Friday 23 August 2013

1965 "Nembo Ford" Bizzarrini

In January 1966 Neri & Bonacini presented to the press their interpretation of the Gt Strada. This car wouldn't live for long nor would have attracted too much attention.
Built for a mysterious "American Client that wants to remain anonymous" as a one off car, it was supposed to be an experiment to push the italian body/american engine recipe to its limits.
It was simply called the "Nembo Ford".
Starting from what is obviously a Bizzarrini GT Strada chassis, the italian coachbuilders removed all the chrome trims and introduced some unique and interesting vents on the side and a unique bump on the bonnet to host two four barrel carburetors. Under the bonnet was a massive Ford Holman & Moody prepared 7-litre engine capable of and estimate of 500bhp. 
The car possibly never made it to the States and the "American Client that wants to remain anonymous" was probably a joint venture of Carlo Bernasconi and some undisclosed american companies exploring the possibilities for the Nembo Strale spotted testing in August (then nicknamed Daytona) and presented in October of the same year.

The chassis number B*0219 of the "Nembo Ford" matches the Strale Prototype presented at the Turin Motor Show in October 1966, with "Strale" being italian for "dart, arrow, but also for gibe or taunt.
Strale Daytona 6000GT Prototype image from

Seems so that the car didn't live long at all, and probably wasn't supposed to in any case. Neri & Bonacini would go bankrupt the following year getting rid of all spares and bucks and scattering men in the other companies in the area, including Giorgio Neri to Carrozzeria Sport Cars for Piero Drogo and Luciano Bonacini to De Tomaso.

Strale Daytona 6000GT Prototype image from

Thursday 22 August 2013

Autodromo Stringback Driving Gloves - Review

I just ordered my Autodromo Stringback Driving Gloves a couple of weeks ago and I was very happy to receive them in the mail today, just few days after our Citroen SM finally became part of the family. They once again managed to offer a great product in a nice packaging that contributes to the vintage allure of the item.
I particularly like how Autodromo captures the feel of the era with a very simple thick envelope with a "period-correct" one tone graphic. Another typical old days touch is the mark on the size of choice, obviously written by hand. Nice (and probably also very cost effective. Why don't other companies do that?).
The gloves are simply great. The drum-dyed leather is nice and soft and they the cotton crochet back stretches allowing a nice and firm fit. I don't particularly like how the elastic in the wrist bends when empty, but once fitted it perfectly wraps the hand. This was actually a pleasant surprise because my old driving gloves were always a bit loose in this area if not buttoned up and sometimes were getting entangled in the gear lever especially in cars with the steering wheel very close to the stick. 
The inside of each finger has a neat line of tiny holes that should take care of perspiration during long trips. I'm glad they are there and that they are relatively small since this is one of the parts particularly prone to wear. Another nice touch are the three thicker lines on the higher palm for this is an area on which I rely a lot when turning the wheel without gripping too much with my hand. Thumbs and wrists have double stitches but not the fingers, which makes sense for they need to be thinner and more nimble.
Compared to other driving gloves available on the market they are a tad on the expensive side but they really have an extra value on a design specifically tailored on driving pleasure and nothing else. There's  a lot of cheaper alternatives and just as many more expensive ones. none of them seemed so purposeful as durable thou. 
Are these racing gloves? No. 
Are these supposed to make me drive faster or better? No.

Then why?
- Because I don't want to remove my wedding ring when I drive cars with hard steering wheels and I'm afraid to scratch them (see Volvo P1800s).
- Because I want to reduce the amount of acid that my hands release on soft vintage steering wheels (see Citroen SM)
- Because they allow me to have more grip with less effort, hence allowing me to relax more at the wheel.
- Because putting gloves on while the engine warms up is a magnificent ritual.
- Because they look extremely cool.