rest of the car was quite sound. The seats, from a Volvo Amazon were swapped for original ones and the engine and brakes overhauled. In the spring of 2016 the Škoda passed it’s MOT for the first time since 1969, still wearing the faded hippie colours, both inside and out. Colours are no longer a road hazard. The times they are a-changing.

Full feature story in the recent print edition
of Mobilisti, Finlands' leading classic car magazine 

      

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

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A post-war view on Classic-Days - Schloss Dyck

Classic-Days-Dyck


        

It´s not unusual to wait at a red traffic-light on a small road in Germany. But with a 300SL-gullwing in front and a Rolls-Royce Silver-Shadow behind you, the word “common” is not, what you have in mind. This happened to me two weeks ago, and the reason for this very special red phase was of course the Classic-Days at Schloss Dyck. Even, if you go there early in the morning, you already spot gorgeous old, very old and even older cars on the road, many kilometers before you reach the 17th century Castle Dyck with its grand palace gardens.

The first Classic-Days was organized in 2006 with about 500 cars and shortly after, it evolved to be the most famous meeting in Germany with about 6000 up to 7000 classic vehicles to be spotted over the weekend.

The joy of being at Dyck on a Friday morning is of course, that you can see many cars arriving. It´s not as overcrowded as it is over the weekend and even, if there are not half of the cars like on Saturday and Sunday, I didn´t even enter the Miscanthusfeld, a large reed-labyrinth where visitors are allowed to park their cars, if they are older than 30 years (the cars, not the visitors!). Over the weekend, it is a fantastic area with thousands(!) of classic cars showing up. You can see everything from a Trabant up to Lamborghinis, Rolls-Royces or a Lanz Bulldog. Around the castle, one can permanently smell the spirit of history. The first cars which draw my attention, were three Amphicars, perfectly draped at the bank of the castles moat. Next to them the big Volkswagen-field. A wonderful Audi 100 Coupé S (the earliest car of my dad, that I can remember), some beetles and a row with all generations of the Golf GTI next to them. Strolling on, I reached the technical inspection at the end of the Kastanienallee with a “patinated” Porsche 356 and a Thurner RS, a gullwinged sportscar, based on the NSU TT, just being checked. 

Some of the “Jewels of the Park” on the little peninsula next to the orangerie had also arrived. The Volkswagen-Autostadt displayed an aircooled Tatra 87, an Alvis Roadster and a fabulous Cisitalia 202. Next to a Maserati Sebring, an Alfa 2600 Sprint and some other rare and beautiful cars, I spotted the most discussed (with the friends I met at Dyck and also with the friends while having a look at my photos) car of this years Classic-Days: The 1980 Aston Martin Lagonda. The car displayed was an early example with the futuristic dashboard and the fixed rear sidewindows. We met the owner of the car, who had a troublefree 250 miles ride to Dyck and - as I heard - also back home again. The opinions about the Lagonda went from “fabulous” over “elegant” to “cartoonish” or “ugliest piece of steel I´ve ever seen”. I still love the car BECAUSE of its cartoonish, futuristic and with exaggerating style, and that even if I remember, that, while playing Auto-Quartett under the schooldesk, I often lost my Lagonda-card against the player with the Jaguar XJ-12 or XJ-S, just because of the lack of 2ccm capacity...

After some hours at Dyck, it´s just starting to get a surreal thing. You begin to pass absolute dream-cars, without the idea of taking a closer look or even turning your head. And that is even worse on Saturdays and Sundays, when the number of cars explodes. So I went on through the “Neues Fahrerlager” with lots of race cars, being prepared for the weekend, the famous GM-Futureliner, the classic bikes, reaching the little Dyck-Fruit-Shop (yes-yes we know this sounds hilarious to the British but stay calm the gardens of Schloss Dyck are famous for their fruits!), buying some fresh juice and some apples for the trip home. 

It was a wonderful be it single Classic Day. 

photos & text Hubertus Hansman 

It´s not unusual to wait at a red traffic-light on a small road in Germany. But with a 300SL-gullwing in front and a Rolls-Royce Silver-Shadow behind you, the word “common” is not, what you have in mind. This happened to me two weeks ago, and the reason for this very special red phase was of course the Classic-Days at Schloss Dyck. Even, if you go there early in the morning, you already spot gorgeous old, very old and even older cars on the road, many kilometers before you reach the 17th century Castle Dyck with its spaciously palace gardens.

