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(un)Solved Mysteries

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Brooklands fan mystery <br> UPDATE IV ... a Mercer look-a-like?
'The attached photo is of my grandfather, John Thomas Lawton, 1870 to 1943. He is sitting in his car at his house Brooklands Macclesfield, England. Any ideas what the car is? (click photo to enlarge) I know he was keen on the racing cars and named his house after the Brookland's racing course.' Editor: we see a fine roadster with 12 spoke artillery wheels. An aerodynamic frontscreen. Sporty stripi...
Fons' mystery Merc. (UPDATE I : Adler, Elite, Mercedes ?)
This photo is dedicated to all our friends in the Southern Hemisphere who can enjoy themselves with an early spring... Regarding the car depicted, this is clearly outside the realm of Fons Alkemade's specialist knowledge of odd French cars. This highly professional touring tool just cut its way through this early November blizzard. Click the photo for more detail. At the left shoulder of the man w...
The single cylinder mystery (UPDATE: not Minerva?)
One day after London-Brighton we expect your knowledge and interest for the earliest engines should be at peak levels.... We don’t know if James Ashford regularly dips into the skip, but when he does, he’s bound to find some interesting parts. One of those is this single cylinder engine he discovered in an old country forge, the contents of which were about to be tipped. At first sight he...
The sloping body Mystery (UPDATE: Delaunay-Belleville, Berliet, Sheffield Simplex, Hotchkiss, Riley, Germain, FN, BSA, Napier or Crossley?)
Bozi Mohacek always comes up with hard to identify motorcars. Take this one for instance. There’s nothing on this photograph that gives us any clues. The only means of identification we can think of is the odd design of the body, just look at the sloping line towards the windscreen. The radiator doesn’t help us much either. Is this car British made? American…? Or from another part of the wor...
An Opel in the woods (UPDATE: The Fingers Mystery?)
This is the kind of picture we like! A lovely lady posing with her new motor car. According to Hans Veenenbos, who sends this photo, she’s the daughter of Mr. Penders, the Dutch importer of Delahaye. But why then is she driving an Opel? Looking at the landaulette we suspect the photo was taken around 1913/1914 but you may correct us if we are wrong. (RB) Update II by editor Rutger Booy: “...
The Pierce Arrow Lamp Mystery (UPDATE: 1910-1920)
While standholders have their build-up day at Hershey, we pick up a question about a lighting gem one could expect to find there. Kate Hoffman works for Remains, an antique lighting restoration and reproduction company in Manhattan. Recently she purchased a pair of lights with the intent of turning these into pendant lighting. When stripping the lamps she noticed a makers stamp. She realized these...
The Pretending Mystery
Another mystery sent to us by Vlad Capotescu, who lives in Timisoara, Romania. These slightly torn pictures were bought on an antiques market in Bucharest. Although woman drivers were certainly no exception in those days, here we wonder if the lady behind the steering wheel was really the chauffeur. To us it looks like she is just pretending. But the real question is of course: what make of automo...
The Double Barrel Mystery (UPDATE : Winton !)
These headlamps give the impression that someone’s pointing a double barrel shotgun. Fortunately their only output is light! This picture was one of a collection bought by Hans Veenenbos from the Penders family estate. The driver of the car is probably Mr. Penders, who was the Dutch importer of Delahaye. But Hans is almost certain this car is no Delahaye. Could be American, because it’s left h...
Mystery drophead by Joss Neuss, Berlin. <br>UPDATE III: Gropius was never a coachbuilder!
Michael from Denmark sends this photo: "I have this body which is built by Joss Neuss Berlin. Where I bought it they told me that it used to be with a Buick (chassis) but now we know that that was wrong and others told me it was with a Hispano. Could you post it, maybe somebody can see from the cowl section where the hood meets the body to what car it once may have belonged... These are the measur...
The Harvest Mystery <br> (UPDATE: Lanz Bulldog + 1932 Buick)
Don’t be afraid, PreWarCar doesn’t go agricultural. But now and then we do like to show you a pre-war tractor. The make of this one is not difficult. On the front it says Lanz Bulldog, although we haven’t got a clue about the year it was built. But there’s more to enjoy on this picture (click for enlargement). At the rear there’s also an automobile of which we are not so sure of the make...
