Survivor

Survivor: 1935 Mercedes Benz 290A Cabriolet

January 18, 2017 in Barn Find / German / Restoration Shop / Survivor

The subject of today’s Survivor is this stately, almost all original pre-war 1935 Mercedes Benz 290a Cabriolet. One of only 19 short wheel based drop top 290’s built between ’35 and ’36, it was originally ordered by a vintner to drive around his winery in his home town of Burgundy, France. We can just picture the scenario now…the top down, a well dressed gentleman rowing it’s 4 speed manual box through the gears while putting it’s 60 horsepower 6 cylinder motor through it’s paces on a beautiful summer night on a twisty mountain road, gorgeous French girl by his side and a bottle of their finest wine flowing. Perhaps he ordered it’s interior in red to hide any spills? That would be just all too appropriate, the image alone certainly adding to this classic’s provenance for us. But we digress, so back on topic with actual facts that we do know for certain…

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Survivor: 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 with 308 Miles

January 17, 2017 in Survivor

The subject of today’s Survivor feature is this all original 308 mile 1981 De Lorean DMC-12 time capsule. We have no idea where the “12” in their name originates from, as they are powered by Peugeot-Renault-Volvo’s anemic 2.8 V6 with 150 hp. Kinda a let down for such a flashy car with gull wing doors, but in any case what we are celebrating here is the fact that it has remained untouched for so many years, still wearing the plastic on it’s seats and paper floor mats that it was originally delivered with. You don’t have to be a cheerleader for the car’s style or history to appreciate that as true car people, right? Don’t judge us. Moving on…

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Survivor: Unrestored 1969 Shelby Mustang GT500 with 8,531 Miles

January 11, 2017 in American / Barn Find / Survivor

The subject of today’s Survivor is an all original 1969 Shelby Mustang GT500 that is set to hit the auction block April 25th in Pennsylvania. It has only 8,531 miles on it from when it’s first owner, Larry A. Brown bought it new and it is said to have never even been washed since sitting at the dealership. This 428 Cobra Jet 4 speed car had remained in his Pennsylvania garage since sometime before it’s registration expired in January of 1973, until he unfortunately recently passed away. The kicker to this story is that before he decided to store it away over 40 years ago, he never drove it in the rain or even washed it out of fear of water sneaking it’s way into the car’s unmentionables and rusting it. The car psychic in us attributes his tin worm anxiety to probably be the culprit of some early English or Italian car ownership sometime in his past, which would be an appropriate explanation and an understandable cause of his concern. Whatever the reason why, we wouldn’t have had the will power to let it sit untouched for so many years ourselves, so come take a closer look at a true time capsule example of self restraint with this Black Jade garage find and check out how they looked when they left the factory back in 1969…
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Survivor: 2,996 Mile 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe

January 4, 2017 in American / Barn Find / Survivor

We felt that this 1967 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe would be the perfect fit for today’s Survivor feature to accompany yesterday’s 8,500 mile all original ’69 Shelby Mustang GT500. Both American V8 cars have similar back stories of being tucked away after having been driven very few miles, preserving them in the same condition that they left the factory over 40 years prior. Once again, we have no idea how either of these two guys could possibly have been able to store them for so long without driving the snot out of them, but at the same time we are thankful for people like them who possess the self restraint that we apparently don’t come close to having ourselves. Follow with us on the next page as we search for a better understanding of this garage find owner’s background to explain the who and how while we take a closer look at the 2,996 all original Survivor
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Video Recommendation: Luciano Rupolo’s Collection

December 26, 2016 in German / Italian / Race Car / Survivor / Video

How about starting off the day with a short film about fellow vintage automobile enthusiast Luciano Rupolo, who is living out our classic car filled dreams. The Italian talks about his collection of rare cars and his passion for keeping them for long periods of time to age like fine wine, waiting patiently for their history to finally be appreciated. He scoffs at the wealthy who materialistically buy historic cars with no actual ties to them other than the ability to purchase. What an awesome position to be in, an inspiration for sure. The Italians are romantic and passionate people, which is why we love them so much and have included this video here on Valentine’s Day. This guy is the real deal, and if you are a true enthusiast, we are sure that you will agree too, so enjoy:

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Survivor: 583 Mile1976 BMW 2002

December 21, 2016 in German / Survivor

What we have here for today’s Survivor feature is a great little white on dark blue ’76 2002. How this one has remained all original with only 583 miles on it’s clock since new is explained in further detail later but for all of you ’02 fanatics right now, how about we answer the pressing questions quickly before we all get overly excited, shall we? The answers you are looking for are, to begin with, no it is not a tii, which would have been obvious had your giddiness not made you gaze over it’s model year so quickly, but yes it is a stick shift and yes it has a sunroof and finally, yes it is for sale. For what you may ask, as your anticipation builds? How about a cool $74,995 obo, which will make all current big bumper ’02 owners ecstatic if that number is ultimately reached, but perhaps it is a bit optimistic? To answer that we are sure it’s selling dealer will say, ” yeah, well go and try to find another. We dare you.” But before we all go jumping to any value conclusions ourselves too quickly, why don’t you come follow us on the next page for a closer examination at this absolute time capsule…
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Survivor: 1963 Iso Rivolta IR 300 GT

