Festival fun – a quick look round the 2017 FoS…

Due to a previous commitments (well OK a party in Devon) we could only make one day of this years Goodwood Festival of Speed. To be fair we weren’t that concerned as these days FoS has become rather modern and Drift cars, Monster trucks and the like don’t interest us. However I wouldn’t want to miss it completely as there are always a few gems hidden away.

The Cartier Style et Luxe is always our favourite and first point of call and although not a classic year there was a class ‘Cheeky Cinquecento’ celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Fiat 500 with some unusual versions.

First up this early first series 479cc Nuova 500, one of the first 15 built it is believed to be the oldest-surviving Nuova 500 in the world! I didn’t realise that the 500 is the only car given exemption from Rome’s ban on older high-emission vehicles entering the city.

My favourite and the car I would most like to take home was this wonderful 1964 Neckar Weinsberg Coupe. One of many 500 derivatives made under license around the world. Made in Germany by NSU, they were made from partly assembled 500 bodies with different panels and rear lights from the Fiat 1100. The rather strange but quirky 1967 Ferves Ranger. Built by Ferrari Veicoli Speciali (FERVES), it was unveiled at the 1966 Turin Motor Show. The compact off-roader was designed to be used in vineyards and olive groves. Less then 50 have survived. A one-off fun car the 1969 Zanzara Zagarto (Mosquito) was designed by Ercole Spada who also designed the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato! The planned limited production series never happened. The logo is fun. You couldn’t have a display of 500’s without the iconic beach car – this 1960 Ghia Fiat 500 Jolly was known as La Spiaggina in Italy. It cost almost twice as much as a standard 500 but was mainly purchased by the rich and famous to use as golf carts and yacht tenders.
A 1968 Fiat Gamine Vignale, the open top roadster often known as a ‘Noddy’ car. 1957 Steyr-Puch 500, made by Austrian company and adapted to suit local demands. A 16bhp flat-twin engine was more suited to the mountainous Austrian roads. This car is chassis number 3, a pre-production prototype. A later developed model the 650TR won the 1966 European Rally Championship. Another car in the Cartier which I rather liked was this impressive Aston Martin DB5 Shooting Brake. Originally designed for David Brown who wanted more room for his polo equipment for his personal use, customers soon wanted one too., Coachbuilders Radford were commissioned to supply the demand as the factory was too busy. Only 12 were built.On the BMW display was this fantastic 507, built from 1956-59 it was originally a model destined for the USA, it was too expensive and only 252 were made. Owned by celebrities including Elvis and Bernie Ecclestone. I would quite like one but it’s rather out of my price range, well into 6 figures! Each years Festival is defined by the Central Feature. Once again designed by Gerry Judah this years was rather unique as it honoured an individual rather than a brand – Bernie Eccelstone. Celebrating the life and career of Bernie the display represented the different eras of his life as a Driver (Connaught), Manager (Jochen Rindt’s Lotus 72), Team Owner (Brabham BT49), Impresario (Ferrari F2001) and Legend (Mercedes W07 2016).

Unfortunately it was rather overcast on Thursday so it didn’t show the sculpture off to its best but it was still pretty impressive and had some great angles – just would have been nicer with blue sky behind it.

We noticed this rather lovely van in the paddock – A Renault Saviem SG2. Produced from 1965-1982 it was beautifully restored.Finally the new Alpine A110 a lightweight turbocharged sportscar from the legendary French marque. I don’t like new/supercars much but we saw the prototype of this at last years festival and thought it was lovely and had still managed to retain the look of the original Alpine. This model is pretty close to the full production model which will be available in 2018 and was making its world debut although I believe it will cost over £50k so it won’t be joining the family! There wasn’t much action on the track on Thursday as it is the Moving Motorshow day but we had a look round the Paddocks with the normal display of current F1, a special class to celebrate Tom Kristensen’s career and some pre-war vehicles which were interesting. We didn’t have time to get to the rally stage which is normally worth a look. There were lots of supercars and newly launched production models which didn’t interest us but made a lot of 6 year old boys very happy!

