67th Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
We represented three of our client's with cars at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. A fresh restoration, a restored car returning after 10 years, and a low-mileage preservation project. All three cars participated in the Tour d'Elegance.
The 1958 Ferrari 335 Sport is a car which we have been supporting while the owner enjoyed track and field events. When it was decided to have the car restored, we started the extensive research on this rare pontoon-fendered Scaglietti Spyder. Our goal was to present it as raced at the inaugural SCCA National Championship race at Daytona, in its original NART blue. Chassis 0764, driven by first owner Alan Connell, won that 1959 race. In 2017, it was judged Best in the Ferrari Competition class.
As a special guest in the Ferrari 70th celebrations, the 1950 Mille Miglia winning Ferrari 166 MM Touring Berlinetta Le Mans was invited to return to the Concours. Freshly restored by us in 2007, it was the Mille Miglia Award winner that year, and went on to Best of Show at several other events. This year, it was judged Second in the very competitive Ferrari Major Race Winners class.
The third car we presented was one we have been involved with for decades. This lovely original 608 Ivory with red 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster was awarded First in the Postwar Preservation class.
Amelia Island Concours
The success of the 2017 Amelia Island Concours was in no way dampened by the forecast of rain on Sunday. The organizers simply moved the Sunday schedule into Saturday, rather than forfeit a full day of events. Fortunately the weather on that day was perfect. [For the complete story, we recommend the excellent coverage from Sports Car Digest.]
We were supporting two cars at the event. The distinctive 1952 Ferrari 212 Europa Vignale Coupe (n.0267 EU), whose restoration we completed in 2014, was awarded First in Class.
And assisting one of our valued European clients, the historically exciting Maserati T60/61 'Camoradi' birdcage (n.2451), was honored with a special award as the most historically important Maserati. This "Streamliner" was raced by the Camoradi team at the 1960 Le Mans.
Our thanks to Massimo Delbò, who kindly shared his photos from the weekend.
26th Cavallino Classic
The Cavallino Classic is a three day celebration of all things Ferrari. This year we debuted the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder, chassis n.2903GT.
The comprehensive restoration of this car was completed last August. At that time, the owner was more interested in driving the car than in showing it at a concours event. He took it home, and thoroughly enjoyed putting 600 miles on the odometer. The handsome black with tan Cal Spyder "looked like a Ferrari dressed in a tuxedo" at the Saturday Concorso d'Eleganza. Chassis 2903GT was awarded a Platinum as well as the Excellence Cup, for Outstanding Restoration Quality and Challenge.
One special note of pride for our company: the Cal Spyder project was completed by a team of younger restorers. This new generation of restoration technicians, who view their craft as a profession, are an important element in the preservation of classic cars.
Another component of our weekend was as support staff for the Birdcage Maserati T60/61, chassis n.2451, for the track and concours events. Raced by the Camoradi team at the 1960 Le Mans, this "Streamliner" was a wonderful addition to the Classic Sports Sunday field at Mar-a-Lago, where Maserati was the featured marque. When awards were announced that evening, the Birdcage was honored with the Finest Competition Cup and the Maserati Best in Class. In classic racing style, the rainy weather was not a deterrent as Paul Russell borrowed a friend's rain gear to drive the open sports car to and from the event.
Our thanks to Peter Singhof, who kindly shared his photos from the weekend.
Delightful Distinctions in Monterey
This year we brought 3 cars to the extravaganza that is Monterey, covering a wide range of character and interest: a thoroughly researched and freshly restored 1963 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible; the preserved, original, and fully functioning 1953 Ferrari 375MM Spyder; and an unrestored 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300S. These cars represent the broad collector car hobby: clients focused on cars for authentic restoration as well as cars demanding thoughtful preservation.
The annual road tour on Thursday was abbreviated, due to the threat from neighboring wild fires. Even in its shortened form, William Swanson delighted in driving his Aston Martin DB5 around the Carmel peninsula - convertible top down, of course.
On Friday, The Quail held court. This was the first year that one of our clients participated, choosing to enter their “as recently raced” Ferrari 375MM Spyder. While the judging is not as technical as the Pebble Beach Concours, the opinions are well-informed and knowledgeable, as the awards are adjudicated by the owners of the cars at the event. Andreas Mohringer was taken aback when his unrestored race car was awarded Best of Show, attesting that the car collector community appreciates the preservation of such a rare and important piece of history.
Saturday the McPherson College of Automotive Restoration unveiled a 1953 Mercedes-Benz 300S. It is part of the long range strategic plan for the students to use the 300S restoration as a multi-disciplinary teaching tool, to be presented at the 2023 Pebble Beach Concours. Paul Russell, current Chair of the Advisory Board, believes it will give focus to the school's mission: to establish a true center of excellence for students who are serious about automotive restoration.
On Sunday, the Aston Martin DB5 was one of the many delights on the field for the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, there to be judged in a mixed group of Post War Touring cars. When purchased by our client, this car was beyond the point of preservation. With a well-researched approach, and with full support of our restoration philosophy from the car’s owners, the car was awarded a First in Class.
