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(un)Solved Mysteries

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A most charming Mystery from the young Pietro Frua. (Update II: Lancia Astura Berlina by Farina)
Not too much is known from the early years of the Italian designer Frua. This we learned from Stefan Dierkes who is the webmaster and historian of www.pietro-frua.de. Still there is a lot of interesting material in the Frua archives which needs to be identified. Yet, it is not even sure how Pietro Frua is connected to these photos. Did Frua design the coachworks of the cars involved when he worke...
The Hunting Party Mystery (UPDATE: American car, Armstrong Siddeley, Voisin, Delage or Farman?)
“Don’t shoot me, I’m only the photographer!” Let’s hope the man with the gun is only pointing it to strike a pose. Otherwise the photographer is in trouble with this group of pheasant hunters. The picture of the hunting party was taken in The Netherlands supposedly during the early 1930s. The gentlemen in the group must have been of aristocratic standing as some of them are carrying expe...
Mystery Renault Chassis: truck or supercar? (UPDATE: 1910/1911 CB)
This Monday we have a nice piece of steel for you to chew on. According to Adam Marwood from New South Wales in Australia, who mailed us these pictures, this chassis probably comes from a Renault of approximately 1907, but there’s not much more he could tell us about it. Judging by the four hefty crossmembers, it must have had quite a large engine and gearbox. The only part that’s still with t...
The one seat, two door, tricyle mystery...! (UPDATE: Spacke engine)
You meet the nicest people on a …, on a… ah well, on whatever this is. Anyway, it’s a wonderful preserved tricycle, found in the USA. It’s remarkably complete and looks like it could be restored/renovated in no-time. The engine is still there and the drive train looks good too. The one-seat tricycle has two doors for popping out no matter what side of the street you park on. The taillight ...
The Veteran Engine Mystery
Another monday, another engine. Not long ago Dion Coleman unearthed the remains of this veteran engine, axle and radiator in the Waikato region in New Zealand. He hasn’t got a clue as to what he dug up, so here’s some information… the radiator measures 18" by 9" by 3". The front axle seems to be designed for wooden fellow wheels and has a track of 42". The spring centre distance is 22". The ...
A Spyker mystery? (UPDATE: Delaunay Belleville)
'This photo was taken at the innercourt of a grand villa near the small town Oosterhout in The Netherlands. The man at the wheel is the brother of my grandmother. He sent the photo postcard without a stamp. On that spot is written 'Military Mail' which was stamped January 31, 1915 in the town Wassenaar where the chauffeur was working for baron Mr. Bentinck.' Sender Kees Knip is wondering if this...
The Groundhog Winter Mystery (UPDATE: 1908 Black)
Perhaps these travellers failed to hear the weather forecast before they set out in this very cold, snowy weather. We don’t know. But did you know that predicting the weather is real easy? Just do as the folks from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania do, and look at the groundhog tomorrow. If it emerges from its burrow on February 2nd and fails to see its shadow, the prediction is that winter will soon e...
The mystery racing seat.
We all know the old proverb saying that you need a truck full of words to express more than one photo. Only a few hours ago this crumbling old seat landed in PreWar's Parts department. Look at that, click for a zoom-in and offer yourself let's say twenty seconds of precious time to think of what you see; one, two, three.............................. 20. OK, you may resume normal life now. May w...
The Norwegian six-in-line mystery . <br>UPDATE II ( 1916/17 Franklin ?)
"Here are three old pictures of a mysterious car, found in the digital photo-archive of the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History. We don't have any information about this car!" This e-mail came to us from Erik Hougsrud, who has a passion for the odd set of wheels (check his Oryx needs !). Back to his mystery photos. Click the main to get a slightly better viewe on the chassis (with interesting tru...
The Bugatti wreck mystery. (Update V: 1934... 10 hours of Spa...)
We have this Belgian in the thirties who was travelling Belgium and France with his three wheeler Sandford. He made an undated album which was found by Luc Rijckaert recently (he sold his Moser bike recently). The album is showing a wide variety of cars in all kinds of places. One of them this burnt out Bugatti (type? ). We think the car must be recognisable as it is showing a most characteristics...
The Monday V-Twin Mystery (UPDATE: Pither Peerless or Alpha Stirling?)
