VeloceToday for February 9, 2016

by pete on February 9, 2016

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Gauld at Retro: I Knew Them When….

by pete on February 9, 2016

A sunny day at the Modena Autodrome nearly fifty nine years ago. Ferrari appeared with the 335S (0674) to test the Dunlop tires. Test driver Martino Severi at the wheel. This same car sold at Retromobile for nearly $34 million. A sunny day at the Modena Autodrome nearly fifty nine years ago. Ferrari appeared with the 335S (0674) to test the Dunlop tires. Test driver Martino Severi at the wheel. This same car sold at Retromobile for $35.7 million. Photo by Graham Gauld.

By Graham Gauld

Regular readers will no doubt be aware that the French car show Retromobile always fires me up and sends me scurrying around the vast hall searching out cars that strike a chord with me or trigger a memory.

On this occasion it was a significant bit of memory and it involves a car that was the first Ferrari I was able to watch closely during a private test session at the Modena Autodrome back in 1957. It was now standing in front of me at the Artcurial auction stand this year. [click to continue…]

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Seeing Red at the Schlumpf

by pete on February 9, 2016

rewqrwer This is the third of five ‘Disco Volantes’ constructed by Alfa and Touring. The S/N is 1359.00002 and is the four cylinder version. It was known as the ‘narrow sided’ Touring because it was much narrower than the first car from which the name Disco Volante was derived. It was raced in several hillclimbs in the mid 1950s before being scooped up by the Schlumpfs. The most impressive post war Alfa in the collection and an absolute, extremely original jewel.

All Photos by Jonathan Sharp
Text by Staff

Having been through the Bugattis at the Schlumpf in the past two editions of VeloceToday, it seemed that identifying the Italians photographed at the Schlumpf by Jonathan Sharp might be a spot easier. Not on your sweet bippy. Note that we asked for a list of S/Ns from the National Museum at Mulhouse weeks ago and still no reply. [click to continue…]

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Vignale Part 2: Coacbuilder to Ferrari

by pete on February 9, 2016

badge-sf-300 This week we take you on a journey through the wonderful world of the Vignale Ferraris, all but one sketched by the amazing artist Giovanni Michelotti and translated into metal by Alfredo Vignale and his crew of talented panel beaters. Our photographers are Michael T. Lynch, Alessandro Gerelli, Hugues Vanhoolandt and Jonathan Sharp; in addition we have never-before-published color images of Vignale Ferraris in the era, taken by Robert F. Pauley and his brother at a number of events in the early 1950s.

By Pete Vack

The relationship with Michelotti coincided with Enzo Ferrari’s desire to change coachbuilders. Luigi Chinetti Sr. had con¬vinced Ferrari to construct a series of road cars and Chinetti was sure they could be sold in the U.S. Vignale could under-price and out-produce Touring, Ferrari’s main coachbuilder, and apparently Ferrari liked Michelotti’s ideas.

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It was fine with Alfredo as well. “For Vignale, each new Ferrari chassis was analogous to the sculpture’s block of marble, a new challenge to his ability to give concrete form to his flight of fancy…” wrote Marcel Massini in his book “Ferrari By Vignale”. Vignale’s first Ferrari rolled out of the shop in 1950; about 156 Ferrari bodies were built, and after 1954 Vignale gradually stopped producing bodies for Ferrari and instead concentrated on the new Maserati 3500 as Ferrari teamed up with Pinin Farina for a new line of Ferraris.

Below: 20 delectable Vignale Ferraris by Serial Number

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A Mussolini Alfa Romeo Mystery

by pete on February 9, 2016

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The two motorists in this photo are about to share a tragedy and create an international incident hushed up for decades. Is it possible that this photo provides new evidence about this strange interlude?*Photographer unknown.

