ANNUAL CONVENTION, PONTIAC, MI, AUGUST 1-5, 2007
MEADOW BROOK CONCOURS d'ELEGANCE, AUGUST 5, 2007
We can't believe
that any of the 1900 enthusiasts who attended the convention (and
Meadow Brook itself) had any regrets about coming along. Even the room
booked Friday night for a "1900" dinner was over-filled to
capacity (to the extent that it prevented an intended Q&A session
and some storytelling, albeit the latter was not cutailed at the
Who came? Which cars? Lets take the 1900 entrants at the Meadow Brook
Concours first, and in chassis number order for convenience:
Ted Hohman (and Barbara) brought the only known genuine Corto Gara
still to exist, *01047*.
Previous owner Martin Swig was there too;
was he who bought the ex-Franco Cortese car in Ann Arbor, MI,
restored it and used it in many events, including several of the
retrospective Mille Miglia events and his
own California Mille.
had hoped that Dirk Stoehr would be able to attend and bring his regular
tipo-1 to demonstrate the many differences but, alas, he could not. The
Corto Gara has a short trunk carrying an extra fuel tank (no
opening trunk lid), vee windshield, sliding plexi door windows,
flat dash design, Jaeger tacho, etc., lower roof, lower fender, big
Webers and air box...we could go on another page with the factory mods.
Tim Gallagher was there with his 1900C Pinin Farina coupe *01598*,
trailered in by ever-enthusiastic and supportive Bob Selz. This
coupe has been brought up to Super Sprint specification to give it
some extra power.
Joost Gompel's *01877*
tipo-3, the 5-window configuration Super Sprint, was there having been
trailered 1000 miles from Savannah with son Mark's rig. This still
looked magnificent despite the completion of its restoration 17 years
ago and richly deserved its class win under the rigorous AROC judging of
Al Cortes. Al has a tipo-1 *01022* and rare Boano
*01960*, but is presently busy with the restoration of
his 6C2500 Super Sport Pinin Farina cabriolet.
Doug Wood brought along his exciting 1900 Zagato *10003*
fresh from its successful MM run in May and its showing at the Greenwich
Concours in June. It is now a veteran of 3 consecutive MM runs.
The scribe has to confess to a Zagato bias ...I want one!!
Joe Mirenda, together with Roberto, brought his late-series Super Sprint
(tipo-4) *10081* with
its fresh red paint looking great.
having taken a keen interest in Tom Caulfeld's restoration of Jim
Johnson's Ghia Aigle cabriolet *10208*,
its appearance with restorer and owner was most welcome. There was
quite a push to get the car ready and the remaining detailing did not
detract. Tom is also involved in a local Wisconsin hill climb where
the likes of cars such as Frazer Nash outnumber anything Italian. The
car is totally different in design to the ex-Gene Ponder Ghia Aigle 1900
which appeared at Amelia Island two years ago (does anyone know where
that went? Sold before the recent RM sale in Texas.)
excluding the three BATs, last but by no means least is *10542*, the
white tipo-4 of Robert and Diane Gore. Their new Borrani
wheels arrived only a day before they shipped the car out from their
London home to Newark. There they began their US tour and had
already covered 1200 miles by the time they arrived at the AROC
concours. With a quick wash on Friday, the 1900 was
ready for the Concours the next day and Sunday's Meadow Brook. It
looked magnificent and every bit as good as any of the other 1900s. Their
enthusiasm was truly infectious and we can only recommend that the more
you use a 1900, the more reliable it becomes and the more pleasure is
Sirota sadly had to scratch from the event with his Ghia Supergioiello *01531*
which was seen at Amelia
Island in 2005.
a Concours d'Elegance would not be complete without SCM editor Keith
Martin whose 1900s owned include the 4x4 Matta, and he was busy
interviewing entrants at Meadow Brook, where the Corto Gara of Ted
Hohman won Best of Class followed by Joost Gompelsâ€™ Touring
tipo-3 and Tim Gallagherâ€™s PF Coupe with Lion Awards of
three BATS were
present at both the AROC concours and MB. Ex-owner of BAT 9d, Gary
Kaberle, was on hand to ensure proper attention was given to these
exotic masterpieces of aerodynamics and Gary had a historical
photographic display as well as his design for the next BAT, BAT
11dk, which is likely to be realised by Bertone themselves. At
Meadow Brook there was an equivalent follow-on
of the Nardi Lancia Blue Ray II, alongside the
original car, but Gary's design captures much more of the spirit of
Scaglione's aerodynamic extravaganza.
