• RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BEST!

    RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BEST

    The Matunes – Maureen & Mike – were on the field of 100 antiques, classics and sports cars to bring us highlights of one of the country’s top Concours.

    RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BESTRADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BESTThe Radnor Hunt Concours d’Elegance limits itself to 100 motorcars each year while recognizing automotive legends. This year four were honored including Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg. Exemplifying those once mighty marques were Dave Markel’s ‘31 Cord L-29 Cabriolet and Sue & Mark Lankford’s ‘37 Cord 812SC Phaeton.

    Team Penske’s ‘73 Porsche 911 RSR was a major attraction. These cars were featured in the first IROC Championship, taken by Mark Donohue. This very car would carry him to a Riverside win. Standing next to the car speaking to a television journalist is Mark’s son David. He is a racer of note in his own right, having both a North American Touring Car Championship and a class win at Le Mans to his credit.

    RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BESTThe Race Cars of Roger Penske were featured at this year’s event. Among them was this ‘66 Chevrolet Corvette L88 coupe owned by Kevin Mackay. It’s too bad this car can’t talk. It could tell stories about a cold drive back from the Corvette plant in St. Louis to the Penske shop and then to Corvette legend Dick Guldstrand. Or about completing the Daytona 24 and taking a class win with flashlights taped to the hood replacing crash-damaged headlights!

    RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BESTPurists were appalled a few years back when perennial sportscar manufacturer Porsche, added SUVs and a sedan to its lineup. They may have been ignoring a little history, as Porsche once made tractors in addition to their more sporty offerings. Production was started before WWII and continued afterwards by manufacturers who leased the rights to the design. Radnor Hunt had a special class this year for vintage tractors and Daniel Magness brought his Porsche along.

    RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BESTFrom another time, comes the Delage sales slogan, the “Car with a Reputation”. The origins of that were supposedly in the saying that a Delage was the car you gave to your mistress. The lines of this ‘34 D8S Cabriolet with body by Fernandez & Daren certainly convey a sultry theme. Today it holds a place in the JWR Museum collection. Its past accolades include class awards on two occasions at Pebble Beach.

    RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BESTFiat has unleashed a modern version of the legendary 124 Spyder Abarth and this is the car which inspired it – Gildo Torchia’s rare ‘73 Fiat 124 CSA Abarth. Conceived and built as a Homologation Special to qualify for Group 4 rally competition, it features an IRS, fiberglass hood and decklid and aluminum doors. Those wheels are real magnesium as opposed to aluminum. Under its hood is a slightly hotter version of Fiat’s DOHC Four.

    RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BESTSuzanne and John Campion traveled from Jacksonville, FL to show their ‘83 Lancia-Abarth 037 rally car. It has scored multiple wins and podiums in its life. Found in Prague, it is now safely ensconced in the Campion’s extensive collection of pro rally cars. Their trip to Radnor Hunt was rewarded with the Best of Show Sport trophy.

    RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BESTDiane & Don Meluzio showed their ‘61 Fiat Abarth Bialbero 1000 GT Coupe with body by Carrozzeria Abarth & Beccarris as part of a special Fiat Abarth class. After a successful racing career in Europe this car was sold to Team Roosevelt in the U.S. and continued its winning ways at Nassau and Sebring. As with most Abarths, the engine is diminutive but powerful, drawing 95 horsepower from 948 ccs. The Meluzios are to be congratulated for organizing the outstanding Abarth class.

    RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BESTIt’s hard to find a bad angle on David Markel’s ‘32 Auburn 12-160A Speedster. From this view, your eye is drawn to the boat-tail styling, wide-whites, wire wheels and flawless paint. The Speedster houses a 160 horsepower, 391 cubic-inch, Twelve and a two-speed rear axle. Top speed is in the range of 110 mph.

    RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BESTHelen & Richard Harding wait patiently for their turn at the awards podium in their ‘28 Auburn 8-988 Speedster. Their stunning Navajo Red and Black car garnered the Best in Show award at the 21st Radnor Hunt Concours. The Auburn marque dates back to the turn of the 20th Century, later becoming part of Auburn – Cord – Duesenberg.

    RADNOR HUNT CONCOURS: ELEGANCE AT ITS BESTChrysler was known for a little craziness during the Ponycar-Musclecar era as shown by Kim Barnes ‘69 Plymouth Barracuda “Mod Top” coupe. One’s eye is immediately drawn to the flower power vinyl roof until you notice the interior is upholstered in a similar pattern. Obviously, this was not for the shy or retiring, as borne out by the fact that only about 900 of these were made in 1969.

