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Cernobbio, 22nd - 24th of May, 2015

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Class A – Flamboyance in Motion, the pre-war coach built luxury

The 1920s and 1930s were the heydays of the coach built era when the manufacturers provided chassis to the wealthy enthusiasts enabling them to fulfil their dream of individuality having a body designed by the numerous large and small coachbuilders to their own taste. In small series and one-offs some of the best designs were created in this era and this year’s event showed very different concepts. The oldest car on display was the Farman A6B Coupé de Ville by Million Guiet. Inspired from the aviation by Voisin the Farman brothers started their automobile production after WWI and over the next years just over 120 cars were produced leaving them a rather small episode in the history books. With only a handful of cars surviving to the present day a Farman is a rather rare car to be seen on a concours and the A6B is a typical example of the time the wealthy motorist was sitting in a comfortable passenger compartment driven by a chauffeur sitting in the open front. Whereas today leather is sold as the luxury interior at that time the rather robust material was reserved to the employee as the gentlemen where comforted on more refined materials. The Farman featured a full cocktail cabinet, picnic accessories and the flacon for the lady and the superb presentation convinced the jury to award this car not only with the mention of honor as the runner up in its class but also the Fiva trophy of the best preserved pre-war car.

Winner of the class was the complete other extreme of this era, the ultimate drivers car, the Mercedes-Benz 540K special roadster. The supercharged straight-eight was the best available in this era and the flamboyant 2-seater body was the most lavish choice within the program of the in house Sindelfingen body-styles in the catalogue. The special roadster is always a contender for the awards as the few examples built are usually in very prominent collections and superbly presented, this car formerly in the Bernie Ecclestone collection was no exception and a deserved winner of the class. But this was not the only Mercedes in the class as one of the Grand Mercedes, the type 770K was represented as well by a superb Cabriolet D. Unfortunately these cars are mainly associated with the Nazi-regime as most of those cars were ordered by the former government, the car on show was formerly part both of the Imperial Palace and the Blackhawk collection before its return to Europe.

Further cars in the class were the wonderful Isotta Fraschini A8SS, a Pierce Arrow and the Lancia Astura Cabriolet by Stabilimenti Farina.

... 001 - 036 Ambience >>>

... 037- 072 Class A >>>

... 073 - 108 Class B >>>

... 109 - 144 Class C & D >>>

... 145 - 180 Class D >>>

... 181 - 216 Class E >>>

... 217 - 252 Class E >>>

... 253 - 288 Class F >>>

... 289 - 324 Class G >>>

... 325 - 360 Class H >>>

... 361 - 396 Class I >>>

... 397 - 432 Class I & Concept Cars >>>

... 433 - 468 Class Concept Cars >>>

Report & images ... Peter & Wolfgang Singhof