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The weird and wonderful of Rétromobile

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. Citroëns, Delahayes, Facel Vegas, De Dion Boutons and Talbot Lagos aplenty. And then there are the French oddballs.

We like this DS Coupe, based on a cabriolet (!) and built by Chapron for the 1962 Geneva show. On the other side of the spectrum there’s an ex-Jean Ragnotti Alpine, entered in the Monte Carlo and an ex-works R5 Group 4 rally car driven by the same man and supposed to make half a million euros (a Renault 5!). But it also contains this weird Breguet electric vehicle or this New Map Solyto three-wheeler, estimated to make exactly a thousand times as little as the Pininfarina Ferrari that will also come under the hammer… Clearly an auction for every taste.

(Words Jeroen Booij, pictures courtesy Artcurial Motorcars) 

Wednesday, 08 February 2017

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Ploughing to the finish line

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). We take our hat off for Georg and Robin Dönni of Switzerland, who entered their 1958 Jaguar XK 150 Special to this rally, too, and sent over some photographs. This is how they found their car in the mornings and this is what it looked like when they filled it up at the end of the day. Or sometimes after a night stage… Brave men!

(Words Jeroen Booij, pictures courtesy Planai Classic / Dönni Classic Cars)

Tuesday, 07 February 2017

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This one is for you, Anders!

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. Now. The coincidence is that this particular car will be offered for sale next week! Yes. During the Rétromobile show in Paris, on Friday 10 February, the Dino 206 Berlinette Speciale by Pininfarina is coming under the block. Artcurial is lyrical: “We are proud to present this jewel of Italian automobile design, this unique object designed by the wind, which heralded the styling at Ferrari in subsequent decades.”

Remarkably, it’s the first time it is for sale. The car was offered in April 1967 by Sergio Pininfarina to the Musée de l’Automobile at Le Mans, where it has been exhibited ever since. The sale of it will help to promote and expand the collection belonging to the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, or so they say. This may be your only chance Anders! Not buying, just looking? Then you may like to know that  Retromobile has also managed to get together a display of rare other Ferrari's from the Le Mans museum as well as the Schlumpf collection. More here.

(Words editor, picture courtesy Rétromobile)

Monday, 06 February 2017

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Commemorating David Brown

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 weekend. Naturally, it starts with a tractor, but then goes all the way from DB1 to DBS, with all the major models in between on display. And you may like to know that some of the cars in Paris have a nice slice of provenance. The DB6 seen there, for example, is the car that used to belong to tough girl Francoise Sagan. The DB5 is one of the four cars built for Goldfinger in 1964.

With chassis number DB5/2008/R it was the first of two publicity cars having all the possible and typical Bond-features. The car hasn’t been seen in public for years and is just finished after a comprehensive three-year restoration. We are told even the ejector seat possibly works now, so don't touch the buttons when you are allowed to have a close look. Oh - also worth a view is the 1961 Aston Martin DP 208 prototype, which looks like an ordinary Volvo P1800 but is a unique prototype for a less expensive Aston model with 2.5 litre 4-cylinder Aston Martin engine. Brown never publicly told that story…

(Words Jeroen Booij, pictures Rétromobile/archive, imaging JB)

Sunday, 05 February 2017

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