Friday, 17 November 2017

Iconic TV car sells for a 'cushtie' amount!

This past weekend saw the NEC Classic Car Show take place, and, again, it was a raging success! Classic car fans and aficionados alike descended upon Birmingham to see the sights that this year's show had to offer. 

One of the highlights of the show, year-in and year-out, is the Silverstone Auctions' Classic Motor Show Sale. The auction sees a wide variety of items passing through, from motoring memorabilia to bikes, and watches to cars. Among this years lot an iconic piece of television history went under the hammer, and sold for an amount that its small-screen owners could have only dreamed of earning ...

I'm of course talking about Del Boy's 1968 Reliant Regal which starred in the highly popular BBC comedy 'Only Fools and Horses!' A star of the legendary series, the 1968 Reliant Regal van is easily one of the most recognisable and loved classic cars of the small screen, transporting Del Boy and Rodney on their many riotous adventures in the smash-hit comedy.

'BWC 94F' was used in the 2002 Christmas Special, 'If They Could See Us Now,' and also featured in the BBC DVD 'The Story of Only Fools and Horses' as well as in several issues of the fanzine "Hookie Street".

"Del Boy's Reliant Regal is one of the most distinctive cars of BBC comedy history! Only Fools and Horses has a fan base spanning several generations and is something of a British treasure, so to have the van from the series up for auction is a real treat which will no doubt draw the crowds, " explains Nick Whale, managing director of Silverstone Auctions.

Today the van appears exactly as it did on screen, complete with tiger print plush interior and 'Trotters Independent Trading Co' decals. Accessories including a 'Tax in Post' window notice, nodding tiger, roof rack with suitcase, set of furry dice, personalised rubber foot mats, and a set of blow-up plastic dolls. With a reconditioned engine, a full synchromesh gearbox, a remote control key start, a DVD player and cassette radio, and even a smoke machine which emits smoke from the exhaust.

"Disregarding its TV provenance, it's probably the most reliable example of this 'marque' that you will find and has even participated in the London to Brighton rally in 2001 and 2004," concludes Nick. 

With 71778 miles recorded, the van was supplied with its original owners handbook, an MOT until 9th June 2018, and letters in the history file from the BBC which confirm its authenticity. 

The Reliant Regal was part of Sunday's sale, and enthusiastic bidding pushed the price to an incredible £41625, drawing gasps and applause. An amazing amount of money, but worth it when you consider the car's history and relevance to pop culture.  

Although you may not be able to get your hands on this iconic car now, if you fancy restoring your own, then we have just the book for you! How to restore Reliant Regal offers a guide in how to find a suitable Reliant Regal for restoration. It then gives a fully illustrated step-by-step guide on how to dismantle the car, and fully restore the body, chassis, electrics and engine back to showroom condition! 

Thursday, 16 November 2017

What goes around …

Whether through its practical cars and SUVs, or the evergreen MX-5, Mazda is a pretty familiar marque to most road users. Many of you will also be aware of its rich motorsport history, too, being particularly famed for its use of Wankel rotary engines, both in its road- and track-going cars – and, of course, for winning the 1991 Le Mans 24 Hours with its rotary-engined 787B.

Mazda's rotary engines have always had a reputation for compact power (and a bit of a thirst), and have been used in a number of different models, going back to 1967. The RX-8 of 2012 was the last consumer vehicle to be powered by one of its super-smooth rotary engines.

Of course, concept cars rarely make it to the road as-is – if at all – but a peek at the specs are quite promising … and, to top it all, Mazda filed a patent in early 2016, for a direct-injection, turbocharged, rotary unit, which could top the 400hp mark … surely more than 'generator' spec?

Recently, Automotive News reported that Mazda is once again developing a rotary engine, and it could make it into production cars as soon as 2019. Actually, Mazda never stopped working on its rotary engines, it just scaled back development. So, will we start to see these high-revving units back on the roads? Well … sort of …

Most of the big automotive developments, these days, centre around new powertrain tech, so it’s probably no surprise that Mazda are investigating using rotary engines as generators for hybrid EVs. Mazda has form here, with its battery-powered 2013 Mazda2 concept car, which used a tiny 330cc rotary as a generator.

EVs and hybrid market share is increasing all the time, and will soon outstrip sales of traditional internal combustion (IC) engine cars, but, whilst they’ve come-on in leaps and bounds over the last few years, current electrical storage capacities are only just getting close to providing the range available from even modest IC engines – at least, not in a manner that most mortals can afford.

