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Hershey for president ?

2016 hershey_hillary_trump_470
Now before you take us wrong, we have a deep love affair with the AACA fallmeet at Hershey. Driving down from New York and seeing the first overloaded pick-up going there our heart will jump with chocolate joy. Upon leaving after the Saturday concours the homesick fevers start before Hershey Park Drive is behind us. No question about our feelings for the the greatest autojumble in the world. Yet in a good relation one should be able to tell about what's bothering you as well:  
Hershey you've got a problem. And we truly hope you can think up a solution. 

This is the Hershey we like to see and what's still there, lively busy and addictive. In places like here at the north side of Chocolate all looks fine. Lots of stand, lots of people, great atmoshere. Only too bad that also truckloads of non-automotive stuff was being sold (when stopped the AACA checking like we have seen in other years?).  In the very same Chocolate field, but then on the south side - in earlier years the very heart of the show - we found vast empty areas that look... like an average parking lot. Or an asphalt desert.  Both pictures taken on Friday around 11 in the morning. So at a time that new arrivals hardly can be expected.  And this is not only in Chocolate. In the remote fields behind Stadium and Giant center the situation is similar. Come on AACA Eastern Region, don't let Hershey loose its muscles!

The issue is not new and it is known to most who comes here. We don't judge, we don't know for sure what causes are. But we strongly believe that finding a solution is no rocket science. 

Already we're looking foward to next year's Hershey 4 - 7  October.  To meet good old friends once again. To enjoy even more of the fun we had this year. More great american food. More of  Cowboy John's autoparts. And the stand of an even bigger cowboy. And two wheeler cowboys (this Thor just did a full coast-t0-coast! the Motorbike Cannonball! Be sure to check his digital-nomad dashboard).  And sales promotions like you only will see once every four years. And life-size toys (only in America!). And 1 Million dollar tin in the car coral. And a 2 Million dollar dual cowl tourer at RM Sotheby's. And the miss of the year oily rag Packard Roadster, sh.t !) And museum quality collector stuff. And the sexiest Locomobile we ever saw  (how about a pointed twin ass like this, WoW! ).  And the rarest american made cyclecar, a 1914 Trumbull. And the coolest Marmon V16 two seater of the planet. 

So Yes, YEs, YES ! Despite the things we we don't like, despite the issues we we must critisize, when it comes to voting, we would vote for this sweet little town in Pennsylvania.  

Hershey we love you!  (tomorrow a  post-war Hershey report)

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Thornycroft inlet icecold after long first run

john thornycroft_basingstoke_161009_frontview_470
Martin 'Thornycroft' Shelley  reported yesterday to us regarding his long-long time Thornycroft project (you may remember his progress reports from these pages) that it is finally warming up the tarmac:

"At last the Thornycroft is a runner and a good one at that.  Just over a week ago I was joined by my son Philip for a day out driving the car alongside a bunch of veteran motorcyclists who had gathered at the Scottish Museum of Flight at East Fortune aerodrome in East Lothian where the R34 commenced its transatlantic flight in 1919 and where I had flown model aircraft in the 1960s and raced vintage bikes in the 70s.

The car performed faultlessly, running for well over an hour without attention and covering something over 25 miles.  She started first time every time and all the systems worked as designed, the trembler coil/magneto dual ignition, the exhaust pressure fed fuel system, the cast iron on cast iron rear brakes, the hand throttle (pictured in one shot with the Bass Rock and Tantallon Castle in the background).  It was all very gratifying, and I felt pleased to have reached this stage with the car.

There is still some development work to be done, as the inlet manifold is icy cold even after a long run, so the inlet air needs heating (for which there is provision via a muff around the exhaust manifold) and at some point the touring body will need to be refitted (it was removed after construction in March 2009 and remains in storage in Kent).

However, it's nice to have a car on the road not an interminable project.  Last Saturday I was also invited to talk to the VSCC Northern Dinner about the restoration, and as the previous weekend, all went to plan, and it seemed to be appreciated by the assembled company.

Thanks for all your encouragement and support over what now seems a very long time!"

