1928 Mcdowell




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Rhodesian hunting party mystery

Rhodesian hunting party
Another mystery car to start the week. Someone's Dad and Grandad obviously on a hunting trip, with each their own Rhodesian Ridgeback breed hunting dog. However, we would like to know what make the cars are in the photo, although the car with the Salisbury, Southern Rhodesian registration, on the left, is thought to be a Fiat, but of what type and which year?
Have a good week!

Monday, 21 August 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

A Fast Getaway at Lucky Collector

A Fast Getaway at Lucky CollectorWhen Bonnie & Clyde made a hasty exit from one of their numerous robberies, a Ford V8 often provided the much-needed power behind their speedy getaway. It’s therefore no surprise that one of the lots offered by Lucky Collector Car Auctions in Washington on Saturday 26th August will likely prove a hit with those in the hot-rod community.

Starring as Lot 553, a 1935 Ford Coupe in gloss aubergine paint, with whitewall tyres and wire wheels in luminous green, makes for an instantly recognisable automobile profile with a bright and modern twist. Cheap, rapid and more popular than the Charleston, the Ford V8 fast became the best selling vehicle of 1935. The Ford Model 48 was offered in various body shapes, of which 140,000 were in the Coupe configuration. It was the 48 model that allowed Ford to take the reigns from Chevrolet as North America’s most popular car brand, a rivalry fiercely battled at the time.

While Chevrolet had manufactured eight cylinder engines for their upmarket models, it was Henry Ford’s 221 cubic inch V8 engine, generating 85-horse power via a single barrel carburettor, paired with a three speed manual transmission, which set the foundations for V8 performance cars of the 20th century.

It was the difficulty surrounding the price of the more complex cylinder block that set back the production of cost efficient V8 engines, yet Ford managed to bypass these complications by crafting a one-piece block which also terminated the well-documented issue of rough-running and a general lack of refinement. Many consider Ford’s flathead V8 to be the starting point for fascination with the affordable, easily-tuned power plant – now hailed as the first pioneer in hot rod engines, creating a whole new chapter for American culture.

After the Second World War, these Fords could be bought for as little as $15, making them hugely affordable with plenty of potential to those keen to try their hand at engine tuning.

Sunday, 20 August 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

About What is it quiz #451: 1911 Peugeot Type 135

Whatisit quiz 451

Yes, Doug, sorry about the fact that you couldn't enlarge the picture. However if you would have downloaded the picture to your computer and enlarged it there, you wouldn't have missed much detail really. The original wasn't razor-sharp either, which you can check hopefully today …

No, it is not a Berliet, which had a much higher bonnet, but a Peugeot indeed, as mentioned by both Craig Gillingham and Fried Stol. Identification features are the low bonnet with rather low, vertical bonnet sides, size and spacing of the louvres, the broad radiator shell, the high and narrow radiator filler tube, the outward bending rear dumb irons and especially the very large wheel hub on the rear wheels. If I see that hub, I'm for 99,9% certain that I'm looking at a Peugeot.

Regarding the dating: the large wheel hubs were present from about 1909, a complete set of electric lights including electric horn was rare before 1910, whereas the torpedo dash including front door came into normal use in this type of town cars from about 1910 too. On the other hand, the step from bonnet to torpedo dash is still a large one without any compromise, so 1911 will be about the upper date of this car. On the basis of the looks of the car and the fact that it doesn't have chain drive anymore, I tend to follow therefore Craig's suggestion for a 1911 type 135.

And finally the body: indeed a limousine of course being a closed car with large windows next to the passenger seats. The origin of the limousine name is unclear, where usually it is thought that the name is derived from two-wheeled carts from the Limousin region in France. Windows seemed to have been absent in these carts however. Some years ago I read another, slightly more convincing origin of the name in the small, but very complete book “Coachbuilding” by Jonathan Wood (Shire Publications, 2008): To protect the contents in their wagons, the farmers applied a coarse woollen cloth. This woollen cloth type was produced in the Limousin region, well-known for its tapistry weaving industry. If it's true? Who knows ...

Fried Stol and Fredy Ley suggested Labourdette as the coachbuilder, which is a very creditable one. Although the limousine body doesn't seem to be very special, the torpedo dash with the backward curving top is a feature which can be observed regularly on Labourdette bodies of that period.

So, counting all the pluses I declare Craig Gillingham the winner this time, congratulations! But to be honest, Fried Stol finished second really close on his heels ...

Saturday, 19 August 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Beauty in a Bugatti.

Beauty in a Bugatti.The detail you see above is from a larger picture but something about the driver made us focus on just her.  The way she held the steering wheel and the cigarette made us wonder if she drove the car or merely sat in the driver's seat?

bugatti-beautiesHer passenger deserves attention too.  Perhaps her sister? But together they give an impression of two ladies who enjoy themselves. One looks at the camera, one looks straight ahead ( as the driver should).
Let our imagination run wild - they own the car.  They have the spending power to buy a Type 37 Bugatti with practical accessories for two girls-about-town who DRIVE their car and not just pose in it.
Look at the aero screens with taller dimensions to allow the occupants a little more protection from the wind, and it seems they would prefer to show other drivers their intentions by semaphore indicators rather than stick their long graceful arms out the side.  And the decent rear view mirror hints at good driving.
bugattibeautiesLet us show you more of the car and we see that it carries mudguards which means the occupants can arrive at their destination clean and dry - as long as they keep their arms inside.
We think the car is a Bugatti Type 37 but, as always, we welcome more detail from those of you 'in the know'. And perhaps you recognise the ladies?  Don't hold back - if one is a famous racing driver, tell us... and we will just blush.

bugatti37-manBut who's this?  A man in the same car !  Judging by the cut of his coat material, we'd say he's the mechanic. After all,  the ladies' hands don't look as though they wield spanners and all Bugattis need regular mechanical attention to keep them going properly - and when we look at the lack of tread on the tyres, we just know this car is driven properly.

Text Robin Batchelor - pictures courtesy Frank Henri Jullien ( 1882-1938).

Friday, 18 August 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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