Columns (1985)

A rare survivor, this very original 31,370-mile-from-new 3500 GTi spent four decades in the care of a single California owner. The Amaranto Rame paint has taken on an added layer of character over the years, while the tan leather interior is clean and inviting. Benefiting from all of the final production upgrades bestowed upon it within the last two years of production, this fuel-injected 3500 retains its original engine. It is reported that a recent drive by a Maserati specialist produced enthusiastic comments on the car’s performance and preservation. As with any unrestored motorcar, it is recommended that a degree…
One of just 91 examples produced with coachwork by Abbott of Farnham during a four-year production run, OLY136 was first registered on March 25, 1954. In the current ownership since 2007, the car was entrusted to marque specialists Classic Restorations Ltd. in 2009 to carry out soda blasting of the body and a bare-metal respray, followed by a thorough engine overhaul in 2010. All five wheels were also blasted, powder-coated and painted. Invoices for the work carried out are contained in the car’s accompanying history file. The most recent service was carried out by Speedweld of Farley Hill in April…

A Tale of Two Cobras

Written by October 2014
Recently we witnessed the sale of two unique 289 Cobras — at two different auctions, within two months of each other. One was a modified street-specification car that has lived a quiet life in the United States. The other was a factory-prepared Competition car that has lived a much more public life in France, including an 18th-place finish in the 1964 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Interestingly, the two cars realized prices within 15% of each other. At first glance, any Cobra enthusiast would tell you it is preposterous that a street Cobra should bring anywhere near…
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…