December 16, 2016 in American / Barn Find / Italian / Survivor

This 1963 Iso Rivolta IR 300 GT is set to hit the block at the May 10th RM auction in Monaco without a reserve price set. There is no description up on RM’s site yet, but all of the leaves and dirt accumulated around it make it appear that it has been left outside for a long period of time and possibly an all original example, which would then qualify it for another Survivor feature here today. The question mark stays up until we can verify more about this car’s history, because this one has us up in arms at the moment. Up through 1969, only 797 of the rare cars were produced, which intrigues our curiosity even further. Let’s see if we can piece this one together…
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The Ultimate Alfa Romeo Belgium Castle Find

December 14, 2016 in Barn Find / Italian / Race Car / Survivor / Video

Could this be the ultimate Alfa Romeo barn find ever? Perhaps, but better scratch that and make it the ultimate Alfa Romeo “castle” find because these were hunted down in November of 2012 by urban explorer Tim Knifton at the Kasteel van Heers in Belgium . We found the story recently pop up on BarnFinds.com, then a little more research revealed a few more sites that featured it too, along with a video of the find, as well. Follow with us on the next page for a closer look…
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Survivor: 1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing

December 9, 2016 in Barn Find / German / Race Car / Survivor / Video

The subject of today’s Survivor feature is this 1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing, which was found sitting inside a storage container in the California desert since the late 1970’s until Jay Leno more recently came to it’s rescue. As the third owner of the vintage race car that competed at west coast venues such as the now defunct Riverside Raceway, he did exactly what we would have done with it and treated it to a sympathetic restoration. Come check it out with us on the next page, won’t ya?…
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Survivor: 1966 Alloy Body Ferrari 275 GTB

December 8, 2016 in Barn Find / Italian / Survivor / Sympathetic Restoration

If you are into vintage cars like we are, then chances are you already know the story about this 1966 Ferrari alloy-body long nose 275 GTB survivor. Even if you have seen it before, we’re sure that you will agree that this one’s definitely worth a revisit. As the story goes, the car was excavated by Ferrari barn find expert Tom Shaughnessy after sitting in the corner of a Ferrari mechanic shop in Southern California since the early 70’s. We have no idea how the car could have gone unnoticed there for so long, but if you have heard of Tom before then you know he pulls together some serious hat tricks when uncovering these once-lost cars. In fact, you may remember him from his more recent garage find from a few weeks ago of a Ford GT40, another jaw dropping story not to be missed. So, come take a closer look at this all original vintage Ferrari with us on the following page, then be sure to check out his GT40 find after in “Related Posts” if you haven’t already, you won’t be disappointed if you like “barn” finds.
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Survivor: 1955 Maserati Tipo 52 200 SI

December 7, 2016 in Italian / Race Car / Survivor

For today’s Survivor feature installment, we chose to highlight this handsome 1955 Maserati Tipo 52 200 SI (chassis #2401). It’s probably entirely unnecessary to point out that this ex-works factory prototype has remained unbelievably original if you have already done what we would have and sneaked a peek at the pictures in advance, but it’s also the finer points of this thoroughbred that we will touch upon below which are still worth sticking around for. Oh yeah, and also Patina. You had to have known we were going to throw that in here somewhere. So, please continue with us on the following page for more about this survivor’s glorious life…
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Survivor: 1961 Mercedes Benz 300 SL

December 1, 2016 in German / Survivor

We are on the subject of comparing Mercedes Benz 300 SL survivors anyways, how about a little overkill with one more feature of the story of two 1961 300 SL’s? We don’t have a lot of information on either one other than the photos this time around, but the final numbers tell the tale of these two that were both sold by Gooding & Company in 2011.
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Future Collectible Factory Hot Rod: 1987 Porsche 944 Turbo Cup

November 25, 2016 in General Discussion / German / Race Car / Sleeper / Survivor / Video

This 1987 Porsche 944 Turbo Cup car was featured for sale as a BringATrailer.com exclusive almost 3 years ago already, but we still consider it to be one of the finest examples left to exist today. Only 192 of the race cars were built to compete in the worldwide single spec series, this one being 1 of only 9 of those that were imported into the United States by Al Holbert, the head of Porsche Cars North America. From new it was sold to an executive at Escort radar detectors, which just so happened to be the title sponsor for the US series at the time. The absolute holly grail of the 944 Turbo (aka 951) series, we imagine these ultimate factory prepped race versions to be the next highly collectible Porsche on this side of the 911 world and their recent asking and selling prices have been supporting that theory quite well. Let’s take a closer look at this particular example while we glimpse at the differences that distinguish the racers from their street driven brethren.

