your classic books

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Mario Laguna
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Joined: 2011-08-29

Before the GPS-mobile phone-Internet era, an essential tool for every motorist was a good travel guide book.
In 1992 I found in Belgium a pristine 1956 Guide pour l'Auto, with practical information and routes for 9 countries, including hotels, restaurants, interesting destinations, filling stations, marque addresses and B&W photos.
I can imagine this guide on top of the dashboard of a 1955 Pegaso Z-102 Touring, crossing the Stelvio passes.

 

 

Chris Martin
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Joined: 2011-08-20

Mario, you keep coming up with these questions. Ok, I have a lot of old Australian road maps and stuff, but I am still trying to find all the autographs you asked for last week. My scanner is going to melt-down.

Back soon.

Chris M.

 

fergieswatchmaker
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Joined: 2011-12-03

Better than a sat nav any day!

Nuno Granja
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Joined: 2011-09-13

Thank you Mario for sharing your own material,

I never heard about this kind of book here, and the closest thing i can remember is the ACP (Portuguese Car Club AA) maps, that my father uses in late 60's during the epic trips from Oporto to Algarve (600km), in an era when Portugal have 15km of highway near Oporto and other 20kms near Lisbon.

The ACP Map...

One curious thins is the title, it says "MAPA DO ESTADO DAS ESTRADAS", "Map about the road conditions" as in Portugal at that time the good  road  condition is not taken for granted...

photo taken from here...

http://obrinquedoantigo.blogspot.pt/2010/07/mapas-do-estado-das-estradas...

Back to my own material, some snaps from family old 8mm movies. Our  Opel Kapitan towing  the caravan somehere in the south of Portugal in the late 60's early 70's...

Myself in front of the machine...

and a Caddy passing during a stop on the way to Torremolinos (Spain)...

nuno granja

Mario Laguna
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Joined: 2011-08-29

When a friend sent me a photo of a ca. 1924 Studebaker in Spain, he put me in the trail to make an interesting finding.
I found the Studebaker's owner was Mario J. Barone, the first man ever to use a motor car to travel by land from Rio de Janeiro to New York in 1927.
The story is told by Barone in his 1930 book Heart and Will Power, Twenty Thousand Miles Across the Three Americas.
I got a second hand copy of the first edition, which, amazingly, is signed by the author. Although poorly reproduced, the book includes B&W photos of the Barone's adventure. As Barone says he reached his goal at the wheel of his three-year old Studebaker which had already covered 124000 miles before the day he started his odyssey, the victorious car might be the same Barone used for his journey in Spain.

 

 

Chris Martin
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Joined: 2011-08-20

Interesting stuff Mario. I have never heard of this Barone chap, but his feats certainly match those of Francis Birtles, Australia's most celebrated pioneer motorist, of which I may post more later.

But coincidentally, I am currently reading an old book from the thirties; 'Australia Through The Windscreen' about similar travels, but this time in a Hillman Minx.

As for books in general, take yur pick. Long a weakness of mine I now have a library groaning under the weight of thousands of books. Whether by marque or era, racing or classic, author or title, I can usually find it, but still the most useful reference is the two complete runs of C&SC magazines and Automobile Quarterly, the latter of which contain several contributuons from Mario, but I am sure he is too modest to mention that himself.

Chris M.

 

Nuno Granja
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Joined: 2011-09-13

This time i don't gona post my own material but some images taken all over the web.

This is the book that every portuguese VW aircolled fan with self respect know about, but only a few have seen...

"THE AFRICAN ROAD BOOK" , " The first allround trip in africa by car".

The author is Fernando Laidley, a bigger than life caracther...

This is a true story,

Fernando Laidley was born in Angola during 1918 when this territory was a portuguese colony. His family return to Portugal mainland one year later and no one knows what he was doing until 1955, when a failled  love affair made him start to drive and he didn't stop for the next 4 decades.

In his own words, "that love affair was killing me, so if I want so survive I must go to africa "...

