Hemmings Find of the Day – 1929 Lincoln L dual-cowl phaeton

Hemmings Find of the Day – 1929 Lincoln L dual-cowl phaeton

1929 Lincoln L dual cowl phaeton

1929 Lincoln L series dual-cowl phaeton for sale. From the seller’s description:

This is an excellent touring automobile. Total restoration in the 60’s. It has been a one owner car since restoration and has been toured extensively. This vehicle is equiped with a 90bhp, 384.8 cu.in. L-head V8, 3 speed manual transmission and Mechanical brakes. It has 33″ wire wheels. It comes with side curtains. It has a large trunk mounted at the rear with the spare tires carried as dual side-mounts. It has wide whitewall tires all around. The rear passenger compartment features locking wood cabinets under tthe tonneau cowl, with a door activated courtesy light in the middle. With the car lights on, opening doors causes lights on the splash apron to shine on the running boards. This car is well equipped for the road and touring. It has been fitted with modern turn signals for safety in todays traffic. It is equipped with period dual Buell air horns.

1929 Lincoln L dual cowl phaeton 1929 Lincoln L dual cowl phaeton 1929 Lincoln L dual cowl phaeton 1929 Lincoln L dual cowl phaeton



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N. Barrington, Illinois

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Wandering through romantic places around Lake Garda with the Gran Premio Nuvolari

Wandering through romantic places around Lake Garda with the Gran Premio Nuvolari

Two of the various Fiat 508 C sedans that took part in the GP Nuvolari, quietly parked under fitting buildings. All photos by the author.

After that very charming Desenzano Sunday, spent together with a sizable number of really ancient jewels which offered a first grade lesson about the dawn of automobile’ era, I wanted to have a look also at a famous historical cars race which took place a pair of weeks later.

The race in question was the Gran Premio Nuvolari, one of the most renowned challenges of its kind in Italy.

It is easy to label it as the September Mille Miglia: similar roads, similar lengthy stages, similar spectacular scenarios. And, last but not least, a fabulous setting for start and finish: only, this time wasn’t Brescia, but Mantua, a pearl of a city which, thanks to marvelous Renaissance buildings built in past centuries mainly by the glorious Gonzaga dynasty, can arguably be considered as an ideal townscape for a prestigious classic cars adventure.

This alone explains why the Gran Premio is a theme of interests, even if it weren’t linked with the Garda surrounding territory, like promised by the title: after all, it is so important a competition that it easily deserves a story of its own.

However, if a classic cars enthusiast would decide to be present at events up and down the Garda Lake in September, there are reasons enough why Gran Premio Nuvolari must be in his or her list. In fact, I think that there are precise motives why it can be linked with the largest Italy’ lake, so much so that the initial title above this writing works fine for me.

Those reasons are of geographical nature to begin with.

I think that they exhaustively explain why this lovely competition’ focal point can be considered as a part of the Garda Lake’ neighborhood territories:

  • First, Mantua is conveniently placed only half a hour of autostrada from the southernmost shores of the largest lake in Italy; whoever uses Garda Lake as focal point for touring trips must reserve only a portion of scheduled timetable to reach this city.
  • Second, the city lies on the banks of Mincio river, which is no less than Garda’ own emissary. So, suppose you could take a boat in Desenzano and descend through Mincio: the first big city you could encounter would be the Gonzaga’s gem.

So, both logistics and geography justify a direct and precise link between Mantua and the Garda Lake.

Going to Mantua on the road, just like I did, would make clear that the hills which surround the southern shores of the lake descend gradually just before reaching Mantua itself, so much so that the city gives the impression of being firmly placed well within the Po Plain. But those modest vineyards-covered reliefs are also a sizable portion of northern Mantua province, and a bit of its charm derives from those lovely hilly countries. Anyway, Mincio river is arguably the main star of this province.

Before reaching the Gonzaga’ town, the river expands so to form three well known lakes just outside of northern Mantua monumental downtown, giving an even more fascinating aura to this competition. By the way, a great part of the same Gran Premio ran through provinces and regions quite distant from its starting and finishing point. This geographical variety would be plenty enough to explain the reasons why there are so many similarities between the Red Arrow race and the Nuvolari’s best memorial ever.

In any case, a further reason to positively compare Gran Premio Nuvolari with the Red Arrow race is the fact that, just like the original Mille Miglia, also this race offers plenty of occasion to stare in contemplation of things which are impossible to see during normal days of the year…

Thus, both races seem more like a rolling Concours D’Elegance, living through majestic Italian panoramas, rather than a pure sportsmen’ showdown.

But what is really important is the fact, as we will see, that there is a precise historical link between Mantua and Brescia, between the Gran Premio and the Mille Miglia, which justifies why there is so tight a relationship between them. So much so that they are inextricably associated each other.

Now, let’s go directly to a description of what I saw during that mid-September Sunday afternoon, with a short explanation about its significance: what I wish to offer is a sort of photographic safari, which may make clear why also this Mille Miglia under another name was and is so fascinating.

From A(lfas) To Z(agatos): The Gran Premio Nuvolari In Mantua
Just like Brescia, also Mantua has an important place in the automobile racing history. This was mostly due to one of his most illustrious citizen ever, the indomitable Tazio Nuvolari, also known in his heydays as Nivola: an unrivalled pilot who is still remembered as one of the best ever, able to win with bikes or cars, in solo races or with co-equipier of sort, on open roads or on a closed track, with steering wheel or without it, with lights switched on or off…In sum, he really incarnated (and incarnates) the legend of the romantic hero, unparalleled for cleverness, talent, boldness and wisdom racing tactical choices. And it is a natural that after his death, in August 1953, organizers of one of the greatest road races in the world – the Mille Miglia -decided to pay homage to this modern times’ hero with a competition which, emblematically, was christened Gran Premio Nuvolari.

