The Ferrari 206 SP: Think of it as a 4/5ths scale P3/4

July 29, 2015 in For Sale / guest contributor / History / Italian / prototype / Race Car / Reader Submission / Wallace Wyss

1Feature by Wallace Wyss

Enzo Ferrari had a son, Alfredino (“Dino”) who was a frail youth who died in his ‘20s. But not before designing a V6 racing engine with the legendary Vittorio Jano. When Enzo thought to have another line of Ferraris, perhaps with a different name, he thought of the name “Dino.”

At first the engines were used in race cars as GP engines and  Dino V-6s earned Ferrari their first Grand Prix Manufacturer’s Championship in 1958, followed by the 1961 World Championship-winning 156 F1 Sharknose and the 1961 Targa Florio-winning 246 SP.

A sports car was made with the same basic engine, the  Dino 166 P – the first Ferrari to carry “Dino” badges instead of prancing horse badges on its nose. It was intended to be their  entry in the 2.0-liter sports class. But, alas, Enzo had stepped on the toes of labor long enough (I was in Italy in the ‘40s once and remembered running across the Communist Party demonstrating here and there..) so strikes prevented him from making the required minimum of 50 cars to be eligible for FIA homologation

So you have broken eggs, you make omelettes so the 206 S was redesignated “206 SP” (Sports Prototype) and only 18 were built in all. Coachwork duties were assigned to Piero Drogo’s Carrozzeria Sports Cars in Modena…
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Video: Harry’s Garage takes a 1980 Jaguar XJ-S H.E. V12 on a photo shoot to Monaco

July 29, 2015 in Design Analysis / English / General Discussion / Video

Ever thought about a 1980 Jaguar XJ-S H.E. V12 before? Well, neither had we before watching the latest Harry’s Garage video above, where he talks about the car utilizing his vast wealth of knowledge while taking a 1,000 mile drive to Monaco. The plan was to take it there for a photo shoot to recreate scenes from the original factory brochure, the story to appear in the upcoming September edition of Octane Magazine. His personable manner has a way of persuading us into wanting to buy every car he has featured so far, this guy knows his stuff!

Miscellaneous Ramblings with a Wednesday Edition of “Vintage Car Photos”

July 29, 2015 in Photo of the Day

242This 1971 Renault 8 & Renault 10 look like they are pin balls on a giant roulette table, would love to know where this was taken. There’s no mistaking the next photo beginning on the following page, as we continue the French theme with the Renault-Alpine A110 assembly line. Then photo 3 is of a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray sitting at the Terminal and Theme building at LAX, a Los Angeles staple which was originally designed by Paul Revere Williams. If you were or currently are anybody big in Hollywood, that name should sound familiar as he has designed some of the most iconic homes in Beverly Hills and Bel Air, including those owned by Frank Sinatra, Denzel Washington, Bill Cosby, Paul Mc Cartney and Lucille Ball, to name a few. Additionally, we can’t forget his involvement with the Beverly Hills Hotel either. In any case, let’s get back on track with Vintage Car Photos, but not before one last mention of the 4th photo with the American-born actress, singer and dancer Josephine Baker leaning on a 1956 Citroën DS 19, on-tour in Sweden. There’s a good Lusso pic in there somewhere too with a guy who requires no introduction, so jump on in and enjoy…

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Appreciating Classic: Karmann-Ghia, by Wallace Wyss

July 28, 2015 in Future Collectible / German / History / Italian / Wallace Wyss

1(This ugly prototype looks Volvoish to me. Fortunately VW didn’t go for it.)


In the 1970s I inadvertently bought a future collectible, enjoyed it for several years and then sold it after an accident in which I was rammed from the side by a hit and run driver.

I missed it ever since, and am surprised to see they are becoming collectible.

Here’s the history in a nutshell. Back in 1950, Karmann, a coachworks in Germany,  approached Volkswagen with a design for a new vehicle. Karmann had a working relationship with Volkswagen by already building the Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet.

Apparently Karmann’s idea was ugly so Karmann swallowed their dignity and went to Italy which is where, then as now, you go for fashion.

They went to Carrozzeria Ghia of Turin who built a prototype of the vehicle, completing it in 1953. In November of 1953, Nordhoff, the head of Volkswagen at the time, went down to Italy, viewed the car and green lighted it for production. Ironically it stole more than a little of the Chrysler prototype designs and reportedly Chrysler was miffed that it seemed like a mini version of what Ghia had built for them. Virgil Exner Sr. was supposed to have claimed that the design for the Karmann Ghia was based upon his Coupe D’Elegance, a car he designed for Ghia, but Ghia company said that their own Mario Boano created the design in 1950. And if you look at Boano’s work on early cars, for example the Alfa Romeo 2500 S convertible of 1949 and a Lancia Aurelia limousine of 1950 it is obvious the main design elements were Italian in origin. It was Exner who was inspired by Italy rather than the other way around.

But what could they do about it? They needed Ghia more than Ghia needed Chrysler.