"Old cars need to be driven"
If you have not yet discovered the website/podcast called CarsYeah, it is worthy of a visit (or two). Conceived and hosted by Mark Greene, CarsYeah consists of a series of interviews with inspiring automotive enthusiasts. Numbering over 500 to date, the interviewees range from the young to the old, from the great to the works-in-progress.
Our very own Alex Finigan talked with Mark about his early passions and how he and Paul built a business out of a simple philosophy: “Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life." Listen to Alex tell his own story at CarsYeah.
Motor City Mingle at St. John's Concours
Long-time friend to the shop and avid automobile enthusiast Jean Jennings invites you to the dinner and fundraiser to be held in conjunction with the RM Auction at the Concours d'Elegance of America at St. John's. Should be great fun with Jean as MC and Detroit rocker Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels supplying the music.
This "Motor City Mingle" will benefit the JDRF, the only global diabetes foundation with a strategic plan to end type 1 diabetes. The event takes place on July 30 at The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, MI. Interested JDRF donors have the opportunity to bid on these exclusive packages regardless of attendance at the event or geographic location.
Items on offer include a High Performance Driving Package with two days of track instruction, a Super Bowl Package including 2 tickets to the 2017 game, and transportation plus lodging to enjoy 3 days of New York Fashion Week. Or, do you have a car you would like to donate? For more information, go to CONCOURSUSA.ORG.
Derek Bell drives the Porsche RS-60
We admit it. We are huge fans of driver Derek Bell, of looking through the windscreen while traveling a famous race course and, most especially, of the sounds of a Porsche being put through its paces.
The excellent Revs Institute shared the following in a recent email: The Porsche 718 Is A Living Legacy
Porsche & Petrolicious asked if we could send our 1960 Porsche RS-60 Spyder to Sicily and have the famous Derek Bell drive the old Targa Florio race course. Talk about an opportunity too good to pass up.
Here is the video Petrolcious produced, enjoy!
Paul Russell receives Honorary Doctorate
One of the early members of the National Advisory Board for Automotive Restoration at McPherson College, Paul Russell has served on the board for 12 years and as chairman for the last three years. He was instrumental in advocating to move automotive restoration to a four-year bachelor’s degree, helped to create a strong strategic plan for the program, and has hosted numerous events to benefit the college.
On April 30, McPherson College honored Paul Russell with an honorary Doctorate of Applied Arts in recognition of his contributions to the college, its automotive restoration program, and the collector car industry. “We’re most fortunate to have Paul involved at McPherson College,” said Amanda Gutierrez, vice president for historic automotive restoration at MC. “He demonstrates the highest standards in both his personal and professional endeavors and has a wealth of expertise that he contributes. Beyond that, he believes in the liberal arts and values the well-rounded education our students receive.”
Paul’s commitment to promoting restoration as a profession accommodates his hopes for the next generation of automotive craftsmen and connoisseurs. An award such as this not only honors the recipient, but also honors and raises the profile of an entire profession. I do feel like I am sharing this day with a whole cadre of really exceptional craftsmen, historians, patrons and others who have contributed to a successful endeavor with my name on the front door... I have been further supported by my incredible wife Barbara and our children Patrick and Kimberly, who have made their fair share of sacrifices in our life partnership.
The Revs Institute Newsletter
We are not alone when we declare ourselves fans of the Revs Institute for Automotive Research. The good they are doing for the classic car hobby, through their archiving of automotive history for current and future scholars and connoisseurs, cannot be overstated. The Collier Collection consists of "the finest vintage automobiles, and an ever-expanding library of rare books, photographs, documents and ephemera which uniquely catalogues the evolution of automobile design and the industry's influence on modern culture".
In perfect alignment with their philosophy of sharing, they are offering a bit of history and beauty in their current series of Salon newsletters. The most recent, a story by John Lamm on the three Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantics, two of which we have had the honor to restore in our workshop, only makes us want more.
Good Work in Rwanda
Richard Barnes, a long time employee in our upholstery department, recently returned from a very special trip to Rwanda. Over a ten day period he, along with his daughter and a handful of others, participated in an outreach program affiliated with the African New Life Church.
Though the group was small the results were not. With most paying for the trip out of their own funds, the money they raised went towards supporting the people of Rwanda. The team was able to supply food for 18 families for a month, deliver donated clothes and medical supplies (as well as a few soccer balls), help fund a women's skill center and day care, and sponsor three children to go to school for a year. Richard remains committed to buying three sewing machines for the next class of graduates, so they can make money to sustain themselves. He is also ensuring that a very grateful 14 year old girl - named Grace - has the chance to further her education.
If you would like to offer your thanks and support for Richard's efforts, please contact him via .
Cavallino Classic celebrates 25 years
The Cavallino Classic 2016 celebrated its 25th gathering of Ferrari owners, enthusiasts, and spectacular cars. One of the highlights of this years event was a special display consisting of Best of Show winners from the prior Classics. We were very pleased that the current car owners of four of our previous winners brought their cars to sunny Florida: 1948 Ferrari 166 Spyder Corsa (Scuderia Cup, 2014); 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Alloy Berlinetta (Gran Turismo Cup, 2012); 1950 Ferrari 166 MM/ 195 S Berlinetta Le Mans (Scuderia Cup, 2008); 1949 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta (Scuderia Cup, 2007 & 1999). Then on Classic Sports Sunday at Mar-a-Lago, the lovely 1950 Berlinetta Le Mans was awarded First in Class.
