Thursday 30 August 2012


Here is a complete taster chapter, one of thirteen, each of which describes a hilarious episode in the life of Adam Slutsky a man who, with the benefit of hindsight, should never have become a classic and exotic car dealer …

1: The Fat in the Cat
(Taken from the ebook Nothing Runs! - Hilarious Misadventures in the Classic, Collectable & Exotic Car Biz - Veloce Publishing Ltd)

Bruce was a big guy — cement mixer big — with an immensity any champion Sumo wrestler would give his left natto to possess. Upon seeing him for the first time, I felt terrible that he’d driven over 400 miles to check out the Pantera I was selling. Had I known his gargantuan proportions when we spoke on the phone the day prior, I would have respectfully suggested he hold out for a larger vehicle, something along the lines of a Greyhound bus or a Sherman tank. Barring an act of God, there was no way in hell he could get inside my Pantera.
As it is, Panteras — Spanish for panther; hybrid European/American sports cars featuring gorgeous Italian bodies and powerful American V8 engines amidships — have small, cramped cockpits perfectly suited for anyone with a Napolean-like build, and not so perfect for those even a smidge larger. But this particular Pantera, a 1974 GTS model, had been heavily modified into a serious vintage racecar and the latticework of steel bars comprising the NASCAR-quality safety cage further reduced the interior’s wiggle room to non-existent. Now, a lean, lithe body was just one of the prerequisites for access. The other was a Master’s Degree in yoga. However, standing over the sleek fireball-red speed machine, fatty-boomba-latty didn’t seem to care.
“I’ve wanted a Pantera ever since I was a little kid,” Bruce explained. “And now I’ve got the money to buy one.”
“Have you ever driven one before?” I asked skeptically.
The big man shook his head. “Nope. But I’ve had others sports cars, so I’m sure I can handle it.”
“Such as?”
“I had a ’95 Camaro,” Bruce stated proudly. “Put close to a hundred thousand miles on it before I sold it.”
“Uh-uh. 3.4 liter V-6,” he admitted. “But it was a convertible.”
“No,” he said bashfully.
“What else?”
“I had a sweet BMW for a while.”
“M3?” I asked hopefully.
“Nope. 528i wagon. Needed something to haul the wife and kids around.”
What the fuck? If I didn’t know any better, I would have sworn one of my friends was trying to punk me. First, there was the man’s size to consider. Side of beef proportions — and that was before cooking. Next, he tells me the most powerful vehicles he’s owned and driven prior to considering the Pantera were a mid-90s Camaro — a 160 horsepower six-cylinder with an automatic tranny, no less — and a freakin’ BMW station-wagon that, even with its larger displacement and horsepower specs (still under 200), was just a glorified grocery-gettin’ mommy mobile. And now he was in the hunt for a De Tomaso Pantera, more specifically, my fully customized, race-prepped, fire-breathing, 700-plus horsepower, asphalt eating monster? I feared this would end Abe Vigoda ugly.
But damn if he didn’t appear serious. He even arrived in a Chevy Suburban with a car trailer attached, fully intending to take my brutal beast home. Still, genuinely concerned for his safety, not to mention my potential liability — people sue over everything these days; if a woman could win a million dollars from McDonald’s for spilling hot coffee on herself, imagine what I would be on the hook for when a driver I considered incompetent mangled himself in a car well beyond his performance threshold — I knew I needed to try and talk Bruce down.
“Look, I certainly don’t mean to be rude,” I began, traipsing on eggshells, “but you might want to reconsider.”
El Gigante folded his flabby arms across his quadruple-barrel chest and gave me the dirtiest of looks, as if I had snatched and ate the last chocolate chip cookie in the jar right before his eyes. “And why is that?”
“Well, this car is a really tight fit for me and I’m five-eight, a buck-seventy. You’re, uh …” I paused, trying to figure out how to say exactly what I wanted to say as delicately as possible. “Somewhat um … larger.”
The big man didn’t say a word, just looked at me, then at the car, then back at me. I continued my attempt to dissuade. “I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy a Pantera — just not this Pantera. I think you’d get a lot more pleasure out of a vehicle you can comfortably fit into. Find a nice road car. You’ll be much, much happier.”
