Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pebble Beach concours attracted attention to a rare car, and now, the US Govt wants to seize it. Seems it's provenance is fuzzy

The U.S. government wants to seize Charles Morse's car, because the French government considers it a national treasure.
The Seattle car collector says he wants to be reimbursed the $927,518 he paid for the historic 1919 Turcat-Mery touring car. He hasn't objected to France reclaiming the car, as long as they pay him for it. (Fair enough)

"It's a one-off automobile with a wonderful history to it. It was built for the Duc de Montpensier, an heir to the French throne," Morse said.
U.S. authorities say the historical classification prohibited the export of the Turcat,, which had several owners before it was purchased by Morse.
In July 2005, the Turcat arrived at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, according to the AP story. Shortly thereafter, Morse showed the car at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in California, taking top honors in its class.

Steve McQueen's Hudson up for auction

RM Auctioning off the 1950 Hudson Commodore Six Convertible, Scottsdale AZ , January 16. (sold for 39 thou)
This Commodore was one of four Hudsons owned by McQueen as one of his prized daily drivers. original 6-cylinder engine was replaced by a high-compression 308 cubic-inch six, upgraded with a mild camshaft and "Twin H-Power" induction system. Shortly before McQueen's death in 1980 the car was sold to a friend, who placed it into long-term dry storage in a San Bernardino, California warehouse. It has recently been maintained by RM Restoration in preparation for this offering in Arizona.

The last Horch made, one-off 1953 Horch 830 BL, a barn find

Built in late 1953 for the president of Auto Union, the Horch was an unusual product. A U.S. soldier bought the car during a tour of duty, and shipped the Horch back home, driving it until the transmission gave in. It was then that Al Wilson of San Angelo, Texas, bought the Horch for $500, saving it from the crusher.

It wasn't until Wilson's family wrote the company's headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany, that a connection was made, and the car was purchased for Audi's historical collection.

Jay Leno's Duesenberg Collection,2046,DIY_14360_51028,00.html

and for a good over all write up about Jay's collection and garage:

Buy a barn find

1918 Harley, with 1917 sidecar. Orig paint, found after 50 year slumber in a shed $5500
1926 Essex tourer, 42000 miles, 8500 GB pounds
1931 V12 Cadillac Fleetwood town car, unrestorable donor parts car
1941 Lincoln Continental Coupe, V12. Rough. $8000

These and 45 more:

(Correr, competir, eu levo isso no sangue, é parte de minha vida) Ayrton Senna (1960-1994) "Run, compete, I take it in blood, is part of my life"

Racing is a dangerous sport, an inherently risky activity. Regardless of all efforts to enhance safety, and of its continuous improvements throughout the last decades, motorsports will never be totally safe.
By engaging in motorsport activties - as a competitor, a team member, a marshal, a member of the press, or as a spectator - one understands and recognizes that they are exposing themelves to risks.
Very regrettably, fatal accidents - the darkest aspect of motorsports - are one of these risks. The objective of this website is to honour the memory of all those that paid motorsport’s saddest price - by remembering their histories, reviewing their careers, celebrating their victories, cherishing their lives.

A must read! Sleeping Beauties -- Great Barn Finds

Tantalizing tales of barn finds have been circulating for as long as people have been collecting old cars. Enthusiasts still talk about Barney Pollard, a mysterious 1950s-era Chicago collector who amassed hundreds of old crocks from the teens and '20s. He removed front bumpers, drained fluids and then stored them vertically so he could cram still more cars in his warehouses. When he died, his collection was sold and the cars dispersed. Alexander K. Miller, an eccentric miser, and his wife Imogene, owned some 50 rare cars, primarily Stutzes (his nickname was "Stutzee"), along with stacks of parts. The Millers moved to Vermont and began filling barns and garages with many once-fine cars. A.K. and his wife lived frugally, dressed in ragged clothing, had no central heat, paid no taxes, bought old cars and parts as cheaply as they could and eventually secreted nearly $1 million in gold and silver bullion, coins and valuables on their property. In 1996 Sotheby's auctioned off the Miller estate.
1927 Model X Duesenberg sedan It had been parked since 1947.
Because it was just sort of parked, and everything was oily when it was parked, everything moved and everything was free. The windows were left rolled up so nothing got in there. Two of its tires still held air, and the other two were rock solid. The old fellow bought the car in Chicago, had it shipped out here by train, and towed it with a chain to his garage. And then he never ran it. One of 4 known to exist, one of 14 made,2021,DIY_13680_5548073,00.html

1937 Horch Model 853 Cabriolet imported by an American GI after the war, then sold to a New York enthusiast who decided he didn't like the car and tucked it away for 50 years

Duesenberg sedan Jay Leno also managed to free this Duesenberg sedan that was left in a New York City parking structure in 1933 but the garage was remodeled in the mid-'60s and got a new elevator that's about a foot and a half shorter than the old one. The Duesy was stuck.
 1931 Duesenberg Model J,  — the only Model J with a town car body by F.R. Wood and Sons of New York — was built for a department store owner, who locked it away in a parking garage off Park Avenue in New York City in 1931, perhaps out of fear of appearing too ostentatious during the Great Depression. The owner’s son removed it briefly in the 1950s to get it running again, then returned it to the garage, where it fell into disrepair. When Leno learned the car would be available for sale, he negotiated a fair price and turned it over to Duesenberg expert Randy Ema, who completed a comprehensive restoration. 
Delahaye Type 135 M Roadster now in the Peterson collection, was found in 1992 under an olive tree in the Algerian mountains virtually complete and purchased for the sum of just 60 British pounds!

