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(un)Solved Mysteries

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The Louis Chevrolet Paris Mystery. (UPDATE III: 1910 Marquette Buick 100 / Henry Winterhoff)
A young Louis Chevrolet at the wheel of a vintage sports car specially prepared for a race in or near Paris (Boll d'Or perhaps?). Click the photo to check the detailing. Also see the back of the photo; in the handwriting of - seemingly - an older man, as if writing down a memory (click): "This is the racing car we built to race in Paris, but the race was postponed and afterwards abandoned. (unread...
The Long Tail 66 Mystery (UPDATE: for gazogène / woodfire fumes )
Mark Michel sends us this bizar carburetor. He has owned it for many years, but has no clue what it is. It does look very early and it appears to have the intake valve as part of the carburetor assembly. It's about 10 inches long and heavy as one can expect from a large brass casting. It has a flange mount with the bolt holes 2 1/2 inches apart. The intake diameter is 1 1/8 inch. There are no mark...
The Diamond Mystery (UPDATE IX: 1917 McLaughlin-Buick D-45 !)
No quiz today, as you can still send in your answers to our Christmas Quiz until Monday. Therefore a real good way to start the New Year is to have a long, hard look at this photo. No, not at the nice young lady, but at the car, of course. It’s American, for sure, but the make has puzzled us for some time. We first thought of Dixi and Essex. Then we tried to enlarge the diamond-shaped emblem on ...
The Épalle Mystery (UPDATE III: no Mercer engine)
Some weeks ago Manfred Heyne from Germany bought the Épalle Type B 16 hp you see here. This automobile was made in St. Etienne, France by Épalle et Compagnie from 1910 to 1914. The Beaulieu Encyclopedia only has a very small entry about the Épalle: Nick Georgano tells us that a range of four cars was listed, an 8/10hp 2/cylinder, and three fours of 10/12, 12/16 and 14/20hp. They were all of con...
The Staff Car Mystery (UPDATE IV: Italian Scat ?)
Alain Gallego from France asked us to publish this picture that came from his sister in law’s family album. One of the soldiers is her great-grandfather. The photo is dated 1917, but doesn’t mention the location, so that could be anything from Marne or Verdun to the Somme. When trying to identify the car, Alain already looked at Alphonse XIII, Delage CO, Vauxhall D type and Peugeot 153, but do...
The Hanging Engine Mystery
Imagine having so much stuff, you even have to hang them somewhere on the wall. But maybe it’s not a problem for Stefan Feller from Germany who has sent us the pictures of this engine. Stefan is collector of antique motorcycles and regularly finds himself with an engine he can’t identify. Like this two-cylinder that probably stems from the USA. Stefan tells us it has an electrical starter and ...
The Terminus Hotel Mystery (UPDATE III: Citroën and Peugeot)
We don’t know where, we don’t know when this pictures was taken. What we do know is that the Terminus Hotel is fully booked for today’s Sunday lunch. But have a look at the amazingly filled front court with cars in all shapes and sizes. Identifying all those automobiles will surely keep you busy for a while. (postcard collection Hans Horwitz) Update III from Josef Kubista: “I think th...
The Mother and Son Mystery (UPDATE VI: Burdick, Berliet or Napier ?)
Good grief, what a big runabout this is! Just imagine mother trying to see what’s in front of the hood. Do they come any bigger than this? The car looks American, but we have no idea about its make. The only means of identification comes from the winged B on the hubcap. We have turned the photo around and around, and it doesn’t look like an ‘8’ to us. A better look at the r...
The American Steamer Mystery (UPDATE III: Puritan, Crouch or Mobile?)
John Lyons, who runs a classic car consultancy service , finds himself with an early American steam car of unknown origins. It is still in an unrestored state and looks like it needs a lot of TLC to bring it back on steam. But what is it? Let’s see how good you are at identifying unknown cars. The important factors are that it is left hand drive and has a front (rather than side) tiller. John b...
The Hungarian DDB Mystery <br> (UPDATE IV: 1900 tricycle or quadricycle?)
Tamás Kalmár from Hungary asks our help in identifying the remains of a De Dion Bouton, he bought a few years ago. What’s left are just an axle and engine and there’s not much more to go on. Except that we know that the engine bears the number 16 525. We wonder what this could be. If this is a ‘real’ De Dion Bouton is there a way to know what model this is? Or are these the leftovers o...
