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Spring is here officially today, so let’s drop the top and sniff up the scent of daffodils and hyacinths now that we should. Brightwells offers us some good chances for just that during their Classic & Vintage auction in Bicester on April 5 – full catalogue here.
We fell for...
This inferior photograph, from the classifieds-pages of an old motoring magazine, has been haunting us for years. All we knew was that the car was supposedly a Jowett Special, photographed in the 1950s in Groningen, The Netherlands. When we noticed a new book by Jowett historian Edmund Nankivell on Jowett Specials, it was the time to ask him about the photograph. Did he know the car? He did! And this is what he wrote: “Yes, it is covered in he book, same photo included! I was fortunate to make contact with a man who bought it in 1954 and ran it for 4 years. He sent me some adverts for it, one saying the coachbuilder was Boonacker based in Haarlem (who were a name in stretched limousoines-ed). The owner was E. Winterink of Amsterdam – Osdorp and his letter was dated 1983! He concluded: ‘Up to 1958 I enjoyed driving this car. This is all the information I can give you of my Jowett Jupiter coupé, as I have not the slightest idea what has become of it!’ It seems from his letter it was a running car when he sold it. He did not even say who he sold it to... Jowett Cars Ltd (in the form of Jowett Engineering Ltd.) provided support up to 1963. For another 10 years or more there were very good Jowett agents in GB who supported people who were running Jupiters and Javelins as their main transport. So there is hope it had more life! And maybe it survives in someones collection?” Thank you so much Edmund. Mystery solved… or well, partly. It does raise a new question: what happened to the car after 1958? We have a strong reader base in The Netherlands, so somebody might be able to shed a new light on this case?
If Sunday is a day of recollections, then this impressive baroque motor car will be fit for today. It’s an ultra-rare hearse (or corbillard) by French carrosserie Georjon and was based on a 1952 Citroen 11CV. We spotted it last Summer and were truly impressed, even alone if it was for its sheer size – some three metres tall, two meters wide and 6 metres long. And then all those decorative elements! Destined for luxury funerals, this hearse could take a whole family with the deceased to his last resting place – it seats nine plus coffin. There were only two built, but the hearse did make it to a model! Isn’t that fun? Don’t groan, for as you know death is the only real certainty in life - Swing it!
(Words and picture Jeroen Booij)
We expected tons of answers on last week’s car puzzle, but we only got four! The car we showed to you, was of course closely related to the Alpine A108, but it wasn’t that. This was a licence-built version from Brazil by Willys-Overland and Christened Willys Interlagos. Both Larry A. Lewis as Timo Laitinen knew, but didn’t add much more than just that to their answers. Fried Stol knew, too, but made a better effort. He wrote: “This is an A108 berlinetta made by Willys Overland Interlagos, and was the most desirable of them all. Also a coupé, and convertible were made. Based on the Renault Alpine A108 and built by Willys, from 1962 to 1966. A total of 744 of these berlinetta’s were made. The powertrain came from Renault's tiny overhead-cam cast-iron Ventoux inline four-cylinder that was used in the Renault 4CV. With the help of French tuning specialist Gordini, it displaced a mere 845cc and 60Hp. Carlos Pace started his racing career in one of these cars.”
And then there was licence-built Alpine-owner Rhys Nolan’s reply. He was mostly mistaken, but his answer was interesting never the less. He wrote: “It looks to me very much like a Dinalpin made in Mexico under licence. Single headlight (obviously) version of the A110. My one was chassis 085. If I am right, but it could be one of the Argentinian versions, they left the factory with the 956 version of the Renault motor, later changed to the 1108cc. They still, in both Mexican and Argentinian, used all the correct R8 underpinnings, and the tubular backbone as designed by Jean Redele.” Sorry Rhys, but without the name we cannot give you this week’s point. Better next time, and congratulations to you, Fried!
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