Restoration of an Uber Rare John Coombs Modified (In Period) Jaguar Mk 2 Saloon

December 29, 2015 in English / Rare / Restoration / Restoration Shop

4 1This Jaguar Mk II Saloon was restored by the marque experts at Classic Motor Cars in the U.K. and certified as an authentic example that had been modified in period by John Coombs. The restoration shop is becoming a familiar name around here, as they seem to keep popping up every time a Jaguar with any sort of historical significance attached to it is brought up. This particular car was purchased off of eBay from an owner who had it stashed away in his barn since the mid 1970’s. He had plans to eventually restore it into a daily driver but finally sold it more recently when he realized that he would never get around to the project, so it’s good to see that it fell into the right hands…

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The One and Only 1966 Jaguar XJ13- Crashed and Rebuilt In Period

December 17, 2015 in English / prototype / Race Car / Rare / Restoration / Video

[Editor’s Note: This feature which was originally posted June 24th, 2014 has been the “Top Post of the Day” by a long shot today so we have put it back up to the top spot for those of you who haven’t seen it before.]
The subject of today’s feature is an extremely rare and equally as gorgeous 1966 Jaguar XJ13, the only of it’s kind to ever have been built. It’s story can only begin by mentioning a tragic event that occurred 11 years prior to it’s creation in 1955 when a horrific accident occurred at Le Mans, killing 83 spectators and prompting Jaguar to pull their factory efforts out of motor racing for over a decade after. It wasn’t until the manufacturer decided that they wanted to compete in international competition at Le Mans once again right in the middle of the Enzo Ferrari vs. Ford and Carroll Shelby wars that they had Malcolm Sayer design them an all new aerodynamic new body to cover it’s mid engine 503 hp 5 liter V12, the same man responsible for creating the beautiful yet fiercely effective C Types and D Types previously…

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The Tail-Finned 1958 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I “Honeymoon Express” by Freestone & Webb -Was one ever sold dirt cheap?

September 13, 2015 in English / guest contributor / History / Rare / Reader Submission / Wallace Wyss


Riegel_110721_0091. Greenwich, CT, USA. ©2011 Chip Riegel / www.chipriegel.com. 07/21/2011. 1957 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud Two-door Two-seat Drop-head Coupe with coachwork by Freestone & Webb. The two-door body featured slightly concave sides, prominent rear tail fins and an enormous luggage compartment. Known as the "Honeymoon Express" only two Rolls Royces and one Bentley were made with this coachwork.

Feature by Wallace Wyss


Decades ago, when working for Motor Trend magazine up on the Sunset Strip, I’d spend my lunch hours at outdoor cafes with Ed Durston, the employee of a nearby used Rolls Royce car lot, watching the unusual cars roll up and down Sunset Boulevard.

Among the unusual cars that regularly cruised by was a two door two seater Rolls with tailfans. Yes, sharp tailfins, somewhere between Cadillac and Chrysler style.

I didn’t know the car was nicknamed “The Honeymoon Express.” I like the name because I imagine most honeymooners (young ones anyway) want the express train, no stops on the way to their destination.

Ed would urge me to stop the owner and ask him if it was for sale but I’d always say “Who would want a Rolls with tailfins?”

It took several decades to find out the story on that car… Continue reading →

Alfa Romeo RZ Restoration

August 4, 2015 in Italian / Rare / Restoration / Restoration Shop

This Alfa Romeo RZ (Roadster Zagato)’s restoration was taken on by the Bulgarian tuning company Vilner. Looking through the pictures of the project in-process gives us an opportunity to examine the rare oddball Italian while apart and chew on what they are really truly deep down all about, because let’s face it, they don’t exactly blend in. Before making any rash superficial judgement based on their outward appearance alone, though, we ask that you consider their origins first. Production was made at Zagato in Italy using Alfa 75 rear wheel drive chassis and 3.0 liter V6 200 hp engines while their Koni-designed hydraulic damper suspensions were modified versions of those used by the Alfa 75 Group A and IMSA cars, enabling them to reach cornering forces of over 1.1 g’s. All of this wrapped up in a package that to date holds the title as the rarest Alfa Romeo production car ever made. Have we got your attention yet? Continuing…

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The DeTomaso Mangusta Spyder by Ghia- A Case of the Topless Goose

July 6, 2015 in American / Concept Car / guest contributor / History / Italian / prototype / Rare / Reader Submission / Wallace Wyss

1by Wallace Wyss

This is a story of true love. Sort of. First of all, why the car was created. When Alejandro DeTomaso (it’s actually spelled De Tomaso but I’ll do the American thing where we run it all together and capitalize it) had Giugiaro design his mid-engined V8 powered coupe, he was pretty well thinking the coupe was all he needed.