Once again, his look seemed to indicate he thought my words were shit on a stick. He shook his head vehemently. “You don’t get it. I don’t just want to own a Pantera,” he whined. “I want to race a Pantera. That’s why I came here from El Paso in the first place.”
Jesus, this was getting better by the minute. I immediately tried to picture what the guy would look like wearing a helmet and a Nomex race suit. Visions of the Michelin Man, or one of those immense, colorful balloon characters from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade came to mind.
“Have you ever raced a car before?” I asked, already knowing the answer.
“No, but I’m going to race school to get my SCCA license next month.”
“Wouldn’t you rather wait and see if you even like it before plopping down a ton of money on a racecar?” Seemed like a logical question to pose.
Bruce just laughed. “Oh, I’m gonna love it. I’ve been dieting and working out for months in preparation.”
The heck with buying the Pantera, I wanted to say. You need to get your fat ass over to your gym or your trainer or your dietician and demand your money back! Whatever fitness program or dietary regimen they had placed him on clearly wasn’t doing a damn bit of good. But I had no reason to be rude to the disillusioned behemoth. Instead, I decided to spark up a discussion about the many problems, pitfalls and expenses associated with vintage racing, in general, and especially his decision to race a temperamental and occasionally problematic sports car like the De Tomaso Pantera. But Bruce cut me off before I got started. Overly candid about his recent financial success, he claimed he was committed to checking off every item on his ‘Bucket List’ within the next five years and racing cars, specifically those he had lusted after when he was a kid, was right up there with climbing Mount Everest and doing the horizontal mambo with Angelina Jolie. Considering he was in the vicinity of 400 pounds and not the handsomest chap in the yard I thought he should supplant that pair of impossible conquests and strive for something a bit more attainable, like winning the world-famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest at Nathan’s on Coney Island, or perhaps settle for boinking Roseanne Barr. But since I had no desire to be the crusher of dreams, I kept those thoughts to myself.
When Bruce was done explaining his reasons for purchasing the Pantera, he ceased talking and began trying to squeeze himself between the car’s spaghetti tube-sized side impact bars. Adding insult to injury was the fact that he was wearing movement-restricting denim blue jeans instead of a far-more-maneuverable race suit. It took all my resolve to keep from laughing at the spectacle. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “A monkey fucking a football.” Well, Bruce’s attempt to get in that car was like a primate orgy in a sporting goods store. If only I had a hidden video camera, I’d have won the grand prize on America’s Funniest Home Videos for sure. Five minutes later Bruce was covered in a lather of sweat and all he had to show for his efforts was a brick chimney-sized leg in the car’s interior.
“It’s a little tougher than I thought,” he blurted, almost completely out of breath. “Then again, anything worth doing ain’t easy.”
While I certainly agreed with the gist of Bruce’s statement, that logic shouldn’t apply to the simple act of getting into an automobile, racecar or otherwise. If someone were to bet me right then and there that he’d find a way inside I’d have bet all the tea in China against it.
To my astonishment, after another 10 minutes of hardcore effort Bruce had actually made considerable progress. Half of his body was now wedged between the bars and his legs were in the right general area, on the floor in front of the driver’s seat. Of course, he still had to maneuver his prodigious stomach through the narrow opening and damn if I wasn’t curious how that was going to happen without a Jaws of Life, but there was certainly no quit in him.
By now, the rear of Bruce’s jeans bore a dark sweat stain, a planetary circle that resembled the spot on Jupiter — with his enormous rear end being the remainder of the planet — and his face looked like he had been sitting in a steam room. For a week! Still, Bruce managed a joyful smile. “Almost there,” he declared.
Impressed with his determination, I honestly wanted to help him. But the idea of pushing against his thick back and chunky buttocks in the hopes of cramming him into the cockpit of a car I genuinely loved — even though I was trying to sell it — was about as alien a concept as I could fathom. As it was, I could hear the car’s custom suspension protesting the man’s largess, squeaking and groaning as he struggled to get behind the wheel. I felt complicit in a dirty act, as if I were the proud owner of a prize-winning Chihuahua, looking on while some stranger tried to forcibly mate it with an ugly pot-bellied pig.
