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(un)Solved Mysteries

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The Bradley Barry Simons Mystery (UPDATE: Humber!)
Another picture sent to us by Carrick Watson from Scotland. The only thing he can tell us about it, is that on the back is written ‘Bradley Barry Simons’ and that it was taken around 1912 in England. He asks our help in identifying the car. Unfortunately it has no exclusive details to help us recognize it. What we can think of are the wheels with the hexagonal hub caps… or the radiator with ...
The Exner sidevalve mystery. (UPDATE II: engine size....Ruby or Delahaye ?)
Number # 2628 who are you ? These photos were sent to us by Fiat restorer Jaroslav Exner from the Czech Republic. Click the photo for blow-up and click once more for another perspective. Aside the number the engine doesn't have any plate or sign to identify it. The alloy crankcase, general set-up and sideways mounted magneto-drive suggest early Salmson perhaps? (Salmson expert Don Hill assures us...
A twin truck mystery (UPDATE III: 1915-16 Packard 'ID' ! )
My name is Calin Balanescu and I live in Bucharest, Romania. I found recently this wonderful picture. The photo is taken in February-March 1918, in WW I. Romania, as military power, was left alone in the Eastern front against Austro-Hungarians and German troops. Russia had abandoned the fight due to their revolution and French and British troops were still far away. Romania had signed a cease fi...
The Delage Licence Plate Mystery (see UPDATE)
Yes, you’ve seen this Delage before. It’s the same D8-120 with the unusual sliding doors by Saoutchik that we wrote about in January of this year. Now that its restoration is nearing completion, we would like to solve one final mystery about this car. During the last months of World War II this Delage was used as an official car for the French Government and sported a French Military license p...
The Dennis Single Cylinder Mystery (UPDATE: vintage lawnmower!)
Some people have a very good nose for finding old parts. One such person is Adam Marwood. He makes frequent trips to the Australian outback and always comes back with something special. A few months ago it was a curved chassis that was quickly identified as from a Renault CB. On his last trip Adam came back with a very early engine and axle that he found on an old farm. The engine seems to be a De...
A Scottish Garage Mystery (see UPDATE)
Carrick Watson sends this picture that was taken around 1905. The interior of a garage in St. Andrews in Scotland. It doesn’t really look like a workshop; it seems more like some sort of an automobile storage room. The cars appear to be different makes. How many can you identify? To help we’ve made some enlargements of the front and of the rear. (photo collection Carrick Watson) (RB) UPDA...
The Brass Liotard Radiator Mystery (see UPDATEs)
This brass radiator was found by Chris Holland from the UK. He has no clue as to what it is. Its only identification is a small diamond shaped brass plaque marked Liotard Frères, Rue de Lorraine 22, Paris. There’s also the serial number 39648 stamped on it. A quick google told us that Liotard Frères were French manufacturers of kerosene burners for central lighting systems, but no mention was ...
The missing wheel mystery (UPDATE IV: Overland or Buick?)
Harit from India found two negatives that were so brittle that one fell apart, hence the big gap where the rear wheel used to be. Both pictures were almost certainly taken on the same trip in rural India, but at different places. We suppose there’s a tyre problem. Some people are looking at the camera; others are inspecting the rear wheel. The driver is Indian. His 'boss' need not be British; he...
The Brass Dash Mystery (UPDATEs: Standard !)
Rastislav Noga from Bratislava, Slovakia asks our help in identifying this slightly battered brass dashboard panel. Several years ago he bought it locally without knowing what it was for. The speedometer is Smiths; the mechanical clock is made by North & Sons Ltd from Watford and London; the fuel gauge is AC Standard and the ignition switch is a Lucas Startix. The only markings that can be found o...
A Monday Morning Axle Mystery (UPDATE: only Model T stuff?)
Normally we publish an unidentified rusty chassis on the Monday morning. Just something for you to chew on during the busy week. However, this time we found a lovely axle hiding in the Brazilian woods. It looks to be a mix of T-Ford and De Dion Bouton parts, but we can always try to find out what it really is for. We couldn’t find a clue on the axle itself, but take a close look at the unusual d...
