Some Assembly Required

Ferrari 250GTO Disassembled

I’ve been trying to find out the origin of this remarkable image of a disassembled and lovingly presented Ferrari 250 GTO. I did find a poster of the image, with associated labeling of the various magical pieces. But I prefer to imagine that this is a catalog page and, if I could only find the phone number, I’d be able to order up these aluminum seats and an Colombo Type 125 engine.

What I’m sure of is this: every time I’ve taken on a vintage project, most of the effort is in keeping the rusty pieces and kinky wires organized. I end up months later holding a small piece of metal in my hand, marked baggie label rubbed away, consulting my disassembly photos trying to figure out where it came from. It’s stressful and frustrating.

When I see an image like this, with everything neatly laid out and ready to put together in a clean and orderly package, it makes me want to dive right in. That’s it’s a GTO only reinforces that longing.

Update! Dan Radowicz wrote in with the story behind the poster:
“It was a poster we released as a PR tool to promote our restoration shop – The Griswold Company, located in Berkeley, CA. We were also the local Alfa, Ferrari, and Aston Martin dealers. The GTO was one of our projects.”

Thanks for clearing that up Dan! But I think I’ll just going to go right on pretending I can phone in a catalog order anyway. :)

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Happy Holidays

Skiing with a Porsche 356

Don’t let the winter get you down—let’s bring this back. I think this could make a comeback as a winter hillclimb with uphill skiing. Fire up the Porsche 356 and grab your skiis.

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Just 60 Old Cars in a Barn

Ferrari 250 SWB and Maserati A6G 2000 Barn Find

This Ferrari 250 SWB and Maserati A6G 2000 are only a fraction of a 60 car strong barn find that will all cross the Artcurial auction block in February at Retromobile in Paris.

Just when I think there’s never going to be another big barn find, up pops another. Surely this must be the last generation of forgotten barns full of vintage sportscars. Once the entire world is internet literate, anyone will realize what an amazingly valuable pile of steel is in the shed, right? I hope I’m wrong about this. I’m not going to discover a new tomb of ancient relics, or an unknown comet in a corner of the universe, but I might stumble on an old racecar forgotten in a neighbor’s warehouse.

This one was one hell of a find from a very discerning collector:

The cars
Amilcar C6 berline
Amilcar CGS
Ariès coach
Auto Union cabriolet
Avions Voisin C15
Avions Voisin limousine C15
Avions Voisin C7 par Gallé
Ballot 8 Cyl limousine
Barré torpédo
Berliet coupé chauffeur
Berliet Type VIGB 10HP Taxi Landaulet
Bugatti 57 Ventoux
Citroën Trèfle
Delage D6
Delage D8 coach
Delahaye 135 cabriolet Faget Varnet
Delahaye 135 coach Chapron
Delahaye 235 coach Chapron
Delahaye 235 coach Chapron
Delahaye 235 coupé Chapron
Delahaye Type 43 coupé chauffeur
Delahaye GFA 148 L
Delahaye Type 43 camionnette
Delaunay Belleville limousine VL8
Facel Vega Excellence
Ferrari 250 GT California SWB
Ferrari 308 GTS i
Ferrari 400
Ferrari Mondial 3.2L cabriolet
Hispano Suiza H6B cabriolet Millon-Guiet
Hotchkiss cabriolet
Innocenti S cabriolet
Jaguar type S 3.4 L
La Buire 12 A
Lagonda LG45 cabriolet
Lancia Thema 8.32
Lorraine Dietrich B3/6 plateau
Lorraine Dietrich B3/6 torpédo par Grumman
Lorraine-Dietrich torpédo
Maserati A6G 2000 berlinetta Grand Sport Frua
Mathis cabriolet
Mathis FOH
Packard cabriolet Super Eight
Panhard-Levassor Dynamic berline X77
Panhard-Levassor Dynamic coupé X76
Panhard-Levassor limousine X72
Porsche 356 SC ex-Sonauto
Renault AX torpédo
Renault Vivastella cabriolet
Sandford cyclecar 3 roues
Singer Cabriolet
Talbot Lago 11/6 cabriolet
Talbot Lago Baby cabriolet
Talbot Lago Baby cabriolet
Talbot Lago Cadette 11
Talbot Lago coach
Talbot Lago T26 coach
Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport coupé Saoutchik
Talbot Lago T26 Record coupé Saoutchik
Talbot Lago T26 cabriolet Saoutchik ex-Roi Farouk

Classic Driver has the complete story.

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Firing up a 28.5-Litre Fiat After 100 Dormant Years

After 100 years of sitting idle, Duncan Pittaway and his team have breathed life into this former Landspeed Record Fiat S76. More than 100 years after the two S76s were built by Fiat to take the flying mile and flying kilometer records away from the Blitzen Benz, this fearsome hellbreathing dragon has spun up her four valve-per-cylinder, multi-spark, overhead cam 28½ Litre (!) engine and it. Is. Staggering. Without exhausts fitted, this view of the combustion chambers spitting the remains of burning fuel straight into the camera lens makes me feel like Gandalf staring down a Balrog in Moria.

