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We wonder what Aliens would make of the human race if they were to hover over Beaulieu for three days on September 5 and observe the frantic activity as we converge in our cars, vans, trucks and trailers and fill the three fields set aside for the International Autojumble. Up go the variety of gazebos, tents, marquees, wigwams ready for the party to begin.
It’s holiday atmosphere right from the word GO and bargain hunters start as soon as gates open early Friday morning. It’s the day for traders to set up, meet old friends and make new ones. Some take it very seriously and most are very laid back. Laughter and music fills every aisle, along with all the STUFF brought here to sell.
“There’s an AJS 350 Big Port head up in yellow field near the bloke with a mannequin in a fur coat.”
" Really? Well there's some Bugatti engines down near the gents loo in red field."
You don't realise that you have always wanted a bamboo bicycle until you round a corner and there it is! Test your knowledge on this engine - not even the owners know what it's from. ( We found out later.)
Books and bicycles, catalogues and cans, cars of all sizes and a lady from Devizes. I'm starving, it's lunch time, I could do with a beer, but I need a magneto, there must be one here?
Bonhams hold an auction on saturday and there's a wonderful barn-fresh Napier that takes our fancy. Then there's the museum of course which could easily occupy a whole day. It is impossible to see everything, but we shall have a good try. We even saw some Hippos last year!
When you're tired and thirsty there's nothing better than a nice cup of tea served by English Roses with home made cake. Once fortified, than back to the fray to search for that elusive thingamajig you need for your shelf. Then it's time to prepare for the evening when everyone comes alive again to eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we start all over again with the public arriving in their thousands ready to buy more old and rusty stuff.
Text Robin Batchelor, pictures courtesy Beaulieu and the author.
As expected not too many competing answers for this pre-WWI competition showing that the knowledge on these cars is dying out. According to the knowledgeable friend who provided the original photo the car on the left is a FIAT the one on the right a Daimler. Jurymember Ariejan Bos agrees on that. All three remaining competitors were right about the make FL and came up with various interesting details. Most correct and explanatory however was the answer from Gerry Barrett who also explained about the British built FL's where the lettering no longer refers to Eiffel, yet to the motto Floreat Lindum of the town Lincoln, which is latin for 'may Lincoln Florish'.
Congratulations Gerry, you now have entered the illustre row of jurymembers! To all others, next week a new chance with a slightly easier car. Or if you prefer a bit more 'everyday' wheels, check this weekend's Postwar Puzzle.
(special thanks to a good friend who provided the photograph and background information)
In 1937 Ettore Bugatti's fertile mind had found satisfaction on terra firma and so next he looked to the skies. He engaged the services of a man to design and build the Bugatti 100P plane. This man was Count Pierre Louis de Monge de Franeau, a Belgian aero engineer who had built propellers for the French government .
de Monge..." It originated from Bugatti's desire to win world speed records and given the extreme light weight and immense power of the most recent Bugatti engines (magnesium with 8 cylinders in line), he asked me if it would be possible to construct an aircraft powered by a Bugatti automobile engine. I asked for 8 days to study the matter."
The result was a truly innovative design with contra-rotating props from its twin 4.9 litre supercharged engines, forward swept wings - it would have most likely been the fastest thing in the skies with a projected top speed of almost 500MPH.
Bugatti initially financed the project himself but in 1938 managed to receive government funding and an agreement that they would pay 2 million Francs for the 100P (including engines and transmission), 1.5m for two spare engines and transmission with a bonus of 1 million Francs for breaking the absolute speed record.
Bugatti built eight thousand extraordinary cars but only one aeroplane - and it never flew. War got in the way, so in 1940 Bugatti dissembled the plane and stored it in his estate outside Paris throughout the war where it was largely forgotten until an American enthusiast shipped it to America in the late 1960s and is now displayed by the Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh.
Jump to 2009 when retired USAF fighter pilot Scotty Wilson decided to build a copy of the Bugatti 100P and make it fly. Two other names in the core team of three are John Lawson ( British-based engineering director) and commercial director Simon Burney who used bang-up-to-date methods of fundraising for this futuristic project by choosing 'Kickstarter' and on their page you will find ways of viewing videos of progress and even a short video of the first flight. Contributors have their names engraved on the plane.
We recently introduced you to the gentleman who had the foresight to purchase the two type 50 engines from the original plane (which are now in cars) and the replica aircraft employs two Suzuki Hayabusa 1300cc motorcycle engines, each producing about 200bhp and weighing just 200 pounds. Their drive shafts run forward either side of the pilot to the nose-mounted gearbox which transfers the reduced revs to the contra-rotating propellers. ( See video)
The story of the whole project is described in full detail and shows the extraordinary passion and skill shown by so many people. We like the occasional comments such as this after taxi tests " Didn't intend to bring the tail up...in level flight attitude the prop has only 6" ground clearance."
Wednesday's first flight is the culmination of patient, relentless work by passionate individuals and it's rotten luck that the right brake failed on landing which swung the plane left onto soggy ground where it nosed over and damaged the props.
Bugatti and de Monge will be smiling in their graves to see their brain-child finally spread her wings.
(text Robin Batchelor, pictures courtesy Bugatti 100P project)
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