Techno-Classica Essen 2014 – A German Vintage and Classic Exposition

  • ES1 Bentley Speed-Six Barker Sports Torpedo

Last week the city of Essen, Germany hosted Europe’s largest vintage and classic car exposition, Techno-Classica Essen 2014. The German show over the last 25 years has become one of the largest old car events in the world and hosts approximately 1,200 exhibitors every year. In addition, 220 car clubs, and more than 180,000 visitors with an interest in vintage cars, motorcycles, sports cars and spare parts from around the world participate.

Mercedes-Benz Classic created a very large display in celebration of its 120 years of motor racing history; the manufacturer brought along more than 30 racing and road cars, which were displayed on a unique three tier rack system that provided for a very interesting display. The BMW Classic Group also put on an impressive display of its sports and racing cars representing the company’s past. Another important exhibit was that showcasing Carozzeria Zagato, the oldest existing Italian coach-building firm. In addition most manufacturers have an exhibit at the show.

Pavel Novitski of Novitski Classics, a London-based photographer and classic car specialist was also on hand to record the event; he has sent along this fine sampling of his images of some of the vintage cars that were for sale and on display. You can also learn more about the event at Techno-Classica Essen.

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  •        Speed-Six Bentley  -  Speed-Six Bentley - 4.5 Liter Bentley

  • ES6      ES7      ES8
  •                              Circa 1902 40 HP Mercedes Simplex

  • ES9      ES10      ES11
  •             Alfa-Romeo RL - Alfa-Romeo 8C 2300 – MG PB Coupe

  • ES24      ES25      ES26
  •                                             Mercedes-Benz SSK

  • ES12      ES13      ES14
  •                                      Alfa-Romeo 8C 2900 B Spider

  • ES15      ES17      ES16
  •                          BMW 328 Mille Miglia Touring - BMW 328

  • ES18      ES20      ES19
  •                         Delahaye 135M Chapron Cabriolet Roadster

  • ES22      ES21      ES23
  •                                         1914 Mercedes GP Racer

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What is Old is New Again – The Retractable Top

  • KP1
  • 1934 Peugeot 601 C “Eclipse” by Carrosserie Pourtout

Just recently the Dan La Lee Retractable Streamliner was covered here, and that car opened up the search for other earlier designs in an effort to try to find the origin of this style of top. The earliest example to be found was by Benjamin Ellerbeck who was granted a patent for his design of a “shiftable top” in 1921.

In 1922, Ellerbeck constructed one on a 1919 Hudson Super Six that was exhibited at a coachwork exposition in New York City. He later was granted a patent on December 9, 1930, for a very unique retractable top for a roadster that featured a second windshield for the rumble seat.

  •                   Ben1                             Ben2
  •                              Benjamin Ellerbeck’s 1930 patent drawings

Ten years after Ellerbeck’s first effort, Georges Paulin a French dentist was granted a patent in his homeland for a very refined retractable top design in 1931. The following year he filed for a U.S. patent for the very unusual design, which is covered in detail at the bottom of this post.

It has been reported that between the years of 1934 and 1938 Paulin was body designer for Carrosserie Pourtout; The designers first retractable tops constructed there, called the “Eclipse” and seen above, were built on various models of the early to mid-thirties Peugeot chassis.

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  • 1935 Lancia Belna “Eclipse” and Roadster by Carrosserie Pourtout

Shortly after the Peugeot model was introduced, Pourtout and Paulin produced the coachwork for the Lancia Belna “Eclipse” seen above left, which was exhibited at the Paris Salon. One example of this very interesting car has survived here in the U.S., and a number of years ago its owner John Moir, demonstrated the operation and construction of it to us in person. More can be learned about this Lancia and the coachbuilder at the Red Room.

The U.S. patent application drawing below was filed on December 15, 1932, covering a French patent already granted to Paulin on June 2, 1931. The link to the patent above describes its operation, and the drawings below clearly show how the intricate design was constructed and operated.

The early history of the retractable top along with later developments of it are covered at Retractable Hardtop Online. If you have seen our the earlier post on the Dan La Lee car, you can now see that car in operation in a 1941 movie staring Deanna Durbin.

  • PP1
  • Patent for “Vehicle Body Top Capable of Being Stowed Away” July 9, 1935

PP2      PP3     PP4

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Posted in Auto photos 1921 - 1942 | Tagged , , , , , , , |

A True Barn Find – An Overland in Sweden


Tired of the now overused term “Barn-Find” being applied to every old car that has been located anywhere long enough to acquire a few particles of dust? How about this early twenties Overland that has been parked in a barn for seventy-five years, ever since 1939 when gasoline became unavailable in Sweden due to World War-II. Note the old-fashioned wooden jack in the foreground and the ornate architectural grating behind it.

Roger Karlsson from southern Sweden also reports: “I think it’s a 1923 Overland “Red Bird” model 94. There were many ads for them in period Swedish auto magazines. Overall they didn’t sell very well, so Willys dropped the Overland brand in 1927.”

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An illustration of the Overland chassis is included above that was apparently used between the years of 1920 and 1924. Note the unique angled four quarter-elliptic spring suspension system. You can view a “Red Bird” advertisement here. Much more information can be found at the Willys Overland Knight Registry and here on The Old Motor. View a “Red Bird” advertisement here. Found via the MTFCA Fourm. 

Posted in Pre-War Contemporary Photos | Tagged , , , |