Archives for December 2015
As Found Number Nine
Reader Dave Rex submitted these photos and here is his story:
In 1961 I bought a very nice 1956 Corvette from the original owner. It had dual quads, been bored to 283 cu in and a 1957 four-speed added by the dealer. My dream car!
I had a real interest in road racing after attending some of the races at Road America and was excited about getting a sports car that I could enter in some rallies and autocrosses.
A few weeks after I bought the Corvette there was an ad in the local paper for a Ferrari located a couple of miles from my house in Wilmette, Illinois. I answered the ad and went to look at the car. They were asking $1,800 for the car which is exactly what I had paid for the Corvette. The car needed some bodywork on the left front fender but that was not a deal-breaker.
From the Editor: I can’t imagine this happening at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museums. But somehow,on December 8th, Bonhams was again able to pull enough strings to be able to hold classic or auction at the RAF Museum in Hendon, U.K. and position the cars to be sold next to significant historical aircraft.
And of course, our intrepid Jonathan Sharp, who is as much of a car nut (he owns four Alfas) as a vintage aircraft enthusiast, surely wasn’t going to miss this opportunity to see and photograph both of his passions. (He comes by his love of aircraft honestly…his father witnessed the birth of the Spitfire in 1936).
But he didn’t just take great shots of the cars and planes. First, he lists the car information as provided by Bonhams. But then, he describes the aircraft in the background of each photo, carefully editing (for your convenience) the RAF’s history of each plane. While the descriptions might be a bit long, it is interesting to note that the lives of vintage aircraft often reflect those of vintage cars, including some of the same people who collected and or piloted both cars and aircraft (like Bob Tullius of Group 44 who owned the P51 Mustang photographed with the VW Microbus below). Some are barn finds, some bitsas, some are totally original, but all have great histories; if you like old cars, we guarantee you’ll enjoy old aircraft.
There is no correlation between the cars and the aircraft, although some seem to fit together quite nicely. Perhaps that could be the subject of another show or even auction—placing a Mercedes 540 with a German bomber, a Rolls with a Spitfire, a Lincoln Mark I with a Hellcat, Bugatti with a Bugatti aircraft engine, the possibilities are intriguing as the logistics are formidable.
Our sincere thanks to Jonathan Sharp, who put a lot of time and enthusiasm into this series of photos. We put the sales prices in USD next to the cars and they include buyer’s premiums.
Auction results can be found on the Bonhams site.
By Jonathan Sharp
Alfa Romeo TI Super, $59,946. This 1964 Alfa Giulia TI is generally accepted as being one of the three cars prepared by Autodelta for the 1965 Sebring 12 hour race and driven by works driver Tedoro Zeccoli to 6th place overall and third in class behind the winning Lotus Cortina of Jim Clark. [Read more…] about Classic Cars, Vintage Planes: The Bonhams RAF Auction
By Wallace Wyss
Of course, it is not really “lost.” Someone out there has it and my basis for thinking that is that I’ve seen pictures of it restored and resplendent in a recent Randy Leffingwell book.
I speak of the Giorgetto Giugiaro-designed Porsche 911 roadster, a one-off car that was built by Carrozzeria Bertone back in the first half of the sixties when Giugiaro was the main man on the boards at Bertone.
Gallery: Ferrari Intake and Exhaust[Read more…] about Ferrari Art by Alessandro Gerelli Part 2
ERA (English Racing Automobiles Limited, Bourne, U.K.)
Competitive years: 1934-1938 Horsepower Range: 180-225
While the MG, Alta, Riley and Austin 750 did remarkably well for Great Britain, the Raymond Mays/Peter Berthon ERA combined a production based supercharged Riley engine with a solid conventional chassis and to launch the best known British upright of all time. It was fast, mostly reliable, and attracted top notch drivers from the U.K. and one from Thailand. Prince B. Bira (for short) was a grandson of King Mongkut, the hero of the book and musical, “The King and I”.
Bira was encouraged and financed by his cousin, Prince Chula Chakrabongse, and the pair bought three ERAs, naming them Romulus, Remus and Hanuman under the White Mouse Stable.
By Peter Grist
Veloce Publishing Limited
Parkway Farm Business Park
Middle Farm Way Poundbury
Dorchester DT1 3AR England
Telephone – +44 (0)1305 260068
Facsimile – +44 (0)1305 250479
E-mail – email@example.com
25×20.7cm • 176 pages
$39 plus shipping
Review by Brandes Elitch
“I worked for those guys (Harley Earl, Bill Mitchell, and Elwood Engle), but Ex was unique, he was an artist who loved cars, but the others were sons of bitches that loved cars. They were all tough bozos that drove their designers really hard, but Ex was a great guy to work for.” – Dana Waterman
“His relationship with you was like a colleague, not like you were talking to a Vice President; it was two designers getting together and that’s a very unique relationship to have. He would talk design with you and wouldn’t put you down or put pressure on you…He had a great deal of respect for his designers but he was a perfectionist and he wanted that control, but he was the most creative designer I ever worked with.” – Bill Robinson [Read more…] about Book Review: Virgil Exner – Visioneer
Photos and captions by Jonathan Sharp
In Part One and Part Two of the Peugeot Museum, Jonathan Sharp took us through the production car history of the long lived French automaker Peugeot. While it was not totally complete, it offered a good view of why this collection is both important and impressive.
This week, we wrap up Jonathan Sharp’s French excursion to Peugeot with odds and ends, trophies, rally cars, race cars, and a work called art that only the French can explain. For a conservative manufacturer, we are reminded that Peugeot has been enormously successful in many branches of racing and rallying. So, if, as Sharp suggests, you have some extra time while visiting the old Schlumpf museum, take in the Peugeot Adventure. Here is the website: http://www.museepeugeot.com/en/home.html[Read more…] about Peugeot Museum, Part 3: Rally, Racing and then some
Story by Brandes Elitch
Back in 2008 at the Quail Lodge, what I was looking for was a truly unique car, that neither I, nor anyone else, had seen before, at least not in my lifetime, a car that would blow you away when you saw it. I found what I wanted, and here is the story:
Don Lee started selling Cadillacs in 1906, and was awarded the West Coast distribution in 1919. In 1926, Lee bought KFRC radio in San Francisco, and the next year bought KHJ in Los Angeles. In 1929 he paid for LA’s first television broadcast, and in 1932 broadcast the first motion picture. Eventually, Lee owned twelve stations and became a CBS, and later, Mutual Broadcasting affiliate. To this day the ridge above the famous Hollywood sign, where he put his transmitter, is called Mount Lee. But in 1934, Lee succumbed to a heart attack, at only 54 years of age. His son, Thomas (Tommy) Lee inherited the empire, but left business management to CEO Willet Brown, to pursue, as author Lou Brooks has succinctly put it, “…his other interests, namely race cars and women.” [Read more…] about The Lee T150C SS Talbot, aka “Stinky”