entrants attended a boisterous and enjoyable dinner at the Northern
Lakes Seafood Company restaurant which got overbooked by enthusiastic
1900 owners and friends.
addition to entrants, in random order were Martin Swig, Al Cortes, Bill
Kelly (and Jenny) whose 1900 Zagato *01947* is about to
take a leap forward in its restoration following Bill's acquisition of a 1900
TI *07418*, awaiting shipment from Switzerland. This
has been modified to full Super Sprint spec. and has the necessary
5-speed gear box to donate to the Zagato. However, Bill will be
looking for another because the TI is in great shape and will need to be
*02062* owner Steve Schwarz brought along his cache of
1900 parts (shortly to be listed on the 1900 web site). Renan Uflacker
(and Helena) tipo-4 *10166* took advantage to snap up
his spare crankshaft and one or two other â€œheavy" pieces from
Allison, PF cabriolet *00056* (and ditto *01131*
and Super *09736*) was still looking for rod bearings.
Greenslade had photos of his tipo 4 *10522* which
is one of those with the single-carburettor set up.
Aenlle (and Leonora) tipo-4 *10172* and Paul Wilson *10319*
both came along. Paul's teardrop body creation on a 6C2500 chassis
has paused but it is 75% there.
Yager (and Kathleen) were there. Delmas (and Polly) Greene should
receive a mention for bringing the 1900's younger sister (brother?), the
2000 coupe, its green and white paintwork (original colour scheme)
making the car stand out at any event.
total number of ribald diners was 32 in a room with a capacity of 24
which included friends John Piquot, Matt Jones without whose parts
several 1900s would be languishing, and Buddy Guynn.
nearly 30 years of corresponding, I finally got to meet Bob Schnittger
from West Chester, Ohio. His name may soon be as familiar as those
of Joost Gompels and Peter Marshall because next year he hopes to
be able to work his skills on the 1900 web site. Already he has
put together a slide show on the BATs using both old and new
photographs. We feel sure that some will be even new to Gary
simple questions came up over what was original, what was not, and what
may not be. This strengened our resolve to record more details,
attempting more positive anwers. As years go, by it becomes
increasingly difficult to find unmolested examples that heve either not
been through a restoration shop or not been modified in some way.
Each to his own as far as modifications are concerned, but records of
originality are important to help other owners with their restorations.
for the next 1900 meeting?" was to have come up on the Friday
evening meal. The chance of combining with a show-and-parts meeting
in Padova, Italy, is still a possibility. Padova is not far from Venice
and the Italian lakes and two days out of a family holiday could have
appeal as agreed at the Radnor Hunt meeting but not yet
consummated. Alternatively a West Coast site and occasion might be in
our sights. Your reaction to these or alternatives would be welcome.
Bertschi, Guillermo and Lao Iacona (ex-tipo-3) came up from Argentina to
promote their books (that for Alfa Romeo in Argentina is
must-have) and Eliseo Carillo was in from Mexico. He has a tipo-1
ex- successful Puebla race car *10057*. No, not a
misprint; this is car no. 17 and the "5" was a
constant figure in the early chassis numbers.
Bartel ex-tipo-3 *01793* and Alan Routt were
there. Alan had the earliest known tipo-3 *01594*
but still owns the Ghia 1900 *01906*.
Denton showed me his race-prepped Primavera *16017*,
complete with 2600 disc brakes, but decided not to show the car at the
Cantore had his 1750 Zagato but we failed miserably to hook up with him
for news on his Pinin Farina coupe *01618*.
Cooper is restoring two 6C2500s, both shown in the 6C book, whilst
Oliver Collins and Shawn Miller both showed their 6C2500s, Oliver's
being the dark blue Touring Super Sport coupe and Shawn's the
red modified Pinin Farina cabriolet.
6C owner there was Bob Tucker who has the one-off Riva
Hall was showing his 2600 Sprint; Bill played a vital part in
keeping tabs on *10081* before it was acquired by Joe
to Larry Smith and Claus Menzel for their excellent recommendation of a
locale for our 1900 Dinner Meet on Friday August 3rd on
famous Woodward Avenue in Detroit: The
Northern Seafood Company
restaurant, 39495 N. Woodward Ave,