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Last barnfind of the year!

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Last week we reported about the amazing story of the Marcos Le Mans, that was found in Portugal by our editor Jeroen Booij. Just early yesterday morning the news came in from one of our clients regarding a barnkept collection, that when we date the find as 19 December quite possibly is the last find of the memorable year 2016.

Last barnfind_of_the_yearHenny Kennis, who found the cars is the owner of Retrolegends, said 'What did we discover in this barn in the south of the United Kingdom? A most interesting line up of primarily Rolls-Royces that we are now trying to ship to our Rolls royce_kennisshowroom before Christmas. All cars have been guest at this barnhouse for over 20 years. One car is bearing the ominous registration TLC, while - as you can imagine - all cars are in the need for some Tender Loving Care. 
Rolls royce_kennis_redThe cars were owned by the famous Greek composer Mr. Vangeles Papathanassiou, well known from "Chariots of fire". The RR Silver Wraith is since 1983 in his name. The other haven't been on the road since the early nineties. Now we are carefully recommissioning them presentable for future owners.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

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The first years with my 230E

The first years with my 230E
      

by Hubertus Hansmann:

"With still around 18.000 cars on the roads only in Germany, the W123s popularity is only beaten by the Volkswagen Beetle in the ranking of the number of cars with the German "H-Kennzeichen", the special registration plate you can get for cars older than 30 years and in at least average condition. As a student, I bought my own 230E-W123 as a daily driver, to preserve my Fintail-Diesels condition (that by the way was VERY bad, as I had to learn some years later).

The W123 was just a baker´s dozen year old car, but even as it was a car, you saw lots and lots of on the road, mine was in excellent condition (better than most of the cars, I saw that time) and from the beginning, I wanted to keep the car for a very long time. Because of that, it was stored in a shed over the winter months and I slowly began to "pimp" the car a little bit.

As it is one of the 3rd-series cars, it already had the better looking headlamps, formerly only mounted at the 6-cylinder cars. But some work had to be done, to get the perfect 123er look. So I visited some junkyards in the area and found very good Coupé-bumpers and for the interior the walnut-wood parts only mounted in the 1st-series coupé. I got some discount (poor student with - or better "because of" -  big car...) and had to pay 140 DM (about 70€) for both, the bumpers and the complete walnut-trim. Afterwards the indicators were changed to ones with grey glasses and I mounted Fuchs-Barock-Wheels.

A friends father brought his 280E to the junkyard and I was allowed to screw of the chrome-plated air inlets. In the following year, my mother wanted to sell her 2nd-series W123 and mostly because of the front-armrest that was mounted in her car, I changed the seats and the door-panels. So I only needed a rev-meter (one of my first ebay-auction-wins) and a wooden Nardi-wheel (at the moment mounted to my nowadays summer daily driving W201) to make the car perfect for me.

The W123 was used for many tours with my student-friends, as a big trunk beer carrier for Rock-am-Ring and for the Wacken Open Air and I enjoyed it every day (except of the winter-days of course). But during my time at the University, the taxes for cars without catalyser exploded and I couln´t afford them anymore. For two more years, I drove the car only in the summer season and thought about selling it. But what a luck (my todays view), many people sold their non-catalyser-cars during that time and the paid prizes decreased to a very low standard. So as I didn´t want to give it away under "my" prize, I stored the car in a shed again. For 12 years... Last Autumn, I trailered the dust coverd car to our little workshop, planning to bring it back to the road. Some work is already done and I hope to pass the TüV-check next spring."

...to be continued! (text & photos Hubertus Hansmann)
Words and pictures: Hubertus Hansmann 

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

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Small, Regular or Supersize for Christmas ?

Bigger the_better-800
Bigger the_better_interior-800Christmas is coming and of course, you're hoping Santa will bring some presents for you. And of course, you want some car related stuff. How about this big children's toy car! You need a decent christmas tree to put it under but still, what a present! And look well, there is a choice of three. The original in the foreground. The 'Supersize Me' version (with V8 and auto shift) right behind it, as you may have noticed and on the driver's seat a miniature of the original. Life is about choosing. Which one fits best to your age?

(photo by editor JB at the last Hershey fall meet)

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

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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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