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NEWS

Welcome to our latest news page. Here we'll be discussing what's new in the classic car industry.

  • Merry Christmas

    by Garry Shortt | Dec 24, 2014

    WISHING YOU A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS &

     A HAPPY & PROSPEROUS 2015!

  • Classic Chrome celebrate 25 years!

    by Garry Shortt | Dec 11, 2014

  • Treasure trove of 60 barn-finds includes ‘lost’ Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

    by Garry Shortt | Dec 5, 2014

     

    Exclusive: Treasure trove of 60 barn-finds includes ‘lost’ Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

    05 December 2014

    “Never again, anywhere in the world, will such a treasure be unearthed,” says Pierre Novikoff, motor car specialist at Artcurial auction house. He’s describing a staggering collection of 60 barn-find cars that have been discovered after lying hidden for 50 years.

    And if you think he’s exaggerating, then let me quote our photographer, Rémi Dargegen, who reported back to us right after the photo-shoot, saying, “It’s amazing, just amazing. The place is incredible… the most impressive thing is the sheer quantity of cars hidden in the barns.”

    Amazing, just amazing

    It all began with the grandfather of the family that currently owns the collection: back in the 1950s, he dreamed of conserving the heritage of pre-War cars in museum surroundings, focusing on the great French brands and famous body shops. This gentleman was an entrepreneur with a transport company in the west of France and he was a serious enthusiast: he even exhibited a roadster that he’d built himself at the Paris Motor Show in the 1950s. Sadly, during the 1970s, his dream fell apart when his business suffered a setback and he was forced to sell some 50 cars. After that, the rest of the collection stayed totally untouched, all these years, until its very recent discovery.

    Only the most famous brands, the most admired coachbuilders

    These motor cars, explains Artcurial, have been tucked away in various outbuildings and left under makeshift corrugated iron shelters – cars that include Bugatti, Hispano-Suiza, Panhard et Levassor, Delahaye, Delage, Maserati and Ferrari. There are several Talbot-Lago T26s buried in the collection, one of them a very rare Grand Sport Aérodynamique – and an opulent Cabriolet once owned by King Farouk. But it’s not just the marques that are enough to take your breath away: many are clothed in bodies by the most admired coachbuilders of their day, names such as Chapron, Million-Guiet and Saoutchik. Found sheltering in a garage was one of just three Maserati A6G 2000 Berlinettas with coachwork by Frua, dating from 1956. And then, beneath piles of magazines, they discovered something even more exciting…

    Beneath piles of magazines: Alain Delon's lost Ferrari 250 California 

    …a Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider, with covered headlights, a car whose first owner was comedian Gérard Blain. But according to Artcurial, the intriguing history of this – surely the last barn-find California SWB Spider ever to be unearthed – doesn’t stop there. Blain sold the Ferrari to actor Alain Delon, who was on several occasions photographed at the wheel – accompanied, in 1964, by Jane Fonda (during the filming of ‘Les Félins’) and later by Shirley MacLaine on the Côte d’Azur.

    A mystery to marque historians

    Even the wife of the original collector didn’t know whether he’d sold the California or still owned it, and their children knew nothing about the car until they came across it, a few months ago, hidden under those old newspapers. So it’s hardly surprising that the whereabouts of this important, Pininfarina-designed cabriolet have been – until now – a mystery to marque historians.

    What a discovery!

    What a discovery: and it’s hard to guess at the sort of interest it’s likely to generate among collectors. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait long to find out, as the California Spider will be offered – along with the other 59 cars in this amazing collection – by Artcurial Motorcars in the first part of its traditional auction at the Rétromobile Salon, on 6 February 2015, in Paris.

    Like Lord Carnarvon entering Tutankhamun’s tomb

    Matthieu Lamoure, managing director of Artcurial Motorcars, likens the experience of first being shown the barn finds to “Lord Carnarvon entering Tutankhamun’s tomb”. In his opinion, “Not since the revelation of the Schlumpf Collection in Mulhouse has such a group of emblematic automobiles been disclosed and, what is more, in such original condition. The magic of these 60 mysterious mechanical creatures is more like a giant work of art: the unrealised dream of their owner.”

    Photos: Rémi Dargegen for Classic Driver © 2014. All rights reserved.