Suddenly, there was an audible POP! and Bruce was through the bars and fully ensconced in the Pantera’s interior, bent over at an odd angle that I didn’t think human beings — or any upright-walking life form, for that matter — could achieve.
After another moment of anguished wriggling (images of a fat turtle stuck on its back came to mind) during which time his face became so red you’d swear he was trying to pass an avocado pit — or maybe the entire avocado — he finally managed to force his elephantine backside down into the narrow, carbon fiber Recaro race seat.
“I did it!” he exclaimed triumphantly. “I did it!”
I walked over beside the car, fully expecting to see the look of a kid in a candy store. Instead, I saw genuine distress. Actually more like abject horror. Bruce’s once crimson visage had morphed into a sickly greenish pallor — a hue I’d only seen twice before; a bowl of pea soup at Denny’s and month-old guacamole in a frat house refrigerator. Sweat was now cascading down Bruce’s forehead in such a torrent that it appeared as if he were standing beneath a waterfall.
Gripping the steering wheel so tightly his knuckles had turned white, Bruce started to whimper, a diminutive sobbing that soon became a huffing noise, rapidly building in both volume and intensity. Then, the hyperventilating began, the rise and fall of his chest mimicking an oversized bellows in the hands of a meth addict.
“Are you okay?” I asked, genuinely concerned, fearing he was about to have a heart attack. And while I would never shy away from being the Good Samaritan, performing CPR under those conditions would have been nigh impossible.
Jesus, what if the guy codes out in my car? I thought. It would take a goddamn hacksaw to get him out — and for the record, I’m talking about a hacksaw on him, not my Pantera. Respect for the dead aside, after all the time and money I’d invested in that car, no friggin’ way was I going to allow it to be cracked open like a can of Starkist.
“Talk to me,” I implored. “What’s wrong?”
“I have claustrophobia,” Bruce said, voice quivering.
“Just relax. Everything’s gonna be alright.”
“That’s easy for you to say,” he fired back, his voice a caustic mixture of anger and terror. “You’re out there and I’m stuck in here.”
A wave of panic overtook him and he began clawing at the bars, desperately trying to extricate himself from the automotive solitary confinement cell. But not only wasn’t he making one centimeter of progress getting clear of the cockpit, he wasn’t even getting his obese rump out of the seat.
That’s when an idea came to me, a bizarre proposition to be sure but one that had merit. I walked over to one of my warehouse’s shelving units, returned with a can of silicone spray.
“Take off your shirt,” I said.
Bruce immediately stopped fighting with the safety cage and looked at me as if I had a penis growing out of my forehead. I’d like to think it was the even-keeled tone of my voice that snapped him from the frantic tizzy but I’m reasonably certain it was the strangeness of my statement that did it.
“Your shirt. Take it off. I’ve got an idea.”
“WHAT THE FUCK are you talking about?”
I showed him the can of lube. “We’re gonna grease you up and slide you out.”
“You’re crazy.”
“And you’re stuck,” I replied. “Of course, you’re gonna have to take off your pants, too, and considering I don’t think you can do it the normal way …” I took out my Emerson CQC6 tactical pocketknife and flicked open the blade. “Your call.”
Standing there with a can of spray lube in one hand and a wicked knife in the other, it suddenly occurred to me that, even with his claustrophobia, being stuck inside the Pantera might not have looked like such a bad place to be. Granted, he was clearly still terrified, seemingly on the verge of a mental meltdown, but his expression was somehow different now — nearly that same look that Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames’ character in Pulp Fiction) exhibited when he was imprisoned by rapist rednecks in the basement of their pawnshop.
A minute went by with no response. My initial feelings of sympathy had now completely eroded away, replaced by a growing impatience. I tapped the face of my watch and breathed an exasperated sigh, letting Bruce know time was of the essence.
“What’s it gonna be?” I asked, shark attack serious.