At the request of the organizers, Paul Russell did a presentation during the Thursday Symposium. There has been a great deal of interest in the 'barn-find' 1961 250 GT SWB California Spyder, one of the cars from the Baillion Collection. This was a wonderful opportunity to have a discussion about the points to consider when deciding whether a car is a preservation project, or a seemingly original car with a great patina that, upon closer inspection and further research, deserves to be returned to its original condition. Our thanks to George Carrick and Keith Bluemel for their contributions to the discussion and to Keith for sharing photos from the seminar.
Restoration Story Books for Sale
Many of today’s top concours events include originality in their judging criteria. In preparation for presenting a restoration project at such an event, we assemble pertinent documents and images in support of our thought processes, offering historical context for the decisions taken during our authentic restorations. On the day of the show, these pages of research and references are assembled in a simple ring binder and shared with judges, car owners, and enthusiasts. On our website, those familiar with the Portfolio section will be aware that we often include a slide show of images illustrating the restoration process, and always share a slide show of the finished car.
It seemed to us that a logical next step would be to create a printed book containing all three of these components: The Research, The Restoration, and The Results. With the kind permission of the car owners, we can now offer two books we have recently completed: The Ferrari 212 Vignale Coupe No.0267 EU, and The Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa No.0724 TR. Available through the on-line book publisher Blurb, all ordering, printing, and delivery is handled by them. We will continue to put our emphasis on the preservation of these great cars, and publish more books only as time allows.
McPherson College Industry Award
Paul Russell, current Chair of the Advisory Board, is especially proud to report that McPherson College Automotive Restoration was announced as Industry Supporter of the Year at the International Historic Motoring Awards 2015. The Industry Supporter award recognizes "the 'outside world' - in the form of companies, organizations, institutions or individuals whose core business lies away from the international historic car industry…". This year, International Historic Motoring Awards "paid tribute to the way America's McPherson College is educating the historic car preservers of the future with its innovative four-year Automotive Restoration degree program."
Amanda Gutierrez, Vice President for Automotive Restoration, said: "This is a wonderful recognition of everyone who has worked so hard to make the automotive restoration program a success – our campus community, alumni, advisory board and supporters. This is the international stage affirming the quality and value of what we've built during the last 40 years."
McPherson College Automotive Restoration was in fantastic company among the other finalists for the award. These included such well-known organizations as: Hagerty Insurance, Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations, Porsche Motorsports North America, and The Royal Automobile Club.
This award further recognizes the momentum of the program moving into a multi-year strategic plan to solidify the Automotive Restoration program at McPherson College as the center of excellence for students serious about automotive restoration. Part of that plan involves utilizing the restoration of a Pebble Beach eligible classic, such as a Mercedes-Benz 300S, to demonstrate the highest levels of restoration skills, time management, goal setting, budgeting, and teamwork. If you know of a good restoration candidate, please contact us!
Portfolio: 166 Spyder Corsa
The 1948 166 Spyder Corsa, chassis 016 I, has been added to our Portfolio section. The first Ferrari to be raced in the US, and the first Ferrari to win a US race - driven by the great Briggs Cunningham. This historic Spyder was authentically restored on behalf of the renowned Revs Institute Collier Collection. Pictured here during the Cunningham Gathering held during the 2013 Historic Festival at Lime Rock Park (CT).
Lime Rock Historic Celebrates M-B Competition Cars
The Sunday in the Park Concours d’Elegance, held during Historic Festival 33 at Lime Rock Park (CT) this Labor Day weekend, was an amazing lineup of Mercedes-Benz competition cars, presided over by driving greats Jochen Mass and Stirling Moss. Our portfolio of work was well represented, as some of the show winners consisted of former restoration and current preservation clients.
The dramatic 1930 'Count Trossi' SSK (center picture), a restoration we completed in 1993, was awarded Best of Show.
The authentically restored 1939 W154 'Silver Arrow' (race number 6, above), debuted on the Lime Rock track in 2009, won First in the special feature class.
True to the philosophy of The Revs Institute and Miles Collier, that proper preservation and public education includes exercise and demonstration, the 1939 Mercedes W154 GP car was given some spirited runs around the track during the weekend’s historic racing activities, piloted by the great F1 and Le Mans veteran Jochen Mass.
Also on hand were two 300SL Roadsters, which we preserve in running condition for their owners. One Roadster won the Preservation class, and the other (shown above) won the 300SL class.
A Study in Contrasts at Pebble Beach
Fresh from our workshop, following a cosmetic body and upholstery restoration, we brought Ferrari’s first production long wheelbase (LWB) 250 GT California Spyder, chassis number 0919GT. This Scaglietti body was fitted with covered headlights, and a number of features unique to the first Californias. After the Tour d’Elegance, followed by Friday’s day of coastal cruising, and then looking quite elegant on the show field, the owners and crew were well pleased with its 2nd place result amongst a very strong class (M-1: Ferrari Grand Touring).
