Monday, January 27, 2014

Tampa Bay Automobile Museum - Part 7


1933 DERBY

Derby was a motorcycle company in 1921 and gradually began making sports cars and race cars.  This is a beautiful sports car that isn't particularly wild in its design or anything, but, hey, they only made 11 of them.  I'm loving that hood ornament.     



This French Hotchkiss Gregoire was found in Colorado parked under a tree.  It only had 7000 miles on it but after the tree fell the top had been caved in and the windshield destroyed.  However, the aluminum was still good enough to be straightened and welded.    This is a 1953 Hotchkiss Gregoire's and very few were exported to the US.  This museum has 2.  There were only 252 made.



The Czechoslovakian little T97 was a continuation of a small, light car with a strong engine.  It was a great little car that began production 1938 but Hitler stopped its production when they took over the country because it was too close to the Volkswagen which was to begin its run the following year.  Only 500 were made and this nice little baby is very very rare today.



This car was built by Citroen in the years of 1969 through 1975 but only 12,000 were actually produced.  It incorporated their hydro-pneumatic suspension, swivel headlights and a strange steering system.  I recall in my youth a relative, perhaps one of my cousins from St. Louis (Herb's brother's boys, Jim and John) might have driven up to Seaton with one of these.  I also remember taking a drive to Keithsburg in it, and he showed us the hydro-pneumatic suspension.   
It had a V-6 engine but was fast and could top out at 130 mph.  Again, I'm no gear head, but host John explained that they were able to get 2 firings from each hit of the piston, in essence making it a V-12.  



This was basically a Communist official's limousine.  Big, heavy, comfortable and strong, it was perfect for the poor Eastern European roads.   Only high ranking officials had the pleasure of owning and driving this car.  20,000 were made between 1956 and 1973.  It is a rear engine car and the wide air scoops on the side provide the cooling air.

Catch the video below of the Tatra 603 in action.  A lot of action.

1 comment:

  1. Your post got me thinking about hood ornaments. Cars don't have cool ones today. It's not the ornaments fault they still look elegant and beautiful. It's the cars. You don't put a diamond on a turd and make the turd elegant. You just make it look like Momma June, honey Boo Boo's Mom. I doubt we will live long enough to see cars built worthy of the hood ornaments of old.