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Dear Prewar Editor:

Smiths (MA) Clock from a ?
Aston Martin radiator cap casting?




The Magazine

What's the early history on this very low mileage 1919 Austin 20HP?

1919 Austin 20 HP.

Peter Maguire & Jacqueline Readwin recently bought a hardly run-in' Austin 20 HP with intersting body:

"We purchased this at the Coy's auction in April. The description is that it is a 1919 Austin 20 HP. with a factory-built body, rather than one by an outside coach-builder. It was described as a 'Drop-Head Coupe', however it is actually a body style described as an 'All-Weather Touring Saloon'. The side windows are glass and are raised and lowered either by a ratchet system or counter-weights.
Supposedly a 'Diplomatic Car', until 1989 it lived in New Zealand.
As far as we can tell the car has never had a total restoration, rather it has been maintained in running order though it was re-painted and (we think) re-trimmed possibly some 40 - or more - years ago.
From the condition of the chassis and other mechanical parts, all very original and exhibiting no detectable wear, the car appears to have covered very few miles in its almost 100 years of existence. The speedometer trip only reads 7100 miles, though we feel that this figure is unlikely for the total, 17100 being perhaps a more realistic figure. The car was unknown to the 'Vintage Austin Register' in England.
It would be most interesting to discover more about this Austin."
Tuesday, 17 May 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

A Mercedes-Simplex Mystery? (Update: 1909 Pierce Arrow Model 40)

Mercedes zeeuws_duits-470

Hugo Modderman sends this nice period shot. The car obviously is pre WWI . He bets it is a Mercedes Simplex. Yet he wonders why the car has a Dutch 1923 registration. Probably it was imported form Germany into Holland as the family who owned the car lived a long time in Germany. The numbers painted on the radiator may be the first registration. 

The car is shown here during a very early spring outing. The trees still without their green and the clothing of an early twenties winter. Funny but the registration K3572 came out in 1925 on the name of  a Citroën importer from Middelburg. Why the family drove the car in his name? We can only guess after that. Question marks, question marks... but the most important one is of course what is the type of motorcar we're looking at. Mercedes, yes quite possible. But without the threepointed star there is always room for doubt. 1912 Berliet? Alco?  Or?

Monday, 16 May 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

A 700 mile weekend: Valom-Mesch

valom-mesch-camping 470
Even in China they know that Holland is a very small country. So you may be surprised to learn that we have a tough long distance rally for vintage cars (that is to say 'long' in the Dutch way: 300 miles) organised by two enthusiasts of the Dutch Prewar Austin Seven Club: Hans Mazee and Bart Mooij.
With mostly Austin Sevens participating  (here a sample of 21) the Valom-Mesch is probably one of the smallest & better events in this part of the world. Insiders talk about the VM as the dutch Le Jog, as this trip will take you from the utmost North to the very-very South of The Netheralnds in two long days. But realistically it is two times longer...
All participants need to face this:
1. How to get to the distant Start location... Valom ? (220 km from Amsterdam) 2. How to keep the car in one piece during the next 450 km. 3. Finally, how to return home from the far south (250 km from Amsterdam).  Check here our close to 1000 km route.

Despite of not being a follower of the A7 church, we were lucky enough to be tolerated with the Amilcar. With an entry fee of less than 100 Euro there is little threshold for the owner of a Poor Man's  Bugatti (update: wrong quote, see comment Bob McGrath). Unfortunately the Amilcar preferred to stay at home due to rearaxle issues so we opted for the XL french Talbot that was hospitalised for some time due to severe waterpump trouble.  But now the Talbot was aching again for the wide open. To everybody's surprise we managed to keep The Thing rolling the full Thursday, the Friday, the Saturday & finally also the Sunday. Four long and hot days with only a minor gearchange problem: 700 miles in total. Piece of cake for an Austin 7. With a large Talbot it's different. For starters we left a trail of plundered gas stations... Great trip. In two years once again?

(special thanks to Dirk and Dirk Jan Regter for waterpump engineering / Eric van der Heide, electrickery / photos by editor)
Sunday, 15 May 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

What is it? Quiz #420

What is it? Quiz #420
Once upon a time in England in the late 1920s a driver spotted an Airship in the sky so he stopped, grabbed his Box Brownie, and walked over to the other side of the road into the hedge. Click!  He captured this memorable image of the Graf Zeppelin with his beloved car in the foreground. ( A rare sight for interwar years.)
But what is his car?  It is British-made and the friend who sent us the picture said it was a Morris - it is not, but it did successfully compete with the Morris Cowley market.
Any more clues will make it too easy, so over to you dear reader and please tell us all you know about the car and be as specific as possible. Be sure to send in before Monday, May 16 in order to have a chance to win the infamous PreWarCar T-shirt. Best is to check the Rules under 'Read more' first. Enjoy a wonderful spring weekend!
Saturday, 14 May 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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