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Ron quits hobby: 700 cars orphanaged

Ron quits hobby: 700 cars orphanaged
Don’t you ever think the amount of classics dries up. How about the 700 (!) strong collection that is to be sold in Ohio? At the age of 15, Ron Hackenberger borrowed money from his grandfather to buy an old Studebaker. It was the start of what became a massive classic car collection. Not withheld by his wide Eunice, Ron kept on buying cars and other things mobile on his journeys throughout the US. Ron is said to travel to California on a regular base with an empty car hauler only to return with it when fully loaded.

With some 250 different types and models, Studebaker is without a doubt Hackenberger’s favourite make, but there is no shortage of more eccentric stuff, too. A Kaiser-Darrin, Bricklin, several Goggos and US-spec Citroens, a Tatra and several Crosleys for example. Hackenberger originally intended to restore all of them, but he has drawn the conclusion now that this may seem a little over enthusiastic. And that’s why the whole 700-lots strong collection is offered for sale this summer. See the website that was especially created for the sale here.

(Words editor, pictures courtesy


Sunday, 19 February 2017

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About Tough to Crack Car Puzzle #152: Charbonneaux 2CV

About Tough to Crack Car Puzzle #152: Charbonneaux 2CV
A Citroen 2CV? Yes, really! The base vehicle used for this creation by Philipe Charbonneaux is well hidden. Just three of you recognized it as such, and all three are regulars: John Elema, Gerd Klioba and Alan Spencer. What’s more: all three gave excellent answers, narrative and just within the 100-words limited. Spencer: “What a transformation! This was a one-of-a-kind special-bodied Citroen 2CV, designed by the French stylist, Philippe Charbonneaux, and presented under his name at the 1955 Salon de l'Auto. It was also displayed at various concours d'elegance, either in the black and pale yellow color scheme as photographed, or with the yellow and black flipped (except the roof remained black). The grille is a copy of the contemporary Citroen 15CV Presidentielle in its original form, also designed by Charbonneaux.”

Elema concentrated more on the creation: “In 1952 designer Charbonneaux was demanded by Dagonet, known for 2CV derivatives, for a study on the basis of a Citroën 2 CV. Pacaud from Reims was to be the builder but did not finish the project. That was done by Saint Cloud from Paris.” While Klioba gave some details: “It kept the original 425 cc engine, the windscreen came from a Simca 9 Sport. The grille resembled the presidential Citroen 15CV Limousine by Franay, another Charbonneaux design. This little beauty of a car cost around 700,000 Francs, which could buy you a Renault Frégate. The coupe was to be seen with an inverted colour scheme (except for the roof) at the Enghien concours d'élégance later on.” He wins this time, but it was a close call. Can we count on the three of you next week gentlemen?

Saturday, 18 February 2017

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Hidden messages from ladies in red

The hidden messages from ladies in red
Was it a coincidence that we found several photographs of ladies wearing red overcoats, gloves and black hats with flowers next to what we believe to be 1949 Buicks? Or was there a secret code or hidden message in these outfits? Probably not. They are gorgeous pictures though. See the others for yourself here and here and make up your mind. Oh – we found this, too…

Pictures Pinterest and ATDetroit

Friday, 17 February 2017

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Finned fantasies

Finned fantasies
Some sixty years ago, a styling trend in the motoring industry went mad: it was the tail fin that peaked. GM chief Harley Earl or Chrysler draughtsman Virgil Exner are generally credited for the idea, but by 1957 the thing was everywhere, not just in the US. With anything from Mercedes to Moskvitch and Mercury to Morris. A blessing from the Golden Age of Motoring? Or something better to be forgotten?

(Words editor, picture PWC archive)

Thursday, 16 February 2017

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