The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering always draws out many of the best vintage racing cars on the planet—so it only makes sense that Bonham’s auction at the event will follow suit. From Duesenbergs to McLarens, there are too many amazing sports and racing cars coming across that magnificent auction block to list them all. I do want to point out a few personal favorites. Some of these may not be the cars that command the high-end bids. They are just some that made me smile as I perused the auction catalog.
This short film that Wes Anderson made for Prada whimsically evokes the Mille Miglia with the charming beauty the director is known for. The glimpses of the racing cars putting through Castello Cavalcanti are painfully short, but I’ll use any excuse to post a Wes Anderson piece.
Now I just hope that Prada actually makes that racing suit.
More at Variety. Yes, I’m linking to Variety.
I woke up late on Sunday and turned on Spike TV’s “Powerblock” of automotive shows for a few minutes while I got up and around. During the episode of Muscle Cars, there was a brief spotlight on the early 60’s Pontiac GTO variant, the Catalina. The Catalina was a 2+2 (a designation borrowed from Ferraris of the period), and was available with beefier horsepower than even the coveted GTO. During the segment, they cut to a Catalina owner who commented that, “you never see these at car shows, and never on the street, they’re very rare”. Compared to the GTO perhaps they’re rare, but in the 61-67 era the show focused on, Pontiac kicked over 25,000 Catalinas out the factory doors. Rare, eh?
Now this; this is rare. This Maserati powered 1953 Bandini 1500 is on offer from Digit Motorsport in Arizona. It wasn’t uncommon for Bandini importer, Tony Pampeo, to bring rolling Bandini chassis into the United States and then add a engine, typically a Siata, Alfa, Fiat, MG or Offy. This time, however, Tony dropped a Mille Miglia stalwart Maserati A6 in the Bandini. Bellissimo!
The Mille Miglia eligible car looks immaculate following her €90,000 bare chassis restoration. The sale includes the documentation of the restoration, and certification from Dino Bandini as to this gorgeous barchetta’s authenticity. Remarkable. Now this, my friend, is something you never see at car shows. This is rare.
More photos and information is available at the dealer’s info page.
As always, if its Bandini, then Cliff has photos and information on it at Etceterini’s Bandini page.
Bandinis are too precious to waste, my friends. Thankfully, the crew at D&D Classics agrees. The car was quite a mess when the pulled it from an open shed in 2002. A weaker stomach would have just given up on her. The aluminum body panels were bad enough, but once they cracked the engine a gearbox, it just got worse and worse. Seriously, the photos of the gearbox internals are enough to make you ill.
This Bandini has an interesting history all it’s own. This very early single overhead cam Crosley powered version was imported to New York in ’56 and to be delivered to Flash Gordon creator Alex Raymond. Sadly, Raymond was killed in a car crash before he was able to take delivery. The car sat for a year before being snatched up by Connecticut racer, George Tipsword who took the Bandini to a few podiums. The car changed hands several times before arriving in the service station of Larry Melsheimer, who held the car for 30 years waiting to restore it. Apparently, the car is still under restoration with her new owner in Germany. I’m looking forward to seeing it complete. I absolutely adore these little Bandinis.
For more on the marque, Etceterini is the definitive source.
Here’s Lorenzo Bandini looking regal, poised over the #23 Ferrari 330 P3/4 that he and Chris Amon piloted to victory that year. Looks like Ferrari had the magic for Daytona in 1967. They brought home 1st, 2nd, and 3rd with the Porsche 910s & 906s, and Ford GT40s rounding out the rest of the top ten. Bandini and Amon repeated the feat at the following stop in the World Sportscar Championship, Monza. Despite the strong start, the rest of the season belonged to Ford and Porsche with the GT40 and 910 splitting victories for most of the rest of the season.
Take a look at the rest of the set, The shots of Piper & Attwood’s dull green Ferrari P2/3 alone is worth clicking over for. Maybe it’s the color shift of the film, but the years before TV-happy color shades make this era of motorsport color palettes my favorite. You would never see a car with a dull dark green, Semi-gloss navy blue, or less-than-TV-ready shines today. It makes the era feel all the more familial somehow.