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Quiz Archive

About Quiz #409 - 1913 Premier


1913 premier-1-470

Bill Coates sent this old photo from his own album and wonders :
"Would this be of use for a photo quiz? It is a 1913 Premier cyclecar. Not Coventry Premier!"
Thus it became the subject of last week's quiz.

Yet even better if he would have added: "Not the Premier from Indianapolis (1903-1925), not the Premier from Coventry (1912-1914), not the Premier from Nüremberg, Germany and finally for sure not the Premier from Bombay, India (1955-... )! "

Bill is almost certain that it is the only 4 wheeler surviving; most were built up as three wheelers. The photo was taken in Holyhead, North Wales in about 1960.
"It was my introduction to the old car scene I spent many (happy?) occasions pushing it when the rear cylinder of the twin engine seized!! You will find a lot more details in Rankin Kennedy's Book of the Motor Car Vol4. This car left the UK in late '70's and is now believed to be in a private collection in Netherlands?
After we asked Bill for some more detail he added: 
"The Premier was not mine - I was only 15 or 16 years old at the time! It belonged to a neighbour who had rebuilt it to a quite good condition for the early 1960's. The ride was reasonably good but the steering was very direct and it was deflected by poor road surfaces! It had a V twin Premier engine (see design view of chassis). There was not enough air cooling for the rear cylinder and this used to seize very regularly especially on a hill. This was when my muscle power as a teenager was required so that the car could be pushed home!! It soon cooled down and would start up again. I don't know if the problem was ever sorted out as I left home shortly after this and bought my own set of problems with a 1931 Singer Junior Saloon which needed totally rebuilding...but that's another story!"

We eagerly turned to our Rankin Kennedy Vol. 4 but could only find reference to the 3-wheeled Coventry Premier so we thought, "Let's try The Cyclecar magazine" and sure enough, a full page advert in issue no. 1 for November 1912.  The same ad. appeared in the next 7 issues, but in no. 9 we found this picture but no advert. Full page ads appeared in #10 & 11, but not in # 12 whilst the marketing department came up with this new design for issue 13 .  The adverts disappeared from # 17 onwards and the start of Premiers being offered in the classified adverts.
Cyclecar expert Michael Worthington-Williams offers the following - " Between 1912 and 1913 the premier Co.Ltd.produced two distinct types of cyclecar - the P.M.C Motorette three wheeler with rear mounted 6HP single engine and chain final drive, and the Premier pictured here"  ( Engine/transmission details as per advert .)
Factories were maintained in both Coventry and Birmingham.
We congratulate the  5 readers who sent in answers - all correct, and two reports of Premiers being sold recently.  It was Leon Mitchell's answer that impressed us most with his detailed knowledge so he becomes this week's winner of a PreWarCar T-shirt.  Send us your postal address and your prize will travel all the way to South Australia.


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