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Peter Slootweg is a happy Delage D1 driver. At a recent PAC meeting we met and discussed the fact he has a LHD car. Peter himself wondered about this and so far has not found the answer except for one lead: "From a Delage-acquaintance I received a couple of pictures with Delages from the roaring twenties, all bodied by the house of Chavet. It appears (though I don't know for sure) that the body on my 1926 Delage D1 is also a Chavet. I noticed that all cars in those pictures are left-hand-drive. Also it seems that all cars were originally delivered in France." So was the LHD set-up a personal hobby of Mr. Marcel Chavet in Neuilly sur Seine? Or did he dream about export to the USA? Here's yet another LHD Delage...
(Pictures courtesy of Peter Slootweg)
Charles Walmsley: "We hope some smart reader can tell us what car this is, we do not know. Dont know the location either, sorry. This is the Argentine driver playboy Macoco Alzaga Unzue (Indianapolis, Monza, etc) with his co driver Rodriguez Larreta." We may be terribly wrong, but the car has a few features that remind us of an early Mercer which it probably isn't.
Like old cars, old movies are restored. This recently happened with a quite famous French ‘artistic movie’ from the early 1920s. We will not yet disclose its title since this will make this week’s quiz too easy (Google and internet…). It was broadcasted recently in Europe and though the story isn't about cars at all (but about unanswered love and things like that) it contains some very nice shots of moving cars. Among these is a dramatic ride in a nice chauffeur-driven Chenard-Walcker.
One of the main characters is a young Scandinavian ingénieur who is hurrying to be in time for a dinner party and he does so in… a genuine early 1920s racing car. As you know Montlhéry is the place to be this weekend so our quiz is about this machine. At first we thought it was a Ballot but when we did some research on the Ballots of the period it appeared that they, like many other racing cars then, had right hand drive. Our quiz car, for some reason, is LHD and that made the determination quite easy. By the way, in the movie the racing car ends up tumbling down a steep slope as the young driver is faking a suicide. Fortunately, for today’s experienced film watchers it is immediately clear that it is just a poor replica of the racer that hits the river near Paris.
Please give us the name of the make and any information you have on where and when the car was raced. And maybe you even know why so many racing cars were RHD at that time and so few LHD. Answers in the comments below (please do not e-mail) and be sure to read The Rules under Read More. This may be your chance to win the infamous PreWarCar T-shirt and wear with with pride at this season’s events! Results and photo source will be published next Saturday.
Once the engine cooled and the radiator was full of water the jolly party continued on their merry way and were soon driving into the picnic field to join the other cars and drivers enjoying lunch. Louise had produced delicious food and friends wandered over to share the convivial atmosphere. The driving tests provided much entertainment by the wide variety of cars and drivers and we hope the younger generation enjoyed themselves enough to continue the tradition. We can confirm the driver and lady had many more 'dates' after this successful trial run.
(Text and pictures by Robin Batchelor)
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