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Which engine would fit best a 1903 Lacoste-Battmann? (update: keep it as it is)

1903 lacoste_battmann_bonhams_brighton_2013_470
Andre Howe-Davies reports: "I recently bought this wonderful and original car from the Bonhams London/Brighton Auction, now the fun starts to find the right 4 pot engine. At present it has - and had since 1908 - an unknown twin, well I believe it's a Brush twin from the earlier English company see photos, but what did it have originally? Would it be an Aster type four pot like the one Alex Brown did an article from New Zealand [see photo below]. I would like that or a Mutel / Prunel four pot to fit in at a later date. The car runs well now but with a 'four' wow!."
Who can come up with some bright ideas about the correct engine for this wonderful motorcar?

(Main photo courtesy Bonhams)


#15 2013-12-13 14:33
If there is no definite evidence of an engine change (it is nearly impossible to hide it!),& no definite evidence of what was originally fitted, then there can surely be no justification at all to alter over 100 years of history.Also, the car should be driven on the road with its present engine-it might go very well.
#14 2013-12-11 13:28
NO ! You're not a "Bad Fellow", but are you sure it had a 4 Cylinder in there to start off with, and why was it removed so early on ?
If there was no change, then there would be no History !
Anything you do to the vehicle in your keeping adds to its History, its PROVENANCE, Just make sure that you catalogue everything that happens to it, for future generations.
#13 2013-12-11 13:03
If the Brush engine illustration is at all accurate, then the engine in the car is not of that manufacture. Also, if one examines the photo of the current engine there is no indication that the mounting points have been changed. To me this would indicate that it is either the original or one exactly like it. It could, of course, be a new block on the original crankcase. Personally I would leave well alone. 'Research' will only tell you exactly what you wish to know,which is not always the truth.
The only real indication of the exact original engine would be the 'build sheet' for this car or, possibly, the original bill of sale.
I tend to go with Stuart Penketh in this!
Something as lovely as what you have purchased is really best left alone.

Regards, Peter Maguire.
#12 2013-12-11 10:20
Reply to John Ryder , thanks for you input , and yes i would love a photo , i am sure that the car is 02/03 04 at the latest, and Jackson certainly used Lacoste running gear , seems most people thing im a bad fellow perhaps wanting to put an engine that would have been in it when new ! as someone who believes in keeping cars as original as possible i found it strange people think that just because that twin was put in to get it of the forecourt [ the car would have been close to obsolete by 1907 , with the wooden chassis etc] thats what i should keep in it now ,
i fully intend to run the car as is while i research her history , but IF and it's a big one, if i find that original engine ! and yes it did have one like it then that is a close as original as the car was intended ! ps would love to know how many people replaced there tremblers ? and brakes[ ps, these are bronze single internal shoe ] rather than run on original equipment ? i shall will they !

Cheers Andre
#11 2013-12-11 07:05
Hello Peter., Great car..For many years I have owned a 4cyl. that has an unusual
rocker gear attached to a cover over the valves, it is a monoblock and has a long
( looks very original )brass name plate
that reads JACKSON.. I understand that a these engines were used in a number of cars including..La Cost et Batmann ? spelling?)would you like photos..??..
John Ryder..
#10 2013-12-11 04:21
What a beautiful car. They're only original once so please don't touch it! I think if you did put a 4 cylinder in it, people would throw rocks at you or possible hang you from the nearest tree! You don't actually own it. You're just its custodian for a little while....
#9 2013-12-11 00:12
I echo all those sentiments. What woul you do with this nine, throw it away? Even though it has been in he car fo 105 years and maybe more. It is part of the car's history.
#8 2013-12-10 19:29
I can only add to the chorus of voices and ask that this car be left alone. I see the engine is already well over 2 litres. What does one possibly hope to gain by any change?
#7 2013-12-10 18:54
Might I add that since the VCC dating hernia of a few years ago, the new dating committee will consider dating a car with the correct year even if it has features that are later, but are part of the history of the car. So there be should be no dating problem if the original engine is kept, unlike the bad old days. You can still do the Brighton Run. Keep it as it is...
#6 2013-12-10 17:16
I have to agree with the the other comments. It sounds as if you've bought the wrong car Andre. And now you've told the world about your intensions. Without a doubt, to answer the question, the best engine to fit a 1903 car is the one that has been in residence for 105 years (or more). I would suggest that you swap it for something a bit more powerful if that's what you're looking for.

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