In a real blast from the past. I have had posted on Flickr a set of photos taken by my father in 1957. The quality of the Kodachrome slides is excellent after more than fifty years. These photos were taken at a rally sponsored by the Vintage Motor Car Club of America and the Vintage Sports Car Club of England. These photos are some of my most popular and get regular hits. I received help from many people including both clubs involved in identifying the cars in the photos so many thanks to them.
Hemming’s Classic Car magazine did a short article about the photos in their November (2010) issue which is quite nice. My father would have loved the fact that the photos have gotten the attention they have. I remember a wonderful outing with my father (I was 8 at the time) and always loved to go to car shows. Actually the shows we also went to around that time were the 1957 auto show in Boston and the “HiFi” show. I enjoyed both.
Now my father also like fishing. Me, not so much.
The complete set of photos can be found here.
It seems that French cars are usually the butt of jokes at least in the US. None have been sold here for many years. I’ve owned two French cars. A Simca 1204 and a Citroen SM. Saying that a car is French or from any particular country these days is problematic. The Simca was built during the time that Simca was owned by Fiat and then Chrysler (or maybe the other way around, I don’t remember).
I really liked the Simca. It was small (which I still like) and very nice riding and handling on rough roads a definite plus when, at the time, I lived in MA driving pot-holed and frost-heaved roads. It was the US version with 62 HP. When I bought this car the alternator didn’t work and I couldn’t find the French replacement (Paris-Rhone). I replaced it with a Ford alternator and regulator because it was small enough to fit. When I sold it the starter motor was failing which was completely unobtainable in the US (I think it was a Fiat product). I bought this car for $40 and sold it for $400. The only other times I ever sold cars for more then I paid for them was a Citroen SM and a Lotus Europa. Also the paint on this car oxidized very quickly so this photo was taken right after it was polished a couple of months later it would be a dull pinkish red.
My Citroen SM was bought as a wreck with fire damage. Again this is not completely French. Most of the car was Citroen parts, but the engine was from Maserati. The engine, drive train and interior were shared with the Maserati Merak. In theory I was going to restore it but only got to the point where the engine was in running condition. I sold this car for a down payment on a new house. Houses were much less expensive then and fancy cars even as wrecks were relatively speaking expensive.