The other Ferrari we brought to Monterey was an unrestored “barn-find”, the 1961 short wheelbase (SWB) California Spyder from the Baillion Collection. This car was one of a hundred or so classic European cars tucked away for decades on a farm in France. Some of the cars from this collection will require significant resources to bring them back to life. This car is no exception.
Before the event we performed a mechanical recommissioning, offering the new owners the option to drive it on the Tour. There was a lot of talk on the day as to whether an old, unrestored, dusty car has any right to be on the Pebble Beach show field. The public clearly enjoyed this study in contrasts.
A meaningful award from Villa d’Este
The historic Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza has been held since 1929 at one of Italy’s most elegant locations on Lake Como. It is comprised of a very select field of 50 classic and 10 current concept cars. This year the weather was as gorgeous as the cars on display over the Saturday and Sunday events.
The owners of a 1952 Ferrari 212 Europa Vignale Coupe, debuted last fall following our authentic restoration, were very pleased to be invited to participate in the 2015 Concorso. Two generations were in attendance as the car received a stream of well-deserved compliments and applause from the viewing public.
The Jury was also very impressed with the car, deeming it worthy of the Trofeo BMW Group Classic award for the “most sensitive restoration”. Sensitive Restoration is a way of recognizing the attention paid to authentic detail while utilizing the methods and materials of the original builders. Our congratulations to the father and son team who supported our efforts all through this challenging project.
To restore, or not to restore
At the Revs Institute Connoisseurship and the Collectible Car symposium in Naples (FL), Paul Russell was invited to speak to the concept of informed research when considering the philosophy of a restoration. Specifically, regarding the extremely rare 1942 Mercedes-Benz 540K Spezial Aktion Panzer-Limousinen recently added to the host's collection. Joining Paul for this discussion was Michael Shanks, an archaeologist at Stanford University (CA). Michael offers his summation of their conversation on his all things archeological blog. Wide-reaching and thought provoking, history's ruin - the case of an automobile covers many of the issues that anyone who is dedicated to preserving fine automobiles struggles with every day.
Amelia Island Concours
This year, the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance celebrated Mercedes-Benz Sports Cars in addition to honoring Sir Sterling Moss and the 60th Anniversary of his Mille Miglia win. The 1939 Mercedes-Benz W154 GP 'Silver Arrow', which we had restored a few years ago for the Collier Collection, was one among the many wondrous race cars on special display.
Two of our current projects, one a full restoration and the other a preservation undertaking, were on the Concours field for judging. The Figoni & Falaschi custom design on the 1939 Delahaye 135 MS Torpedo Grand Sport was deemed to be the Most Elegant French Coachwork. And the extremely rare and original mid-engine 1965 Ferrari Dino 166P/206P placed First in the 1960-1990 race car class.
Cavallino Classic "375"
For the Ferrari enthusiast, the Cavallino Classic continues to impress. We were responsible for four Ferraris during the event: two authentically restored and two authentically preserved. For Paul and the owner of the 375 MM Spyder n.0382, the long weekend started with their participation in a 375 symposium for the Cavallino Classic Lecture Series. Chassis no.0382 had, rather notoriously, been stored for decades before our client purchased it. We are proud to be recommissioning this authentic example of a pedigreed racer for a client who values originality while demanding that the car continue to be race-ready. At the Saturday Concorso, n.0382 was awarded the 375 Cup.
This client’s philosophy is also evident in his custodianship of the 1965 166/206 P Dino. We recently rebuilt the ignition system and the transaxle (which included a great deal of custom machine work) after they had failed during Bahamas Speed Week. At Cavallino the owner was thrilled to take it to the track on Friday for some warm weather testing. Then on Saturday the Dino was awarded a Platinum in the Preservation Class along with the Scuderia Ferrari Cup for Best of Show, Competition. A wonderful result for this 1965 World Hillclimb Champion.
Our two restored cars well represented the other side of the collector hobby during the Saturday Concorso. The Belgian ENB 1958 Le Mans 250 TR was awarded a Platinum along with the Competizione Cup for finest track/racing Ferrari. The subtly striking black with green 212 Europa Vignale Coupe was awarded a hard-won Platinum, and also won the Excellence Award in its class at the Classic Sports Sunday at Mar-a-Lago.
Also on Sunday, the 1939 Delahaye 135MS Torpedo Grand Sport (class winner at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours) joined the Ferrari weekend, and won its class Excellence Award and the Most Elegant Convertible award.
This fall we have been excited to attend some local car shows. While most of our clients live outside the New England area, Paul received permission to share a few of these great cars with the public. The Historic Festival at Lime Rock Park is always a great way to spend the weekend. While last year we participated in the track events with the 1948 Ferrari 166 SC, this year we joined the Sunday in the Park Concours with a lovely 1956 silver/blue Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing. Larz Anderson Auto Museum, home to America’s Oldest Car Collection, hosts a series of marque-themed Lawn Events on their extensive grounds over summer weekends. We displayed the extremely rare (and preserved, not restored) 1958 Ferrari 335 S race car for all to enjoy at the Tutto Italiano day. Late September, we took a Pebble Beach winning, bright-red, 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing to display at The Boston Cup, held on historic Boston Common, where Paul was honored to present the Restoration Award to the owners of a 1964 Porsche Carrera.