But then for a succeeding Salon, they wanted something different and an open version was budgeted for show purposes only…
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For Sale: 1992 Porsche 964 3.3 Turbo S Leichtbau

June 15, 2015 in For Sale / German / Rare

www.pannhorst-classics.comHere’s an interesting car that is currently for sale in Germany for an undisclosed amount: It’s a 1992 Porsche 964 3.3 Turbo S Leichtbau with only 114 kilometers that has never even been registered. Only 86 of these factory “M720” package lightweights were ever built and only 12 in this Polaris Silver. None of them were allowed into the good ‘ol U.S. of A. and we are still a few years out on exemption from the 25 year rule, so whether this is just an exercise in futility or not, apparently we still get our thrills out of daydreaming about raced out factory lightweights for the street. Call us juvenile if you want, frankly we really don’t give a shit. Hey, you just called us juvenile after all, what did you expect?…

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The Snakemeister’s Own: When you’re Carroll Shelby, you can have just about any kind of Cobra you want. By Wallace Wyss

May 12, 2015 in American / guest contributor / History / Rare / Reader Submission / Wallace Wyss

[Editor’s Note: Wallace Wyss’s career as an automotive author extends back to the 1970s, when he wrote “Shelby’s Wildlife: The Cobras and Mustangs”, since superseded by “SHELBY The Man, the Cars, The Legend”. Here he re-visits his encounter with the fabulous but terrifying Super Snake Twin Paxton Cobra.]


Now those (mostly) colorless automakers in Detroit preside over millions of cars being made but you rarely hear of one of them having a special built for himself. Something with a little chutzpah. Something with balls. But Carroll Shelby, back in the Sixties, wasn’t one of those guys sitting up on the 14th floor of some office building and never driving the cars being built carrying his name. When he was making the 427 Cobra, he also belonged to a group I maintain was called the Visitores Conquistadores or something like that, and that group would meet annually at the border of California and Nevada in whatever they could find that was fast and head for Elko, a town that, back then, had more whorehouses than churches. They weren’t going there to be choirboys. It was a town where you could wear a sixgun on your hip with pride…
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A Quick Look at the 1984 Porsche 911 SC/RS Group B Homologation Special

May 8, 2015 in German / Homologation / Race Car / Rally / Rare / Video

35Porsche built only 20 of these 911 SC/RS specials in 1984 for homologation into Group B racing to take on the Lancia 037 before the series was ultimately canceled. Using all the tricks of their trade, they borrowed brakes from the 917, suspension from the RSR and 935, and utilized a Turbo wide body shell with aluminum hood, door panels and rear lid. Thinner glass, kevlar bumper covers and 935 seats all helped knock 1,000 lbs off their curb weight when compared to an SC street car, bringing it down to a featherweight-ly-ish 2,160 lbs. Other special equipment to compliment the rear wheel drive, naturally aspirated 280 hp 3 liter terrors included headers, a beefed up clutch, shorter gears, Bosch mechanical fuel injection (instead of the CIS of the SC), dry sump and an LSD. We couldn’t think of a better 911 to clone for a canyon carving/track day toy to stand out from all the more common (insert basically anything and everything except an SC/RS here) replicas and mashed up parts bin wonders that most people seem to favor, and wonder why we haven’t seen more done up just like one of these rare beasts. Magnus Walker and Singer who? Really?!? Sorry, we’d be building one just like this instead, rally lights mounted on the hood and all. Enjoy the rest of the photos and befitting grainy in-period short video on the following page…

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1970 Nissan Fairlady Z 432

February 11, 2015 in Homologation / Japanese / Rare / Video

This 1970 Nissan Fairlady Z 432 is scheduled to be sold to the highest bidder at the upcoming Amelia Island RM Auctions in March. Powered by the same 160 hp 2.0 liter twin cam inline-6 S20 engine as the “Hakosuka” Skyline GT-R, all 420 originally produced were sold in their home Japan market. Although there is no description or price estimate in the listing yet, it shouldn’t have a problem delving into the six figure range if this $100,000 sale featured 4 1/2 years ago on BringATrailer.com is any indication. Come and preview a closer look with us on the following page…

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Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina, or The Amazing Disappearing Alfa -By Wallace Wyss

February 1, 2015 in Featured / guest contributor / History / Italian / Race Car / Rare / Wallace Wyss

Some people think that the split window Corvette design originated on the ’63 Stingray. Not so. It was on an Alfa way back in 1955.

And here’s the kicker. The car design was commissioned by the husband of the most famous woman ever to come from Argentina—Eva Peron.

Yes, the svelte blonde wife of the dictator.

Here’s how it happened…

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1968 Toyota 2000GT Restoration

January 20, 2015 in Japanese / Rare / Restoration / Video

As fellow car enthusiasts, we’re sure you’re all just like us and often wonder what happens to all of the cars and projects that appear on Bringatrailer.com after they are sold. Unfortunately, we don’t have an answer to that question the majority of the time, but we just so happen to have been fortunate enough to have run across this 1968 Toyota 2000GT that appeared for sale on their site back in May of 2011. Back then it was being offered through eBay in Portugal with only 1 previous owner and a seized engine with just 41,000 km on the clock. Since we don’t get exactly an overflowing amount of opportunities to feature 2000GT’s seeing that a scarce 351 were ever produced (1967-1970), we’re happy to have found this one which JD Classics in the U.K. got their hands on for a restoration before it was sold onto its second owner.

