Alfa Romeo 1300 Duetto – For Sale

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Many of us will dream of owning a Sunday Car – a preferred classic car – that can be enjoyed in the right climate but for a limited amount of time. The aim is not to add materially to the mileage whilst ensuring that it works well when needed with  minimal trips to the mechanic. The dream is for you and your nearest to enjoy, pose a little, relax and breathe.

One of my clear favourites in this precise category is the Alfa Romeo 1300 convertible. I have celebrated this wonderful vehicle on several occasions in the columns of Aestheticons. Please click on the highlighted following links to read our previous posts – Alfa Romeo Spider and Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider

The difficulty for many of our UK based readers is the availability of good stock of this beautiful car in Right Hand Drive. Well here’s a potential solution.

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The guys at the amazing Swiss-run curation site – in a nutshell comprising classic cars and associated lifestyle – Classic Driver –  Classic Driver – are busy celebrating their 20th anniversary with 20 Limited Edition Aston Martin DB11! Yes they launched in 1998 on the internet, geez I have shoes older –  Church’s Brogues . They are also currently running a campaign for an auction to take place on 7th July 2018 and by Historics at Brooklands. One particular vehicle to feature at this sale is a red – is there any other colour – 1970 Alfa Romeo 1300 – Alfa 1300 Convertible  – It carries a guide price/estimate of between £22,000 – £27,000. My feeling, whilst I am rubblish at valuations, is that looks like a particularly good sweet spot to kick off the innumerable pleasures of owning a classic car and enjoying classic motoring.

As many will know the Brooklands Museum is a venue particularly close to my heart – please see my previous post Mike Hawthorn – 1958 Formula One World Champion.

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This charming example of the Alfa Romeo Duetto is a right hand drive version and pre-dates the rather challenging era of added rubber bumpers that, in my view, detrimentally affected the aesthetics of this wonderful car in later models.

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STOPPRESS – Don’t know if you have yet had a chance to look at the listings for the Historics at Brooklands auction on 7th July 2018? A deeper study of what’s on offer has disclosed another classic Alfa Romeo – this time a left hooker – with an estimated value at between £50,000 to £60,000. A 1290cc 1957 Alfa Romeo Giulietta – simply one of the most stunning Alfas ever made.

 

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Image credits – with grateful thanks – Classic Driver and Historics at Brooklands https://www.historics.co.uk

 

Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder by Scaglietti

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Occasionally, when I see something of great design or beauty there is a real ‘catching breath” moment. The sight of your new born offspring and a Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder by Scaglietti will illicit a similar reaction but for so many different reasons.

I completely forgive you for staring as this is widely regarded as the finest and best looking Ferrari ever built. There is an argument – that I buy into that the later SWB versions can hold a candle but its marginal. It’s lines, its air intakes, its expansive boot and shrouded headlights combine to create a simply beautiful car.

We have featured other Ferrari’s and we leave the final decision to you – see our earlier posts here Ferrari 330 GTS and Ferrari Dino

The 250 GT LWB – because of its 2.4m chassis – was intended for the North American market and was produced between 1957 and 1960 being superseded by a SWB version.  Comprising a Pininfarina designed body and a Tipo 128D 60 degree V12 engine that delivered 228 bhp and top speed of 145mph – Paco for the late 1950’s.

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Original owners of these cars have include French film star, Brigitte Bardot (0937GT) and celebrated “Barbarella” film director and a former partner of the wonderful, Catherine Deneuve, Roger Vadim (1283 GT).

The iconic Ferrari GT 250 LWB California – as in our featured image – is a year younger than me and the current seller, Talacrest 2000 AD of Windsor – as featured on the excellent http://www.classicdriver.com – tell us that it bears the engine number 1503 GT, was the 35th of 50 LWBs to be made by Scaglietti and was delivered into their care in Modena on 7th July 1959. It was completed in October 1959, originally in white with a black interior and was shipped to a client in Caracas, Venezuela. In the early 1960’s it was imported into the US and in 1987 was acquired by a renowned collector who added only 700 kms in eleven years of ownership to the odometer but did change the colour to Ferrari’s signature Rosso/Red with a tan interior.

Provenance is vital with this quality of vehicle and like a fine painting or other artwork the amount of detail as to where, when and by whom that can be clearly demonstrated adds greatly to the cars value.

 

In 2015, RM Sotheby’s sold a stable mate of our Rosso, with engine number 1307 GT – as shown above – in stunning dark blue with its aluminium hood and distinctive air vents – for $8.5m. Rarely has an optional aluminium hard top looked so good as to enhance the overall effect of this majestic Italian classic.