Another Mystery Crankcase (Upd. BSA/Daimler)
When we first saw this picture we thought it was a wheel barrow without a wheel. But Tony Haycock, who supplied us with this picture, assured us that it’s really a crankcase and that the two curved handles are in fact the gearbox bearers. Tony took it with him to many swapmeets in New Zealand, but although the crankcase attracted plenty of comments, nobody had a firm idea as to what it was. ...
Aloha, the Sequel and the Mystery
Surely you’ll remember our Weinstube Mystery that was quickly identified as belonging to adventurers Walter and Aloha Wanderwell. We promised you a sequel, if any more photos came to light and they certainly did. We heard from Randolph Eustace-Walden who, together with Christian Fink-Jensen, is writing a book about this amazing couple, which will be released in 2010. He told us that it’s not ...
The Sun Block Mystery (UPDATE II: 1912 Delaunay-Belville HB6 by Felber&Fils)
A white beach, a shining sun, gently waves and two unlikely beachcombers getting a suntan. What more do you want for a day-out, except for lots of sun block? Shawn Lancaster from Cambridge, Massachusetts, who sent us this photograph, assumes it was taken on the East coast of the USA. If so, then the white car on the left is obviously an American Austin from the early 1930s. But the other one is at...
Another Monday Mystery Engine (UPDATE: ca 1902 Clément)
This two-cylinder engine was recently bought by Frazer Sloan who lives in the UK. He found it in Eastern Spain of all places, but has no clue as to what make it is. It must be early as it has automatic inlet valves and a governor with adjustable camshaft. It also has a central flywheel. The only identification is the serial number 3298 on the engine bearer. Frazer would very much like to know if a...
The RHD Mystery (UPDATE III: not reversed!)
Today’s mystery is not the car. On the contrary, it’s an easy one. A Darl’mat built by Emile Darl’mat who owned a Peugeot dealership together with a bodyshop. Until September 1937 he used the basis of a Peugeot 302 and from then on the 402 Légère. In both cases he matched it with the engine of the 402. Not many were made, just a little over a hundred roadsters, coupes and dropheads. Now ...
A Moscow Engine Mystery UPDATE: Phelon and Moore ?)
Well, maybe not really a Russian engine. According to Nikolay Alexandrow, who owns this one, it was abandoned in 1918 by the British Army in the city of Odessa, Crimea. The carter, made by the company P&M, is not the problem, however, the one-cylinder is. Not much is known about it, except that it’s probably English and dates from the early twentieth century. It bears the markings JH&Co. Could t...
The lady BNC driver mystery (UPDATE II: Mlle. Maison Rogée or Hellé Nice ?)
Another race, another win. The lady behind the wheel receives her bouquet of flowers and beams at the well-wishers. Although the photograph is badly damaged (click main pic for larger version), the car with number 76 can still be recognized as a circa 1928 BNC. And thanks to an earlier publication on the excellent website Memoire des Stands (about French automobiles and racing, but only in French...
The Weinstube Mystery (UPDATE III: Wanderwell Model T)
A picture found in India, but it was taken outside a ‘weinstube’ (wine bar), probably somewhere in Germany or Austria. A large group of people surrounding a car that looks like an Opel, although we’re not sure. It is probably involved in a race or a rally or maybe it’s just a promotion ride for the wine bar. Again we’re not sure. Something is written in the left front wheel, which after ...
The Canned Oilwell Mystery ( UPDATE III: Société Egyptienne de Pétrole)
Sometimes even two gallon can collector Bas de Voogd runs into a mystery can. His latest acquisition is one made by S.E.P. and has Arabian script on both front and side. The other side shows a half moon with the writing SF15. Is there someone amongst our readers who can translate the Arabian script and maybe even tell us what the letters S.E.P. stand for? Contact us! Update III by Frans Hoeke...
The Inkwell Mystery (see UPDATE)
Way back in the 1970s Pardeep Kumar from India bought this marvellous silver plated model. He tells us: “I acquired it from Royalty, but that’s all I know about it and I would very much like to find out more about it. Can you help me?” Pardeep didn’t tell us if the bonnet of his model opens up - we think so, judging by the gap near the dashboard. In that case it could very well be some sor...

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