This book is about the first trip, when Laidlley, with the photografer Carlos Alberto and the mechanic José Guerra, leave Lisbon at 25 of April 1955 in a second hand 1953 VW Type 1 "Beetle" ....

 

....and  return at  27 February 1956, after 46.000km and 20 african countries crossed.

On a car with 30hp, six volts electrics and with the african "roads" and lack of basic roadside facilities as fuel pumps, that's an epic journey.

 

 They crossed 7 deserts...

Here at the Kalahary

Some mud at Angola......

Crossing the border from Angola to the Belgian Congo...

 

Cheking the engine at Angola...

 

Some distress moments at Luanda,  Angola's capital...

 

When Fernando Laidley and friends arrived at Lisbon they become a national heros, even Salazar the dictator, send them congratulations, saying  they are an exemple for the youth...

The portuguese VW importer, takes advantage of the buzz in the portuguese society, and to take the better publicity possible, sending a team to Casablanca where they pratically rebuild the car at the end of the trip, so they make a triumphant return to Lisbon in an "as new"  VW type 1.

 

After that Fernando Laidley never stop until the 90's, but this very first trip still and amazing achivement. 

Here during another trip, a double african coast to coast, from Luanda (Angola) to  Lourenço Marques (Mozambique) at back to Bissau (Portuguese Guine)

Crossing the border to Mozambique...

 

Crossing another river at Mozambique...

 

Later he even go to Asia and India in a Vw Type 2, here crossing the central Anatólia in Turkey...

His last trip was in 1995 when he make a double cross of the Sara, this time in a more modern 4wd vehicle.

Anthor true story is about "Boma" the Lion...

During a  trip in africa Fernando Laidley go hunting with friends and some how they kill a femele lion. As with the female lion was baby lion, Fernando take him back to Lisbon making the last 18.000km with him in the car. During the next two years the lion lived at his Lisbon house and become his pet. As "Boma" grow up  neighbours and people who passed by, start to get affraid,  he was very curious and had the habit to put is head out of the windows  to see what is going on. Some say  that even car drivers get scaring moments.

A few years ago I have seen a portuguese Tv documentary about that lion with some incredible takes of the lion on the roof looking at the Lisbon urban landscape (no kiding, I try to find the movie on youtube without sucess). It that documentary a guy from the telephone company tells  that he almost die when making some repairs at Fernando Laidleys home and sudently notice there was lion behind him...

The police try to covince Fernando Laidley to put the lion on the Lisbon zoo, but Laidley prefer to send "Boma" back to africa.

In Fernando Laidley own words ; "Boma" was an adorable lion, everybody loved him" and "I'm indirectly responsable  of his orfhan condition, so I must take care of him the best I can"

In the 90's  Fernando Laidley become well know and cherished in VW Aircooled circles and go to club meetings as a guest from time to time, where everybody loves him.

Sadly he passed away in 6 April 2010.

 

nuno granja

 

 

Mario Laguna
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Joined: 2011-08-29

About the Dino Compendium, which deserved Book of the Month distinction (March 2012) and tops the overall Favourite books (February 2013), it is a serious love affaire between author Matthias Bartz and the prettiest little Ferrari ever.
As explained in his book, Matthias owns 6 Dinos and I think a seventh is on its way, submitted to a thorough restoration in Enzo's homeland.
Matthias put together a tremendous Dino show at Retro Classics Stuttgart in March 2011, but didn't tell his book was by then in an advanced state of gestation.

Welcomed at the Club Ferrari Deutschland's stand at Techno Classica Essen in April 2012, a proud Matthias introduced the first copy of his opera magna.

An instant success, the book sells in big numbers, in spite of its relatively high price tag. No doubt at all the book is good value for money.
I was happy meeting Matthias sharing his fascinating Dino stories. We exchanged books, views and above all friendship.

To know more about the Dino Comemdium and to order copies of the book, see
http://www.dino-book.com/