Ford Mustang stolen
Coupe - Francisco Pueche will be present at Rétromobile, stand nr. 1N102

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Is this really 'The Airbnb of classic cars'?

The Airbnb of classic cars hails from London
Many people dream of a success in the vein of Facebook, Uber or Airbnb. And so we have seen many, many ‘sharing economy’ initiatives called the Facebook of the classic car world or the Airbnb of classic cars in the past years. Many of them came and many of them went silently. We wonder what will happen to BookAclassic.

This is a new London-based classic car hire platform. They sent a press release, which in the essence was about them being joined with Luxury Retreats – ‘the luxury arm of Airbnb, to provide high-end classic vehicles to customers around the world.’ Yes, a good old fashioned PR piece to congratulate themselves. To further quote them: “This means that clients renting a high-end property can also choose to have a beautiful classic car sitting on their drive ready for road trips around the local area.”

Well… we hadn’t heard of both BookAclassic as Luxury Retreats, but were triggered to go and have a look on bookaclassic.com never the less. They claim to have vehicles in 36 countries on offer, but the ones we clicked on were located in either Potters Bar, London, or Rickmansworth, greater London and all came with photoshopped BookAclassic number plates. And, crikey, they weren’t cheap either! What do you think?

(Words editor, picture BookAclassic.com)

Thursday, 05 July 2018

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Independence Day 2018: Archetypical Americans

Independence Day 2018: Archetypical American
We thought the 4th of July was the right time to ask you this question: what do you consider to be the archetypical American car? We’re talking strictly PostWarClassic here so please don’t think T-Fords or Teslas, let’s stick to 1945-1975.

But to give you some support we’ll walk along what we believe to be the basic ingredients for the exemplary American automobile. First, it should be made in the US, there can be no misunderstandings about that. Then, we think it needs to be large and have sufficient engine capacity to blow away all European and Asian four-wheelers. Last but not least it should be known to the world as goes for other motoring icons such as the London black cab, the revving red Ferrari or the autobahn cruising Mercedes-Benz.

So… come up with your patriotic suggestions from muscle cars to stepside pick-ups and from fin-tailed convertibles to hot rods. We want to hear from you!

(Words editor, pictures Pinterest)
   

Wednesday, 04 July 2018

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Stars of 'Het Loo' 2018

Stars of Het Loo 2018
The concours d’élégance ‘Paleis Het Loo’ took place last weekend at the former Royal Palace in The Netherlands. And boy, was it a sweltering hot and dusty weekend, adding much to the summer atmosphere. Fortunately the palace grounds offer some majestic old oaks and beeches, throwing their mighty shadows over the parklands, too.

A piano black Fiat 8V with body by Vignale (this one) was chosen as Best of Show. An obvious choice, perhaps? There was no doubt that this was a pretty car of prestigious make and model designation. We’d preferred the somewhat less obvious candidates though, joining the mighty 8V in the same row of Post-wars. A freshly restored Bertone bodied Stanguellini (top) and a deliciously odd Spohn bodied Veritas in particular (picture 1 below). The Autocars Sabra that was featured as a puzzle car last week was among them, too.

Renaults had come over in force to celebrate the marque’s 120th anniversary with some great cars. We saw a lovely Alpine A108 cabriolet and a delightful duo of Dutch delivered Dauphines, one a beautiful black restored example, the other a recent barn find that had just been kissed awake after a 47-year sleep (picture 2 below). The car’s original owner had put it in storage in 1971 when it was 11 years old. Highlight was the original Renault Etoile Filante - the Automeca jet powered land speed record car that was driven at over 300km/h at the Bonneville salt flats in 1956 (picture 3), perhaps smaller in size than expected but impressive never the less.

That other French make was represented with a display of ’70 Years of the 2CV’ with some cars that struck us: apart from two Saharas a 1955 Belgian made car in particular with modified boot lid and some extra body trimmings we had not come across before (picture 4). The other end of the spectrum was represented by a well-known Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith by Vignale, known for its presence of a toilet on board (with golden toilet seat), which we think is just very fitting to a palace called 'The Loo' (picture 5). 

Greatest surprise for us personally, was the Swaab Special / Hirondelle, which we previously saw here in a series of old photographs. The car was on display in fully restored condition in its original national colour of orange (picture 6). When our 7-year old daughter, who was chosen to join her dad for the event, was asked about her highlight of the show, she said: “I liked the grass, it was perfect for making hand stands.” And it was.

(Words and photographs Jeroen Booij)
      

Tuesday, 03 July 2018

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Ford to put Detroit on the motoring map again

Ford to put Detroit on the motoring map again
Wow! A big hip-hip-hoorah to the Ford Motor Company, which has bought the Michigan Central Station and plans to restore it! The Detroit train station has become a symbol of Motor City’s downfall. The colossal 18-floors building opened in 1914 on a stone's throw to downtown Detroit in Corktown and closed in 1988. After that it fell victim to demolition, ruination, destruction, vandalism, abolishment and lots of graffiti.

Until now, as Bill Ford, the great-grandson of Henry Ford, told to the thousands who’d gathered at the monumental site last week. He said “Detroit is open for business for good” and unveiled Ford’s plans to transform Detroit into ‘a place of possibility again’, adding “Michigan Central Station is a place that in many ways tells the story of Detroit over the past century. We at Ford want to help write the next chapter, working together in Corktown with the best startups, the smartest talent and the thinkers, engineers and problem-solvers who see things differently – all to shape the future of mobility and transportation.”

Ford plans to make a renovated Michigan Central Station the cornerstone in the resurrection of the whole of Detroit. Ford CEO Jim Hackett added “While Silicon Valley focuses on moving bytes, Detroit will focus on moving people.” It’s a daring enterprise that will ask for a major financial injection, but we can only hope it will work out well. We bet Bob will like it, too. Bob, who once said that if you're a Detroiter, you are bound to be part man and part V8. May we suggest Ford to hire him for the grand re-opening to sing this song

(Words editor, picture Pinterest)

Monday, 02 July 2018

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