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On Saturday 30 July RM-Sotheby's are holding their next auction at Motor City in Plymouth, Michigan and there are some impressive vehicles.
We like the description 'A Drivers Duesenberg' for the 1929 Model J 'Disappearing Top' Convertible Coupé. All the way through its life this car has had enthusiastic owners who drove it, and hats off to Mr. Bardeen from Florida who owned it for 25 years and was known for offering other enthusiasts the opportunity to “test drive” his beloved Model J at the speeds for which it had been intended.
The 7 litre engine straight eight has 16 valves, twin overhead cams and is four feet long from fan to flywheel. Duesenberg experimented with automatic gearboxes but rejected them - ' inefficient and non-sporting.'
One of just 25 original examples of this coachwork by Murphy, it has graced 2 chassis in its life as owners would often send their cars back for upgrading. And who were these owners? Movie stars, debutantes, captains of industry, Royalty, diplomats and gangsters - the car had universal appeal as long as you had money and were at the top of your calling.
'He/She Drives a Duesenberg' was the only line in the adverts for the Model J - nothing else needed to be said.
The other cars on offer are awash with white-wall tyres, and the most spectacular is the 1930 Cord L-29 Cabriolet. Truly loved by its previous owner who drove it for 69 years after first admiring one as a very small boy.
The 1933 Packard, the 1930 Lincoln, the 1937 Cord, and the 1927 Pierce-Arrow all have an immaculate appearance and offer temptation.
The 1937 Ford V-8 has just more than 60,000 miles on the clock and has a friendly feel about it but what do you make of the 1920 Detroit Electric Model 82 Brougham? We see new electric cars more and more. Perhaps they will be the future? Now's your chance!
We are already hearing people say, 'He/She drives an Electric Car!'
Text Robin Batchelor, pictures courtesy RM Sotheby's.
More and more classic cars have electronic ignition (some pre-wars even electronic petrol injection!). There are great fans and there is strong opposition. So we throw the 'dead cat' on the table and show you the how to and love to gauge your opinion either pro or con...
Altough not original, one can have its reasons why to equip his car with this modern part. Today we would like to give you some explanation of the ignition itself. And in next weeks article, we will explain how to convert your car to the system.
The question is why to use an electronic ignition on your classic or vintage car? There are two main reasons. First: you cannot get the parts or revision of a magneto is too expensive.
Secondly: comfort. I'll explain this last argument later on. I'll first give an overview of the components of an electronic ignition: the electronic sensor, the electronics and eventually the software and the coil.
The electronic sensor replaces the breaker points and gives the signal to the electronics to activate the coil and to give a spark. I'm using Hall sensors of Honeywell. I have two types.
The SR17C is a fork model and through the fork runs a (soft iron) vane. For a 4 cylinder engine the vane has 4 blades. When the blade enters the sensor the coil will be activated by the electronics; leaving the sensor the activation stops and there is a spark. The second is a SR13R. This one is activated by magnets. Above the sensor a rotor is turning with 4 x 2 magnets (4 cylinder). When a northpole passes, the coil will be activated. A southpole initiates the spark.
The length of the blades or the distance between southpole and northpole determines the dwell angle. For a standard coil the dwell time is about 4 milliseconds. However, the speed of the engine influences the dwell time. So the length of the vane blades will be chosen based on two third of the top revolutions of the engine.
The use of a (breaker point) capacitor is not neccessary anymore.
Electronics and software
The electronics translates the sensor signal to a switch of the main transistor. The main transistor in the electronics switches the coil. Now there are two types of electronic regulation. First: you can have a fixed ignition timing. The neccessary retard of the ignition will be regulated by hand, or by mechanic and/or vacuum retard.
Secondly: The ignition timing will be regulated fully digital by a processor. The ignition timing is mapped in the software and depending of the revs of the engine the electronics regulates the ignition timing. Also the dwell angle will be regulated by the software, so there is always a fxed dwell time of 4 milliseconds.
For a classic or vintage car I don't advise to buy a fully digital ignition. The price is higher and the advantage is negligible, unless there are non solvable problems with the mechanic or vacuum retard.
The coil is the most important part of the ignition. The coil transfers low tension to high tension. For a powerfull spark it's neccessary to have the best coil you can get. A coil that's getting warm or hot, you can better throw it away. A temperature of max 40° C is rather normal. Is the temperature higher, the dwell angle is too big or the coil is defective. Always buy a coil of the well known brand e.g. Bosch, BERU, etc. For a 6 volt car a BERU ZS 105 is suitable; for 12 volt choose the BERU ZS 106.
What's the comfort?
• No periodic adjustment of the breaker points• Always correct ignition timing
• Adjusting of ignition with LED light
• No capacitor
• Indifferent for humidity
• Powerfull spark (=fuel efficiency)
What's the disadvantage?
• You have to adapt your distributor to install the sensor and rotor; you have to do some mechanic work
• You car is not original anymore (forget Best of Show at Pebble Beach)
Words: Bert van de Zand
Leonhard Thomas sends this photo of a fine vintage roadster; with dickey seat?
Leonhard adds: "On the reverse of the photo is written ' note the difference in complexion of the 'southerner ' and the 'northerner ' ! I do hope you can ID this vehicle. I think Ansaldo. "
Well Leonhard, let's see what our highly knowledgeable visitors have to say in this matter. Regarding differences between passenger and driver. They have different complexion, and a different style of clothing. Yet both fight with the low sun, be it with a different neck turning technique.
Man, are we lucky to be in the first position to see things like this. We nearly dropped from our chair when we saw the first pics that came in through Shahzeb, our Pakistan friend since last year's 4C Beijing-Shanghai Rally.
He wrote: "Found on the roof of an old high-rise apartment in Karachi, Pakistan. "
Without having seen it with own eyes, we think we look at a 1925-ish 20HP Tourer. Our RR following may be able to add a lot more sense to this.
Rumour about the car and its location came through Mr. Mohsin Ikram (president of the VCCCP) and that the owner is Sheikh Mukhtar's son. Sheikh Mukhtar was the famous Indian actor who exported around 70 maharaja cars out of India in early 1970s and sold them in USA and elsewhere.
Pictures Courtsy: Wahaj Ahmad - Secial thanks to Shahzeb Malik
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