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Photo credits – with grateful thanks to: Talacrest 2000 AD Ltd, http://www.classicdriver.com, Richard Owen/www.supercars.net and Patrick Ernzen/RM Sotheby’s

Aestheticons’ Guide to Iconic European Beers – Part 1

Beer

I like beer. I like the beer itself, I like its iconic packaging, marketing and labelling. I like the stories behind the brands. Whilst the economics of acquisition may chisel at the intimate nature of the relationship between the beer drinker and his/her preferred brew, arguably it has provided a life line to survival of many smaller brands.

Let Aestheticons ‘whet its whistle’ and take you on a journey across some of my favourite  European locations to sample some of the delights of the brewer’s craft.

Beer Moretti

Birra Moretti was first brewed in 1859 by Luigi Moretti in the Northern Italian city of Udine which was then still part of the Austrian Empire. Famous for its “doppio malto” brewing process that makes a golden beer, with an intense and delicious flavour.

The brand was owned by the Moretti family until 1989 when it was sold to a third party that was subsequently swallowed up by the giant Heineken group in 1996.

There is some dispute over the famous image of the moustachioed drinker on the label. It is said to have been taken in 1942 , with the sitter’s permission, by Lao Menazzi Moretti in a trattoria and given to illustrator Franca Segala who drew the finally used image. An alternative view, was that it was taken by a German photographer in 1939 near Innsbruck and was used without authority until in 1956 a legal dispute concerning its use was settled by Moretti. The romantic in me prefers the earlier tale!

Why not try this exceptional Italian beer by clicking the following AMAZON link

Birra Moretti – Premium Italian Lager Beer – 24 x 330 ml – 4.6 % ABV

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Estrella Damm Inedit – Ok so there you are in Roses (Catalonia) overlooking Cala Montjoi on Spain’s Costa Brava. It’s 2008 and you run one of the world’s most feted restaurants but you need the definitive beer to compliment your fine food. This is the challenge that faced Ferran Adria, the founder of el Bulli, and the brewers of Damm.

Damm was founded in Barcelona in 1876 by a young emigre brewmaster from Alsace, Augustus K Damm. Damm also make the delicious Estrella brand, that debuted in 1876.

The combination of barley malt, wheat hops, coriander, liquorice and orange peel gives Ferran’s beer a fabulous and, yes, unique yet delicious flavour.

Don’t be swayed by the advice that this beer is best served, half full, in a white wine glass in order to “fully appreciate its intensity and aromatic complexity”. This is a beer after all, allow it some dignity. If it were a dog it would be a clipped poodle but this is a wonderful beer. The cleaver branding and antecedents should not distract you from fully enjoying it.

Want to give it a try? Click the following AMAZON link

Estrella Inedit Damm Beer, 6 x 330 ml

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Boddingtons – I spent some formative days  – and nights – in the Manchester and it saw my first pub visits. It was a magical, if edgy place, for a “Soft Southerner”.

A character to Northern beer that doesn’t seem to translate in the South is the “Creamed Pint”. In the late 1970’s if you went to any pub North of Stoke on Trent you’d be able to order such a marvel often from a high arch hand pulled tap, delicious.

My personal favourite of these great brews is Boddingtons Bitter or known as “Boddies” to its friends. Founded by Henry Boddington in 1853, a former employee of the predecessor brewer at the iconic Strangeways Brewery – founded in 1778 – North of Manchester’s city centre.  Boddingtons remained independent until 1989, when direct descendent of Henry, Ewart Boddington, sold Strangeways Brewery and the Boddingtons brand (but not the tied estate which then exceeded 500 pubs) to Whitbread for £50.7 million. Sadly, the Strangeways Brewery was closed in 2005 when production moved to South Wales.

The Boddies logo that features the worker bee has been a long standing symbol of Manchester, its vibrant and busy culture.

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In Manchester earlier in this year, a school friend, travelling and drinking companion and I failed miserably to find a pint of Boddies. Looks like I will have to survive on the rather decent canned versions.

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If you’d like to sample this fine Northern pint you can by clicking the following AMAZON link.

Boddingtons Draught Bitter (24 x 440ml)

Guinness

Guinness – is a dark dry-stout but it is so much more. A combination of an Irish cultural icon, a completely nutritious liquid food – at around 198 calories a pint and high in anti-oxidents – and the World’s headline sponsor of St Patrick’s Day.

St James’ Gate Brewery in the heart of Dublin, a then disused brewery, became the home of Guinness in 1759 when Arthur Guinness, who with amazing foresight signed a 9000 year lease with the family of Mark Rainsford, a former Lord Mayor of Dublin, for a rent of £45 per year, started brewing with some of the barley being roasted giving the dark ruby colour and taste. He was funded by the bequest of £100 from his Godfather, Dr. Arthur Price, an Irish Archbishop.

The brand developed and its aficionados grew.

In 1986 Guinness acquired Distillers – amid a share price scandal and in 1997 Guinness merged with Grand Metropolitan and was re-christened Diageo Plc. By 2011 Guinness was selling 850 million litres worldwide. By the end of 2017 it is expected that Guinness will be consumable by all including vegans, as the isinglass (derived from from fish) fining element that is used to improve clarity will have been phased out.

