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Weekend at Beaulieu: 4 Sale – The Barn Finds

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“Barn Find” has become a real pain-in-the arse phrase. Stick it in eBay as a search term and you’ll be presented with a list of cars which have never been near a barn in their lives, nor been forgotten about for decades. Typically a Barn Find on eBay will involve a seventeen year old Nissan Micra being “found” in gran’s garage and then sold for whatever it’ll reach because she’s hung up her mink driving gloves for the last time.

Of course, there’s a big difference between eBay; purveyors of hopeless crocks to the poor and indiscriminating, and Bonhams, purveyors of… well, hopeless crocks to the Rich and optimistic. Bonhams, the renown auction house, took charge of sales of high class hulks which might just have genuinely have been found in somebody’s barn. But which will you choose?

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Weekend at Beaulieu: The Museum Pt3 – The Record Breakers

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Part of me absolutely hates museums. Line after line of immaculately presented mechanical corpses sit there, mute, waiting without hope of ever seeing action like they did in the days before they were embalmed and roped off with velvet.

You need to visit Goodwood, Duxford, or dozens of the other gatherings around the world to see vintage aircraft and race cars being given a proper work-out. At Goodwood this year, on the same day that a Mercedes W196 Racer was being thrapped up the hillclimb, a Hawker Hunter and English Electric Canberra were dancing an intricate, noisy routine in the skies above. Of course, there are certain awesome artefacts from time that can never be demonstrated in public, though, which is a shame. There is unlikely, for instance, to ever be a Saturn V rocket display.

Which brings me to where I’m stood right now. Inches from machines which have been the fastest wheel-driven vehicles of their time. Absolute power, silenced.

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Weekend at Beaulieu:- The Museum. Pt 2:- Bikes

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A visit to England’s National Motoring Museum is something that, until last weekend, I’m ashamed to say I’ve never got around to doing. So when I visited the annual International Autojumble hosted there, I made sure I devoted the entire weekend to taking the place in properly.

On Thursday you joined me for a whistle-stop photo-tour of some of the more comment-worthy cars to be found among this immense collection. Today we bring the wheel-count down a notch or two and explore some of Beaulieu’s beautiful bikes.

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Weekend at Beaulieu – 4 Sale: Matra-Simca Bagheera

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The massed ranks of visitors to the annual International Autojumble at Beaulieu Motor Museum includes folk from every possible different background, and this point is not lost on the exhibitors. Among the crowds there may well be somebody tentatively looking for their next project, so you’ll find motivated sellers of all kinds of decaying machinery vying to part the next willing optimist with their money.

The way I see it, the world is made up of two groups. Those who want to own a Matra Simca Bagheera, and those who already have one. Step this way if you’re a member of Group A.

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Weekend at Beaulieu:- The Museum. Part 1- Cars.

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I’ve just spent the past weekend in the company of a great many bearded men from all over Europe (and beyond) who had flocked to Southern England for a world-famous motoring event. It’s called the Beaulieu Autojumble, and you may have heard of it. It’s a mecca for those vintage car enthusiasts who have been searching in vain for Darracq doors or a Delahaye differential.

Let’s start by introducing the home of this annual pilgrimage; Great Britain’s foremost car museum. Welcome to Beaulieu.

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The Carchive:- The Alfa Romeo Arna

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It’s time once again to sift through motoring’s infinite muesli box in the hope of finding a juicy automotive raisin lurking at the bottom. Welcome to The Carchive.

What do we want from our Italian car? Well, a modicum of style, some driving pizazz, maybe a luxurious, hand stitched leather interior. How about from a Japanese car? Reliability, of course, and maybe some forward-thinking technology?

Well, let’s have a look at the Latin-Japanese Alfa Romeo Arna to see if they got the balance right.

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The Carchive:- The 1995 VW Corrado

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Welcome to this week’s second violent outburst from The Carchive, where we look at historic and often hysterical automotive literature and scrutinise it under the cold light of time.

You may have gotten wind of a VW coupé theme blowing in this week, and you’d be right. The Scirocco swept over us on Tuesday, and now it’s successor is about to kick up a storm. Batten down the hatches because I forecast the arrival of the Volkswagen Corrado.

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The Carchive:- The Mk2 Volkswagen Scirocco

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I’ve been away over the weekend, sitting in a field in intermittent sunshine along with several thousand other revellers. And halfway through De La Soul’s headline set on Saturday night, I suddenly realized I was suffering from automotive withdrawal syndrome. Literally as soon as I got home I booked myself into The Carchive to get my fix.

And here it is. Today we’re looking at VW’s 2nd generation Scirocco. Concerns about my not covering the Mk1 will hopefully soon blow over; finding that brochure in The Carchive should be a breeze.

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The Carchive: The DeTomaso / Qvale Mangusta

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Welcome to the second of this week’s visits to The Carchive, where we dissect and discuss whatever forgotten artefacts of motoring history happen to flutter past among the fallen leaves and discarded Subway wrappings.

We’re looking at the Post-Pantera era of DeTomaso’s existence, and started off by unearthing the ultra-low volume Guara of the mid-90’s. Today we’re going to look at the last vehicle to be developed under DeTomaso’s wings , and which recycles a name from the past. It’s the Mangusta.

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The Carchive: The DeTomaso Guara

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Back in the dim, distant days of July this year, Finnish HooniHero Antti Kautenen covered the DeTomaso Pantera in its original form. Since then I’ve been determined to continue the DeTomaso theme and finally, this week, it’s happening.

I just knew that what I was looking for lurked in The Carchive somewhere. So I contacted the Royal Navy and was granted the use of a three-man mini-submersible which I used to plumb the depths of the third and deepest of the Carchive Caves, now badly flooded. After a four day battle against poor visibility and unpredictable surface conditions, I returned to the surface with two brochures from the Late DeTomaso Era. The first one of which, for the Guara, is thoroughly disappointing. … Continue Reading

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