Fiat S76

Modern engines are absolutely pushing envelopes. The sophistication of engineering and artistry that powers contemporary racing machines is very, very impressive. But none of them have the Earth shattering brutality of this 104-year-old Fiat. Terrifying. And Gorgeous.

Hat tip to Stefan Marjoram on this one. More to come in the new year, it seems. I can’t wait for more of the Beast of Turin.

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Watkin’s Glen International Grand Prix Driver’s Badges

Watkins Glen Drivers' Badges: 1954, 1955, 1956

At a “Buy it Now” price of $795, these might be most expensive 3-inch pinback badges on the market. If, however, I had a car that ran in the Watkins Glen International Grand Prix in 1954, 1955, or 1956, I’d be mighty tempted.

Check out the eBay auction for details.

Maybe I should reproduce these. Smaller though.

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I’m Only 37 Years Late for this 911R

 911R #11899 005R in the 1969 Tour de France

911R for sale in Oct. 1977 PCA NewsletterThis ad for a Porsche 911R for sale in the October 1977 is one of those astonishing pieces of text that you have to read several times before it quite hits you. Daniel Cole sent this in after he uncovered the clipping during a Porsche Club of America history project he’s working on.

$12,500 in 1977 is $51,235.34 in 2014 dollars. I don’t know the last time that the ex-Siffert 1967 Porsche 911R #1899 005R changed hands, but I’m guessing it was a touch more than $50 Grand.. More than 10x that I’d imagine—maybe 20. Maybe I should phone up the current owner The Collier Collection’s Revs Institute and make an offer.

Thanks for sending this in Daniel!

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Full Scale Porsche 917 Shell with a Surprise

It’s official. I need to make a lot more money.

A week ago, I thought my life was fairly complete, but then I saw this slot car table from Slot Mods. Now when I want to hide something, I usually pick some nondescript, boring piece of the background for my secret to blend in with. The folks at Slot Mods think slightly differently. When they set out to create a slot car track loosely based on La Sarthe, they decided the most inconspicuous place to stash it was in this Gulf-liveried Porsche 917 fiberglass shell. Amazing. This is the same group of mad geniuses bringing you Neiman-Marcus’s $300K slot car table. Now how am I supposed to decide between them?

Slot Mods' Porsche 917 slot car table

More shots at SlotMods.com

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This Is It. The New One. The Hot One.

Triumph GT6 Ad

Humming tires. Snarling engine. Whistling wind. Triumph GT-6.

This is it. The new one. The hot one. That fastback sports car that offers more than just a sloping rear. This is the 6-cylinder Triumph GT-6.

From its sleek-bodied Grand Prix racing prototype, we retained the proven performance of four forward synchromesh gears. Rack-and-pinion steering. 4-wheel independent suspension. Disc brakes. Radial ply tires. (Performance/safety features that helped the GT-6 prototypes finish 1-2 in their class at Le Mans.)

Next we added certain luxury refinements. To name just a few: fully-instrumented walnut dash. Pile carpeting. Roomy bucket seats. Padded leather-covered steering wheel. Easy entry to luggage compartment through large rear door. Wire wheels. Back-up lights.

So, you see, the new Triumph GT-6 is not just a fastback. It’s the fastback.

Triumph GT-6

Standard equipment: heater/defroster, windshield washers, wire wheels. Suggested retail price $2995 East Coast POE plus optional extras, state and/or local taxes. See Yellow Pages for nearest dealer. Available in Canada and also for overseas delivery. Standard-Triumph Motor Company, Inc., 111 Galway Place, Teaneck, New Jersey 07666

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The Automotive Photography of Peter Aylward

Bugatti_Type_35B_43

There’s something starkly atmospheric and cinematic about Peter Aylward’s photography that gives these cacophonous racing machines a serene beauty. It’s almost jarring how something so visceral and kinetic can take on a peaceful grace. I don’t know whether it’s the cold, largely neutral color palette or the composition but these images are absolutely arresting.

peteraylward_SC_14__00

More astoundingly beautiful photos from a number of different shoot locations at Peter’s site.

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A Precariously Perched Silver Arrow

Mercedes W154 being unloaded at Tripoli

I’ve been reading Sandro Martini’s wonderful novel Tracks: Racing the Sun about the golden age of Grand Prix racing and the exploits of Tazio Nuvolari, Achille Varzi and other (mostly Italian) heroes of the 1930s racing scene and the worrisome political climate of the era (full review to come—short version: I love it).

The passages that take place during the contentious and controversial Grands Prix of Tripoli are so evocative and romantic that I couldn’t help trying to dig up some photos of the era. This dockside image of the Mercedes W154 so perfectly captures the clash between the huge technological leaps that racing machines were making with the almost quaint simplicity of the rest of society. These ropes and cables jerkily transferring this rocketship of a car to the docks must have been as much a test of nerves as the race itself. You think about racing teams having to trust their drivers but rarely do you consider the faith being placed in the longshoremen.

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