1939 Boyle Spl History

WHO, or what, was ‘Boyle’?   It’s a question that arose the moment I bought a 1/43 scale Brumm model of a Maserati 8CTF racer 40 or more years ago. Alongside the cockpit of the burgundy car that ran at Indianapolis – and won  in 1939 and 1940 – were the words ‘Boyle Spl’ and an imprint of a clover.The driver was Wilbur Shaw, a legend of the US racing scene. He competed at Indy 13 times, won it three times, and later became president of the famous brickyard raceway. But why his Maserati was called the Boyle Special didn’t become…

1947 Chrysler Town and Country Convertible

Even though Ford, GM and Chrysler mass produced the ‘woody’ style of car in the post-war period, woodies had been around as a decorative item since the early 1920s - possibly earlier - in the form of the torpedo or boat-tail cars. These featured a tapered rear deck and sides that bore close resemblance to the bow of a highly polished timber skiff and similarly finished power boats. Mahogany was the preferred timber with its magnificent depth of colour and patterns. Which brings us to our featured car, a 1947 Chrysler Town and Country convertible. This vehicle featured at the…

1940 Jaguar SS 2.5 Litre Saloon

There is an old saying that you don’t ‘get a second chance at a first impression.’ That adage really sums up this vehicle, a 1940 SS Jaguar 2.5 litre saloon. We spotted the car at the 2011 RACQ Motorfest in Brisbane on July 17. This SS saloon was the 1939-built version of the 1935 SS Jaguar saloon, the first to wear the Jaguar name produced by Sir William Lyon’s S.S. Cars Ltd. The vehicle’s elegant lines, build quality, power - not to mention those magnificent head lamps - set the tone for the Jaguar company for decades to come. It…

1904 Dufaux Racer Review

There’s an old adage that goes something like, ‘if you want to make a small fortune in motor sport, you must first start with a large fortune.’ That wisdom might well have been written by, or about, brothers Charles and Frederic Dufaux. They started the Dufaux car manufacturing company in 1904 with a view to winning the Gordon Bennett Cup. In that aim they did not succeed and by 1907 they ceased race car production - because of the expense -  and turned to a more traditional way of making a quid: banking.   Their three years in motor sport…

1938 Ford Model Y Review

          Anyone who recalls the Ford Anglia of the early 1950s will see the strong resemblance to this Ford Model Y which was commonly called the Ford 8. Despite it’s English appearance and the use of the ‘8‘ it is neither a British design, nor does it have a V8 or straight 8 under the bonnet. It was one of the most influential cars in Ford history.       To appreciate the true context of the Ford 8 you need to look at the Model-T and then move forward. The ‘T’ shelf-life finally expired in…

1969 Mk 3 MG Midget Review

  When Mike Breen's wife asked the question, “if we were to buy a classic car what type would it be?”, Mike did not have to think twice. Like many blokes he had harboured a dream of one day owning a car he would have liked to have had in his youth. Then marriage and kids (five of them) came along and the car was put on a long back-burner. Now, with the family nest just about empty, the time had come to consider a classic. Mike's choice was a MG Midget. If you look at his past, it's not…

2009 Peugeot 308CC/Eclipse 401

  June 24 2009 Peugeot will celebrate the 75th anniversary of its invention of the retractable steel roof when it launches the new 308 CC next month.   The 308 CC was first unveiled in Australia at Sydneys Australian International Motor Show last year, and was the star of Peugeots stand at the Melbourne International Motor Show earlier this year. The 308 CC replaces the highly successful 307 CC which, along with the 206 CC, brought folding hardtop technology to the masses early this decade. This year marks 75 years since Peugeot introduced the 401 Eclipse the worlds first electrically…

Bentley Speed Six

This week, as the Brooklands track celebrates its centenary, the most famous of the vintage Bentley racing cars are reunited at the circuit for the first time in the company of the very latest Bentley Brooklands coupe. Bentleys proud sporting pedigree, forged by the exploits of the immortal Bentley Boys on this famous racetrack in the 1920s and 30s, was the inspiration for the new Bentley Brooklands coupe, capturing all the style, power and splendour of that era. During this period, Brooklands was the scene of some of Bentleys greatest triumphs, as the Bentley Boys raced their machines on the…

1929 L-29 Cord Sedan

Front wheel drive cars have been around almost as long as the automobile, but their acceptance by the car buying public has been a relatively recent occurrence – thanks to the wonderful Mini of the 1960s.  Those from France would argue the Citroen Traction Avant was in fact the car that popularised front wheel drive, but in Australia the clever Citroen was never a volume seller. Our featured car here is a 1929 L-29 Cord sedan, a luxury American icon that also puts power through the front wheels. In this it was an exception to the powerful luxury US cars…

1958 Imperial Crown Coupe

The 1958 Imperial created history as the first car to boast cruise control. It was called Auto-Pilot and a $88.70 option on Imperial models – an option not taken up by the first owner of this 1958 Imperial Crown coupe. He probably considered that the new technology might inhibit his use of the 345 horses developed by the 392 cubic inch V8 nestled under the bonnet. We found this example at the Jimboomba Vehicle Heritage Club’s show and shine a couple of years back, still in left hook configuration and looking as stunning as the day it graced the showroom…

1966 Lotus Cortina History

For a car that was not sold in Australia the Lotus Cortina left an indelible impression down under. It was also an inspirational performance car that would leave a significant mark on Aussie motor sport history books with a variant – the Ford Cortina GT – winning the Bathurst endurance race in 1963, 64 and 65 with Bob Jane at the wheel in the first two wins and then Barry Seton in a GT 500.In reality there were two Lotus Cortina’s in the first model run called the Mk1, released in 1962. Our featured car, a 1966 Lotus Cortina, is…

Bentley Specials

Many Bentley purists detest them. Others revere them: Bentley Specials. In essence a distinguished Bentley four door saloon that has been re-birthed as a Bentley Special. Of course, the term hot rod is NEVER applied to a modified Bentley, and with good reason. More on that later. To me they are one of the more desirable classic sports machines I see at car shows. I would never buy a Bentley saloon. Firstly, I could never afford one. Secondly, they just aren’t my thing. But show me a Bentley Special and I get excited like a kid at Christmas. In this…