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Traditions and all that

Traditions and all that…

Christmas, according to some better known as The Great Celebration Of Unbridled Consumerism, is coming near, meaning many of you will be buying, giving, sending and unwrapping presents these days. Sometimes it seems that so many of these presents are forced upon us that there will automatically be the need for that horid SUV to transport them to home, where that huge Christmas tree suddenly looks way too small to fit them all under. Call it tradition, but perhaps sobriety fits Christmas better these days then opulence.

Talking about Christmas traditions: Boxing Day used to be a day for motor racing par excellence. I understand the BRSCC started it all back in 1954 at Brands Hatch, with 35,000 spectators watching the odd, very odd and not so odd tackle the racing track, where there appeared to be always one racing driver of international fame, clothed in Santa Clause suit (recognize him?). It’s one disappeared tradition that would be welcomed back by many of you, I’m sure. Have a jolly good time.

(words Jeroen Booij, picture courtesy – the Morris can be hired)

Friday, 19 December 2014

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If I were a rich man....: 1966 Citroën HY- DS21 Super Sport

1966 Citroën HY

We are often surprised by the lack of fantasy shown by many people with heaps of money. Buying a very expensive car, buying an even more expensive car, buying an extremely expensive car.  And that's it?  While the fun of having piles of money - at least in our view - gives room to play with fantasy. To make things true which are sleeping in the back of your mind. Or ideas or fantasies that have never occured to you before.

When we saw this advert coming in we first thought there was a typo in the pricing, as GBP 56,250 sounds absurd, even for a concours winning top restauration on a Citroën HY. Get real! But then we took the trouble of reading the advert we had to smile. This is the product of somebody with money AND fantasy. A rare combination. Well Richard Branson is a good example of course, but how many of those are around? Anyway the chap who had this very special HY commissioned had a very clear concept in mind. He liked the idea of the roomy van very much, but not its sluggish behaviour which did not fit his idea to use the HY as a tow car to visit various track events in 2015. At the same time he wanted to stay close with the Citroën heritage.  

He decided to call in the help of Italcars near Antwerp, Belgium. Together they realised his plans. The HY enjoyed a topnotch restoration while the interior was upgraded with state-of-the-art cooking and overnight facilities. The greatest challenge however was the engine department. In stead of the standard unit one opted for the 2,2 litre DS21 unit in well prepared form and including the 5-speed gearbox. There was only this tiny little issue they had to solve. The DS engine is turning in opposite direction compared to the standard unit.

After studying various options they decided to opt for a transmission solution. The result is no less than revolutionary. If you know the HY, you also know that swift is not the word connected with this workhorse. So it must be exhilirating to experience the over 110 HP, the amazingly easy acceleration, a - realistic- topspeed of 100 mph (!) and pleasant cruising at 75 mph... So very quick became the luggage gobbler that it was decided to block the fifth speed for the moment "in order not being carried away too much". Or in the words of a vintage racing poster: "better to arrive 2 minutes late in this world than 20 years too soon in the next". 
We can only say bravo to the owner (he unfortunately cannot make use of his brainchild due to a work relocation from Europe to Africa for the next several years) who shows the world his courage for dreaming. Over 55,000 GBP for a HY may be a vast amount of money, but what totally and amazing, and practical suprise on wheels can you get for money like that? , maybe yet another crazy HY..? To be honest, we would still go for the understated van killer that made us smile ear to ear.

(photos courtesy Italcars)

Thursday, 18 December 2014

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The Bahia Blanca Mysteries (update: DKW-VEMAG Fissore and Fiat 1600 coupe)

bahia blanca_mystery_470

It was only yesterday that we received these pictures shot just outside Bahia Blanca in Argentine. Not exactly the pics you would expect from a Model T traveller. Yet we explicitly asked him to keep his eyes open and camera at hand. These photos show the 'reserve collection' of a small private museum with many cars you have seen over and over again. Yet these two white coupes caught our attention. Is it Italian made? Or Argentinian? Something Fiat? Or? Check this second picture to get some more detail of the car on the left. To make things worse there is yet another example of the white car in the foreground. Parked between a black Chevy(?) and a 1947 Hilman Minx (a 1949 Minx more to the right). Please help us out!

(Pictures courtesy of Dirk & Trudy Regter from the T Ford World Tour)

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

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Jim Clark 'on his way' to Maastricht, Holland

1967 lotus_49_gb_470

The 1967 Lotus P49 nor its driver Jim Clark and his much too early demise needs any further introduction. First time out of the Lotus was in Holland at Zandvoort where then the car-driver combination won immediately. New is the fact that the car (or is it a similar car? Why is the car on the event poster numbered #15?) is now being prepared for another appearance in Holland, early next month in Maastricht Holland during the InterClassics-TopMobiel. In the tradition set by PreWarCar last year, the organisers will expose a next selection of Grand Prix legends. Last year pre-war, this year a post-war selection. Ferrari 340F1 (ex-Ascari), the Lotus as depicted, a Maserati 250F, the ex-Alesi Ferrari, the Arrows A3-3, Lotus Mk18 F1, Cooper Bristol Mk2 T23, March 701 (ex-Jackie Stewart), the John Player Special Lotus 79, the ex-James Hunt McLaren M26, the ex-Lafitte Ligier JS11/15 and finally the ex-Jürgen Mass Surtees TS16. A mouthwatering collection of loud celebrities. Looking forward to see you all at InterClassics TopMobiel, 8-10 January.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

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