Because of this, ’range-extending’ is the name of the game for EV and hybrid vehicles, and this is where a Mazda rotary can help. Having a small-capacity, light, and – compared to a traditional reciprocating engine – simple rotary, generating power for electric motors, means longer ranges, fewer emissions, and, hopefully, cheaper vehicles.

So, whilst we haven’t seen the end of Mazda’s rotary offerings just yet, they won’t be returning in quite the same guise as before. But, there is still a glimmer of hope for such a vehicle. The Tokyo Motor Show concept RX-Vision, shown in 2015, teased a possible return for the rotary engine that could actually make it into production, and even compete favourably with such cars as the Alfa Romeo 4C, Jaguar F-Type, or Porsche Cayman. 

So, whilst we’ll likely see rotary engines make an appearance in Mazdas relatively soon, it may be a little longer before we see a Porsche-bothering rotary powered Mazda on the roads … but keep yours eyes and ears open … Mazda are still working on it …

If you’re a Mazda maven, or a rotary votary, we’ve a fine selection of books to whet your appetite …

From Brian Long, comes RX-7 – Mazda’s Rotary Engine Sports Car. This is a new edition of the definitive international history of Mazda’s extraordinarily successful Wankel-engined coupés and roadsters. It covers every RX-7, up to the end of production and introduction of the RX-8, and is packed with advice on buying your own RX-7, plus coverage of the RX-7 in motorsport, and production figures – not to mention plenty of colour photos, including advertising and sales literature. Japanese Performance had this to say: 

"Lavishly illustrated with 425 photographs, Brian Long’s definitive history of the RX-7 provides an in-depth insight into this mega Mazda. A ‘must have’ tome to grace the coffee table of any Japanese sports car enthusiast."

SKU: V5133 Format: Paperback Spec: 25x20.7cm • £32.50 • 216 pages • 425 colour and b&w pictures ISBN: 978-1-787111-33-2 UPC: 6-36847-01133-8 More info…

Marc Cranswick's Mazda Rotary-engined Cars – From Cosmo 110S to RX-8 is a complete history of Mazda’s rotary-engined vehicles, charting the challenges, sporting triumphs, and critical reactions to a new wave of sports sedans, wagons, sports cars ... oh, and trucks. As Evo magazine says: 

"A valuable asset to anyone who considers themselves a fan of either rotary engines or Mazda as a brand."
SKU: V4943 Format: Hardback Spec: 25x20.7cm • £40 • 192 pages • 233 colour pictures ISBN: 978-1-845849-43-6 UPC: 6-36847-04943-0

And finally, our very own Drive Guide Guru, Julian Parish, is no stranger to rotary engines, having extensive ownership experience of an RX-8. He has put his real-world experience and knowledge into Mazda RX-8 – All models 2003 to 2012, The Essential Buyer's Guideso if you're looking to buy an RX-8, either a first gen or second gen, including the R3, you'd be crazy not to read this first. Practical Classics' opinion: 

"Gives you expert advice, essential if you’re considering taking the plunge."

SKU: V4867 Format: Paperback Spec: 19.5x13.9cm • £12.99 • 64 pages • 100 pictures ISBN: 978-1-845848-67-5 UPC: 6-36847-04867-9


Thursday, 9 November 2017

A Great Way to Close 2017's London Motor Week

Last week we told you that the theme of this year's Regent Street Motor Show was Route 66, and despite a damp start to the day, this year's show was very popular. Once again, the capital's premier shopping destination was transformed into the country's biggest free-to-view motor show. 

The famed street was closed to through traffic for the first Saturday in November and the road was filled with a glittering collection from the past, the present and the future. In addition to Enjoy Illinois' stand promoting the Mother Road, the penultimate event of London Motor Week featured close to 200 vehicles from the days of the horseless carriage, through the classic years right up to the battery and hydrogen-powered cars we will all be driving in the future.

Taking centre stage at the Show, though, were around 100 pioneers dating back to the dawn of motoring – all built before 1905. Among those judging the evocative veteran machines this year was renowned gardener and classic car enthusiast Alan Titchmarsh. After much deliberation, the panel of experts awarded the Overall Winner's trophy to the extraordinary dark green 4-cylinder Darracq owned by Malcolm Ginns.

