2015 Vintage Racing Calendar Updated

As I look out the window at sub-zero temperatures it is easy to forget that the 2015 vintage racing season is already getting under way in many parts of the US. The Chicane’s Vintage Racing Calendar is now updated with this year’s schedule. Take a look, and let me know if your club’s events are missing.

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On Auction in Arizona: 1964 Ferrari 250 LM

1964 Ferrari 250 LM no. 5899

“Chassis number 5899 GT was the ninth example of Ferrari’s vaunted 250 LM, and according to Ferrari historian Marcel Massini, it was completed by the factory on June 3, 1964. As was the case with the vast majority of 250 LMs, it was finished in Rossa Cina and fitted with Panno Blu seats. Six weeks later, it was sold by the factory, destined for Switzerland’s most storied racing team, Scuderia Filipinetti.”

With a birth story like that, it would be enough. But unfortunately 5899’s career with Scuderia Filipinetti was short lived with Ludovico Scarfiotti and Nino Vaccarella each taking victories in her only two events with the team, the 1964 Sierre-Montana Crans Hill Climb and the XV Coppa Inter-Europa at Monza. The car went on to further victories with Ecurie Basilisk.

Following a crash, the car entered a dark period and was modified heavily. In what must rank up there in the history of cobbled together racers, her chassis was chopped and shortened to fit a Porsche 906(!) body. Yet, somehow this unholy union between rivals suited 5899 as it went on to become a successful hillclimber.

A restoration began in 1977 and somehow her current state is gorgeous. Would you believe this machine was once a Porsche bodied FrankenFerrari?

This beautiful 250 LM will cross the block at RM Auctions Arizona auction next Friday. While her past may be colorful, it seems to be well documented, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she achieves the $9,500,000 – $12,500,000 estimate.

More information on RM Auction’s lot detail page. There’s a photo there of 5899 wearing the 906 fiberglass there.. and while I truly admire the mechanics that kept her alive and running in those years, I just didn’t have it in me to display it here.

Update: Sold on the low end of the estimate for $9,625,000

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Factories at Work: Lamborghini

Miura line

This actually looks more “mass production like” than I would have imagined.

Engine room

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“File Away Your Spark Plug Troubles”

Jim Clark Autolite Ad

If it’s good enough for Jimmy…

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Forgotten Gullwing

This isn’t for the squeamish. I’ve long been fascinated by the Cuban people’s ability to keep the cars of the 1950s on the road without a steady influx of parts. The ingenuity and determination of Cuban mechanics and their ability to cobble together bits and pieces or wholly create spares that keep those old Dodges and Chevys rolling through sheer force of will is just artistry. Why then, couldn’t one or two devote that masterful ability to this Gullwing? Instead it looks to have been abandoned and cannibalized over her years hiding under a banana tree. It’s heartbreaking.

This car is also featured in Degler Studio’s 2015 Carros de Cuba calendar. If you can bring yourself to look at this for a whole month, you’re stronger than me.

Abandoned Gullwing Mercedes in Cuba

More photos and information at This European Life.

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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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