Design

Post-restoration, two historic Alfa Romeos show off classic coachbuilding at its finest

Two unique Alfa Romeos will be displayed at the Concours d'Elegance in September.

Photo courtesy of Concours of Elegance

The Alfa Romeo 6C 2300B and 2500 were among the most expensive cars in the world during the 1930s and 1940s. Fully restored versions of the two cars will be on display at this year's Concours d'Elegance at Hampton Court Palace on September 4-6, 2020.

The 6C line was produced between 1927 and 1954, taking its name from the six-cylinder engines the model had under their hood. The cars' engines were designed by Vittorio Jano, an engineer who spent time at Fiat before coming over to Alfa Romeo. They combined with an independent suspension and hydraulic brakes to help the 6C win a number of racing victories over its lifespan including first and second place finished in their classes at the 1937 Mille Miglia; 1st, 2nd and 3rd at the 1937 Targa Abruzzo in Pescara; a victory again at Pescara in 1938; and the top spot at the Targa Florio in 1950.

1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300B 

Photo courtesy of Concours d'Elegance

1951 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS

Photo courtesy of Concours d'Elegance

Their engines weren't the focus, however. Each of the models' bodies were built by coachbuilders. In the early 20th Century, coach building was for the world's elite. The cars with customized cabins were more elegant and expensive than the Dodge Custom and the Buick Series 40.

The Alfa Romeo 6C 2300B going on display this September has a body designed by Swiss coach builder Graber. It's one of four that Graber built in a cabriolet style and the only existing model with a Mille Miglia-specification engine and chassis. The car was originally ordered by Bruggmuehle Goldach CEO Martin Mueller. At the time Bruggmuehle Goldach was one of the largest wheat mills in Switzerland.

The car underwent a three-year restoration beginning in 2014 and has been returned to the condition it was when Mueller took delivery from Graber.

The 6C 2500 SS succeeded the 2300 in Alfa Romeo's lineup. The model being shown at the Concours is one of four built by Ghia with Supergioiello – or 'Super Jewel' – coachwork, and just one of three that was built on an Alfa Romeo chassis. However, it's the only one built on an advanced tubular chassis produced by Gilco. The running gear, suspension, and brakes are all period Alfa Romeo 6C components which appear to date primarily from 1948.

The 2500 SS was originally ordered by SIRCA, a dealer in Milan, Italy. The dealer served as Carrozzeria Ghia's representative for the region of Lombardy. The car found its way to the U.K. in 1959 and just two years later it was up for sale again, listed at just £895 (around £25,000 today). From there it lived in Austria and the Netherlands before arriving in America in 2016. There, it's owners undertook a 2.5-year restoration process to get the car back to its original specification.

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An Infiniti Q60 drifts at Yokohama Harbor.

Photo courtesy of Infiniti

A new film showcases the drifting capabilities of a heavily modified Infiniti Q60. The coupe currently competes in the domestic top-tier drift championship in Japan even though the sports coupe is not sold there.

Before reaching the docks in Japan, the car was heavily modified having started its journey in America. The car was built to show off renowned restoration specialist Tatsuhiro Shibata's passion for the Infiniti brand.

The video features Shibata and his driver, Koudai Sobagiri putting the The hand-built model to the test and showing off near Infiniti's world headquarters in Yokohama, Japan. The closed course near Yokohama Harbor served as the set.

"In my eyes, the Q60 was the best looking of (the Infiniti lineup), but they didn't sell any in Japan. So we had to go to the U.S. to find one," Shibata says. "It's simple; I just wanted a good-looking racing car."

Tatsuhiro Shibata's Infiniti Q60

Photo courtesy of Infiniti

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This isn't the first time that Shibata has imported an Infiniti to Japan. His passion has led him to do so for the last decade. Shibata is not directly affiliated with Infiniti.

Following the film, Infiniti plans to release an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the film and the Shibata Infiniti Q60. An exclusive story about Shibata's workshop, Sobagiri's path to drifting, and more will be released along with the behind-the-scenes film.

1,000HP INFINITI Q60: Drifting at the Docks www.youtube.com

The release of the film comes as Infiniti is playing catch up with much of their business plans. Amid falling sales and the COVID-19 pandemic, plans for two new models to be introduced had to be push to 2021 including the 2022 Infiniti QX55 and the forthcoming redesigned QX60.

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This one-off Rolls-Royce Phantom is the result of a partnership with Hermès.

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
A new, bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantom is the result of a partnership between the super luxury automaker and Hermès, a French luxury goods company. The Phantom Oribe was designed and handcrafted by bespoke specialists at both houses after being commissioned by Japanese entrepreneur, art collector and supercar enthusiast Yusaku Maezawa.

The exterior of the car was designed to match the green and cream glazes of antique Japanese Oribe ware, something Maezawa is a prominent collector of. The upper part of the saloon is finished in Oribe Green, a bespoke color created exclusively for this client over the course of many months by specialists in the Surface Finish Center at Goodwood, the home of Rolls-Royce. In an uncharcacteristic twist, the paint formulation will be made available for use on the client's private jet.

The lower section of the car is cream colored.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Oribe design process

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

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The interior of the Phantom is designed to seamlessly meet the exterior as colorways and textures blend to create a unique and intimate riding experience.​ The cabin of the vehicle is finished predominantly in Hermès Enea Green leather, extending from the steering wheel to the duchess handles, gear selector, and rotary controls. Further, it covers the upper instrument panel, interior pillars, and parcel shelf.

The car's glove compartment, luggage compartment lining, center console, and decanter stowage compartment have also been constructed using the material. The glove compartment lid is embossed with the signature Habillé par Hermès Paris.

Delicate Hermès piping adorns the headrest cushions and calf supports of the rear seats, while soft Seashell White accents and matching lambswool floor mats complete the look.

Hermès created all the leather upholstery using stitching and edge-painting techniques originally employed by master saddlers.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Oribe

Photo courtesy of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

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The interior also features wooden speaker frets that have been created by perforating open pore Royal Walnut, which also features on the center and rear console and picnic table backs. The Hermès 'Toile H' finds a home on canvas on the door armrests, centre and rear consoles and headliner.

The Phantom's Gallery wears unique artwork that Hermès commissioned that is based on the work of celebrated French artist and illustrator Pierre Péron. The work has been handprinted on the wood and is presented behind a wall of glass.

"This unique Phantom is a fusion of East and West, ancient and modern, serenity and exhilaration. It was a great creative and cultural exchange working with Hermès; we learned a great deal from each other. It is always a pleasure when a client brings us a bold, clear and imaginative vision, and a great thrill to see it realized so perfectly," said Michael Bryden, Lead Designer, Rolls-Royce Bespoke Collective.

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