The French car has a remarkable history, having been entered into the ill-fated Paris to Madrid 'race of death' in 1903. More than two million spectators came to watch along the road to Bordeaux, where this notorious race was officially halted as there had been so many fatal accidents en route – the largest toll of dead and injured persons in motor sport, including the death of Marcel Renault. Along with a number of other entrants, the Darracq's owner, Albert Arvengas went on to Madrid. The car remained in the Arvengas family until the 1970s and to this day still carries its original rear-entrance, tonneau body with five seats.

Further up Regent Street, and bringing the motoring story up to date, were displays of modern cars and bikes from companies including Renault and Triumph. Not content with the present, Go Ultra Low was looking to the future by offering drives in a wide range of contemporary battery-powered electric vehicles and plug-in petrol-electric hybrids from manufacturers including BMW, Renault, VW, Toyota, Kia, and Hyundai. Experts were also on hand to offer advice to anyone considering a zero or low emission and hybrid car as their next purchase. Visitors were also offered a short 'taster' test drive,  allowing them to sample the next generation of environmentally friendly transport.

For those with a need for speed, other displays on Regent Street included a preview of the biggest classic motor sport event on the calendar – the Silverstone Classic. It's stand not only included a huge screen broadcasting highlights from last summer's record-breaking event, but also three of the stand-out racers that will be in action next July. 

Motoring's classic years, meanwhile, were represented by Fiat 500 Club celebrating the 60th birthday of Italy's iconic city car with a colourful collection of original superminis including a rare Giardiniera and 500 Saloon. Closer to Piccadilly Circus, another very special display paid homage to London-built Talbots from the twenties and thirties. 

As is tradition, to mark the end of London Motor Week, the annual London to Brighton Veteran Car Run took place on Sunday. More than 400 pioneering veteran cars, their drivers and passengers gathered in Hyde Park waiting for daybreak to signal the start of the annual Run. Acknowledged as the longest running motoring event in the world, it was fitting that the sun rose in a blue sky as participants headed off for a nostalgic drive to the Sussex coast. One of the cars participating was the famous Genevieve, from the film of the same name. Genevieve, now owned by the Louwman Museum, is a regular and popular participant in the Run.

It's Genevieve!

This years Run featured the largest entry in recent years; staged, as it has been since 1930, by the Royal Automobile Club. Although a number of cars were diverted following a road traffic accident involving one of the participants vehicles, 315 of the 401 starters made it to Brighton to claim a coveted finishers' medal. 

In recent years the Chopard Regularity Trial has introduced an additional interesting element to the Run. This year's winner was Robert Abrey, driving a 1899 Daimler, who was awarded with a Chopard Millie Miglia Chronograph worth £4950.

This year's Veteran Car Run marked 121 years since the original Emancipation Run, which was held in 1896 to celebrate the Locomotive on the Highway Act. This raised the speed limit for 'light locomotives' from 4mph to 14mph and abolished the need for a man to walk ahead waving a red flag. First commemorated in 1897 with a re-enactment following the same route in 1927, the event has taken place every November since, apart form the war years and 1947 when petrol was rationed.

For more information on the Regent Street Motor Show and the Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, check out there respective websites. 

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Get your kicks, on Regent Street!

The Regent Street Motor Show returns this Saturday, but with a State side twist … With that in mind, and with my own personal interest in the Mother Road, today's blog post will take you into this iconic piece of American history,  whilst also giving you all you need to know about this weekend's London event!

Connecting Chicago to Los Angles, Route 66 is known to many as the Main Street of America, as it was one of the primary routes across the country, with as many as 210,000 people travelling it to migrate to California during the Great Depression. 

Though most of the old Route 66 has been bypassed by the various Interstates, much of the 300 miles that stretch across the 'Prairie State' still remains untouched from its heyday. Famous for quirky roadside attractions, many in Illinois, Route 66 is home to such curiosities as Wilmington's Gemini Giant, outside the soon-be-renovated Launching Pad diner; the Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum located in Pontiac; and part of the old, original, historic brick road, which can still be found – and driven on – in Springfield. 

Illinois is where Route 66 begins, and as it is the presenting partner to this year's Regent Street Motor Show, the state, and its iconic Route 66 elements, will be showcased in the UK's capital. Director of Illinois' Office of Tourism, Cory Jobe, says, "This partnership is a prime opportunity for our team to highlight in a meaningful way all the Route 66 Americana flair that our international visitors travel to experience." Nick Wigley, CEO of Goose Live Events, the organisers of the show, adds, "We are delighted to welcome Route 66 to London: two iconic roads linked by a rock 'n' roll classic!"

