Archives for April 2013
The Maserati 3015 – The Complete History by Bernhard Brägger, Forward by Simon Moore
Schmidgasse Buchhandler Publishing, 2012; 180 pages, 170 photos, 12 by 9.25 inches
135 Euros ($176) plus shipping
20% OFF PRICE OF 135 EUROS (110 Euros, $140) FOR VELOCETODAY READERS! ORDER FROM THE WEBSITE BELOW AND STATE THAT YOU HAVE READ OUR REVIEW IN VELOCETODAY TO QUALIFY FOR DISCOUNT.
Available from: maserati3015.com
Review by Pete Vack
The story of Maserati 3015 is not the first Single Chassis Book (SCB) we’ve read, but it competes well with Mark Sonnery’s Ferrari Breadvan for being the best, at least within the narrow realm of our focus and experience. Two others have recently come to our attention; the Kelly Vignale Corvette, which we reviewed earlier, and Lancia Dagrada, which we have yet to review. Denis Jenkinson probably got the whole ball rolling in 1987 when he wrote Maserati 3011, the story of the Whitney Straight 8CM. Therefore, Maserati 3015 is the second book published (to our knowledge) about a specific Maserati 8CM chassis. [Read more…] about Maserati 8CM 3015: Review and Special Offer!
Story by Pete Vack
Photos of Selected 8CM Maseratis by Hugues Vanhoolandt
Ernesto, Bindo and Ettore were only half of a remarkable set of six sons born to Rudolfo and Carolina Maserati in Voghera, a small town outside of Piacenza. A seventh son, named Alfieri, was also born but died shortly after birth. The remaining six were all gifted, intelligent and industrious.
Mario Maserati was born in 1890, but unlike his brothers, was never interested in automobiles, and eventually became a painter. Carlo, born in 1881, was fascinated by the new internal combustion engine, and set the stage for his younger brothers. As a young man, Carlo worked for both Fiat and Isotta Fraschini. Carlo died when only thirty, but his interest in things mechanical had passed on to Alfieri, (who was given the same name as the baby who had died earlier). Bindo was born in 1883, Ettore came along in 1894 and Ernesto in 1898.
Alfieri, Ernesto and Ettore established the Societa Anonima Officine Alfieri Maserati in 1914, and although the initial intent was to prepare Isotta Fraschinis for racing, the timing dictated that they make spark plugs for the war effort. After the hostilities, the brothers returned to the modification of Isottas, which eventually led to the manufacture of a car of their own design and construction. By 1926, the first Maserati, the Tipo 26, was ready for the track. Alfieri, the mainstay and inspiration, died in 1932, and Bindo stepped in to assist his brothers in running the business.
Pre War Racing Cars
The Tipo 26 was followed by a series of cars with a variety of cylinders and displacements. The 8C 1100, 1500, 2500, and 3000 were similar cars with different displacements. The 4CM (4 cylinders, Monoposto), was built in small numbers with 1100, 1500, and 2500 cc. The Tipo V4 was a four liter 16 cylinder and the Tipo V-5 was a supercharged V-16, of 5 liters. A six cylinder engine, (6CM) was used in 1934. Four V-8 cars were built for the 1935 season.
[Read more…] about Selected Maserati 8CMs
By Gijsbert-Paul Berk
The selection of outstanding aerodynamic designs up to 1930 that I will present to you is by nature, very arbitrary. During those years there were many other very original automotive creations as well.
However, the concepts I have chosen, have at least two things in common:
1. All of them incorporated new ideas that have influenced future automobile designers.
2. Most of them must have disappointed their designers/creators, as not a single one did everything they expected or became a commercial success. The only exception is Jenatzy’s electric record beater, because with that car he realized his dream to go faster than 100 km/h. But he did call his machine ‘Jamais Contente (Never Satisfied).
Photos and Captions by Hugues Vanhoolandt
[Hugues Vanhoolandt first introduced himself to us five years ago during the 2008 Essen show. Since then, this wondeful photographer has taken photos for VeloceToday all over the world. And once again, we are proud to present his work and views from Essen. Editor.]
[Read more…] about Techno Classica Essen 2013
By Pete Vack
Photos by Hugues Vanhoolandt
Recently we published two articles about Gordini before WWII., Gauld on Gordini and Gordini Before the Big One. This week, Hugues Vanhoolandt gives us a post war Gordini Gallery, consisting of photos taken all over Europe since 2008.
Before VeloceToday contributor Roy Smith wrote his latest book, Gordini, the only source of in depth information about the cars was ChristianHuet’s amazing book, on the subject. Published in 1984 in French, Huet traced the history of Gordini, plus all known cars.
Huet’s task was made a bit easier because there were very few Gordinis ever built; every chassis was a race car so race events and photos provided a field for research. In 1957, when Amedee Gordini retired his cars from racing and went to work with Renault, he wisely sold many of the remaining Gordinis to museums throughout France. The largest recipients of were the Schlumpf brothers, who in 1960 came into the possession of 13 of the 32 post war Gordinis. Other cars were kept by their owners, hidden away until it became affordable to have them restored.
