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The Mille Miglia Mystery (UPDATE V: BNC ?)
A lovely smile will get you everywhere. Especially straight to the front page of PreWarCar! However we are not concerned with smiles today. Let’s concentrate on the car (click the picture for an enlargement). The picture was sent to us by William Calef, who thinks it is a Bugatti that belonged to his father Giuseppi Calef. The story goes that he entered it in the Mille Miglia, but that en-route ...
A Monday Mystery Motor. (UPDATE XI: Bianchi ! )
Scott Howard recently found this two lumps being a 4 cylinder engine and a gearbox. The engine is not very exciting at first sight, unless you say otherwise. Scott says the engine is approximately 1,5 litre. About 100mm stroke x 77mm bore. Lenghth 780mm. Width of crankcase 550mm. The motor number is #16697. On the gearbox (click here) he found no numbers at all. Still in our view it is the more ...
The Willocq Bottin 'Anexhip' mystery... ( UPDATE: about Bte. SGDG)
In view of the night rally preparation of the editor's Fiat 514, Bas de Voogd surprised us with a very nice Willocq Bottin 'Anexhip'. (the pictured Anexhip badge is soldered inside the lamp housing and is marked with 'Licence Gallois', subscript 'Ste.SCDC' and numbered #5852. The headlight is crowned with a WB logo that strongly reminds of ???. Anexhip is a type of light with a split mirror sys...
The White Lie Mystery (UPDATE: 1904)
Built in 1899? No way! Although R.E. Olds started making cars in 1899, a real Oldsmobile didn’t show up before 1901. Actually this one looks like a ‘Curved Dash’ with straight board front end, dating from around 1904. The 1921 photo was taken outside the Weide Brothers Oldsmobile dealer after this early subcampact finished first in an Old Car Race. We don’t know if this was a real race or...
The Tractor Towing Mystery (UPDATE IV: Renault Tractor and Mathis or Sénéchal racing team?)
From this small picture it may seem an ordinary heavy tractor on its way to the plowing fields. No way! Look at what he’s towing! A whole batch of racing cars not on their way to the meadow, but to the starting grid. The whole scene seems very French to us. Not only because of the cars that have what looks like French license plates, also because of the automobiles in the background. And the bon...
Dutch mystery Triumph ? (UPDATE II: the status in 1975...)
James Granger sent us the above picture and wrote:"...when visiting my mechanic I stumbled across this mystery roadster. We're both unsure as to what make of car it is. Maybe it is a special, however it has a very detailed grille.(editor : looks like a perfect match with the radiator of an early thirties twelve six Triumph as seen at the pre-war Triumph Owners Club) It came with a Dutch reg...
The Postcard Ambulance Mystery (UPDATE: 1917/18 Buick or 1916 REO ?)
This group of three WW1 'Tommies' had their picture taken 'somewhere on the Western Front'. The guy in the middle is Thomas William Barringer, grandfather of our reader John Barringer. Thomas was born in 1880 and lived long enough (he died in 1956) for John to drive him around in his own car. This picture is printed on a postcard so John wonders if it was distributed commercially and if other copi...
The Leersum Mystery (UPDATE III: Lancia or Delahaye or Hotchkiss ? )
Our jury member Frans Vrijaldenhoven is an expert on Dutch coach builders. And there have been many of them, some even well-known internationally like Pennock or Schutter & van Bakel. But even Frans sometimes finds a picture that has him quite baffled. For instance this one of a creation by a small company called “van Leersum” who had their premises in the Dutch town Hilversum. During the 1930...
The Truck Driver Mystery. (UPDATE III: 1905 Berna with watercooled L-head )
A nice set of photos came in only yesterday showing the chauffeur(?) and his well used old truck with massive wheels. When you click the main photo you can also distinguish vaguely the ID plate on the left side of the car. The first photo was most probably made in Germany in the thirties. Still we suspect the truck to be of French origin. Panhard-Levassor, Renault, De Dion-Bouton ? Take a look at ...
The Seattle Mystery (UPDATE VIII: Speedwell with Presto-lite starter and House also identified!)
Seattle is nicknamed ’the Emerald City’ because of the green forests that surround it. Its inhabitants are proud of the city’s heritage. Jess Cliffe is one of them. He runs the blog Vintage Seattle and is asking our help in identifying both the car and house with number # 102. If you can tell us where the house stands (or stood) in Seattle we’d be very surprised, as we have more confidence...