So all in all we had a pretty good day, no problems with traffic, just a couple of very light showers and it was pleasantly warm and we met up with several friends. But one or maybe two days is enough these days, it’s all a bit new and corporate for our liking – bring on the Revival and then Mario gets to play.

Advertisements

The Renault Fiftie…

In a previous post we reported on taking Regie the Renault in 1996 to the 50th anniversary celebrations for the Renault 4cv. Well Renault also choose to celebrate this significant date in their history in another way, by producing a ‘modern’ version of the 4cv – The Renault Fiftie which was ‘launched’ at the 1996 Geneva Motorshow.Renault-Fiftie-posterRenault-Fiftie-4cvRenault-Fiftie-drawingRenault-Fiftie-interior-drawingDSCN4201DSC02714

We were very excited about this and had hoped to see it at the anniversary celebrations but unfortunately it was on display elsewhere. We did manage to get a look at it, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed the following year and thought it looked even better in the ‘flesh’. We have seen it again since at Retromobile. This was the first of the ‘rebirth classics’ – a new car designed based on a loved classic, it was followed by designs for the new VW Beetle, BMW Mini and of course the Fiat 500. Unfortunately unlike the rest, the Fiftie was never put into manufacture, although the prototype was a fully functioning car. The all new mid-mounted 1.2l engine survived and made it into production in the Twingo and Cleo.Renault-Fiftie-beachCOX19969030406COX19969030702

Designed by Benoit Jacob under the direction of Patrick le Quement, Renault’s vice president of corporate design, the Fiftie was built on a cutting edge carbon fibre and aluminium platform lifted from the Renault Spider. The body work drew heavily on it’s predecessor with a three slat ‘Moustache’ front grill, a pointed front end, curves, rear louvers with the overall shape also bearing a passing resemblance to the 4cv. The prototype was even in yellow in honour of the original little ‘butter pat’ as the early yellow 4cv’s were known. The wheels were inspired by the ‘star’ wheels of the early 4cv complete with the air vents in the rear wheel arch and added to the period look.Renault-Fiftie-retro4Renault-Fiftie-retro Renault-Fiftie-retro2 Renault-Fiftie-retro3Renault-Fiftie-wheel

Inside the design was utilitarian in the spirit of its ancestor with linoleum on the floor and linen and wickerwork upholstery but the dashboard was something much more futuristic with a large screen mounted in the middle of the dashboard that grouped the car’s entertainment, climate control, driver assistance and telephone functions into a single unit. The seats were fixed with the steering wheel and pedals being adjustable. The roof was in four removable panels that could be stored under the rear window so the Fiftie was a decoverable – just like Regie! The design included a wicker picnic basket hidden in the boot.COX19969030810 Renault-Fiftie-interior Renault-Fiftie-interior2 COX19969030814

The contemporary, fun, Fiftie received very good reviews at the time  with people loving the mix of past and future, it’s happy go lucky attitude and cute but dynamic styling but the carbon-fibre body was expensive – the one off was reputed to have cost £3 million and was too costly to put into production and so the Fiftie remains just another one of Renault’s wonderful concept cars. Looking today of the huge success of the ‘retro’ remakes of the Beetle, Fiat 500 and Mini one can’t but help wonder if this was a costly mistake by Renault, especially as nearly 20 years on it still looks up to date. We for one would have loved one! Fiat500-1 mini-2 vw-2

A two wheeled friend…

After all the fun of the Tweed Run we quite fancied the idea of doing more period cycling so it was very exciting when James bought me (and Mario) a present of an ‘old style’ bicycle.

m06WRZf7VHLetGoST2WTc5glogoFound on ebay it’s Italian made by Cicli Cinzia, a company formed and still, near Bologna in 1967, by Giuseppe  Bombi  and  Severino Maccaferri who made their name initially with a folding bike which was popular across the world.

We don’t know how old it is but it has all the period features of a drop bar and holes in the mudguards for a skirt guard, white walled tyres, luggage rack and most importantly a basket! The idea is to restore it to match Mario but we haven’t decided which way round we should paint it. We’ve already found a black and white checkered bell and hopefully will be able to find/make a checkered seat cover and grips to mimic Mario’s Italian ‘bling’ trim.