* * * * *

A short while later, a very fat man wearing nothing but sneakers and ripped, sweat- and silicone-stained BVDs was standing before me, bitching ignominiously about the large patches of hair that had been friction-burned off his arms, legs, stomach and back. After allowing him to rant for 30 seconds or so, I had had enough.
“Tell me, what was the alternative?”
When he didn’t answer immediately, I strongly suggested he stop complaining and let it go. To my amazement, he did.
Without any clothes to lend him for his return trip to El Paso — unless he’d consider wearing one of my car covers; I would have happily sold him one at cost as a courtesy — I used duct tape to secure his jeans back into place. Sure, he looked like an absolute fashion reject, but the impromptu fix was more than adequate to allow him some measure of respectability should he need to get out of his car to refuel or use the service station’s rest room.
It goes without saying that Bruce elected not to purchase the Pantera and, if his near ceaseless cursing of racecars and roll cages was any indication, I’m willing to bet he cancelled his forthcoming racing school. Something tells me his ‘Bucket List’ also got one achievement shorter.
Two months after the Pantera incident, Bruce called to inquire about another vehicle I was selling — a 1964 289 FIA Cobra, a continuation car signed by Carroll Shelby with a legitimate CSX # and a well-documented vintage racing history. Unable to control myself, I started laughing; a simple chuckle at first, soon transforming into an unbridled cackle. When I finally got my giddiness under constraints, Bruce was no longer on the line.
Go figure.
I never heard from him again.
However, a few months later, two news stories got my attention.
The first was about a celebrity stalker in Tinseltown, a person whom the tabloids described as “a very obese, very unattractive man absolutely obsessed with Angelina Jolie.” Yet despite the man’s largess, he proved to be fleet of foot and eluded authorities, so no arrest was made.
The second was a sketchy report from a Sherpa in a Mount Everest base camp, who described seeing “the fattest yeti imaginable.” But because the Sherpa had just descended from the mountain’s summit and was suffering from hypoxia, no one took his bizarre cryptozoological sighting seriously. Interestingly enough, that same week, an acclaimed Himalayan guide service reported having to deny a summit attempt for one of its hopeful climbers due to safety concerns, something about the immense size of the climber and the strength of the ladders bridging the crevasses in the Khumbu icefall. The news story also carried a photo of a massively rotund climber wearing a polar white Bogner expedition snowsuit. Small, grainy and black & white, the photo made the huge person look like a weather balloon. And even though the individual’s face was concealed behind a sub-zero face shield and tinted ski goggles, it left me wondering … Bruce?

"Nothing Runs!" Is published September 1st as a great value ebook available from amazon kindle, iBookstore, Waterstones, kobo and nook. Please feel free to pass this chapter to friends and colleagues, or to publish it in your blog, newsletter, magazine, ezine, newspaper or on your website.


Chris Evans is joined by F1 star Mark Webber, Laverstoke founder Jody Scheckter and rock legend Nick Mason aboard Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at CarFest South. Photo credit: Glynn Williams MBE.

CarFest South 2012

Chris Evans

After all the expectation, planning and feverish preparations, Chris Evans’ eagerly anticipated CarFest South was universally hailed as a massive success.

Held over the August Bank Holiday weekend in the grounds of Laverstoke Park Farm, Overton, Hampshire – the organic/biodynamic farm founded by 1979 F1 Formula One World Champion Jody Scheckter – the inaugural CarFest lived up to all the hype, wowing a sell-out crowd of 20,000 festival-goers with two-days of fun-filled entertainment.

As Evans desired when first dreaming up his CarFest concept, the spectacular festival featured high-octane action from the amazing array of racing, classic and supercars, fabulous food plus live music from top bands all raising much-needed funds for BBC Children in Need appeal.

