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1962 GP de Monaco in tantalizing moving images

It is not very often that we see film footage like this. This material was shot at the 1962 Grand Prix de Monaco and is of a quality unseen before. To us, at least.

It starts with an E-type that, for some reason, is right in the race in between all the monopostos. A pace car? Or is it practice? We’d love to hear from you. What we do know is that The footage is part of a German made documentary that’s known as ‘Flying Clipper’ or ‘Mediterranean Holiday’.

The position from the E-type is soon to be changed to more conventional shots from the sides of the track, but these are of superb quality either. And then there are also shots taken from a tall building overlooking the track and harbor. And even tantalizing soundless images taken from a helicopter, flying along the coastline and following some of the cars.

We absolutely love it. And can only recommend you to enlarge the screen, turn up the volume, sit behind in your seat and enjoy this wonderful little film.

(Words editor, video Youtube/NoProperThrottleControl)

Thursday, 19 July 2018

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Could Bond’s prototype DB5 be still alive?

Could Bond’s DB5 prototype still be alive?
Is there really a major breakthrough in one of the world’s most controversial classic car thefts? Or is Christopher A Marinello, chief executive of Art Recovery International just adding more to the mystery and intrigue of the Goldfinger DB5?

What’s the story? As many of you will know the Aston Martin DB5 made its debut in Goldfinger and has been the ultimate Bond car ever since. But the so-called ‘effects car’ used in Goldfinger was more than just that. This was an original DB5 prototype, based on a late DB4 which was specifically rebuilt for the film. Its chassis number DP/261/1 underlines with ‘DP’ for Development Project. The famous registration number ‘BMT 216A’ was issued on 1 May 1963. At the time, the colour was Dubonnet Red with a grey interior. After completing some necessary testing, Aston Martin decided to use the car for PR activities and, in January 1964, the DB5 was on screen for the first time: in an episode of ‘The Saint’.

But it wasn’t until one year later that the DB5 started its second life in the hands of Sean Connery and we all know where that led to. Aston Martin sold the car in 1968 and it has been in various private collections ever since. The car made $ 275,000 when it was sold for the third time in 1986. Its new owner became the controversial American businessman and collector Anthony V. Pugliese III who regularly displayed the car at shows. It all came to an end in the night of 18-19 June 1997. The car disappeared from a hangar at Boca Raton Airport, Florida. The alarm wires had been severed and skid marks suggested that the Aston was loaded onto an airplane. Checking out all the flights to and from the airport resulted in no proof whatsoever.

It became soon known that Pugliese had just insured the car for the astronomical sum of $4.2 million. Could he have arranged for the Aston Martin to get stolen and dumped into the ocean off the coast of Florida from an airplane? This could all have been part of a plan to get hold of the insurance premiums. Years of investigations, quarrels and lawsuits followed. In the end, the insurance company paid out on the policy. The car has never been seen since – despite vigorous attempts of Bond fans and other interested parties. The question remains: what happened to the car during that fatal summer night back in 1997?

Enter Christopher A Marinello of Art Recovery International, who says he found out a lead to the car in the Middle East. He said: ‘I have been given a specific tip, but we are working on it. We want to reach out to the collector car community and a vast array of mechanics to let them know we are very serious about recovering it. As there are many Aston Martins, it is very important that we get a shot of the chassis number, DP/216/1. This is what we are looking for, as it is very specific to the vehicle. It is quite possible the potential in the Middle East is a mere lookalike, which is why it is crucial we retain a close-up of the chassis number.’ What do we think..?

(Words editor, picture Commander’s Club through Cnet.com)

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

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Lloyd's Folly

Lloyds Folly

As the fog of war began to lift in the latter half of the 1940s, manufacturers clamoured to produce new cars suitable for the looming period of austerity that would follow. The easiest solution to the problem of fuel efficient, minimal motoring was to find the smallest possible off-the-shelf engine – invariably one which had found its home originally in a motorcycle – and cobble together a drivetrain – by chain, most likely – and wrap it up in the simplest of coachwork only just capable of keeping the weather off two occupants within.

Roland Lloyd, an inveterate tinkerer from the northern port town of Hull, had other ideas. He had a vision for a simple, economical motor car for the postwar era, but for Roland merely cobbling together other manufacturer’s cast-offs would not suffice.

He designed a remarkable light alloy two-stroke engine of 650cc, a tubular backbone chassis and a system of front-wheel drive incorporating independent suspension. The car was clothed in an alloy and steel body very much in the prewar sports car idiom. Sadly, the Lloyd 650 was too expensive to build and too niche to find a mass market. Only a few hundred were built until 1952.

 In the latest issue of The Automobile we come face to face with a rare survivor and reassess the merits of this quirky economy car.

Photographs by John Warburton 

  

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

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Renault Étoile Filante: An aerodynamically shaped car that runs more than 300 km/h

Renault Étoile Filante: An aerodynamically shaped car that runs more than 300 km/h and makes no noticeable noise
An aerodynamically shaped car that runs more than 300 km/h and makes no noticeable noise. It almost sounds like a modern electric car. Do not worry, we won't write an article about modern Teslas. No, it's the Renault Étoile Filante from 1956 that this article is about, a speed record from Renault. This shooting star was the only attempt by Renault to build a gas turbine car as well as set a land speed record for such cars.

The idea came of Joseph Szydlowski, head of Turboméca, a manufacturer of turbine engines. He started with the small-scale production of powerful turbine engines, especially for the famous Alouette helicopters. In search of opportunities to elevate the benefits of technology, he quickly joined La Régie Renault, who was looking for new techniques for its engines. Renault CEO Pierre Lefaucheux also thought of beating some land speed records. On 5 September 1956 developer Jean Hébert drove the first meters at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, USA, after two years of testing. A few minutes later, the Etoile Filante sets a new landspeed record with a peak of 308.85 km/h, a record that is still valid 62 years later!

These speed tests also helped to promote the sale of Renault's latest car in the United States, the Dauphine. The Étoile Filante later appeared on motor shows around the world. However, in the early 1960s, the end of the gas turbine era stopped making a second car and the speed record car was neglected. In the mid-1990s Renault decided to restore the car to make it run again. Renault has completely disassembled the car at the Billancourt factory in Paris, where the chassis was sprayed and the engine was repaired.

It is now conserved as part of Renault's Historical Cars Collection. Renault was so generous to take their showpiece to the Concours d'Elegance in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. As they built in an electric engine, besides the original turbine engine, it drove quietly over the sprint track. The contrast with the other cars on the track, pre-war cars with loud, conventional internal combustion engines, could not be bigger.

(Words and pictures Marius Hille Ris Lambers http://www.onestop.photo Source: Wikipedia)
      

Monday, 16 July 2018

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