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Weigel and his racers

Weigel and his racers

One of the most impressive racers ever in my view is the 1907 Grand Prix Weigel. The length of its bonnet was enormous due to the 8 cylinder engine, which was built by combining two 4 cylinder engines.

Daniel Michael Weigel was a motoring pioneer from 1893 on, when he was just 18 years old. In 1901 Weigel and the Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot formed the British Automobile Commercial Syndicate, Ltd, which imported the Clément, called Clément-Talbot in the UK. Weigel participated in the Paris-Vienna race with a Clément, finishing on 27th place. 
In 1906 he started to build cars under his own name, which were obviously inspired by Itala. Though he denied this vigorously a comparison of the 1906 Itala engine with his engine makes it hard to believe his words. The only feature by which you can discriminate between the Itala and the Weigel is Weigel's hexagonal radiator filler pipe. This feature makes it easy to identify not only a Weigel, but also its successor, the Crowdy.

As is evident from the lead photo, the 1907 racer for the French Grand Prix had a very low appearance. Partly this was effected by lowering the centre of gravity through the upward bend in the rear part of the chassis. If Weigel was the first in applying this I don't know, but it would become a common feature in chassis design. 
Despite satisfying testing results the car didn't perform well in the Grand Prix. Neither of the cars in the 1907 Grand Prix reached the finish, a result which was repeated during the 1908 Grand Prix.

Weigel Motors Ltd. was taken over in 1909 by Crowdy Ltd., which lasted also only 3 years: the end came in 1912.  A Crowdy example of probably one of the last models is shown in the last picture.

At some time Daniel Weigel moved to the United States, where he was involved in engine design evidenced by several patents on his name. He died in Ohio in 1948.



#2 Ariejan Bos 2017-10-09 19:34
David, I guess you're partly correct. It is probably what The Autocar called in 1909 a Weigel type Crowdy. The torpedo bodywork is definitely produced after Weigel was taken over by A.E. Crowdy (I believe he was a former Wolseley employee). As he had taken over the Weigel assets, the first cars were in fact Weigels. I'm probably wrong however calling it one of their last models, as this type of torpedo bodies was already used by Crowdy late 1909. The last model I have a picture of is the 19hp coal scuttle Crowdy de Luxe with thermosyphon cooling, shown at the Olympia Show in November 1911 and being the only model at their stand.
#1 David Barker 2017-10-08 08:49
For the 1908 G.P. Weigel produced a very different car, the engine being a four cylinder, single overhead camshaft with hemispherical combustion chambers. Very advanced for the time but regrettably no more successful than the previous eights.
I would query the identity of the car shown, I believe it's a Weigel not a Crowdy. But I may be wrong!

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