In reality, the Gran Premio was the name given to the final Mille Miglia stretch, which started in Cremona, crossed through Nivola’ home town of Mantua and finished in Brescia. One really fast trip alongside some of the most bucolic European backgrounds, full of agricultural treasures, and very straight roads. And the deviation toward Mantua was a definitive and sensible homage to Nivola. This path’ 82 miles were a superb stage for some really epic driving – and a very sad accident, which contributed to abruptly end The Most Beautiful Race In The World.

In its inaugural edition, during the 1954 Mille Miglia (the first after Tazio’s death), the Gran Premio Nuvolari was conquered by Alberto “Ciccio” Ascari, driving the mystical Lancia D24. He was also overall winner of that MM edition, and while he averaged almost 88 mph on the whole race course, in the specific Gran Premio Nuvolari’ portion he was able to glue his gas pedal to metal (ironically, during race’ early hours, defective accelerator pedal’ springing troubled Ascari’s sparkling performance), so much so that his average there resulted in an astounding 112 mph ! A really fast country trip indeed…Not too much behind him, Vittorio Marzotto driving a Ferrari 500 MM, and Luigi Musso, aboard a Maserati A6GCS/53.

Next year, 1955, was the year of Moss and Jenkinson and their legendary – and direct – gallop in the legend, what with the fastest average speed ever recorded for the race, aboard the “722” 300 SLR. Needless to say, Moss and Jenks also won the Gran Premio, with an average speed of almost 124 mph, and a total timing of just 39’54’’. Fangio came second in another SLR, and Umberto Maglioli together with co-equipier L. Monteferraio was third, driving a Ferrari 118 LM Scaglietti.

In 1956, Eugenio Castellotti triumphed both in the MM as a whole and in the fast stretch dedicated to the Flying Mantuan: making good use of a Ferrari 290 MM, he averaged 86 mph for the whole race and a respectable 105 mph for the Gran Premio’ portion, even more impressive because it was obtained under prohibitive wet weather. Second and third, respectively, Seidel-Glockler aboard a Merc 300 SL coupé and Olivier Gendebien, accompanied by P. Wascher, aboard a Ferrari 250 GT berlinetta. Notice that unlike past editions, ’56 GP Nuvolari saw how closed cars could have significant advantages under heavy rain while speeding up on straights in the calm but wet Lombardy country.

Sadly, as we know, these very same roads were as fast and straight as they were narrow and dangerous, and in 1957 the De Portago’s tragedy practically caused the abrupt end of the Red Arrow race. De Portago crashed just outside Guidizzolo, not too far away from Mantua, and at full speed, while trying to conquer the race as a whole, comprehensive also of the Gran Premio Nuvolari trophy. Naturally, as soon as news about this bloody automobile racing moment became to leak, it became also clear that it cast a dark shadow over every other single aspect of the race, including the Piero Taruffi’s win, which finally came after a slew of failed previous attempts. Taruffi, already 51 years old, drove a Ferrari 315 S, a 230 cubes 12 cylinder monster of a machine with 360 horses on tap. De Portago used an even larger 335S.

Taruffi won the MM, but for the first time, the Gran Premio Nuvolari was conquered by a pilot who wasn’t the overall Mille Miglia winner too. In this case, Belgian ace Olivier Gendebien again accompanied by faithful Wascher, and again driving a 250 GT berlinetta, obtained the lowest timing between Cremona, Mantua and Brescia, with just 39’43’’. His average speed was a fantastic 124 mph, a hair better than Moss’s fantastic ’55 cavalcade and thus highest ever for the Gran Premio! After him, Von Trips (with another 315S) and the same Taruffi.

So, the proverbial “going out with a bang” catchphrase can seem really appropriate to describe the brief but intense life of a splendid homage to Tazio’s legacy. Sadly, that tragic De Portago’s accident, happened just during the intense match staged on the Gran Premio’ roads, also produced as a major drawback the end of the Mille Miglia in its own. In any case, it was really an incredible event, with celebrating and joyous crowds waiting for their favorites’ firecrackers show.

In more recent years, starting in 1991 thanks to the efforts of Mantova Corse’ organization, this legendary race has been resurrected in a regularity format and reserved for classic cars which, like the MM, for the most belong to the legendary side of the automobile world. It’s patronized by Italian Automobile Club’ classic car branch and FIVA, thus assuring a parterre of formidable cars, with some of the most renowned regularity competitions’ drivers.

Unlike original race, nowadays’ Gran Premio is a per-se contest which is three days long and is spread across a vast territory, reaching fairly distant locales from Mantua – Siena, Arezzo, Urbino, Rimini, Cesena, Ferrara and most of the Romagna region. In any case, focal point of the show is still the ancient Gonzagas’ capital city, and some of the most palatial Italian Renaissance buildings and squares are the perfect background for some of the most impressive cars ever. Really those cars deserve that kind of facades as set, and really those monuments deserve so prestigious autos parked below their windows and terraces.

So, what kind of cars the Gran Premio Nuvolari of 21st Century has to offer to aficionados and onlookers ?

To begin with, many of them belong to the old-renowned Italian sportscars’ society, so full of wheeled myths and captivating shapes. But, unlike MM, there are also more recent cars to be spotted, equally interesting and equally tantalizing. In addition, I also spot some unexpected surprises, all the more welcome because they offered an almost incredible contrast with some of other participating cars: if it is almost taken for granted to spot Ferrari barchettas (some of them also seen in Maranello’ 70th Ferrari birthday festivities), what about a Soviet Gaz, aka Volga ? If it is logical to see Alfa 6C 2500s in various format, what about a Packard Twelve in its oversized beauty ? If it is normal that there are Bentley and Alvis’ racers from the Thirties, what about some delicious Millecentos in 103 TV edition, (this year in reciprocal matching colors) ? If it obvious that some Etceterinis are at our eyes’ disposal, what about a giant of a Fiat 520,(yes, another one just like the one observed in Desenzano only two weeks before) example of what large dimensions also Turin’ cars could reach ?

