Our world used to be different. Print media were top notch. And TV was on the rise. New cars were advertised by men like Fred van de Vlucht, the Godfather in the Dutch car sector.
Characters instead of chatters
Van der Vlugt became unforgettable because of the unorthodox way in which he put cars to the test. He put them in a cold store to see if they could still start the next day, subjected them to the shower and drove behind roaring jet fighters to test the crosswind sensitivity. If Van der Vlugt rejected a car, the sales opportunities for that car in our country were minimal.
Later he fell for the enticements of the good life. That did not harm him in a material sense. His liver was less happy with it. In those days there was much more partying. And driven.
What was new then, and classics
But that was about cars that were new then. They were tested against the current state of affairs. At that time - the early 50s - there were also classics and classic fans. These were diligently tinkering craftsmen with callused hands and mourning edges under their nails and 'gentlemen drivers' / dealers / connoisseurs such as Rob de la Rive Box, who lives in Switzerland, Ferrari specialist Paul Schouwenburg (who found, restored and sold 28 Ferraris in XNUMX years) and Daan van den Wall Bake. Including Rob de la Rive Box and Paul Schouwenburg early examples of the classic dealer from what were now the better to top segment. Paul Schouwenburg was actually a surgeon with a specialization in the neck / neck area.
No interest in Japanese cars and stuff
The classic world was clear at the time. In 1977 Rob de la Rive Box writes in the preface to the 'Groot Autoboek': “You will therefore notice that this book only deals with American and European brands. I believe that you will have little interest in the automotive history of Japan, Russia or China, for example. ”
Times have changed
And the men of that time are now very old or dead. But what their passion was still lives with us. At the time, it was not only about passion, Schouwenburg and De la Rive Box reported decades ago. They regretted that Ferraris and the like had already been discovered in the XNUMXs by investors and speculators who pushed the prices we would now laugh at 'unimaginable' heights and then only showed their acquisitions at events in the just hope that the publicity prices would drive up even more. On the other hand, the men's trade consisted of cars that in their showroom days already had mere dream value for enthusiasts with more current budgets.
Dream and make do
Those people had to make do with the publications, visiting shows and / or building their dreams as a scale model. The highest achievable in that process was the construction of a kitcar that looked 'exactly' like the car of their dreams. And can you get close to your dream by building a Ford GT40 replica on the bottom group of a VW1200 Beetle?
Books are more fun than screens
That approach is somewhat outdated. But searching for Rob de la Rive Box books on 'my bookshops', for example, is a nice pastime. Also because the Dutch publishers of these types of books have already lowered the banner years ago. Nostalgia has never been more fun.