BACK TO PRINT: Selections from the 1958 “International Auto Parade” Book

I’ve long enjoyed collecting automotive print publications, although perhaps I should switch to making that statement in the past tense, as I’ve reached critical mass on the shelves of my home library. First, there is the collection of Car & Driver magazines going back to the 1950s through the present. Then there are the hardcovers; much of my time at Hershey over the last 20 years has been spent scouring the flea market for titles to add to the collection. My wife often asks what I do with all these publications, and the truth is, I frequently pull one off its shelf and breeze through it. So it was with the book I am presenting here.

The book I am featuring this week, though, was not purchased by me, instead, it was gifted to me after it was uncovered by someone who thought I would enjoy it. The aptly titled “International Auto Parade, Vol. II”, was published in Zurich, Switzerland (interesting because that country does not have a native auto industry). It does an admirable job covering all the new vehicles available around the world. All the U.S. makes are there, as are cars from unexpected countries such as Czechoslovakia and Russia. To top it off, the text is in 6 languages: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese.

The book’s best feature are its sharp color photos. My favorites are of cars I’ve heard of but have never seen. Then there are the ones to drool over, such as the Ferraris. I’ve chosen 3 pages to highlight simply because the photography was especially striking. My Italian preferences really come through here, although there is one Japanese car to admire….

 

In my mind, Ferrari didn’t start to build tremendously sleek looking cars until the mid-1960s, but this trio of Modena sports cars from 1958 proves me wrong. The two 250 models had V-12 engines displacing 3.0 liters and putting out 240 HP. The 410 had a 4.9 V12 making 340 HP. I think I’ll take the Spyder.

 

The two Morettis look identical except for their roofs. The cars were based on Fiat mechanicals, and were at the opposite end of the scale from the Ferraris. Their 1200 cc engines put out 55 HP. Although I’ve read about them for years, I don’t believe I have ever seen one. However, if I came across one for the right price, I’d be interested!

At the bottom of the page is the Datsun 1100 Saloon, manufactured by the Nissan Motor Company of Yokohama Japan. Stare at this picture and remind yourself that in 12 short years they would introduce the 240Z sports car to the world.

 

 

Unlike the Moretti, I have seen a Siata: I featured one which was on display at the AACA Museum at the same time my Alfa was there. These 3 Siatas are among the best-looking cars in the book. They might be a bit underpowered for American roads, though. The 1400 at the top of the page produced 58 HP, but the 750 Coupe managed only 30 HP; the Spyder 500 made do with 18, only 5 more than my Isetta. (But it is better-looking.)

 

All photos are from the author’s private collection.

 

 

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