On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff
THE SUBJUNCTIVE MOOD IS most appropriate in this title, because I don’t ever enter lotteries. The thought of having gobs of unexpected wealth did come to mind, however, in perusing my latest issue of Classic & Sports Car, its September 2022 issue. There were adverts and articles a’plenty that kindled thoughts of “that would sure be fun….”
The funny part is that several of them, in one sense or another, border on “been there… done that.” To wit:
The Arnolt-Bristol Roadster. In one of its adverts, RM/Sotheby’s offered an Arnolt-Bristol DeLuxe Roadster at its Gene Ponder Collection auction, September 22-24, 2022.
The car was one of only 142 Arnolt-Bristols built between 1953 and 1959. This particular example sold for $330,000 U.S.
Personal Notes. Through the kindness of fellow VSCCA member John Schieffelin, I had a brief stint in an Arnolt-Bristol around Schenley Park at the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix circuit.
Also, Wife Dottie drove one at a Pirelli event in Napa, California. This was where she got to meet Italian racing legend Luigi Villoresi.
The tale of the Arnolt-Bristol was recounted here at SimanaitisSays in “Wacky’s Neat Cars.” There’s also an R&T road test of one recounted in “A Stock Car, a Renamed German and a Favorite Bolide.”
The Arnolt-Bristol, by the way, came in four different configurations, three of them roadsters and a coupe. The Competition roadster was stripped down for serious course work; the Bolide, a slightly better equipped road racer; and the DeLuxe, with convertible top, side windows, bumpers, and glove box.
The Bentley 3/4 1/2 Litre Speed Model. C&SC has an advert for NDR Limited, Vintage Bentley Specialist, showing a particularly sweet 1924 Bentley Speed.
Photos of this classic come with a charming tale: “It is thanks to the enthusiasm, camaraderie, and encouragement of Bentley Drivers Club members that Bentleys such as this Speed Model survive. Purchased by an impecunious student 60 years ago, this Bentley was put back on the road with the help of vintage Bentley owners who donated their time. They must have done well because she’s still with us.”
Personal Notes. For many years, Bill Dobson was the talented artist doing side view drawings—little gems of automotive art—for R&T road tests.
Bill owned one of the 1920s Bentleys and gave me a drive of it. The car was right-hand-drive, of course, but with the gear change on the right as well (maybe remaining from the old days when such controls resided outside the bodywork). As I recall, it had the accelerator between the clutch and brake pedal (all the better, it was thought, for heel-and-toe double-clutched downshifts). I also remember its giant steering wheel and great view of the road ahead from a considerable height.
I’m always impressed by the fact that it’s the Bentley Drivers Club as opposed to the Rolls-Royce Owners Club.
2023 Alaska to Mexico Marathon. RTG, Rally the Globe Vintage and Classic Car Club, organizes these “raids” for pre-1977 cars, with separate classification for those built prior to 1946. Its C&SC advert describes two adventures: 2023 Alaska to Mexico, Fairbanks to Cabo San Lucas; and 2024 Road to Hanoi, touring mountains and coastlines of Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos.
Personal Notes. What with years of participation in the Arizona Copperstate 1000, I’m familiar with more modest examples of these old-car adventures. Also, I had the pleasure back in 2007 of co-driving a Toyota FCHV fuel-cell car for 2300 miles from Fairbanks to Vancouver, roughly a third of the Alaska-to-Mexico Marathon route.
Daughter Beth and the family have toured Vietnam a couple times now. They’re rather more adventurous than I am. We’ve all had good adventures, though. ds
© Dennis Simanaitis,SimanaitisSays.com, 2022