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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 – 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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Summer Holiday Souvenirs – 1977 Zastava 101 on the Nürburgring

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Let’s say you go for a vacation on an island in the Adriatic sea. What would you bring back home from there? A suntan? Some handicraft? Two of my friends went for something with a local flavour, and went halves on a 1977 Zastava 101. You could do worse.

Beni, the guy who drove to my town a couple years ago with a blue Miata via Norway, is no stranger to wrenching on older, quirky cars, as he also owns an X1/9. This pretty much means he wasn’t afraid to set off to Germany, crossing the Alps, in the pea soup green 1100cc Fiat derivative. The thing even managed a comfortable cruise on the revered Autobahn. Joe Isuzu was nowhere in sight, though.

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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

Modern Art Monday – The Porsche 918 Spyder

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I was fortunate enough to make it out to my first Monterey Car Week last week… well sort of. I was only there one day. In my short time there, I still saw my fair share of some truly wonderful cars, both in the hilariously expensive traffic jams and parked on some fancy golf course. The one event I had time for was Porsche Club of America’s Werks Reunion, a gathering of all things Porsche at the beautiful Rancho Cañada Golf Club in Carmel, CA. Roughly 500 privately owned Porsches were in attendance and greatly represented the brand’s most iconic cars (more on those later in the week, I hope).

If there’s one car that stood out to me that day, it would have to be this one: the Porsche 918 Spyder. Porsche’s newest and most revolutionary super car, the 918 Spyder is brutally fast yet impressively efficient, track-focused yet civilized, and above all, breathtaking to look at. Click past the jump and I’ll tell you all about it, once I clean the drool off of my camera.

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