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Perseverance pays – Booij finds the Mini Le Mans

Perseverance pays – Booij finds Le Mans racer

Whether it’s in a barn or not - many of us dream of a truly legendary find every now and then. But very few of us go to the lengths that our contributor Jeroen Booij did to find it. It did pay off: After years of (re)searching, he got hold of his dream car last week: the Mini Marcos that participated in the 1966 Le Mans 24 hours race. In fact the diminutive 1289cc Cooper ‘S’ powered GT came 15th overall after an array of Ford GT40s, Porsche 906s and Ferrari 275GTBs. It was that year’s only British car to finish and no doubt the crowd favourite, who nicknamed it ‘La Puce Bleue’ - The Blue Flea. Booij says it can be regarded as Le Mans’ most heroic entry, which helped Jem Marsh boost sales. And due to its disappearance in 1975, when it was stolen in Paris, the car came with enhanced mystery. With people searching for it ever since.

So how did he find it? He says he was given a mysterious tip-off earlier this year, after which a long and rather nerve wrecking journey followed, eventually leading him to Portugal, adding:

“But if you really want, I’m sure you will be able to find anything”. That’s good news as, apart from the shell with doors and bonnet, the huge fuel tank and adjustable pedal box, the car he just bought misses just about all of its mechanicals. Booij: “But the shell still hides its original blue and yellow paint and the white roundels under several more layers of paint.” You can read more about his spectacular discovery on his weblog here and here. Latest: he just managed to track down one of the two original radiators the car came with… in the south of France… Keep on searching!

(Words editor, picture courtesy Jeroen Booij) 

Monday, 19 December 2016

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Tough to crack: puzzle #149

tough to_crack_149_470
These are the dark days before Xmas, so we decided to give you this dark beast to chew on. A strong, European inspired design by a man who not only was active in motorsport but also in sailing. We spotted the car at one of the events we visited this autumn. Lonely on a parking lot our eyes were caught immediately by this mat black beauty in semi restored condition. Lovely in its sporty arrogance! Let's hope the owner will stick to where the car is now with nicely peeling chrome and a somewhat battered interior. It has a refined aggressiveness that it will loose for sure when the concours 'hairdressers' do their job. Although we couldn't check we are quite sure it has a spicy eight cylinder under the hood. And sorry - in case you want to compete with this puzzle - you must proof you are right. Tell us the manufacturers name, the year and the type and why. Here a look at the rear end , it may be helpful for identification.  But er... again sorry, we took out the obvious details. Before you enter your answer under 'Comments' be sure to check the Rules under Read More.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, 17 December 2016

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Where to meet this Duetto beauty? (update: Sestriere)

Swiss chic

We’ve searched the worldwide web for far too long now, all to no avail. What we liked to have found there, was the location used for this lovely Alfa-Romeo publicity shot. All we know is that it’s probably taken in Switzerland, since the ‘Duetto’ Spider was launched in Geneva in 1966 (50 years ago, oh yes,  the Dustin Hoffman - Anne Bancroft 'Graduate' fame came one year later). And then, the car may wear Italian plates, but the backdrop oozes classic chalets and Glühwein. This sister shot doesn't really help much either.

Oh - there aren’t many places where you can go in a fur coat without being vandalized anymore, but Gstaad, Verbiers or St Moritz will still do nicely. But then these places may have classy palace hotels rather than towering Club Med resorts? Who helps us finding this location?

(Words Jeroen Booij, picture Alfa-Romeo PR)

Location found by Chris Bowen: Sestriere, Italy  or more precise The Grand Hotel Sestriere

Friday, 16 December 2016

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Sheriff goes like a rocket.

Sheriff goes like a rocket.
In view of our US audience this late seventies Chevelle may look like a threat from their teenage years. In European eyes it's more like a fun movie 'prop'. In this case it's the cruising ad-sign of a fireworks distributor claiming HARDER, BETTER, FASTER. Probably a slogan with which the next twittering US president would feel comfortable with. We just wonder if this is a replica paintjob or a former real one, as we couldn't find a true police car with this exact front. We're sure there is some knowledge out there who can confirm or deny the identity. And in case of the last. Blast it!

(photos by editor) 

Thursday, 15 December 2016

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