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American Coal Scuttle Hoods after 1905

Franklin 1912-470
By Ariejan Bos:
Recently I showed you some European coal scuttle bonnets from after 1905. Several reactions made me feel the need for a similar overview for the American industry. A difference with the European industry was that a continuous line between the pre- and after-1905 coal scuttle bonnets (or hoods in proper US language) does not really exist. In 1908 Palmer-Singer produced the Skimabout, with similar hood also available as landaulette. Most cars with this hood-type date from 1910 or later. Franklin(main photo) is of course one of the more well-known, turned to this type in 1911, but is deviating because of the missing water reservoir (air-cooled!). Somewhat earlier were 1910 Mora runabout and the 1910 Croxton-Keeton, who called it the French type (they also produced a model with a honeycomb radiator, which was called the German type). The French type was continued from 1912 as the Keeton. In most cases Renault is mentioned as the source of inspiration, as is the case for the Rayfield and especially the Colburn. The latter firm imported Renault cars, as their own car production didn't meet the demand. They adapted the cars to the American market, rebadging them Colburns. Compare with the Renault bought by Joan Cuneo in the same year! Other examples are the 1910 Thomas taxi (perhaps pursuing the Renault success story in Europe?), the 1915 Stewart and some oddities like the 1914 Eage-Macomber light car and the 1910 Twombly steamer (with quickly replaceable body as well as power unit). The Monarch has some resemblance, but has the water reservoir in front. Finally also in the USA electric cars frequently made use of some kind of coal scuttle shape, often more of the box-type. The Hupp-Yeats however used the 'real' one, probably in an attempt to make it look like a 'real' car ...

Sunday, 01 May 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

What is it? Quiz #419

Quiz 419-470
It's very old and it's French.  The two cylinder has an extraordinary design. The manufacturer(s) are from an engineering family. They never made large numbers of cars, yet they were all impressive or very impressive.

Well, there's a fair chance that you remember the make by now! So we won't spoil you with even more hints.  But do you also know the type? And even better, can you tell us more about the coachbuilder Dauplay from Le Mans?
Give us your best answer in 100 words before Monday, May 2nd. And you have  a fair chance to become the 419th winner of the infamous PreWarCar T-shirt. But be sure to read The Rules under 'Read More' first!
Saturday, 30 April 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Alice and Kay brush up Kington memories

Alice and Kay share old memories with Mark.The lady you see looking so happy is Kay Lorenzato and you would feel joy too if you had just been for a drive in your old 1923 Vauxhall Type OD 23/60 Kington Tourer and had all your memories from the 1950s and 60s come flooding back.
Kay's late husband Raymond Lorenzato was one of a group of four who bought the car in 1955 from Captain Donald Gill - a real enthusiast who wrote about the car in a 1949 Motor Sport (see here). They christened her 'Alice' and drove her far and wide but when the garage rent became too much for the syndicate, Lorenzato bought out the other three and became sole owner.
There is an old sticker on the windscreen from the Grimsell pass in Switzerland which illustrates just how far this venerable Vauxhall has ventured in its life with no front wheel brakes.
 The new owner Mark Walker, seen sitting beside Kay in the picture, drove the car down to Vauxhall's Motor heritage Centre to meet Kay and 3 generations of her family.  Mark enjoys cars  with only rear wheel brakes... "In Alice, 60 mph at 2000 rpm is still a comfortable and smooth cruising speed and the car keeps up well with modern traffic. Higher speeds are certainly possible, but with only rear brakes, probably not advisable! I intend to use the car as family transport. " ( During Walker's work on the car, we note he fitted high compression pistons, but otherwise he has followed his mantra of conservation rather than restoration.)
Kay says her husband would have been  "proud to see Alice on the road again" after he'd shared so many experiences with the car during the 1950s and '60s.  She has fond memories of attending rallies in Alice with her husband in the early 60s and recalled how attached they both were to the car.
Their last outing in the car was 1967 after which it was stored in a shed until 2014 when it next saw the light of day.  We wonder if Kay would agree to a drive in Walker's other car with no front wheel brakes??

Text Robin Batchelor, pictures courtesy Vauxhall Motors' Heritage Centre.
Friday, 29 April 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Throwback Thursday: A splendid tow car... (by Kit Foster)

Earlier published nearly fourteen years ago (Christies was still into auctioning cars!)  on the first of August, 2002. Some short notes by our good friend Kit Foster. Super loyal supporter from near the very start of PreWarCar. Not sure if he googled-in or found us by other means. Anyway he helped, advised, corrected(!) and supported a zillion times over the years. Kit, thanks a million! There is very little chance that you are into this hobby without ever reading words from his hands. Kit is all over the motoring globe. On countless pages online and offline pages (including Kit Foster's - slightly overgrown -  Carport) and in many books like his famous The Stanley Steamer.  Thanks Kit !

Earlier Text:
Kit Foster wrote the Blackhawk chapter in 'The Splendid Stutz' (The Stutz Club, 1996). Here his comments on last saturday's photo: 'Upon closer inspection I agree that it's a 1929 car, not 1930. In 1930 the hub size increased due to adoption of bolt-on wheels. The car is certainly 145-inch wb, and the body style, according to Stutz terminology, is a 'M-44, 4-passenger speedster with tonneau cowl & windshield'. Its list price was $3995, shipping weight 4770 lb. As Roger says, most open bodies were by LeBaron, though not usually badged as such. This one bears some of the same hallmarks as a 1929 Blackhawk LeBaron speedster with which I'm familiar, so I'm confident it's by LeBaron. As for the car's overall condition, it goes with the photo's period of circa 1950. That was the 'low point' for the big American Classics, those that had survived the war, anyway. They were worth typically $150-300, were not recognized by any of the big clubs (Classic Car Club of America was formed in 1952), largely in response to the Antique Automobile Club of America's classification of what they now call 'Full Classics' as 'tow cars.' The typical owner in that time was not a moneyed person who had lost it - he was probably an impecunious student of good taste with a sense of adventure. (edit.: Not for impecunious students: six Stutz cars will be auctioned by Christie's at Pebble Beach.)
Thursday, 28 April 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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