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2015, G. DAVID

Car Collector

Volume VIII, Issue 3



Car Collecting Today

High RPMs

Classic Rides
Reports From the Field
Oldsmobile (1897-2004)
Cadillac (1902- )
Allant (1987-1993)

Corvair (1960-1969)

= Clickable Link

High RPMs

GDY Nets
On the Web

I Just Dont See It?

Jacques Saoutchik The Man


CCC Forum

I have come to the firm

conclusion that as we age
the winter season gets
The Cadillac Forums I frequent are abuzz with the
new path Cadillac is taking in
terms of consumer appeal.
It has decided us old fogeys
are not its future. It is also
disavowing its roots; as in
the 1989 Not your fathers
Oldsmobile ad campaign of
that now defunct marque.
The Cadillac ad slogan for
2015 is Dare Greatly. The
roll out of this slogan and ad
campaign does not even
show a Cadillac car? Good
luck with that!
This month we take a long
look at what, in my opinion,
is a prime example of simply
having too much money. Be
forewarned, the views expressed therein are strictly
my own!

March Automotive Milestones

2-1925 1st highway numbering system instituted in U.S.
4-1902 American Automobile
Association (AAA) organized
5-1929 David Dunbar Buick
6-1896 Charles B. King became first man to drive a car
in the Motor City
8-1969 Pontiac Firebird
Trans Am introduced
9-1901 Fire destroys Olds
Motor Works factory in Detroit
12-1831 Clement Studebaker born
16-1958 FOMOCO produces
50,000,000th car
18-1858 Rudolf Diesel born,
Paris, France
18-1927 Sir Henry Seagrave
breaks 200-mph barrier
18-1933 Studebaker goes
into receivership
18-1947 William C. Durant,
founder of GM, died
19-1952 One millionth Jeep
19-2005 John Z. DeLorean

20-1928 James Ward Packard

24-1954 Nash-Kelvinator and
Hudson Motor merge
26-1932 Henry M. Leland died
30-1947 Tucker announced his
concept for a new automobile
31-1932 Ford unveils "V-8" engine

- Is Spring getting closer?

GDYNets on the Web

Find GDYNets on the web:

Pics That Caught

My Eye

March 2015


site to discuss the newsletter,
the hobby and our cars.
Car Collector Chronicles
Saved 62 -Our 1962 Olds
convertible, Ransom Eli Olds
and things Oldsmobile related
web site.
The Gray Lady -1955 Cadillac
Coup de Ville web site.

SAVED 62: A website devoted

to our 1962 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 convertible. The site

also has a lot of information on
Oldsmobile cars and the company founder, Ransom Eli Olds.

THE GRAY LADY: This website features our 1955 Cadillac

Coup de Ville, lots of Caddy
information and an extensive
repair library.

DAVES DEN: -A site devoted to a myriad of interests.

Foremost is extensive information on the Steel City of Gary,
IN. There are also offerings on
steel making, U.S. Steel-Gary
Works, U.S. Marine Corps, M14
assault rifle, of course Oldsmobile, and the tragic story of the
murder of Gary, IN Police Lt.
George Yaros.

Car Collector Chronicles

Page 2

I Just Dont See It?

Some folk just have too much money, I think. How much would you pay for this car?

Being 1-of-4,
1-of-1, as well
as a
showcase car,
are all factors
combine to
raise the price
one is willing
to pay for the
privilege of
owning such a
unique ride .