All these and much else were available for free for whoever took a neat Sunday afternoon of his- or her – life to come in Piazza Sordello in Mantua and, below veritable giants of Italian architecture, waited politely for the cars to arrive, parading and finally parking directly in the midts of this square. What a threat for eyes and minds ! And once again, I was fortunate enough that on 17th September sun was high in the sky, giving a really warm and welcome salute, after some days of so-so weather. Naturally, like everybody, I had my personal favorite choices too; and some of them were really intriguing for whatever event one could possibly think, whether this could be a race like this, or an indoor show, or a Concours D’Elegance.

In any case, really this was an event with something for everybody, so vast was the spectrum of cars available there for connoisseurs’ eyes as well as for everyday onlookers, who may know few if any of most of those cars, but surely still appreciate fine art on wheels. And with cars ranging from Twenties racers and tourers to Seventies GTs, there was an even wider array than what offered by the Mille Miglia to study and to appreciate.

The nice profile of a 1936 BMW 319-1.

To begin with, it was possible to see some intriguing prewar models, examples of some of the most prestigious names in European motordom.

Maybe we are now so accustomed to pre war automobiles in Mille Miglia-like events that we are inclined to take for granted their sizable numbers in similar occasions; still, they always are a pleasure for eyes. Alvises, Bentleys, Lagondas, Jaguar, a rare French auto, the BNC, and naturally OMs and some Lancia Lambdas shared with Rileys, BMWs and a pleasant array of Fiat 508s the historic Piazza Sordello’ cobbled paving.

A surprise parked nearby the finish line, a 508 C 1100.

Kudos to organizers and drivers who continue to use them – and also to some spectators, who chose their precious old Fiat 508 C 1100 as a suitable mean of transportation to go in Piazza Sordello to welcome the various teams: after all, nowadays cars born in the Twenties and in the Thirties have something like 80, 90 or 95 years old; instead of a serene retirement, they continue to run, to run, to run…

Another T40, this one driven by renowned Argentinian driver J. Tonconogy.

If you were after Bugattis, lots of Bugatti T40s waited for you, together with some other Molsheim’ factory creations: always keep in mind how rare these cars are. Seeing various examples all together is arguably an exceptional event whenever and wherever it happens, no matter if it is a Concours D’Elegance, an indoor show or some artistic performance on open roads like this one.

’56 1900 C SS, driven by ex rally pilot Miki Biasion.

A good amount of Alfa Romeos was naturally a part of the contest, and this was all the more remarkable because those Alfas were for the most some of the most iconic Milanese firm models, including some immortal 6C variants of various years and design. They are always special autos, even more so if they wear some haute couture clothes, like some of those seen in Mantua. They made a fashion defile out of a race. In any case, it was also possible to admire some of the most epic postwar Alfa Romeos, and in no way the noble nature of this firm is lost when taking a look at things like 1900s, (especially the sportier models, like the coupé bodied in limited numbers by Pinin Farina or like the latest Super Sprint model, what us Italians dubbed as a fuoriserie di serie because of its carrozzeria’ origins). Speaking of coachbuilt models based on the revered 1900, there was also a most special one which deserves its exclusive moment of glory, because of its peculiar line. I felt obliged to separate it from other Alfas, because it was an icon of another mythical Italian Style name, even if it was still at home also between its most common siblings from Milan. Pardon me if I dubbed them “common”: in effect, what was available for Alfa lovers in Mantua was more than enough to stir souls up.

One of the various Alfa GTs, this one a 1969 GT Junior with Giallo Ocra paint.

In fact, if the pack of aforementioned Alfas wasn’t enough, what about a stock 1900 sedan? What about some Giulietta Spiders and Sprints, a Giulia SS, a 2600 Sprint, a Giulia GT? Well, when so splendid mounts are approaching the finish line of a given challenge, it is quite normal to think that such event was a fine one.

Lambda and 508 aside, also other Lancias and Fiats were part of this rolling down the road museum.

Another look at this suave Lancia sedan.

It was therefore possible to see Aprilias, Aurelias in both sedan and B20 format, and Appias (including one really intriguing coachbuilt variant, which has some relationship with the “super special” Alfa 1900 I just spoke about, thus deserving a mention elsewhere). So all of us could remind what the glorious Borgo San Paolo factory was building more than 60 years ago.

The ’72 Fiat Abarth 124 Gruppo 2 for rally competition.

It was also available to the public an armonious selection of other Turinese-born cars, those marketed under the giant arms of Fiat, like 1100s, with one rare Stabilimenti Farina convertible also part of the 2017 Mille Miglia (thus explaining why it looked familiar to me) and a pair of juicy /103 sedans, with matching colors(!), a 2300 Coupé, a pair of 124 Spiders, one of them an Abarth rally model, and finally a Dino Spider which added to the eclecitism of the Gran Premio. No Mille Miglia-like age limitations here.

Basking under the sun, a 1936 Packard Twelve 1407 Coupé .

It was possible to see, quite unexpectedly, that giant and sumptous Packard Twelve, with its impossibly long coupé body which is a far cry from our common concept of a business coupé (business ? what kind of business, apart from diamonds sale and gold colliers promotion ?)

That 1936 Twelve Coupé really was physically imposing, and a sort of motorized monument which was more than a match for surrounding marbled buildings. But let’s not forget what Mantua was all about: in a distant but never forgotten past, it was capital of a splendid duchy, formed and taken to splendor under wise Gonzaga dynasty’ firm hand.

Thus, what better machine as a matching gem for so glorious a city, than that noble Packard ?

