Two display-only stars at Retromobile – the Mercedes-Benz W196 Formula 1 Grand Prix ‘streamliner’ – speed personified even at rest –
as is Hubert Parry’s record car ‘Babs’. ‘Babs’, with Parry behind the wheel, set a world land speed record at 176mph in April, 1926 at Pendine Sands in the UK. The following year in March, Parry was killed when a mechanical failure caused the car to crash at over 100mph. The wreckage was buried in the beach sands and remained there until 1967 when excavated and rebuilt by Owen Wyn Owen.
During the Retromobile show, it was pushed outside and started to the amazement of all. It was raining at the time- someone asked the handler if it was a problem to have the car out in the rain. He replied, with typical English understatement “Well, it was buried at the beach for 40 years, I don’t suppose a bit of rain should bother it much.”