1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante Coupe. Left to rot in a garage in Pound Ridge, New York, for 45 years
Rolls-Royce Phantom I Hibbard & Darrin-bodied convertible sedan had been a "Welcome to Hollywood" gift to actress Marlene Dietrich from producer Josef von Sternberg. This opulent car co-starred with Dietrich and Gregory Peck in the film classic, Morocco. It was in Golden Colorado from the mid 40's, and used until the late 60's. In 1974 the owner died, the inheritors started a restoration, dissassembled it, and for the next 20 years is remained in parts... til 1994 "the Cobra In The Barn"

1934 Ford custom speedster originally built for Edsel B. Ford. After Ford's passing in 1943, this car found its way from Michigan to California and then to Florida where it was stored for 40 years, and dug out of obscurity by the head of the Amelia Island Concours

1953 Ferrari 375M Sypder Began its life as the winner of the 1953 Nürburgring 1,000 Kilometers. It was purchased by amateur racer racer Lou Brero in Oct 1955 for $3500, raced for 3 months, the heads cracked. Lou died, his son disassembled the powertrain fromt he body, and stores it in 2 padlocked tractor-trailers for 39 years in Arcarta California.

The roof rusted away on the trailer and the car felt the elements. It had been driven by the great European racers, Villoresi, Ascari, Farina, Chinetti, de Portago, and then by the great American racers Phil Hill, Ken Miles and even Carroll Shelby.

1937 Packard Model 120-C Convertible Sedan, owned by Nicola Bulgari, this dusty Packard had been stored in a dilapidated Pennsylvania building since 1969.

1951 So-Cal Speed Shop Special bellytanker now owned by Bruce Meyer, this was built and raced by Alex Xydias, proprieter of he So-Cal Speedshop

1940 Coachcraft Mercury Speedster, bought by Derby, a 12 yr old, from the Brucker "Cars of the Stars" museum, and his parents garaged the car for 20 years until Derby had enough money to restore it.

This is funny stuff! From "The Mechanic"

For the record, killing is bad and should be avoided, along with Brussels sprouts and flip-flops in the workplace. Still, I call this one Kill the Car Guy. It's a phrase I've just had enough of. Everybody's a car guy these days; just ask them.

You used to have real credentials to call yourself a car guy. Grated knuckle skin. Greasy fingernails. R Compound tires. A racing trophy. Proof you've been to some racetrack somewhere at sometime. A basic understanding of the internal combustion engine. Knowing how to heel-and-toe downshift. Knowing how to do a proper burnout. Knowing the GT-R is not the new Skyline. Knowing which one is Bo and which is Luke. Something.

Relax. I'm not saying you need to know all this stuff to qualify. It's not that simple. There's no litmus test here. You just need to invest in cars. What you choose to invest is up to you: could be your time, your brain power, your garage space, your weekends, your marriage, or of course all of the above. I don't care what it is, but I know this; being a car guy should not be free.

There was a time when it wasn't. As little as a decade ago, car guy status still had to be earned. Earned through your knowledge and your actions. You had to have real passion for this stuff; you weren't in the club just because you wanted to be. You had to truly care and you had to make the sacrifices that come along with the commitment. It wasn't enough for cars to be just a passing interest, they had to be a high priority, an very important part of your life.

And now that every knit shirt knows Ol' Shel tuned up some Mustangs 100 years ago, that's not enough to qualify you anymore. Mrs. The Mechanic knows that much. If you're going to use your Shelby knowledge to substantiate your car guy qualifications, you better know what year he won Le Mans and what he was driving.

If not, get off my lawn.

Doug Jenkins Custom Hot Rods in St Louis has a series of videos about working on hot rods

The "Team Sprite" car gets auctioned again, and still gathers compliments

The Oct. Barrett Jackson auction had the Team Sprite car auctioned and Automobile Magazine in the Feb 2009 issue spotlighted it, page 93. It was only driven 34 miles since the restoration, so the first owner must have kept it as a showpiece is my guess. It sold the first time for 24 thou, this time for 20 thou. That first owner should have enjoyed it more, and kept it longer. for a 6 page magazine pdf that cover the story really well.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Not just a car, an artwork, and wood... it's a master thesis too.

Splinter is made from a combination of maple, plywood, and MDF, giving it a beautiful look while cutting from its weight. Even the wheels have wooden rims. Joe Harmon, who is heading the project, said, “Wood has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than aluminium or steel, and it possesses a versatility that makes many types of construction techniques possible. The satisfaction involved in making something from a piece of wood is awesome.”

"Awesome Nostalgia" Drag racing.. nothing compares to the experience

Completely off the ground.
This doesn't look like the far lane is going to have a good landing

Why it's more important to have a scattershield around the trans, and the engine in the back. Those flying parts are also rotating, at between 4 to 9 thousand rpm... notice the tires are still spun up... and those spinning discs will slice through any thing that gets in the way. Be careful out there, and have fun.
That's the timing lights in the upper left of the photo, and the front tires are off the ground, the Moon Eyes are looking at the track they'd desperately like to get back to, and the slicks arec oming off the bead of the rim.
Paradise Mesa dragstrip in San Diego

Petty's Barracuda
This is gonna break parts when it comes back to earth

Before there was fiberglass, before carbon fiber, before acid dipping... there was the hole saw. As 'Ol dad Baskerville might say, "that's reet" it's the Awesome Nostalgia thread