The Harbourside Mystery. <br>(Update II: Mercer 1916/17 ?)
We received this intriguing picture from Chuck & Wendy Petty. The harbour scene with strong winds sending away the thick industrial smoke in the background. From the smoke you can make up the couple had to stand still for at least five or ten seconds in order not to be blurred. He is very stiff in doing this, the lady feels much more relaxed in keeping a pose... Their (almost) new tourer was witho...
The Road Marking Mystery<br> (UPDATE III: VW Kubelwagen ?)
Recently Harit from India purchased a set of pictures related to the Indian Police. The lot contains one photo of a road marking machine designed by DPR in Mumbai. The caption with the photot says that an old chassis was used, which looks prewar to us. On the back of the photo is some text telling us that the German Embassy in India arranged for a Dr. Gobert, dipl. ing, of Ms Gobert Fritz GmbH to ...
The Hudson Ship Mystery (see UPDATE)
As you may have heard, this year it’s 400 years ago that the British seafarer Henry Hudson was ordered by the Dutch East-India Company to find a northern passage to India. While trying to do so, he discovered Manhattan (in September 1609), which the Dutch called New Amsterdam. Several years later the Dutch sold this colony to the British, who renamed it New York. We thought there could be a link...
The Dniester Mystery (UPDATE: Puch)
This rather blurry snapshot of two cars testing the water (click main pic for enlargement) was sent to us by Tomek Bednarz and Benedykt Reszka from Poland. They tell us that the photo was made in the summer of 1917 at the Dniester river that runs through the Ukraine and Moldova. The soldiers are dressed in the outfit of the Austro-Hungarian Army, but Tomek and Benedykt have no idea what make the c...
The Water Pump Mystery ( UPDATE III: Gwynne + survivor ! )
The photo of this purpose built car was send to us by Mahmoud Ezzeldin. The picture was taken around 1920-1929 at Kafr El Dawar in Egypt where according to Mahmoud the vehicle was used to pump water for irrigation from the Mahmodya River, one of the branches sprouting of the Nile. However, to us the car looks more to be equipped with the kind of pump as used by the fire brigade, not in the least b...
The Seven Mystery (UPDATE VIII: Lorraine Dietrich ? )
Twenty years ago Mike Holt bought this radiator (click pic for enlargement) and he has never been able to identify it. Mike got it from Alec (A. K.) Miller of Vermont, better known as the Stutz owning recluse (editor: and what a gloomy story his life was!). In general this radiator resembles a walking beam Duesy radiator, but it also resembles the radiators used on some early racing Hudsons at t...
the Miss Milford mystery. (UPDATE III: more about these Chalmers-Detroit )
This is a huge car with one of those typical Mercedes or Simplex alike radiators wellknown for the pre WWI period, say 1908-1913. The set up of this particular beast is so generic, that it probably will not be easy to ID the make. But in the meantime enjoy the looks of both metal & miss. At the same time when you get closer to inspect the radiator clown, take care not to overlook the slightly nerv...
The NOS (!) Mystery <br> ( UPDATE V: Maurer Union !)
Stefan Feller from Germany knows about well about early machinery, veteran cars and bikes, but the mere sight of this one he recently acquired got him equally ecited & puzzled. Anyone can see it's the basics for a veteran car, but at to that the astonishing fact that -believe it or not- everything is in pristine never used condition! Front & rear axle plus well made one cylinder engine of a nice ...
The Baroda Mystery <br>(UPDATE IV: ultra-rare Dodge Eight Cylinder DG )
Another large group, this time on a photo from the seemingly endless collection of Harit from India. The text on the top of the picture is written in Gujrati, the native language of Baroda, so the photo was probably taken there. The event looks to be an inaugural function of an institution like a school or college. The Maharaja of Baroda was a very progressive man who founded the Baroda University...
A Ferdinand Porsche Mystery ?
We found this intriguing chassis in Brightwells catalogue for their June 24th sale. They don’t know what it is, and neither do we. The story goes that it dates from around 1935 and originates from Germany. The chain-driven single-seater racer has hydraulically operated brake drums and was supposed to have a 650cc supercharged DKW engine. Unfortunately the engine is no longer with the car. At t...

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