In July,  1955, the Karmann Ghia was unveiled to the public…
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A 1969 Fiat 124 Spider’s Restoration Back to Full Glory

July 28, 2015 in Build In Progress / Build Thread / Italian / Restoration

28This 1969 Fiat 124 Spider is undergoing a full restoration by Xtreme Restorations of Rhode Island, its owner “cibon1″ keeping his fellow board members on abreast of the shop’s progress. These Pininfarina designed convertibles were first debuted at the Turin Auto Show in November of 1966, and the model was continued all the way up until 1985. We are big fans of the early cars such as this example with their slim bumpers, small taillights, front turn signals and flat hood, their simple features creating an overall very elegant design. Sometimes less is more. There is no mention of what engine is being installed, but judging from the rest of the build we would have to reason that it is remaining with the stock 1,438cc 4 cylinder good for 90 hp at 6,000 rpm. If it were ours, we would have probably gone with more of an upgraded sleeper route with an Abarth Rally spec 1,756 cc with 128 hp along with suspension and brake modifications to match, but those are subjective personal choices and we can’t argue with the quality of this restoration. Come take a closer look at it with us on the following page…
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Tuesday Edition – A Virtual Smorgasbord of Vintage Car Photos

July 28, 2015 in Photo of the Day


So tell me, what’ya think of this one-off 1978 Lancia Gamma Spider 2500 concept car, complete with t-bar roof? We’re digging the 70’s vibe. The first picture on the following page shows the prototype of a 1954 Ford Thunderbird that features a Ford Fairlane chrome stripe which never made it into production, probably for the best. The photo after that is of a 1972 Ford Escort Mexico taken at the 1972 International Motor Show in Turin, then you’re on your own folks…
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Petrolicious Video: “One Man’s Alpine Awakening”

July 28, 2015 in French / Race Car / Restoration Shop / Video

Another great weekly video production from, this time the subject being an Alpine Renault A110 from AlpineLAB in Germany. Find several more links below of a few of our previous features on the marque, the first two restorations from the same shop:
-Click here for the restoration of an ex-works 1973 Alpine Renault A110 1800
-Click here for the restoration of a 1975 Alpine A110
-Click here for a CarTorque video featuring the Alpine A110
-Click here for a CineCars TV video featuring the Alpine A110
-Click here for a video history on the Renault Alpine A110

Janis, we hardly knew ya…the strange tale of a singular surrealistic Porsche 356 cabriolet…

July 27, 2015 in German / guest contributor / History / Reader Submission / Wallace Wyss

4Feature story by Wallace Wyss

Janis Joplin had a rough and raw voice. Might have been ‘cause of that penchant for whiskey, straight from the bottle. The little blonde from Port Arthur, Texas kicked some butt in the rock and roll world for a few brief years before her untimely death. (She’d be in her sixties now, if she woulda made it…)
Now a lot of the rock stars back then espoused peace and love but some also were a teensy bit extravagant and bought expensive cars because, well, goddamit, they deserved it.

So she brought a Porsche….
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A Look at Mo Faraz’s Automotive Art Work and Humor Series

July 27, 2015 in Art / General Discussion


From time to time when we run across talented classic car artists, we like to share them with our readers. Today we introduce you to Mo Faraz, who has designed a new humor series depicting the relationships us petrol-heads have with classic cars.  With each cartoon, he takes a satirical look at scenarios of classic car ownership.  His ideas originate from the belief that personal (car) relationships must contain two-distinct levels of thought.  Therefore he has entitled his work H42 named after the first high & low beam lamp (released in 1971)…

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Davide Cironi Drive Experience Video- Alfa Romeo 4C Review

July 27, 2015 in Italian / Video

Now this is exactly what we have been waiting for, Davide Cironi’s full review of the new Alfa Romeo 4C. Say what you will about the headlights, I’m kinda liking them. Imperfections add a dimension of character. Now let’s talk about that transmission-I’m wondering if they’ll be offering this car in a manual at any time in the near future, hmmm…

50 Vintage Car Photos for Monday

July 27, 2015 in Photo of the Day

We’ve been away since Friday, so to catch up we got 50, yeah 50 Vintage Car Photos to keep you busy until the next Wyss feature appears, beginning with a little Maserati action. Above, a shot from inside the factory back in 1974 of Merak & Bora assembly, while the next page starts with Luciano Pavarotti & his Maserati Quattroporte III…
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FUTURE COLLECTIBLE: Jensen Intercepter Convertible- I say it’s like a Rolls Royce Corniche with balls at a third of the price

July 24, 2015 in American / English / Future Collectible / guest contributor / History / Italian / Reader Submission / Wallace Wyss

4Feature Story by Wallace Wyss

I used to be a barn finder. You go out with a fistfull of dollars entrusted to you by some client and look for something they can have fun with or make money on, preferably both.

I particularly remember the Jensen Interceptor convertible I bought in a barn find. It had four luxurious leather seats and a wood dashboard and sheepskin on the seats so in a cold winter clime (as cold as Southern Cali gets anyway) it was still cozy with the top down.

The one I bought was a rich brown color and I remember it had a lot of cooling louvers in the hood, just like hot rods used to have, back in the day. I only drove it for a week and then it went on to a client in New York. That was back in the ‘80s and I think I got it for $26,000, not that much for a car that impressed everyone who saw it.

