Al Coppel -- Nardi-BMW

Dr. Skivington's grandson & website contributor Bill Cleghorn comments on this photo:

"This photo shows Al Coppel  in his Italian Nardi powered by a modified 750cc BMW twin motorcycle engine!  My dad is standing just to the left of the car.  I don't think Coppel kept the car long or raced it much.

But it's certainly "interesting"; that front mounted boxer twin driving the rear wheels!  What class do you think that tiny "sports racing" car would have run in?  (early on, "Under 1500cc Prod, later "H Prod"?)

Does anyone know anything about the history of these cars?"

Stu "Dr. Etceterini" Schaller adds this info:

"I think the Nardi BMW 750 2 cylinder car once owned by Al Coppel is now owned by Jarl DeBoer.   There was a class in the early days for cars under 750cc, and I believe this car also has Mille Miglia history before it came to the US."

(1-2-14)   From Etceterini owner and expert Jarl DeBoer:

"Stu is not correct: The Nardi I (still) own is one of the two Crosley powered, Frua bodied cars imported by Wacky Arnolt in 1953. 

I DID see the Coppel Nardi when I was visiting a friend in Concord CA around 1960. A garage door around the corner was open and the Nardi was in view. We stopped and looked it over pretty thoroughly. (but took no pictures unfortunately) It was unchanged from your picture. The body style was as allowed by Italian racing rules until 1951. After that, cycle fenders were out and envelope fenders were required. 

My early Siata Sport 750 SC (1948-49) is an excellent example. it ran its first three Mille Miglias with a very similar body style and then had "full" fenders added for the next three. These early 750cc sports racers were very interesting and now very important historic cars."

Next:   John Reid -- Jaguar XK-120

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