Shed or Minter: Churchill's Land Rover

Written by Kurt | Saturday, 29 September 2012 18:47

Land Rover Winston Churchill auctionPrime ministerial cars are not usually associated with 'four-wheel drive', 'countryside', 'cargo area', nor with a spare wheel on top of the engine bay. Some though, should be associated with those keywords, not surprisingly it's one of those eccentric British aristocrats who had no problem being transported in an off-roader. The Rt Hon. Sir Winston Spencer Churchill KG. OM. CH. MP (and I'm probably forgetting one or two official titles) got a Land Rover for his 80th birthday in 1954 (during his second stint as British PM). Exactly this Land Rover is up for auction at Cheffins' Vintage Sale on 20 October here. Looking at the odometer, there isn't much evidence that it was driven much, just 12,932 miles were racked up over the years (including other owners since 1973) but according to the PR bluff in the press release Churchill it was put through good use on Churchill's estate with the PM himself as a frequent passenger.

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Video: Vorsprung durch Technik

Written by Kurt | Thursday, 20 September 2012 22:38

vorsprung durch technik audi advertising sloganLooking through the Guardian's series of articles on Germany I happened to stumble across a very interesting a video here for those that have an interest in advertising, and in this case advertising cars. Now we've all heard the Audi slogan 'Vorsprung durch Technik,' but how come it became a catchphrase even in the english-speaking world and became synonymous with German prowess as whole in the 1980s? Sir John Hegarty, the British ad man responsible for dusting off the slogan, which he found on an old poster during an Audi factory visit, rekindles how the campaign came to fruition. Further down on this page the original video ad that made the campaign such a success. What strucks me is the apparent ease with which narrator Geoffrey Palmer talks his way through the ad, effortlessy explaining in a few sentences and with little words that actually have nothing to do with the technical advancements of the car why an Audi is so much better technically than competitors. Closing with a cheeky: "If you wanna get on the beach before the Germans, you better buy an Audi 100. Vorsprung durch Technik as they say in Germany." Hear, hear as they say in British parliament.

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Photography: The 1969 Italian Grand Prix

Written by Kurt | Saturday, 08 September 2012 11:28

1969 monza GP - There they go, Stewart, Hill, Rindt, Courage

With the 2012 Italian Grand Prix underway this weekend, it's a good time to look back at a previous edition of this traditional F1 race. With Hamilton and Alonso being particularly strong this weekend, the 1969 edition saw Jackie Stewart and Jochen Rindt go head to head. It was in this race that Jackie Stewart claimed his first F1 title with three races still to go by finishing first. It wasn't a walk in the, admittedly beautiful, Royal Villa of Monza park for Stewart though, the first 4 drivers finished within a second of one another. Rindt crossed the line just 0.08 seconds after Stewart while Frenchman Beltoise and New Zealander McLaren where right on his heels. It is no surprise that this race is the closest 1-2-3-4 finish in GP history with lead changes almost every lap. Best of all we have some photos of this momentous occassion!

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Shed or Minter: 1957 OSCA Barchetta Vignale

Written by Kurt | Thursday, 06 September 2012 17:42

OSCA Vignale Barchetta 1957 - 1500cc - body Ferrari 225SThis time an unlikely candidate for an internet auction. On Ebay in France we found this splendid OSCA Barchetta with a Vignale body. We say splendid but other evidence points at this listing not being quite what it seems, simply because it has been listed thrice on three different websites each stating different countries as location. Here one in Sweden and here one in Belgium (with the tel. number leading us to classicscars.com). This 1957 OSCA was listed on the other two websites as MT4-2AD. Interestingly the seller states that this car has the same Vignale body as the Ferrari 225S, which is a bit odd as that one saw the light in 1957, why would an innovative and creative company like Vignale shape an already retro body for a new chassis in 1957? More likely it is a rebodied car. By the way, underneath a photo of what seems to be the same car. Story doesn't end here as the 'Sweden-based'  seller of this car also has another OSCA (and many other cars) for sale, listed on the same day here. It all sounds a bit fishy, but what do I know. Of course it's possible this 'Claus' guy has multiple cars to sell, and yes perhaps he's a global traveller living in Sweden, France and Belgium. But why then, put only one of those priceless cars on Ebay on an account which previously hasn't sold anything else than a few video games, U2 concert tickets and lots of toothpaste? To me it is a mystery, to others it is not much of an issue.

Ed. Went for $250,000 in the end!

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Video: Lotus Elan vs Mazda MX-5 Super 20

Written by Super User | Thursday, 30 August 2012 21:28

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By lack of home-made car reviews by TheRetromobilist (as I can't see anyone granting us an Elan to test at the moment, or is there anyone who's kind enough to do so?) we feature one hell of an interesting duel between the classis Lotus Elan and the brand-new Mazda MX-5 Super 20. Well, I say duel, it's more of a huge laudation to the Elan really. In addition to that, the guys from American magazine 'Car and Driver' have chosen an equally legendary track (Laguna Seca) to test these cars as well. Motoring journalist Sam Smith guides us through both cars with much passion and knowledge. Unsurprisingly, the concept MX-5 Super 20 (or any MX-5) was inspired by the Elan which is why his choice for these two cars and his opinions make so much sense. Make sure you watch it!

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