On Sunday, March 10th, thousands from around the world gathered for the
east coast’s premier gathering of rare automobiles and motorcycles —
The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. The invite-only show annually
attracts many of the worlds rarest and most significant two- and
year, Wheels Through Time Founder and Curator, Dale Walksler was
invited to enter his 1949 Veritas in a new class called the "What Were
They Thinking?" Class. The class consisted of several automotive
oddities, ranging from pre-production prototypes to concept cars to
one-of-a-kind autos. Dale’s Veritas would be right at home in the
class, with its unorthodox styling and and unique history.
Simply referred to as "The Veritas", this fantastic machine was purchased from a gas station by the late Lee Hartung
in the early 1960s. Lee retired the car to his 4-acre museum
in Glenview, IL, having never heard the car run or seen drive under its
own power. The 1949 example is one of approximately 70 cars
built. Powered by a 328c.i. BMW Inline 6-cylinder OHV factory racing
engine, the car features all tubular chassis, racing "knock-off" wheels,
and racing suspension — it is essentially a racecar, with road model
coach work and styling. The unusual body was specially designed in East
Germany by the Spohn Company, constructed of both steel and aluminum,
and was likely what sparked the cars inclusion in the new "What Were
They Thinking" Class.
owned the machine for almost 50 years. After Hartungs passing, Walksler
purchased it at the Auctions America hosted estate sale, where it was
considered the highlight of the auction.
Upon relocating the car
to Wheels Through Time, Walksler and friend Eugene Smyers promptly got
to work in an effort to bring the back to running order. Every attempt
was made to preserve the look and appearance of the 64 year old original
survivor, while taking all necessary steps to return the car to
mechanical perfection. After six months and near 1000 hours of labor,
the powerful BMW racing engine roared to life for the first time since
even before Hartung found it. And boy, what a sound.
appearance at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance marked the first
time the car had been publicly shown outside of Wheels Through Time or
Hartungs own museum — and as expected, it wowed the judges and
spectators alike, taking home the award for 2nd Place in its class.