It really appeared quite at home there, amongst those monuments, below those arches, with its shining and voluptuous shapes where marbles and terracottas were mirrored with a bit of melancholy…and its Cormorant was proudly silhouetted against the sky, with no regard to the surrounding roars which were a far cry from the murmured tones of the 473 cubes motor lurking only a few inches below it.

An unexpected visitor, a 1961 Gaz 21 Volga.

Anyway, surprises didn’t end with the Twelve. In fact, in Mantua one could see Packard’ elegant Cormorant as well as dynamic and elegant deer-like Gaz mascot – which looks a lot like a familiar impala-like emblem. When was the last time you spotted a Gaz in real life ? This was the first time for me too, for that matter, and seeing that ’52 Ford-meets-’53 Plymouth-meets ’52 Mercury was arguably an unexpected – but most welcome – emotion.

The suave 1929 Chrysler 75.

The Packard wasn’t the only American car to be found in Mantua. A nice Chrysler was there, providing useful hints at how those cars had a relatively distinguished racing career in Europe, where they found themselves competing against some of the most legendary touring cars ever.

Quite naturally, some noteworthy Ferraris were available to discerning eyes: some of them also came back from previous week’ Maranello celebrations. Considering the mere fact that some of the most beautiful and most epic Gran Premio stories were those with the Prancing Horse’ autos as stars, it was logical to see some of these icons, properly celebrating the glorious Nuvolari’s memory.

It is always nice to spot a Ferrari like this ’55 250 GT Europa.

However, unlike 70th birthday party where only fortunate souls could contemplate for more than a few minutes those gems, here there were a late 250 GT Europa, a 250 MM, some 4 cylinder barchettas, a late 365 GT and a SWB available to connoisseurs’ sight just a few inches away, being parked just like a common Fiat Punto in the magnificent Renaissance Mantua environment. And some of them stayed there for some more than few seconds…

Therefore, they made the atmosphere even more electrifying: in perfect Mille Miglia style, you could sit and write home about some of the most impressive sportscars ever. Something quite uncommon, although once the Gran Premio Nuvolari’ inner nature is better known, maybe not as unexpected like seeing that Packard.

The 375 MM alluring front end.

But, just like any self respecting child waiting for Christmas gifts, you know that something about Ferraris can happen in occasions like this or the Mille Miglia : only, you never know what cars can be there, so there is always a nice surprise waiting for just around a corner – or just after a modern compact…like the superlative 375 MM spider. Really this car alone deserves some dedicated pictures, doesn’t it ?

A Vignale masterpiece, the 1961 3500 GT Spider.

It was also nice to see some Maseratis which are real head-turner everywhere, also when they have to share asphalt with many other glamour queens. What’s more, despite their relatively young age, there were a Ghibli and a magnificent Vignale creature, a 1961 3500 GT Spider. One of the best convertibles ever, do you agree ?

The ’54 Maserati A6GCS which had some road troubles.

Another Tridente’ creation, a ’54 A6GCS, was also a victim of slippery asphalt the day before (do you remember ? Despite September was full of sunny days, there were also brutally wet ones, and also the Gran Premio Nuvolari was affected by this). This was a tough event, after all, and together with all the dust harvested by various cars during something like 1000 miles of courses, it also testify to the strong qualities of these old glories.

Really suitable location for such an automobile!

A pretty early Jag XK 120.

Among those old glories which ended the Gran Premio, enthusiasts had something for almost any taste, especially if they aimed at postwar autos: Porsche, lots of them indeed, especially in the 356 various iterations; Mercedes, especially Fintail classic models and Jaguars (lovers of XKs had lots of choices here, including a C-type which is always a pleasure being able to meet in person), to begin with.

A nifty 1953 Triumph TR2

Naturally, because this race is a sort of Who’S Who of the automobile world, there were also some fascinanting Triumphs and some later Donald Healey’s masterpieces. Also that most famous of multinational cars, the Arnolt Bristol, was present in Mantua, together with some dainty Fifties Aston, all the more seductive because of the formidable backgrounds. Furthermore, I could also see in metal an audacious AC, a marvelous Ace roadster built in 1955. This car oozes Cobra’ grumpy and plucky flavor from every inches, yet it doesn’t lack anything in elegance and fine detailing. Perfect car for such a contest. Alvises too, were there in force, and not only with prewar models: a pair of Fifties Red Triangle models deserved right considerations, and surely spectators were happy to see so rare British jewels.

The 1951 Lancia- Paganelli Sport Siluro.

If all the aforementioned cars weren’t still plenty enough to satisfy the most pedants in the world, it was also possible to spot a precious few Etceterinis, at least one brilliant Siata and one British special, which I can easily describe as an Odditerini, so distinctly different from the status quo of its revered original name .

The Amazon entering Piazza Sordello.

A Jensen-built 1961 Volvo P1800.

In Piazza Sordello there were a pair of Volvos too, adding to the multilevel format of Gran Premio Nuvolari’ nature.

The Alfa Zagato as it enters Piazza Sordello.

Last but not least, and maybe because this caught my attention most, honorable mention goes to those three important Zagato creations, some of the best examples of what the Terrazzano’ coachbuider could do. Fittingly, what Z cars were there in Piazza Sordello were one each for the largest Italian industries. They gave a magic touch at the race and showed what the Milanese carrozzeria was able to do in the Fifties, before its most famous efforts on later Flaminias, Flavias, Fulvias and TZs. Their names ? Alfa 1900, one of the most charismatic models among all the Gran Premio’ contestants, here seen in an unusual green paint which made it really difficult to shot under the sun: but its exquisite beauty, its Luigi Fabio Rapi-inspired design are nonetheless quite evident; then, a stupendous 1955 Fiat 8V, in an elegant yet perfect silver livery, which came from no less distant a country than Australia, arguably the most exotic automobile/country combination here; and finally, one of those quirky little Appias which looks always like a far more potent exotica, thanks to its delicate but athletic body. Undeniably, it also has a strong family feeling with its bigger and most famous stablemate, the Flaminia. In any case, this little Gran Turismo is arguably one of the best of its kind, maybe the best ever ! But what made exceptional this trio was the fact that each of them had a beauty, an originality of its own which made for a formidable group of seductive exoticas not suffering inferiority complex of any kind for Ferraris, Masers and the like.