The Spirit Merchant Mystery (Upd. 1906 Darracq?)
Peter Harvey sends us this picture of his grandparents with their friends Rose and Jesse. They seem to embark on a long trip, if their luggage is anything to judge by. And from their clothing it looks to be a cold day. Let’s just hope they also paid a visit to the Spirit Merchant. Some of his wares might help them to keep warm along the way. But the real question is of course: what kind of car a...
The Robertson Agency Mystery (1903 Alpha Runabout)
Another fine item from the Halbauer-Miller Photo Collection, sent to us by Mike Leahy. Several of the photos in this collection were from advertising agencies, so this one of the two gentlemen in their very early motor car may have been taken by an ad agency for a customer. We don’t know who or why, only on the back of the photo we find the writing "Robertson Agency". Can you help us identify th...
a postwar Farina mystery
check PostWarClassics. ...
The Italian Roadside Mystery. (UPDATE III & IV: 1932 Model 900 Light 8)
An Italian girl. With an Italian photographer. Somewhere along in Italy. Maybe on their way to Villa d'Este for a weekend in the beautifull hotel on the lakeside? Maybe they're lucky and rich enough to stay a week to enjoy the Concorso d'Eleganza. Or even participate. But to what type of car belongs the running board on which the charming lady is showing off her new high heels? We think this must ...
Mystery carby for polar use? (UPDATE: parrafine conversion)
"Sirs with the same sickness as I, Attached is a photo of recently acquired unknown make updraft carburetor. Am hoping you can shed some light on application. All brass construction, does not look American to me, dimensions seen to be Imperial, 2 bolt mounting on 2 1/4" centers and 1 1/8" throttle bore. Will appreciate any suggestions." Layden Butler (Danville, California) Well Layden, with our...
The Great Plains Mystery (UPDATE: Geronimo and Locomobile)
Somehow Indians and motorcars don’t mix. We imagine them travelling the Great Plains on horseback, not in an automobile. What were they up to? Could it be they were involved with one of the great travelling shows, like the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show or the Miller Brothers? Another possibility is that they were on a test drive. After the oil drilling started in Oklahoma numerous car were sold. F...
The Elliott Family Mystery ( update: My Granny !)
During the last decade of the nineteenth century crowds loved the music-halls where trick-cyclists balanced upside down on overhead tracks. In the UK one such troupe of performers was the Elliott Family. They evolved into a musical bicycling act, playing fifty instruments among them. Later they changed the name of their troupe to The Elliott-Savonas. As the family moved their cycling/musical act f...
The second Farina-Frua Mystery (UPDATE III : certainly no Fiat !)
The earlier mystery photo proved to be a four door Astura with 'concealed' rear door handle. This second mystery photo is showing yet again the work of the Stabilimenti Farina, with the Farina badge at the same spot as with the earlier car. However, here is a second script-logo by Mr.Who & Who. Also take note of the fold down windshield...! The characteristic 'concours' style two door coachwork i...
The Tubular Chassis Mystery (UPDATE: Humberette)
We seem to get an abundance of unidentified chassis these past few weeks. This one comes from Lucknow in India and was found by Chauhan Kanakrekha. This one seems like a very light chassis, made of tubes. It has quarter elliptics at rear and in our view a very fragile set-up at the front. With the chassis came a tiller but we do not know if the two belong together. Still, the tiller might provide ...
The Leonora Gold Mining Mystery (UPDATE IV: Darracq and Willys)
While doing research on Sunbeams, Peter Ransom from Brisbane, Australia found this curious photograph. It was taken in the old gold mining town of Leonora in Western Australia. The date is unknown but probably lies between 1910 and the early 1920s. The railway line (actually a tramway) ran from Leonora to the Sons of Gwalia gold mine located a couple of miles away. The transporter is almost certai...

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