Classic Mountain Pastime

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A truly international entry from Britain, Spain. France, Germany, Austria, Portugal, USA, Argentina and Switzerland brought the echo of 47 historic rally cars to the Pyrenees in June during the fourth Rally de los Pinneos y Picos de Europa, Organised by Classic Eurosport. The regularity road event covered some 1000 miles in six daily stages over some of the most demanding roads in the mountains. This year’s was the first victory for a non-British crew, Dieter Maier and Jo Zaiser (Porsche 356C) staying ahead of the Cooper S Minis of Sunsundegui/Francis and top female crew Ana Goni/Pauline Gullick to win.

Another MPH limited edition based on a Starter kit is this fanatically detailed 1/43rd Ferrari 275P, the 1964 Le Mans winner. Builder Tim Dykes claims 178 improvements, down to adding a starter button and wires and deliberately skewing the race numbers as per original. Price: £250 delivered. MPH Models are on 01630 672903.

Pendine Museum Opens

Overlooking the beach where many speed records fell, the much discussed Pendine Museum of Speed has finally opened. Star exhibit is, naturally, ‘Babs’, Parry Thomas’s Liberty-engined monster restored by Owen Wyn Owen, but the museum relates the racing and other record attempts which took place on the sands.

1/43rd scale models continue to reach new heights of detail, but Mini-Jems’ new range scales things down to 1/87th. Covering every Mini variant including race, rally and commercials, the tiny hand-builts cost £13.50 each (£15 for competition cars) including case from Mini Models. Tel: 01323 846410. Future releases will include Moke and Mini-Marcos.

Concours Novelties

This year’s finale of the Louis Vuitton concours, at the Bagatelle gardens outside Paris on September 8/9, broadens to include a non-competing exhibition class featuring some truly extraordinary vehicles. Fiat’s finned gasturbine car of 1954, the sleek Ghia IXG ‘dragster’, the OSI Silver Fox ‘catamaran and the 23ft-long Buick Whale will all make the Bimotore Alfa look almost tame.

This unspoiled 15hp AC saloon is a rare find; laid up in the ’60s by the proverbial one careful owner with 90,000 miles up, it has not been meddled with since. Nothing has been pinched, and it retains a complete toolset and its tyre pump. What’s more, though it’s “tired”, there’s no corrosion, and it runs. The owner’s widow is selling it for the benefit of BEN, the Motor Trades Benevolent Fund; contact David Ward on 01263 740943.

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