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First female in space remains heroic

First female in space remains heroic
June 16 will always be a bit of a special day for ladies: it was on this day in 1963 that, aboard the Vostok 6 spaceship, Soviet Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to travel into space. And not for a short spell either. She returned to earth after 48 orbits and 71 hours, which was more than all the U.S. astronauts combined at the time. On June 19 the Vostok 6 reentered the atmosphere, and Valentina successfully parachuted to earth after ejecting at 20,000 feet.

She was knigthed the Order of Lenin and received the Hero of the Soviet Union award, before marrying fellow cosmonaut Andrian Nikolayev, reportedly under pressure from Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, who saw a propaganda advantage in the marriage (which didn’t last too long). Currently at 80, Terechkova remains a Russian hero though, with more parade laps in interesting vehicles than many autocrat. She is our special Friday Lady for today!

(Words editor, picture

Friday, 16 June 2017

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Information wanted on coachbuilt Fiat

Information wanted on coachbuilt Fiat
Our friends at Marreyt Classics stumbled upon something interesting recently. It’s a barchetta built on a widened Fiat 508C basis, which they are restoring at the moment. Now, the car’s chassis may date from pre-war days; the body is a 1950s creation, made in Brussels. But it remains surrounded with some mystery: “We have been told that it was designed by Umberto De Mola, a coachbuilder of Italian descent who lived and worked in Brussels, and who is mostly famous for the Alfa Romeo 6C, which he coachbuilt in 1940. While we see certain similarities between the lines of his 6C and our barchetta, our researches show more similarities with the creations of another Brussels-based coachbuilder: F.J. Bidée.

If there’s one characteristic that all his creations seem to have in common, whether it’s an Alvis TB14, an SS Jaguar, a Talbot Lago or another Alfa Romeo, it’s their pear-shaped radiator grill. And that’s the one distinct feature that our car doesn’t have! It does, however, feature the four holes around the grill, just like on the Alfa Romeo, the Jaguar SS and the one-off Alvis. We wonder to which extent 1950s coachbuilders in Brussels found their inspiration by looking at their neighbour’s creations? The 508 came with very few photographs, but perhaps someone in the PreWarCar / PostWarClassic community can provide more information on this Brussels mystery car?”

(Words and pictures Bernard Marreyt)


Thursday, 15 June 2017

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Salon Privé 2017: Ferrari only

Salon Privé 2017: Ferrari only
Some events are more prestigious than others and there’s not much doubt that Salon Privé is on the top of priority lists for anyone who likes expensive classic cars. Phrases such as crème de la crème turn up regularly here. This does throw up its limitations for entrants, though. Like last year's winning car, Ferraris are always welcome, though. The organisers of the British Concours d’Elegance have now even decided to dedicate a full day of the event to Ferrari, with ‘Tribute to 70 Years of Ferrari’ as its theme. And so the event, now at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, will turn all Ferrari on September 2.

A line-up of 70 of the finest wearing the prancing horse is announced ‘with a number of high-profile entrants already confirmed.’ Among them a very early car: the Ferrari Tipo 166 Inter Coupé by Touring of 1949 seen above. It’s the 4th of 11 made by Carrozzeria Touring and in fact the eighth road car built by Ferrari. Former Ferrari works driver Derek Bell will be one of the Concours’ judges and was quoted: “Considering Enzo Ferrari gave me my first professional drive, Formula 1 race, and first Le Mans, I’m obviously very excited to celebrate 70 Years of Ferrari with the Salon Privé team.”
We just wondered: what is your favourite Ferrari?

(Words editor, pictures Salon Privé)

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

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Back to back: Thunderbird or Corniche?

Back to back: Thunderbird or Corniche?
On the 18th of this month, French auctioneer Osenat will be holding their yearly classic car sale at their headquarters, right opposite the tourist office of Fontainebleau at just 70 kilometres from central Paris. And we have picked out two grand open top limousines. These cars are worlds apart. But they also have more in common than you may expect from the people’s car that a Ford claims to be and quite the opposite from a people’s car that a Rolls-Royce is. And it’s not just their colour white.

Their lengths are an inch apart (204 for the Ford; 205 for the Rolls-Royce); their widths hardly more (76 for the Ford; 72 for the Rolls); engine capacities are quite near, too (390 cubic inches for the Ford; 412 for the Rolls). While weights both surpass the 2 tonnes, their automatic 3-speed gearboxes both make them speed up to around 200 km/h. Oh – and both have carried heads of state and stars from the silver screen in all comfort with their hydraulic systems.

The Rolls-Royce Corniche of Osenat is of 1972-vintage. It’s on Italian plates but was sold new to the USA. The auctioneer states that it was repainted, reupholstered and altogether restored mechanically 10 years ago. The 50- to 60.000 euros price tag should justify that. See the full description here. Over to the Ford. A 1962 Thunderbird cabriolet that has always been white over red. Mechanicals, hydraulics (for the roof) and even the ‘Swing Away’ steering wheel are all said to be fine, which makes us feel the 15- to 20,000 Euros price estimate is really low. Full description here. What do you think?

(Words editor, pictures Osenat)

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

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