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Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships, Part 2

I knew from the advertisement that the polo matches were scheduled for early afternoon and that there were diversions on display before the matches — diversions that appeal to the upper crust, which fits in the Scottsdale mold. The first diversion was sponsored by Barrett-Jackson, the auto auction people. You may recall that I have shared photos of the automobiles they had for sale in their annual auction from a couple years ago which takes place annually a week before the Super Bowl.

This fine example of the automotive arts is a 1927 Isotta Fraschini Model A8 SS Five Passenger Dual Cowl Phaeton. I do not recall seeing one of these before, so I read the placard, "Of the handful of automotive concerns that launched the Brass Era during the 20th century, none so epitomized unbridled size and luxury as the Milanese manufacturer Isotta Fraschini."

"Like competitors such as Mercedes Benz and Fiat, Isotta Fraschini derived significant development know-how from its early racing endeavors. Isotta became the first automaker to fit four-wheel brakes to its production cars as standard equipment, and at the Paris Salon of 1919 introduced the world's first production inline eight-cylinder engine. The appearance of Isotta's Tipo 8 is noteworthy in that the motor debuted a year before Duesenberg's straight-eight and two years prior to the Bugatti's eight-cylinder line."

"Chassis number 1363 was originally delivered to the New York-based owner named Piperno. Given that it is clothed in bodywork by American coach builder LeBaron, one can safely assume the car was purchased and shipped as a rolling chassis and completed at LeBaron's factory in the United States before being delivered to the customer. The elegant phaeton coachwork presages some of LeBaron's other notable duel cowl treatments similar to designs seen on Duesenberg's model J."

"A thorough cosmetic restoration by the Isotta's current owner has resulted in concours–level quality. Supplementing a freshly reupholstered interior, the exterior work has endowed the beautiful Isotta with renewed character and elegance truly evoking the stately grandeur for which the marque is known. As a statement in inter-war elegance this opulent 8A SS rivals the finest offerings from marques like Hispano-Suiza Rolls-Royce or Duesenberg."

Next I encountered a 1968 Chevrolet Corvette L88 Competition Convertible. Also from the placard, "One of the first 200 Corvettes built in the 1968 model year, this L88 was race prepared in 1967/1968 by Guldstrand Engineering and was Pole Winner, GT class, in the 1968 Daytona 24 Hours".

Three of these models were built and delivered to James Garner/American International Racing and two of them won front-row positions for their class in the race. Unfortunately, new cars often develop problems in an endurance race and thus the team finished 29th in the field.

This is a 1970 Plymouth Superbird, dubbed the "Aero Warrior" and is known as one of the most storied muscle cars of all time. Peter Hamilton won the Dayton 500 in 1970 with a Superbird, and Richard Petty's Superbird become one of the most recognizable race cars in history. You can have this one for a mere $175,000.

No placard needed to identify a 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville. It is remembered for its huge sharp tail fins with dual bullet tail lights, two distinctive rooflines and roof pillar configurations, new jewel-like grille patterns and matching deck lid beauty panels.

Standard equipment included power brakes, power steering, automatic transmission, back-up lamps, windshield wipers, two-speed wipers, wheel discs, outside rearview mirror, vanity mirror, oil filter, power windows and two-way power seats.

Over 53,000 De Villes were sold in their first year as a separate series, accounting for roughly 37% of all Cadillacs sold.

The 1960 Cadillacs had smoother, more restrained styling. General changes included a full-width grille, the elimination of pointed front bumper guards, increased restraint in the application of chrome trim, lower tailfins with oval shaped nacelles and front fender mounted directional indicator lamps.

Did anyone besides me note how long this car is? Today's luxury cars no longer complete in length.

Standard equipment included power brakes, power steering, automatic transmission, dual back-up lamps, windshield wipers, two-speed wipers, wheel discs, outside rearview mirror, vanity mirror, oil filter, power windows and a two-way power seats.

I doubt that this old Ford pickup truck was being offered by Barrett-Jackson. It looks more like a fun symbol of a Scottsdale watering hole. More exploring to do before the polo ponies make their appearance.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com