While at the very same time Ferrari blithely went about destroying his old racecars, the Gordini’s enshrined in the museums ensured that his remarkable and beautiful jewels would never die, enhancing his own legacy and history. Since the 1990s, many of the ex-museum cars have come into the hands of those who wish to see them in action once more. Some 56 years after Gordini retired his cars, a few now appear at selected events such as the Monaco Historics and Goodwood. Few, if any, can be seen in the US, although in 2001 one did appear at the Monterey Historics.
Gordini’s cars were a unique combination; French, Italian, exquisite and fast. The rarity and successful race records plus the drivers such as Behra and Fangio, make them as desirable as a mid-fifties classic could possibly be. Information, photos, specs, and tests were sparse and even less well known in the U.S. Fred Wacker was one of the few Americans who actively raced a Gordini, and he did so in Europe. Gordini brought cars to race in the Carrera Panamericana but the cars returned to France. For years, Gordinis remained mysterious and unknown, and since most were in museums, few ventured out to vintage race car events.
As related in our earlier articles, Gordini was supported heavily by the new Simca company prior to the war. This support continued after WWII and the cars were known as Simca Gordinis. Then came the disastrous 1951 Le Mans, when all four 1500cc Gordinis retired. It was too much for Simca’s M. Pigozzi; he pulled his financial support for Gordini and from that point on the cars were known only as Gordinis.
A note about chassis numbers and Types. Postwar, Gordini created an 1100cc formula car much like the Cisitalia D46. These were called T11s. Over the years most T11s were modified and upgraded to T15 which were, for the most part, 1490cc. T15s were often upgraded or changed to sports racers, such as 18s. Each had a unique chassis number, generally in order of initial construction; 02 GCs, 06 GS, 18GC, etc. The letter ‘s’ after the numbers or suffix would mean a sports model. Engines had Types as well, T15 at just under 1500cc being the most common. Almost all chassis had a “immatriculation” number, or license tag. It can get confusing and thankfully in this case there are only 32 chassis to track, and all the work has been done by Huet and recently updated by Roy Smith in his new book on Gordini. (Smith’s book is completely different and takes the Gordini saga right through to the Renault years and beyond.) We’ve asked Roy to check our assumptions below and we thank him for his corrections. However, that does not guarantee that all of the below information is 100 % correct.
Note that Ed McDonough will be featured driving s/n 19GCS coming up in VT, and we’ll take a much closer look at s/n 33 in the near future.
Finally, thanks to our man Hugues Vanhoolandt, we are able to present these Gordinis for this article. I imagine he has been wondering if we’d ever use them!
Chassis number 02GC
Number 15 is a monoposto, original chassis number 02GC, constructed in 1947. It was driven by Gordini himself at the Torino GP in 1946, before he decided to retire from racing. Maurice Trintignant also took part to some races in this particular car. Driven at Monaco in 2008 by Jean-Jacques Bailly (F).
By Pete Vack
The Editor wraps up the story of the Alfa Find with the help of Brighton Motors, Dr. Peter Fodor, Matt at Re-Originals, and current owner Frank Allocca.
As we have seen, the Alfa found in a horse barn in 1977 passed quickly from the editor to the home of Alfas Unlimited in Norfolk CT., where Keith Goring and Sue Dixon decided to make a vintage race car out of the engineless Alfa. The Sprint Veloce would stay with them until in 2007 when they finally gave up the old workhorse race car and sold it.
[Read more…] about Alfa Finds a New Life, Part 3
Michael T. Lynch
The origins of the Kansas City Art Institute go back to 1885. Those who have passed through its doors as students or instructors include Walt Disney, Regionalist master Thomas Hart Benton – known as a father figure to Jackson Pollock – conceptual artist and writer Robert Morris and mixed media artist Robert Rauschenberg. Rauschenberg has an automotive connection in that he painted the sixth car (a 635 CSi) in BMW’s famed 18-piece Art Car Collection. They are just four of the thousands of individuals associated with the college. Kansas City-based global firms Hallmark, Sprint, Garmin and a vibrant art community absorb many of the graduates.
[Read more…] about Cars as Art, in an Appropriate Setting
Wallace Wyss likes to draw. Granted, he’ll never be a Picasso- and the good Lord knows the Editor will never be a Hemingway – so we both do what we can with what we have.
Over the past five years Wyss has sent us a variety of critiques of new designs out of Italy, and a few old ones as well. It’s a lot of fun and he makes some good points along the way.
His latest is below, the new La Ferrari (or whatever they will end up naming it). And below that, we’ve found a gathering of his previous critiques of Ferraris, Alfas, and even Rolls-Royce as they came to us. [Editor]
[Read more…] about La Ferrari and Other Notables Critiqued