By Pete Vack

Dale La Follette, proprietor of Vintage Motorphoto, has been a fan of VeloceToday for years and often sends us photos from his amazing collection. Some are not identified, and one of our happiest yet most frustrating tasks is to identify the car or individuals in a photo. Recently, he sent us this photo with the comment, “1931 (or is it 1937?) Mussolini and Cornelius Vanderbilt taking a drive in a dual cowl something or other, oh my, not OUR Cornelius??? This is great fun sending you all my problems as you keep rising to the bait……..”. On the back of the print were vague clues including a date and an incomplete newspaper clipping.

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VeloceToday for February 2, 2016

by pete on February 2, 2016

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Blue Oval et al Ferraris Review

by pete on February 2, 2016

cvr-300 Blue Oval et al Ferraris: Ford and other American-engined Ferraris from the 1950s and 1960s

By Randy Cook

RAC Motorsports Publishing

176 pages, 250 photos

$39.95 USD plus shipping

ISBN 978-0-692-50170-2

Review by Brandes Elitch

“If you haven’t grasped it yet, everything you write needs to be researched.” – Stefan Vucak

Randy Cook should need no introduction to regular readers as his previous book, “Bowtie Ferraris” was reviewed here by both this author and Michael Lynch. It told the history of 71 small block Chevy (SBC) powered cars, some of which were quite famous and had a distinguished race history. In spite of the voluminous amount of writing that has appeared on Ferraris, (probably more “scholarly research” has been written about Ferrari than any other single marque) nobody had ever tackled this subject, at least not using rigorous historical research. It is not an exaggeration that the first book changed the way that many people look at Ferraris. What Randy Cook did is to illustrate the “important and undeniable fact of Ferrari history that the temporary power of American engines saved many of the early cars, some quite significant, from being crushed and lost forever.” Make no mistake – these are the most valuable Ferraris, the early cars, and the race cars. Taken as a whole with the first book, this is an extraordinary piece of research. [click to continue…]

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Vignale History, Part 1 The Early Years

by pete on February 2, 2016

badge-2Alfredo Vignale, who at one time didn’t drive or even like to ride in cars, died in an automobile accident in November of 1969. According to his brother Giuseppe, interviewed in 1956, “Alfredo’s passion for automobiles begins and ends with his coachwork. He doesn’t own a car, won’t drive a car, and only rides in one with great reluctance.” It is perhaps ironic, but the man who was Vignale and Company was responsible for some of the finest and fastest automotive sculptures of our the twentieth century.

By Pete Vack

From 1946 to 1969, the workshop of Alfredo Vignale of Turin, Italy, was among the vanguard of a number of illustrious and creative Italian carrozzeria which included Allemano, Bertone, Ghia, Motto, Pininfarina, Touring, Viotti and others. In 1947 he created the amazing and advanced Cisitalia MM from the drawings of Giovanni Savonuzzi and by 1950 became Enzo Ferrari’s primary coachbuilder, usurping Touring for the honor.

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Gijsbert-Paul Berk: Retro Rockets and Chinese Italians

February 2, 2016

Gijsbert-Paul Berk recently turned 85 years young. He has been our kind and generous mentor since his book, André Lefebvre and the cars he created for Voisin and Citroën was reviewed by us in 2010. His first article for VeloceToday was The 1923 French Grand Prix, in 2012, Part 1 of a massive 9 part […]

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Where to Shop and Eat at Rétromobile

February 2, 2016

In 2010, Lizzie Sexton accompanied her husband John to Rétro, but instead of hanging about at the show, she decided to explore the 15th arrondissement. “Not all of us are car fanatics,” she wrote. “But that’s not an excuse to skip the wonderful Rétromobile. Take advantage of the trip to discover a part of Paris […]

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VeloceToday for January 26, 2016

January 26, 2016

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Bugatti and Gordini Racecars at the Schlumpf

January 26, 2016

Photos by Jonathan Sharp Dear reader, Last week we brought you Part 1 of cars at the Schlumpf (click here). Below we present just a few of the Bugatti and Gordini race cars at the National Museum at Mulhouse. We have not attempted to identify the Bugattis by chassis number; we have asked for a...

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