The Zagato 1900, indeed, was a real surprise for me, because it looks quite compact, also thanks to those smallish side windows and that low roof, in effect quite a departure from the bulk of late Forties, early Fifties’ most typical Zagato’ creations.

Thus, this was a good occasion to study Zagato’ Fifties design evolution, what with those cars built during the passage from Forties Panoramica’ shapes to the racy looks we are accustomed to of later products.

This passage is even more evident, then, if we compare this 1900’ tiny, race-ready windows with earlier Zagato’ models, with their ample glass panes, curved or not curved. This 1900 already possesses the vibrant proportions of later Zagato models.

Curved side windows were apparently used in a deft way on the 8V seen in Mantua, a tradition which would also have been followed in future creations made under the signature “Z”. Naturally, also the 8V has stupendous sporty proportions, but still I have the idea that with the Alfa 1900 things went a bit further, things became even more radical. And “radical” is quite a fitting term for a Zagato car.

The 1900 also sported a really emblematic example of the double humps on the roof which became the quintessential Zagato trademark for a while. Naturally, let’s not forget that suave blend of Zagato most beloved ideas which is the bold yet elegant Appia. Its Baby Flaminia looks are really gorgeous, and although that little car lacks something of the sporty macho guts visible on the 1900, it also possesses plenty of the 8V’grace, so much so that it is a perfect compromise and arguably it has a rather forceful personality: just what made Zagatos so distinctive and so desirable.

Granted, that trio of rolling sculptures was an unbeatable treat for every good car design’ lover.

Quelle Surprise ! A Citroen Ami6.

With the Zagatos, our trip through one of the most celebrated classic cars contest has come to an end. I was almost forgetting to say that amongst the various cars I spotted there was also a really unexpected Citroen Ami6, quite a different machine when compared with some of the racy beasts described above. However, it was strangely fit for the day, a day full of romantic sun, a day perfect also to take some photos of what lies just on the other side of Piazza Sordello (that’s right, some of Mantua’ most famous monuments also greet travelers coming from north: so you know what Gran Premio’ drivers were aiming to before entering downtown’ Piazza Sordello), a day which was indeed a lucky and winning one for some famous teams in the historical cars races world.

In fact, this year’ Gran Premio Nuvolari’ overall winners were Italians Vesco and Guerini (real rulers of this race, just as Gonzagas were rulers of Mantua !), followed by renowned Argentinians Tonconogy and Ruffini and by another Italian equipe, Belometti and Vavassori. But, just like with the Mille Miglia, one of the greatest achievements a team could possibly desire while participating at this contest is surely the mere fact of being there, and being able to end the race. Really this is a worthy satisfaction, even more so if it’s done under Nuvolari’s watchful eyes.

Tazio’s glorious mount.

Ops, almost forgot to mention that conveniently located in a square’ corner there was also one of the most famous Nuvolari’s mounts, the formidable Auto Union. This car added further charm to that Sunday’ atmosphere…

The Auto Union Under Glass.

So, photos can give only a hint at what this show was all about. Anyway, while the Gran Premio went through half Italy, scattering its cars across some of the most beautiful Bel Paese’ locales, it is undeniable that most of its charming charisma has to do with Mantua as start and finish point. Honest, I can’t suggest a much better way to spend a sunny mid-September day for anyone who consider cultural events and automobile shows as equally valuable parts of one single package.

Now, it is time to sail up Mincio and going back to the Garda waters. Next adventures, however, will see us heading toward some northern shores of this lake and some surrounding mountains – or, to be more precise, some valleys carved by Garda inflow river , contemplating some of the best German wheeled jewels. But that’s another story entirely. Stay tuned.

Source: www.hemmings.com/blog

Hemmings Find of the Day – 1959 Austin-Healey “Bugeye” Sprite

Hemmings Find of the Day – 1959 Austin-Healey “Bugeye” Sprite

1959 Austin-Healey Sprite

Three-owner, numbers-matching 1959 Austin-Healey “Bugeye” Sprite for sale. From the seller’s description:

This is a nice example of an original British classic car. It is a 3-owner car since new and is numbers matching per original bill of sale.

Has a 948cc original engine with 4-speed transmission. Includes an upgraded electric fuel pump, new gas tank, and new front and rear shocks. Also Includes red Stayfast cloth top, side curtains, tonneau cover, jack, lug wrench, and spare wheel with new tire. Excellent Kumho Sense 155/80R13 tires.

I have the original bill of sale, original driver’s handbook, original “Austin Warranty Certificate”, export/import documents, and numerous invoices from new.

Recent extensive maintenance involved removing parts, cleaning, servicing and painting as needed. Hardware was cleaned, bead blasted, and zinc plated. Threaded hardware was reassembled using anti-seize. Complete lube and oil change was performed and clutch slave cylinder was rebuilt. The following items have been added:

New Rear Parts – radius arm bushings, ¼ elliptical spring bushings, brake shoes, brake cylinders, parking brake rubber boots, brake flex line, axle hard brake lines, and axle bump stop rubber.

New Front Parts – brake shoes, brake cylinders, brake flex lines, suspension bushings, suspension bump stops, kingpin lower bushings, and front wheel bearing seals.

Other Parts Replaced – oil filter, timing cover gasket and seal, fan belt, rear deck top retainers, and original style door liners.

