Archives for December 2012
To accompany our stories about the Grand Sport, we asked Gijsbert-Paul Berk if he had a favorite Talbot-Lago. Reaching into his huge bank of automotive experiences, he told us about driving the ultra-rare 2.5 liter 1955-56 Gran Turismo coupe on the banking at Montlhéry. Above, the author’s test car, a Talbot 2.5 liter GT coupé on the cover of the June 1956 issue of the Dutch magazine “Autovisie”. The photo was taken in front of the gate of the stately house called Oostermeer on the bank of the river Amstel near Amsterdam.
I have never owned a Talbot-Lago and they were never on my shortlist. The main reason for this is that when they were new, they were far beyond my financial scope. When they were affordable, as second hand cars, the factory no longer existed, so service and spare parts were a problem. So, it is not that I dislike Anthony Lago’s Talbots; I have driven 4.5 liter sedans, owned by friends. In 1956 I even drove a 2.5 liter GT coupé on the Montlhéry circuit in France. But it was not in a race.
By Graham Gauld
Show cars fall into two categories:
A. “Let’s put this apparently mad idea up and see if anyone takes any notice.”
B. “We will call this a show car but really show the way we are thinking for the future.”
I have always had an interest in coachbuilding and design. Perhaps it was due to the first books I ever bought about cars. They were the soft cover books produced by Fawcett Publications in the USA and I treasure them to this day. I particularly liked “Sports Car Album” by John Wheelock Freeman because, with photographer Alexandre Georges, he traveled round Europe and wrote stories about the manufacturers and coachbuilders of that time. I was serving two years National Service in the Royal Air Force at that time but little was I to know I would be visiting some of those exact same factories just a few years later. So don’t be surprised if, from time to time, I write about various special-bodied show cars that appeared only to disappear again.
By Pete Vack
The following true story is based on the recollections of John Wiech, who bent my ear for a few hours at a car meet last year. Our apologies for a story about Porsches, but it’s the truth and it’s a sin to tell a lie, particularly at Christmas time. We originally published this in 2009 and it was one of our reader’s favorites. [Ed.]
The subject had started another family argument. Johnny had become enamored with a rare foreign car but it seemed no one knew exactly how to pronounce the name. It was German, or was it. “…It’s Austrian,” said his Dad. “But made in Stuttgart,” said Johnny, being careful to put the “sch” in. He reasoned that the sch in the car’s name might sound the same and the vowel at the end be pronounced. His older sister said otherwise. “It’s Porch, as in front porch or back porch, without the ‘e’.”
She always thought she was so smart.
[Read more…] about From the Archives: Santa in a Silver Spyder
By Brandes Elitch
About thirty years ago, I attended a “Grand Classic,” the judged show that is a regular fixture on the Classic Car Club of America events calendar. I remember seeing a Cord 810 coupe parked under a tree, a little ways from the show. Even from a distance, it was a spectacular car, and I walked over to see it. As I was admiring it, a thought occurred to me like a thunderbolt: Cord never made an 810 coupe!
Poetry in Motion, by Tony Brooks
276 pages, color and black and white photos, 8.5 x 11 inches
Motor Racing Publications, Croydon, England 2012
By Pete Vack
Tony Brooks arrived on the racing scene in a very big way, winning the 1955 Syracuse Grand Prix with a Connaught Type B. It was only his third Grand Prix and he became the first British driver/car combination to win a Grand Prix race since Segrave’s victory at Tours in 1923 with a Sunbeam.
[Read more…] about Tony Brooks: Poetry in Motion
Editorial by Gijsbert-Paul Berk
After the safety car-finish of Jenson Button in his McLaren-Mercedes at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, the new World Champion Sebastian Vettel also got a warm round of applause from an enthusiastic Brazilian crowd. It was not only the 3rd consecutive World Championship for Sebastian, but also the 3rd time that Red Bull won the Constructors Championship.
However, in all the excitement over the Grand Prix of Brazil, most commentators and reporters failed to mention that this was a victory for Renault as well as Vettel and Red Bull. Fortunately the French sports journalist Jean-Louis Moncet, who writes for the magazine Auto Plus and does the race commentary for the French TV station TF1, did remember the role of Red Bull’s engine supplier, and was quite justified in doing so.
[Read more…] about The Silent Champion