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Thread: 12th Ilya Sorokin's Oldtimer Gallery - Moscow - October 10-13

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    12th Ilya Sorokin's Oldtimer Gallery - Moscow - October 10-13

    Oldtimer gallery is a classic cars exhibition being organized twice a year since 2002 (in 2002 and 2003 - once a year) in Moscow. Among the participants are mostly Russian classic car clubs and private collectors. Beside the cars, some old paintings, arms, models, documents etc. can be seen there - everything that can be collected. The organizers call it 'the biggest technical antiques exhibition in Eastern Europe'.
    This year's gallery, 12th in a row, had some great cars exposed, including a potentially ten-million Mercedes-Benz 500K Special Roadster from 1936. In a middle of thirties only 25 cars were assembled by Daimler-Benz together with Sindelfingen Werk, with the latter responsible for the bodies. Powerful 5018cc engine capable of 160hp, thanks to a compressor, provided a great dynamics and carried a part of Ferdinand Porsche's genius. The featured example was found in Alma-Ata in early nineties and represented just frame and body in horrific condition. During several years it has been restored and now shows an absolutely authentic shape.
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    The other great car representing a German school, was a Horch 830BL Karl Baur Pullman-Cabriolet dated 1939. Equipped with a 3823cc eight-cylinder engine with a 92hp output and was capable of 120kph. Stuttgart based Karl Baur company bought the cars directly from Horch manufacture and spent up to 12 months for each of them. The interiors made by Karl Baur were among the period's best ones - designed in a complete accordance to customers' personal demands, they used the most exclusive leather and wood species. Also, Blaupunkt, Koerting or Telefunken radios and Bosch heating system could be installed. But owing to that, the Karl Baur 830BL's price was about 15.000 marks, which equalled a price of two decent houses. Among the eighty pullman-cabriolets made at the edge of thirties and fourties about seven are known as survived. This example is declared by German Horch Club to be one of the best Horch cars today in the meaning of craftsmanship and authencity.
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    But not Germans only... This astonishing 1929 Hispano-Suiza H6B Million-Guiet Berlina is a result of an excellent work of French engineers and designers. The H6B chassis, produced at Hispano-Suiza factory, were among the very best in twenties - incredibly smooth drive was achieved by long leaf springs, adjustable shock-absorbers and near soundless engine, which created almost nothing of what is called a vibration. If you would place a coin on the bonned of a working car edgewise, it wouldn't fall. But it wasn't the only advantage of that perfect engine. This incredible 6597cc inline-six was developed from a Hispano-Suiza aviation engine, widely used during a World War I, and provided the car with an impressive 135hp. H6B, being a royal car, carried a number of great technical innovations, such as vacuum amplifiers for all of the brakes, later patented by Rolls-Royce, the dynastarter - starter combined with a generator, or a system for spark plugs examination - six switches under the dashboard allowed driver to swith off and on any of them. The body, Berlina Avec Separateur by Million-Guiet, is completely authentic and has a glass partition between the driver and the passenger.
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    When this car was presented in Commodore hotel in New York in 1930, it has officially became the first production car with a V16 engine in the United States. Equipped with an impressive 7698cc 185hp engine, it remained in production until the end of 1939, despite the Great Depression. Hollywood stars, Arab sheikhs, Latin-American dictators and many others, creme de la creme, ordered those magnificent vehicles. Famous Al Capone had several of them. Yes, it's Cadillac V16, the most powerful and luxury American car of thirties. And this particular example carries a beautiful All-Weather Phaeton body designed by Fleetwood in 1930 for Henry Martin Leland, Caillac Automobile Company founder, who was the first owner of this V16.
    And since I've mentioned the vacuum amplifiers speaking about the Hispano-Suiza, I have to admit that the V16 was a first production car equipped with them.
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    The really passionate spot among all that pathos and pomposity was this Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 with a perfect aerodynamic body by Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera coming from 1947. Extremely successful, the 6C 2500 Alfa Romeo was produced between 1938 and 1952, and even during a World War II a few hundred cars were assembled. 2591 6C 2500's were made in common. Light, fast and greatly engineered, which is no surprise, as the 6C 2500 was engineered by Vittorio Jano. In addition, it carried the great Superleggera technology, which meant the frame made of thin steel tubes and the light aluminium bodypanels. Thanks to it, 6C 2500 from Touring were faster then any other 6C 2500 - no matter whether it was a Farina, Bertone or another car.
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    Horch has been always associated with luxury and exclusivity. While the period German officials were bound to drive a Mercedes-Benz cars at work, for their personal uses they have always preferred Horch. No wonder the owner of this car didn't want to part with his great Horch 853 Sport Cabriolet. Having spent several years driving it through Alma-Ata after World War II, he decided to save it for the future and in 1956 placed it on the roof of his own shed, where the car stood until 1989, when it was found by a classic cars collector - Vyacheslav Lehn. Suprisingly, the car remained in a comparatively good condition - even the original body paint and leather in the interior lasted out. To buy the car Lehn spent seven years trying to persuade the owner to sell this beautiful roadster and finally in 1996 the 853 found its way to Moscow, where in 2004 the process of restoration has begun.
    First time shown at 1935 Berlin auto show, the 853 Sport Cabriolet had an inline-eight 5-liter engine with a 100hp output. But despite this and the independent suspension, the 853 wasn't so fast - weighing around 2.5 tons, it could reach only 135kph, acceleration took a rather long time and it obviously had a lack of stability at speed. But the level of comfort has outbalanced the lack of dynamics and secured a considerable part of a luxury cars market.
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    Last edited by faksta; 10-14-2008 at 02:35 AM.