    The cars

    Amilcar C6 berline

    Amilcar CGS

    Ariès coach

    Auto Union cabriolet

    Avions Voisin C15

    Avions Voisin limousine C15

    Avions Voisin C7 par Gallé

    Ballot 8 Cyl limousine

    Barré torpédo

    Berliet coupé chauffeur

    Berliet Type VIGB 10HP Taxi Landaulet

    Bugatti 57 Ventoux

    Citroën Trèfle

    Delage D6

    Delage D8 coach

    Delahaye 135 cabriolet Faget Varnet

    Delahaye 135 coach Chapron

    Delahaye 235 coach Chapron

    Delahaye 235 coach Chapron

    Delahaye 235 coupé Chapron

    Delahaye Type 43 coupé chauffeur

    Delahaye GFA 148 L

    Delahaye Type 43 camionnette

    Delaunay Belleville limousine VL8

    Facel Vega Excellence

    Ferrari 250 GT California SWB

    Ferrari 308 GTS i

    Ferrari 400

    Ferrari Mondial 3.2L cabriolet

    Hispano Suiza H6B cabriolet Millon-Guiet

    Hotchkiss cabriolet

    Innocenti S cabriolet

    Jaguar type S 3.4 L

    La Buire 12 A

    Lagonda LG45 cabriolet

    Lancia Thema 8.32

    Lorraine Dietrich B3/6 plateau

    Lorraine Dietrich B3/6 torpédo par Grumman

    Lorraine-Dietrich torpédo

    Maserati A6G 2000 berlinetta Grand Sport Frua

    Mathis cabriolet

    Mathis FOH

    Packard cabriolet Super Eight

    Panhard-Levassor Dynamic berline X77

    Panhard-Levassor Dynamic coupé X76

    Panhard-Levassor limousine X72

    Porsche 356 SC ex-Sonauto

    Renault AX torpédo

    Renault Vivastella cabriolet

    Sandford cyclecar 3 roues

    Singer Cabriolet

    Talbot Lago 11/6 cabriolet

    Talbot Lago Baby cabriolet

    Talbot Lago Baby cabriolet

    Talbot Lago Cadette 11

    Talbot Lago coach

    Talbot Lago T26 coach

    Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport coupé Saoutchik

    Talbot Lago T26 Record coupé Saoutchik

    Talbot Lago T26 cabriolet Saoutchik ex-Roi Farouk

  • James Bond is Back – 007 returns to the big screen in Spectre

    by Garry Shortt | Dec 5, 2014

    James Bond 007 returns for his 24th outing in the new film Spectre to be released in late October 2015.

    The film will also see the new Aston Martin DB10 which is being built just for the film.

    With only 10 being made, it will make this the most exclusive Aston Martin ever!

    Bond is Back - Preview photo of the stunning new DB10

    Daniel Craig will return to play 007 in his fourth film with director Sam Mendes also returning to direct his second film.

    M and Q return and played by Ralph Fiennes and Ben Whishaw with the usual bevy of Bond Girls headed up by Miss Moneypenny played by Naomie Harriswith newcomers Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux.

    Spectre (Special Executive for Counter-Intelligence. Terrorism, Revenge, Extortion) has featured in past Bond Films, but the producers are keeping a tight lid on whether Ernst Stavro Blofeld will be making an appearance.

    The 007 production will based at Pinewood Studios and on location in London, Mexico City, Rome, Tangier and Erfroud in Morocco. The film will also see Bond returned to the slopes in Austria in Solden, Obertilliach and Lake Altausee.

    The Film also marks the 50th Anniversary of Aston Martin and its association with the Bond Films, having provided many different cars over the years including the famous DB5, Vanquish and DBS to name just a few.

    James Bond 007 in the classic Aston Martin DB5Aston Martin Vanquish demonstrating the latest James Bond weaponry and kitAston Martin DBS with Daniel Craig as James Bond 007

  • World records set at Artcurial auction - Paris

    by Garry Shortt | Nov 6, 2014

    World records set at Artcurial auction

    Two world records were broken at Artcurial's Automobiles sur les Champs-Élysées sale on 2 November – both for classic Porsches. 

    More than €5.9m changed hands during the auction, including €232,400 paid for a 1974 Porsche Carrera 2.7 targa and €212,200 for a 1972 911 2.4S targa – both  world bests for the respective models.

    A 1992 Porsche 964RS also posted a mammoth figure, though not a world record. The hammer came down at €252,700, shortly after the '74 Carrera.

    A 1964 Aston Martin DB5 fetched the largest sum of the night, selling for an impressive €955,400. The left-hand-drive example was the subject of a bidding war between a European collector, who was in the room, and a Russian on the telephone. The car was eventually sold in the room to raucous applause.