Incredibly Evans only dreamt up CarFest in March as his own personal interpretation of the perfect festival weekend. Now, in the space of just five months, the DJ’s fantasy has been turned into sparkling reality first with CarFest South and soon with CarFest North, a second festival featuring an almost identical line-up of dazzling entertainment to be held at Cholmondeley Castle, Cheshire on the weekend of 8-9 September.

“CarFest South done and dusted. And absolutely brilliant,” enthused a delighted Evans. “Does the organic grass of Laverstoke Park cope with torrential rain better than standard festival grass? It seems it might. After three brief but brutal weather fronts paid us a visit on Saturday, the grass soaked up any troublesome mud and the party continued. Historic fly-pasts overhead, aerobatic displays from The RN and The Blades and The RAF Red Arrows, more fab live music than might be good for one person and the thousands of kids present self-policing the event. It was awesome. Thank you to the local council, the local constabulary and all those wonderful Overtonians who came along and joined in the fun. And fun that thus far has raised at least £750k for BBC Children In Need. I say! We'll done everyone – now bring on CarFest North on the 8th and 9th of September.”

Scheckter was equally thrilled to see Laverstoke stage the very first of Evans’ special CarFests. He said: "We were delighted to host this very special event to raise funds for Children in Need. We have had overwhelming positive feedback from everyone who attended, the event was a huge success and it was a pleasure to host CarFest at Laverstoke Park Farm.”

With the dust barely settled in Hampshire, the great CarFest extravaganza now moves to Cholmondeley Castle, Cheshire for CarFest North on 8-9 September. Despite selling out within hours of tickets going on-sale, an extended licence has enabled organisers to offer some additional day, weekend and VIP tickets. To buy tickets go to

Wednesday 29 August 2012


The original Mini has been voted the greatest British car ever made in a poll by Autocar and readers.

The Mini beat off opposition from the original Range Rover, which was launched in 1970, inventing a new category of car and that still thrives today, and the Jaguar E-Type, which was launched in 1961 and drew votes on the grounds of beauty, function and value.

Top 10 greatest British made cars

Range Rover
Jaguar E-Type
Land Rover
McLaren F1
Range Rover Evoque
Caterham 7
Morris Minor
McLaren MPF-12C
London Taxi

The Austin Mini was launched in 1959 and notched up 5.4 million sales during its 41-year lifetime.

Autocar’s editor-in-chief Steve Cropley said: “The Mini had many faults and was never profitable, but it rewrote the rules and had the biggest impact on Britain’s car industry that any car has had.

“It was one of the most remarkable cars ever built, what with its seating for four plus a decent boot in its mere 10-foot length, revolutionary drive-train and gearbox and its ultra-compact suspension.

“Then there was the whole Mini Cooper thing, and the enormous driving pleasure. The Mini’s influence is highly visible in every VW Golf or Ford Focus today, and the legend will live forever.”

The poll was conducted to coincide with the announcement that Britain’s car manufacturing output is set to eclipse its highest ever levels by 2015, thanks to massive investment from car makers in the country.

In total, more than two million cars are expected to be build in Britain in 2015, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) – more than the 1.92 million made in Britain’s car making heyday in 1970.

Britain’s revival as a car manufacturing force has been fuelled by the success of foreign car makers investing in manufacturing in the country and thriving homegrown manufacturers of more niche vehicles. More than 80% of the 1.34 million cars built in the UK in 2011 were exported.

Jaguar, Land Rover, Honda, Mini, Nissan and Vauxhall have all announced significant investment in expanding their production facilities in the UK during the course of 2012.

The full story of Britain’s greatest car makers and thriving car industry is in this week’s Autocar magazine.

Thursday 23 August 2012


The International MG Show and Spares Day is launching a second event for fans of the British sports car manufacturer. The autumn event will take place on Sunday 7th October at Sandown Park Racecourse, Surrey. Whether you’re the driver of an early two-seater model or a fan or the later sporting saloon, everyone is welcome so come along and enjoy a fantastic day out.

