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What is it? Quiz #384

whatisit 384_470

It is a highly attractive 4 door Coupe. Most people think Rover introduced this concept with the P5 Coupe, and Mercedes reinvented the same with their current CLS. Yet as with many other ideas, it existed much earlier. And we would not be surprised if the one depicted above wasn't the first one either. Anyway, we are still interested to hear from you which oddball we dug out for you today. If it is of any help it is a french car in a british suit that popped up as a one off design at a motorshow in the mid thirties. Unfortunately it was blown away by similar revolutionary designs presented by a more appealing french carmake. The car vanished without leaving a trace except for the rumour that it was seen last in the seventies. Since then nothing was heard or seen again. It's so obscure that according to the sender of the photo a picture of the front is not known. Or do you...?    

Tell us all about the exact car depicted, but limit yourself to the max of 100 words. We want the name and model designation of the car with any - trivial - extra information being valued highly. But before writing down your response, be sure to read the Rules under Read More and start looking, looking, looking. This may be your chance to win the coveted PreWarCar T-shirt. Results and source of photo will be published next Saturday, December 6.

Saturday, 29 November 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

How to stay warm in Austria

austro daimler_ladies_470

With winter approaching it’s about time to get that warm coat from the loft and find a nice place to  sip a coffee. Over in Austria, temperatures just manage to keep the water liquid - during the day. These ladies know and come out of the warm cabin of their impressive motor only to show off their impressive fur coats. Nope - It’s not just the Vienna number plate suggesting they were no mere farmer’s daughters.

If that big car really is theirs, they certainly aren’t impoverished. That’s an Austro-Daimler, made in Vienna too. It could well be the ADM with overhead cam six-cylinder engine. Or perhaps even the rare eight-cylinder version? Never mind. Off to Hotel Sacher for a Melange and a piece of that lovely cake they make there...

(Text Jeroen Booij, photo collection Raymond X.)

Friday, 28 November 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

An 'aerial view' on Chateau Impney

Airship Engine to Balloon Car.

H&H hold their Christmas auction on Wednesday 3 December at Chateau Impney in Worcestershire. The Chateau has long been associated with motoring events and last week played host to the annual ERA Club dinner. Balloonist Robin Batchelor takes you out for an 'aerial view' of the sale.

The automobilia section contains a good variety of quality items, including this rare copy of The First Aero Engine by Rolls Royce ( 1914 – 16). A good insight into the thought processes of the great designer being a compilation of memos sent by Royce at the start of WW l covering the inception, design and development of the Eagle engine and mentions the Hawk engine which I found hidden in a corner on a recent Automobile magazine Oily Rag Run !

According to the catalogue, the first open-heart surgery performed in the UK was by Sir William Errington Hume and in 1935 he bought an Armstrong Siddeley saloon which is offered in ‘time warp’ condition. The next lot is another 3 litre saloon but from USA, a 1928 Nash Standard Six in resplendent restored condition and then a smart 1936 Alvis Crested Eagle TF 19.82 saloon ( thought to be 1 of 4 known) and this desirable 1938 Bentley 4.25 litre Sports. There are smaller cheaper saloons available – a ’37 Model Y Ford and another one in traditional black ( you know Henry Ford’s famous quote). Even smaller, but not cheaper, is a pretty 1930 Austin 7 RK Box saloon and a later one here.

The Bullnose Morris Club has a thriving membership who usually advertise their cars in the magazine but here we have a lovely example of the 1925 Morris Bullnose Long Oxford with good provenance and a nice ‘used-but-smart’ appearance. Eminently usable with bigger engine and 4 wheel brakes, let’s see if it reaches its £20,000 high estimate. I think it will. And whilst thinking of prices, the 18th Baron Berkeley bought this magnificent 1931 Lagonda 2 Litre Low Chassis Speed Model Tourer for £200 in 1961 with an Austin 7 thrown in as well. Lord Berkeley prospered after his 1961 student days and subsequently spent nearly £100,000 on a thorough restoration of the car so its high estimate of £75,000 seems a bargain.

Did you see our editor out in his 1931 Talbot recently? There are three different Talbots on offer – The large imposing 1911 Talbot 15hp Type M 'Roi Des Belges' Tourer has had an older restoration, but starts readily on the handle. The 1936 Talbot 110 Speed Tourer was owned by VSCC treasurer for 25 years. “ The Talbot engines were powerful, silent, reliable and smooth, whilst braking was outstanding”. However, the car which gets my vote is the 1916 Talbot 4CY 15/20HP which has been rebodied as a ‘Balloon Car’ as a nod to its likely origins as a tender car for Quantas Airways “ on trips to the Outback as a service and rescue vehicle repairing downed aircraft and collecting crew”. The original and best known Balloon Car was used by Charles Rolls in 1908, or rather his long-suffering chauffeur, to retrieve his balloon after landing at some far flung place miles from anywhere. It's nice to think of this Talbot earning its keep in the harsh conditions of  the 1916 Australian Outback - it deserves an easier life with its next owner.

Text Robin Batchelor, pictures courtesy H&H Classic Auctions and author.


Thursday, 27 November 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

The classic 'no room' story


Bill Coates writes: "Reading the story about folk overcoming the lack of a garage, but getting round the problem to rebuild a car, I thought you might like to see this photo. My wife & I bought the remains of a 1934 Singer 2 litre sports back in 1970, but didn't have a garage. I figured if I rebuilt it in a back room which only had  a 1 meter wide access door, I would soon get it out when it was finished!! And yes we still have the car and yes my wife and I are still together. The second picture shows us on top of the St Gotthard Pass a couple of years ago!"
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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