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Tough to crack car puzzle #153
This pretty Grand Tourer is perhaps a case of ‘what could have been’. It was built with the idea to revitalize an existing model and believe us when we say the base is nowhere to be recognized. Under that svelte body is a V8, that's all we say. Oh - and its designer carried out some more interesting projects, the majority of them focussing on racing cars, so this is a bit of an exception. It s...
What would Little Red Riding Hood drive?
“My! What big eyes you have, Grandma!” “All the better to see with, my child!” On this day in 1786, Wilhelm Karl Grimm, the younger of the two Brothers Grimm, is born in Hanau, Germany. The two are of course known for their classic collection of fairy tales, including Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin and of course Little Red Riding Hood.We think the little BMW abov...
The Anglia of Amsterdam - 50 years on
Mister A.C. Staatsen dropped us a lovely line or two, last week. It was about the Ford Anglia he has now owned for over 50 years. He wrote: “How do you become attached to a classic car, that is still owned by the same person after 50 years? In this case we need to go back to 1966, when on a daily cycle ride to school, a little Ford car parked along the banks of the Catharijne Canal in Utrecht, t...
FIVA’s elderly youngsters
It’s good when organizations want to involve young people with old cars. We also like it when they send photographs with their press releases. But when the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (FIVA) drops a message with the heading ‘FIVA aims to encourage young enthusiasts to discover historic vehicles’, the image attached should perhaps fit in with the moral of the story. And...
Back to back: 635 Koenig or 560 Koenig?
Sure, we could have picked out a decent E-type Series 1, a lovely Lotus Elan racer or another sixties’ Ferrari from Coys’ listing for their sale at Historic Motorsport International.  But no, we didn’t do that. This as we just could not withstand the sight of these two 1980s monstrosities of motoring: a BMW 635 CSI and a Mercedes 560 SEC both clothed by what could well be the most remarkab...
Monday morning (UPDATE: '63? '64?)
Back to work! It's Monday and we're ready for a new week. Be careful what you do though, as a minor slip can have great consequences, demonstrated above. We'd love to learn a bit more about the photograph in question. All we know is that it was taken 'somewhere in Sweden in the 1960'. The Saab experts among you should be able to identify the right year of the cars for a start...(Words editor, pic...
Ron quits hobby: 700 cars orphanaged
Don’t you ever think the amount of classics dries up. How about the 700 (!) strong collection that is to be sold in Ohio? At the age of 15, Ron Hackenberger borrowed money from his grandfather to buy an old Studebaker. It was the start of what became a massive classic car collection. Not withheld by his wide Eunice, Ron kept on buying cars and other things mobile on his journeys throughout...
About Tough to Crack Car Puzzle #152: Charbonneaux 2CV
A Citroen 2CV? Yes, really! The base vehicle used for this creation by Philipe Charbonneaux is well hidden. Just three of you recognized it as such, and all three are regulars: John Elema, Gerd Klioba and Alan Spencer. What’s more: all three gave excellent answers, narrative and just within the 100-words limited. Spencer: “What a transformation! This was a one-of-a-kind special-bodied Citroen ...
Hidden messages from ladies in red
Was it a coincidence that we found several photographs of ladies wearing red overcoats, gloves and black hats with flowers next to what we believe to be 1949 Buicks? Or was there a secret code or hidden message in these outfits? Probably not. They are gorgeous pictures though. See the others for yourself here and here and make up your mind. Oh – we found this, too…Pictures Pinterest and ATDetr...
Finned fantasies
Some sixty years ago, a styling trend in the motoring industry went mad: it was the tail fin that peaked. GM chief Harley Earl or Chrysler draughtsman Virgil Exner are generally credited for the idea, but by 1957 the thing was everywhere, not just in the US. With anything from Mercedes to Moskvitch and Mercury to Morris. A blessing from the Golden Age of Motoring? Or something better to be forgott...
Mounties and Maple Leafs
There is a good reason to post a photograph of the RCMP - or Royal Canadian Mounted Police – today. After Canada’s independency from Great-Britain became official in 1931, the country needed a flag design of their own. It took the Canadians until February 15, 1965, to come up with their new design: the beautiful 11-pointed Maple Leaf in the official colours of Canada: red and white. On this ve...
Back to back: 503 or 541?
Coys' latest offering is eclectic as always, but we found two GT coupes of the mid-1950s that might well have rubbed shoulders in a contemporary test. First there’s a Jensen 541 in delightful metallic blue with equally lovely red leather interior. It uses the four-litre Austin engine with triple SUs and was issued in Guildford when new in 1956. Estimated to sell for £45- to £55,000 its price, ...
Collecting classic cars in China
We’ve all heard the stories of Chinese millionaires gobbling up all the sweets at European and American auctions, and storing these crown jewels away in their far-Asian vaults without anyone to see them anymore, ruining the market for us, who created this motoring heritage in the first place. But what’s true about this? We have never seen any evidence of this. However, for the first time we st...
Tough to Crack Car Puzzle #152
One more Paris themed post this week and then we’re back to business as usual. You know the drill: we'd love to hear from you what the car pictured on the photograph above is named. We can only say that we’ve erased its logo from the front grille as that would have made things far too easy. We like your answers to be accurate, but don’t bother about the technical details. It’s fun facts we...
All eyes on Paris
Paris is the place, this weekend, with Retromobile offering something for every classic car enthusiast. From French oddities to fabled Ferraris and from virtually unknown microcars to world famous Aston Martins. We're not sure if the Delahaye - a  175S Aerodynamic Coupe by Figoni & Falaschi of 1947-vintage) seen here will be seen on the show, but you may want to let us know when you spot it.(Word...
Searching for a driving school
By now, you know that we do like a bit of online exploration every now and then. And when we received this lovely period shot of Auto-Lecons Celestins, we started dreaming when and where it was taken. The cars date back to the mid- or late 1960s (you know what they are, don’t you?). While the ‘69’ number plates direct you towards Lyon, where a Place de Celestins is still very much there. But...
The weird and wonderful of Rétromobile
By now you won’t have missed that Rétromobile is near. With French oddities and delicacies like we’re used from the Paris show. Let us have a little look on what auctioneers Artcurial has on offer during the weekend. The French based auction house has come up during the last few years with a remarkable supply of classics, many of them dipped into a flavouish French sauce. Also this time. Cit...
Ploughing to the finish line
The European Historic Rally season has started with a bang and vast amounts of snow. The 20th Rallye Monte Carlo Historique was not won by Rauno Aaltonen, who’d entered another Mini Cooper ‘S’ 50 years after he won the real deal, but by Belgians Michel Decremer and Yannick Albert on Opel Ascona. Aaltonen had just come from Austria where there was even more snow on the Planai Rally (above). W...
This one is for you, Anders!
A while ago we asked you about your favourite of 1967, promising a little write-up about that soon. Slightly later than planned, this is its time now. And reader Anders Svenfelt (who was smart enough to answer our question) gets what we promised him. Anders wrote: “The Ferrari Dino 206 S Speciale Pininfarina, as I don't like the production models added vents on the front bonnet.” Fair enough. ...
Commemorating David Brown
Enzo Ferrari may have been the subject of umpteen books; little is written about his British equal David Brown. The Yorkshireman who reputedly took over the struggling Aston Martin company and turned it into a dream factory. The life work of both Brown as Ferrari is commemorated 70 years this year, and Rétromobile will therefore be showcasing a grand display of David Brown Aston Martins next week...

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