Further afield, the 1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa n.0724 was invited by Ferrari to participate in their celebration of 60 years in the USA. The “Race Through the Decades 1954-2014” event displayed 60 historic cars along Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Black tie dinner and charity fundraiser aside, the extraordinary collection of cars were on view for all to see.
Pebble Beach Tour & Concours d'Elegance
By all accounts, this year’s Monterey Week was action-packed. After a flurry of activity in our shop to get all the cars ready, the days in California were relatively calm. On Thursday, the three cars entered in the Concours were driven by their owners on the Tour d’Elegance around the Monterey peninsula, and a grand time was had by all. [Pictured top to bottom: 1952 Ferrari 212 Europa Vignale Coupe; 1939 Delahaye 135MS Torpedo Grand Sport; 1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa Scaglietti.]
With no breakdowns or damage during the 85-mile drive, the cars needed only a simple clean and detail to be ready for the show field on Sunday. Amongst a very strong class of twenty Testa Rossas, the yellow with red stripe, 1958 Le Mans race car was awarded Second. The exceptionally elegant metallic green with black 212 was overshadowed by the Best of Show Ferrari 375MM in the same class. The handsome and unusual Figoni & Falschi Delahaye Torpedo Grand Sport was awarded First in its class.
Yes, we do Ferraris
Our crew proudly gathers around an assembly of unique and beautiful cars prior to their debut at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Clockwise from top: 1939 Delahaye 135 MS Torpedo Grand Sport; 1948 Ferrari 166 Spyder Corsa; 1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa; 1952 Ferrari 212 Europa Vignale Coupe. With the exception of the 166SC, first shown at the 2013 Lime Rock Historic Festival, the other three are recently completed restorations.
A Terrific Trio at Amelia Island
Another wonderful weekend at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. We brought three cars to the event, shown here in the early morning. The 1948 Ferrari 166 Spyder Corsa won an Amelia Award in the Ferrari Racing class. The 1958 Ferrari 335 S Scaglietti Spyder was awarded the McIntosh Trophy for "the best sounding car on the field". Read more about these two cars in our Cavallino Classic 23 news (January 2014). And the "most elegant" 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S 'Saoutchik' Torpedo Roadster was awarded the Mercedes-Benz Star of Excellence.
Best Ferraris at Cavallino Classic 23
The 1948 Ferrari 166 Spyder Corsa continues to impress. Originally owned by Briggs Cunningham, chassis 016-I was the first Ferrari to win a race in the U.S. We were commissioned by the Collier Collection to bring it back to its 1950 Watkins Glen race configuration. At the Cavallino Classic Concorso event on Saturday, the team of judges viewed the field with a critical eye to authenticity, and decreed the 166SC to be the Competition Ferrari Best of Show. Additional honor was bestowed when the judges awarded the 166SC the Chief Judge Emeritus Cup, for the "best restoration in authenticity and research" on the field.
We were also excited to assist with the very rare 1958 Ferrari 335 S Scaglietti Spyder, the same model that clinched the world sports car championship in Argentina. Chassis 0764 was ordered by Luigi Chinetti and displayed at the NY Auto Show before a notable racing career at Road America, Watkins Glen, Midlands Texas, etc. Earlier this month our client entrusted us to give the car a look-over before purchase, and a quick race-prep before this weekend. As delighted as he was when presented with the Competition Ferrari Best of Show at the Mar-a-Lago Classic Sports Sunday, he was especially gratified by the Cavallino Ferrari Spirit Cup. To decide this award, the judges put emphasis on the car and driver's performance on the track Friday, the car's history, and its presence on the lawn Saturday.
First in Class at St. Michaels Concours d'Elegance
While we are known mostly for our restoration work, we are equally proud of the cars we preserve. Honoring the patina of a classic car is a path that we feel should be seriously considered when possible. Shown here is a wonderfully original 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster. Unrestored but properly maintained by us, and repainted due only to minor body damage, this is simply a great car.
Frank and Beverly Spellman have been enjoying the use of this car for decades, both at concours events and on road rallies, usually fully accessorized. Most recently, they showed it at the St. Michaels Concours d'Elegance on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. Dr. Spellman writes "We won best in 'Post War Open Sports Cars' class … Put the original whitewalls on for the event." We think the old girl looks spectacular.
Best of Show at Lime Rock Historic Festival
The 2013 Historic Festival at Lime Rock Park in CT was excellent. Even though the weather was frequently threatening, it could not dampen the spirited three days of on-track vintage racing, a Cunningham Gathering, plus the Sunday in the Park Concours.
This year we brought two cars whose restoration completion was specifically targeted for this event: a 1952 Cunningham C-3 and the 1948 Briggs Cunningham Ferrari 166 Spyder Corsa to be debuted at the Concours. The C-3 was one of many C-3s grouped together for the Marque feature, and the historic 166SC won Best of Show at the Sunday Concours. More importantly it was the first time that the Collier Collection saw the finished 166SC after a two year restoration. Our mandate was to bring this car, the first Ferrari to win a race in the U.S., back to its precise 1950 Watkins Glen configuration. They were more than pleased with the results.
