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Coys’ Autosport sale, next weekend in Birmingham, features an eclectic mix of motorsports vehicles, many of which are eligible for historic racing and rallying. We can see ourselves rallying this Alfa or this Ford or how about a rather unlikely but original Group B rally car?
Unlikeliest of them all, however, has to be the 1952 Alfa-Romeo 1900 M ‘Matta’ that Coys flags off as ‘Mille Miglia eligible’. Sure, since a decade or so, that phrase is abused to vend anything from rusty pre-’57 Beetles to very obscure Etceterinis. But, for heaven’s sake, a Matta? It turns out to be no mistake. In fact, two of the military Alfa-Jeeps made it to the 1952 road race. One of them was driven by Captain Antonio Costa and Lieutenant Francesco Verga who finished 114th overall, beating 158 of the other entries of that year. Among those exotic machinery such as a Ferrari 166 Inter, several Lancia Aurelias, a Maserati A6, three Zagato bodied Fiats, two Stanguellinis and three Cisitalias... We reckon that shovel and pick axe may come in handy, too. This could be fun.
(Words Jeroen Booij, pictures courtesy Coys of Kensington)
Two weeks ago we were invited at the 50th birthday of carjournalist and photographer Marius Hille Ris Lambers. Very kind, especially when he added that he needed a driver for the 1965 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III as on the menu of the afternoon was a short drive-out. The first and last time when we drove a Rolls was a 20/25 Saloon somewhere between Beijing and Shanghai. This was during the 2015 Classic Car Challenge China. So we were pleasantly surprised (no tricks here) that this Silver Cloud actually did the same rally in 2016 (the door stickers still on). So now we feel we are sort of a Chinese Rolls Royce connaisseur.
Next time we will try the 'chinese eyes' fixed head coupe that was present on the same occasion. Maybe even with the 2017 Beijing to Shanghai for which the brochure is available online.
We got on board of the mighty LWB with devision with ample room for four passengers. After a little warm up the brakes lost their funny noises, the auto transmission started behaving and the engine became quiet as it should be. We didn't use the division window as some escaping exhaust fumes of the 6,2 litre V8 would have made life in the rearseat impossible. The LWB over two ton automobile may seem a big lump to handle, but the best car in the world gives the feeling you don't need to worry about all that. The large thin steering wheel has a strong power assist but gives a very clear feel of the road and we had no problem whatsoever to guide the majestic limousine along narrow misty country roads and little roundabouts.
Less enthousiasm for the pre- ergonomy dashboard. Even worse than any pre-war arrangement. While driving in dark and mist and not really used to the car your sribe was in a continuous struggle to find wipers, lights and more in the mahogany field of controls. It may have been the age of the car - slightly older than Marius - but the heating and the defogging arrangement of the car only made noises but didn't produce any of the promised effects. Well at least it brought back vivid memories to most of the cars of that era we ever owned.
Yet not one of those had the sovereign power of this British V8 that would take off effortlessly at any speed with the two tons of metal and five inhabitants. As the manufacturers used to say and write regarding engine output: "sufficient". One of the better old time understatements that fits a Rolls. Or at least this Silver Cloud III with Chinese experience.
Photos courtesy OneStop Photo. Special thanks for making available the car Hooper International
text by Joris Bergsma
We love a bit of motor sport here and have found memories of driving on frozen lakes in Switzerland and Scandinavia. When you look at historical images of the ice racing in Sweden the amount of Specials is striking, with every Olle, Malte or Ivar seemingly coming up with a car of their own design. One that really struck us was the ‘Nobe V8 Special’ constructed by a man named Gustav Nobelius. In fact his Nobe Special was based upon the earlier GB1 Special from Norway (story here) but we fell for the looks that Nobelius gave it. The V8 designation does indeed point towards eight cylinders, so this must have been quite a beast to drive. And how about those cast spike wheels without tyres? We alsolike the looks of the man himself, reminding us of the late great Terry Thomas in Monte Carlo or Bust. Speaking about ice racing…
(Words editor, picture courtesy kustomrama.com)
Had a good night?
We do not know where the delivery van pictured above could be seen when the last minutes of 2016 ticked away, but we trust it to have been a grand venue. If we are ever going to throw a big new year’s party – this is the car to join in with the celebrations. It’s the only remaining Silver Shadow shooting brake commissioned for Champagne house Krug, used for delivering its prestigious bubbles to customers. Three of these cars were built for them in the mid-1980s to serve the European, US and Japanese markets, with just the European car seen here surviving.
Now, for 2017, we have some important changes to make on both PostWarClassic.com as PreWarCar.com. It’s great news, but we can’t say much more for now – just keep an eye on these pages and you’ll find out soon enough. For now, we want to wish you all the very best for 2017. Happy new year!
(Words editor, picture courtesy Krug / Thierry des Ouches)
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