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VIDEO: A Jay Leno’s Garage “Restoration Projects in Progress” Update

December 23, 2014 in American / Build In Progress / Engine Swap / English / French / German / Italian / Patina / Race Car / Rare / Restoration / Shop / Sleeper / Survivor / Sympathetic Restoration / Video

Jay Leno’s vast knowledge of basically everything car related and seemingly unlimited resources to help fuel his passion makes him an utter treasure to the automotive community. In his latest Jay Leno’s Garage video posted on the following page, he walks us through his vast garage and updates us on the progress of each of his projects. One that we have been wondering about what ever happened to ourselves is the Mercedes Benz 300 SEL 6.3 that he was talking about doing an SLS engine swap with a while back. Understandably, he is now torn about beginning that project since the original 300k + mile motor runs so strong, so he asks viewers to comment on whether he should go ahead with it or not. Other noteworthy subjects include his Lamborghini Espada and an original ’53 Cunningham. Check it out for yourselves…
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Update to “French Barn Find of all Barn Finds”

December 13, 2014 in Barn Find / English / French / German / Italian / Patina / Rare / Survivor

A few more photos have emerged from the recent “French Barn Find of all Barn Finds” that we originally reported on last weekend, which are now posted on the following page. The contents of the fascinating discovery are headed to Artcurial’s Retromobile auction on February 6th, and so the process has now begun of taking them out of hiding and documenting each and every one of the 60, starting with the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider that had been considered lost forever, then the 1 of 3 ever made Pietro Frua bodied Maserati A6G 2000 Gran Sport. The fascinating discovery has also revealed other ultra rare pre war cars with rare custom coachwork including a Talbot-Lago T26 Saouthchik Cabriolet once owned by King Farouk of Egypt, another Talbot-Lago T26 with a body by Saoutchik but in Coupe form, and an Hispano-Suiza H6B Cabriolet with a body by Million Guiet. It’s unfortunate that Robert Baillon never got to fulfill his dream of restoring each and every one of them to display in a museum as he had originally planned, but we hope that one day in the not too distant future we will see at least a few of them reunited together once again after their new custodians have been passed the baton and complete the individual challenges themselves.

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French Barn Find of all Barn Finds Recently Discovered

December 6, 2014 in Barn Find / English / French / German / Italian / Patina / Rare / Survivor / Video

This barn find collection of around 100 fine European vintage vehicles was just recently uncovered in France and includes every mouth watering marque from Ferrari, Maserati and Bugatti to Delahaye and Facel Vega, and everything in between. They all belonged to French transport magnate Roger Baillon, but when his business fell upon hardship in the 70’s he had to sell off many of them, although these, his most prized, he hung onto. Apparently they were somehow forgotten about, the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider even considered lost forever by automotive historians. Until a few months ago, even his children didn’t know the car existed. They are all set to go to auction in France from Artcurial on February 6th, so until then enjoy the short video and multitude of pictures of them in their resting spot of the past 50 years on the following page…
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VIDEO: Jay Leno’s Garage 1966 Ford Galaxie Restoration

November 24, 2014 in American / Engine Swap / Rare / Restoration / Sleeper / Video

The following video from Jay Leno’s Garage profiles the restoration and build of a 1966 Ford Galaxie Ultimate Edition, the same model year and car that his father purchased when Jay was still a teenager and ended up wrapping around a tree not long after. This rare version was only sold for one year before being offered as an option package the next, but quickly vanished after that. He was able to find this example in Canada and has since completed the full restoration, all summarized in the film on the next page. This time around, though, he got to build it up with all of the choice top pick components including a 7 liter Roush V8 crate engine with 575 hp, a 6 speed transmission and custom Hotchkis suspension. As usual, don’t miss the trademark burnout towards the end…

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1969 Fiat Abarth Scorpione SS Restoration

August 28, 2014 in Build In Progress / Italian / Rare / Restoration / Restoration Shop

This 1969 Fiat Abarth Scorpione SS is the subject of a restoration-in-progress on www.abarth-gmr.be that’s in its final stages of completion. The project is being built by Guy Moerenhout Racing from the Abarth Works Museum in Belgium. To be quite honest, I really knew absolutely nothing about these interesting little cars before running across this one’s build thread on line, which turns out to be not so hard to believe considering only five SS’s were ever made by Karl Abarth and Mario Colucci, and two of those have been wrecked. Guy believes this to be their actual prototype, a car that he himself had found in a scrapyard and sold some 20 years previously. Now, the ultra lightweight 1,600 pound 100 hp sports car is back in his hands once again and finally receiving a restoration worthy of its unique history…

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