Can possibly transport/deliver depending on location of purchaser and terms.

1959 Austin-Healey Sprite 1959 Austin-Healey Sprite 1959 Austin-Healey Sprite 1959 Austin-Healey Sprite



Location Marker

Birmingham, Alabama

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Four-Links – Petersen’s Black Widow, Sixties electric cars, Tatraplan’s development, diesel Jeep

Four-Links – Petersen’s Black Widow, Sixties electric cars, Tatraplan’s development, diesel Jeep

The Petersen Automotive Museum recently received a rather noteworthy donation: A Black Widow 1957 Chevrolet, reportedly used to help develop Chevrolet’s Rochester fuel injection.

* Phil Are Go recently unearthed this 1966 article discussing the state of the art (for the time) of battery-electric vehicles. Right around the corner…

* Translated from Czech, this article on the development of the Tatraplan includes plenty of interesting photos and history. (via)

* Because Kaiser didn’t offer a diesel engine option for its Jeep CJ3B, the U.S. Army had to import a Mitsubishi-licensed version to test the configuration’s abilities. CJ3B.info has the full report. (via)

* Finally, while we’re on the topic of Jeeps, in 1949 Ray and Virginia Gardner included a few of them in their hour-long silent film showcasing the desert of Utah and Arizona. (via)

Source: www.hemmings.com/blog

Open Diff: The world’s most expensive shift knob

Open Diff: The world’s most expensive shift knob

By itself, it’s a wholly unremarkable ball of aluminum with a black textured finish, measuring roughly two inches in diameter. Featuring a collar at the bottom, the item is drilled and tapped with a common 10 x 1.25mm thread, meaning it’s meant for more than just a single application. Though it isn’t trimmed in diamonds or adorned with platinum, it is, by my reckoning, the most expensive shift knob in the world.

I am in no way referring to its original purchase price, which probably wasn’t more than $30 when I ordered it from Team Voodoo (whose Pollo Rampante mascot was a gentle poke at Ferrari’s Prancing Horse) roughly 20 years ago. Instead, I’m referring to the cars I’ve placed beneath it over the years, which when tallied reaches a sum large enough to buy a nicely restored Porsche 911 SC, or a similarly show-worthy pre-1971 Mustang Mach 1 or early Camaro Z/28. In some areas – southern Vermont excepted – the accumulated sum total of roughly $70,030 would probably buy a modest two-bedroom home.

Instead, my Voodoo knob has crowned the shift lever of my first-generation Mazda Miata, an Acura RSX Type S purchased in a fit of de-cluttering and later sold to my brother-in-law, a third-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata (purchased in the first year of the model, in violation of one of my own cardinal rules), and now, another third-generation Miata in the exact configuration I’ve been seeking for the last three years. Or, if I’m honest with myself, since I mistakenly sold my last one in 2011.

In the long run, perhaps I’d be financially better off selling it, burying it or smelting it down and casting a belt buckle, but I like the comfortable feel of it in my hand. The way it mounts lowers the height of the shift lever (compared to stock, anyway), shortening the throw. Does it add performance? No, but it does make the driving experience more enjoyable.

I suspect it isn’t done costing me money, either. Somewhere down the line there will be another automotive obsession, and my first question will be “Does it fit beneath the Voodoo shift knob?”

I don’t think I’m alone with this, either. What “world’s-most-expensive part” has fueled your own automotive obsession?

Source: www.hemmings.com/blog

Hemmings Find of the Day – 1941 Cadillac Series 62

Hemmings Find of the Day – 1941 Cadillac Series 62

Customized 1941 Cadillac Series 62 for sale on Hemmings.com. From the seller’s description:

This was built by me as a tribute car to what was being done in 1941 by shops like Coachcraft, Don Lee & others in LA. It is a 62 series car, not a 61 series fastback. I designed it for a resto look. Top chopped 2″, wind shield raked 14 degrees & the I/4’s blanked off. 1970 Cadillac Eldorado 400 HP motor, T-400 trans, Cadillac posi rear end, disc front end, PS , PB, electric windows, AC. All work was carefully done. It runs & drives nicely. Much of the chrome work was done by Sherms or other high quality shops. Skirts & stone guards are custom designed. Painted in a deep maroon color. The interior is not done. I have both the original bench back seats & a pair of the little jump seats. Do the interior the way I was going to do it or your way.



Location Marker

Santa Clara, California

Magnifying Glass


See more Cadillacs for sale on Hemmings.com.

Source: www.hemmings.com/blog

Union of Concerned Scientists criticizes RPM Act as “another dieselgate”

Union of Concerned Scientists criticizes RPM Act as “another dieselgate”

Photo by the author.

Describing it as an emissions scandal on par with or worse than those plaguing European diesel car manufacturers, the Union of Concerned Scientists this month decried the RPM Act as state-sanctioned emissions cheating, a claim that backers of the act – designed to exempt race cars from emissions controls – say they disagree with.

“There is a way to (ensure emissions defeat devices remain off public roads) that doesn’t impact people who want to race,” said Jonna Hamilton, the Clean Vehicles Program representative in Washington for the Union of Concerned Scientists. “But we don’t think the RPM Act as it’s currently drafted does that, and that’s what we take issue with.”

Stuart Gosswein, senior director for federal government affairs for the Specialty Equipment Market Association – the automotive aftermarket organization backing the RPM Act – said there’s “a twisting of perception” that the RPM Act is about anything other than motorsports.

“The RPM Act is very narrow in scope… it simply says that vehicles used in competition are not within the jurisdiction of the Clean Air Act and the EPA,” he said. “We’re not trying to do anything nefarious.”

Echoing complaints about the RPM Act that environmentalists and a handful of U.S. representatives raised in a Congressional subcommittee hearing last month, Hamilton said the Union of Concerned Scientists doesn’t intend to put a stop to racing or to the sales of emissions defeat devices to racers. “If people want to modify their car and use it on a racetrack, it isn’t going to have that big of an impact,” she said. “It’s an important hobby too.”

