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VeloceToday for March 24, 2015

by pete on March 24, 2015


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In Memory of Richard Irish

By Carl Goodwin

One of the great sports car drivers of the fifties is gone now. Dick Irish passed away March 19, 2015 of congestive heart failure at the age of 85.

Several highlights illuminated his driving career. In 1951, he traded his aluminum-bodied Jaguar XK-120 for a Norton-engined Kieft Formula III and a Ford pick-up truck to haul it. With the Kieft he established several track records at the Janesville, Wisconsin Airport and the Brynfan Tyddyn road races, where one turn was named “Irish Corner.”

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Dick Irish getting ready to go with his F3 Kieft at Watkins Glen, 1952. At left is his brother Bud who was doing pit crew time. Irish remembers the car and the girl. ‘The gal in the plaid shorts and white blouse is movie star Claudia Hall. Bob Said had screwed up and had TWO dates for the event so asked me to take care of Claudia.’ The Kieft, however, failed to start the race. Photo courtesy Richard Irish.

In 1952, he and co-driver Bob Fergus took a third place overall in the Sebring 12-Hour race, leading four Ferraris and three Jaguars with a 1500cc Siata Gran Sport. They also placed second on Index of Performance and first in Class F. Some say Irish could have driven Formula One.

In 1954, he campaigned a 4.5 liter Ferrari coupe belonging to Marty Christiansen. With this car he beat Walt Hansgen in a C-Type Jaguar in the rain at Watkins Glen. He was a member of the elite Road Racing Driver’s Club and a life member of the Sports Car Club of America.

Irish knew many people in the sport including colorful importer Tony Pompeo, Cunningham Team driver Sherwood Johnston, car-builder Hal Ullrich, and Enzo Ferrari. Irish became one of the few allowed by Enzo to watch the building of his 275 GTB at the factory. Dick was a long time reader and supporter of VeloceToday and his many comments and suggestions were always much appreciated.

Dick wore the uniform of his country and, as an Army veteran who served in Korea, he was a patriotic American who constantly sent emails and letters to newspapers, senators, representatives and friends on issues that would benefit our great country. Those who knew him will miss him. God bless Dick Irish.

He is survived by his wife Barbara, in their home near Oklahoma City.

FOR SALE! Style Auto duplicates: Numbers available are:
1,2,4,5,8,9,10,12,13,14,17,21,22,24,25,26,27,30,31,32,33,36,37. Most have English text, (4,14,27,33 are in Italian.) 1, 2 printed in (IT/EN). 1,2,27 are hard cover. Nice condition, #1 has a few loose pages but is complete; dust jacket on 2 70% complete. £495 GBP/$750 plus shipping Contact:willgrant@yahoo.co.uk

*$25 Ads for anyone who has something to sell, to giveaway, or to holler about. Ad will be placed above the fold and run for one month. Contact vack@cox.net .

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Sold out! Many thanks to all who ordered!
The editor…

Don Black’s Competition Reference Handbook

Price: $100.00 plus $25.00 Shipping & Handling (US Only)
Description:398 pages, Xeroxed, softbound, 8.5 x 11 inches

By Carl Goodwin

Would you like a 220 HP Alfa?

In the heyday of U.S. importer Alfa Romeo Inc. – that would be the late ‘60s to the late ‘90s – a bright, enthusiastic engineer named Don Black managed Alfa’s racing activities during his evenings and weekends.

With the help and support of the president of the organization, Arturo Reitz, he organized contingency programs for Alfa racers. For those drivers who finished 1st, 2nd or 3rd in class, they got $300, $200 or $100. It doesn’t sound like much now, but in 1971 it was a nice payoff. During the first year of this program, the five leading drivers were given a brand new Alfa 2600 roadster for their accomplishments!

Make your 1600 vintage race ready...Photo by Vince Johnson.

[click to continue…]

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The Three Musketeers, Part 1

by pete on March 24, 2015

Combination of the three: Emile Darl'mat asked Marcel Pourtout to clothe this Peugeot 601 with a design by Georges Paulin. At the 1935 Concours d’Elegance in Monte Carlo, the actress Josette Day presented this dramatic, ultra-modern, full-width pontoon with Paulin's disappearing hardtop.

By Gijsbert-Paul Berk

This is the story of three men who, in the prewar years and especially during the 1930 ties, combined their ambition, enthusiasm and skills to create a number of unforgettable and trendsetting automobiles. The names of these ‘three musketeers’: Emile Darl’mat (1892 – 1970), a successful Paris car dealer, Marcel Pourtout (1894 -1979), a master craftsman and coachbuilder and Georges Paulin (1902 – 1942), a dentist and a very talented ‘amateur’ body designer.

In 2002 I was lucky enough to interview Claude Pourtout in his office at the Fédération Française de la Carrosserie. Claude was at the time a Vice-President and the historian of this organization. He was also the son of Marcel Pourtout, whose coachbuilding company had built a number of these magic Darl’mat sports cars. He told me quite a lot about the endeavors of his father, his friends Emile Darl’mat, Georges Paulin and the history of the company Carrosserie Pourtout. He also lent me a number of unique drawings and photos, which I was allowed to copy. The originals I returned to him with a draft of my article. We met again at the next Rétromobile show and made an appointment to continue our conversation soon. Unfortunately his health deteriorated and that never happened. When in 2004 he died, I filed my notes because they were incomplete and I more or less forgot about them.

But now I have retrieved them and – with some additional information – here is what he told me. [click to continue…]

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Adventures at Amelia, 2015

by pete on March 24, 2015

The Eichenbaum’s1955 Lancia B24S Spider America.

Story and photos by Jonathan Sharp

Wednesday March 11: Arrival

Just a quick E mail to let you know we have arrived at Amelia Island. Do you know, I have already seen my first classic of the trip without having even left Heathrow Airport. [click to continue…]

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Phillip Island Classic 2015

by pete on March 24, 2015

Neil Choi Alfetta Peter Richards Marcos 3L turn 10.

Story and Photos by Vince Johnson

With over five hundred entries track time during the Classic is always at a premium, so the Victorian Historic Racing Register held the briefing for all drivers on Thursday afternoon. Scrutineering was underway before breakfast on Friday and with qualifying done by lunchtime, racing commenced soon after. The celebration this year was for 50 years of the Mustang and it wasn’t hard to guess what would be on the grid in the over 3500cc Historic Touring Car races. [click to continue…]

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VeloceToday for March 17, 2015

by pete on March 17, 2015


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FOR SALE! Style Auto duplicates: Numbers available are:
1,2,4,5,8,9,10,12,13,14,17,21,22,24,25,26,27,30,31,32,33,36,37. Most have English text, (4,14,27,33 are in Italian.) 1, 2 printed in (IT/EN). 1,2,27 are hard cover. Nice condition, #1 has a few loose pages but is complete; dust jacket on 2 70% complete. £495 GBP/$750 plus shipping Contact:willgrant@yahoo.co.uk

Rent a Race Car to drive in the 2015 Mille Miglia, Bassano, and other Italian Vintage events! Drive this rare Siata Daina Coupe, an A.C. Ace, or a Colli barchetta or others. This is an opportunity of a lifetime.
Don’t wait, these cars are rented out quickly for 2015!
Contact vack@cox.net for further details.

*$25 Ads for anyone who has something to sell, to giveaway, or to holler about. Ad will be placed above the fold and run for one month. Contact vack@cox.net .

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The French make Peugeot pioneered the retractable hardtop in the early 1930 ties by selling Éclipse bodies, made by coachbuilder Marcel Pourtout, on their 301 and 601 chassis. The concept of the Peugeot 402 Éclipse was also based on Georges Paulin’s patent. But this model, introduced in October 1935, was built in Peugeot’s own factory. Between 1936 and 1940 some 580 units were produced.

In the next three weeks, Gijsbert Paul Berk will detail the lives of three important Frenchman who had a tremendous influence on automobile design: Georges Paulin, Marcel Pourtout and Emile Darl’mat, the three Musketeers. Much of their combined work evolved around the development of the disappearing hardtop as conceived by Georges Paulin. To give us a further insight into how clever kinematics conquered the auto industry, Gijsbert-Paul sent us this history. [click to continue…]

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Bowtie Ferraris: S/N 0168

by pete on March 17, 2015

At Sebring in 1953 with Peter Yung. Photo by Ozzie Lyons © 2014 Pete Lyons/petelyons.com


This week we present another chapter from Randy Cook’s new book Bowtie Ferraris, the only book ever published about Chevy engined Ferraris. If in continental U.S., order below from VeloceToday. [click to continue…]

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Geneva 2015

March 17, 2015

Story and photos by Alessandro Gerelli
Alessandro Gerelli has been attending the Geneva shows since 2004 and reporting on the Italian and French cars since then. This year he again traveled from his home in Milan to Europe’s most prestigious car show to bring us the latest from Geneva.
Also read our report on the [...]

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Italian Car Design: Stasis or Change?

March 17, 2015

Photos and captions by Alessandro Gerelli unless otherwise noted
Commentary by Gijsbert-Paul Berk
We thought it might be fun to look at the reports from the Geneva show since 2009; what has changed in the past seven years? (In fact, VeloceToday can go back to 2004, but that is beating a dead horse; see a [...]

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VeloceToday for March 10, 2015

March 10, 2015
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The Abarth-Ferrari-Chevy: From Bowtie Ferraris

March 10, 2015

This week we present a chapter from Randy Cook’s new book Bowtie Ferraris. Meet Randy at Amelia Island this weekend and get a signed copy of the only book ever published about Chevy engined Ferraris. Or, if in continental U.S., order below from VeloceToday.
By Randy Cook
This unusual Abarth-Ferrari has had more rebodies than any [...]

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