Oh, it’s certainly undeniably glorious when somebody rolls out a tribute car; or continuation car or whatever they want to call it. We get to see an example of our favorite car all dolled up, squeaky clean, ready to go to car show or vintage race or concours.
The only trouble is—it’s messin’ with history big-time.
Now sometimes the car is built surreptitiously by private parties. I will never forget I’m driving down the street in Italy and I see three 330GT or 250GT bodies stacked up on top of each other in a lot. Why? Because those were the bodies of “donor” cars whose chassis had been made into more sporting Ferraris.
Stripped Down Classic Ferrari 212 Used to make a replica
Now the cognoscenti, the tifosi, those who are charter subscribers to the Ferrari magazines, they scoff at the mere suggestion that anybody could mistake one of these re-creations for the real thing. Well, I’m here to tell ya that sometimes the trail gets quite murky.
A nice overview of the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2016!
The results for Vintage Cars and public referendum for modern “Concept Cars” of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2016 are as following:
Trofeo BMW Group
Best in Show by the Jury
Maserati, A6 GCS, Berlinetta, Pinin Farina, 1954, Destriero Collection, MC
Zagato Carrozzeria is one of the most legendary Italian carrozzerias. Almost every larger sports car they did, such as the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, and the Zagato 250GT for Ferrari is today a much valued car but even the small cars they did on Alfa-Romeo and Lancia chassis were groundbreaking in their time. But little has been mentioned of Zagato’s open Porsche. Everyone knows of the 20 (some say 21) Zagato coupe Carrera Abarths but few have heard of the one off 550 Spyder, which was destroyed in the accident that killed Claude Storez at Highways 58 North on the Reims circuit.
At Villa d’Este 2016 Aston Martin unveils its new 593bhp, carbonfibre-bodied Vanquish Zagato concept. The stunning new Vanquish Concept is the latest product of the ongoing collaboration between Aston Martin and Italian design house Zagato. Max 99 cars will be produced.
The Vanquish Zagato Concept was designed in close collaboration between the Aston Martin Design team led by Marek Reichman and Andrea Zagato and his dedicated design team in Milan. Developed and engineered at Aston Martin’s headquarters in Gaydon, England the concept features proportions that remain quintessentially Aston Martin and emphasises a dynamic, forward-looking stance. The new bodywork is entirely shaped from carbon fibre, with the split lines on the body reduced by the use of large one-piece panels. New lights include round tail light reflectors that evoke the classic rear view of a Zagato design, incorporating the same 'bladed' LED technology as the Aston Martin Vulcan track-only supercar.
One of the most prominent changes is the adoption of a double-bubble roof, a classic Zagato design element that resulted from the requirement to create headroom for drivers wearing helmets with a minimum impact on the aerodynamic profile.
Reminiscent of the DB11 is the sculpted side strake and cutaways in the front wing, leading into the door. At the tail you’ll find a retractable rear spoiler and luggage compartment access, while a quad-exit exhaust sits within the carbonfibre rear lower panel.
The interior receives a series of revisions. Upgrades include bespoke seat trims, the Zagato ‘Z’ logo embossed into the headrests and centre console, upmarket ‘herringbone’ carbonfibre finishes and anodized bronze rotary dials and vents.
The naturally aspirated 5.9-litre V12 engine produces 593bhp, up from the standard V12’s 568bhp.
The new Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato was presented at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2016 (from 21-22 May in Cernobbio, Lake Como Italy).
See images in our Encyclopedia.
The Dragone “Greenwich Weekend Auction" on June 4th offers an interesting consignment: the 1954 Allard J2R "Sopwith's Sphinx”, the famous race car that has been lost for decades and has become a legend amongst car enthusiasts and collectors.
Allard J2R chassis #3405 was just one of seven J2R's chassis produced by Allard and was ordered by Tommy Sopwith who was the son of Sir Thomas Sopwith, the chairman of Hawker Siddeley. Tommy and the "Sphinx", backed by his racing team "Equipe Endevour", took the J2R chassis and fitted it with a modified Armstrong Siddely Sapphire engine and a beautiful custom aluminum body. Racing against Jaguar C-Types, Aston Martin DB3S's, Allard J2's and many other impressive cars, it ran successfully at great races such as: BARC Goodwood, National Castle Comb, British Empire Trophy, National Silverstone, Ibsley, National Davidstow, National Snetterton, Snetterton International and Goodwood International , racing in a total of 17 races in the 1954 season, placing 1st in four races: once at Silverstone, once at Snetterton, and twice at Davidstow. Later in the 1950's Sopwith sold the Sphinx to race driver Brian Croot without the Sapphire engine. Croot fitted the Sphinx with a race prepared 3.8 liter Jaguar twin cam 6 cylinder engine with high lift cam shafts and Webber carburetors and successfully raced the car along with his C-Type Jaguar in venues such as Silverstone, Goodwood, Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Prescott, Shelsley Walsh and many more until the late 1960s when he and the cars retired and the Sphinx once again disappeared from the public eye. It is now being offered publicly for the first time in decades at the June 4th sale.
