This month I’m going to write the Race Profile a little differently, because we’re looking at two Alfa Romeo T 33 racing cars that, although both are T 33s, in fact share little more than the lineage and the manufacturer’s logo. So it seems most useful to dispense with the customary catalog introduction and instead focus on an overview of this long-running series of charismatic — but not always successful — sports racing cars. It makes for a great story.
At this writing, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court trustee is set to auction off the ownership rights — whatever they might be — of Dan Mathis Jr. in regards to 1960 Corvette VIN 00867S103535.
This car is one of the legendary Cunningham Corvettes — one of the three that competed at the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The current bid of $25,000 was made by Mathis’s partners. Whether the auction will actually take place is yet to be determined, as Mathis still has time to appeal the Bankruptcy Court ruling that ordered the sale.
If the sale is completed, the winning bidder won’t know if he or she has acquired any part of the ownership of this Corvette — but the winner will be buying into a very expensive lawsuit.
A checkered past
Chevrolet was unable to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1960 because of its participation in the American manufacturers’ racing ban. So Chevrolet gave “informal” assistance to privateer Briggs Cunningham, who entered three Corvettes in the Sarthe classic.
The Corvettes were numbered 1, 2 and 3. Car 1, raced by Cunningham and William Kimberley, and Car 2 both failed to finish. Car 3, driven by John Fitch and Bob Grossman, finished 8th overall and first in class.
This was a very impressive showing, but period racers were not terribly nostalgic about these cars. Upon return to the U.S., Cunningham decommissioned all three Corvettes, sold them as street machines, and they disappeared.
In essence a closed version of the 275 GTS, the 330 GTC, which was the immediate forerunner of the 365 GTC, was first shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1966. Beneath the understated Pininfarina coachwork, there was the 4-liter version of Ferrari’s familiar, Colombo-designed two-cam, 60-degree V12 (as used in the 330 GT 2+2) mated to a 5-speed all-synchromesh transaxle. The chassis was of relatively short wheelbase, and the suspension independent all around by wishbones and coil springs. Read More
This 1967 Iso Grifo GL, chassis GL660107, features Chevrolet’s 327-cubic inch V8, with 300 horsepower. The car’s silver finish accentuates its distinctive Bertone lines, and the black leather interior presents nicely, showing wear commensurate with the car’s age. The elegant wood-trimmed instrument panel remains in good condition, as does the sporty three-spoke, wood-rimmed steering wheel.
The Iso Grifo is a car that combines some of the automotive world’s best engineering ingenuity with beautiful lines that are distinctive to their Italian Read More
The invitation came on a Monday, from Luigi Orlandini of Canossa Events Srl.
“Would you like to spend two days in Modena, learning about the restoration program Modena Classic Works, tour both Ferrari museums and drive some classic Ferraris on the Modena Circuit? The event starts this Friday, so you would have to leave from Portland on Thursday. You would be back in Portland Sunday morning.
“And we’d like your daughter, Alex, to come as well, as we have enjoyed Read More
The 007 Lotus Esprit Submarine Car from “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977) commonly tops the polls when multiple generations of movie fans are asked to pick their favorite film cars of all time. Like all the best Bond cars, the Lotus was a veritable war chest of weaponry and gadgetry that was designed to fox and foil the enemy while helping Bond to another hard-won victory for Queen and Country.
The Giorgetto Giugiaro-designed Esprit was launched in October 1975 Read More
There have been many great automobile designers who have left their mark on the motoring landscape. Among these greats would have to be the contributions of Howard “Dutch” Darrin, whose design talent was favored among many of Hollywood’s elite. Quite simply, if you were famous and you wanted a car with a bit more flair, Howard Darrin was the man to see.
Toward the end of his career, Darrin formed an alliance with Kaiser-Frazer, and it was a contentious relationship Read More
Introduced in 1935, the 170H was a more powerful variant of Hans Nibel’s earlier 130H, as it was equipped with an appropriately enlarged engine that now completely occupied the space in the rear of the automobile. It remained in production after World War II, and it joined its earlier sibling in being one of the original German “people’s cars.” Sporting three headlamps, the center being a driving lamp, a rear-mounted engine, and streamlined bodywork, the design, in many Read More
Here we are absolutely delighted to have been engaged to offer this outstanding, uniquely important, supercharged straight-8 Alfa Romeo Grand Prix car for sale by auction. It is a superb example of the first all-independently suspended, big-engined Grand Prix racing design from Alfa Romeo, which the Portello factory made in 1936 to combat the might of the rival state-backed German “Silver Arrow” Mercedes-Benz W-25E and Auto Union C-type cars. It was in this Alfa Romeo and its sisters that the Read More
Donald Healey could not have imagined that his simple design brief to build a small sports car that “a chap could put in his bike shed” would result in a car that is still being raced now, nearly 60 years later. Gerry Coker, stylist at the tiny Donald Healey Motor Company, could not have foreseen that the simple car he penned would become an icon and define a mini-genre, but it did.
Their bike-shed car was introduced in 1958 as the Austin-Healey Sprite, but it quickly became better known simply as the “Bugeye” in North America and as the “Frogeye” elsewhere. Its smile-producing headlamp pods somehow survived British Motor Corporation design review, and between March 1958 and November 1960, 48,987 were produced, far outpacing the quantity of Big Healeys made during the same period.
Instead of becoming an entry-level car intended as a step toward an eventual Big Healey purchase, it immediately assumed its own identity as the sports-car-hungry public snapped them up and went racing, rallying, cruising and touring in them.