However, the current state of affairs, in which manufacturers of racing parts simply declare their parts are for off-road use only, doesn’t cut it, she said. “Just saying you shouldn’t do it while selling to those people who do it is not sufficient – clearly these off-road parts are still being sold to people using them on the street.”

As an example, she pointed to the EPA’s 2015 settlement with H&S Performance, a Utah-based company which “manufactured and sold performance tuners, exhaust replacement pipes and exhaust gas recirculation delete kits” designed for GM, Ford, and Dodge diesel trucks. The more than 114,000 such defeat devices the company sold resulted in more than 71,000 excess tons of nitrogen oxide (about double the amount released by dieselgate vehicles, according to Hamilton) and a $1 million civil penalty for the company.

Gosswein said SEMA already actively works to shut down illegal activity in the aftermarket industry. “We want the bad products out,” he said, pointing to the H&S Performance case as an example of the enforcement mechanisms in place working like they should to prosecute companies that sell emissions defeat devices for on-road use.

“The EPA’s proper role is to look over the shoulder of manufacturers and distributors and installers, to make sure that what they’re selling is proper and for the proper use,” he said.

Still, while Gosswein said he doesn’t agree that the RPM Act creates a loophole, as was argued last month, he said he and other SEMA representatives will likely work with Congressional representatives to revisit the language of the RPM Act to clarify their intentions.

One possibility that both Hamilton and Gosswein raised is to take a closer look at applying California’s either-or approach – which specifically defines a competition vehicle as one not allowed to operate on public roads – nationwide.

Originally introduced in March 2016 and then re-introduced in both the House of Representatives (H.R. 350) and Senate (S. 203) this January, the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act arose out of a dispute between the Environmental Protection Agency and the Specialty Equipment Market Association over a proposed EPA rule from July 2015 that prohibited tampering with emissions equipment even if those vehicles “are used solely for competition.” While the EPA removed that language in later drafts of that rule, SEMA representatives claimed that the agency continues to assert authority over aftermarket parts destined for competition vehicles.

The existing law that the EPA seeks to amend, 40 CFR Section 86.1854-12(a)(3), prohibits anybody from removing, disabling, or bypassing emissions equipment on a motor vehicle, including its owner. Nowhere in that section does it exempt anybody building a competition vehicle from fines for removing emissions equipment. However, SEMA and its supporters have pointed to committee notes from the drafting of the 1970 amendments to the Clean Air Act that seem to support a competition exemption.

Both H.R. 350 and S. 203 remain in subcommittee.

Source: www.hemmings.com/blog

Drag racer and Funny Car pioneer Gaspar “Gas” Ronda, 1926-2017

Drag racer and Funny Car pioneer Gaspar “Gas” Ronda, 1926-2017

Gas Ronda. Photo by Greg Sharp.

Even as a child, long before the sport of drag racing entered his life, Gaspar Ronda went by the nickname “Gas.” One of Ford’s factory Thunderbolt racers and an early driver of altered-wheelbase “Funny Cars,” Gas Ronda died at his Palm Desert home on Wednesday, October 25, age 91.

A childhood battle with polio left Ronda with weakened legs, prompting the family’s doctor to encourage exercise to strengthen them. His mother taught him to dance, creating another passion that would stick with Ronda throughout his life. Following a stint in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he returned to California and soon began working as an instructor for the Arthur Murray School of Dance; later, he’d acquire two Arthur Murray franchises of his own.

Ford Thunderbolt

Ronda behind the wheel of his Thunderbolt in 1964. Photo by Greg Sharp.

Passionate about cars, Ronda purchased a Hudson and soon began testing his skills in the quarter mile. A Buick followed, as did a series of Corvettes, and by the late 1950s he’d abandoned the tango for the three-pedal shuffle, selling his dance studios to fund a full-time professional racing career.

Author Charles R. Morris recounts the early days of Ronda’s racing career, driving a 352-powered Ford, in Total Performers: Ford Drag Racing in the 1960s:

Gas had gotten his hands on one of the new Fords and was routinely spanking the competition at Half Moon Bay Raceway on the West Coast. By his own account, Gas would often field the only Ford entry in the Super/Stock class against a torrent of Chevrolets. He relates one occasion at Half Moon Bay where his lone Ford faced 20 Chevrolets. He quite proudly provides that at the end of the day’s competition only his Ford remained.

Ford sponsorship allowed his career to advance rapidly, and by 1963 Ronda was a member of the automaker’s elite “Drag Council,” getting first dibs on the company’s hottest products. The 427-powered Fairlane Thunderbolt was a perfect example, and in 1964 Ronda drove it to an NHRA World Championship. A few years later, he’d switch to altered-wheelbase “Funny Cars,” and in 1967 collected the AHRA Driver of the Year Award.

Gas Ronda’s Mustang Funny Car at Riverside in 1967. Photo courtesy Ford Motorsports.

Two years later, in 1969, Ronda switched to floppers, driving his fiberglass-bodied Mustang Mach 1 to a win at the Orange County International Raceway Manufacturers Championships. It would be his last victory behind the wheel; in January 1970, he was critically burned in an engine explosion at Beeline Dragway in Scottsdale, Arizona, and afterward found himself unable to return to racing.

Following a lengthy recovery, Ronda returned to dance to pay his bills, but later opened taverns in Azusa and Covina, California. In 1993, he was presented with an NHRA Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2016 was inducted to the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame. Though too ill to attend the induction ceremony following a series of strokes in 2014, Ronda did make a public appearance at the 2016 Winternationals in Pomona, California, where he was reunited with one of his Mustang floppers as part of the NHRA’s 50th anniversary Funny Cars celebration.