Auction brochure: https://issuu.com/dragoneauctions/docs/gwadigitalcatalog
The Stratford Festival of Motoring is now a well established annual event, combining the historic architecture and lively spirit of Stratford upon Avon, most famous for its connection with William Shakespeare, with the West Midlands area’s long established love affair with all things cars. It took place over two days of the ‘Spring Bank Holiday’ 2016, showing an eclectic array of stunning cars, old and new.
The Lopresto Collection of Milanese architect and entrepreneur Corrado Lopresto represents a cross section of the history of automobiles, design, Italy, and its creativity. It is considered the most important collection in Italy and one of the most prestigious in the world.
Lopresto’s sensational collection of 100-plus cars is comprised of Italian classics – but not a single one of them is a Ferrari or Maserati. He favors Alfas and Lancias, Fiats, and Isotta Fraschinis. His collection isn’t open to the public, but you can get a good impression of it in 'Best In Show: Italian Masterpieces from the Lopresto Collection' published by Skira in 2015.
Lopresto's quintessential coachbuilding quotes:
“I’m willing to pay for a shape, for a design, for the person who’s behind it. I don’t want to pay [for] the prestige of a particular marque.”
“In the 1980s, when everyone was betting on the classics, I chose prototypes, those cars where talent and brilliance is expressed best.”
ISBN: 885722509, 204 pages
After 15 years, the Concours d‘ Elégance at the Royal Palace Het Loo has earned its place in the exclusive world of international top classic car events. From the very beginning, collectors worldwide found their way to this concours to show their special cars. The Concours d‘ Elégance Paleis Het Loo has the added unique feature of its location: a Dutch Royal Palace. In 2014 the eleventh edition of this event took place: a great occasion for a retrospective in the form of an exclusive book:
Het Concours d'élégance Paleis het Loo, Nederlands bekendste en meest prestigieuze klassiekerevenement, staat dit jaar onder andere in het teken van zestig jaar Dino. Daarnaast presenteert Renault een prachtig overzicht van de rijke autosporthistorie van het merk. Bezoekers krijgen op 2 en 3 juli aanstaande in de unieke paleistuinen weer een prachtig weekend voorgeschoteld, dat vanaf nu een jaarlijks karakter krijgt.
Als een van de hoofdsponsors van het Concours d'élégance presenteert Renault in een eigen paviljoen een overzicht van de rijke racehistorie van het merk, die teruggaat tot 1898. Hierover later meer!
Een van de thema's dit jaar van het Concours d'élégance is 60 jaar Dino. Dit bijzondere merk is ontstaan in de jaren zestig, nadat de zoon van Enzo Ferrari op tragische wijze om het leven kwam. Enzo besloot zijn zoon te eren en zocht samenwerking met Fiat voor de productie van een sportwagen met V6-motor. De samenwerking leverde enkele bijzondere modellen op, waarvan de Fiat Dino Spider de eerste was. Later volgde een eigen versie van Ferrari, de Dino 246 GT. De motor van dit model wordt ook in de legendarische Lancia Stratos gebruikt. Pas halverwege de jaren zeventig verscheen het bekende Ferrari-logo op de motorkap van opvolger 308 GT4, die tot 1979 in productie bleef.
Tijdens het concours is er een speciale presentatie van de Dino 206/246 GT, de 246 GTS, 208/308 GT4, Fiat Dino Spider en Coupé en de Lancia Stratos. Het internationale concours kent een eigen klasse voor de 206/246 GT en 246 GTS, die wordt beoordeeld door vooraanstaand Dino-kenner Matthias Bartz.
Lamborghini presented their beautifully restored first Miura SV at Amelia Island and Techno Classica 2016, to showcase their new heritage department 'Lamborghini PoloStorico'.
On March 31 2016 Tesla's Elon Musk unveiled the brand new Tesla Model 3. We must admit: again a topnotch design by Tesla designer Franz von Holzhausen, with serious specs and features. At a base price of $ 35.000 competitors like BMW and Audi will be seriously challenged. And that's an understatement.
But hey, what does the Model 3 have to do with coachbuilding? The answer is tantalising: as the Electric Vehicle is taking the world by a quantum leap since 3 years, the paradigm shift is imminent with massive public acceptance and demand in the years to come. What differentiates modern times from classic automotive history however is that the platform and drivetrain technology is more and more becoming a commodity: available for anyone who wants to build cars. Do take notice for example how Tesla offers its technology for free ("we won't sue you because it's good for the planet" - investor freaks out), and Silicon Valley has discovered EV startups like OSVehicle, an American/Italian startup offering modular Open Source (!) EV platforms.
