Columns (1907)

Allow me to fire up Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine for some personal perspective on a chronic, serious car-collecting habit. Maintaining such a habit for 35 years is certainly (albeit marginally) better than being a fall-down alcoholic, a street-punk heroin addict or a perpetual gambler-loser. The aforementioned addictions are generally shunned by society — and wreak a terrible impact on those who are involved in their terrible wake. Hold on... they leave you chronically broke, looking for the next high and always chasing a powerful adrenaline rush? Draw your own conclusions about the tie-ins with old cars — and how we’ve…
  Several years ago, “Legal Files” reported about the litigation surrounding 1954 Ferrari 375 Plus, s/n 0384AM (October 2010, p. 30). The 375 Plus, one of six made, was well-known in the hands of Jack Swaters, the Belgian former race driver and Ferrari importer. Karl Kleve, an atomic scientist who worked on the Manhattan Project, claimed that the 375 was stolen from him. Both men have since died. Kleve’s position passed to his daughter, Kristine Kleve Lawson in 2003, and Swaters’ position passed to his daughter, Florence Swaters, in 2010. Lawson sold part of her interest in the 375 Plus…
It was late on a Wednesday afternoon, and I was hoisting the Coleman tent and sleeping bags onto the roof rack of our Defender 90 in preparation for the weekend’s vintage Land Rover tour. Then the phone rang. It was Jamie Knight, Group Director of the Bonhams Motoring department. “Hello Keith,” he said. “It’s Bonhams’ 25th anniversary, and we’re having a little dinner to celebrate it at our London headquarters. I hoped you and your daughter would be able to attend.” “Terrific,” I replied. “When?” “Monday.” I thought about it for a second. I was leaving for the Rover trip…
In the winter of 1953–54, Enzo Ferrari concentrated his engineers’ attention upon perfecting a line of large-capacity sports-racing cars for customer sale, backed by a secondary line of smaller variants. To promote and publicize the new sports cars, he approved development of a muscle-bound, outsized “big bazooka” for his Works team. Mr. Ferrari authorized construction of a handful of very special, even larger-capacity Works team competition spiders, which were intended as his main defense of the World Sportscar Championship title. The result would become known by the French racing community as “Le Monstre” and by the British as “The Fearsome…
The 2002 Turbo upped the game again. Engine designer Alex von Falkenhausen eschewed the option of a larger engine shoehorned into the lightweight 2002 and instead developed the successful Group Five turbocharging idea for a fast road car. By using a KKK turbo coupled to the tii Kugelfischer fuel injection, he created a 170-hp engine that offered Porsche 911-beating performance: 0–60 mph in 7 seconds, with a top speed of 131 mph.” — Octane magazine Produced for the 1973/74 season only, the legendary BMW 2002 Turbo was Europe’s first turbocharged production car. Demands for increased power for its medium-sized saloon…
Undoubtedly one of the “must-have” cars as well as James Bond’s iconic vehicle, the DB5 continues to generate immense interest among car collectors, owners and users. Understandably so, as the total production of all DB5s over a two-year period was only a little over 1,000 cars. Born of the frustration that Harold Beach had encountered with the DB4, which he claimed was rushed into production ahead of proper development, the DB5 remains the pinnacle of his achievements as a designer. Styled by Carrozzeria Touring of Italy, it used their patented Superleggera body construction and an engine reworked by Tadek Marek,…
The car on Pininfarina’s stand at the 1965 Paris Auto Salon was the forecast of Ferraris to come. Called the “Dino 206 S Speciale,” it was a sleek, competition-inspired coupe to be powered by the Ferrari-designed, mid-mounted V6. A “research prototype” built on a racing chassis, it was merely eye candy, as it had no engine. One year later, the real car appeared, called the Dino Berlinetta GT. It was a masterful blending of sensuous curves, outstanding surface development and stunning proportions. Presented from a deceased person’s estate, Silverstone Auctions is pleased to offer a truly unique chance to acquire…
Lamborghini Countach LP400 “Periscopio” chassis 1120066 Engine number: 1120070 The exceptional example of Lamborghini’s original LP400 “Periscopio” Countach offered here, chassis 1120066, was produced in the model’s second production year, 1975. The car was finished by the factory as seen today, in Blu Tahiti over a Naturale (light tan) leather. As with all LP400s, 1120066 was fitted with a kilometers-per-hour speedometer and Celsius temperature gauges. Interestingly, the car is fitted with engine 1120070 (engine 1120066 resides in chassis 1120062). According to Lamborghini authority Valentino Balboni, it was not uncommon that technical issues, such as delays on the dynamometer or, most…
This 1971 Hemi ’Cuda convertible, one of just two 4-speed versions delivered in the U.S., has been hailed as the Holy Grail of muscle cars. Documented as the only matching-numbers 4-speed convertible in existence, its factory broadcast sheet confirms that it was equipped at the Hamtramck, MI, assembly plant with the New Process 4-speed, Dana 60 rear end with 4.10 Super Track Pak, 26-inch radiator and power brakes. Finished in code B5 Bright Blue, with black power top and blue high-back-bucket-seat interior. Driver appointments include the Rallye Instrument Cluster, 3-speed wiper switch and Hurst pistol-grip shifter. Perhaps most importantly, in…
  Last month’s Legal Files suggested that there are epidemic proportions of “matching-numbers” Corvettes (and other cars) that really aren’t matching-numbers cars. That attracted a lot of attention and comments, but what people say is not as important as what they don’t say. No one said the suggestion was sometimes wrong. First, let’s put “matching numbers” into perspective. Say we have a 1965 Pontiac LeMans with a 4-speed transmission. We source a correct 1965 Pontiac 389-ci GTO motor, a Tri-Power setup, and all the necessary body parts, trim and badges — all of which were readily available from the factory…
Page 1 of 191