The first Classic-Days were organized in 2006 with about 500 cars and shortly after, it evolved to be the most famous meeting in Germany with about 6000 up to 7000 classic vehicles to be spotted over the weekend.

The joy of being at Dyck on a Friday morning is of course, that you can see many cars arriving. It´s not as overcrowded as it is over the weekend and even, if there are not half of the cars as on Saturday and Sunday, I didn´t even enter the Miscanthusfeld, a large reed-labyrinth where visitors are allowed to park their cars, if they are older than 30 years (the cars, not the visitors!). Over the weekend, it is a fantastic area. Thousands(!) of classic cars are mixed up. You can see everything from a Trabant up to Lamborghinis Rolls-Royces or a Lanz Bulldog. But also around the castle, you permanently smell the spirit of history. The first cars I draw attention, were three Amphicars, perfectly draped at the bank of the castles moat. Vis-à-vis, the lawn for the Benjafield´s Racing Club with just two cars having arrived. Next to them the big Volkswagen-field. A wonderful Audi 100 Coupé S (the earliest car of my dad, that I can remember), some beetles and a row of all generations of the Golf GTI next to them. Strolling on, I reached the technical inspection at the end of the Kastanienallee with a “patinated” Porsche 356 and a Thurner RS, a gullwinged sportscar, based on the NSU TT, just being checked. I went on to the “Fahrerlager” and the orangerie, just spotting the wonderful brown Mercedes 500K on its way through the castle-gate, while its orangerie-neighbour, a replica of the 1885 Benz-Patent-Motorwagen was passing it, on its joyride through the fields. Those are the moments, you will remember a long time!  

Some of the “Jewels of the Park” on the little peninsula next to the orangerie had also arrived. The Volkswagen-Autostadt (one of the major Sponsors) displayed an aircooled Tatra 87, an Alvis Roadster and a fabulous Cisitalia 202. Next to a Maserati Sebring, an Alfa 2600 Sprint and some other rare and beautiful cars, I spotted the most discussed (with the friends I met at Dyck and also with the friends while having a look at my photos) car of this years Classic-Days: The 1980 Aston Martin Lagonda. The car displayed was an early example with the futuristic dashboard and the fixed rear sidewindows. We met the owner of the car, who had a troublefree 250 miles ride to Dyck and as I heard, also back home again. The opinions about the Lagonda went from “fabulous” over “elegant” to “cartoonish” or “ugliest piece of steel I´ve ever seen”. I still love the car BECAUSE of its cartoonish, futuristic and exaggerated style, and that even if I remember, that, while playing Auto-Quartett under the schooldesk, I often lost my Lagonda-card against the player with the Jaguar XJ-12 or XJ-S, just because of the lack of 2ccm capacity...

After some hours at Dyck, it´s just starting to get a surreal thing. You begin to pass absolute dream-cars, without the idea of taking a closer look or even turning your head. And that is even worse on Saturdays and Sundays, when the number of cars explodes. So I went on through the “Neues Fahrerlager” with lots of race cars, being prepared for the weekend, the famous GM-Futurliner, the classic bikes, reaching the little Dyck-Fruit-Shop (the gardens of Schloss Dyck are famous for their fruits!), buying some fresh juice and some apples for the approaching trip home.

All in all, it was a wonderful day at Dyck again. And I was very glad to be there on a Friday, even if you can´t see cars on the track and most cars arrive on Saturday. But even though, I didn´t manage to see all cars and because of that, if I would have been there on saturday or sunday, I would have missed a lot more cars!"

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

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Professional 'Rat Look' Amazon

volvo amazone_2_door_rat_look_470

Without doubt you know the pictures all over the web of more or less pro-jobs for 'Rat Look' cars. Especially popular with VW buses and Beetles. We spotted this very clean looking 2 door Volvo Amazon in the historical town of Frederica in Denmark. It's the outdoor advertising of Cafe Mair's. Superficially seen the car is rusty without paint. Easy does it, huh.... But upon closer inspection it's a perfectionist job. The body is completely clean. Without a single scratch, dent or rusthole. Only minor body changes have been done. The wholes of the original chrome strips are welded. Front bumper and rear bumper are adapted to cater for 'sagging' registration plates. Do you see any more changes?
Well made fun car, worthy to the make of Volvo.

Monday, 22 August 2016

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