The Ferrari was displayed with the other four cars the Collier Collection brought to the event from Naples, FL. A truly great outing for all participants, celebrating multiple aspects of the collector car hobby.
A New Journey for the Saoutchik
For the past 35 years, one of our constant doctrines has been an insistence on quality, for the craftsmanship and for the cars, and on behalf of our clients. We have never advocated that the restoration of a classic should be done solely for monetary return, and truly believe that the ultimate reward for an owner is in the pursuit of their personal passion. That being said, we acknowledge that many of our former restorations have set record prices at auction.
The 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S 'Saoutchik' Torpedo Roadster is a great example of a spectacular car, with an acknowledged 'perfect' restoration, and owners who love the sport and hobby of classic cars. Our entire team enjoyed collaborating with the Andrews family during the extensive research and rebuilding process, which led to Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 2012. With an eye to new automotive experiences, the Andrews family decided to include the Saoutchik in the 2013 RM Auction at Monterey. Auction houses play a unique role in the current collectible car market, creating a world-wide interest in and competition for the great cars. We wish the new owners many miles of happy motoring.
We Celebrate our 35th Year!
Gullwing Service Company (now DBA Paul Russell and Company) was incorporated on June 1, 1978. By the fall of that first year we already had a full workload, specializing in the mechanical restoration of 1950s Mercedes-Benz in our three-bay garage in Topsfield, MA (shown here). By 1983 we had outgrown those premises and that limited specialty, and moved to our current workshop in Essex, MA. Since then our physical plant, range of services, and variety of marques have all grown far beyond Paul's original expectations. More...
35 years of passionate dedication to the preservation of fine automobiles translates to the service and/or restoration of over 680 classic cars from dozens of marques, the majority of them being Mercedes-Benz, including over 250 300SLs. Our work has resulted in 37 Best of Show honors along with numerous other awards and recognitions, including having our craftsmanship displayed at automotive and fine art museums. Many of our clients as well as staff members have been with us for decades.
Today we celebrate our past achievements as we look forward, to new projects for old and new clients, with up and coming professional restorers joining our experienced team of craftsman.
Atlantic adds to Best of Show honors
Ralph Lauren's 1938 Bugatti T57SC Atlantic Coupe swept the podium at Villa d'Este this weekend. Awarded People's and Children's Choice by popular vote at Villa Erba, and the Coppa d'Oro at the Villa d'Este Concorso, it went on to be awarded Best of Show for the weekend. We are honored that Mr. Lauren still enjoys displaying our restoration craftsmanship 23 years after the Atlantic won Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours in 1990. More...
It is difficult for any car to compete against the rare beauty of the Atlantic. We were very pleased that the recently restored 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Saoutchik Torpedo Roadster, Best of Show at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, was shared with European car enthusisasts during the Villa d'Este Concorso weekend. Winning its class, it was in the running for Best of Show.
Excellence at McPherson College
The Paul Russell Award for Excellence was presented to TAYLOR ADAMS during McPherson College's Celebration and Awards Convocation on May 3. In recognition of "outstanding commitment to the preservation of automotive craftsmanship, history, and technology", this monetary award is a tangible result of the fundraiser held November 2012 [see News Archives] for McPherson's Automotive Restoration degree program. Our thanks again to all the generous sponsors, attendees, and donors who helped make this award possible.
Power the Future at McPherson
McPherson College staff and senior auto restoration student Casey Maxon visited with car collectors, restoration specialists, and others in the collector car industry while at the Amelia Island Concours d' Elegance. These enthusiasts shared their passion for classic cars and the growing importance of involving the next generation in the endeavor. This well produced video includes alumni and friends of McPherson College from Mercedes-Benz USA, Hagerty Insurance, and our own Paul Russell - recently appointed chair of the National Advisory Board for the McPherson College automotive restoration program.More...
For more information about the McPherson College Automotive Restoration Program, visit mcpherson.edu/autorestoration.
Connoisseurship and the Collectible Car
The 7th Biennial Symposium on Connoisseurship and the Collectible Car, hosted by the Revs Institute for Automotive Research, is now behind us and was another provocative, educational, and inspiring four-day event. This is the third of the seven symposia in which we have been invited to be a member of the faculty - an honor and a privilege. This year marked a significant presence of Stanford University students and faculty, as the Revs Institute takes a foothold in the university curriculum, and fulfills Miles Collier's vision of incorporating the historical, cultural, and technological significance of the automobile into the entire curriculum at Stanford and beyond.More...
A significant segment of this years program centered on the maturing of the collector car "hobby" into one of stewardship of historical objects - documents if you will - that reflect so much of life in their own time period. Dr. Frederick Simeone was there to discuss just that, using his own new book, The Stewardship of Historically Important Automobiles, to lay out the issues. Paul's role was to discuss the many varied decisions a serious owner and restorer must consider when bringing back an historic automobile to a certain point in time. The example used for this discussion was the 1948 Ferrari 166 Spyder Corsa we are restoring for Mr. Collier. It is in its trial assembly stage - just before paint - and brought down to the symposium (pictured on display here) to illustrate the decisions made and their consequences in this subject area.