    Thanks to Mike Whelan for his help with credentials. And to Founder & Chairman Mike Tillson, his staff, sponsors, presenters, judges, participants and volunteers for another great Concours.

    Words & Photos by Maureen K. Matune & M. M. “Mike” Matune, Jr.

    For more information about the event and its venue, please visit https://radnorconcours.org/

    http://www.radnorhunt.org/    http://www.thorncroft.org/

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  • QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERING: BEST OF THE BEST!

    Cool temperatures fail to lower motorcycle fever at the Quail and keep Jim Palam from delivering this photo report.

    Low temperatures, brisk winds and overcast skies did nothing to dampen the spirits of over 3,000 visitors to the 2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering on May 6 at the beautiful Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel, CA.

    Gordon McCall, motorsports director for the Quail Lodge, was once again the perfect ringleader for this 9th Annual gathering. It featured over 300 rare and historic bikes, as well as a generous sampling of custom and modified rides from some of the rising stars in the motorcycle enthusiast’s expanding universe. GEICO Motorcycles presented the event.

    Jim Palam, our man (and Triumph rider) on the West Coast was up and out early to capture the action. The show was so good that he forgot to eat his complimentary gourmet lunch – but he did take a big bite of The Gathering’s tasty essence – yours now to enjoy.

    Taking the Design and Style Award was Simon Waterfall’s super-clean and serious ‘75 Moto Guzzi 850T, Top, rebadged as Supernaturale. Designed and built by Hugo Eccler of Untitled Motorcycles of San Francisco (pictured) the bike features a custom aluminum tank, advanced electronics and fingertip controls. Its overall brushed satin finish will intentionally age gracefully, developing an individualized patina from the way the rider handles the bike.

    What do you do if you have a beautiful old Triumph race tank? If you’re Californian Bryan Thompson you build the quintessential ‘58 Triumph Tiger from ground up, around the tank. So good is this build that this Black Beauty has been racking up a bounty of awards – including First Place in the Quail’s Custom/Modified category. Well-done Bryan!

    Chris Carter has become almost as famous as the spectacular motorcycles in his amazing All Things Two Wheels collection. So thanks Chris for bringing your gorgeous ‘14 Jefferson Board Track Racer to The Gathering. It took 2nd Place in the American category.

    Considered one of the most innovative motorcycles ever created, only 10 hand-crafted Britten V1000 superbikes were ever built. This Britten, #10, resides in the Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum, just a few blocks from my home. It belongs to the museum’s owner Virgil Elings and he proudly displayed it at The Gathering. Virgil’s son Jeff rode it up onto the winner’s ramp to accept the Significance in Racing Award.

    I met Richard Mitchell as he was rolling this meticulously customized BSA A65 Thunderbolt up to the Entrant’s Window late Friday afternoon. When Richard is not designing for Tesla, his passion is motorcycles. His beautiful creation went on to win 2nd Place in the Custom/Modified category.

    Ole #38 didn’t look like much when from a distance when I spotted owner Gary Landeen trying to kick-start her for a bevy of patient judges. On what was surely his last kick she fired up – and like the menacing roar of a Coliseum lion she fired up the crowd as well! This bike is the legendary Ed “Iron Man” Kretz’s Pre-War Big Base Indian Scout FDB 381 that competed successfully on a national level from 1941 through 1967. What a thrill to see and hear #38 roar at The Gathering!

    Two For The Road! If you’re a Motorhead you find beauty in design, function and performance. So forgive me if my heart beats a little faster when I take in the sexy symmetry of John Stein’s ‘70 Twin Motor BSA drag bike – bared for all to see in the Competition On Road Class.

    The 750 Sport was essentially a racier version of Ducati’s first big V-Twin, the 750GT. Its Goldenrod Yellow and black paint scheme and lean, aggressive styling made this Italian beauty really stand out from the crowd. Robert Jordon owns this stunning and pristine example.

    Wake Me Up Before You Goggo! The Hans Glas GMBH Company of Germany produced the Goggo Motorscooter in the 1950s. They were dependable and offered better performance than their Italian counterparts. They were however a bit pricier and few ever made it to the States. Harley and Deb Welch brought this nifty ‘55 Goggo 150 to The Gathering.

    And now for something different: The ‘76 Hercules W2000. Powered by an air-cooled, single-rotor Sachs-designed Wankel engine, it was manufactured in Germany. Innovative for sure, but criticized for its high cost, insufficient ground clearance and low performance. And of course, now, in high-demand by collectors! Congratulations to Stephan Haddad for the bike’s 2nd Place win in the Other European category.

