The Blackhawk Museum’s automotive exhibition of International Automotive Treasures presents and displays historically significant and artistically inspired automobiles from the very earliest to the contemporary for public enjoyment and educational enrichment.
1930 Bucciali TAV 8, Roadster– Two French brothers, Angelo and Paul-Albert Bucciali, aspired to build the finest cars ever produced. They had been in the aviation industry and entered the automotive field in 1923. The Frères Bucciali claimed to have built thirty-six TAVs (Traction AVant / front-wheel drive) at a cost of $20,000—each, a substantial sum in 1930.
This TAV 8 Roadster is thought to be the only original Bucciali in existence; it is powered by an American-built Continental straight-eight engine which produces 100 hp. at 3200 rpm.
This dramatic roadster body was crafted by French coachbuilder, Jacques Saoutchik. The elongated stork on the hood sides (which is replicated in leather on the interior door panels) was the mascot of the famous aviation squadron Groupe des Cigognes (The Storks) that Paul-Albert had flown with during World War I.
1965 Buick Riviera GS Grand Sport–The name “Riviera” brings to mind the luxurious European sun resort of the famous and wealthy and so the Buick Riviera, as its name suggests, possesses an aura of sophistication and luxury. Its body lines are a statement in refinement.
In 1949, 1951 and 1955 Buick used the name “Riviera” but it was used only to describe certain body styles of current models.
It wasn’t until 1963 that it finally became its own model. It was on a visit to London in the early 1960s that GM styling chief Bill Mitchell was inspired by the “knife edged” lines of a Rolls Royce he viewed and upon his return to the USA he had his Stylist Ned Nickles draw up the design of what was to become the new 1963 “Buick Riviera”. In October 1962 Buick introduced its first generation Riveria’s which were 1963-65 models. They had the same power as the larger Buicks but with less weight which delivered exciting performance. Inside it had front bucket seats, a center console and a floor shifter.
In 1965 Buick introduced the Riviera “Gran Sport”, the model displayed here, with the Super Wildcat V8 engine, an upgraded suspension and dual exhausts. Changes this year also included hidden headlamps.
This car has recently had a $250,000 restoration by White Post making this example the Best of the Best!
1937 Cadillac V-16 Series 37-90 Hartmann Cabriolet–The last year for Cadillac’s 452 cubic inch V-16 engine was 1937 and only fifty units were manufactured; Cadillac introduced a redesigned and less expensive V-16 in 1938.
Cadillac released only two V-16 chassis to independent coachbuilders in 1937. One was sold to Philippe Barraud, a wealthy young playboy living along the fashionable Swiss Riviera, which stretched between Lausanne and Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva. Barraud commissioned Willy Hartmann, a body shop owner in Lausanne, “to create a look similar to a Figoni et Falaschi-designed car” on this huge chassis.
Basic stock Cadillac components were used on this streamlined hand-formed fantasy, which is one of the largest cabriolets ever built. Initially there was some doubt whether it could be registered in Switzerland as a private car due to the 22-foot overall length. Barraud drove his car to all the fashionable haunts where it caused a sensation as it continues to do today.
1926 Daimler Model 45 HP Salon Cabriolet–Daimler was the automobile of choice of the British Royal Family for some time, and this car was special-ordered by Gulab Singh, the Maharajah of Rewa of India.
Barker & Company, London, built the body using panels of German silver (a nickel-brass alloy) hand-formed over an intricate wooden frame. There are two sets of windows – one of clear glass, and the other of smoked Triplex; with all the glass raised and the top up, the Maharajah’s two wives could not be seen as they traveled throughout the Kingdom.
Boa constrictor-shaped horns are mounted on the fenders, and during hunting expeditions servants rode on the rattan seats attached to the running boards. In addition to the speedometer, tachometer and oil temperature gauges on the dashboard, another gauge measures air temperature and a gradient meter shows the angle of the huge car on the terrain. It was rumored that when the car was discovered in the 1970s, four elephants were used to carry it from the jungle in a giant sling! The tires are original issue from 1926.
1954 Dodge Firearrow IV–Designed by Chrysler’s legendary Design Chief, Virgil Exner, and hand-built by Ghia of Turin, Italy
The Dodge Firearrows were one-off concept/dream cars designed in the early 1950s by Chrysler Corporation’s legendary Design Chief, Virgil Exner, and hand-built by Ghia Coachbuilders of Turin, Italy.
The red 1954 Dodge Firearrow IV was built on a stock 119-inch Dodge chassis with a Red Ram Hemi (241 cubic inches with 150 horsepower @ 4400 rpm) under the hood. This was mated with Dodge’s Gyro-Torque four-speed semi-automatic transmission.
Unlike Firearrow II, Firearrow IV had a framed windshield, windshield wipers, roll-up side windows, a folding top, and exterior door handles…it was a viable car for production.
Firearrow IV toured many of the major U. S. auto shows in 1954 along with other Exner designed Chrysler Corporation dream cars. Firearrow IV is a survivor from the early Chrysler concept cars that were designed as serious, elegant Italian-style sports cars that could easily have found a market niche to compete with the Corvette, the Thunderbird, and several European marques!
1937 Mercedes-Benz Model 540K Special Roadster–The Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster achieved a pinnacle of styling, design and performance. Sales literature promoted it as an automobile of “enormous speed, combined with exceptional elegance.”
This car has a two-passenger rumble seat; extensive chrome embellishments were used along the fenders, hood, doors, and rear deck. These, and all of the chromed handles for the doors, hood and rumble seat, required special castings.
Daimler-Benz records indicate that this body was transported from the Sindelfingen works to the Stuttgart-Unterturkheim works where it was mounted on the chassis. The completed car was shipped to Mitropa Motors in New York City where it sold for $12,000—a sum equivalent to $75,000, today. Of the 25 Special Roadsters built, this is one of six known to still exist.