    Another British classic went for well above its pre-sale estimate, but some way short of the Aston's figure at €38,100. The 1969 Morgan 4/4 was expected to go for between €20-30,000, but enjoyed much more interest due to being the very car driven by Gérard Depardieu in Les Valseuses.

    However, its result was eclipsed by a 1966 Morris Mini Traveller, which came close to doubling its €22,000 pre-sale upper estimate, selling for a whopping €42,912.

    The British success story continued when a 1992 Jaguar XJ220 made €211,120 – smashing its €145,000 expected value. 

    A 1974 Ferrari 246GTS raised no eyebrows when it sold for €357,600, illustrating that values of the Dino are showing no signs of cooling. 

    Moments earlier an American bidder landed a 1971 246GT for €274,200. 

    A Jaguar Mk2 that had belonged to French artist Pierre Soulages also drew a lot of interest, eventually achieving €57,200. 

    A half-scale replica of a Porsche 936 sold for €4000 above its upper estimate at €26,000, while a collection of enamel plaques sold for €4600 in the automobilia sale – some 10 times the pre-sale upper estimate. 

     

  • Forgotten Corvette collection emerges after 25 years

    by Garry Shortt | Oct 31, 2014

    Forgotten Corvette collection emerges from the dust after 25 years!

    36 Chevrolet Corvettes, one from every year of manufacture up until 1989, have been discovered....

     

    Peter Max was not a car guy. So when he purchased a collection of 36 Chevrolet Corvettes, one from every year of manufacture up until 1989, he had a very specific plan: He would use this slice of American history as a tool to self-promote his work as an artist, painting the machines in lurid colors while staging them in various oddball scenarios only the most expressive of minds could envision. 

    Only that never happened. Instead, Max left his collection in a New York City storage lot, which is where they've lived for a quarter of a century, sat gathering inches of dust, moved only when switching from one storage location to another.

    However, that is all about to change, as the cars are now under new ownership – one that will lovingly restore the 'Vettes and get them back on the road.

    The story of how Max acquired the cars began in 1989, when music network VH1 held a contest to award a lucky viewer with a Corvette from every year of the model's existence, from 1953 to 1989.Hemmings reports that VH1 purchased the cars for $610,000, and made its money back by creating a 900 number and charging contestants $2.00 per phone call to enter.

    Placing just one call, Dennis Amodeo, a carpenter from Long Island, won the prize. Shortly after receiving his army of Corvettes, Amodeo received a call from Max who had seen the collection at an auto show in 1990.

    Max stated that he wished to purchase the cars, and at a meet in New York City, the two hashed out a deal that reportedly included $250,000 in cash, $250,000 worth of Max's artwork and an agreement that if Max ever sold the cars, Amodeo would receive a portion of the proceeds, up to $1 million.

    While the exterior of the 1963 Vette is coated in grime, the interior has been fairly well preserved by neglect.The exterior of the 1963 Vette is coated in grime, the interior has been well preserved .[Richard Prince Photo …

     

    Why Max never executed his plan for the Corvette collection remains a bit of a mystery; in 2010, he talked about adding 14 more years of vehicles to bring the tally up to an even 50. Once again, that never happened.

    Perhaps it was the sheer amount of work that was required after the artist had let the cars sit for so long; some of the cars, like the 1974 and 1984, would cost more to restore than the vehicle's worth, and time was reportedly unkind to most of the 'Vettes in the group – two-thirds of which sport the less-sought-after automatic transmission with 14 of the cars convertibles; none feature the prized big-block V-8.

    Still, after Max approached a guy named Peter Heller to locate a new storage garage for his collection, according to the New York Times, Heller decided instead to offer the artist a deal to purchase the 36 Corvettes.

    Max agreed for an untold sum (it's unknown whether Amodeo will receive a portion of the proceeds, as stated in Max's original deal). Some of the cars, Heller discovered, could be show-ready with relatively basic restoration, and he plans to have even most decrepit vehicles brought back to life.

    When complete, the collection will return to the market, hoping to deliver a tidy return on Heller's investment and keep the wheels turning on the once forgotten Corvettes of Peter Max.

     

  • BTCC - Silverstone 28/09/2014

    by Garry Shortt | Oct 2, 2014

  • BTCC - Silverstone 28/09/2014

    by Garry Shortt | Oct 2, 2014

  • BTCC - Silverstone 28/09/2014

    by Garry Shortt | Oct 2, 2014

  • BTCC - Silverstone 28/09/2014

    by Garry Shortt | Oct 2, 2014

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