    Words & photos by Jim Palam, http://www.jimpalam.com/

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  • Volvo celebrates its 90th birthday

    Volvo Cars starts production of its new XC60 mid-size SUV in Gothenburg, Sweden, this month – 90 years after the first-ever Volvo, the ÖV4, saw the light of day on April 14, 1927.

    New Volvo XC60A A total of just 275 vehicles were sold in its lifetime, which was modest even in those days, while the new XC60 replaces one of the best-selling models in Volvo’s history.

    The original XC60 became a phenomenon, with climbing sales every year since it was introduced in 2008.

    Seven years after it was revealed, it became the bestselling premium mid-sized SUV in Europe, and in its ninth year it is still selling in big numbers, accounting for around 30% of Volvo’s total global sales. In fact, April 2017 will see XC60 production exceed 1,000,000.

    Original Volvo XC60Volvo’s founder, Assar Gabrielsson, saw an opportunity for car manufacturing in Sweden after observing the growing automotive industries in the US and Europe from his position within sales at the Swedish ball bearing maker SKF – a supplier to the car industry.

    He managed to convince SKF to invest in a spin-off car business called AB Volvo and the first mass-produced Swedish car was quite a conventional vehicle, with elements of American car design, a wooden frame made of ash tree and beech, a 1.9-litre side-valve engine and artillery wheels with wooden spokes.

    Only one colour combination was available – dark blue with black fenders.

    Despite all these changes over the past 90 years, one thing has remained the same and that’s Volvo’s commitment to making the world’s safest cars.

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  • ’17 NISSAN GT-R TRACK EDITION: GODZILLA ON STEROIDS!

    The New York International Auto Show will host the North American debut of the GT-R Track Edition at the Jacob Javits Convention Center on April 14-24.

    2017 is turning out to be a milestone year for GT-R enthusiasts. The model year started with a major makeover for both the GT-R Premium and GT-R NISMO. As the third model in the GT-R lineup, the Track Edition occupies a unique position between the “T” (touring) and “R” (racing) sides of the GT-R equation.

    Designed to deliver a higher level of performance than the GT-R Premium, the Track Edition features elements of the flagship GT-R NISMO, though retaining the GT-R Premium model’s 565-horsepower engine rating (versus the GT-R NISMO’s 600-horsepower version). It is a twin-turbo VR38DETT 3.8-liter V6 engine. Torque is rated at 467 pound-feet. A Titanium exhaust system is standard. All GT-R engines are hand-assembled in a clean room by technicians known as Takumi, a process similar to racing powerplant construction. An aluminum plate is added to the front of each engine showing the name of the engine craftsman.

    “The new GT-R Track Edition gives buyers a specialized model, one true to GT-R heritage and available only by special order,” said Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. “Building on the major upgrade to every GT-R for 2017, the Track Edition is an amazing package inside, outside and under the skin.”

    Performance-oriented features start with the body’s additional adhesive bonding (in addition to spot welding), which helps increase body shell rigidity versus the GT-R Premium model. Next, the advanced four-wheel independent suspension receives unique NISMO tuning, with reduced weight and additional roll stiffness (versus GT-R Premium), as well as NISMO-spec tires.

    Other standard equipment includes GT-R NISMO front fenders, 20-inch NISMO forged aluminum-alloy wheels and a special dry carbon-fiber rear spoiler. Inside, the Track Edition interior includes a unique red and black color treatment with high-grip, leather-appointed, motorsports-inspired Recaro® seats. A simplified switch layout includes just 11 switches, along with an 8-inch capacitive touch panel monitor. The standard steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters allow drivers to make mid-turn gear changes without taking their hands off the wheel.
    High performance differential oil, used in GT-R motorsports competition, is standard.

    All ‘17 Nissan GT-Rs are built on an exclusive Premium Midship platform, which enables the use of the unique independent rear transaxle ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive system. This system places the transmission, transfer case and final drive at the rear of the vehicle, optimizing weight distribution and maximizing handling capability. The new GT-R Track Edition has a starting MSRP of $127,990 and will be available late-summer 2017 by order only at GT-R certified Nissan dealers nationwide.

    For more information about the complete GT-R lineup, please visit https://www.nissanusa.com/sportscars/gt-r

    For more information about the New York International Auto Show, please visit http://www.autoshowny.com/

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