As Richard Nichols of Auto Mundial expresses it to the point: 'everyone with a good idea now stands a chance'. Technology is becoming mainstream and off-the-shelf, the era of good looks are here again. And this is a gift from heaven for designers and coachbuilders, opening up an unprecedented horizon with exciting (lower threshold) opportunities. Don't underestimate however the growing importance of the cabin user experience - a new realm with hard-to-compete players like Apple.
Article by Nick Maltby - carsceneinternational.blogspot.co.uk
As a car enthusiast it was a privilege to be able to attend the 21st Annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. It was also very rewarding.
If I was asked to nominate just one feature that impressed or excited me most then it would be the stunning array of Pegaso cars. These cars were amongst my favourites when I was a boy in the 1950s. But they are so rare that they had almost slipped from my memory. Those memories came flooding back when I saw the display at the Concours, there were a number of models which I had never seen before. Many congratulations to those who manged to get all those cars together for this occasion. The other thing that struck me was that I had never seen so many McLarens together at the same time.
The programme started on Thursday 10th March with a RM Sotherby's sale review and a Guardians of Porsche Wine Makers dinner. There were more corporate evnts on Friday, with the momentum building for the Concours itself on Sunday 13th March.
I was able to visit on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday local car clubs and owners were able to display their cars on the first hole of the Golf club of Amelia Island.
Here is just a small selection of pictures taken plus the amazing cars we saw entering the auction room on the eve of the 2016 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. You would have to be a real expert to understand why the cars achieved the prices they did; some seem excessive, others seem to be very good value.
Today, there are few companies that have been around for as long as Dragone. The Dragone name has been known for the past 40 years for having some of the world’s greatest motorcars, well before auctions became the norm for buying collector cars. In the recent past, Dragone has become a small competitor in the Auction business, but is now going to change its course devoting its wealth of knowledge and experience into future Auctions. They have had successful small auctions in the past few years selling some very significant motorcars, especially for a company that is still fairly new in the auction business competing against others such as Bonhams, RM Sotheby’s and Gooding and Company. Cars sold in their previous auctions include: 1912 Type 35 Mercer Raceabout for $1.6 million, 1930 Packard 734 Speedster Phaeton for $900,000, 1931 Duesenberg Model J Murphy Beverly for $1.5 Million, 1913 Stutz Bearcat for $600,000, 1950 Jaguar XK120 Alloy roadster for a record $418,000, a Special 1950 Simca-Abarth previously owned by Roger Barlow for $405,000 and many others.
They are now looking to take their auctions to a whole new level.
Touring Superleggera’s 90th anniversary celebrations kicked off on March 1 2016 with the launch of the new Alfa Romeo Disco Volante Spyder at the Geneva Motorshow.
Reinventing the industry of coach building, Touring gains recognition in the growing market of bespoke super-luxury motor cars.
First of a series of seven hand-built units, the Disco Volante Spyder has been technically developed with the support of Alfa Romeo on the 8C Competizione Spider chassis, merging traditional hand beaten aluminium panelling to carbon fibre modelling. An innovative twin carbon fibre roof converts the Disco Volante Spyder into a comfortable fixed head coupe allowing daily usage with outstanding comfort.
The Disco Volante Spyder is inspired by the 1952 Alfa Romeo C52.
This is the first open top production car in Touring’s recent history. As such it had to be a bold design statement which starts to outline Touring’s future design language. The 1952 car was revolutionary. The 2016 Disco Volante Spyder is as astonishing and exciting as a coach built car should be!
See more images in the Encyclopedia.
If you mention Jensen to the average motor car enthusiast it is most likely that their immediate response would be 'Interceptor'. This was the iconic model produced by Jensen Motors Limited, Kelvin Way, West Bromwich, England, between 1966 and 1976.
The real 'die hard' enthusiasts would probably know that the Jensen brothers, Alan and Richard, formed Jensen Motors Ltd. in 1936, having taken over a commercial vehicle bodybuilding company called W. J. Smith & Sons which was located in Carters Green, West Bromwich. Alan and Richard had joined Smiths in 1931 in design and management roles. During the period 1931 to 1936 Alan and Richard added car body building to Smith's commercial vehicle repertoire. After the takeover the brothers were able to concentrate more fully on their 'first love', designing and building car bodies to be fitted to proprietary motorised chassis.
I am not a natural flatterer, I like to think that I "tell it like it is", politely I hope. So when I tell you that I am very impressed by the contents of your website, it is just not English politeness. I of course love the subject matter but you deal with it in an energetic and respectful manner. I am overwhelmed by the research that has gone into compiling the list of coachbuilders/bodybuilders for Europe and North America. I have never heard of the vast majority of them.
Congratulations on an excellent website.
- N. Maltby of Car Scene International
We use Coachbuild.com almost daily as our main reference source!
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We use Coachbuild.com all the time for references!
- Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
We are very impressed by your website!
- Bicester Heritage UK