Coupe - Francisco Pueche will be present at Rétromobile, stand nr. 1N102
AngloCars 2017: An iconic showcase of veteran cars in Chile

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The many lives of a Ferrari GTO

The many lives of a Ferrari GTO
We came across this lovely image of a GTO in striking Swedish racing colours last week, only to learn that this very same car was seen on the concours d’elegance of Villa d’Este last weekend. Surprisingly, perhaps, the blue/yellow colour combination was kept despite having raced in these hues only shortly. The car was originally red and had two Italian owners before the colourful Ulf Norinder of Sweden got hold of it and decided it needed his national racing colours.

Norinder entered it in the ’63 Targa Florio, the Coppa Inter Europa at Monza in September that year and for the next season in the Daytona Continental 2000kms, again in the Targa, the 500kms of Spa, the 12 hours of Reims and the 1000kms of the Nurburgring where the above picture was taken.

In 1965 the car was rebodied by Drogo before being sold to the UK. From there on it made a tour over the world and was seen in a variety of events in the hands of a variety of owners in the US, Japan and Germany. It kept its Drogo body (now again repainted in blue albeit without the yellow stripe) for many more years. However, the last decade or so it back as it was in Sweden in ’63 and ’64 and is now seen mostly at prestigious concours events such as Pebble Beach (2007 and 2011), Watkins Glen concours (2007) Amelia island (2008 and 2012), Milwaukee Masterpieces (2009), Mar-a-Logo (2012) and the Ferrari Classiche Concours in Florida (2016). We do like it but wonder: would you have chosen the Norinder-guise? 


Monday, 04 June 2018

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About TTCC Puzzle 184: Fernandel’s Siata Amica Spider

About TTCC Puzzle 184: Fernandel’s Siata Amica Spider
You may know by now that we have a soft spot for French comedy, so perhaps the choice of last week’s puzzle car was an easy one as the vehicle stars in one such movie. As Julius Thurgood wrote: “The car is a 1956 Siata Amica Spider from the 1958 Film ‘Paris Holiday’, starring Bob Hope and French comedian ‘Fernandel’. The scene attached depicts the moment when the Great Dane dog runs off after another canine, towing the little car behind him on a lead. Great website Chaps!” That’s it, very well. And as we wrote, we suspect the car to be Fernandel’s personal choice of wheels, with two photographs available showing him in the same vehicle, albeit in a different (darker) shade. Just note the similar number plate.

Now, Fernandel was perhaps the easiest part of this puzzle. As Bruno Ogorelec wrote: “The dapper man with the dog in your Tough to crack car puzzle #184 is the French film actor, comedian Fernandel. His face is completely impossible to mistake!” (that smile is indeed gold!). Right so. But the car was slightly more difficult to recognize. As Bruno continued: “I don't know about the car, but it is almost certainly a coachbuilt version of the Renault 4CV.”

Well, it’s not that, although it is a coachbuilt version of another small car: the Fiat 600. John Colley: “It looks like one of the Fiat 600 based coachbuilt cars of the mid-1950's to 1960's. It looks like it might be a Moretti by Viotti.” That exactly was our initial thought, too. But it was not that either. A real pity John, as your answer provided some more good insight info: “Fernandel was a French actor/singer who was a bit of a car enthusiast, he had owned Abarth & a favourite was a Giulietta Spider. In the film Holiday in Paris he was driven in this car & other actors were Bob Hope & Anita Ekberg. There was also another special 1100 Fiat cabriolet & a Delahaye 135.”

But as a rule our winner needs to identify the car, and so this week’s prize goes to Fried Stol. His full answer: “A little tight around the waist, but I enjoyed the ride” Bob hope says in the 1958 movie “Paris Holiday” starring French Comedian Fernandel (shown here), Bob Hope and Anita Ekberg. The car pictured is a 1956 Siata Amica Spider by Michelotti. In Italy a lot of coachbuilders and designers took the Fiat 500 and 600 as a base to create their own specials. Specialists such as Canta, Lombardi, Zagato, Viotti were amongst them. The downside however was the price compared to the real thing, so a lot of them ended in the prototype stage. Production figures of this car are unknown.” Congratulations!

(Pictures Getty)

Saturday, 02 June 2018

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Our Friday Lady is an Alvis Grey Lady

Our Friday Lady is an Alvis Grey Lady
Where exactly the Grey Lady moniker comes from, is somewhat shrouded in mystery, but fact is that this car is better known as such than under its official name of Alvis TC21/100. We took a dive in the files and found one source mentioning that Alvis’ own PR department was coming up with the Grey Lady name, while another mentions the press to have dreamt it up.

Fact is that the car was launched during the London Motor Show at Earl’s Court in October 1953, where the Morris Minor Traveller was unveiled too, together with the Standard 8, Ford Popular and Jensen CV-8. Fact is also that the car on display during that show was grey in colour, which surely must have helped.

In its time, the Alvis’ Grey Lady must have been a conservative model. But there were enough Brits who fell for just that, especially in the class where Alvis operated. We would love to learn more about the Grey Lady though. Do you know?

(Words and archive picture editor)

Friday, 01 June 2018

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Giant-killing Zagatos - and a rare Monomille

Giant-killing Zagato Abarths - and a rare Monomille
We have no idea how many Fiat 600s Abarth and Zagato converted into their groovy dubble-bubble 750 Corsa models, but there must have been quite a few. Just take a look at this picture, taken at Monza in 1957 to see they were the common choice of racing drivers at the time. And not just in Italy. Many ended up elsewhere in Europe or even in the US. As a matter of fact, they were pretty successful there, too. In SCCA events the 1-litre Abarth was obliged to compete against rivals displacing up to 3.8 litres and still proved capable of winning!

Anyhow: three restoration projects are now offered for sale with Bonhams during their Greenwich sale on June 3. First of them is a recent barn discovery that is offered in running condition, although it will require either a restoration or careful recommissioning before regular use. The vendor describes it as follows: “This is a fairly straightforward car to get back to road condition thanks to its simple mechanicals and largely aluminum construction. Once back in action, it will reward its owner with a very fun to drive car eligible for many exclusive events.” See it here.

The other two are clearly less easy to put back on the road, although they are both a great basis for a rewarding project. First of them comes with its engine out and plenty of other bits and components in boxes (see it here). The other one looks like a similarly project. This one comes with the enlarged fuel tank “perhaps alluding to some past competition use”. See it here.

Last but not least there’s another giant-killing Fiat based sports car: a 1963 Fiat Abarth Monomille (1000) that’s been upgraded to Bialbero (double camshafts) specifications and is said to have over a hundred horses under its low-slung bonnet. The car has been in the US since new and has been seen on the New York Auto Salon of 1963. It’s had one owner since 1985. See it here. Oh, it’s not going to be sold cheaply, estimated to make $ 150- to 180,000. But then restoring the Zagatos won’t come cheap either..?

(Words editor, pictures Bonhams)

Thursday, 31 May 2018

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