Speed Hunting in Europe

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The greatest attribute of Fuelfed is the passion and uniqueness of it’s members. Each brings his or her own approach to European classic car ownership. In this post, we have a great adventure by our own Luis Arisso and his version of speed hunting. By speed, we don’t mean mph. We’ll let Luis explain.

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I recently returned from a lightning road trip of northern Europe — five countries in 5 day (~1,500 miles), checking out several European classics for potential purchase. I’ve had a hankering for a proper Italian classic and the timing was just right with several interesting cars listed for sale in Holland, Germany and Sweden.

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In Holland I visited: The Gallery in Brummen (www.thegallerybrummen.nl), Classic Park in Boxtel (www.Classicpark.nl ) and Classic Lancia in Houten (www.classiclancia.com ). The map below shows the first day’s route:

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At The Gallery, Nick Aldering Jr. kindly spent time with me showing and driving the ’72 Espada (series 1), the primary reason for my visit there.

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I have an affinity for this perennial underdog of the Lamborghini family, plus it remains the last remaining ‘affordable’ Italian V12. I had never seen an Espada in the flesh, and in spite of many hours spent looking at pictures, I was struck by its presence and just how low the car feels, which is lower than it actually is (5” lower than most 911’s) on account of its girth, not large by today’s standards but certainly so back then. This particular example’s redone interior lets it down, in my opinion, plus it didn’t feel right on the road, given its asking price; however, the quality of the repaint is good and the engine is visually appealing. I could’ve spent many more hours there. The Alderings have a collection of cars for sale you won’t find at very many places.  My favorites: Not one, but two Montreals (the blue one was headed for Arizona), BB512 (x2), Flaminia (spider and coupé), Jarama (more of a brute in person than in pictures) and even an Iso Fidia (what’s the story?!).

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At Classic Park NL, Martin Bax was great and showed me their Urraco P250, even putting it up on the lift for me. It has an absolutely delicious color, very close to Verde Miura. Some mechanicals in need of sorting made the driving strenuous and the decidedly non-original interior is not what I’m looking for, but it is otherwise a very nice car with very good paint and body.

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Classic Lancia’s E.S.G. de Haas (“Ele”) is an energetic and resourceful 63 , going on 33, who has a passion for recreating Lancias – Flavia, Flaminia and Fulvia, predominantly. The bodies are crafted and painted in Hungary and in his shop the mechanicals are thoroughly revised to modern standards. The list of revisions is lengthy (see the car descriptions on his website) and the result is an appetizing, daily-driver quality, 50-some year old gorgeous Lancia. I drove in the Flaminia spider and the Flavia with the red leather interior; they are both sublime and the exhaust note as manly as you’d want out such elegant cars. I was tempted but I had yet to test drive 24 more cylinders worth of cars in Heide and Oxie…

More to come… Luis.

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