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Rome in 1949 - in full Technicolor

We came across this lovely full colour film footage of Rome, taken in the summer of 1949, and wanted to share it with you here.
Peaceful, isn't it? There aren't even Vespas on the roads. And then those traffic controllers in their beautiful suits! Do you recognize some of the cars on those Roman roads?

(Video courtesy Getty Images / Roma Ieri Oggi) 

Tuesday, 07 March 2017

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Car art gone good: Beetle Sphere

Car art gone good: the Sphere Beetle
This piece of art, by Indonesian artist Ichwan Noor is a couple of years old, but we hadn’t come across it before. It is made of a 1953 VW Beetle which appears to have been turned into a ball, just like a snowball made in your own hands. Noor used polyester and aluminium to get to this result. And it’s not on its own. Click here for more of Noor’s spherical and cubical Beetles.

We absolutely love it, and think it’s the best Beetle based bit of car art since Ivan Puig’s ‘Bug sunk in milk’. Don't moan; with almost 22 million Beetles produced, there is place for turning them into something else. Well, as long as you do it well. There have of course been plenty of examples of Beetle car art gone wrong, too…

(Words editor, picture courtesy Beetleweb)

Monday, 06 March 2017

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Back to back – Austin or Morris Tourer?

Back to back – Austin or Morris Tourer?
You’re either an Austin man or a Morris man, right? But Brightwells may make it hard to choose between the two. Among many others, they have a very accessible Morris Minor Tourer on offer in their Leominster sale next Wednesday. It’s a 1962 car, which comes with no MOT and at least two variations of Almond Green. But the estimate is low at £3- £4,000. Like it? Hang on. For the more adventurous BMC-fan they have another Tourer, which looks perhaps less shiny but may attract more, even alone for it is a lot less common. The Ming Blue Austin A40 Sports they will sell is of course Jensen-built in aluminium. It may look in need of a restoration; in fact it’s an oily rag at its best, with all the mechanicals and structural body and chassis parts well catered for. It’s not really cheap, estimated at £7,500 - £9,500, but we know which one we’d go for. How about you?

(Words editor, pictures courtesy Brightwells)

Sunday, 05 March 2017

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About Tough to crack car puzzle #153: Jensen Esporando

About Tough to crack car puzzle #153: Jensen Esporando
Last week’s mystery motor seemed to be an old-fashioned tough to crack one to you, with just two of you giving it a go, and one of these coming in too late. Marius’ answer was, however, perfectly within the 100 words limit and since there was just one more entrant, we’ll forgive this time. Marius wrote: “This is the 1972 Jensen C-V8 one-off with chassis number 104/2232, registered FVW 875B, built by Alan Jenner of the Hastings Motor Sheet Metal Works, to a design from Bob Curl, chief designer at Nomad Racing Cars, based in Rye, East Sussex. Later, in the 80s the car was officially renamed ‘Esperando’ by owner Peter Adams, to honour the Jensen ‘Esperanda’, that would have been the Interceptor successor. The car was built using tubing and alloy panels, the initial build began by erecting a series of vertical plywood frames to establish the contour line of the car's shape.”

Just a few remarks from us anoraks: the car is from 1964; the transformation from 1971/’72. And it was named ‘Esporando’ to honour the ‘Esperanto’. But it’s close enough. And let’s also quote jury member Alan Spencer, who was the other contender: “1971 Jensen Esperando (same mistake!) prototype. Built on a CV-8 chassis and Chrysler engine for a Jensen enthusiast who liked the look of the Lamborghini Espada. The body was designed by Bob Curl who at the time was chief designer for Nomad Racing cars based in Rye, East Sussex. Hastings Motor Sheet Metal Works were commissioned to fabricate the bodywork.” Well done to both of you. We’ll award the point to Marius to encourage him to become a regular contender, like Alan!

(Picture Jensen Owner’s Club)

Saturday, 04 March 2017

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