The Ellis Journey
1903 Photo from Southern Rhodesia




The Magazine

Cecil Kimbers Last MG

Imagine you’re sixteen years old and spot a derelict saloon in a collapsed shed. Immediately you think “I want that car!" But then it takes another six years before you can finally call it your own. That’s what happened to Malcolm Simmonds who spotted a forlorn looking MG VA saloon. No stranger to old cars as he used to tinker with them at his grandfather’s garage, he liked the look of the black MG and wanted to own it. However, at that time (1988) the then owner didn’t want to sell. Malcolm regularly went back to check on the saloon, only to find (in 1992) that it had disappeared. Stolen! Bad luck, but Malcolm started to check the car ads in several magazines until he spotted one that could be “his” MG. And it was! Even then it took several years of legal hassle before the MG was returned to its rightful owner, who then decided he would sell it to Malcolm.

As a new owner of the MG VA saloon Malcolm was invited to a meeting of the SA, VA and WA register of the MG Car Club. There he met VA guru Bas de Voogd, who immediately spotted the license plate CBL 192 and knew that this 1939 VA had been a factory demonstrator and was used by Cecil Kimber -the general manager of MG- as his personal transport. Even after Kimbers death in early 1945 the VA stayed in the family until the early fifties. Indeed a very special MG VA saloon, still in preserved unrestored condition. Read the full story of this MG VA’s amazing history in the November issue of The Automobile, out now!

(text and photos Rutger Booy)

Thursday, 12 October 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Driving a 1903 car and having champagne in the morning: Only in France

We all know the famous London to Brighton run, which is held every year in November. But how many of you know the much smaller, but at least as enjoyable Rallye des Ancetres in Compiegne? Held on the first weekend of October every year.
The team was present as well and enjoyed it once again. It is a typical French event, with beautiful old cars, very relaxing atmosphere and good food and wine.
The route takes you through beautiful nature, but it is the people who make the event as it is. Not only the organizers or participants, but the many French people who are on the side of the road. Some planned to watch the old cars but some just woke up and saw a 1900 De Dion Bouton passing by. We heard from one of the participants that they stopped to get some water in their leaking radiator and not only got water but a glass of champagne as well (at 9.30 o’clock in the morning).

The event is for cars before 1906 and as you can see on the little movie above, it brings all kind of cars together. Famous names like Panhard et Levassor, Rochet-Schneider, De Dion Bouton, Renault, Wolseley, and Opel but some less famous as well: Bolide de Paris, Hurtu, Adler, Cottereau, L’Elegante or what to think about a Léon Buat (that once was the subject of a pwc quiz!). This car was built very close to Compiegne itself so although the car is now in Germany, it was kind of a home game.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Some Assembly Required

Some Assembly Required
Once again the High Holy Days of Hershey have come and gone. Formally known as the Antique Automobile Club of American Eastern National Fall Meet, over the past 63 years it has become known to car people as simply "Hershey," after its location in America's "Chocolate Town" in Pennsylvania.
Comprising both a swap meet (Americans don't know the word "autojumble") and a 1500-car show, Hershey always offers a number of old car projects for enthusiasts to undertake. This year's prize was a 1934 Chevrolet displayed in a most artistic pose,  looking essentially complete but lacking most of the body's internal wood structure. The orange accent around its girth is not mere decoration - it holds the whole car together.
Other treasures included a 1929 Oldsmobile coupe that looked sound when viewed from one side, but whose driver's door was tied on. There was a Model A Ford roadster body with a large lump of Oldsmobile power, a Frankin chassis for which its owner had started mocking up a cardboard body design, and a 1930 Model A Standard Phaeton which neeeded, really, everything.
Not for the faint of heart, any of them, and some certainly went home with the folks who brought them. The '34 Chevy, though, had reportedly been bid up to $5,000 by Friday afternoon.

Words and photos by Kit Foster

Tuesday, 10 October 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Motoring delights down under.

Motoring delights down-under.We are lucky to live in an era where you can go anywhere in the world in 24 hours by just waving your credit card, and if you don't already live in Australia, you can easily get there before October 14 when Moss Green Auctions hold their Motorclassica sale.
MG-QAny car once owned by the legendary 'Jumbo' Goddard is worth investigating and this 1934 MG Q Type is a fabulous example of Pre War sporting motoring fun with 120 mph achieved from just 750cc  ( with a supercharger).

The car is beautifully finished and ready for action.  Delivered new to Victoria, it has enjoyed plenty of competition history and is ready for more.

austin -7The 1928 'Uffindel' Austin 7 Special is a true gem. Built in 1934 by South Australian Ron 'The Wizard' Uffindel,  this car ran in numerous competitions - usually being drivem to and from the events over great distances by our hero Ron.
It's been with the current owner 54 years - now it's your turn.
It comes with Ron's original mudguards but I'd put them on the shelf.

The 1932 Austin 7 Swallow is an altogether different kettle of fish. I mean it has a sash cord for the rear window shade for Pete's sake!  So forget electrifying performance and think elegance.
Of the 126 Swallows which still survive , the example offered here is believed to be one of the finest, most original, correct and complete examples extant.

armstrong-whitworthThe description of the 1911 Armstrong Whitworth is long and impressive, but it does not mention the possibilty that it was an Armstrong Whitworth 18-22 model which first climbed the famous  Brooklands Hill - a gem we learned from the winner of quiz #400.
THis B3 15.9 HP example was found beneath a Peppercorn tree in Lara, Victoria and was sold on twice before arriving in the hands of the owner who spent 13 years over this painstaking restoration.

30-98-vauxhallIf we conducted a poll about which is the finest vintage sports car, the 30-98 Vauxhall would be near, or at, the top. This car is a combination of OE86 & OE100. The description makes interesting reading and the vast mileages and records achieved by these cars illustrates their superiority.
Two owners, both active pilots in the 1942 Citizen Air Force, looked at their much-used cars and decided to make one good car from each of their beloved machines.
Will the new owner trey to emulate the 9,326 mile circumnavigation record of the Australian continent in 24 days, 11 hours and 58 minutes. ??

Model-A-Ford-record-breakerThis 1930 Model A Ford was built to break the Sydney to Bourke record which was held by an amazing character called Norman Leslie Smith. Affevtionately known as 'Wizard', he broke a string of records in a string of cars - all listed in the car's description.
 The car broke the rcord by eight minutes. They covered the 512 miles at an average speed of 47.7 mph, an astonishing time when one remembers that the sealed road finished after just 80 miles.

Text Robin Batchelor, pictures courtesy Moss Green Auctions.
Monday, 09 October 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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