Despite Ian Appleyard dominating the Alpine Rally throughout the early Fifties with his cream XK120, registration NUB120, since the Monte Carlo Rally’s rules at the time demanded cars over 1ó litres had to be four-seaters, it meant he had to ditch the sports car in favour of a MkVII instead. For his first Monte in 1952, Appleyard ordered a brand new example, registered PWN 7, but due to poor weather he, together with his co-driver wife, Pat (who was also the daughter of chairman of Sir William Lyons) finished a lowly 53rd. He would use the car again for that year’s Tulip Rally in April when he came home a strong second.
Mick Johnson was handed a large pile of boxes when he took on a Vauxhall Velox in 2014, but he has turned it into a beautiful car. Phil Homer tells the story, and speculates as to why so few of this marque and model survive.
When you think of motoring in 1950’s America, it’s likely that lashings of chrome, tail fins and bodywork for miles will come to mind. It’s fair to assume lightweight materials won’t feature anywhere on the list of all of the things that make up mid-20th century Americana.
For 1953, Ferrari released a second series of its 166 Mille Miglia (MM) for sports racing in the popular sub-2.0-litre sport class. These used the 1995cc V12 engine with new Weber 32IF4C carburettors, producing a healthy 160hp at 7200rpm. The so-called 166 MM/53 was sold alongside the 250 Mille Miglia (3.0 litres) and 340 Mille Miglia (4.1 litres).
The impact of the Second World War could be felt across the globe. In the automotive sector, many factories were shut down or even destroyed. Quality materials used prior to WWII were in short supply and the day-to-day operations of once thriving companies were struggling across the board. Custom and small coachbuilders like Bertone, Pinin Farina (the company was renamed Pininfarina in 1961