1933 Pierce-Arrow V-12 Silver Arrow Sedan–The Pierce Silver Arrow was an immediate hit when it was introduced at the 1933 New York Automobile Show and later at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair.
The streamlined design was created by Phillip Wright. Five V-12 limousine chassis were shipped from Buffalo, New York to Pierce-Arrow’s parent company, Studebaker Corporation, in South Bend, Indiana. No wooden structural parts were used in the construction of the car; the broad roof panel was hammered from a single sheet of steel, and all of the body panels were welded together. To minimize wind resistance the headlight moldings sweep back over the doors and the v-shaped inclined grille theme is repeated in the windshield and repeated in reverse in the tiny rear window. Fully skirted rear fenders reduce drag, spare tires are concealed in hinged panels behind the front wheels, and the door handles are recessed.
Pierce-Arrow was out of business by May, 1938 but many of the innovations on the Silver Arrow were standard styling features by 1940. Only three Silver Arrows exist!
1983 Porsche 959 Prototype (On loan from Shigeru Harada of Tokyo, Japan)–The Porsche 959 was manufactured from 1986 to 1989, first as a Group B rally car and later as a legal production car designed to satisfy FIA homologation regulations requiring that a minimum number of 200 street legal units be built.
During its production run, it was hailed as being the most technologically advanced road-going sports car ever built and the harbinger of the future of sports cars. It was one of the first highperformance vehicles to use an all-wheel drive system and it provided the basis for Porsche’s first all-wheel drive Carrera 4 model. It also convinced Porsche executives of the system’s viability so well that they chose to make all-wheel drive standard on all versions of the 911 Turbo starting with the 993 variant. During its lifetime, the vehicle had only one other street legal peer with comparable performance, the Ferrari F40. The 959’s short production run and performance have kept values high.
This is one of the first three prototype 959s made and is only the survivor after others were destroyed in crash tests. This car remained in Dr. Porsche’s personal car collection until a Japanese Porsche fanatic, Mr. Ohba, convinced Dr. Porsche to sell him this 959 Prototype along with the famous Dr. Porsche Gocart in 1990. This 959 is an extremely important piece of Porsche history.
1949 Mercury Woody Wagon–The Lincoln-Mercury Division was formed in 1945, but it wasn’t until the 1949 models appeared that Mercury was able to change (although only temporarily) its image as a glorified Ford. It now shared more of its styling with Lincoln. It had wraparound chrome front and rear bumpers along with a new shiny ‘coil
styled’ chrome grill.
The “Woody Wagon”, as they were known, became to be a popular American vehicle, and to this day have become more and more sought after and valuable. The ‘Mercury Woody’ was always considered one of the most desirable to own. It had a three-speed manual transmission with Touch-O-Matic overdrive as an option. Other options included a radio, heater and whitewall tires.
This beautiful Woody is unique in that it was period modified. It’s flathead V-8 has three two-barrel Stromberg carburetors, Offenhauser heads and intake. Custom paint and period custom hubcaps were added as well. This ’49 Merc Woody’ is clearly one of the finest restored examples to be found.
1963 Maserati 5000GT Frua (One of two Frua-bodied 5000GTs)–In December 1914 a new company was born in Bologna, Italy, “Societa Anonima Officine Alfiere Maserati”. Five of the six Maserati Brothers; Carlo(1881), Bindo(1883), Alfieri (1887), Ettore (1894) and Ernesto (1898), all became involved with engineering and in 1926 they developed and built their first car, a two-seater racecar. On the radiator was a badge of a trident that evoked Bologna’s famous statue of Neptune, designed by the sixth brother Mario (1890). On its debut in the Targa Floria in April of 1926 it came in first in its class and thus the legend of the Maserati automobile was born.
Maserati wins were numerous. In 1933 Maserati achieved three Grand Prix victories, in France, Belgium and Nice. In 1939 and 1940 Wilber Shaw won the Indianapolis 500 in a Maserati , and in 1957, Maserati, with Juan Manuel Fangio behind the wheel, won the World Grand Prix Championship.
In the mid and late 1950’s Maserati began to focus more on road cars although always of very low production. In 1959 Maserati developed a special 5 liter supercar for the Shah of Iran and thus began the very limited production of the Maserati 5000 GT. Only 32 Maserati 5000GT units were produced and only two had the unique coachwork by Frua.
This particular 5000GT (AM103.060) was the second built by Frua and was built specifically for the Aga Khan, who had been completely taken with the design after seeing the first one at the Paris Auto Show in 1962. The Maserati 5000GT’s are truly rare supercars of their era.
1924 Hispano-Suiza Model H6C ‘Tulipwood’ Torpedo–In 1924 the ‘Tulipwood’ Torpedo was commissioned by André Dubonnet who, at the age of 26, was an accomplished aviator and racecar driver. The Dubonnet family had amassed a fortune from the aperitifs and cognacs that continue to bear the family name.
Dubonnet contracted the Nieuport Aviation Company to build a lightweight body suitable for both racing and touring. Nieuport craftsmen formed a frame of wooden ribs measuring up to 3/4-inch thick which were covered with 1/8-inch wooden veneer. Strips of tulipwood of uneven thickness and length were fastened to the veneer with thousands of brass rivets. The body was then sealed, sanded and varnished; when fully equipped, the body was to have weighed approximately 160 pounds. The torpedo tail enclosed a 46-gallon gas tank for long distance racing.
In 1924 Dubonnet entered the Hispano-Suiza in the Sicilian Targa Florio and he finished 6th; he also finished 5th in the Coppa Florio and first in the over 4.5-liter class.
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