Here’s an ‘artist’ impression of what it might look like…

Bicycle Bicycle2

A bit of research has revealed a whole array of designer bicycles out there but don’t think James will appreciate replicating the paint jobs!

195411_1346059589DolceGabbana-animalier-bicycle-Ummmm now there’s a thought… Mario coloured leopard print!blue-green bikeMissoni-bikes-468x318 Chanel-bike1-468x340 Love the ‘luggage’ on this one!Fendi-bike Gucci-8-8-2008-bike-468x300

We went for our first ride on Sunday, taking the bikes to Southsea, parking at the far end near the Hayling Ferry and then cycling along the seafront and through old Portsmouth to Gunwharf Quays for a recuperative ice cream and a bit of retail therapy, although one needs to remember it’s not so easy to get two new pairs of shoes on the back of a bike! Seeing how I haven’t cycled for thirty five years it all came back quite quickly but I am suffering for it today!photo 1DSC02665photo 3

We haven’t tried to get the bike in the back of Mario yet but this of course leads on to the possibility of making a stylish roof rack for him which would also allow us to display vintage luggage on the roof at events. These Louis Vuitton cases sold at Bonhams at Goodwood Festival  of Speed would look fab, but a bit pricey at £1-£2,000 each!DSC02998screenshot002 i234112 DSCN1466 DSCN1415 800600001roofrack images 1c94414a959f16310ae473f7e5b8cd3a James is looking into the possibility of fabricating one, initial research found these rather stylish curved ones designed for Beetles which look much less boxy and not as clumsy, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

155-391-01988-4 155-391-01988-2

That leaves just one problem… what to call Mario’s new friend? It should obviously be Italian and although it is a ladies bike I still veer towards a male name. Maybe Giuseppe or even Bombi after the founder or Sergio, Dino, Dante (Dante Giacosa designed the Multipla), Benito or Carlo, though the translation of Cinzia is Cynthia which just maybe is a good name for a vintage Bicycle!

Left at home!

Last weekend was the popular Goodwood Festival of Speed. Unfortunately we don’t get to help out at this event so poor Mario got left at home while his humans went off and enjoyed themselves. This is a report on the ‘little’ things we saw at the event.

There were no Multiplas at the show and in fact Fiat was very poorly represented, they were one of the few manufacturers not to have a modern car stand at the event. Abarth had a stand at the moving Motorshow with some lovely versions of the Fiat 500, a Grand Tourismo looking very stylish in dark grey and red and a convertible. I wonder how well Mario would go with an Abarth spec engine?20120703-232709.jpg

In the F1 paddock we spotted this rather lovely ‘Ferrari Red’ original Fiat 500, we guess it was owned by somebody In the F1 team, we dropped one of Marios cards in the window so maybe they will read this and become friends!20120703-233046.jpg

20120703-233111.jpg

Green vehicles are big news at the FoS, we spotted this rather cute ‘beach car’ in the Tech Pavilion. Made by Mia Electrics the newly launched Mia Rox can be customised to your personal style and usage. With bags of character and a really cool embroidered hood this electric car looked great fun but for it’s size still only carried a driver and one or two small passengers.20120703-233146.jpg

Renault had their Twizy on display at the Moving Motorshow, this rather fun electric car is in production but at a cost of over £6000 and a monthly rental of the batteries is rather expensive. It has a range of around 60 miles and can be charged from a normal household plug, again it could only carry the driver and a very squashed passenger.20120703-233240.jpg

This year the Cartier ‘Style et Luxe’ concours featured Royal cars in honour of the Queens Diamond Jubilee, amongst the impressive entries was a collection of toy cars and this wonderful Caravan belonging to Princess Ann, it would look great being towed behind Mario.20120703-233424.jpg

Finally, this years centrepiece was a brilliant sculpture celebrating Lotus, it looked really impressive and different every time you looked at it in the changing light, mind you it would have been even more fabulous covered in Fiat Multiplas!20120703-233322.jpg