There are still treasures to be found if you leave the beaten track. For instance this V-Twin engine, spotted by Graeme Jarrett in rural Victoria, Australia. He has already shown it to more than a few knowledgeable enthusiasts but so far the engine refused to tell its identity. It has water-cooled cylinders and they are set at 90 degrees to each other. The inlet valves are the automatic type (call...
The Wooden Body Mystery (UPDATE: La Phocéenne)
Just look at that wonderful body. Isn’t she gorgeous? And before you get the wrong idea, we do mean the Amilcar! The two girls with their sports car were captured by an itinerant photographer. The photo was taken at the end of the 1920’s in a sleepy village called Klaaswaal in The Netherlands. The Amilcar looks to us a 1924 CS that was probably supplied as a bare chassis. The body, called a Sk...
The 'Torino 1945' Mystery <br>UPDATEIII: Lancia Augusta 234!
A park or the outskirts of town. Written in dark blue ink at the back of the "Ferrania" photo postcard we read - Torino 1945. - The picture is showing a soldier - tired of war - relaxing in the seat of his car, maybe posing for a girlfriend he just met; who knows. The photo is puzzling us since we found it at Beaulieu last September. The Borani style knock-offs and big drum brakes lead to Alfa a...
A Unic chassis Mystery (see Read More for UPDATE)
Several months ago Hans Compter from New Zealand bought this chassis on the South Island. Many people had tried to identify it, including the three previous owners, but nobody really knew what it was. Some "know alls" were "sure" that it was a chassis from a Delage, but as Hans had owned lots of vintage Delages, he was sure that it was not one of those. However, Hans likes buying puzzles and when ...
The Mystery in the Sand
Thanks to frequent contributor Bas de Voogd from Holland we have already featured several articles about the automobiles of Arie van der Hoeve. Here’s another one, although it wasn’t owned by Arie. This time he’s a passenger (middle row, fourth from left) in a friend’s car. This friend was known to drive an Itala, but is this car ploughing through the sand really an Itala (click for enlarg...
Four men <br>and a Mystery. (UPDATE : 1927/28 Whippet,)
"This is the picture of my grandfather's first car. It was taken in the city of Rosario (Argentina). Please try to identify this car because it is very important for me. Thanks in advance." Eytan Kahn.... Editor: the photo is roughly of 1930 when Rosario was working on its art deco icon 'Edificio Boero'. Against the backdrop of what must be an impressive garden, we see an intriguing group of four ...
The 'Dial Disc' Robert Bosch mystery. (UPDATE: 'disrupteur d'allumage')
You're looking at the left hand portion of a circa 1921 Mercedes 'Rennwagen'. Expert Sigefried Otto Hepp is researching this vintage photo and cannot identify the 8 hole gauge(?) between the petrol meter and temperature gauge, see also the zoom-in (click). The center of the armature is showing the Bosch logo so he went through the catalogues of the firm published between 1914-1939 without finding ...
The Willocq-Bottin Mystery Lamp<br> (see Updates)
Jan Wahlqvist from Sweden owns this lovely Willocq-Bottin headlight. Problem is he doesn’t know what it was used for. The lamp measures about 40 centimetres in height and has a diameter of approximately 35 centimetres. There is a plate on the lamp with numbers on it: patented no 21048/191C and No. 461 S488. It was probably made in Brussels at 53, Rue Saint-Josse, but there’s not much more we c...
The German Silver Mystery<br>(UPDATE: the Fairy Tale and the Facts?)
Surely you’ll remember Aunt Mia. While touring the circuits of Europe she took this picture of Manfred von Brauchitsch at the Grand Prix of Belgium. His Mercedes serves to illustrate the problem Chris Draper is wrestling with. Chris writes: “As you probably know the Gordon Bennett races introduced National colours: green for Britain; red for Italy; white for Germany and so on. For many years c...
The Norway Dealer Mystery (UPDATE : Loreley ! )
Stein Tranvik sends this photo which is puzzling him for a long time already. "The driver is one of the first car dealers in Norway - Arne Guldahl from Trondheim. He imported both new and used cars. Mostly from Germany - but some were English. Among them were several German made Rex Simplex motorcars - but I cannot identify this one as a R-S. Hopefully some of your readers can help the automobile ...

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