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About tough to crack car puzzle #157: Volvo Philip

About tough to crack car puzzle #157: Volvo Philip
Thanks to all for replying to our bi-weekly question: what car is this? Last week’s example produced quite a few answers and most of them recognized the car as the 1952 Volvo Philip, which was quite right! One reader wrote: “This is a wild guess, but Studebaker collaborated with Porsche on a 4-door car. Could this be it?” It isn’t (this is it) but we certainly liked the way of thinking. And the European-American connection certainly is there. John Krabbendam wrote: “strongly influenced  by American cars such as the 1951 Kaiser with fins at the rear and white wall tires”. Philippe de Smet: The coachwork was undoubtly influenced by the American Kaiser.The automatic gearbox was made by a Danish company working for Chrysler as well.” Very well.

But John Elema was the only one who took the Kaiser-link one step further: “It is the Volvo Philip prototype with cast-iron 3.6 Ltr. OHV V8 and automatic transmission. It is reported that the Philip was constructed from early fifties Henry J and Kaiser Manhattan parts, right down to the Henry J 'V' in the hood and trunk, to the tail lights, the dip in the windshield and backlights, the bumpers and the rear doors. The public however was not impressed so production did not follow. The engine, though said to be a gas-guzzler, continued life in ships and Volvo's first COE (cab-over-engine) truck. Philip was owned by a Bolinder Munktell director and is now in the Volvo museum in Gothenburg." Indeed, as seen above. Well done John!

Saturday, 06 May 2017

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BB’s brand new Lancia

BB’s brand new Lancia
Did you ever buy a brand new car? Brigitte Bardot did in May 1967, which simply had to lead to another photo shoot. Exactly 50 years later we’re happy to show the result once more to you here. That’s not just a fine lady – was she at her peak at the time? – but certainly also a fine vehicle. A Lancia Flavia Convertible, by the great Vignale. The winter preceeding it, Bardot had enjoyed the comforts of her Rolls-Royce (see here) but with the sun coming out the time had come for some joyful open-top motoring at the French Riviera. Lancia must have loved it, aiming perhaps right at women of the world like Bardot. see this brochure. Oh - and five decades on, La Bardot still makes herself heard...

(Words editor, picture Jean-Pierre Bonnotte)

Friday, 05 May 2017

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Factory continuation cars - do you like them?

Factory continuation cars
I vividly remember an article written a couple of years ago by the editor of a well-respected British classic car magazine about the launch of an extra 6 continuation Jaguar E-type Lightweights to be produced by Jaguar at their Browns Lane plant. This article ended with a question addressed to the reader asking him what he thought about all this.
Reading that article got me rather sad and very excited at the same time. On my I-pad I immediately wrote a letter in which I ventilated my indignation but... never did send it.
We are now 2 years later and Jaguar has announced to re-produce the XKSS cars which were burnt in the factory and Aston Martin decided to fabricate another 25 examples of the DB4 GT, Lister some extra Knobbly's... and, to my astonishment, very little classic car enthusiasts have reacted. 
Listening to comments made by my classic car friends and customers I hear that according to them the main motivation to this practice seems to be inspired by making a handsome and quick profit (a 6 -figure sum per car is easily put forward) and is justified by these manufacturers by pouring an ultra-sweet heritage sauce (f.i. Pretending that specialist skills from the past need to be preserved & presenting the continuation XKSS at the world renowned Peterson Museum) over this dish so that the classic car scene swallows these projects easily.
Let me ask you: 
1) since when is money reason enough to dilute our classic car heritage?
2) weren't the skills of reproducing wide-angels engines, twin spark heads, etc... and exact replicas of the alloy bodies not for many years already developed by engineering firms and body shop specialists within the classic car movement?
Far more important than money is our obligation to preserve our automobile heritage.
Every one of us, owning and enjoying a classic car, has in my opinion a responsibility towards future generations to preserve this heritage. And certainly so the people in charge at the manufacturers.
Does any one agree?

Editor update: meanwhile, this news just reached us, too...

Written by: Bernard Marreyt, Belgium


Thursday, 04 May 2017

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Unimog - The Swabian Swiss army knife

Unimog - The Swabian Swiss army knife
‘War is the father of all things’, wrote Greek philosopher Heraclitus about 500 BC The Unimog is also (indirectly) a product of the Second World War, but perhaps differently than Heraclitus had imagined…

At the beginning of 1945 it did not really look good for Germany. Everyone, except for a few completely blinded, knew that the war was over and that the Germans would not end up being victorious. Even graduate engineer Albert Friedrich, development engineer in the Daimler-Benz flight engine department in Faurndau near Göppingen, realized that the construction of aircraft engines would soon come to an end. And then there was one mister Morgenthau, a good six hundred miles further to the west. Henry Morgenthau was the USA’s Minister of finance in the government of Franklin D. Roosevelt. In the summer of 1944, Morgenthau wrote a memorandum, in which he proposed that after the foreseeable victory Germany would be divided and converted into an agricultural state - no industry, no arms, no war of aggression-that was the line of argument. To this day it is controversial, who basically agreed with the Allied politicians as after publication Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945 and the Morgenthau plan was politically dead, too. Albert Friedrich, of course, had also taken note of this, and saw the aerospace and automotive industry disappear. But perhaps, according to his considerations, the Allies would at least allow the construction of agricultural tractors.

Not a conventional tractor, but a versatile device not just for the field but also for use in the forest and for transports. 4-wheel drive with four equal-sized wheels, a small loading area and a protected workplace for the driver and passenger - these were the most important basic data of the project, which is still unnamed. On November 21, 1945, Friedrich received a "Production Order" for ten prototypes…

This is a distract from Austro Classic magazine, in which Wolfgang Buchta describes the remarkable history of the Unimog over 20 pages and with a multitude of historic photographs.

(Words Wolfgang M. Buchta, pictures Ulli Buchta/Daimler AG)


Wednesday, 03 May 2017

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1911 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Limousine
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