The preeminence of Guinness’ advertising has been a long-standing feature of its commercial activity. Certain campaigns have included the art of Sir John Gilroy. In the 1930’s he worked with Guinness’ then advertising agency, S.H. Benson (who in 1948 invested $48,000 in David Ogilvy’s fledgling agency that later acquired Bensons), for whom he created  “Guinness for Strength”

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and zoo creatures enjoying Guinness including the Toucan’s iconic pronouncement that “Guinness Is Good For You”.

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In 1999 Guinness’ still incumbent advertising agency, Abbott Mead Vickers, used Left Field’s “Phat Planet” in the Jonathan Glazer directed, “Surfer/White Horses”. In 2002 the commercial was  voted “Best Ad of All Time” (in a Channel 4/The Times Poll). See the advert here: Surfers/White Horses

Why not sample a pint of “Uncle Arthur” for yourself with these original Guinness Bottles – click this AMAZON link

Guinness Original Beer Bottles, 12 x 500 ml

Budvar

Budweiser Budvar – is the anglicised spelling of the name of the state owned Czech brewery, based in the city of Budweis in Bohemia. It has brewed its Pilsner beer according to a strict local brewing regulation since 1516.

What is Pilsner? A brewing process that originated in the Czech city of Pilsen where brewing began in 1295. Using a technique that aged beer with bottom fermenting yeasts the clarity and shelf life were improved. The Pilsen brewery used the pilsner techniques, paler and brighter malts brewing the first Pilsen in 1842. By the late 19th century the product was being enjoyed around Europe and in 1898 Pilsner Urquell created their famous and original trade mark  – more on this brand to follow.

This wonderful pale larger results from the combination of local water, barley from Moravia (East of the Czech Republic) and the indigenous Saaz hops – the hops also used to flavour the Stella Artois brand.

Given the similarity of their brands there has been an ongoing dispute with Anheuser-Busch the owner of the US beer brand “Budweiser” since the start of the 20th century.

Have you tried Budweiser Budvar? If not, you should by clicking the following AMAZON link:

Budweiser Budvar Czech Pilsner (20 x 500ml Bottles)

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So sorry to our international readers as the AMAZON links are UK only.

Images courtesy of the Brewers

Lancia Fulvia Coupé

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There are several well known, even iconic brands, particularly in the automobile and fashion businesses, that having been subsumed into larger acquirers and, subsequently, shelved. A good example of this is Lancia, now part of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA Italy) conglomerate.

Their most recent car, the Lancia Ypsilon – based on the Fiat 500 platform – was re-branded in 2014 for the UK and Irish markets as a Chrysler. In 2017, it was announced that the Chrysler brand would no longer be used in the UK and Irish markets! It seems unlikely that the Lancia brand will be revived – which is a great tragedy.

I guess there’s a “dirt sticks” argument to the demise of Lancia for a UK audience. In the late 1980’s the Lancia Beta suffered greatly from sub-frame rust and corrosion issues so much so that they had to be repurchased by the company from disgruntled owners. Lancia withdrew from the right-hand drive market in 1994 selling their last model, the Lancia Delta, in 1995.

There have been some trophies among the mire, with a wealth of rally success but one particularly fine road going example is the iconic Lancia Fulvia Coupé.

Lancia & C. Fabbrica Automobili was founded in Turin in 1906 by former Fiat racing drivers, Vincenzo Lancia and Claudio Fogolin. The first Lancia was appropriately called “Alfa” and was produced between 1907 to 1908. Following Vincenzo’s death in 1937 his wife and son poached one of Alfa Romeo’s designers, Vittorio Jano, who oversaw a period of great innovation, including hydraulic dampers, five speed gearboxes, V4, V6 and V8 engines. Early vehicles were virtually handmade.

The business was sold to Fiat in October 1969 and there followed an era when Lancia’s claim to fame was in World Rallying.

The Lancia Fulvia was produced between 1963 and 1976 following its launch to great applause at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show.

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Like its predecessor the Aurelia, it took its name from a Roman Road; the via Fulvia being that stretch that ran between Tortona to Turin.

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The Fulvia was available as a Berlina (saloon) 4-door saloon – as above – (in 1972 as a V4 version), a 2-door Coupé, and Sport. Ugo Zogato’s team also designed and built a fastback coupé – based on the Coupé’s floorpan – and, in 1968, a prototype Zagato Sport Spider that debuted at the 1968 Turin Motor Show.