The Regent Street Motor Show is a unique, free-to-view event that takes place as part of the larger London Motor week, run by the Royal Automobile Club." Since its inaugural show in 2005, it has grown in popularity over the years, and has even featured the famous Genevieve last year!

It is a hope to many that the historic Route 66 can be kept alive for many generations to come, and bringing some of this across the pond to us here in the UK is a sure-fire way to not only assist in the preservation of this classic piece of motoring history, but to also introduce it to a whole new audience. 

This certainly sounds like an exciting day, so, if you are near the capital on the 4th of November, and fancy a nice, free, family day out, why not go and get your kicks on the A4201! –Siân

Thursday, 26 October 2017

The Oliver Winterbottom Diaries – July

For the past few months, Oliver Winterbottom has been keeping a diary detailing the proceedings surrounding the release of his autobiography A Life in car Design. In this third instalment, we take a look back at July. If you have missed the previous posts, you can catch up with May and June here. 

2 July – Party at ex-Lotus Peter Riches (Chief Technical Officer, TOCA), sign his book. 
Patrick Peel (CEO East Anglian Air Ambulance) plans to buy one.

3 July – Siân at Veloce sends the June reviews of the book. correctly spots my incorrect (for 40+ years) spelling of Giugiaro, but totally incorrect, says Sylvia Kimberley was his sister, not his wife. Mike was amused and then spotted he had spelt his name wrong! 

6 July – From Alan at Club Lotus: "We've sold five copes so far, which is pretty good for us, as we know many members will read about the book in Club Lotus News, and then buy it at a discounted price elsewhere."

8 July – A phone call to my room at Chesford Grange is Chris Harris, ex-Lotus, who has arrived 'on spec' from Donington; he lives and works in Paris! Brought book which I sign. Wonderful surprise.

9 July – TVR Big Bad Wedge Fest at Chesford Grange. Sign about 16 books, and get one and sign for Martin Lilley, past owner of TVR company.

17 July – Message from Mark Webb, TVR Weekend organiser: "I'm looking forward to some quality time to start reading your book, a friend called me the other day and said he was three quarters of the way through it and loving it … He said it's quite funny in places, and I thought, well, it would be … Oliver does have a good sense of humour."

Siân from Veloce sends message that Jon Burgess, editor of Classic Car Buyer, would like a chat. I email him that, being a bit deaf, please email me.

19 July – My sister's Norwich financial advisor, Ian Dilks, has book and would like it signed!

21 July – Visited Clive Chapman at Classic Team Lotus. Presented a book, which I have signed using Colin Chapman's propelling pencil, which he still has. This was quite moving. I have seen many very accurate freehand drawings done with that pencil. Clive is interested in stocking the book on his website. I contact Emma at Veloce to ask for them to contact Clive.

24 July – Daughters and Pat come to dinner at Queens Head. Anne brings her neighbours book for signature – another one sold!

25 July – Emma from Veloce responds and includes the 'dropship' process, where Clive could sell the book from Veloce, avoiding stock problems. 

26 July – I contact Ketts Books, Wymondham, RE the September 10 Vintage Day. I have agreed to attend. Emailed them with 'dropship' idea, and offer to provide a book 'on loan' for prospective customer examination.

28 July – Receive email from Tom Smith, owner of Prototype Lotus M90/X100. Says that ReMarque, the magazine for Lotus Ltd USA, has published a book review similar to the Amazon one. Await copy. He has put the prototype on sale, asking price $114,000 (£86,741).

You can purchase your own copy of A Life in Car Design via our website, and make sure you don't miss the next chapter in Oliver's diary, coming soon!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

New Release: Powered By Porsche

Just delivered to Veloce HQ is award winning author Roy Smith's latest book, Powered By Porsche. 

Limited to just 1500 copies, Powered By Porsche– The Alternative Race Cars is the first book of its kind, detailing the non-Porsche racing cars that utilised Porsche engines throughout history, illustrated with some never-before-published pictures that will give you a whole new insight into the world of Porsche.

Reviews for this tome have just starting reaching us, and we thought we'd share a few with you ...

