Tuesday, May 1, 2018

My best car photos from The Revs auto museum

Two long-lived designs of their era, the Model T Ford and Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.
Here are more photos from our recent visit to The Revs Institute in Naples, Fla.

Dedicated to preserving automotive history, The Revs pairs its superb 1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost with a 1909 Model T Ford. The Rolls weighs three times as much as the Ford. It was so overbuilt it might never wear out; but the Ford was "arguably the most fixable car ever built."

The Rev's Silver Ghost was the Colonial model, built for sale in India. Its Kellner of Paris body seats only four — just like the Model T.

Only two short wheelbase Duesenberg SSJs were built.
When Gary Cooper bought this one Clark Gable got the other one.
Only two 1935 short wheelbase Duesenberg SSJs were produced. The one at The Revs was purchased by screen star Gary Cooper. Its supercharged straight-eight motor developed 320 horsepower, good for an advertised 129 mph. But ram's head manifolding gave this particular SSJ approximately 400 hp. Every Duesenberg was superlative, but this one is a doozy.

Not just any Citroen 2CV "graces" the floor of The Revs. This 1962 Sahara model has not one but two motors: one in front and another in the tail, to provide four-wheel drive. Meant for tough use in the desert, the museum's Sahara is rare not only because few (694) were built but because few survive.

1962 Citroen 2CV looks large next to 1964 Austin Mini Cooper.
Behind it is a 1964 Austin Cooper S. The radical Mini was considered "the future of the automobile" but not many cars have ever been as small. Wheels were only 10 inches. Even the 2CV seems "grown up" compared to the really mini Mini.

The supercharged "Blower Bentley" was "spectacular — in short spurts," signage at The Revs informs visitors. They didn't win races but they got attention. The 1931 example at The Revs was originally ordered by "the adventurous Miss N. McCaw." But the most famous owner of a Blower Bentley must be James Bond, who drove one in Ian Fleming's early novels.

Everything about the museum's Blower Bentley is over the top,
starting with the flashy flying-wing fenders.
"Audacity" is the Blower Bentley's style.
Driver's door is cut down; brakes, upholstery chassis are red.
Intimidating bow of the supercharged Blower Bentley.
Note the twin SU carburetors poking out of the bulge housing the blower.
"Sheer sensuality" is the best description for The Revs' 1937 Delahaye Type 135 MS Special Roadster. This was the most talked about automobile at the 1937 Paris salon. It has flowing aluminum fenders that envelop the wheels, a disappearing soft top and a windscreen that lowers into the body.

1937 Delahaye roadster is beautiful from every side,
perhaps most of all from the rear.
Streamlining was the explanation for its looks,
but no explanation was called for.
Bumpers weren't originally fitted.
Would you drive this in traffic?
Leather covers everything in the interior. Look closely at the edges
 of the windscreen for the "tracks" of the retracting mechanism.

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