This car, being a 1949 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport SWB par Saoutchik.
Not being a connoisseur of European automobiles, all that nomenclature does not
mean a whole lot to me. What I know is that my eye does not find the car particularly
appealing .
I also know that the car is 1-of-4. It is a creation of the Saoutchik Coachbuilding
Works (Carrosserie Saoutchik). It was built for one purpose and one purpose only, to
display the coach building skills of Jacques Saoutchik. To that end, the car was showcased in Geneva, Brussels and London in the 1950-51 time frame. This is the only
Saoutchik built Talbot-Lago Grand Sport to brandish Buick-inspired teardrop-shaped
"portholes" on the side of the hood; arguably making it a 1-of-1. [Ed.The Buick inspired statement presumes Saoutchik was even aware of Buick ventiports at the time,
as they made their fist appearance on Buicks in the same year (1949) as his creation.]
Ventiports were present only on Saoutchiks most extravagant creations. Being 1-of-4,
1-of-1, as well as a showcase car, are all factors which combine to raise the price one is
willing to pay for the privilege of owning such a unique ride.
That very privilege was extended to interested parties on 6 Feb 2015 by the Artcurial
Auction House of Paris, France. Pre-auction estimate for the Saoutchik Talbot-Lago
was 400,000600,000. That converts to $453,749$680,701. Natch, these estimates do not include the 12% to 16% buyer commission. Ah, and let us not forget VAT,
Value Added Tax imposed by EU countries. My limited research indicates that the
French VAT rate is only 20%! The bottom line here is the purchase of this vehicle at
the Artcurial auction cannot help but be an expensive proposition.
Even the auction house had no idea of how expensive a proposition this sale would
end up being. Much to its chagrin, and also surprise I am sure, the pre-auction estimate was not met. Not only was it not met, the hammer price was no where near what
had been predicted. In actual fact, the 1949 Saoutchik Talbot-Lago sold for nearly
three times (3 x) the estimated amount. It hammered at 1,702,000, or $1,930,701;
including the 12% buyer commission. Add 20% VAT and we end up with the buyer writing a check for 2,042,401/$2,316,841. That is a chunk of change! But wait .

Page 3

Car Collector Chronicles

I Just Dont See It? - Contd.

The shock is not in the monies paid to be the owner of this ride. Rather, the shock is
delivered from viewing what the purchaser acquired for his money. Are you ready for this?

The question has to be
asked, Why
shell out this
this particular
beauty is in
the eye of the
indeed may
well be true,
this car, in its
current condition is anything but a showcase of the coach building skills of Jacques
Saoutchik. You say, Yes, but after it is restored. I say after it is restored it may be a
showcase of the skills of the restorer, but definitely not that of the original builder.
I do not know if the purchaser of this rusted out hulk deserves a medal for determination
or should be issued an order of civil commitment for insanity? What will it cost to restore
this ride? As they say, If one has to ask, they probably cannot afford to do the restoration. At what point do the costs exceed the worth? I respectfully suggest that point was
reached when the hammer fell. There comes a time when discretion, being the better part
of valor, should trump desire and one should just simply walk away.
Of equal interest to me is the answer to the question of how was this car transported to
the buyers location? Was it wrapped in a bag so as to collect all falling debris, rust particles and whatever? Would Reliable undertake transport of this car? At what cost?
I suppose we will never get answers to all our questions. To my knowledge, the buyer of
the 1949 Saoutchik Talbot-Lago has not been publicly identified. The rationale for buying
is not known. Nor are the plans for the car. Perhaps, with the passage of time, more information will come to light? I shall try and keep my antenna tuned in to the possibility of
update reports on the status of this ride. In the interim, all one may do is wonder.
In closing let me reiterate, as stated at the beginning of this article, Some folk just have
too much money. There are literally millions of ways (pun intended) this money could
have been put to better use.

question has
to be asked
why one
would shell
out this kind
of money for
this particular

Car Collector Chronicles

Page 4;;