Other presenters included motorsports historian Doug Nye, Michael Bock from Mercedes-Benz Classic, Indy 500 Champion Dario Franchitti, and Keith Martin from Sports Car Market. To learn more about the Revs Institute for Automotive Research, visit revsinstitute.org.
Storytelling at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum
Our very own Drivetrain Specialist, Bob Lapane, will be one of the guest speakers at the first ever MotorMouth: Insider Series, "an evening of fascinating tales from those who have made careers out of their love of the automobile". At the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA on Thursday, March 21st. For tickets and more information click here.
Cavallino Classic XXII
We sent a truckload of cars to the Palm Beach area for this important South Florida weekend. There were no scheduling conflicts with the Scottsdale weekend this year, but there was a conflict for Ferrari racing fans who wanted to attend the Ferrari Challenge N.A. event at Daytona International Speedway. More...
The 1954 Ferrari 375 MM, winner of Preservation and Competition Cups in 2012, returned this year for a special class honoring Pininfarina designed Ferraris at Saturday's Concorso d'Eleganza. As the 375MM is a Preservation car, it needed only a check-over after its runs on the track last month during the Bahamas Speed Week Revival.
Pictured here is the 375MM on display at Jet Aviation's La Bella Macchina, Thursday evening. On Saturday at The Breakers, this unrestored 375MM was awarded Gold in its pre-1956 class. Also on the field was a client's Ferrari 500 Superfast, which we serviced and detailed following its 2012 season of European rallying. For the Classic Sports Sunday event, the 375MM owner drove his car to the field at Mar-a-Lago, and then won Finest Competition Car.
Scottsdale Auction Results
Alex Finigan, our Sales and Brokerage expert, attended the 2013 Scottsdale Auctions on behalf of three different clients. Continuing a long and complimentary relationship with Gooding & Company, Alex represented the owner of the 1959 Porsche RSK which sold for a new world record price of $3.135M, including the 10% buyer's premium.More...
Assisting a client in pursuit of an original, low-mileage Lancia B24S Spider America, Alex investigated the car's history, inspected the car on site, and then helped to develop a bidding strategy, suggesting a top budget of $400,000. Although unsuccessful in attaining the car, Alex felt the client was well served in preparing for the emotions of the day, as the car ultimately sold for almost twice the estimate.
Before the auction, Alex completed his own investigation of the rare Fantuzzi bodied 1957 Maserati 150 GT Spider. The new owner was particularly pleased with the winning bid of $3.080M, an amount below Alex's recommended bidding limit.
Saoutchik Roadster is Restoration of the Year
Latest News from the International Historic Motoring Awards:
"Restoration of the Year was won by the ‘Avant-Garde Torpedo Roadster’ the 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S with coachbuilt body by Jacques Saoutchik. Following a meticulous restoration by Paul Russell and Company, which saw members of the restoration team travel from the USA to Germany to see two similar Saoutchik-bodied cars that still had their original lizard skin interiors, this car took the Best of Show award at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.More...
"Without the ability and creativity of restorers and the dedication of owners a great many cars would be lost forever. A truly great restoration requires a combination of in-depth research, historical knowledge, sensitivity, and a huge range of technical skills - and often more than a little ingenuity.
"For this award the judges are looking for the highest conceivable level of workmanship, applied to a vehicle of historical significance or importance. Provenance and originality are vital - this is restoration not re-creation - a meticulous, comprehensively-documented restoration of a vehicle that has been returned to what it was in its glory days."
Funds Raised for McPherson College
Paul Russell and Company was pleased to host a fundraiser on Saturday, November 3, 2012, for the benefit of the McPherson College Automotive Restoration Program. The centerpiece of the event was a celebration of our 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Best of Show winner, the 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Saoutchik Torpedo Roadster. With the support of our generous sponsors, we were able to present a check to Amanda Gutierrez, McPherson College vice president for automotive restoration, for almost $60,000.More...
Essex, MA -- Paul Russell and Company, the automotive restoration and preservation specialists of this year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance Best of Show Winner, the 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Saoutchik Torpedo Roadster, brought the Mercedes star back east November 3rd to an eager crowd of enthusiasts, raising funds for McPherson College's Automotive Restoration Program, the country's only four-year Bachelor of Arts program devoted to the craft. The event raised nearly $60,000, from over 200 avid auto enthusiasts, sponsors, and supporters who were treated to a first-hand explanation of the custom coachbuilder's art from the restoration team, several of whom are McPherson College Graduates.
"We are thrilled to champion the Automotive Restoration Program at McPherson College, and to have Program graduates involved in a restoration project of this magnitude - an exquisite example of the 'coachbuilt era' motorcar," Paul Russell, a long-time Educational Advisory Board Member of the school, and event host said.
Partner sponsor Mercedes-Benz USA was on hand with a new LeMans Red SLS coupe looking every bit as classy as its 85-year old predecessor, showing the marque truly does withstand the test of time! They joined nearly a dozen other sponsors of the event from the historic, collector and vintage automotive industries, many of whom share a long-time interest and involvement with the McPherson College Automotive Restoration Program.
