Friday, 28 August 2009
The annual VSCC meeting at Mallory Park and a chance to see Edwardian racing cars, racing. Fantastic! I am always impressed by how these leviathans are kept in competitive running order. The 1907 Grand Prix Delage was quick by any standards topping the ton on the Stebbe Straight and lapping in 1 minute 12 seconds. The pits displayed a good selection of quality corduroy trousers too, as old chaps fettled old engines on a sunny August afternoon. The low mileage Renault 4 was for sale. We thought £3500 was a tad optimistic, but it was lovely. ‘Mick’ on 07711 218917 if you’re interested. I resisted, which felt odd.
Wednesday, 19 August 2009
Two rather quaint ‘i-spy’s’ whilst in The Algarve last week. In the late 60’s and early 70’s the Honda N360 and later N600 (This model) were the Japanese giant’s first attempt at a mass produced car and were in manufactured until 1972 along with the far sportier S600/800. This was a gem and appeared un-restored and in everyday use, though ‘enthusiast’ owned according to various badges in the screen. The climate would have helped maintain it, but a secret squeeze of its wheel arches revealed the use of quite thick steel (Engineers technical term). Some panels were plastic to save weight. Autocar’s test back in 1968 recorded a top speed of 77 mph, yet only 36 mpg. They were £589 on the road - £28 more than the Mini. That would have been a good week’s wages for a professional back then. The chap with the moped pitched up each day to flog his stuff, then pottered home again. Lovely little two stroke engine and beautiful sculptured cowling. It had the look of a one owner from new machine and I wanted it.
Thursday, 6 August 2009
Fumbling around in the fields and farms that lurk slightly to the southeast of the Millau suspension bridge last week, I was trying to find the perfect spot for a photograph of Norman Foster’s masterpiece, when I stumbled across two of Andre Citroen’s masterpieces from five decades ago. Hard to believe that such barn finds still exist, but there before me on 27th July 2009 were an early 1950’s 2CV and a late 50’s - early 60’s example, ripe and ready to be discovered by some maniac who likes these things. I’ve owned two. Both endless trouble so you can keep ‘em for me. No. I didn’t ask the farmer if they were up for grabs. He never showed his visage, and no, I didn’t poke about underneath to see just how rotten they were. Google maps is lagging behind a bit as they don’t show the completed bridge, but I have marked with a bold 20 point arrow exactly where the barn is in the village of Issis. Good luck you brave enthusiasts. May the best man win!