The International Autumn MG Show and Spares Day features displays from many of the UK’s most dedicated motoring clubs showcasing many rare and stunning examples of MG models through the ages from the Midlands-based manufacture.

MG related clubs are being offered free space to showcase the best and most unusual vehicles from their club, whether they are in pristine condition or restoration projects that are underway. Each vehicle owner putting their car on display will get two passes into the event. This not only brings stunning vehicles into the event but also gives the club the chance to attract new members.

If your pride and joy isn’t quite up to show condition and you’re project is in the restoration stage then why not pay a visit to the ever-popular autojumble. Whether your looking for a replacement body shell, interior components or mechanical widgets the autojumble covers a broad range parts and accessories to complete your project.

If you’ve always wanted an MG but not found ‘the one’ then take a look at the area dedicated to cars for sale. See the car in the flesh with owners available to ask those intimate questions.

The International Autumn MG Show and Spares Day is open from 10am until 5pm. Tickets are available to purchase in advance at £8* (*£1 transaction fee) and £12 on the gate. Under 16’s free when accompanied by an adult. Advance ticket holders will also benefit from ‘Early Bird Access’ from 9.00am, allowing you to beat the queues and bag an early bargain!


Monday 20 August 2012


In just one month’s time the 2012 Goodwood Revival (14-16 September) will burst into life with an impressive line-up of over 75 star drivers and riders in action at the legendary West Sussex motor circuit.

A host of familiar names and faces from a wide variety of motor sport disciplines are due to be in action at Goodwood, including Formula One stars, rally winners, endurance racing champions, tin top tearaways and top bikers; often competing in the most unlikely of machines.

Touring Car talent will be campaigning 1950s saloon cars hard in the St Mary’s Trophy race, including current Honda BTCC drivers Matt Neal and Gordon Sheddon, along with other BTCC and WTCC legends Rob Huff, John Cleland, Anthony Reid, Stephen Jellay, Alec Poole and Patrick Watts.

These tin top racers will be joined by Scandinavian rallying greats Rauno Aaltonen and John Haugland, plus ex-Grand Prix stars Martin Brundle, Jochen Mass, Derek Bell, Rupert Keegan, Richard Attwood, Tiff Needell, Martin Donnelly, Desiré Wilson, Brian Redman, Jackie Oliver, Vern Schuppan and Arturo Merzario, who are all sure to entertain the Revival spectators.

Many of these famous faces will also be racing wheel-to-wheel in more powerful machinery at the Revival, including the Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy Celebration race, and the Shelby Cup, which is being held exclusively for competition AC Cobras this year as this brutish Anglo-American sportscar celebrates its half-century.

Expect to also see Red Bull F1 team principal Christian Horner and the team’s Chief Technical Director Adrian Newey in action, along with drivers as diverse as Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack, ASCAR Champion Nicolas Minassian and comedian Rowan Atkinson. Goodwood stalwarts Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart, John Surtees and Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams will also be in attendance.

Motorcycling heroes will include Isle of Man TT stars Mick Grant, Charlie Williams, Keith Amor, Cameron Donald, Stuart Graham, Rex Butcher, Stan Woods and Cameron Donald, plus Moto GP rider Jeremy McWilliams, British Superbike ace Michael Rutter and Goodwood favourite Wayne Gardner.

Source: Goodwood

Friday 17 August 2012


Don Hayter, Chief Engineer MG Abingdon tells us about his new book ...

Coming soon! Don Hayter’s MGB Story - The birth of the MGB in MG’s Abingdon Design & Development Office
The story of MG Design & Development department, by MG’s Chief Engineer, Don Hayter, this book covers models and prototypes from 1956 to the close of the factory in 1980. Featuring behind the scenes anecdotes and personal accounts MG in its heyday. More info.

Tuesday 14 August 2012


Nigel Knight, author of Selling your car – How to make your look great and sell it faster, will be doing two book signings during the coming month.

Saturday 18th August at Waterstones, Basingstoke.

Saturday 1st September at Waterstones, The Oracle, Reading.

If you are in the area be sure to get yourself along and have your book signed by the author.

