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An English Model T mystery

An English Ford coachwork mystery

English ford Model T specialist Neil Tuckett recently had this most unusual car for sale. It is a Manchester-built 1920 car with what is believed to be unique English coachwork. A true Oily Rag car, it is in an entirely original state of preservation with evidently genuine low mileage. Just look at the lavishly buttoned and pleated cloth interior, all utterly untouched. The new owner promises the car will remain in precisely its present condition but be used occasionally on the road.

Amongst many fascinating features, the Model T carries on its wooden dashboard two original plates. The first identifies it as having been supplied by T M Dutton AMIEE, an engineer who appears to have been in business in Chester and Queensferry at that time. The second makes it clear that the coachbuilder was Ball and Co, of 361-365 Moseley Road, Birmingham. We can find no trace of either concern, and none of the usual sources contain mention of Ball & Co. Do any other examples of their work survive, or does anyone know of contemporary photographs, advertisements or publicity material?

(Text Scott Barrett, photo courtesy The Automobile)

Thursday, 13 November 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Winter is early in Cameron

Winter has come

Winter has shown its pale face early this year in Cameron Wisconsin. Yesterday Ed Fallon - US President of the American Gozzy Club (whatever that is..?) -  decided 16" of snow is just perfect for the local Fall Tour. However after a few miles of stinging snow in the face the organisers had to cancel the tour and reschedule for early next spring. Ed writes that he is looking forward to see other members of the club to participate. 

Editor: Well Ed, we must say that we are slightly disappointed to hear only club members are welcome. Can't you bend the rules a little bit for your european friends? After all, we know how much fun a snow powdered tour can be. Check back the 2011 - 100 Miles of Amsterdam.  Especially the deep frozen pasta is a well remembered treat of that year. 

Wednesday, 12 November 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

The cast iron Lambda Mystery

lancia lambda_barcelona_470

A very nice shot of the 1923 Lancia Lambda currently on offer by Christoph Grohe. He will bring the car to AutoRetro Barcelona three weeks from now. Christoph asked us to bring up a little mystery connected with the car which he has not been able to solve so far. Opposed to all other Lambdas, this specific car has no alloy engine block but a cast iron block. Not numbered; only marked CGC (probably the foundry logo of..?). Fact is that this engine is with the car as long as previous owners can remember. When the original engine #71 was exchanged for this unit is not known. As far as known Lancia never made something like this. So the theory is that this engine block was made at great cost in or near Barcelona. Very strange, as in the thirties, forties, fifties and even in the sixties it was not very hard to find a used Lambda unit. So why? Why would somebody take the trouble to make a new block on his own? 

The photo above was kindly made available by Autodrómo. Please take note of the refined handpainted (?) registration plate. Autódromo will present a special issue 'Spanish Streets' featuring photos made by Nick Georgano in the fifties-sixties. 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

From ' barn find' to 'good-as-new'.

From  barn find to good-as-new. 

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.

Monday, 10 November 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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1960 Facel Vega
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