Source: www.hemmings.com/blog

This or That – Season 2: 1972 Mercury Montego GT or 1972 Plymouth Satellite Sebring Plus?

This or That – Season 2: 1972 Mercury Montego GT or 1972 Plymouth Satellite Sebring Plus?

1972 Mercury Montego GT (top); 1972 Plymouth Satellite Sebring Plus (bottom). Images by the author.

Editor’s note: This or That is not a comparison report between two vehicles, but rather a feature that enables us, in an idyllic world, to add a collectible vehicle into our dream garage on a weekly basis, but with a catch: We can only pick one vehicle from this pairing and it has to be for enjoyment purposes rather than as an investment.

Featured in this edition of This or That are two midsize fastbacks from 1972: a Mercury Montego GT versus a Plymouth Satellite Sebring. Though each came standard with mundane economy engines, as you’ll read both divisions still offered (comparatively) hot engines via the option sheet, making them relative sleepers on the street, while Petty Enterprises and the Wood Brothers tore up the stock car circuit with (similar) race versions. If you want to read more than we provide here, both cars were former subject material in our Hemmings Muscle Machines magazine.

It’s easy to blame the demise of the muscle-car market on emission restrictions and growing insurance costs by 1972, but let’s be honest, the buying power of that market was quickly growing up. Marriage, kids, and a new house had just as big an impact. Yet, as history has proven, even though Detroit had every reason to completely pull the plug on the market, many divisions didn’t. Sometimes one just had to dig a little deeper into sales literature to find it.

One example is Mercury’s Montego GT. Though it came with an economical two-barrel 302 in standard form, to attain something more performance oriented under the hood one had to skip over another two-barrel small-block and go straight to the Q-code 351 Cobra Jet: a Cleveland-style engine that touted a net rating of 248 hp and 299 lb-ft of torque. Some published reports suggest the 351CJ reached a higher 266-hp rating, though that version was destined only for the Mustang and Cougar. Next was the S-code 400, but in the Montego GT the V-8 was only available in two-barrel form and therefore capable of just 168 hp. Top choice was the N-code 429. Fitted with a four-barrel, the block yielded 205 hp and 322 lb-ft of torque. In typical FoMoCo fashion, engine selection determined transmission availability. The 400 and 429 were restricted to the C6 automatic, whereas the 351CJ could have been backed by a floor-shifted four-speed manual (with or without console), or the C6 automatic. Completing the powertrain ensemble was Ford’s 9-inch differential (with or without Traction-Lok) against the 351CJ, 400 and 429. Supporting the powertrain — as well as the sleek body and cabin contents — was a new perimeter frame chassis with a 114-inch wheelbase. Key components were an independent front suspension and a new “Stable Coil” rear-suspension system. The Cross Country Ride Package was a heavy-duty option that provided stiffer springs and shocks, while the Competition Suspension Package, available in conjunction with the 351CJ and 429 engines, increased spring and shock rates beyond that of the Cross Country option while also providing a larger front anti-roll bar.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the little-known Cyclone Performance option. Limited to the 351CJ and the 429-specific equipment, it included a functioning Ram Air/hood scoop system; Traction-Lok differential; F70-14s with the 351CJ or G70-14s with the 429; hubcaps and trim rings; four-speed manual (only with the 351CJ) or automatic; body striping and identification; dual racing mirrors and three-spoke steering wheel (these last two were standard with the Montego GT). According to the 1972/73 Mercury Montego GT Registry, a second edition of dealer literature does not mention this package. Regardless of whether it was canceled, too expensive, or both, a mere 29 Montego GTs were produced with the Cyclone package: nine with the 351CJ and 20 with the 429. There was also one 351CJ Montego MX Cyclone built. Despite the car’s bulk (over 4,000 pounds) and detuned engines, altogether Mercury produced 5,820 Montego GTs for 1972.

Likewise, Plymouth enthusiasts had to shuffle through the option charts to attain a more affordable (in terms of insurance costs) supercar in 1972 that wasn’t adorned with a ‘Road Runner’ moniker. One solution was the Satellite Sebring Plus, which replaced the Sport Satellite after 1970. It would prove to be a two-year-only model. For ’72, it’s base engine was a two-barrel 318; however, unlike FoMoCo, Mother Mopar had begun to place limits within their intermediate lineup. This meant that while the Road Runner received the 440 big-block glory, the SSP we’re highlighting could only be optioned with a 190-hp, two-barrel 400, or, the more spritely, four-barrel carbureted, 255-hp 400-cu.in. mill. And while the two-barrel 400 could only be had in conjunction with a TorqueFlite automatic, the four-barrel version could have been backed by either the TorqueFlite or the four-speed manual. Meanwhile, the famed Sure-Grip differential was still optional that, along with the rest of the driveline, was bolted to a 115-inch wheelbase unit-body chassis. And like other makes, a heavy-duty suspension package beefed up the car’s handling characteristics. But rather than order individual H-D options, one could achieve the same outcome by ordering the trailer-towing package. It provided extra-wide wheels and a 3.23 rear in a heavy-duty axle housing; the Maximum Cooling package, which added a high-capacity radiator and fan, plus a fan shroud and yoke-to-hood air seal; heavy-duty leaf springs; High Control shock absorbers; heavy-duty torsion bars; and an .88-inch front anti-roll bar. Prior to adding options, a baseline Satellite Sebring Plus weighed nearly 3,800 pounds, but well-equipped versions were comparable to the Montego GT in a pound-for-pound track battle. Though not all of them came with a four-barrel 400, SSP model-year production ceased with 21,399 for 1972.

So, while the perception is that the sun had quickly set on the performance scene, it still existed. And armed with this albeit emasculated supercar knowledge, which of the two would you add to your stable and why?


Source: www.hemmings.com/blog