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- My PreWarCar
Attached 2 photos, the first which shows me (the young chap in the middle) at 5 or 6 years with my younger sister and my mother. This must have been about 1965 or 66 and the car is an Austin 12 tourer (I believe).
My dad, a mechanical engineer, frequently worked on prewar car projects, getting the cars roadworthy and ready for spring and summer rides in Hampshire and Sussex where we lived at that time. Come Autumn he'd be itching for a new project and I can remember reading out the adverts in the "Exchange & Mart" on the way to school and being instructed to mark the most interesting adverts so my dad could beat any other punters to it and pick up a bargain. In January 1973 our family emigrated to Switzerland with (among other household articles) 3 old cars: a prewar Morris Minor, an early Austin Chummy and - in driveable condition - a 1936 Singer Le Mans 2 seater sports.
Since Britain had only just joined the EU, we were held up at the border in Calais by the French customs. It took my dad, his brother and his brother-in-law 2 days to sort out the paper work and to convince the custom officers we weren't trying to dispose of "old english bangers" in France. Mind you, it didn't bother us kids as we could play on the beach and watch the hovercrafts come in from Folkstone at regular intervals with my mother making tea in the caravan. The wintery crossing through France (no motorways...) with the family dog and multiple blankets to keep me warm left a lasting impression -> I had caught the old car bug. I've been an enthusiast ever since - in particular for the 1930's english makes & models. Two years ago, I finally bought my own PWC (see 2nd picture) - a 1936 Riley Merlin Airline coupe - which I tinker with and tour around Switzerland (avoiding France for obvious reasons...)
(edition 5000 competition)
Peter Langmaid is an avid collector of old racing photos. Attached you'll find two presumably amateur pics he recently sent :
"A couple of photos of old 'chain driven' racing cars. I have no idea as to make or date but location could be France." We must admit that our first thought was Paris-Madrid, yet we have the feeling these photos are older. More like round the turn of the century. Is it Paris-Vienna, or Paris-Rouen perhaps? No too modern for Paris Rouen ( 1894). Our guess - a gutfeel strictly based on car design is 1899 Tour de France. Be sure to check also the spectacular second photo. That car also has different size front and rear wheel. Perhaps you can ID cars #62 and #75 or tell us who the drivers are.
(edition 5000 competition)
Mike Long: "About 17 years ago, as my neighborhood (in Franklin, Tennessee) expanded, I noticed that builders were creating "burn pits" of perfectly good wood. Lacking a truck, I removed the front passenger seat from my 1937 Riley Lynx, tossed-in a ladder with some rope, and started excavating treasures that were then transported home in the Lynx. Sadly, my wife took an in-process picture! Even though it was a small distance and relatively light loading, I'd guess my day's work would have apalled many of my Riley Register fellow members and my local car club ... which has named the car 'Queen Mum'."
Now we only want to hear from Mike why his car was called 'Queen Mum' . We never saw here going round with bundles of wood, did we?
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Post War Choice
Fly to Mallorca and drive back home in a 1964 Ferrari 330GT... Go >>
Pleasing weekend-winter project: 1939 Singer 12 drophead... Go >>
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