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A very British take on Japanese cars
This 5 minute video from the BBC archive is simply brilliant. It's about the village of Moor Row in Cumberland, its inhabitants and their love for Datsuns. Aided by brown suited salesmen Fred and Harry Steele, who run their Datsun dealership from the old village church, the number of Datsuns in Moor Row exploded in just over a year time. Not to everyone's liking. The ex-serviceman in overalls who...
About Tough to crack puzzle #169: Eucort Sedan
Another record amount of answers to last week’s car puzzle. And all of you identified the car as an Eucort, built in Spain. Once again, the exact model designation left some room for discussion. Most of you simply called it the Eucort Sedan, but other names we saw were Eucort Type 51, Eucort Turismo, Eucort Victoria, Eucort Victoria Turismo and Eucort Victoria Avión. Stuart Penketh: “The iden...
Sydney before the Opera House
It’s hard to imagine Bennelong Point in Sydney without the signature opera house now. The grand building was opened on this day in 1973. Work started in 1958 and before that time it was the end point of Sydney’s tram lines. Yep. Where Sydney’s best-known landmark is situated now, trams were parked during the night. Here is a photo from 1955. This one is slightly older and shows well the tra...
Lagonda saloon: hot-rod fraternity or died in the wool fanatics?
It can be very refreshing when things are said bluntly and without beating about the bush. That is, however, not the kind of language used by auctioneers most of the time. Brightwells makes a good exception at their Classic and Vintage sale in Bicester on the 25th of this month. There is a 1950 Lagonda 2.6 saloon with Canadian registration (lot number 65). And – to quote them – “Robbed of it...
Back to back: 1100 TV or Abarth Monomille?
In some circles ‘Padua’ stands for Europe’s eldest botanical garden, but for most of us the Italian city is synonymous for the most Italian of all Italian classic car shows/autojumbles. And Bonhams will be there, too, selling a great number of cars. There’s no doubt their focus is on Italians and so we pick out two rather nice examples of those. The eldest of the two is a 1955 Fiat 1100 TV...
Reader’s restoration: 1954 Healey Sports Saloon
After I restored my 1962 Austin-Healey, I needed a coupe for the cooler days. And so I went looking for something suitable. I found this very British Sports Saloon, a 1954 Healey Tickford Sports Saloon, offered for sale by a Turkish used-Porsche dealer in the north of Germany. I called him, and he said yes, he would trade in my Sylva Striker, which I also had for a while, which I wanted to g...
The strange product from a Transalpine marriage
We told you before that French auctioneers sometimes have an unusual un-French offering. It goes once more for Osenat, who are selling a number of classic cars next weekend. The car above is among them. Nothing unusual with a Renault Dauphine in France, you think? Think again, as this is in fact an Alfa Romeo. The story of this unlikely model starts with the idea of assembling Renaults in Po...
Tough to crack car puzzle #169
This beautiful old photograph was sent over to us by Salvador Claret i Sargatal, and it was in fact one of two. About this particular image Salvador wrote: “This is also a (make left away here for obvious reasons), as you may see from the wheels, but other then the first this one has never been published. If you are interested in data of this brand we have a lot of information.” Well, we thou...
Friday the 13th lady – but what’s the Fiat doing there?
A Fiat 131 Mirafiori is not the first car that springs to our minds when suitable transport for a modern-day Dracula is discussed. We were thinking Rolls-Royce Phantom. Ghost, Wraith or Spirit perhaps. There is also the Lotus Esprit or Lamborghini Diablo. While slightly more suitable to you reader, you’ll find the spooky Phantom Corsair or the Fiat 8V Démon Rouge perhaps appropriate. Why ask in...
Spares partner
What do you do when spares for your beloved classic car are getting harder to find? There are several options. You can sacrifice the weekend by going to an autojumble, spend hours in muddy fields and hope you’ll find that obsolete part you need so hard for a couple of pounds/dollars/euros (giving you a tremendous amount of self-esteem). You can also surf the web just as long until you found...