Jacques Saoutchik-The Man

I am certain that Jacques Saoutchik never, ever, even in his wildest of dreams, imagined his creation
would one day be worth two million, plus, dollars. Heck, he couldnt even find a buyer for the car in the
early 50s! In the ensuing years it was wrecked, went into storage and began to gracefully rust away.
The creator of this 1-off coach is quite an interesting character in his own right. In fact, I find his life to be
more interesting than his much exalted car which has been described as a chef doeuvre (masterpiece) of
French coachbuilding.
Jacques Saoutchik was not named Jacques at all. Nor was he named Saoutchik. His given name at
birth was Iakov Savtchuk. Nor was he born a frenchman. He greeted the world in 1880 from Minsk, Belarus Russia. In his youth he trained as a cabinet maker. It is these skills which he eventually transferred to
the coach building trade. In 1899 he emigrated to France.
Iakov left not only his home country in 1899, he also left behind his real name and ethnicity. His reason
for leaving Russia was to escape the anti-Semitism of czarist Russia. It was a problem, as Iakov Savtchuk
was Jewish.
To stay below the radar and appear more French, Iakov Savtchuk adopted the sobriquet of Jacques
Saoutchik. Not appearing to be a Jew was beneficial in France during the years of both the Dreyfus scandal (1894-1906) and the German occupation in WWII.
Evidently Saoutchik was successful in hiding his true identity. So much so that he was able to live life in
Paris as quite a cad. He had two separate families, consisting of mates and children, that he maintained.
Doing so was a sort of a status symbol among the bon vivant of Paris at the time. Moreover, the two families were well aware, and accepting, of one another.
Where things get really interesting in terms of Jacques Saoutchiks life is in the post-war years. How this
could happen is a little difficult to comprehend, but it did. Saoutchik was arrested, tried, convicted, and
imprisoned for collaborating with the Germans in occupied France! Saoutchik steadfastly maintained his
innocence. Eventually the French government did pardon him. However, the grant of pardon was not
specific to his circumstance. Rather, it came in the form of a general amnesty to all convicted collaborators who received prison sentences of less than 15 years. It was conferred in 1951, and only after he paid
a fine of 120,000 francs. Jacques Saoutchik died four years later, in 1955. In that year his coach building
works, now run by his son Pierre, went bankrupt and closed.


When the Dodge Brothers began manufacturing their own brand of automobiles in 1914, they utilized
a 12 volt electrical system. They stuck with 12 volts until the 1926 model year. They were forced to
switch over to 6 volts then in order to incorporate electrical accessories which were widely available only,
and at far less cost, in 6 volt format. It was not until 1956 that Dodge returned to use of 12 volt systems in
their cars.
Reportedly, in the early days when one ordered a Ford truck, it was delivered to the dealer in a
wooden crate. The dealer would then put it together, using the crate wood for the bed of the truck. When
assembly was complete, the dealer would contact the owner advising, You may come and pick up your
truck. Hence the name pick up.
On Route 66, east of Albuquerque, NM, there is a stretch of the Mother Road with rumble strips that
play the first stanza of "America the Beautiful" when driven over at a speed of 45 mph.
Per the Society of Automotive Engineers: Modern gasoline direct-injection (GDI) engines in todays
passenger cars can emit more hazardous fine particulate matter than a port fuel-injected engine (PFI), or
even the latest heavy-duty diesels equipped with a particulate filter. And the potential impact to public
health from these particulates is driving new developments in fuel delivery, controls, and combustion
A recent study conducted by researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratorys (ORNL) Fuels, Engines
and Emissions Research Center found that sample GDI engines emit five-to-ten times more particulate
matter than their PFI counterparts. The particles that are released by GDI engines are smaller and more
varied in size than diesel particles. And since these ultrafine particles (UFPs) are just on the heavy end of
smoke size-wise, they can penetrate deeper into lungs, thus posing greater health risks. Public health
authorities are concerned about UFP risks in urban areas and near busy highways and major roads.
The GDI particulate problem can be mitigated in many ways. A straightforward measure is aftertreatmentto mimic diesel engines and install gasoline particulate filters. Filters have been shown to lower
particle number (PN) emissions by 80% to 90%. Its no surprise that carmakers have so far avoided incorporation of such filters. They would add additional costs (around $50 to $100 per vehicle) and may also
yield reduced engine efficiency.

Page 5;;

Car Collector Chronicles

Pics That Caught My Eye

1969 Buick


Ok, Ive had my say for the month. Now its your turn! I invite/encourage submission of
your comments, opinions and article contributions. I also ask that you please help spread
the word about our publication. Everything sent shall indeed be reviewed by me. Submissions should be sent to CCC at
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