Newsletter 11/2018

Dear classic car friends,

Before diving into our winter projects, we look back at the motoring pleasures that this long summer and very pleasant Indian Summer have brought us.

In this newsletter:

  • 30 years of Marreyt Classics activity - Part II: First driving experience... in a Renault 4CV!
  • From Pebble Beach to the Zoute Grand Prix
  • See you at Interclassics Brussels!
  • Stock update

30 years of Marreyt Classics activity - Part II: First driving experience... in a Renault 4CV!

This year will be a year of celebration, as exactly thirty years ago Bernard Marreyt founded Marreyt Classics!
It doesn't seem that long ago: the years have simply flown by, and this is all thanks to the fascinating classic car adventures that we've had along the way, together with all of you.
In each newsletters we will tell you some of these captivating stories as we guide you through the history of Marreyt Classics, from the early beginnings to where we are today.

"After the soapboxes came a whole series of special production bicycles. Still in the same garden shed I constructed with various parts rescued from bicycles I could get my hands on (my business plan was simple: everything had to be obtained for free) a cross-country variant, a long distance travelling model, a sturdy, rather severe looking village-priest bicycle, even one specially designed for Santa Claus in sparkling gold.
By then I became 15 and, according to me, no more time could be wasted. So I skipped the mopeds and motorbikes and immediately concentrated on cars.
I had spotted in the front garden from a neighbour a derelict Renault 4CV. It was not easy to convince the owner to give me this 4CV just for free, but I think he must have been charmed by my obstinacy.
The owner even agreed to tow this 4CV to my father's garage, who confronted with the fact, didn't have the heart to tell me what he surely thought: "get rid of this wreck".
That the Renault's engine was seized-solid didn't put me off. Soon I located a spare engine. Just a weekend and the help of a friend, whose father was a clever mechanic - that helps! -, was necessary to swap engines.
Not knowing how to disconnect the rear brake flexibles and in our haste to get this job done, I opted to cut these in 1/2 with my father's hedge scissors. After all: Brakes were just an accessory!
I still can feel today the joy I experienced when after all this work, the engine fired-up rather easily.
Now it was time to build-up some driving experience. Sadly at 15 I didn't have a driving licence, but I imagined the neighbours wouldn't mind me driving up and down the dirt track behind the gardens of the row of houses in the street we lived in.
Another (very useful) friend I made in those years was a mechanic who did run a second hand car business in a big farm of my village. His sympathetic wife invited me to combat the nettles in the orchard by flattening these down with my Renault 4CV. Luckily this orchard full of nettles was rather large, which allowed me to create a race-track circuit on which I could improve my driving skills.
You can imagine the summer of 1970 was just super for me! Unfortunately all this fun came to an abrupt end when driving too fast on the dirt track behind our garden (and still having no brakes on the car) I hit a garden fence pole, rolled my Renault 4CV and ended-up in a great cloud of dust on the roof...
The next day my mother forced me to attach a rope to my Renault 4CV and she towed me with our family car (Renault 16) to the local scrap yard..."

From Pebble Beach to the Zoute Grand Prix

When we sent you our latest newsletter, two of our cars were on their way to the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elégance: both our 1953 Hudson Italia Prototype and our 1961 Maserati 3500GT had been invited to compete in this prestigious Concours' Preservation Class!

Here you see them both, shining on the concours field! Maybe "shining" isn't the appropriate verb for a Preservation Class - rather "gracefully showing how a classic car can wear its age with pride".

While Pebble Beach has a long-standing reputation of being one of the world's most renowned Concours, a more local happening launched in 2010 is also steadily growing to become one of Europe's landmark events. We are of course talking about the Zoute Grand Prix, where every year we pride ourselves in presenting unique cars, both at the Rally and at the Concours.

At this year's edition of the Zoute Rally, the ninth already, Luc and Bernard drove the 1947 Talbot-Lago T26 Record coachbuilt by Worblaufen. While at a first glance this might seem a large and heavy car, it is surprising how effortlessly it drove the 500 km of this two-day rally. Surrounded by lighter and more modern classics, the 4.5 litre six-cylinder engine provided ample horsepower and torque to keep the Talbot-Lago at the head of the pack even on small country roads. Its Swiss quality coachwork doesn't only make it suitable for the concours field, it also provides a very solid and homogeneous feel when driving in a demanding and sporty way.

Meanwhile, the 1926 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Tourer coachbuilt by Hooper & Co for the Maharaja of Chhota Udepur (when he was just 20 years old!) gathered admiring looks from the many visitors of the Zoute Concours. The judges were also impressed by the fascinating history and the impeccable condition of this imposing '20s royalty car, and named it Runner-Up in the Pre-War Class.

See you at Interclassics Brussels!

Interclassics is our annual rendez-vous with our faithful local clients and with the entire Belgian classic car scene. It is also the ideal place to make new acquaintances, so don't be a stranger, and come and say hello at stand 5.506! It's the perfect occasion to admire a selection of our cars in real life - and to discover some gems that haven't been announced on our website yet!

Stock update

The following exquisite cars have arrived in our showroom since our last newsletter:

Aston Martin DB MkIII RHD - 1959

Aston Martin DB6 Vantage Volante RHD - 1969

Jaguar E-Type SI 4.2 Roadster LHD - 1965

Mercedes-Benz 190SL - 1955

Stanguellini 1100 Sport Monoalbero Barchetta - 1951

Rolls-Royce Phantom II Limousine by Hooper - 1932

Warm greetings,

Bernard Marreyt & Luc Swerts and team

Marreyt Classics & Twin Cam

Victor Bocquéstraat 15
9300 Aalst
Tel: +32 (0)53 63 12 33

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