The BMW Condor mystery
From Samos over to Sylt – another European island, but slightly further up north. Reader Andre van de Loo came across a photograph that was taken on the German isle and would like to learn a bit more about the car that’s on it. Andre: “Although the car is no longer a mystery - it is a (the? - ed.) 1958 BMW Condor. But its background is. Someone send me the photo of this mystery car in ...
Mayflower could do with some Silk oil
We were contacted by David Barker who spotted a sad Triumph Mayflower on the island of Samos. David wrote: "This Triumph Mayflower has been standing at the side of the road in Samos (Greece) for the last twelve years or longer, sadly it is gradually deteriorating. If anyone is brave enough to rescue it, I think I could find out who owns it through my contacts over there." Well, that would be...
Step aboard of a real D-type
Wow! Moss Green is selling a Jaguar D-type. And it’s not – we repeat – it is not a replica / evocation/ tribute / elaboration / recreation / sanction II or Sanction III car. This is the genuine thing with chassis number XKD510, built in September 1955 and making it the tenth car being fabricated. It was finished in British Racing Green livery and registered YPC 614 in Surrey. And what...
The weekend is here
It's weekend and what do you do then? Well, you could go and make a trip to your family like the charachters in the 1967 French film Week-End do. You can also watch a movie, this one for example. It stars the late Mireille Darc and Jean Yanne in a quintessentially weird story. But it does give a priceless insight view in the everyday cars of France in the 1960s. Do you recognize all of them?...
About Tough to crack puzzle #168: Jeep FC-150 Commuter
We received a record number of answers to last week’s car puzzle. And all of you identified the car as the Jeep FC-150 (Forward Control) Mini-Van, designed by Brooks Stevens and built by Reutter. Well, a few of you named it the Willys FC-150 Van, like Steve Bousfield, who added: “Carrying Jeep branding it was intended to be an additional model in their FC or forward control range.” Ver...
Nothing gold can stay
If you, like us, live in the countryside, you will be well aware that winter is approaching rapidly now. It’s not just that it’s getting darker early and colder too. It’s also about tractors driving up and down the roads to collect grass, corn and other kinds of crop before the land will be left alone to rest for the rest of the season. Silence returns to the land. The grapes and apples have...
Ford foursome begs to be taken out
Have a look at these Ford Customs, ready to be sold right now in Hershey by RM Sotheby’s. They are all 1951 cars, with the light brown one (‘Penrod Tan’) a Deluxe Victoria, the duo-tone brown one (‘Hawaiian Bronze’) a Deluxe Crestliner, the red one (‘Coral Flame’) and the blue one (‘Culver Blue’) both a Deluxe Convertible. They are all from the Don Gibson collection and look imm...
World Animal Day 2017
Today is World Animal Day, so give your cat or dog, fish or gecko a little pat on the back from us. The best story we can think of combining animals and classic cars is that of the Alfa- and Maserati-dealer local to us when we were young. We spent half our youth there, washing cars and ‘helping’ with little jobs. This man had a garage full of cars and many more parts plus a little scrap yard b...
Sprint Speciale at 60

Alfa Romeo’s Giulietta Sprint marked a new direction for the Milan firm on its introduction in 1954. Lightweight, nimble and stunningly beautiful, it harked back to Alfa’s golden age of sports cars in the 1920s. The aluminium 1300cc twin-cam engine was a jewel, and outside firms soon realised the potential of the baby Alfa in motor sport. Zagato’s Giulietta SZ...

This is what the full trunk of a well-loved car looked like in 1958
Bonhams have a nose for one-owner cars and the 1948 Chrysler Town & Country Convertible they will be selling today simply has to be one of the finest.  This beautiful wood-bodied station wagon was won in a 1948 raffle. And what a prize it was! Painted in Newport Blue, with an interior of blue leather and Taupe Bedford Cord, it came equipped with a PhilCo. Model 802 Radio with concealed manual ant...

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