By Pete Vack, All photos by Robert F. Pauley
These are photo by former Chrysler engineer Robert F. Pauley relevant to recent past, present, and future articles appearing in VeloceToday. The lead photo above pertains to last week’s review of Powered by Porsche, in which we discussed the efforts of Louis Fageol to create a twin-powered Porsche.
Fageol was very encouraged by the performance of his twin-Offy special at Indy in 1946 and went on to create at least two twin Porsches for sports car racing. The Fageol Offy was shown here.
Pauley, who has contributed many fine articles for VeloceToday, photographed the Fageol Porsche at the Westover races in June 13, 1954. The top was removable and looks very advanced for the time, but we never realized the color was almost gold.
Another advanced car for the time and much better looking was the Siata’s Farina and Balbo-bodied 208CS. Readers wondered why we did not include a Siata in our article about Etceterinis. So, here is one, in another never before published photo taken at Bridgehampton, May 23, 1953 by Robert F. Pauley, a truly nice shot of Otto Linton’s quite famous serial number CS060. A few months later in September Linton won his class at Watkins Glen, then sold the car in order to buy an OSCA (see Winningest OSCA). Coming up in VeloceToday, Sean Smith will tell the entire story of another 208 coupe, Walter Eisenstark’s Balbo-bodied 208 serial number CS071.
Another photo relevant to Graham Gauld’s article this week in VeloceToday, the Copper Clad Cobra, was found while researching Pauley’s files. We noticed one slide that normally would not catch out attention, a Plymouth at the Janury 1955 Chicago Auto Show. However, in addition to writing the date, place, car and f-stop, Pauley further noted that the black car had copper plated trim. All on a 35 mm slide! While copper plating on custom cars is not unheard of, this was on the brand spanking new 1955 Plymouth, the first cars Virgil Exner and his design teams were able to start from a clean sheet of paper, and perhaps a link to the much later Exner-designed Mercer Cobra. But despite a good bit of GoogleTime, we found absolutely nothing on this car. Who had it done, and was it connected to Exner?
Gold Plated Goodies
Copper plating was one thing, but gold plating was downright brave. The fad may have started with a 1956 Hollywood movie, “The Solid Gold Cadillac” in which the heroine ends up being given a solid gold Caddy. But the car — an Eldorado Biarritz, appears for only 30 seconds in the last few seconds of the movie. It was, however, a real car, though just painted gold inside and out. This may have inspired Elvis Presley to deck out his 1960 Eldorado Caddy with gold plated front bumper and trim including some of the dash. Gold records were installed in the headliner. And actor/singer Isaac Hayes did one better (or worse) to a 1972 Cadillac, with even more gold plated trim.
Or, maybe they all got their inspiration from a Jaguar XK120 M which was shown at the New York Motorsports Show in February, 1954. Again, it the proof was found in the 35 mm Kalt sheets filed under Robert F. Pauley. We had previously thought that this was the Road & Track cover car for June, 1955, but it was stated that the cover photo was taken by Jerry Chesebrough of Peter Satori’s XK140 with $3000 worth of 24 karat gold plating.
And not an XK120. Apparently there were not one but two cream colored gold plated Jaguars. We have no idea of who owned the earlier gold plated XK120M or what became of it, nor does Google.
Finally, and in keeping with our book review of Aldo Zana’s great new book “Monzanapolis,” we happened upon a photo of one of the most important players in the race of two worlds, Jimmy Bryan. Bryan won the 1957 Race of Two Worlds at Monza, placed second in the 1958 event, and won Indy in 1958. Here, Robert F. Pauley photographed Bryan going on to win Indy in the Belond Special, finishing at 133.79 mph, considerably slower than the 160.061 mph averaged at Monza the previous year.