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The Fulvia Coupé was a compact two-seater coupé was initially equipped with a 1216 cc engine, delivering 80 bhp at 6000 rpm, this was gradually enlarged to a 1534 cc engine delivering 132 bhp. Designed by Lancia’s in-house designer, Piero Castagnero, the Fulvia had a shorter wheelbase than the Berlina and it was the last Fulvia model to be discontinued. It was replaced by the ill-fated Lancia Beta Coupé in 1977.

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In 1971 the Lancia Fulvia Coupé Series II Coupé had a 1298 cc engine producing 90 hp (67 kW) at 6000 rpm. A special celebratory model was released in 1972 to celebrate Lancia’s Montecarlo Rally victory that year. An update Series 2 Coupe – becoming the Coupé 3 – was introduced in 1974 .

In 2003 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Fulvia name was re-imagined in a concept from the Centro Stile Lancia headed by Flavio Manzoni. Sadly, the new Fulvia Coupé, with its distinctive brown leather interior, didn’t progress past prototype.

Lancia Fulvia 2003 Concept

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As Lancia Fulvia Coupe’s are increasing in value – may be you’d be happy to settle of a desk top but loyal die-cast model? Please click the Amazon link after the image.

There’s a choice – a red Lancia Fulvia Coupe in rally livery – please click the Amazon link below the image

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Lancia Fulvia Coupe Hf Rally Car Lampinen Andreasson 1/43Rd No1 Type Y0675J

Or in a beautiful dark blue – please click the Amazon link below the image

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BEST MODEL BT9645 LANCIA FULVIA COUPE’ 1300S 1967 DARK BLUE 1:43 DIE CAST MODEL

Do you have any Old Italian Legends in your life? If so this is the perfect long sleeved T shirt for them! Click the Amazon link below the image 

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 Teesandengines Men’s LANCIA FULVIA COUPE Grey Long Sleeved T-shirt Size Medium

Or the short sleeved version – for the Spring and Summer! Please click on the Amazon link below the image.

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TEESANDENGINES Men’s Lancia FULVIA Coupe 1972 Italian Grey T-Shirt Size XXXXLarge

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Images courtesy of Lancia

Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider

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Alfa Romeo is an iconic breed of Italian sports cars founded as A.L.F.A. (“Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobile”) on June 24, 1910, in Milan. By August 1915 the company was under the direction of Nicola Romero who re-purposed the factory’s output to support the Allies with munitions and aircraft engines.

The name changed to Alfa Romeo in 1920 and a car called “Torpedo” was the first to be badged with the new name. The company enjoyed significant success on the motor racing track with Enzo Ferrari and, in the 1950’s, Juan Manuel Fangio being notable drivers. With Romeo’s departure in 1928 and economic downturn the company was rescued by Mussolini’s government and came under State control in 1933. Following the Second World War and into the mid-1950’s Alfa Romeo started to produce smaller, mass-produced vehicles.

In 1952, Alfa Romeo experimented with a traverse-mounted “Project 13-61” its first compact front-wheel drive car.  The Giulietta (750/101) series of saloons, coupes and “Spiders” – open two-seaters was introduced in 1954. All Giuletta’s shared the Alfa Romeo overhead Twin Cam four-cylinder engine, initially 1290 cc. The Giulietta Sprint, as designed by Franco Scaglione at Bertone, and known as the Giulietta Sprint 2+2 coupé was launched at the 1954 Turin Motor Show.

At the request of Max Hoffman, Alfa Romeo’s US importer, the Giulietta Spider was born in 1955. It was designed by the Pininfarina who also built around 17,000 Spiders at their 107 Corso Trapani and Grugliasco factories between 1956 and 1962 – in the era it was not unusual for the designer to complete the build.

This beautiful example is from 1961:

Our featured image dates from 1959 – see below Hoffman’s range available in the US.

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These beautiful little cars – smaller by today’s standards – would continue to be built in a variety of configuarions until 1965.

Back on the track in the 1960’s and 1970’s Alfa Romeo focussed on competition to great success both in Europe and the US, using production-based cars, such as the GTA an aluminium-bodied version of the Berton-designed coupe.

A Giulietta’s development continued – see this beautiful 1975 Giulietta.

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The 1980’s and 1990’s, aside from a couple of GTV Spiders, were not, in my view, classic years for Alfa Romeo. In more recent years there has been an increasing return to form with a new Giulietta’s and Guilia’s – largely designed as a family vehicles.

In February 2007, the Alfa Romeo brand became Alfa Romeo Automobiles S.p.A., a subsidiary Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Italy, having first merged with Fiat in 1986.

Add this Alfa Romeo Giulietta T Shirt to your wardrobe – click the link below the image

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Men’s Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider T-Shirt (X-Large, Military Green)

Add this stunning Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider model – as featured above – to your collection: click the link below the image

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Alfa Romeo Giulitta Spider 1300 Cabrio Rot 1961 Mit Sockel und Vitrine 1/24 Modellcarsonline Modell Auto

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Images Alfa Romeo – with grateful thanks