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A Champagne Mystery
Remi Weber sent this charming picture of his grandma:  ‘This picture was taken in Champagne (France) in a small town called Damery. My grandmother Henriette was very young, about ten years, so this must be in 1906. She had a servant who would drive her around. The car was owned by her father, monsieur Charles Justin Lepron. He was a wealthy rentier who would spent his summers in this house ...
Contrasts at St. John's Concours
Early in the American summer concours season is the Concours of America at St John's, Plymouth, Michigan. According to our on location witness JP Vandebundt it's getting better and better every year. And there's good reason he's using those two words as by tradition this concours is selecting not one but two best of show cars. One US made car and one of foreign manufacture.  The first - not very ...
A rare pair of 1939 Bentleys
Saturday 19th august saw the re-union of two rare Bentleys at Prescott Hill Climb venue, and even torrential rain and thunder storms did nothing to damped the excitement of the owners. Lawrence Bleasdale has owned his green car, chassis number B125MX for 13 years and at a Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts' Club meeting was stunned to see another 41/4 Over-Drive model with the very next number pla...
Pedalling like Hercules: in the saddle of a 1901 De Dion Bouton Tricycle
In 2012 Geoff Gray bought a 1901 De Dion Bouton motor tricycle in need of restoration. I suggested he first spoke with De Dion tricycle expert Mick Penney who is the UK’s best kept secret for all things De Dion tricycle. Upon closer inspection of the project, Mick found the engine was in a sorry state; and it eventually took three engines to rebuild a single good one. The original fro...
What is it? Quiz #375
Here we have very formal body on a very noble chassis. The slightly Rolls-like radiator may point you in the wrong direction. Yet the location of the factory - be it not British - is not lightyears away from London.  Give us  the Marque, the Year and the Model of the car depicted. And if possible give the coachbuiders name (from another nearby country).  We blurred the coachbuilder's name, whic...
Fast moving girl, or the Princess Braganca d’Avellar

The quality of this photograph begs for close inspection and you won’t be disappointed. The lady in the driver’s seat is Miss Ruth Maycliffe.  Notice I didn’t say she was the driver because this carefully staged shot took a lot of preparation. She would have been driven from  the Willard Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue – the imposing building behind the car and...

The most horrendous Hispano ever built?
The french Hispano-Suiza factory of Bois Colombes closed its doors in 1938. Around 120 J-12 chassis had been produced, all these bodied by the most prestigious coach builders of the era. The car pictured above however has a strange body supposedly created in the late 1940s in Spain by an unknown amateur(?) craftsman in the style of the "modern" american cars. In our view the general lines we...
A very wet Tour de France.
We're looking at a rare shot of a very wet day in 1938 with the Tour de France crossing Lille (the backyard of Bruno Vendiesse). Of paricular interest of course is the Bugatti T57 Atalante driven through foot deep puddles in a way you hardly can imagine today. We have seen a few Atalante pictures ov er the years and we're always surprtised to find new details. The car is a two toen version of whic...
Front wheel drive town-car from Belgium?
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 ...
Another thumbnail mystery. (update, coachwork Sodomka)
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...
About Quiz #374 1922 Stigler electric. No Winners.
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 ...
Jean Panhard, 1913-2014

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 ...

What are you waiting for? Hop in! (update: 1920 Standard SLO)

Allow me to introduce you to Margot Burke.  She was a model when this photograph was taken in 1922 and  is captioned  ‘modeling for automobile advertisement’.  That makes me think America, but the car looks British and right hand drive.. The controls on the steering column look like Morris, but the steering wheel  looks wrong, and there’s no bulb horn visible.  W...

A miniature XL bonnet Mystery (update: two 4 cylinders ?)
Radu Comsa has a keen eye for photos in small shops and markets. Even for small photos found in small shops. Last week he found this physical thumbnail measuring 10 x 20 mm! in a Bucharest antique shop. Due to the interesting and its amazing ultra long hood he made great efforts to get the very best scan you can get from a micro picture like this. At that point we didn't know it is a 'wellknow...
Maxwell parts remarried after a 30 years divorce.
report by Joe Goss:"Quite some time back a mystery engine was shown on your site (check back May 2012), images having been forwarded from Mr Foster of Old Cars Weekly. I had answered that it was a lower pan for a 30 HP Maxwell. I did some sleuthing and was able to buy that bottom pan assembly. Now all this time later I had someone made a poster I had at my Chickasha Oklahoma, USA booth. It r...
Hanging on to a 1908 GP Panhard – Levassor
report by Tim Gunn:In April 2012 I was asked to take an Edwardian ladies’ bicycle to a secret location in the depths of the Norfolk countryside for a photo-shoot. I often get requests to provide bicycles for such occasions; however, this time I had advance warning it was going to be special. I had no idea how special it would be. Photographer, Nick Clements; the founder of Men’s File m...
Purposely disabled Peugeot 401 Camionette ?
Peter Hill recently purchased this wonderful looking truck. "Everything appears to be there but the vehicle looks like it has been deliberately disabled at some time in it's life. The fuel pipe has 2" removed, the HT lead is missing and the battery carrier has been deliberately pushed up by a jack so you cannot fit a battery. Is it possible that this was common practise at some time in the p...
High-end Model T touring!
Report  from Peru: The Canyon del Plato  is a canyon that little by little becomes less inhabited and cultivated, but where at a given moment only cacti grow. We follow the river Santo and fully enjoy the ride as we circle through an impressive color palette of mountain landscapes. The road is 'paved' with pebbles which is less pleasant for the T Ford. Gradually the valley gets more narr...
What is it? Quiz #374
This stubby looking European vehicle is not completely honest about its virtues. Its outer looks send you in a wrong direction. In other words, what you see is not what you get. It was available in the depicted four-door configuration, but also as a two-door. It had a thoroughly modern propulsion system and more than that the company is still in business today. So, over to you. Give us the Marque,...
Liberated sisters Dolly and Molly
Most of us who like old cars also like old bicycles. It is a good way to get exercise, they are cheap to run and there are just as many lady riders as gentlemen. My picture shows sisters Dolly and Molly enjoying the July sunshine during the annual Benson Bicycle Rally which follows the narrow lanes of Oxfordshire with views of beautiful countryside and their smiles told me I was right to leave my...

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