Saab 900 GLi 1983
VW Typ3 1600 A




The Magazine

Norman Rockwell on wheels

Norman Rockwell on wheels
Let’s continue the timber theme for one more day, as we found another gem being offered for sale this very week. This time it’s an all-American woodie in the shape of a 1948 Pontiac Silver Streak wagon. And it is a remarkable car in every sense. Not just is this woodie wagon version of the ‘Streamliner’ model rare; this one simply has to be the best in existence today. It’s all original and with just 4,900 original miles from new. To speak with the seller: “The phrase ‘It’s only original once’ describes this preservation Pontiac that has escaped the hands of time unscathed.” Paint, upholstery and wood are all untouched just like the ‘leather’ roof is still factory original.

The famous Pontiac eight cylinder line engine supposedly runs as smooth as it should. And have a look at that interior! The beautiful dash is a feast for the eyes with chrome and mahogany wood everywhere. This model was the top of the bill for Pontiac in 1948 and featured things like electric glovebox door clocks and Hydramatic automatic transmission. Driving this must be the automotive equivalent of owning an original Norman Rockwell painting

So what is its story?, you will ask. Well, it’s all pretty straightforward. The car is said to have been sold new in 1948 in Albany, New York to a family in the Catskills who used it exclusively at their summer home. The wagon saw very little use in their hands and was eventually sold to a collector in Pennsylvania in the 1980s. One more sale took place in 1991 and that was it. We like the auctioneers description, adding: “All this wagon needs is a few kids and a Golden Retriever.” Plenty of room for that. The estimate is $125- to  $150,000. Full lot list here.

(Words editor, pictures Dragone Auctions)

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail


Back to back: Woody creatures great and small

Back to back: Woody creatures great and small
Bonhams Beaulieu sale of the coming weekend is almost as impressive as the autojumble itself, with a massive amount of automobilia, bikes and cars on offer – catalogue here. The majority of the four-wheelers dates back to days before the War, but there are enough interesting specimens from PostWarClassics aficionados too. We take a look at two 'woody’ estate cars. Having said that, this designation is also just about the only thing they share, for they are worlds apart

First of them, lot number 517, is a 1951 Invicta Black Prince. And if that’s not obsolete enough, this particular example is an ultra-rare shooting brake version. A total of 16 Black Princes is believed to have been made, with this being one of 12 supposed survivors. Aimed in between Jaguar and Bentley, a 1950s Invicta was an unusual car on its own, with the make being resurrected from death a couple of years earlier. The Black Prince certainly was prestigious with three-litre six-cylinder featuring twin overhead camshafts, twin-plug ignition plus electrically operated automatic gearbox, built-in jacks and trickle charger and various electric heaters.

This ultra-rare shooting brake version was bodied by Associated Coach Builders in Sunderland for Jeffrey Dixon of Durham, who took delivery of it on 3 November 1951. Original logbook and sought-after Black Prince mascot are there. The car was restored over a long period of time in the 1970s and 1980s using some upgrades to the chassis and suspension while the engine was replced by a Hilman Hunter mill. The estimate of £22- to 26,000 seems fair?

Thirty lots further along the line, we find a Ford Squire Estate, which Bonhams offer as a 1956 100E example. We’re not so sure about that, but fall hard for the little estate car nevertheless. It is quite a lot cheaper than the Invicta (estimated at £8- to 12,000) but in our opinion least as attractive. If not adorable, it is a very humble car. Powered by the well-known 1,172cc sidevalve four, mated to a modest three-speed gearbox, it could do 60mph flat out and 35 miles to the gallon in quitter pace - in saloon-guise. A ‘Squire’ estate car with timber embellishments to the sides, available from Ford’s itself, must have been significantly slower and thirstier, too. The car seen here is offered for sale by a private collection and said to be restored in Ireland in 2016 by NVD of New Ross. The MOT reports show that in the last sixteen years it drove a mere 21 miles. Time for some use. We just ask you: what is your favourite of these two woodies?

(Words editor, pictures courtesy Bonhams Auctions)

Monday, 28 August 2017

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail


Is this Monarch a Monarch after all?

1950 Monarch
This picture was sent over to us by reader Andre van de Loo. He has a simple question: "Can anyone identify this car?" Now, we were pretty sure we'd seen it before with that signature licence plate and a quick google search indeed showed up with the answer, or so it seemed: a 1950 Monarch. That's the Canadian car brand which was meant to fill a gap in the national Canadian market, but that only lasted for a couple of years.  With 1950 in fact as its very last year of production (wrong! That was 1961-ed). A brief but well written short history of the Monarch make can be read here. It surely is an interesting story.