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    Beautiful pics so far.
    "Kimi, can you improve on your [race] finish?"
    "No. My Finnish is fine; I am from Finland. Do you have any water?"

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    The oldest car at the exhibition, this French 1898 Lacroix - De Laville shows an early attempt to built a people's car. Combining some technical decisions from automobiles and motorcycles, it had a 3hp one-cylinder De Dion motorcycle engine, motorcycle front end and at the same time it possessed a wooden chassis and an automotive 4-seater body, very rare for Lacroix - De Laville, which were mostly produced in a 2-seater specification. Despite its inconvenience - look at the steering lever - and very low dynamics several hundred cars were produced and sold.
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    Famous 'Tin Lizzy', car of the century, first truly people's car and first ever car to enter the automatic assembly line, Ford Model T lived a long life in production - from 1908 to 1927. This yellow 1910 Ford Model T Tourer is one of the early models, and been repainted yellow from black by its first owner, as factory only offered black cars. Its four-cylinder 2896cc 22hp engine allowed to reach the speed of only 60kph, but its real advantage was an arrangement - all 4 cylinders blocked together was an uncommon practice then, but became an everyday occurance today.
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    Today's Czech automotive industry is mostly associated with one name - Skoda. But in early years there were some other popular Czech makes - Praga, Aero, Tatra and others. Some of them produced luxury cars, like Tatra or Praga, but most were involved in inexpensive cars production. This Aero 1000 coming from 1933 was the most expensive car assembled at Dr. Kabes' Aero factory, which existed through 1929-1947 in Praha-Vysocany - Prague suburb. Having in its disposal just a 998cc 26hp engine with two cylinders, it nevertheless was regarded as a sports car. Very light body designed looking back at Aero's own aviation technologies allowed this small roadster to reach 100kph. In 1947, when Czech automotive industry was nationalized, Dr. Kabes ceased cars production and nowadays Aero factory is specialized in aviation.
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    Even standing side by side with Ford T and Aero 1000, this Austin 7 looked like a child. Produced by Austin Motor Company from 1922 to 1939, the Seven has dispersed all over the World in 250000 units. BMW's Dixi, American Austin, Rosengart all were just licenced Austins, while Nissan used its design in first models. This 1931 Austin 7 represents a common tendency of that time - while Seven was cheap, light, reliable and handled easily, it obviously had a lack of individuality. Many owners of this tiny car have ordered exclusive bodies from different workshops, like this pretty two-seater roadster body.
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    In 1957 Moscow ZIS (later ZIL) factory made only one example of this car - ZIS 110E (pronounced similar to a sound in 'bag' word) - variation of a 110B convertible car built primarily for military parades, but unlike the latter equipped with electric window lifters and a metal handle in front of the second row to stand up in a car while driving. Until recently this car was an exhibit of Rigas Motormuseum, but later purchased and delivered to Moscow. All the mechanicals correspond with a basic ZIS 110, which was also present.
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    One of the best Soviet luxury cars, ZIS 110, represented by two cars at the Oldtimer Gallery, was made from 1945 to 1958 and borrowed the most part of its brutal styling from Packard 180. The most noticeable distinctions from the outside were the absence of spare wheels, as the only spare wheel was placed in a trunk, footboards placed inside the body and a much different rear end. Apart from luxury, the 110 was a fastest Soviet production car that time - 140kph and 28 seconds for 0-100kph. This was ensured by a powerful 6005cc 8-cylinder engine capable of 140hp. Interesting peculiarity was a speedometer gauge - when the speed was lower than 60kph it was green, from 60 to 100 became yellow, and after 100kph - red.
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    The elder brother of a 500K, this 540K had more powerful 5401cc engine - 180hp against 500K's 160hp and thus allowed to reach 170kph. Maybe this was a reason of its better popularity - while the 500K was sold in a total amount of 342 cars, 419 540K 's left the factory from 1936 to 1939. This beautiful black Special Roadster is among the rare right-hand drive versions. Ordered in a number of two cars by a British Foreign Office, it was destined for a royal family at one of the British colonies.
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    But unlike its major rival, Horch, Mercedes-Benz company has always produced a wide range of lower level cars, like this Mercedes-Benz 170V Cabriolet A. From 1935 to 1942 a total number of 86615 170V cars were assembled - it has become a most mass car in a period. During its difficult life this particular example has suffered several restorations - first time, in mid-nineties, it has been quite uselessly fixed by that time owner. After that he sold the car to some collector, who turned to a specialized workshop. Unfortunately, the abilities of Russian workshops in nineties were very low, and after another 'restoration' the 170V was sold again. The next owner went bankrupt soon and the car was hardly saved by a Vadim Zadorozhnyi's museum in Moscow. Here, finally, the car was completely restored and received its modern authentic look.
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