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The ever expanding Ferrari franchise never ceases to amaze us, here at PostWarClassic. Last month, a new FerrariLand theme park was opened in Salou, Spain, offering Europe's highest and fastest roller coaster. This launches visitors from 112 metres high in a Ferrariesque cart to 180 km/h in just five seconds. We’re not making this up. But that’s not all. This week, the news came out that work is almost finished on a new ocean liner called the Norwegian Joy. With the Chinese market in mind this boat is bigger than anything floating you can imagine and the non-plus-ultra goes for the amount of on-board entertainment, too. And Ferrari has its share in it. Or actually Ferrari Scuderia Watches does. The official Ferrari watchmaker is said to be responsible for the karting circuit on the top deck. Yes. Really.
Today’s Friday Ladies photograph proves Ferrari was not the first to throw themselves into the entertainment market. In 1964 the Ford Motor Company sponsored the Magic Skyway attraction at the World Fair, with brand new Ford models provided as the carts to be toured along an exhibition. A track chain with wheels was used to move the cars – with welded steel plates underneath – through a time travel themed exhibition dreamt up by Walt Disney. From Dinosaurs and cavemen to a futuristic city from the comfy vinyl of a Ford seat. Innocent, perhaps. But somehow we might prefer it over FerrariLand.
(Words editor, pictures courtesy Disneypedia)
Wow! Osenat has some interesting cars and project cars to hammer off at their Alsacien sale on May 1. We like a Citroën ID Cabriolet which appears to be a recent barn find. A Lombardi tuned and equipped Fiat 500, a Citroën Mehari formerly owned by a Bugatti-heir, a rare Mochet micro car or a equally seldomly seen Fiat Multipla beach car.
But the one that tops them all off in obscurity is a car that started life as a 1951 Packard 200 sedan, but was coachbuilt and turned into a convertible in ’52 by… Saoutchik. Just have a look at that ornamental radiator grille and that cowboyesque rear! The car’s last owner is comedy screenwriter and film director Jean-Marie Poiré, under who’s wings it underwent a full restoration. The auctioneers state that it was not Poiré who gave Saoutchik the coachbuilding job, which seems rather obvious to us. However, the car’s history appears to be unknown even to the owner. Perhaps somebody here knows a bit more about it? See the seller’s little write-up here. Low reserve, by the way?
(Words editor, pictures courtesy Paris Fontainebleu Osenat)
If there’s motorsport heaven on earth, the Isle of Man may come pretty close. The island may be best known to (classic) motorcyclists, but car aficionados can get more than a fair share of motor sports related fun, too. This weekend, the Manx Classic will take place for classic cars and it involves a sprint and two hillclimbs – all of them on closed roads - spread over three days. The sprint is called ‘The Sloc’ and takes place on the south eastern part of the island with the same name, giving spectacular views all the way to North Wales on a clear day. The organizers say: “From the bottom paddock competitors and spectators are able to see 75 per cent of the course which runs for a distance of 1.06 miles (1700 metres) and climbs at an average of 1 in 14, rising by 421.26 feet (128.4 metres.)”
Next are ‘Creg Willey's Hillclimb’ with long straights at Glen Helen and ‘Lhergy Frissell Hillclimb’ both on the TT course and including the famous Ramsey Hairpin, Waterworks and Gooseneck corners. The latter is the longest hillclimb in Great Britain with a run of just under 1.5 miles. It’s not just good fun for competitors, but also for spectators.
(Words editor, picture Manx Motor Racing Club)
We could brag on about car prices getting mad forever. But let’s discard the Porsche- and Ferrari-madness, the Range Rover hype or even the prices of more obscure cars going through the roof in the last couple of years. British motoring scribe Dave Richards wrote last week: “Should have bought this Facel-Metallon bodied Ford Comete project when it was offered at £9k in 2005. But that was the year I also failed to buy a Ferrari 330GT at £49,995 and a Monteverdi 375/L at £12k. Doh!"
Let's take a look at the other side of the spectrum. One car that still comes really, really, cheap is the Reliant Scimitar. And we do not totally understand why. Is it the fiberglass that does it? The reputation for overheating even on a snowy winter's day perhaps? Or the fact that Reliant name is mostly attached to perhaps not the sexiest vehicles in the world? You tell us. All we know is that the Scimitar or Scimitar GTE is one of the prettier production creatures to have come from the UK in the last five decades. It’s practical, it’s sporty, it drives fantastic once you’ve simply sorted the cooling and it’s very good looking if you ask us. But you can still pick them up for anything between a few hundred and say 5,000 pounds. What’s there not to like? We don't get it.
(Words Jeroen Booij, picture Robert Knight)
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