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Hollow bronze crank case of cycle car circa 1905-10
A Paris-Madrid, Paris-Vienna, Paris- Rouen Mystery?


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How to date this fine paint brochure?


Leo Schildkamp found this wonderful brochure form the dawn of motoring. An italina paint firm trying to get hold on this new market segment. Our guess is that they were active in the carriage painting busienss already before. The depicted colours are true samples glued in the brochure. Of course we knew there were many possible colours in that time as well, but still we are amazed by this fabulous richesse. Leo did some research and at least the name of the brand Ciclolux is still existing. Maybe we can help dating the brochure based on the motorbike. Our rough guess... 1902/03.  

Sunday, 01 February 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

What is it? Quiz #387

what is_it_quiz_387_470

You will not be surprised to read that you're looking at a wellknown GM product. Yet, that's the easy part. The challenge for you is to decide which exact type and which body is the object of this weekend's quiz. We don't think you need too many extra hints. What we can add is that the car only recently emerged from oblivion. And the owner of course knows a lot more, but he also has many unanswered questions. Next week Saturday you will learn all about it. 

Now before writing down your response, be sure to read the Rules under Read More. This may be your chance to win the coveted PreWarCar T-shirt. Results and source of photo will be published next Saturday, February 7.

Saturday, 31 January 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Rear ends of cars

Rear ends of carsNone of us likes to have to change a wheel at the side of the road, especially when wearing our best clothes, so if I saw today’s lady in red I would expect to stop and offer my help. But something tells me that, whilst continuing to work with jack and wheel brace, she would accuse me of being macho, or of treating women as inferiors. She has a wonderful air of independence as she puffs on her cigarette and gets on with the job.

She’s lucky that her sporty open top car has a spare wheel and I wonder what make it is? But never mind – it has style and she has style and I make no apology for sharing with you a few more stylish cars from the rear because on my desk is a copy of a book simply brimming with photographs of such cars. It is Peter Larsen and Ben Erickson’s magnum opus on the coachbuilder Saoutchik which has just won the coveted award of ‘The Most Beautiful Book of the Year’, 2014, presented at the Festival Automobile International in Paris with the elegant Eiffel Tower’s lights blazing in the background.

My favourite ‘rear end’ from their book would surely meet with the approval of our lady – a 1923 Hispano-Suiza H6B Transformable 4 Glaces with twin spares relocated to the rear in about 1927 when it was ‘modernised’ , perhaps by the third owner Charles Weymann.

If that wasn’t sporty enough for her, then let’s tempt her with this Mercedes-Benz 26/120/180 PS from 1928 with twin side-mounted spares.. It was bought in 1962 for $5000 from the estate of the first owner and subsequently restored to perfection and mercifully retaining its original lizard skin interior.

Spare wheels were traditionally side mounted which allowed some cars to stow luggage to the rear, and picnic hampers too. This 1931 Hispano-Suiza H6C was first owned by Lily Chipot, known equally for her wit in intellectual circles in Paris, as well as for her colourful entourage and sensual striptease dances performed in various Parisian cabarets. I can’t imagine her changing a wheel!

The lines of this 1932 Bucciali, with its stylised Stork, will surely satisfy any lady’s desire for automotive style. The storks on each of the six designs Saoutchik did for Bucciali were all subtly different.

The publishers - Dalton Watson - tell me the book is nearly sold out so let us share with you some sample pages to explore at your leisure and enjoy the cars, ( and some their owners ) from all angles. Click HERE.

(picture collection Leo Schildkamp; text Robin Batchelor)

Friday, 30 January 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

About full barns and deep pockets

Artcurial Retromobile.

Tim Gunn: I was recently asked a question, which I'm sure, has been asked at every gathering of old vehicle enthusiasts, around the globe these past few of months. "Money no object, what would you buy from the barn find collection in France?" If for some reason you have been locked in your own barn waiting to be discovered, then the collection of 60 rare cars found last year will come as a shock to you. The remarkable collection of Roger Baillon is to be offered by French auction house, Artcurial at Retromobile in Paris on February 6th. Widely publicised as the 'last barn find' and the 'automotive find of the century'. But I would like to point out, we still have 85 years till the end of the century and although not as large, I'm sure; more 'barn find' collections will be un-earthed in the years to come. The collection ranges from a basket case in the form of a Delahaye Type 43 camion-plateau from 1911, to the sublime, Ferrari 250 GT SWB California of 1961. What is clear though; most of the cars will either need a deep pocket to buy and others will need a barn full of money to restore.

So what if money was no object and you had the chance to own a piece of the Baillon legacy? To be honest, my personal thought, would be to go for a car with great character, but requires simple work to get back on the road. One such car in the collection would be Lot 44, the Lorraine-Dietrich B3-6 pick-up. With some fresh tyres, a mechanical overhaul and a good dose of oily rag, you'd feel like a French farmer on his way to market every time you drove it. The Bugatti T57 from 1937 is going to be one of those cars in the collection which will probably require both a deep pocket to buy; and to restore. But if I owned the project, I'd make it respectable and use it, while enjoying the previous history of this wonderful car.

Lastly, if money really was no problem, my wife would like me to bring home the 1961 Ferrari 250 SWB California, but in a different colour, so I won't be doing that, instead, it's going to have to be Lot 26, the Amilcar CGSs from 1927. Definitely needing 'a bit or work', but it would fit in my garage just nicely. 

editorial addition: what's your gamble on the final price for the Amilcar with a Euro 3000-5000 estimate? We'll offer a PreWarCar brass plate to whom comes closest to the final result, including buyer's costs.
Thursday, 29 January 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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The Market



Post War Choice

1953 Fiat TOPOLINO C compressor
'53 Topolino with Compressore..!...  Go >>