Thursday 2 August 2012


Nicky West and Rob Stacey talking about their amazing journey to Egypt in a 50-year-old Mini. The 10 minute video also features celebrity chef Jean Christophe Novelli, who waved the pair off from Hatfield House and provided the foreword for the book.

Forthcoming! Mini Minor to Asia Minor - There & Back
By Nicky West. Foreword by Jean Christophe Novelli.
This is the story of an independent trek in a 50-year-old Mini – all the way to the Great Pyramid and back – with no assistance or support crew, to provide much needed funds and publicity for the Willow Foundation. Inspirational to others, the book includes practical advice on the car preparation and documentation required for such marathon drives, along with photographs of the Mini’s preparation and the amazing journey itself. More info.


Carroll Shelby Tribute at 2012 Intermountain Concours d'Elegance

Images: Miller Motorsports Park/Jeremy Henrie

Eight historically significant cars from the Larry H. Miller Total Performance Museum at Miller Motorsports Park will be on display at the 2012 Intermountain Concours d’Elegance September 22, 2012. These special cars comprise the centerpiece for a display honoring legendary automotive designer and racecar driver Carroll Shelby. “We’re overwhelmed by the incredible cars being brought to our event by the Miller family, and see this as an outstanding way to not only pay tribute to Carroll Shelby, but to also carry forward Larry Miller’s passion for the cars Shelby built, raced and influenced,” said Chris Purdhum, Concours Chairman.

Carroll Shelby created the iconic Shelby Cobra sports car, and he developed the Shelby Mustang and the Ford GT40. He managed racing teams for Ford Motor Company that won championships on both sides of the Atlantic. He inspired thousands of people through his long career, and one of those people was the late Larry H. Miller.

Reflecting on the loss of his friend, Shelby said in a 2011 interview, “It was a sad day when we lost Larry, especially the way we had to lose him. He was my friend for many years. He was one of the first early collectors of my Cobras. He recognized before anybody that they were going to be worth something someday. You can’t say enough superlatives about Larry. He was a very giving man, and he was an absolute workaholic: he’s the only guy I ever knew besides Roger Penske who worked 36 hours a day. I loved Larry.”

“This display will not only be incredible to witness up close and personal, it will serve to educate event visitors about the magnificent vision and creative genius of Carroll Shelby. From the first Cobra that raced, to the Cobra one can spot in the movie “Viva Las Vegas”, this is something everyone needs to experience,” said Purdum. Early Concours entries value well over $15,000,000 and the event is attracting collectors from as far away as Florida. More info.

Source: CAR PR USA


The final part of Splonk's journey to Egypt!

Splonk is the mascot that joined Nicky West & Rob Stacey in their adventure to Asia in a 50-year-old 850cc Mini Minor, the subject of Mini Minor to Asia Minor - There & Back due out this month!

1. Is it just me or has the prop stopped ...?

I bought this old lamp today ... need to make a wish if were going to get there.

At the Egyptian museum, I sphynx.

... Almost there

Whoa ... that's BIG!

The donkey has landed! SPLONK at Giza plateau.

Pictures & captions kindly supplied by Nicky West.

Forthcoming! Mini Minor to Asia Minor - There & Back
By Nicky West. Foreword by Jean Christophe Novelli

The story of an independent trek in a restored 50-year-old Mini – all the way to the Great Pyramid and back. Inspirational to others, the book includes practical advice on the preparation required for such marathon drives, along with photos of car prep and the run itself.

More info.


This month's winner of the Essential Buyer's Guide of her choice is Fiona Easterby from Southampton, UK. Fiona won a copy of VW Bus - The Essential Buyer's Guide for sending us these pictures of 'Pedro' the 1969 Baja Beetle. Please keep your entries coming in to, and you never know, it could be YOU in this space next month!

Pedro is a 1969 Baja Beetle. I bought him in San Francisco at the beginning of 2009, shipped him home to the UK and, after months of preparation, and modifications, set out to drive overland to Australia.

