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pre 1910  ohv jap engine?

Yesterday Robert Axelrod posted the above photos showing off the NOS(?) early JAP engine he found; and there must be zillions of similar issues: "This motor turned up at Hershey, PA swap meet! Trying to date it! The cam cover is from a later motor, modified to fit this motor! The pinion shaft is extra long and would stick out through the cam cover, so this motor was never a motorcycle engine! Maybe cycle car, aero? Bore and stroke 85.5mmx95mm, rocker arms are numbered 13,14,15,16. I am thinking this motor is a 1906, as the motor # is 6101, case # 1, some of the internal parts-rods, cam followers are stamped #1, any ideas on the year and appaication for this engine will be appreciated! Thank you for your time!"

Within a few hours he received this answer from G. Chivrall: "I acquired an engine like this in about 1978. Only 5 fins and no knuckles on the ends of the pushrod, 85x85mm cylinders, conical valves screw in valve guides mine has fins on the exhaust. Your's looks dead right and the timing cover looks original to me too. I've concluded mine is about 1908. There are engines from "the same drawing board" (V-8s) in the UK Science Museum in an aeroplane and in the Shuttleworth Collection from an airship. There is also a V8 campaigned in VSCC events by Richard Scaldwell (hope thats spelled correctly). These engines are super and well worth getting running. Powerful and economical but very clattery. They get hot, I put a bit of metanol in the petrol. Watch out for cracks between the valve seats,in the flywheels and cranckcase but your's looks in very good order.

The long front mainshaft is a bit of a mystery. I don't think the breather should be connected to the bottom of the crankase. JAP oiling is mysterious but it works. I used a drip feed to the crankcase outboard of the left cylinder (in picture) through a little non return plate valve. Use plenty of "R". It could be from a cyclecar, motorbike or primitive aeroplane. Although the valve gear is different you will probably find that pistons,flywheels and conrods from later engines can be used, and people are making new stuff these days. There is even a chap in Australia who makes 90 Bore castings which are similar to this engine. Google "JAP 90 Bore" and screen out all the oriental motorbile stuff. I believe the 85 bore OHVs pre-date the 90 Bore which is well represented in the literature.There is very little about the 85 bore ohv's. Good luck with it!"

So if you have an unsolved issue. Just give it a try! You never know what may come out.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

The first car in Romania was a ...? (UPDATE: 1901 Braun voiturette)

mystery car_first_romanian_car_owner_basil_assan_470

Bogdan Coconoiu from Romania writes: "A friend of mine, mr. Madalin Ghigeanu, sent me this interesting photo probably from 1900. We supose that the driver is mr.  Basil Assan the first romanian car owner. To me the car looks like a De Dion but please ask the readers of your site in order to identify corectly this vehicle. On 27th June we organise the 5th edition of Sinaia Concours d'Elegance, I will send you a short report and photos."

Monday, 22 June 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Mystery Coachwork on 1925 Talbot 18/55 (Update: Martin & King ?)

mystery coachwork_on_1925_talbot_18_55

Peter Ransom writes: "I'm researching a 1925 Talbot 18/55 (essentially a rebadged Sunbeam 16/50) located in Western Australia. The car has a saloon body that currently defies all attempts to identify the coachbuilder. Talbot's records show it being sold for export in 1925 as a Darracq-bodied tourer, and I suspect it was rebodied in Australia c.1930-1932. The pictures are a mixture of how I saw it first in 1965 and how it looked when I saw it again a few days ago - in a dark shed. The exterior door handles, the window openings and the windcreen pillars are quite distinctive and may provide the right clues for an expert. The doors are timber framed, so I suspect the whole body will be the same. I'd be delighted to hear from anyone who can help."

(Photos Peter Ransom)

Sunday, 21 June 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

What is it? Quiz #397

whatisit 397_470
We all know the Saab three cylinder two-stroke engines. And most of you will be aware that many of modern sub-compacts are making use of three cylinders. Yet those known engine concepts are quite diffferent from the powerplant in the car above. One could even start a discussion if the car had a two or three cylinder. It is a most intriguing engineering design. In a way it reminds of the Gobron Brillie we tested you with a few weeks ago. But nothing more than reminds of. We understand that only one of the cars survives today and that that particular example was built about two years before the one pictured above (or is it the other way round..?).  

Please give us any relevant information you may have on this particular car. Whatever you can come up with, that is to say within 100 words. Please post your answer in the comment box below (please do not email) and be sure to read The Rules under Read More. This may be your chance to win the infamous PreWarCar T-shirt and wear with pride at this season’s events! Results will be published next Saturday, June 27. 

Saturday, 20 June 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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1956 Mercedes-Benz 190 SL
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