But what's with this one? Over to Andre once again, who adds: "I know what the owner claims that it is and also that he says that the car has never been modified in any way. However, I have my doubts, as the the grille on this particular car differs from the grille on the standard cars of this model (see picture 2)." He has a point there, as the vertical bars certainly are not visible on this particular car. Were they removed? Or is it something else? Perhaps the grille was simply changed? We came across this post, too, showing the 'Nasty' plate on a hot rod with (the correct?) Monarch grille in front... You tell us.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail


About tough to crack puzzle #165: Abarth 1100 Sport by Ghia

About tough to crack puzzle #165: Abarth 1100 Sport by Ghia
Many of you knew the car we praised so much in our car puzzle last week: the 1953 Abarth 1100 Sport with body by Ghia. And many of you liked it, too. From your comments: ‘Delightful!’ ‘Gorgeous’ and ‘Beautiful’. Vincent Mahy wrote: “This picture is from the 1953 Turin salon and actually shows the less impressive side of the car: the front is entirely faithful to the early '50s ‘rocket’ obsession. Also shown at the 1954 salon of New York.” Quite so, and that’s why we have added the car’s front here now. Several of you also pointed out the Dodge Firearrow behind it and we loved Don Siemers recollection, writing: “Can you imagine attending the 1953 Turin Auto Show? The Abarth 1100 250/A Ghia coupe pictured was a teaser for a lot of other incredibly cool cars featured. The Dodge Fire Arrow 1 in the same photo was gorgeous. Other cars at the show were the Alfa BAT, Pegaso Z102B Thrill, Alfa 1900C Astral and even the Iso Isetta along with Ghia's Boano Lancia Aurelia. How about the Fiat Turbina? Curvaceous overload! The sole Abarth survived to appear at Pebble Beach.” That’s how we like them, Don, thank you! 

Others mentioned there were more than just one, with even up to four of them being built, but we don’t think so. The Simca Aronde Sport of 1954 and Ghia’s original Karmann-Ghia are mentioned by you as sister-models. Well… perhaps. There was a closer sister model, though. Luk Martens: “A nearly identical convertible version showed up in Paris a year later, build on Simca underpinnings.” Luk was also one of quite a few of you pointing out the Vaughn Super Sports, that this car was bound to become with V8 power after the American businessman Bill Vaughn showed an interest. Fried Stohl: “Bought by American enthousiast Bill Vaughn and shown at the New York Auto Show in 1954, renamed as the Vaughn Super Sport Wildcat. It disappeared from the radar until 1982 when it was (re)discovered by Russ Baer in a barn in Ashton Maryland. It won the Pebble Beach concours d’elegance in its class in 2015 after a five year’s restoration by Pat Braden”. Some of you further added that the car’s design must have come from Giovanni Michelotti, although this was never made official, so we’d say it’s better to leave this out. Bernard Corrège adds that the body was built by Ghia when it was under the direction of Mario Felice Boano, which is of course absolutely right. Point for you Bernard!

That’s quite a lot of information and question is who mixed all of it in the best possible way. Ted Wilmarth’s answer was very strong and we hope you continue commenting in this vein Ted. But, once again, Ace Zenek’s was our puzzle king. He wrote: “1953 Abarth 1100 Sport with Ghia body, originally displayed at the Turin Salon, purchased by Bill Vaughn he renamed it the Vaughn SS Wildcat, and was supposedly given an OH cam V8, and then displayed at the New York Auto Show. A similar Simca Ghia was produced at the same time (see the duo together here! -ed). Most history is lost between 1954 and 1978, but a window sticker shows “Litton Industries Maryland Division 1958.” Forum Auto shows it in a deplorable state before restoration with missing windows, lights and grille. Auctioned this past weekend by RM-Sotheby’s at Monterey. In front is the Dodge Firearrow.” Pretty dry, but you can’t beat that for sheer info on this one! Congratulations Ace!

(Words editor, pictures courtesy of Milen Milenovich collection via RM Sotheby's)

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail


Page 6 of 641

The Market

Visitors Online

We have 3207 guests and 11 members online

Pre War Choice

1936 Lagonda LG45 Team Car
1936 Lagonda LG45 Team Car...   Go >>