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Lands End to John O'Groats Trial, 1908
Mystery gearbox for trial special




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Which Trials Venue visited by this BMW Frazer Nash ? (1936 Brighton-Beer)

Trials Venue

Does anyone know where this pre-war trials photo was taken or even has more photos showing car No. 28 better known as DHX347. Surely someone must recognise the shed in the background? Or is this at one of the countless trials stages accross the UK?  The Frazer Nash-BMW car still exists.
Steve Fathers
Sunday, 23 October 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

About Quiz: #431. 1902/03 gasoline Toledo

1902 1903__toledo_470

Probably we just gave enough clues this time as the good answered popped in one after another. We better leave the word to the judges who concluded it is a 1902/1903 Toledo with 16 or 18 HP gasoline engine. Bob Swanson, Fried Stol, Ariejan Bos. Still there was one competitor who came up with a very interesting discussion. And as we only suggested Toledo in our original question without having a rocksolid evidence we like you to see that's the whole isssue is soemwhat complicates.  See Leon's (far too long so not winning but most interesting answer below). 

" The car is most likely a 1903 18 h.p. Toledo Gasoline Touring car, built by the International Motor Car Co. of Toledo, Ohio, and advertised in journals like the Horseless Age in early 1903. Toledo had previously built steam cars.
      Beware, however, that the car may be something entirely different. The American Bicycle Co. (often referred to by the press of the day as "The Bicycle Trust" - in the nastiest possible way) was formed in 1899 by clever, rich people involved with the bicycle industry to try to salvage something from the catastrophic crash of the industry in the late 1890s. The ABC was doomed from the beginning: almost all the businesses that joined the trust wanted payment in cash rather than shares in the new company. Some companies making cars were caught up in the ABC, and these were organised, within the ABC into the International Motor Car Co. Elsewhere in the ABC motorcycles were produced from 1902. Exactly the same machine was marketed under no fewer than SEVEN brands (Columbia, Crescent, Tribune, Imperial, Monarch, Cleveland, Rambler). In 1903, Rambler, Crescent, Imperial and Monarch motorcycles were completely different beasts, sourced from a different manufacturer, while the Columbia, Tribune and Cleveland stuck to the 1902 design.
      In late 1903, Col. A. A. Pope (who had sold his companies to the ABC in 1899, been a director of the ABC, quit as director, bought back in to the ABC, and acted as Receiver for the ABC) finally bought the rubble of the ABC at a tiny fraction of the 1899 capitalisation. Sound dodgy? Mmm... In September 1903 Pope had formed a new Pope Mfg Co, and ordered all ex-ABC businesses to change the branding to "Pope Mfg Co" as soon as practically possible. Thus Pope-Toledo from late 1903.
     This may explain why there are Toledo Gasoline cars that look NOTHING like our quiz car, and why we shouldn't rule out that our quiz car carried another of the ABC/International Motor Car Co. brands."

This weeks winner is Sandra Miller, with a most efficient and correct answer. Congratulations Sandra! 
Special thanks to Ted Olsen and to Ariejan Bos who provided us with information and contemporary car-magazine copies. Interestingly the openings on the side of the bonnet are small in the 1902 picture shown in the Motor World. No openings seen on the photo of The Automobile Review. And never as much as with our car... Did they experiment with 'louvres' due to cooling issues. 

Next week another quiz at Today a new challenge at 

(photo collection editor)
Saturday, 22 October 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Pretty pistons

Pretty pistons
Yes, we know this picture is posed, but there's something about these ladies that makes us think they regularly get their hands dirty fixing engines.  On the left we see a micrometer to measure the piston diameter for ovality.  In the middle she seems to be shining a torch to see if the tappets are worn? And on the right - with a kindly face and a wedding ring - she has successfully lifted the rear block of her 6 cylinder engine and is looking for wear in the gudgeon pin bush.
We know of several ladies who mend their own cars so hats off to all female fettlers and especially those who stop and help we men change a wheel at the side of the road.

Text Robin Batchelor, picture courtesy Library of Congress.
Friday, 21 October 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Light cars to keep you young.

Light cars to keep you young.

As we looked through the catalogue for the Richard Edmonds three day auction, ( 20 - 22 October)  one car jumped out at us as being unusual, interesting and not unattractive. The 1923 Horstman is described as one of nine survivors. This four seater tourer was once owned by Sidney Horstman who founded  the Horstman Car Co. in 1913 and the delightful action shot of the car could easily be taken in 1923, especially when seen in black and white.
A beautifully restored car retaining all its original features, we hope to see it appear again in VSCC Light Car events.
Another eminently suitable car for such events is the 1924 Pram Hood Austin 7 Chummy  which we last saw in the Finds and Discoveries pages of The Automobile (April 2015). The owner has now fitted correct beaded edge wheels which look so much better than the later well based wheels worn when the car was seen at Brooklands.
This little gem will need some work to make it ready for the road, but not as much as the 1931 Austin 7 Ulster - or should I say its remains. However,  the prices fetched by Austin Sevens demonstrate that buyers appreciate their qualities - the simple yet effective design just works. It transcends all boundaries and is instantly accepted into most old car events. Parts are plentiful and it can often be fixed at the side of the road.
Gone are the days when the Austin 7 was looked down upon - remember the 1920s Punch cartoon when a large vintage car draws alonside a diminutive Austin, only to flick cigar ash into the inferior car below?
This writer's first car was a 1939 Austin 8 Tourer, much like the one offered here, but in civilian grey, and it was usually able to beat the 1936 Morris 8 Tourer belonging to a fellow college student because he only had three gears whereas the austin had four.
Happy Days... and we wish you plentiful happy days in whichever old car you choose to help keep you young!

Text Robin Batchelor, pictures courtesy Richard Edmonds Auctions.
Thursday, 20 October 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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