My journey took me across Europe to an explosive minefield visit in Kosovo. Into Turkey where the biggest hazzard was avoiding amorous men, through Iran during the volitile period following the disputed elections. I wound up in hospital in Quetta, Pakistan – a stone's throw from the Afghan border and infamous Helmand province. We outwitted corrupt police in India, struggled over the Himalayas to Everest base camp in Tibet, suffered altitude sickness, happened upon a brothel in Lhasa, and wound up drinking beer with the prostitutes, helped amputees in Laos, visited floating markets in Thailand, drove through a major earthquake in Malayasia, and limped into Singapore, topping up the oil every 20 minutes.

I kept a diary of my travels and am currently writing a book of my journey. Next year I plan to drive the same car from Alaska to Argentina on the Pan-American highway. In the meantime Pedro continues as my daily driver ferrying me to work and shopping, as well as regularly being invited to supercar events and shows where he is a common sight amongst the Ferraris and Lamborghinis.

Fiona Easterby

Fiona selected VW Bus – The Essential Buyer’s Guide by Ken Cservenka & Richard Copping as her prize!

A unique volume dedicated to three generations of VW’s legendary Transporter. Meticulously researched with many model specific photographs reproduced to illustrate a genuinely informative text.

More info.

Do you have an unusual car/motorcycle with a story to tell?
We want to see it! Send photos & description to
We will pick one a month, and any we feature will win an Essential Buyer's Guide (worth £9.99 / $19.95) of your choice.
Click below to browse the whole series.


Wednesday 1 August 2012


With Silver Ghost’s rarely offered at public auction, Historics’ matching numbers car is entirely correct, and as the epitome of elegance, is anticipated to command offers in the region of £450,000 to £550,000 at auction on September 1st.

Arguably the most famous luxury car in history, and still the most desirable pre-war veteran amongst collectors, the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost was designed to showcase the highest level of engineering skill alongside an unrivalled passion for quality, and became known as the ‘Best car in the world’.

Awarded the title by Autocar magazine in 1907 - following its launch to great acclaim at Olympia in 1906 - the 40/50hp gained the ‘Silver Ghost’ moniker from members of the press in recognition of its serene presence, with auctioneer Historics at Brooklands bringing an example with such spirit to its autumn sale.

Chassis 1557 was built in 1911, the same year a Silver Ghost completed an entire run from London to Edinburgh and back in top gear, and with a fuel consumption of 24 mpg, highlighting Rolls-Royce’ renowned marriage of power and legendary reliability.

The car was delivered on 1st April 1911 to Sir Adolph Tuck of London, whose father founded the company Raphael Tuck & Sons, selling prints and postcards during the ‘postcard boom’ of the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Originally fitted with a Landaulette body in order to be chauffeur driven, the motor car was latterly re-bodied as a period two-seat tourer by Rippon Brothers Ltd., who are widely considered the oldest coach building company in the world, having built a coach for the Earl of Rutland in 1555, and a ‘chariot throne’ for Queen Elizabeth I in 1584.

Producing bespoke bodies for numerous Rolls-Royce models right up until 1959, Rippon Brothers Ltd. won the coveted ‘Coachmakers Cup’ at the London Motor Show on a number of occasions, including eight successive titles in the 1930s, demonstrating their shared belief of the Rolls-Royce ideals.

Chassis 1557 boasts an equally impressive award winning history, and in 1977 attended the Queen’s Jubilee parade through Windsor Castle to the Silver Ring at Ascot Race Course.

More recently a complete nut and bolt restoration was commissioned in 2001, with the painstaking 12-month process resulting in a finish of the highest possible standard. Subsequent Concours prizes at annual Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts Club rallies attest to its quality.

Complete with Acetylene head and side lamps, Boa Constrictor horn and a complete original tool kit under the passenger side running board, #1557 is coach-painted in dark blue, with red coachlines matching that of the opulent red leather interior.

Viewing at Brooklands will be on Friday 31st August from 10am – 8pm, with offers welcomed on the day in person, via commission or telephone bids, or indeed online via