Thursday, 23 October 2014

Maserati Barchetta

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

Don't feel too bad if you haven't seen a Maserati Barchetta before - they only built seventeen of them. Each one featured a 2.0-litre 24v V6 mounted amidships, and most were built in corsa (racing) spec, although a number have subsequently been converted to stradale (street-legal) trim to complement the early prototypes. Built at the De Tomaso plant in Modena, the cars featured ultra-light bodies in a mix of carbon-fibre and fibreglass, draped over a lightweight spaceframe; the Grantrofeo Barchetta series saw the cars compete in anger in 1992/3, and their legacy lived on in the De Tomaso Guara, which utilised a modifed form of the Barchetta's frame.

This particular Barchetta belongs to Cornelia Baur. It was originally raced in the Grantrofeo Barchetta by Cor Euser, and was run in period by High Klas Racing of Denmark. You see it here in the Maserati centenary class at Salon Privé, where it more than held its own amongst the other obscure trident-bearing classics. It was a lot of fun to stand next to, because most passers-by would perform comical double-takes and then scamper over to find out what the hell it was. (Me included, actually, I'd never heard of it before.) Rather beautiful, isn't it? And I like its little moustache.

Click here for more photos from Salon Privé 2014.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Wolseley 1300 Plus

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

The British Motor Company were really rather generous when it came to sharing models across brands. After their ADO16 platform appeared in 1962, it ended up being badged as an Austin 1100 & 1300 with the same numbers found on MG, Morris and Wolseley variants; it was also a Riley Kestrel, Austin America, Innocenti IM3 and various others. They squeezed every drop of value out of that design.

It was an eminently practical family car in its day, but of course the world has moved on. We live in a spiralling consumer culture, the descent into stuff-gathering is inevitable and unquenchable, and that's why you see the families of 2014 driving around in Volvo XC90s. They need the space to cart their things about.
Not this fella, though. He's applied a little lateral thinking to his load-carrying requirements, and increased the capacity of his Wolseley 1300 by simply chopping another one in half and tying it to the back. That's British ingenuity, that is.

Spotted at the 2014 Concours de l'Ordinaire - click here for more photos.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Chopped Minor Coupé

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

The Morris Minor first popped onto the scene back in 1948, and in all the years since it's proven itself to be a versatile old stick - equally at home at the hands of district nurses, cherry-cheeked young families, racing drivers, and hot rodders. And as you can see here, it's possible to chop them about a bit and turn the sensible saloon into a rakish coupé...
This one was first coupéd back in the eighties by a chap named Jimmy the Fish, and has been doing the rounds on the show scene under various different owners and guises - you see it here in the car park at this year's Goodwood Revival, looking menacing with its fat muscle car wheels and squat stance. You can read all about the build here.

Click here for more from the 2014 Revival.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Aston Martin DB2 DHC

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

The Aston Martin DB2 is an achingly pretty thing, fusing elegant curves with a whole lot of right angles; it's perfectly proportioned, dripping in chrome, and has one of the coolest dashboards ever produced. It was quite an advanced thing in its day, too - the DOHC straight-six was cutting-edge stuff in the early 1950s, its design having been overseen by W.O. Bentley.
This particular one is a 1951 model that was first owned by Prince Bertil of Sweden; he specced a number of factory upgrades before taking delivery, most notably a floor-mounted gearshift and a Vantage engine, with its bigger carbs, revised cam duration and increased compression ratio. It's now owned by Ton Blankvoort, and you see it here about to take second place in Salon Privé's 'Fit for a King' category. (So, fit for a prince, then...)

Click here for more from Salon Privé 2014.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

'65 Plymouth Barracuda

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

One of my favourite things about the Goodwood Revival is the free 'n' easy paddock access, allowing you to get all close up and touchy-feely with the cars that have been roaring around on track mere moments before.
Take this 1965 Barracuda, for example. Duncan Pittaway's pristine blue racer, resplendent in Ohio plates and that trademark vast rear window, made a hell of rumble in the Shelby Cup, all lairy tail-out hijinks and V8 boisterousness. And yet here it sits perfectly serene, bonnet agape for your delectation. Is it suffering, awaiting frantic repairs? Or simply relaxing after a tasty battle? Well, that's all part of the mystery...

Click here for more from the 2014 Revival.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

'48 Land Rover Rod

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

This is a cheeky little hot rod that'll be familiar to some of you - Bruce Holder's '48 Land Rover is part internet darling, part show regular, and all rumbly aggression. In essence, it's a Landie that subverts the go-anywhere ethos of the machine by being as low as physically possible; the Series One shell sits on a Rover P4 chassis, accompanied by a burbling V8, oodles of rake, some very subtle flames, and some outlandish cupholders. Scroll down to see Jason Laroza's video, in which Bruce explains a little of the history - and you can also read all about it here.

Spotted at RRG14 - click here for more photos.

Bruce's 1948 Land Rover from Laroza on Vimeo.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Boston Brawler

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

'Don't be soft. Have a fight!' Well, there's a mission statement...
The Boston Brawler is a '33 Willys Coupe gasser, built by Jimmy Hibberd at the Valley Gas Speed Shop. Famed for its wheelstands, the Brawler has been on the European scene for around twenty years, and features everything you'd hope to find on a quality period gasser: Cragars, extensive louvres, cheeky pinstriping, massive pipes exiting from the front arches, external gauges, a parachute... an angry little thing, with the bite to back up its bark. Beautifully prepared too, isn't it?

Spotted at the 2014 Goodwood Revival - click here for more photos.