"Porsche must be the most over-catered-for marque in motoring literature. However, this makes Roy Smith's stunning 466-page, meticulously researched tome on, in effect, Porsches that aren't Porsches, thoroughly welcome. 
"It takes an unusual decade-by-decade A-Z format, which causes the timelines to ping about a bit, but finds itself dividing naturally into two halves – the Porsche-engined specials from the earliest days of Ferdinand's engineering consultancy and nascent marque, and the further developments of its super successful sports-racers of the Seventies and Eighties.
"In many ways its the American Porsche-based cars that make for the most interesting and colourful reading, and which help to reinforce the understanding that often what were seen as factory efforts by the public owed much to the ingenuity of the likes of Brumos, Kremer and Holbert. There's also plenty of madness in here, with twin-engined racing cars, Porsche-eninged aircraft and road going Group C cars. Limited to just 1500 copies, [it is] beautifully presented and and incredible feat of research."
Classic Cars

"At 468 pages and boasting 799 pictures, the Powered By Porsche – The Alternative Race Cars book is a hardback your coffee table will feel as it lands with a mighty thud. The first book to cover those non-works cars that raced with Porsche engines, the book has been put together by Roy Smith, a man with a passion for historic motorsport tales. Spanning the birth of the hybrid car in the 1890s, to the Daytona Prototypes, it is full of encyclopaedic details. It includes lots of unpublished images, anecdotes and insight you won't have come across before, it might even answer a few burning questions you may have."
GT Porsche

"In his 15 years as an author Roy Smith has differentiated his works by studying areas that other historians have tended to neglect. Now in Powered By Porsche, Smith looks at other racing cars which have used Porsche engines and often chassis and running gear as well.
"Powered By Porsche is an encyclopaedic work unearthing any number of Porsche racing projects and contributes a great deal of background to half a century of Porsche auto racing competition. It will be of particular interest to North American readers, for as the author shows, most of the teams using Porsche motive power were here and he has clearly researched them in considerable detail. Roy Smith's latest offering is a veritable treasure trove for marque historians and an immersive pleasure for general fans."
Kieron Fennelly

Today, we had the pleasure of welcoming Roy to the office once again, to sign some copies of the book for those who helped him compile this impressive work. Complete with interviews with team owners, drivers, and the people from Porsche, as well as answering questions that Porsche fans have always wanted to know, this book is not to be missed, and would make the perfect Christmas gift of any automotive fan!

You can order your copy direct from us, but make sure to be quick, as this limited edition book is sure to be a popular one!

Thursday, 12 October 2017

The Louwman Museum

The Louwman Museum in the Netherlands is home to the world's oldest private collection of motor cars. Started in 1934 and complied by two generations of the Louwman family, the collection boasts 250 antique and classic cars.

Architecturally, the museum is astounding. The purpose-built infrastructure was opened in 2010 and was designed by one of the renowned 'New York Five' architects, Michael Graves. Graves specialised in maintaining a pure form of modernism in the buildings he designed, and is the architect behind a huge number of outstanding structures, from the Riverbend Music Centre in Cincinnati, to the Team Disney building in Burbank, with many more credits to his name around the world. 

Our company accountant, Amanda, picture outside the museum

With a plethora of cars in the collection, it has listed its own Top Five cars in order to show the scope of vehicles that they own. So, best take a look...

Jaguar D-Type XKD 606 (1956)

This car happens to be the 1957 Le Mans winner, crewed by Flockhart and Bueb. The XKD 606 achieved a hat-trick of consecutive Le Mans wins, covering a record 4397km at an average speed of 183km/h; a record which remained unbroken for four years. After Le Mans, the D-Type ended up on the club racing scene, and then, following a crash, was split in two: body and rear-wheel suspension and front sub-frame and engine. The museum managed to acquire both halves of the car, and after a lengthy – and historically accurate – restoration project, the car was returned to the condition it was in during it's successful run in 1957.

Lagonda M45R (1935)

This Lagonda M45R won Le Mans in 1935, despite running low engine oil and suffering a collision that damaged the steering earlier in the race. This car is displayed in completely original condition, right down to the upholstery; an impressive feat for a car over 80 years old!

AC Racing Special (1924)

Englishman Gordon Rossiter used money gifted to him on his 21st birthday to convert an old 1924 2.0-litre six-cylinder AC into a racing car. AC stands for Auto Carrier, the name of the three-wheeled delivery van launched by the Weller brothers in 1904. Rossiter set a new class record at the Blackwell hill climb in his converted AC, and, while racing at Donington Park, clocked a top speed of 105mph.

Spyker C4 All-Weather Coupe (1922)

This particular Spyker C4 is upholstered in simulated snakeskin, and the luggage rack has a jagged edge to discourage one from hitching a ride on the back. The reliability and luxurious design of this car led to it being known in England as the 'Rolls-Royce of the Continent.' In 1922, Selwyn Francis Edge headed to Brooklands in a C4 for the 'Double Twelve.' The record attempt was held in two 12-hour stints, and Edge set a new speed record of 2860km at an average speed of almost 120km/h.

