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Monday, 26 February 2018 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

7 Stunning Pre-War Motorcars to be Auctioned in RM Sotheby’s Retromobile Sale

7 Stunning Pre-War Motorcars to be Auctioned in RM Sotheby’s Retromobile Sale

Seven stunning pre-war motorcars are due to feature in RM Sotheby’s first auction of 2018 that will be hosted in the historic Place Vauban in Paris as part of the city’s Retromobile event on Wednesday 7th February. 


In the auction’s pre-war assortment, the earliest and most valuable offering is a nimble 1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix, finished in the French national racing colour of blue.  Comprehensively restored after being found in a UK scrapyard in the late 1980’s, this Type 35 possesses a great deal of patina which is evident within the engine bay, across the metal dashboard and upon exterior features such as the leather straps that hold the spare wheel in place.  This Type 35’s wooden steering wheel has passed through a few famous hands including those of its first owner Lord Cholmondeley as well as Lady Dorothy Campbell, wife of speed legend Sir Malcolm Campbell, who placed the fourth with the Bugatti in the Junior Short Handicap at a Brooklands meeting in April 1927.


Eye-catching colour and superior comfort comes courtesy of a 1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom Tourer that boasts coachwork by Barker of London in addition to an original engine and chassis, a polished aluminium bonnet and apple green leather upholstery.  Originally used as a Rolls-Royce factory test car up until 1930, this striking Phantom travelled to Kenya where it is said to have chauffeured Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh during a visit to the city of Mombasa.  After several decades of residence in San Francisco, the Phantom was then painstakingly restored to original specification which soon resulted in the vehicle being awarded the Lucuis Beebe Trophy at the 1999 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Unusually the Rolls-Royce won this award despite two blanked-out holes in the radiator shutters. These had previously allowed a padlock to be fitted, which connected the two centre louvers covering the radiator and effectively acted as a ‘Mombasa anti-theft device’, for the Phantom would overheat within a mile or two if it were stolen!


Meanwhile, priced at a fraction of the estimates given for the Type 35 and Rolls-Royce Phantom, but not to be over-looked thanks to its bespoke body, is a 1937 Chevrolet Master Cabriolet.  This pre-war Chevrolet may have an American badge upon its bonnet but the styling is very much biased to Continental taste.  The one-off body, complete with a luggage compartment attached to the rear and side lamps on the front wings, was fashioned by Carrosserie Charles Duval who was well known for producing bodies for the Amilcar chassis. 



Finally, four pre-war cars from Mercedes-Benz combine to make an impressive portfolio of 1930s motoring style.  These include a long wheelbase 1936 290 Carbriolet B with its large ‘suicide doors’ and a bright red interior, a 1938 320 Cabriolet D also with a long wheelbase and a steeply angled windshield, a rare 1933 200 Lang Cabriolet B which has benefitted from a comprehensive restoration in Germany while a 1937 290 Cabriolet A, rebodied by Jahn Bahr Karosserie in 2004 and finished in a bold black and red paint, completes the collection.

Words by Gillian Carmoodie. Photographs courtesy of RM Sotheby`s.

Thursday, 01 February 2018 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Calling all Drivers!

Calling all Drivers !Transappenninica is an international gathering of historic cars listed in the ASI and FIVA calendar organised by C.R.A.M.E. and Scuderia Romagna since 1985.

The route for the XXXII year will take place in the second week of May starting and finishing in Cervia – Milano Marittima on the Adriatic coast.

The itinerary will run across Veneto, famous Italian region rich in tradition, history art and amazing landscapes and starts at 4pm on Sunday May 6 at the Palace Hotel di Milano Marittima with registration and reception. Limited to a maximum of 40 cars so the organisers can ensure entrants can enjoy the best hospitality, restaurants and resorts.

TrAp15 1077-CopiaUp early on Monday morning to glorious Italian sunshine and a route chart takes you north up the Adriatic coast to Comaccio, then the fishing village of Chioggia and on to Mestre with its history and character dating back to medieval times… and of course Venice !

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Next day you drive inland in a big loop finishing at Albano Terme, a Spa town west of Venice located on a plain close to a range of low green hills with a sign at the entrance to greets visitors: 'Welcome. Please avoid disturbing noises'. This sums up the atmosphere of the leafy town. Abano is dedicated to rest and relaxation, and does its best to avoid anything which might disturb the languid pottering of its visitors. So any running repairs need to be done quietly please.

If your car behaves itself and your navigator slept well, you will arrive at Lake Garda on Wednesday evening and this writer recommends you get a puncture, (like he did in a 1927 Humber driving back to UK from Istanbul) on the shores of the lake because you will be surrounded by beautiful Italians offering food, drink and hospitality and assistance.

TrAp15 0495Each day will be filled with amazing landscapes, history, tastes and emotions and if you are lucky you may follow a vintage Bentley running on Castrol ‘R’.

Friday will be interesting because you spend Thursday night in Ferrara where you find Palazzo Schifanoia , a Renaissance Palace built for the Este family. The name "Schifanoia" is thought to originate from "schivar la noia" meaning literally to "escape from boredom". So pedal to the metal all the way as you drive south east back to the Palace Hotel di Milano Marittima and a well-earned drink before the survivors’ dinner.

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2018 online entry HERE.
More pictures from previous events can be found HERE.

Text Robin Batchelor,  pictures courtesy Transappenninica.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Mystery in Perth Western Australia

Mystery in Perth Western Australia

Dear Car Detectives,

It is time to solve a new Monday mystery. First of all, the case: Alex Selley has been handed this photo to try and identify this car. He is not able to identify the car himself, that is why he called in our help. 

What are the facts we already know? ''The photo was taken about 1915 and the driver is a Mr. L. Gillespie who lived in Claremont, Western Australia. The car was registered just as a "Car" no name, with license plate C3. The "Car" was registered to him up till 1918 when it disappeared from our records. In 1916 Mr. Gillespie had become a Doctor. We also know that from 1920 his address was in the city of Perth and he was running Hudson motor cars.'' Alex already did some research himself and told us that he thinks that the name "Leslie" under the mystery car is incorrect (hence the request for identification). ''I have searched, but only came up with an American car called "Leslie" but that is about 1916, which the car in the photo I do not think is an American vehicle. So, I think the cation is wrong in the photo.'' 

We don't know, is he right? Now, all grab your magnifying glass and your notebook. Does anyone see any logical connections between Mr. L. Gillespie and the "Car" on the photograph? We don't think there is anyone guilty in this case, but there is something missing in this story... 

Please leave your comment below if you can help us with the missing information about the "Car", Mr. L. Gillespie or the photograph itself. Your help would be very much appreciated.

Words by the editor. Photograph by Alex Selley.
Monday, 29 January 2018 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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