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Showing posts from January, 2016

Right place, wrong Aston Martin?

   WHEN I came across this photo of a Havana race in the University of Miami's Ramiro A. Fernández Collection, I thought the car that has slid up against the hay bales might be the Aston Martin DB 2/4 that recently resurfaced in Cuba.    Then I noticed that the photo is recorded as being taken on Oct. 10, 1957, which would be months too early for that Aston Martin, a rare, race-prepared 1958 Mark III model.
    This suggests that the DB 2/4 above is from the Mark II series made between 1955 and 1957. It also would be rare. Wikipedia – and we can probably trust it here – reports that only 146 Mark IIs were made in the body style we see here; another 53 were convertibles or "fixed head coupes," also known as hardtops.
  But ... while it's hard to tell from this photo, the taillamps on this Aston Martin do appear more like the elongated lights of the Mark III (1957-1959, 551 produced in all body styles) than the small, bud-like lamps of the earlier series.
  So maybe it is

Over the top

 THE FUNDRAISING campaign for Piotr Degler's upcoming Carros de Cuba photo book has closed at €42,000 –  well above the original €30,000 goal. Given the quality of Degler's images – three more of which we present here – such success is hardly a surprise.

Photos © Piotr Degler. Used by permission.

One last view of that '59

Four-door formality, crazy-cool fins

FOR MOST cars offered in a range of body styles, the two-door coupe is the configuration to have. This, you think, is the car the designer first envisioned, clean and simple and meant, above all, to look good. The sedan and wagon versions, grudging concessions to utility, would come later.    OK, a convertible, if available, can look still sweeter, but what is a convertible but a coupe with a roof that folds for nice days?
   Yet when the car is a 1959 Chevrolet, I'd be as happy with a four-door sedan as a two-door hardtop. Maybe happier.
   The sedan just seems to look right – maybe because of the long graceful curve of its roof that begins at the B-pillar, or maybe because of the rear quarter windows that add just enough formality to offset the crazy-cool splayed "batwing" fins that follow.
   And yes, there was an alternate roofline on some '59 Chevrolets and their General Motors sister models – the "flattop" roof on four-door hardtops that seemed to float …