On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff
AN ICE CREAM car is a grand subject of daydreams. It’s not for mobility in the ordinary sense, commuting and the like. It might not even have the pedigree for inclusion in proper old car events. However, as its name suggests, it’s great for rolling out of the garage on a nice afternoon, dusting it off, firing it up and motoring off for an ice cream.
If the best ice cream shop happens to be in the next county, all the better.
I’ve been musing about my ultimate ice cream car, initially with a list of several. Here are the final four.
To me, a Morgan’s primary shortcoming is having already had custodianship: “Been there; done that.” See www.wp.me/p2ETap-Vq. A Morgan’s attraction is traditional feel combined with relatively straightforward upkeep, a vintage Bentley crossed with Checker cab. Well, maybe not that crossed….
As noted a while back (www.wp.me/p2ETap-6B), a Dellow is so English it makes one’s teeth ache. It’s intended for the peculiarly English sport of trials, or “mud-plucking,” though I’m attracted by historical aspects. Steel was in short supply in post-World-War-II England, yet there was a glut of aluminum. Vintage bits traditionally made of steel—or wood—are aluminum on a Dellow. Even better, many Dellow chassis were fabricated from war-surplus rocket launching tubes. Some Dellows still retain the government “mil. spec.” stenciled there.
Unfortunately, the Dellow is a diminutive car (10 in. shorter overall than a modern Mini). I sampled a Dellow years ago, but recognize that it looks like a clown car driven by the likes of me.
The Type 43 is a road-going version of Bugatti’s Type 35 race car. The Grand Sport is elegantly potent in appearance. It makes all the proper vintage whines, whirs, grumbles and snarls. Alas, back in 2008 one went for a bit more than $1.7 million at Bonham’s Automobiles d’Exception in Paris).
On the other hand, what’s the point of dreams, but for cars like the Type 43 Grand Sport?
Back in 1998, the son of distinguished sportsman Briggs Cunningham, Briggs III, and his sons, Robert and Brian, were encouraged to build what’s termed a “Continuation Series” of the Cunningham 1952 C4R Le Mans roadster. The result was a total of four museum-quality replicas at around $160,000 a piece. For an excellent mini-history of the C4R Continuation Series, see http://goo.gl/hHQ4j.
I’ve probably driven the C4R Continuation Series—actually two of them—as much as any non-owner: the R&T “Les 24 Heures du Madonna Inn” trip, around southern California during the car’s stay with R&T and a drive from home to the Monterey Weekend.
The latter day C4R is raucous. Like any competition car, everything resonates—and so does the driver. I’ve had great fun with this car, and it rises to the top of my current musings.
Driving a C4R Continuation Series is a wonderful historical simulation of road racing in the 1950s. It’s a grand hoot!
What’s your list of ultimate ice cream cars? ds
Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2013