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1939 Talbot-Lago T150 C SS

November 18, 2016 in French / Race Car / Survivor

This feature is a very special 1939 Talbot-Lago T150 C SS. This particular example proved to the world that the small eclectic French automobile manufacturer was capable of producing a vehicle so advanced before it’s time that it was able to actually place 5th at LeMans a full 10 years after it had originally been built. Remarkably, it has now endured 75 years without being restored and even still wears some of the original crude welding from when it was repaired for competition so long ago. Come take a closer look at this fascinating time capsule with us on the following page…
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Original ’56 Gullwing vs Restored at Auction

November 17, 2016 in Barn Find / General Discussion / German / Survivor / Sympathetic Restoration

We take a brief look at two almost identical Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing coupes that sold during January’s Gooding & Company auction in Phoenix. Both cars were both black on red, and both the same model year, so why “almost” identical? One was an original survivor that needed, let’s just say a bit of freshening to make all of it’s patina workable and the other was a fully restored show example. So, which one sold for more? Hemmings.com featured both of them with that very same question before they went up on the block, although we have not found a follow up so we thought that we would take it on ourselves. So stay with us onto the next page and we will answer that after the break…
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1990 Mazda Miata MX-5

November 16, 2016 in Japanese / Survivor

For today’s Survivor feature, we have decided to continue with a white theme for the weekend with this 1990 Mazda Miata MX-5. Now, before anybody goes throwing their arms up in the air questioning how a car of such recent vintage could earn the “survivor” title, all we ask is that you try and recount how many all original early Miatas you can remember seeing lately with only 30,000 miles and in such great condition. Sure, these were mass produced and there are still some out there, but the herd is thinning. Quickly. And we are partial to this first edition, as each consecutive model change got larger and more bloated, and therefore heavier while these are just over 2,000 pounds. Continue with us on the following page for a closer look at this particular cream puff (please excuse the dealer listing influenced terminology), and general Miata-esque chit chat, won’t you?…
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Survivor Sunday: 1951 Mercedes Benz 220 B Cabriolet

November 8, 2016 in Barn Find / German / Survivor

his highly original 1951 Mercedes Benz 220 B Convertible storage find with only 5,820 miles just recently popped up for sale on eBay, making it the perfect candidate for Survivor Sunday. While we try not to make it a habit of featuring cars that are currently for sale, this black plate Cali car was too irresistible to pass up. It happens to be the original show car from the 1951 Berlin Auto Salon before being sold to it’s first owner in Santa Monica, which was all confirmed with a classic type writer written letter from the Mercedes Benz factory itself. And in our best late night infomercial voice, we declare, “But wait, there’s more!” (this is probably where we should mention that we have no affiliation whatsoever with this car or it’s sale)…
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Survivor Sunday: 1964 Shelby Cobra 289

November 4, 2016 in American / English / Survivor / Sympathetic Restoration

The subject of today’s Survivor Sunday feature is this fantastic 1964 Shelby Cobra 289, #CSX2307. It is actually the third all-original Cobra that we have already featured here so far to date, which is interesting to note because we can’t imagine that there are many more, if any, that are left unrestored. Motor Trend magazine featured it’s story in their April, 2006 issue, along with an interview with it’s character of an owner, Lynn Park. Continue with us on the following page as we paraphrase the 6 page article and take a closer look at the car…
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Survivor Saturday: 1962 Facel Vega Facel II Coupe

October 20, 2016 in American / Barn Find / French / Survivor

This gorgeous dirt covered 1962 Facel Vega Facel II Coupe caught our attention as the perfect vehicle to feature for the subject of our Survivor Saturday profile. Upon first glance, it appeared to be a Maserati Mexico or a Ferrari 250 PF Coupe to us, but then that unique ornate grill gave up it’s identity as to it’s French rather than Italian origins. It’s history is quite interesting, both of this particular car and of the manufacturer, as well. It turns out that this vehicle had been sitting inside a wooden barn in Missouri for the past 40 years, having only covered 31,152 total miles before it was stored away. In fact, this rare Franco-American car is still wearing what’s thought to be it’s original Peacock Blue paint under all of that dirt that it has accumulated while tucked away in exclusion, hiding from marque experts who had written it off as lost forever. As we scan through the photos, we can’t help but wonder if the radio stations are still preset from the time when it was last driven, and how such an elegant, rare car gets banished to solitary confinement for so many years. With such a time capsule, our questions start building up as quickly as our imaginations run away from us…
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A Closer Look at Automotive Museums

October 14, 2016 in American / Factory Photos / Factory Tour / General Discussion / German / Japanese / Race Car / Survivor

Last week, Automotive News took a look at the exorbitant costs that manufacturers pay to keep their museums operating. According to the article, General Motors apparently spends approximately $1.8 million per year to keep their Heritage Center operating, while housing 600 production, race and concept cars. At the time of the federal bailout, they had almost double that amount of cars on hand before deciding to cut it down during the desperate times as an appropriate and necessary act of good faith.
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