Sunday, November 05, 2006

The French & Italian car show -- 3

Just to wind things up, a couple of final pictures.

I mentioned that "foreign" (that is, not French or Italian) cars were allowed in, and here's one of them.

I came very close to buying this car (and another exactly like it) that were stashed in a collapsing garage back in the early 1980s. They were in hideous condition, but the owner thought they were worth $20,000. Apiece. I tried to talk the guy down, but to no avail. Later, the current owner bought both cars for $2000 total. One is getting a complete restoration; this one he got into running shape but left it looking as wretched as ever.

It's a Tatraplan 600, built in Czechoslovakia in the early 1950s. They had flat-4 engines hung out behind the rear wheels like a VW Beetle but were rather more solid than the German cars. The original design dates back to 1934, when Tatra came out with a larger but similar car with a V8 engine under the rear lid...



The designer, Dr Ledwinka, sued Porsche/Volkswagen for snitching some of his design patents (and won). I love these little streamlined machines. I'd like to think I would have at least repainted this one by now if I had managed to buy it...



Just to end on a happy note, here's a picture of the wonderful Art Deco front end of the Peugeot 402...

5 comments:

lowandslow said...

Where in the world would you find parts for a Tatra? Looks like quite a challenge. :)

MrScribbler said...

You'd be surprised how many "standard" mechanical parts can be adapted to work properly in a Tatra. The current owner has become quite expert in this. Of course you'd be in trouble looking for body or interior parts.

Anne said...

Really great pics Mr.

DAL said...

Lots of strange, unique and fun autos in those pics, Scribbs. I am not sure that I'd want to have to track down or 'manufacture' parts for any of them.

No Citroen DSes there?

MrScribbler said...

There were a boatload of DSes there, dal...but they're so common!

This year, I decided to concentrate on taking snaps of the truly weird cars. Be grateful that I only posted a few of the more than 80 shots I took....