Renault 40CV Type JP Touring Wiederkehr (1922)

With a six-cylinder engine that has a nine-litre capacity, this is one of the largest Renaults every built, and the one on display at the Louwman museum is the only one still in existence. The 40CV soon became a firm favourite in high society, and was delivered as just a motorised chassis, with the choice of bodywork being left to the customer. In 1925, a 40CV won the Rally Monte Carlo, and in 1926, a special single-seat bodywork 40CV participated in the Montlhery endurance event. 

Fellow Velocista, Amanda, recently visited the Louwman museum, and brought back with her numerous images of the vast collection. Now, aside from the very conventional looking cars that make the museum's top five, here are five cars that stood out for their unique and striking designs!

Brooke 25/30-HP Swan Car (1910)

Created by the eccentric Scotsman Robert Nicholl 'Scotty' Mathewson, the bodywork represents a swan gliding through water, and on the rear is an elaborate lotus flower design in gold leaf. The swan's eyes are even fitted with electric bulbs! Fully restored by the museum in 1991, the car went on to win the Montagu Prize at the 1993 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, held in California.

Fiat 1100 Boat-car Carrozzeri Coriasco (1953)

Despite how it may seem, this is not an amphicar! Coriasco, a bodywork manufacturer in Turin, built this in the '50s to promote the Scuola Nautical Scarani sailing school in Bologna. Lots of nautical details were included, such as portholes, lifeboats and a varnished wooden deck, with the mudguards representing the waves of the ocean.

Lincoln Sedan Delivery Deco Liner & Harley Davidson Sportster Deco Scoot (2008)

Inspired by the bodywork designs of Saoutchik and Figonie et Falaschi in the 1930s, and the art deco movement, Terry Cook and Frank Nicholas of Deco Rides, New Jersey, designed this vehicle based on the 1939 Lincoln Zephyr T. Completed in 2008, the car is powered by an eight-cylinder, 5.7 litre Chevrolet 'small block' engine, and the Chevrolet Blazer four-wheel chassis has an extension to allow for a 1992 Harley Davidson Sportster to be stored in the car.

Taruffi Italcorsa/TARF II

Designed by Italian racing driver and engineer Piero Taruffi, this car is powered by a 1.7-litre 290HP supercharged Maserati engine, and is driven using control sticks, as there is no room for a steering wheel. Achieving a top speed of just under 300km/h on the flying kilometre and flying mile, held on the Via Appia near Rome, it went on to break records over longer distances at Montlhery and Monza over the following years. 

Darracq 12HP 'Genevieve' (1904)

Ah, Genevieve... Those who are regular followers of all things Veloce will recall that we published a book on Genevieve at the end of 2016. Written by Rodney Laredo, A Darracq Called Genevieve is the biography of this 1904 Darracq's life on and off the silver screen. Coincidently, we recently received a review of this fabulous book, which you can read here:

"An enjoyable insight into the Genevieve legend"

"Genevieve, as revealed in the 1953 classic British comedy movie was, and is, a credible tale of veteran motoring mayhem. Veloce has recently published A Darracq Called Genevieve. It's a 154-page hardback detailing the story of the car, the film, and the multifarious and multi-talented characters involved.

"We've got a copy of the book right here in the office and we've been enjoying reading it. New Zealand author Rodney Laredo writes from the heart; this tale reads like a very personal account of his lifelong involvement with the Genevieve story.

"Laredo was just a boy when he became entranced with the film and the 1904 Darracq at the centre. His developing interest led to numerous letters, articles, conversation and finally meeting the late Dinah Sheridan.

"Laredo and family eventually became good friends with Sheridan and other personalities involved in the wider story. Therefore, it was natural enough for the author to also explore the very interesting history of Darracq cars, which is still a largely overlooked- or even unknown- chapter in the annals of motoring history.

"Packed with numerous artifacts from the film, it's hard to see why any hard-core Genevieve fan would not want a copy of this book. But even those with a more casual interest will find this enjoyable.

"If you haven't seen the movie for a while and want to re-view it, you'll be sure to watch it in a much wider light and context after you leaf through this publication. And if you simply want to know something about Darracq cars, here's a pretty good place to start."


All of this just scratches the surface of what the Louwman has to offer! Maybe this post has inspired you to plan your own trip over to the Netherlands to see the museum for yourself, and if so, rest assured you will not be disappointed! Visit the Louwman Museum website: