What happens when an Indy 500 car designer falls in love with the sleek German racing cars of the 1930s? You get the cool and dramatic roadster, unlike what you've seen before. You receive the 1948 Norman Timbs Special.

Los Angeles-based Norman Timbs was a hot commodity of his day. He was one of the guys who helped build the Tucker 48 alongside automotive entrepreneur Preston Tucker, and he designed the Blue Crown Special cars that won the Indy 500 several times. Not a bad resume if you ask me.

Here's a guy who spent his free time building cars and building more cars. Timbs was desperate to try something new, something unlike anything he'd done before. German cars like the 1937 Mercedes-Benz Avus Stromlinie were setting record-breaking racing speeds - the kind of glory anyone with a desire for speed would like to experience.

That was Timbs's idea, and he was determined to create a car that matched exactly the image he saw in his mind. This was a car he would build manually, even if it cost him several years and the equivalent of nearly $ 100,000 in today's money.

At first glance, the roadster almost seems to be upside down. The passenger compartment is pressed to the front of the car and constitutes its own section. Behind it, the body is a sleek body piece that stands like a huge trunk to reveal all the items: the fuel tank, the rear wheels, the spare tire, and a Buick Straight-8 engine just behind the seats. front That bad boy could push the 2200 pound car at a speed of 120 mph.

Illustration for article titled The Norman Timbs Special is America's most beautiful German-style car
In order to maintain overall body elegance, Timbs chose not to have doors. It would force a break in the poetic curves that would have been too shocking for his taste. You can come in as a tasteful duke who went to Le Mans.

The body is entirely made of aluminum with steel tubing, creating its remarkable chassis shape. The faded fenders, swept and split windshields, dual exhaust and tail lamps were woven together into a tapestry that was unlike any other car of its day. It almost looks more like a speedboat than a racing car - but no matter what happens, it only takes a look to know that this thing will be fast.

Although it was featured in the second edition of Motor Trend and an episode of "Buck Rodgers in the 25th Century," we are not sure what happened to the beautiful car that was so far ahead of its time. He changed hands and found houses with different owners, was painted white and disappeared. It was rediscovered in 2002, baking under the harsh conditions of the California desert, and sold to Gary Cerveny of Malibu for a mere $ 17,600.

Cerveny went to work to restore the car immediately - and he was lucky. 90% of the original body was still intact (thank God it wasn't rusting in the midwest winters), which meant that there were minimal assumptions involved in bringing the car back to its glory in 1948.

The roadster was completely revamped in time for its 2010 Amelia Island Concours debut. Dressed in deep red wine paint and curving like rolling plains, it easily won the best open car RM auction trophy.

Norman Timbs Special is a delicate reminder to keep an eye on rough diamonds. Who knows how many unique beauties are wasting in barns or backyards without someone to provide a little affection and affection.

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