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'The Auto Girl' Mystery ( Update: + artist impression)

Auto girl_friday_lady-300
A studio shot like more than many were made in the early days of motoring. The young motorist seems ready to go. At least she has the right garment with her hat secured with a nice long silk(?) shawl that probably will be functional with speeds up to 15 mph. Further a long driving coat and a stout pair of chauffeur gloves. So far so good.

But now her car(click). Not too much to go on, except for the three spoke steering wheel, the handlebar details including handthrottle(?) and ignition setting? A bit lower one can distinguish a butterfly nut that may be part of an oiler. The simple wooden scuttle may be of little help, yet in the lowest left corner there is  this very small part of the bonnet to be seen.

The sum of all these small hints makes us think we're looking at a 1904/1908 car but that's just a gutfeel based on little more than having seen so many photos before. So we leave the issue with you and well, if we never find the solution, there is still her sweet and inquistive smile. But take our advise, DON'T google for The Auto Girl as the search will come up with let's say post-war pictures that will not enhance your night's rest. 

(collection Eldon Guay, Canada)

UPDATE: Per Westerberg just sends his artist impression of the studio set-up (Click here)
Friday, 02 December 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

Sun shines on veteran at auction.

Sun shines on veteran at auction.
      

With the London to Brighton veteran car run still fresh in our minds, we naturally enjoy increasing our knowledge of pre-1905 cars so we can be better prepared next year - and the year after that.... and so on.
H and H Auctioneers have an interesting veteran in their sale at Chateau Impney on December 7th. It is a Phebus 21⁄4 HP Forecar dating back to 1899 and sporting a single cylinder De Dion engine at the back which gives ample performance with a single occupant but if a passenger is carried in the fold-down front seat we suspect it may struggle on hills.
This car is believed to be the only known example and with its excellent springing will offer a comfortable ride to Brighton, particularly as the sun will surely be shining with a 'Phebus' in the entry list.

We have expressed our opinion before about cars painted brown but we like the 1924 Dodge Roadster with RHD and 3½ litre sidevalve motor. Perfect for trialling or motoring amongst modern traffic as long as you remember it only has rear wheel brakes.   The 1929 DeSoto Six Model K Tourer is painted white with brown upholstery and although it has a smoother six cylinder motor we still prefer the Dodge.

If you are going to buy a pre-war Rolls Royce you must like the look of the body and out of the four examples offered, we hovered over the 1933 20/25 Sports Saloon and the 20/25 Sedanca Coupe by Gurney Nutting also from 1933.
Both handsome looking cars, but the dummy pram irons of the Faux Cabriolet seduced us.

The restored '36 Alvis Crested Eagle TF Saloon is very nice, and very red and shiny, and will surely find a buyer - but the well-preserved 1938 Morris 14/6 Series III Saloon has a charm that's hard to resist. Think of the stories it can tell of the days it was an Air Ministry Staff Car at an RAF station. Shades of Sam Stewart, the WAAF driver for Detective Foyle in the TV series 'Foyle's War'. Yes, yes, we know their car was a Wolseley 18/85, but won't you permit us a little nostalgic licence?

Text Robin Batchelor, pictures courtesy H and H Auctions.

Thursday, 01 December 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

Pom's Prince Henry

Poms Prince Henry

When Laurence 'Pom' Pomeroy, the erudite technical editor of The Motor magazine in the early postwar years, was given the chance to purchase a one-owner Vauxhall Prince Henry in 1939, he jumped at the chance.

The Prince Henry was perhaps the greatest engineering achievement of his father, also called Laurence. Pomeroy Senior had joined Vauxhall in 1905 and over the next decade was responsible for designing the cars that were instrumental in making Vauxhall's name as a manufacturer of high-quality sporting machines. The Prince Henry, a development of the A-Type of 1910, is considered by many to be the first 'sports car', well before that term was coined.

This example was ordered in 1914 by T W Badgery, a Worcester leather magnate. He clocked up more than 140,000 of spirited driving over the next 15 years before retiring the car from active service. Pom's excitement with his new acquisition was stifled by the onset of World War Two, but Badgery offered to keep the car safely garaged until hostilities ceased. Pom eventually collected his Prince Henry in 1945, and the exciting sprint back to London, racing friend Marcu Chambers in his HRG 1500, was just the first of countless spirited drives Pom enjoyed over the next 20 years of ownership.

Vauxhall historian Nic Portway gives a detailed account of the Prince Henry's design and construction, and an overview of this well known example's history, in the latest issue of The Automobile, which is out now.

 
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

Looking for info on William Toy and Cars that he built/imported to Australia

William Toy and Cars that he built/imported to Australia

Murray Stack comes up with e remarkable set of photos:
"These photos are from our family records and come from Victoria Australia. I am guessing that they date to around 1900 to as late as 1915 to 1920 as my morther recalled the first time that the car driven by her uncle Will Toy, arrived at Tarnagulla in central Victoria.  My mother was born 1910, so I am guessing that whe must have been at least 5 years old to have remembered the event.

I have have these photos of cars that were built by my mothers uncle William Toy.  The first two he (designed?) and built himself. William Toy was born in 1855 and in one photo, his daughter, Elizabeth Florence, (born 1882) was driving the car.

The inscription on the back of car 1 readsWilliam toy_first_car_lady-800  
"William Toy and Son Builders. Dandenong. Speed 5 to 25 miles per hour. Run with Kerosene at a cost of 1/6 per 100 miles. Price on Application." 

The inscription of the car on the main picture above, only states:  "second car Will Toy made"

William toy_1908_car-800The Car number 3 comes with the inscription 
"Will Toy with his wife Elizabeth(nee Nicholls) and children Florence and Frank in his early model automobile" 

Any more information on the cars and Will Toy and his factory at Dandenong (just east of Melbourne) would be appreciated.

 
Tuesday, 29 November 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

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