Some Favorites from the Upcoming Quail Auction

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.

Robert Ristuccia’s Lime Rock Historics

Group4 by Robert Ristuccia

With an amazing array of classic Mercedes Benz GP Cars brought up by the Revs Institute it was already going to be a fantastic weekend. Having Jochen Mass on hand to pilot the W-154 doesn’t hurt either.

Nestled in the Berkshires, Lime Rock has beautiful views from practically any vantage point on the track. Which is good because in addition to an all-around magnificent field, Lime Rock seems to draw an absolutely astounding Pre-War group. It seems that New England has as many Bugattis and pre-war American racing specials on the track as most tracks have 911s or MGs. They draw what is probably the country’s best Pre-War group—and they do it year after year… and that’s just one of the remarkable groups of racers that flock to the weekend to close out every summer.

Friend of the Chicane Robert Ristuccia was in the stands and walking to pits and captured a glorious series of shots of the action.

More of Robert’s vibrant photos of the event (and a bunch of other vintage weekends) at his site: Part 1 and Part 2.

The Race Bar

Jaguar XKSS at Clyde's of Chevy Chase

The gods of speed smiled on me this past weekend.

Midget racer at Clyde's of Chevy ChaseI was traveling to Washington DC and was invited to meet up with family for dinner at Clyde’s in Chevy Chase, MD.

As I approached the door I spotted a Bugatti 52 in the window acting as a simple table decoration, which is impressive enough on it’s own, and turned to my wife with a quick, “If that’s real they spent quite a bit on the interior of this place.”

Mural at Clyde's of Chevy ChaseThat wasn’t half of it. I walked in the front door to be immediately greeted with a 2-story mural of a 1920’s era road race with a battling Bentley and Bugatti leading the way. Peering down the spiral stairway revealed a Jaguar XKSS on display. Again, I said, “now if THAT is real, they spent QUITE a bit on the interior of this place”.

The entire lower floor of the place is bedecked with vintage posters from both international grand prix and local dirt track races. In addition to the XKSS, there’s a Morgan 3-wheeler and a midget racer perched above the bar. Wrapping around the entire lower floor bar is an enormous second mural featuring pre-war racers and various sportscar marques. Upstairs sharing space with the Bugatti 52 are more period kiddie carts: an MG and a Rolls. Amazing.

In short, it’s the Mid-Atlantic’s answer to the Siebken’s bar. It’s always depressing to find a great new hangout only to realize that you live hundreds of miles away from it.

My web searches since I’ve returned home seem to indicate that the Jaguar is indeed authentic. Can anyone confirm?

Mural at Clyde's of Chevy Chase

Beauty in the Details with Laurent Nivalle

Mille Miglia 2009 Videos Are Up

It’s only been a few short days since this year’s Mille Miglia and already videos are starting to trickle online. There’s aren’t just quick shoot and post phone-cam videos either. Some of these are quite lovely, like this first short video from Ricky Montalvo. He was able to stake out some of the more interesting areas the Mille passes through—the tiny villages that are ordinarily closed to automotive traffic. These picturesque little towns make for some lovely vantage-points to take in the amazing field of Mille Miglia participants and some excellent atmospheric shots of spectators. Take a look.

Here’s another from Ferrari World that’ll appeal to the Tifosi among us, and also some excellent footage from behind the wheel. Here we follow along on the third leg of the Mille, from Rome to Brescia (the footage shows us passing through Florence and Siena). Fantastic Stuff.

Appropriate since this year’s winners were Carlo and Bruno Ferrari (albeit, driving a Bugatti Type 37).

Your Small Piece of Old Number 2, or a GTO

bentley-radiator-cufflinksMost of us will never own a Bugatti Type 35, or a Ferrari GTO, and certainly not the “Old Number 2” Bentley. Each of these models has something in common, examples of each have undergone restoration and had parts replaced. These original parts provide the raw materials for a series of accessories from TMB Art Metal. Thanks to them, we can at least own a small part of these magnificent automobiles.

From Bentley’s famous 1930 Speed Six “Old Number Two”—one of the famous racing cars of all time and part of Bentley’s 1-2 finish in the ’30 LeMans—come these cufflinks. Beautifully sculpted renditions of Old Number 2’s radiator grille and her wheel spinners, these marvelous little cufflinks are actually made of aluminum and bronze melted-down from parts removed from the car during Richard Moss’ 2-year restoration.

Similarly, TMB offers cufflinks made from the melted body panels and other components of a Ferrari GTO, an Aston Martin DB4GT, and a Bugatti 35.

Additionally, this wallet made of leather sourced from the upholstery of a GTO is fantastic. Each one a unique piece of art exhibiting the patina of 40 years of use. Some examples show the diamond pattern found in the under-hood batten, or the smooth pebble texture of the seats; but all have a small representation of the GTO formed from a melted body panel.

I may never be able to sit in a Ferrari GTO, but with this wallet, I can sit on one.