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Front wheel drive town-car from Belgium?

1929 cord_l29_town_car_d_ieteren_470
Some cars by the coachwork alone make you think how things worked in the old times. That is to say, when you were rich.  The 1929 Cord L29 was a serious choice in itself. Not too many front wheel drives around in those days and most certainly not in 'the town-car market segment' (can you name one competitor?).

Now let's suppose you ordered a costly Cord L29 chassis and thought "Now all I need is a decent, nice conservative  coachwork from a well respected firm. After a chat with your Cord dealer, some friends at the country club, your wife finally coems up with the suggestion of D'Ieteren from Belgium. What on earth does she know about coachbuilding? Well while shopping down town Manhattat the subject came up and two well to do friends both appeared to have a car made by D'Ieteren. One being a Pierce Arrow and the other a Hispano Suiza. Well that does it. Go with the flow and order from Belgium, they seem to know their job. 

And you were right. Four owners and more than eight decades down the road the car still holds up very well. And this without any restoration work done. Go check it here, the car will be sold by Worldwide Auctioneers, August 30, Auburn.
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Another thumbnail mystery. (update, coachwork Sodomka)

white mystery_car_470
Radu Comsa found this second miniature photo in the same Bucharest shop. This time no flag or movie title to help us out. So what you see is what you get. We first thought a special bodied Mercedes-Benz, but the hubcaps made us leave that track. We see costly Grebel headlights. Nicely detailed louvre doors (possibly the only real give-away?). Built in traficators and exuberant chrome body fittings. Twin chromed spare covers and a white top. All this not the most conventional and pointing in a high end direction. The wide chrome body strips may lead us to a Paris coachbuilder? Finally we're not the only ones impressed by the car. Note the man in the open window on the left.
Monday, 21 July 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

About Quiz #374 1922 Stigler electric. No Winners.

What is it? Quiz #374

We had no correct answers for last week's quiz. It is not a ca. 1923, 12-25hp Phoenix "All Weather saloon convertible". The make we were looking for is Stigler. August Stigler, at the age of 18, moved from Germany to Zurich, studying engineering at the Polytechnic Institute. After graduating in 1857, he moved to Milan in 1860 (or 1859 according to some sources) where he founded Officina Meccanica Ing. Augusto Stigler. His sons Augusto II, Maxime and Charles joined him in the business which really took off when in 1870, they constructed a novel hydraulic elevator for the Hotel Costanzi in Rome. Meanwhile the Stiglers were working on a transition to electric motors and they installed their first electric elevator in 1898. By 1910, 10.000 Stigler lifts were in operation and by 1920 they had produced over 20.000. You can read more on Stigler elevators on The Elevator Museum website .

By this time the Stigler factory at Milan's Via Galileo was diversifying into electric vehicles, both commercials and passenger cars. Very little is known about them. The first model was exhibited in 1922. Production had ceased by 1925 and is supposed to have been quite small. Stigler cars were available with 2 and 4-door bodywork. The range was about 100 kilometres with an average speed of 35, and that's all the info we have. Does anyone know any more? Stigler was an international company by the thirties, but after the war the Italian branch was taken over by Otis. The Spanish branch was absorbed by Kone in the 1970's, but in Istanbul, Turkey, Stigler are still in the elevator business. We conclude with this nice picture of a Stigler elevator containing a Fiat chassis

(text and quiz idea Jan-Bart Broertjes)
Sunday, 20 July 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Jean Panhard, 1913-2014

Jean Panhard

On July 17 one of the last survivors of the pre-war French automotive industry died at the age of 101. Jean Panhard was the son of Paul Panhard who was a nephew of René Panhard. Together with Émile Levassor René Panhard, in 1890, started the production of cars at the already existing company Perin Panhard et Cie. which had been making wood sawing machines for several decades.

When Jean entered the company as technical director in 1937, Panhard was offering luxurous models named Dynamic. During the Second World War Jean became convinced that the company could only survive when it would be able to offer a small car. In 1955 Jean Panhard was the man who signed the fusion agreement with Citroën and in 1967, as président-directeur général, he saw the last Panhard car coming from the production lines. Till 1981 he remained director at Panhard, which by then was fully dedicated to the making of armoured cars and other military vehicles.

After his retirement Jean Panhard didn't leave the automobile scene at all. He was president of the Automobile Club de France, vice-president of the FIA and president of the Paris Salon. From 1976 he was engaged in the 'salvage' of the Schlumpf Collection in Mulhouse. Still in 2010 Jean Panhard explained his interest in the history of the car and the conservation and valuation of the French automotive heritage in a column of a brochure of the AMAFL, the association of automobile museums in France.

Last year, his hundredth birthday was celebrated at his home in Crécy la Chapelle: .

His name will live on, not only by means of the many surviving Panhard-Levassors and Panhards but also, for example, thanks to this impressive wall decoration near the centre of Lille .

( text and photo Fons Alkemade) 

Result for Quiz #374  will be published tomorrow, Sunday , July 20


Saturday, 19 July 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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Post War Choice

1990 Avanti Four-Door Touring Sedan (3rd Generation Luxury Sedan) Sedan
Don't go unnoticed: 1990 Avanti Four-Door Touring Sedan...  Go >>