"We're proud to provide scholarship opportunities, to join in these fund raisers, and promote the McPherson College Automotive Restoration Program," Mike Kunz, of Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Irvine, California and fellow Educational Advisory Board Member at McPherson College said. "We also enjoy the first-hand benefit of employing the graduates of the Program, with one of our youngest employees becoming a specialist on our oldest model - the very car that launched the automotive age - the 1886 Benz Patent Motorwagen!"
Hagerty Insurance, specialty auto insurers were on-board and on-hand to enjoy the presentation and shop tour. "It is important for all of us to support institutions like McPherson College so future generations learn how to properly restore classic cars. McPherson sets the standard and their graduates can be found at some of the world's leading restoration shops and winning prestigious awards at events around the country." McKeel Hagerty, President and CEO said.
Panther City Classic Autos, Jay Leno, BASF Glasurit, Gooding & Company, Premier Financial Services, Intercity Lines, Griot's Garage, Michael Furman Automotive Photographer, and Motorsport Marketing Resources were all key sponsors, helping with everything from donations to in-kind assistance to make the event a success.
The restoration team took attendees through the meticulous processes they used to bring the 1928 Mercedes-Benz up to the exacting Pebble Beach standards. Processes, such as researching and recreating the lizard skin upholstery were accomplished with utmost deliberative care, and over 1500 hours were spent on this endeavor alone! Chris Andrews, son of the vehicle's owners Paul and Judy Andrews of Fort Worth, TX was closely involved in monitoring the progress through the nearly two-year long project, emphasizing the roadworthiness of the finished product, in addition to its Pebble Beach Concours preparation. Their Panther City Classic Autos are also among the event supporters.
"I'm proud to be part of this team," McPherson Graduate, Stacy Puckett, the Resource Manager at Paul Russell and Company said. "Preserving the history of these important early motorcars so future generations can enjoy and learn from them is a pretty awesome job."
Amanda Gutierrez, McPherson College vice president for automotive restoration, said they were pleased to have so many restoration alumni involved with the Best of Show winner and appreciate all the efforts of Paul Russell and Company to organize this benefit.
"At McPherson College, we teach students the skills, historical background and global perspective they need to develop into world-class restorers - like those at Paul Russell and Company," she said. "We are so proud of our alumni success and their passion and professionalism. Our thanks go to Paul Russell for seeing the value of McPherson College."
To learn more about the McPherson Auto Restoration Program, visit www.mcpherson.edu/autorestoration.
Cavallino Classic XXI
The 2012 Cavallino Classic was a sunny showcase of important Ferraris both with and without racing lineage. The field offered up something to admire for every sort of Ferrari enthusiast, from the rugged 1963 GTO to the refined elegance of a 1951 212 Export Spyder Vignale. It was a beautiful day to be a Ferrari admirer. We presented two cars, one a fresh restoration and the other a preservation project. Both cars did very well, as they received 2 class awards and 3 major awards. Our sincere thanks and congratulations go to both of our enthusiastic and committed car owners. More...
1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Berlinetta alumino.
Delivered first to Switzerland and used to tour Europe, this wedding gift was then shipped to Canada. The next owner had it repainted brown metallic and fitted with a cream interior and lime green carpets. Other major modifications included the installation of a sunroof, large speakers on the back shelf, and a rectangular front grille guard. We hear it made quite an impression as it was often parked on the streets of Montreal. We purchased it on behalf of the current owner and restored the car to the 1967 Scaglietti configuration, and the original colors of Rosso Chiaro paint with Nero full leather interior.
Awards: Platinum Award (95+ points), Gran Turismo Ferrari Cup (Best of Show for road cars)
1953 Ferrari 375 MM Spyder. This car had been stored in a barn since being raced at Watkins Glen in 1973. Our client brought it to us in 2010 to be recommissioned mechanically, and for a sensitive touch while preserving the cosmetics. We are honored to be entrusted with this important project and its ongoing care. The owners have continued its racing lineage by participating in hillclimb events, as well as concours events, both here and abroad.
Awards: Platinum Award (95+ points), Competition Cup (for the finest racing Ferrari), Preservation Vintage Cup (for the Ferrari best representing original preserved condition, pre-1975)
Autobahn-Kurier wins Louis Vuitton Classic Concours Award
The magnificent 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn-Kurier, which we completely restored in 2006, has been awarded the coveted Louis Vuitton Classic Concours Award for 2011. Only those cars that have won Best of Show at a major concours event during the year are considered. A jury of specialists decide the winner, based upon the elegance and refinement of the interior and exterior coachwork, the mechanical beauty, the appropriateness of form and function, as well as the authenticity, historical importance, and rarity.More...
The Autobahn-Kurier won Best of Show at the 2011 Concours d'Elegance of America, which qualified it for consideration. The award ceremony took place in Monaco on April 23, when a specially commissioned sculpture was presented to the owners.
This is our second "Best of the Best" award. The 1950 Ferrari 166 MM/195 S Berlinetta Le Mans, completed in 2007, won the Louis Vuitton Classic Concours Award for 2008 after winning Best of Show at the Villa d'Este Concorso that year.