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Dual power: petrol electric transmissions

Dual power: petrol electric transmissions
This example of FIAT’s first cheap small car for world markets was modified by Tilling Stevens of Maidstone and fitted with one of their petrol electric transmissions.  These modifications were carried out by their chief electrical engineer H.K.Whitehorn.   The car was presented to the Museum in 1935.  The Museum staff were responsible for sectioning the coachwork and the mechanical components to give visitors a better idea of how it all worked.”
FIAT built some 90,000 509’s including sports versions, taxis and light commercials. Tilling Stevens of Maidstone specialised in the building of petrol electric buses and commercial vehicles. During the 1920’s and 30’s these were also popular with travelling showman as well. I have no idea who the FIAT electric was built for,  It could have been a prototype, perhaps some reads know. Sectioning exhibits was at one time popular with museums, but I suspect now many enthusiasts wished they had not! The Science Museum store at Wroughton used to have one or two open days a year. It is such a shame that there is basically no public access now as the exhibits in store are wonderful.

Words and photos: Michael Ware
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

♥ Love affair with Morris. ♥

♥  Love affair with Morris. ♥
The late Charles Swain Esq. was born in 1923, the same year that the Bullnose 1923-BullnoseMorris pictured above was made. After leaving school he served an electrical apprenticeship and in 1942 joined the Air Force as Electrical Engineer and rose to serve in the famous 'Dambusters' squadron.
His post-war business success permitted him to indulge in the same hobby as us, and it became something of a love affair. He particularly liked cars made in Oxfordshire.
It is not difficult to understand why such a patriotic chap should choose cars made by famous and widely respected philanthropist William Morris ( Lord Nuffield) in Oxford and it is equally easy to understand why it has taken Swaine's family a whole year to finally agree to sell his beloved collection - it is always hard to say goodbye to a loved one.
Holloway's Auctioneers will offer the cars for sale on Saturday 18 February at their premises in Banbury and we know that buyers will inherit some of that love with the cars.
morris1923The 1923 2 seater with dickey is such a pretty car and will inevitably generate interest from the older generation when parked. " I remember doing my courting in one of these!"  Remember that 45% of all cars in Britain in 1925 was a Bullnose Morris.

1927flatnoseAfter the Bullnose came the Flatnose and we have a fine example of a 1927 2 seater with dickey complete with new-fangled front wheel brakes.
It is accompanied by an extensive file of related paperwork offered with the car dating back to the late 1930s from which it may be concluded that this vehicle has been owned by several studious & careful owners during its 90 years in service.

1934-Morris-ten-sixThe 1934 Morris 'Ten-Six' is something of a rarity with its Sportsman's 2 door salonette coupe coachwork, OHV 6 cylinder engine and 4 speed gearbox.
A complete engine rebuild was carried out in 1998, and from all appearances it would seem that much of the rest of the car was completely refurbished to a high standard.

morris-8-1935The Morris 8 was introduced in 1934 with a side valve 4 cylinder engine and 3 speed gearbox and proved to be a popular affordable car for the masses. This 1935 example brings back happy memories of a little courtship during student days in a later model rebuilt by the girl's mother in her kitchen!
It was red with black wings and the girl's name was Linda. ( Or was it Susie?)
morris-1934-ten-six-specialWe wonder which was Swain's favourite and given his Air Force background, we suspect it could be this red 1934 Special Ten-Six
with open 4 seater coachwork. A rare car with a 6 cylinder OHV engine with twin carbs and 4 speed gearbox which would become the basis for a range of more sporting machines.

It's a pleasure to take a peep into the life of such a fine-sounding man and to learn of the love and affection he had for his collection of Morris cars, so let's follow his example and after celebrating Valentine's Day with our loved-one in the house, let us pop out to the garage and remind our old cars just how much we love them?

Text Robin Batchelor, pictures courtesy Holloway's Auctioneers.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Mystery Monday; a well used Voisin


Entering our bureau this monday, there was a nice surprise on my desk. Knowing that I´m a big aficionado of Gabriel Voisin and his automobiles, my friend Jürgen sent an old photograph of a rare C24-Caravelle.

I knew this picture before, as two of my Voisin Club-mates sent scans of it some time ago, but we couldn´t find out anything more about the car and the time, the photo was made. The car clearly is a late C24 demi-berline with a factory body called "Caravelle". It was introduced in 1933 and followed a more conventional styling, than the typical razor-edged Bauhaus-design, Voisin is known for. The sustained fenders, without the typical boxes, changed the look dramatically. The car on the photo seems heavily used. Just have a look at the non matching wheels of different sizes, that are giving the car an even more hot-roddy style! There is a big crack in the front fender and the door-handle is missing.

But does this car still exist?

The photo seems to be taken in post-war times. I can only recall one Caravelle, that survived at least till the seventies. That one was part of the Corniére-collection, but I have no clue, if the car still exists and if it maybe is THIS car!? There are many similaritys, but I wouldn´t bet a dime on it. On the only two pictures, I know of the Corniére-car, there is for example no mirror mounted at the door, the door-handle is at its place and the wheels seem to have identical sizes.

Except of this car, I only know of two surviving four-door Saloons (called "Charmeuse"), that share this late C24-style. One in the fabulous Wurstemberger-collection in Aigle and one barnfind, that was offered by C.Grohe some time ago.

So is there anybody, who can tell me more about the car on the photo and/or the fate of the Corniére car?

Words by Hubertus Hansmann

Monday, 13 February 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Exhibition; Vehicles made in Aachen

Exhibition; Vehicles made in Aachen
Till February 19th, inside the "Centre Charlemagne" here in Aachen is an exhibition about "vehicles made in Aachen":
If you think of Aachen (Aix la Chapelle) you might think of the cathedral, the christmas-market with lots of "Glühwein" and "Öcher Printen" and of course of Charlemagne. But not many people would think about automobile-production. But at least the dragons made by Fafnir are well known, last but not least because of the famous racing cars with the devils masks and Rudi Carrachiola or Helmut Hirth at the wheel. But also Cudell cars or Mannesmann-MULAG trucks were "made in Aachen". Till February the 19th, there is an exhibition inside the "Centre Charlemagne", showing lots of stuff about the automobile production and development in Aachen. Highlights of the exhibition are two Fafnir cars: A Type 471 Cabriolet and the second is a Type 472 pick-up-truck, that began its life as a phaeton, but was converted a long time ago. A cudell tricycle and parts of a big MULAG truck, currently in restauration, are exhibited, too. Fascinating for visitors who know the city of Aachen is a movie shown on a small TV, in which you can see a testdrive with a MULAG chassis through the city, filmed about a hundred years ago. Many private photos, ads, automobilia complete the exhibition. So take a trip to the wonderful city of Aachen, enjoy the 1200 years old cathedral, the famous town hall, taste a "Printe" and don´t forget to visit the two old dragons!

Words by Hubertus Hansmann 
Sunday, 12 February 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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