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Discussion Starter #1
Hi

I'm not sure if this is the best place to pose the question since Alfa raced all models and my interest is a Ti Super to Australia, but how were these race cars shipped?

I seem to recall the Atlantic crossing was about 5 days - my sister was on a record run in the passenger liner 'France' - I guess freighters took considerably longer but did these passenger liners take cars as well. Was air freight an option in those days - say '64-'66?

Does anyone have an idea about getting to Australia? I guess trucking to Genoa a few hours but then weeks? month? to Sydney and then customs clearance, about 2 months in all. A hellava long time!

I guess South America would be about the same....

I'm assuming production models all went by ship but what about show models?

Thoughts?

Thanks Richard
 

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I cant speak about Alfa, but I do remember photos in the newspaper of Briggs Cunningham receiving a Maserati Birdcage via airfreight at Idlewild Airport ( now JFK, here in New York City) in the middle 1950's. When the Andrea Doria was struck by another ship and then sunk, didn't she carry a few Italian-made auto show prototypes ?

Post WW2, GP cars arrived by truck in Europe, Mercedes-Benz famously making a 100mph transporter. Ecurie Ecosse and Ferrari transporters have been restored and have made appearances at Goodwood.


Pre WW2, Ocean liners routinely carried cars of the rich and famous. Dont you remember the scene in the movie, Titanic, where the two young lovers were making out in a Renault limousine, stored in one of the holds ?

Airplanes capable of heavy lifting and flying long distances didnot exist prior to WW2. The best trans-Atlantic carrier (1938) was the Boeing B314 seaplane, who's hold, in civilian service, was too small to carry a car. Heavy lifting short distances, however, did happen in the gold fields of New Guinea, in the 1920's, when all the ore processing machinery was flown in by single engine Junkers, the predecessor of the better known three-engined Ju-52 (Tante Ju)


Interesting stuff, maybe others have more details.

David
 

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The Andrea Doria contained at least one Chrysler prototype show car went she went down. i dont remember who the coachbulder was - Frua perhaps?

More tragically, it had a number of Lancia Aurelia spiders (or convertibles) on board as well.
 

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BTW Richard,

Your sister was very lucky to have traveled in the France during her record crossing of the Atlantic. The France was a beautiful ship and a worthy successor to the ill-fated Normandie.

I'm sure that the P&O carried many cars to Australia. Have you tried contacting the PR departments of the P&O and QANTAS ?

David
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Spider79

How odd, only a couple of days ago discussing the 'other' ship, the Stockholm! Andrea Doria is a famous son of Genoa, with roads, palaces named after him, so it is probable this was the ship's home port, more work.

David, I remember being totally patriotic in those days but wishing to be a naval architect could not ignore the fantastic lines of the France, but was happy when the United States - a 'disguised' liner - took the Blue Riband. Oh happy days. Will follow-up your suggestion....

Thanks Richard
 

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Disguised Liner ?

what was the SS United States disguised as ? I remember that her top speed was classified as a military secret, practically to the day she was taken out of service. I also remember reading about her fireproof interior and aluminum piano. Alas, she was not a success as a liner, passengers preferring the more traditionally furnished ships like the Queens, Mary & Elizabeth, France and the many 'daams of the Holland-America Line.

Drive on-off ships actually brought Alfas to the Port Newark facility from the 50's to the 80's. Port Newark is just west across the Hudson River-Upper New York Bay from Manhattan. My GTA was off loaded at Port Newark, according the history supplied by [email protected]

Regards,

David
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi David

To be brief - this was a loong time ago - I understood the SS United States to be built as a dual troop ship/hospital ship, I forget which, hence the huge engines and comensurate oil consumption appparently handicapping it's commercial usefulness? Perhaps quotes should have been on ''liner''!

I'll contact Archivostorico and see what they have to say.

Richard
 

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Richard,

You are right about the dual nature of the United States. But that was true of all liners. Congress authorized loans becauser of its convertibility, as did Parliament for White Star in the building of the 'ic sisters, Olympic, Titanic and Britannic. As I'm sure you know, Britannic was sunk by a mine whilst serving as a hospital ship in WW1, off Greece (Gallipoli, of special memory to all Australians and New Zealanders).

In WW2, the Mary and the Elizabeth served as unescorted troop carriers, due to their superior speed. The Normandie was being refitted out as a troop carrier as well, taken over by the US Navy to be renamed LaFayette, when she caught fire and capsized at her pier in Manhattan.

As a small child I saw the Normandie laying on her side, as many thousands of cars of New Yorkers drove by that pier. I also visited Port Newark and the Alfa preparation facility when I worked for Alfa Romeo, Inc the US importer.

David
 
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