Martin Shelley  (photos Philip Shelley)
Tuesday, 18 October 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Morgan, Adler and an old mystery picture

lead photo._the_car_ill._1912-04-03_p.233__adler_by_morgan_ 
The beautiful 1914 Adler Carette in the PWC for sale department and some time ago the editor's choice is a good reason to tell some more about Morgan and Co. from Bond Street and Long Acre in London, who had built the body for this neat little car. And in the meantime this little story will solve an old drawing mystery, dating back to 2005!
Coachbuilders from 1762 with a very good reputation, Morgan and Co. decided in 1905 to build a car of their own. Both chassis and 24 h.p. engine were of in house design, as was of course the body. The new Morgan was presented at the Olympia Show in November of that year and how did it look like? Indeed, exactly like the drawing mystery picture, because that is what it was: the new Morgan. Understandably this new all-British car could be delivered with all sorts of bodies, e.g. like the brougham on the mystery picture. Despite their large clientèle and regular advertising the car was not the success Morgan hoped for. Therefore they decided to make a change and early 1907 they became the UK agents for Adler thus combining their coachbuilding qualities with the well-made, solid German Adler. This Morgan-Adler, as it was sometimes called, was succesful in many trials and enjoyed ever increasing popularity until the war broke out. A fine example is the 10 h.p. 1912 model in the lead photo. During the war the firm assembled aeroplanes and after the war and some financial turmoil they seem to have returned to their roots: coachbuilding. The unique 1914 survivor with its body of almost un-British elegance is what a 1914 advertisement already promised: the perfect miniature motor. Definitely a car to fall in love with ...

Monday, 17 October 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Napier Rail Car

Napier Rail Car
James Clark was visiting the Tunnels Museum in Moose Jaw, Canada  1474040857_resized__1473622336_res_napier2and saw this picture on the wall with a sign describing it as 1904 Napier rail car and with wheels that look to have been specially made with an outer rim for the rail tracks. Besides he was wondering if the 4 tons may have been a little too much for this car. He asked, if anyone knew more about this car and its story.

Well James, on the photo we see Charles J. Glidden in his new 24 hp 4-cylinder Napier car in Moose Jaw in September 1904, just on his way through Canada after having completed the first AAA-tour from New York to Saint Louis a month earlier. Charles Glidden, who had  1474040902_resized_around_the_world_in_a_napiermade his fortune in the US in the development of the telephone and the exploitation of the very first telephone networks, retired in 1900 at the age of 43. He decided to travel the world in a motor car, as he believed it would have the same bright future as the telephone. For a still unknown reason his choice for the car didn't fall on a US made car, but on the British-made Napier. From 1901 to 1907 he would travel the world in a Napier car, from 1904 always with the British number plate A-3622! These travels are well described in a nice little book by Andrew M. Jepson: Around the World in a Napier (2013). During his travels he was always accompanied by his wife Lucy Emma Clegworth and the Napier mechanic Charles Thomas. Because he travelled areas where roads were sometimes completely absent, he decided to travel by railroad in parts of the US and Canada and got permission to do so. For this he let the Napier company adapt the car and had them make special wheels with flanges. In America however these flanges proved to be too shallow, making modification necessary. That it worked very well can be read in an interview in Motor Age, published partly in the Car Illustrated shortly after the railway experiences. A very nice set of photos of the Napier driving on rails in Canada can be found in the City of Vancouver archive. The weight of 4 tons for the car alone seems to be incorrect indeed and will have been close to 4000 lbs: his previous Napier weighed 4.500 lbs. To this, however, we have to add of course the set of railway wheels (weighing 1300 lbs), the three passengers, spares and luggage!

 1474041080_resized_the_car_ill._1904-10-26_p.303__glidden_interview_The name Glidden would be immortalized by the so-called Glidden Tours. After the 1904 AAA-tour Glidden decided this event to be held annually, supporting it by donating a silver trophy and $ 2.000,- dollar prize money. The Glidden Tours would be organised from 1905 to 1913 and was an important factor not only in the development of the reliability of the car itself, but also in stimulating the improvement of the road network in the US. The Detroit Public Library owns a large archive with photos of this event, partly made by the famous automotive photographer Nathan Lazarnick. From 1908 Glidden would shift his focus to aeronautics. He died in 1927, after having witnessed his prophesy of the success of the motor car.

Sunday, 16 October 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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