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Whether you like the term ‘oily rag’ or ‘barn find’ or ‘ripe for restoration’ you have a treat in store on Wednesday 12 November when H & H auctions will offer a car in just such a condition at their Pavilion Gardens sale. The 1928 Alvis 12/50 2-seater has spent the last 40 years stood on blocks after the vendor stopped using it. He bought it in 1965 and the fitting of a rear view mirror and trafficators suggest it was driven regularly and safely ( if you can get in the driver's seat without the handbrake going up your trouser leg!). It will be an easy and rewarding job to recondition this car for use whilst ( I hope) retaining all its patina acquired over many years of quality vintage motoring.
If you want something a little sportier then look at lot 65 – a 1935 Riley 12/4 tourer with twin-cam 4 cylinder engine of 1496cc and 4-speed pre-selector gearbox. In excellent condition all round, this car with modern indicators and full weather equipment is ready for you to settle into the leather upholstery and use it as every day transport.
I confess to having a weak spot for 6-light saloons – there’s something about their spacious sober lines that has a peculiar attraction. This 1934 Austin 16/6 York Saloon has had the benefit of a thorough re-build so its smooth 2.1 Litre 6 cylinder engine can offer trusty transport to its next owner whether it be family motoring, film work or wedding hire.
Another 1934 saloon, of French name but built in Britain, is a Citroen Ten Rosalie with 4 cylinder sidevalve 1465cc engine and 3-speed gearbox which offered 90kph in the year before André Citroën died. Watching the construction of the Eiffel Tower had triggered his interest in engineering and an early visit to Ford’s USA production line led to his success with his car assembly line.
There are three LHD Model A Fords to choose from – a 1930 convertible cabriolet, a red/black 1930 saloon and a grey over black 1930 saloon. All in good order and will no doubt find buyers in the growing band of British enthusiasts who are enjoying these strong reliable cars.
Text Robin Batchelor, pictures courtesy H&H auctions.
Peter Skofic sends this lovely Sunday out portrait. To the well educated observer there's not only a big happy family but also a large & low, attractive motorcar in the picture. "Could anybody of your readers recognize this car? The photo was taken in early 30's in Maribor, Slovenia. I know some of the kids showing in front of the car but the car itself is a mystery for me. Can anybody help me with resolving this puzzle?" Peter presumes it could be an Austra Daimler. If so possibly a 1930 ADR-8 similar to the chassis depicted here?
If you were a young lady in 1957 England you would expect her choice of interesting young gentlemen to be driving old Austin Sevens or Bullnose Morris cars rather than a new Austin A 35 or Hillman Minx but Sylvia was attracted to a different class of boyfriend – one who drove a 1929 Bentley 4½-Litre Tourer with “4 seater sports coachwork” as ordered by Bentley when the car was delivered new to Vanden Plas as a bare chassis at GBP 1035.
Sylvia learned drive in this car in 1957 and in October of that year was married to the owner at Alveston Manor in picturesque Stratford-on-Avon in Warwickshire. Every year the adventurous young couple would tour Europe in their trusty Bentley. With a GB sticker on the rear wing, luggage strapped to the spare wheel on the back, they would drive to Lydd Airport in Kent and load the car onto a Bristol freighter operated by Silver City Airways.
Once in Calais, they would head south …. “always camping and roughing it next to the car”. Sylvia always kept the car looking spick and span and it’s testament to how well she and her husband looked after the Bentley so subsequent owners could also maintain the habit and present it in the fabulous original condition we see it today.
Robert Glover invited Sylvia down to his showroom at Bicester Heritage to re-acquaint her with the old Bentley and the sprightly 83 year old grinned from ear to ear as she was taken for a high speed run around their test track where she was reminded of the superb performance and, in her words, “wonderful exhaust note”. She returned home with her head full of happy memories of proper motoring and I hope whoever is the next owner of this car will be as lucky as the girl who was wooed in a W.O.
(Text Robin Batchelor, pictures courtesy Robert Glover and Simon Clay photos)
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