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Mille Miglia 1957: the last real road race?


Over to the Italy of 1957 for some light-hearted entertainment. We found this lovely 19-minutes long colour movie on the world wide web, and since it’s Mille Miglia time right now, we thought the time to share it was there. The film is fully designated to the last of the real MMs: the 1957 edition when 391 cars were entered.

This race was famously won by Piero Taruffi on Ferrari without the aid of a navigator. He completed the thousand miles all alone in an incredible 10 hours, 27 minutes and 47 seconds – averaging 94.8mph (152.6km/h). His stable mates Von Trips and Gendebien followed within minutes securing Scuderia Ferrari’s 1-2-3 podium placings.

Three days after the race, the Italian government decided they had enough of the race, which spelled the end of the original Mille Miglia and even banned all motor racing on the public roads of Italy for many years to come… Enjoy the movie!

(Video Youtube/Theracer20)

Thursday, 17 May 2018

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Dirty classics to fully disappear from cities?

Are classics to disappear from European cities?
It’s hard to follow as a classic car owner: which European cities are you allowed to enter with your car and which not? Or for which one do you need to pay? Or buy a sticker or certificate?

The major city closest to our home will soon close it’s environmental zone for anything pre-1993 and it’s certainly not on its own. We just also learned that the city of Oxford is to close streets off to historic vehicles. It’s the same in certain areas of East London from this July-on. From a press statement: “Residents and businesses will be able to apply for exemptions but visitors to designation Low Emissions Neighbourhood (LEN) areas would have to park elsewhere, walk or take public transport. Hackney and Islington Councils were the first to sign off on their LEN programmes, aimed at lowering emissions between the peak hours of 7am and 10am, then from 4pm to 7pm. Other London areas implementing LENs next year include the Barbican (City of London), Greenwich Town Centre (Greenwich), Ilford Garden Junction (Newham and Redbridge) and Marylebone (Westminster).”

Oh, hang on. Historic vehicles of over 40 years old escaped the worst of London’s anti-pollution charges, including the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) and Emissions Surcharge (T-Charge), owners of tax-exempt classics still have to pay the Congestion Charge. Drivers of pre-Euro 4 and modern classic cars remain liable for all three.”

Although we can understand the need of reducing air pollution, especially in cities, it would be good to make a standard for all of Europe as it seems that every city is now coming up with ideas of their own, not making things any clearer - literally speaking. What’s your opinion?

(Words editor, picture PostWarClassic archive)

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

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We’re all going on a Summer holiday…

We’re all going on a Summer holiday…
Daydreaming about a family holiday in the UK, we bumped into this crazy little thing. An Austin J2 Paralanian of 1965. It has nothing to do with the Paralympics, we think. It’s just the ticket for, say, a three-week journey over country lanes and dales, passing village greens and duck ponds, stopping for an ice cream break every now and then. And an idyllic camping place for the night of course.

Isn’t it just fantastic? We can richly quote from Brightwells’ excellent sales blurb here: The Paralanian was the brain-child of Cliff Hobson, the works director at Central Garage in Bradford. Experienced in the design and build of cabin cruisers pre-war and fitting out motor torpedo boats during hostilities, he identified a niche in the market for a luxury motor caravan. Dubbed ‘The Aristocrat of Camper Vans’ by its makers, production continued until the mid-1960s when Central Garage was sold to the Lookers Group. Its rather odd name came about because it was made at the Parry Lane works, hence Paralanian – well there you go.

This particularly nice example was saved by the current owner, while he intended to turn it into initially a ‘retail outlet’ (the word food truck springs to mind here and makes us shiver). From Brightwells words: “The vendor acquired this 1965 Paralanian last year intending to convert it into a retail outlet, but he soon realised it was far too nice for such butchery, hence its inclusion in the sale today. It’s MOTd until November 2018. There a long summer leading to that date… See it here (together with dozens of more attractive classics to be offered for sale next weekend). Not in the mood for period camping yet? This will get you there.

(Words editor, pictures Brightwells)

    

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

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Mille Miglia 2018: where are all the startling entries?

Mille Miglia 2018: where are the startling entries?
The Mille Miglia is still often described as a motoring museum on the move, although we are questioning that particular title more every year. We remember the great road race of some fifteen years ago as one big plethora of unknown rarities. The number of Etceterinis unknown to us was totally overwhelming. There were Volpinis, Stanguellinis and Erminis that we’d never seen before (or after). We have great memories of (we think) the 2004 edition when an American came up with the idea to enter his Scarab Mk1. This car was so noisy that we trust it must have cost the driver and his navigator their eardrums. Another American came over with the Zagato bodied AC Ace, which would make our day alone.

We shouldn’t moan, there are still extraordinary cars for this year’s Italian thousand miles road race, which takes place this weekend. But the focus seems to move more and more towards the overly known cars that did the original race in its heyday. Have a look at the full 2018 entry list here and note the years highlighted in red behind a great number of entries – these are supposed to be the particular cars that drove the Mille Miglia in that particular year. We don’t think there were ever that many of these in previous editions. But - for heaven's sake - 23 Mercedeses 300SL, 21 Porsches 356, 22 Jaguar XK120s plus 9 XK140s and 11 Austin-Healey 100s? Come on organizers, there are plenty cooler cars! 

(Words Jeroen Booij, picture Mille Miglia/Alessandro Gerelli)

Monday, 14 May 2018

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