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The 5cv Cloverleaf Mystery
Angelo van de Rijt recently found this special bodied 1923 Citroen 5cv. writes: "We would love to find some info about this special bodied Citroën 5cv 'cloverleaf'. It's been in storage for many decades. The widow fo the former owner couldn't tell us a lot about the history. All we know is what we can see, the workmanship is far above avarage and has very nice detailign . Also the car seems...
Amilcar's racing jewel
Barely pausing for breath after the publication of his latest book on Alfa Romeo Grand Prix cars - The Magnificent Monopostos - Simon Moore has jumped head-first into researching a rather different machine. The Amilcar C0 and C6 have attained a legendary status since the C0's debut outing at Montlhéry in 1925. Unlike anything the Parisian marque had built before, the C0 was a dedicated racin...
The car behind the driver: the 1938 Thompson racing Special
Kieran White provided a photo of young Mr. Hugh at the wheel of '1938 Thompson racing Special', this in view of our new 2015 calendar "A New Generation Taking The Wheel". As we were intrigued by the name of the car we asked Kieran to learn us a bit more and found out there is not only car history behind it but also a part from the sad times of The Troubles (* see Kieran's note below) in Northern...
A V-shape radiator mystery in Belgrade (update: 1914 Benz, Elite?)
Peter Skofic dug up a yet another mystery again. This time with a pinch of the December atmosphere, snow! He writes: "The photo shows an unknown car fighting with heavy snow in Belgrade in front of the parliament`s palace which was obviously still under construction. Following typical design of the V-shaped radiator this must be a German or Austrian car. But which make? Perhaps Benz or Puch?&...
The Hoop & Dog Mystery
A plain American car and basically we feel embarrassed that we didn't recognise this without any doubt high volume car. We thought of Chevy 490, Studebaker, Dodge, Star, Oakland, yet it doesn't fit. Nash maybe, nah... Maxwell?...no. Sorry, we give up, you need to tell us. Already we hear you laughing that we didn't see it at first glance... (click main pic for enlargement) For your information the...
What is it? Quiz #385
Well this should be pretty easy. A major American manufacturer built more than 400,000 cars like this in its model year. Most everybody will get the basics. We  may get thousands of answers, so to win you will need to be very specific. In addition to the make, year and model we will want to know more about the specification and where it was built. Just to be sure, maybe some of you can tell us wh...
The curved lines formerly complemented by Claretta Petacci
Some cars have a history that takes real detective work to unravel, and others are easier when they have been driven by famous racing drivers and the history books record every detail. But the car being offered at Retromobile in February by RM Auctions has links with power, politics, sex and execution. (editorial note: the author strongly advises against using Google Images to find photos of Clare...
The Rapley Collar & Harness Mysteries (update: Humberette & (Liberia) Star or )Argyll? )
We know Daniel Rapley for years. We always have a chat when we meet up at Hershey and he seems capable to cough up some interesting project cars from time to time. Unfortunately those are slightly newer than the fine motors depicted above when the Rapley family was still doing business in Ashburton, New Zealand. Daniel writes: My great grandfather owned a motorcar. I have attached a photo showing ...
We’re stuck!
This time it's not the automobile we are talking about. It's us who are stuck! You may remember the East-Indies Mercedes Mystery we wrote about in 2011. The Mercedes was owned by a Mr. Tan Tjoan Keng from the Dutch East Indies, who had this Mercedes made by a special department of Mercedes under the management of Hermann Ahrens, who was in charge of the design department for the development of "Sp...
The 2015 calendar is out!
We're never early with our new calendar. For the simple reason we like to be very complete. And complete it is with 110 photos and 123 junior pilots from 18 countries in it with a wide variety of US and European built cars, yet we must say, there is an abundacy of young Bugatti owners this year ! We were swamped in photos, even more than with the previous Proper Cars True Ladies calendars. We got ...
Modern road side assistance? (update: no minor issue)

Henk Nooteboom is experienced rally driver - amongst other palmares also winner of The 100 Miles of Amsterdam 2012.  He reports about a recent holiday in France with his 1921 Stutz Open Tourer. Our jaws dropped when we came to the end of the story..."This is what happens if the blocking ring (which has to keep the axle in place) of the driven rear axle breaks and no l...

A Damery, Champagne Mystery?
Remi Weber writes that he is quite happy about you - PWC visitors -  identifying for him the Gregoire his grandmother was seated in. However he comes up with a new question. My grandmother is now seated in a...? At this point she is a married lady. The photo was shot in Damery, Champagne, France. Editor: sometimes the surroundings may delure you. Especially a romantic place like the Cham...
About Quiz #384: has anybody seen the 1935 Lancefield Hotchkiss?
Quiz #384 was both a Quiz & a Mystery. What it is, is quite clear. At least to some of you. With the help of jury member Alan Spencer we decided that Barrie Down came up with the best answer: "The French manufacturer Hotchkiss showed this unique prototype at the 1935 London Motor Show. The London coachbuilder Lancefield demonstrated the most recent of their Art Deco developments after a ...
'We had no idea what we were about to find! '
When old car specialist Pierre Novikoff took a telephone call one day, little did he know what a discovery he was about to make. He took Matthieu Lamoure, Managing Director at Artcurial Motorcars, with him to a small village in western France . "It was a fairly indescribable feeling. On entering the gates of this property, we had no idea what we would find.” Their eyes fell upon different makesh...
The last summer of Lucy Christalnigg
Not all stories have a happy end. 2014 was a year full of World War I memories. Between all great events it was only recently that our attention was drawn to this booklet. Author Nello Cristiani took the trouble to collect all facts around the death of racing driver Lucy Christalnigg in the early days of war.  After Lucy lost her only child a daughter she found peace of mind in car driving and ra...
December dreamtime
It seems the flow of edwardian racers popping up from barns and history never ends. Last weekend Duncan Pittaway presented his 28 litre Fiat clearing its throats after 100 years. Now don't be afraid that this was the very last racing car to be discovered or to be recommissioned. Charles Walmsley sent this photo of Mariano de la Fuente with his Lancia Theta (or is it Kappa?) sponsored by Michelin (...
Spain's forgotten cyclecar: David
Regular PreWarCar correspondent Francisco Carrión Cardenas has just had his first full-length feature published in The Automobile magazine. Sticking to a subject close to home, he has told – for the first time in English – the full story of the forgotten David cyclecars from Barcelona. The brainchild of Catalan medical student Jose Maria Armangué and his brothers, the cars came about ...
The 'long arms' of PreWarCar
Last week we posted the issue regarding an unidentified Delage without any history attached to it. We hoped that at least one reader would remember the car. To our surprise one reader stepped forward and told us the car was built in Argentina by his father in the seventies. We asked him to send a period photo if possible. He sent various photos including the coachbuilders plate of his family which...
The Raoul Dufy Cab Mystery
A very good friend and artist from the US recently sent us this picture. Not a childs painting, it's a watercolour made in 1923 by the french 'post-impressionist' Raoul Dufy. We were intrigued immediately as cars are a rare thing in paintings. The artist works in a loving but sketchy technique. Colour and light is more important than exact shapes. Still - as a contrast - the radiator surrounding i...
What is it? Quiz #384
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 i...

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