Looking back, I found out more about the firm’s history. Allan and Richard Jensen’s auto business predates World War II. They started out making Austin bodies under contract, so the first Interceptor resembled an Austin A40; they also made bodies for the Volvo P1800 (which have been knocked compared to the Swedish ones) the Sunbeam Tiger, and Austin-Healey. Jensen Motors claimed the first use of resin-bonded glass fibre on car bodies and the first use of four-wheel disc brakes…
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Reader Submission- 1970 Porsche 911 T “Pendulum Outlaw Build”

July 24, 2015 in Build Thread / German / Home Garage Build / Reader Submission


CarBuildIndex reader Tom Elder just sent us his 1970 Porsche 911 T outlaw build that is unfolding on the virtual pages of, the highlights of which I have included on the following page. There’s a lot of custom work going on here which I can appreciate considering the majority of other 911 builds are just various years slapped together to personal taste, as opposed to this build which incorporates unique features we have never seen before. Be sure to check out the full build thread linked at the end of the next page, where you will find the full details and will be able to stay abreast of all of the updates as they unfold…
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Video: Alfa of Tacoma

July 24, 2015 in Italian / Shop / Video

Let’s take a stroll, shall we? “Open since 1975, Alfa of Tacoma has been known for it’s high reputation in servicing the greatest Italian marques: Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati.”


Lancia Fulvia Receiving a Ferrari 348 Engine Swap and Rear Wheel Drive

July 23, 2015 in Build In Progress / Build Thread / Drivetrain Swap / Engine Swap / Home Garage Build / Italian


How’s this for a build thread? Over on, forum member “Speedmade” is taking a Ferrari 348 engine and sticking it into the front engine bay of a Lancia Fulvia. The current build-in-progress started 2 years ago and is making slow progress, but we can’t wait to see the finished outcome whenever that is. Hopefully sooner than later. It will be rear wheel drive and tube framed, using a Ford bell housing to adapt a Borg-Warner T5 transmission. The engine was picked up over 10 years ago on eBay for just $4,000, we’re wondering how much a 355 or 360 engine can be picked up for now from a wreck. Not surprisingly, this project has got our spun brain doing donuts and rockfords inside our heads! Check the build out on the following page for more details…
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Share Your Car Restoration or Car Related Story

July 23, 2015 in General Discussion / guest contributor / Reader Submission


Do you have a car or car related story that you would like to share with fellow viewers, whether it be a build-in-progress, already complete or an untouched masterpiece as-is? If you feel it would be a good fit here, submit it to me at [email protected] I am also always looking for interesting build threads, so if you have one or know of a good one, send it on over. In the meantime for some inspiration on your own project, check out our previous Prototype 1988 Corvette ZR-1 “King of the Hill” restoration feature, as seen in the picture above.


Long Lost Cars: 1968 Tjaarda-designed Ghia Serenissima Agena-Where is it?

July 23, 2015 in American / guest contributor / History / Italian / Reader Submission / Wallace Wyss

1Feature Story by Wallace Wyss

In writing my Incredible Barn Finds series, of the fifty cars profiled in each book, I like to have a couple cars that are eminently collectible–but just haven’t been out and about in recent years. They are barn finds still yet to be found.

One such car is the Serenissima Agena, designed by American Tom Tjaarda, who has been a designer in Italy since 1958.

Its creator was Count Volpi di Misurata of Italy. If he is known for any car, it is the famous or should I say “infamous” Drogo-bodied “Breadvan”, a Ferrari bitsa built after Ferrari cut the Count’s racing team off from a Ferrari 250 GTO. The Count built a GTO beater in revenge.

Later he was co-founder of ATS, a firm whose intention was to beat Ferrari with F1 wins and great GT cars but they fell by the wayside after some bad luck (just one example: low bridge, tall truck, resulting in one racing car destroyed).

After he left ATS, he concentrated on the cars of his own race team, Scuderia Serenissima using some leftover ATS parts.

Among the cars he had built was this car, the Serenissima Agena GT…
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Vintage Car Photos- 30 Germans. 1 Italian. Who Wins?

July 23, 2015 in German / Italian / Photo of the Day


Above, a Mercedes Benz 380 SEC (W126) makes an official first appearance at the 1981 Frankfurt Motor Show, then find a photo taken at the factory in Sindelfingen in May of 1956 featuring a 300 SL Gullwing (W198), a 190 SL and two 180 Pontons on the following page. Mixed somewhere within the otherwise all German cast of 30 more German cars pictures, find one Italian photo hiding in there that’s well worth the scavenger hunt…
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Harry’s Garage Video- A Buying Guide on a 964 RS and a 911S 2.4, Both Headed to this Month’s Silverstone Auction

July 23, 2015 in General Discussion / German / Video

Evo’s Harry Metcalfe of the Harry’s Garage video series takes an upclose look at these two Porsche 911s, both set to sell at the upcoming Silverstone Auction this month. In the end, he’d go for the 911S 2.4 and we’d have chosen the 964RS, so we’re good here, yeah……………………………………………………………….

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