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Not your average Amphicar

Amphicar friday_lady-800
It's perhaps not exactly the time of year for a swim, but we did not want to keep you from this picture. A lovely (Friday) lady and an American licenced Amphicar - it's as good as it gets. But have a closer look to see that it can even get better. This is not your average Amphicar. Note the exposed door hinges, the extravagant tail fins and the wraparound windscreen. This may well be a prototype? Seen here again in its element - well, one of them - and with an extra lady on board. All hands on deck. You may be able to tell us more?

(Words editor, picture source: John Lloyd)

Friday, 20 January 2017

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Tucker auctioned for the 2nd time since 1950

Tucker auctioned for the 2nd time since 1950
It’s not very often that a Tucker Torpedo makes it to the market, so let’s have a closer look now that it happens. 51 of them were built; 47 survive, with the car in question being number 44. When new in 1948, it was painted green with a green wool interior and not sold until the infamous auction of the Tucker Corporation assets in 1950. Buyer was a mister Rifkin of Schaumberg, Illinois, who also brought home the ‘Tin Goose’ prototype that fateful day. Rifkin repainted it in red, brought it to a show in Washington in 1950 and sold it to mechanic L. Rocco. Rocco advertised it for sale again in October 1952, but it didn’t sell, and so he kept it until his death in the early 1960s. The car changed hands two more times before ending up with Tucker-fan Lester Schaefer in Harrisburgh, Pennsylvania. He changed engine and transmission and repainted the car once more, now in brown, and sold it to Millard Groh in Ohio, who never drove more than 15 miles in it. Until now, that is! Next weekend it will be lot number 160 at RM Sotheby’s sale in Arizona.

(Words editor, pictures courtesy RM Sotheby's) 

Thursday, 19 January 2017

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The ultimate anti-hero

Under the chapter ‘Movies and motors’ we found this press shot of David Tomlinson in the files. He’s seen here as headmaster-turned-salesman/racer Peter Thorndyke behind the wheel of the Thorndyke Special. In a characteristic pose also, as the man who is doing his utter best to beat the underdog – but miserably failing to do so. We’ve always had a soft spot for underdogs here, but when their opponents are so funnily full of themselves as mister Thorndyke, they may even beat the film’s favourite. And when they drive a car such as this... By the way: did you know the Thorndyke Special survives?

(words editor, picture Disney) 

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

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Childhood fantasies in reality

Childhood fantasies in reality
One benefit of our trip to the town of Scheveningen at New Year’s Eve, was the chance of a visit at the Louwman Museum in The Hague only about 5 miles away from our Hotel. But unfortunately, we only had one and a half hour to hurry through the exhibition. What luck that I already visited the collection two years ago. The Museum is housed in an attractive three-floor building with a more than 10.000m² exhibition area. The collection shows more than 200 cars, motorcycles and carriages together with lots and lots of automobilia. The tour through the museum starts at the second floor and like in every IKEA store, you just follow one route and can enjoy your visit, without having the fear of missing only one exhibit until the end of the route, that leads to a very nice restaurant-area. As I concentrated on the prewar cars at my last visit, I focussed on the postwar exhibits this time. Some of my all-time and some of my childhood favourites can be marvelled. As a teenager I always admired the specials of Franco Sbarro and since the IAA 1985 or 1986, I never saw a car of this Swiss company, except of one or two of its BMW 328 replicas. The Sbarro Challenge was a car you had to admire as a 15-year old in the 1980s as it was even more spectacular than a Lamborghini Countach and so I was very fascinated to see this car again. Another favourite is of course the Jaguar XK-SS, and that, even if I know, that with nearly 2 metres and over100kgs, I will never fit in this small street-racer. The same for the Japanese E-Type look-alike, the Toyota 2000GT. What a spectacular little car! Also a childhood-dream is of course the James-Bond-DB5. As most of my friends, I also had a little Corgi-version of this Goldfinger leading-actor and like at most of my friends, it didn’t take long, untill my mum ‘hoovered’ the little figurine after its ejection-seat pullout onto the carpet.

But the most bizarre beauty was the 1952 Pegaso Z-102 Cupola. This version of the Pegaso was built just two times and this is the sole survivor. If you spot the car, you can only think of Saoutchik or another coachbuilder with hyperbolical design-ideas, but in this case, it is totally wrong. The car was built by Spanish coachbuilder Enasa and followed sketches of design-students, who were asked to show their ideas of a ‘car of the future’. The car was presented at the New York Motor Show in 1953 and even competed in the Carrera Panamericana 1954. With its yellow paint and red tires it is an absolute eye-catcher even in this collection. At 5 o’clock, after not even two hours in the building, the doors closed much too early and we had to leave, but I’m quite sure, it won’t take long for my next visit. And then I will stay from dawn till dusk!”

(Words and pictures: Hubertus Hansmann)


Tuesday, 17 January 2017

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1932 Vauxhall 26HP “Wreath Special II”
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