The Argentinean Junkyard Mystery (Update: Hillman by Carbodies)
Close to his home Fernando Godoy from Argentina found a nice small car that instantly caught his eye. The problem however is that there are no badges, no engine numbers, no serial numbers or dashboard marks to be found on the car. From the side its body looks British designed, like a Morris 8, but the doors are not the same and the rear of the car seems of German influence. The engine looks like a...
Peugeot Mystery gauge (UPDATE IV : and even oil pressure!)
Tony Haycock sends this nice gauge made to measure... to measure, yes what? "I am restoring a 1915 Peugeot type 153A and I have recently obtained this unidentified gauge. It has a brass housing and a white enamel face 6.5 cm in diameter. There is a threaded fitting at the bottom for a pipe of some description. Does anyone have any idea what it measures?" (photo Tony Haycock) Contact PreWarCa...
The No Problem Mystery.... UPDATE: Brown 1907)
This period picture of a Limousine about to embark on a long trip (note the spare tires on the roof rack) was sent to us by Nico Claerhout from Belgium. He wrote: “I don’t know in which year the picture was taken, but that’s no problem. I don’t know who is pictured, but that’s also no problem. I don’t know where the picture was taken, but that’s no problem either. I don’t know what...
A Mystery Carby ? <br>(UPDATE II: tank switch or vacuum control?)
Is it a carburettor? Maybe it is a fuel valve or for all we know it could even be a part from a steam engine. These photos were mailed to us by Brendan Boyle who picked up this thing from a box of mixed autojumble parts at a car boot sale. It appears to be made of bronze and the top has some small markings that read as follows: SM Co Ltd, PROT, PROV, 1196. On the side it is marked LV. The piston, ...
The northern Spain touring mystery. (UPDATE VI: Elizalde T25, a T.H. 15CV... or...?)
"Could any reader identify this sporty car? Found the period image recently in a semi- abandoned mountain barn in northern Spain. No clue of the people or the place shown. Wheels and cantilever spring layout could help to ascertain the manufacturer." A photo sent in by Manel Baró from Spain. Please click the main photo for more detail. The rounded air-vents are highly characteristic and so is the...
The Brass Horn Mystery (UPDATE: Rolls Royce or boat, and still available?)
Bob Kirby in South Africa owns this 12 Volt Brass horn, but has not a single clue as to what it is. What we do have is a lot of details which might help you tell us more about it. The nameplate says KLAXON LTD. 36 Blandford st, London W.1. Its serial number is 160304AI. The horn has a three hole base plate for mounting and it has very old looking 12V connectors. The mechanism consists of an electr...
The Robert Golet mystery hardtop UPDATE: Robert Goelet IV and Decauville?)
Mike Leahy sends this great photo from the Halbauer/Miller collection. On the back side was written "Robert Golet car" and nothing else. From the sharpness of the photo and the printing, it appears to be a professional photo. But let's concentrate on the car and coachwork with its most elegant and highly distinguishable details. Look at the open front hardtop! Click the photo for more details and...
The Gordon Wilkins Mystery (see Update)
This picture comes from the estate of racing driver and journalist Gordon Wilkins who passed away earlier this year. The car is an MG VA and the person standing next to it is obviously Gordon Wilkins. On the back of the photo is written: “Le Mans” and the sticker on the windscreen of the car shows the year 1939. However, Gordon does not show up in the list of entrants for the 1939 Le Mans 24 h...
The Presto Mystery (UPDATE: 1914 10/30)
Stephan Mühlberger from Germany sends us this picture and asks us to identify it. In this case we think we have it easy, because the make is written on the bonnet…Presto. But if it’s painted on the bonnet or handwritten on the photograph, we can’t see. But is it really a Presto? And can you tell us from what year it dates? events@PreWarCar.com (RB) UPDATE IV by John Barringer: “...
The Rod and Piston Mystery (UPDATE: Curtiss Aircraft engine?)
Back in 1967 Ivan Saxton salvaged eight conrods and pistons (click image for enlargement) from a car wrecking yard in Geelong (Australia). Although he kept them safely all these years, the problem is he doesn’t know what engine they are from. Ivan reckons they are pre-World War I, because it was an old yard and the proprietor of the business was then already in his mid-eighties. The engine t...

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