It is a huge pleasure to know that the 2012 Concours d’Elegance season got underway a couple of weeks ago in Palm Springs, not least because thanks to Geoffrey Horton I’ll be able to shore some photo’s of altogether sunnier climbs as Europe struggles to get spring underway.
Geoffrey sent me a stack of photo’s of which I have picked a few to give a flavour of the Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance today, starting with Barney Oldfield’s 1909 Benz about which at the moment I know very little, but which in the coming weeks I hope to find out more for a future post.
The only thing I know about this 1936 Delahaye 135 Competition is that the exquisite bodywork is by Figoni et Falaschi, likewise I hope to find out more for a future post.
It looks like the air display team was flying Harvard trainers but I can’t be absolutely sure about even that !
The 1946 Kurtis Millar was one of the few new cars built for the 1946 Indy 500, it was raced without success by Leon Duray in ’46, ’47, ’48, I look forward to sharing a few more of it’s secrets in the week leading up to the Indy 500 in May.
The forth generation Buick Roadmaster is probably best remembered for the introduction of the Dyna Flow automatic transmission that had previously fitted to WW2 ‘Hellcat’ Tanks also manufactured by Buick. Dyna Flow was the earliest automatic transmission on a passenger vehicle to make use of a torque converter for smooth, if inefficient automatic changes of gears.
Above is one of around 20 Kurtis Kraft 500M models built between 1954 and 1955 complete with fibre glass body and 135 mph capability.
On the 15th October 1957 film maker Peter H. Backhaus and his wife Marlotte set off on a round the world voyage in a two tone red and white Goggomobil Coupé TS 300 similar to the one above. They reached Japan where a technical defect requiring new parts that were refused entry by customs officials meant that Glass GmbH who manufactured the Gogomobil and sponsoring the adventure ended up having to supply Peter and Marlotte with a new car, a later Isar T700 model which meant once they had completed their circumnavigation Peter and Marlotte had to film the entire journey to Japan a second time so that only the second car appeared in the documentary Backhaus made of the journey.
The entire enterprise took some 5 years, but the film “Traumreise zu Dritt – Im Goggomobil um die Welt” “Dream trip threesome – In Goggomobil around the World” was a huge hit when it was released in Germany in 1964.
Among the many racers from the late 60’s early 1970’s was this 3 litre / 183 cui V8 ALFA Romeo T33 sports prototype which appears similar to the 1971 spec 33/3 driven by Henri Pescarolo and Andrea de Adamich which out lasted the Porsche 917’s at Brands Hatch to win the BOAC 1000kms. Similar T33/3’s of Vaccarella / Hezemans and de Adamich / van Lennep survived to take a one two on the Targa Florio in 1971 after all the Porsche 908’s crashed. Despite the best efforts of the Andretti family, where he had been staying, to wear him out, Ronnie Peterson with de Adamich also won the Watkins Glen endurance race in a T33/3.
Finally anyone with cash burning holes in their pockets might like to consider purchasing a 700 hp NuArt Can Am and taking part in the spec series Unlimited Racing Championship which is scheduled to run with 4 ALMS ‘Heritage’ Series race weekends and eight additional race weekends.
My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing today’s fabulous photographs.
Thanks for joining me on this ‘Desert Classic’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !