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China4C: A day of rest in Zaozhuang
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The most desirable brass era Toy at $500 only?

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Arguably one of the most successful supercars of the pre WWI era is the Mercer Raceabout. Being the iconic brass time race car it is also the daddy-toy which has been replicated most. In sizes ranging from Matchbox to scale 1:32, to scale 1:16 and yes of course 1:1 replicas as well. But in the end you want to go beyond your fantasyyou only want the real thing... It may be clear that it takes an expert car historian to tell you which ones are fully authentic and which ones aren't. And no wonder the price of the real-real thing - if ever available - is deep into the 7 digit numbers. When you started saving 50 years ago you most probably will never be able to buy one. So you were either born rich or you are a Warren Buffett adept or you bought this 1912 Type 35C Raceabout sixty years ago. At least that weas what David Uihlein  did. He paid US$ 500 in cash (check the receipt) for the car which was in need for a lot of TLC. Back then already he joined the exclusive (and small!) club for owners of Mercer Raceabouts. Today it is nearly impossible to find or buy a Mercer Raceabout. The expected hammerprice is between 2 and 3 million dollars which is a lot of money. But hey, maybe people will look back at that figure as a steal... sixty years from now.

October 18, Dragone Classic Auctions
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

Badge collector shares his life-long passion

Badge collector shares his life-long passion.

Per Faxe lives in Denmark and the purchase of his first motoring lapel badge 40 years ago fuelled a passion which has grown into one of the greatest collections in the world. OK – you may think another man another collection. But I think he deserves more than that. As I read through the history on his website I am drawn into a subject I knew nothing about. We all have a lapel badge that discreetly announces our club or our car or our bike, but Per has 2000. There are also trays full of radiator badges, cap badges, race badges, club badges, mascots and of course advertising badges for oil, petrol, tyres and spark plugs.

If, like me, you started collecting stamps at school age you will remember the simple thrill of finding different stamps and taking such care sticking them on the pages. Per Faxe openly shares the emotion involved in forming his collection and it’s easy to see the painstaking care he has shown during the long hours spent researching, sorting and describing each item. “Since I started collecting in the early 1970's I have been chasing the Ellehammer badge (one of the automobile pioneers in Denmark). It took more than 30 years before I found it! I drove through half the country to pick it up.“  

Not only has he acquired individual badges at flea markets and autojumbles, he has bought other collections as they came up for sale. It seems Denmark is a nation of collectors and Per mentions two life-long collections of  Buster Keldor and Bent Mackeprang who started as boys and never stopped. Imagine the excitement (and the cost!) when Per added these important collections to his own. He particularly likes this Bugatti cap badge from Buster Keldor which was used to show at races. Other favourites on this page. You can read about how the badges are made and who made them – it’s worth learning about the history of Fattorini who still make badges and medals today under the guidance of the sixth generation family member. A sample stamp used in the badge pressing is pictured here.

We all like a quiz, so perhaps you can help solve the mystery about a unique item from Buster Keldor’s collection. An Austin brooch in silver with hallmarks for Birmingham 1916. Per thinks it was made for a lady – but who and for which occasion? Some duplicate badges are for sale, also automobilia, and are priced and photographed individually.

The collection will be sold as an entire unit. If you are interested, please ask for the price for the whole collection. Click here for contact information.
 

(Text Robin Batchelor pictures courtesy Per Faxe)
 

 
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

Victorian Guernsey Number Plates? (upd. Edwardian / railway or real?)

Antique Number Plates?

Rob Lawson sends the above photo of a set of antique plates. But is it car or bike? He writes: "My family and I are currently in the process of sorting through items from my late mother's estate. We have come across a pair of cast metal number plates bearing the # 435. We are assuming that they may be genuine early Victorian car registration plates." 

Editor: Well Rob, we must say that we personally never saw plates like these without any lettering, but we understand registrations without lettering and up to 5 digits were common on Guernsey since 1908. Soon enough somebody will jump in and explain what is the case.

Monday, 06 October 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

A new generation is picking up the spanner!

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After our article about the new generation of pre-war car rescuers, we received a lot of response for the 2015 calendar (and you can still send in your photos to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).
A chap in his early thirties thought he was probably the youngest nutter in the hobby, but hey read about Tom Barrett. He writes: "I am a 14 year old enthusiast coming 15 this weekend. I am doing construction, sports, history and all the main subjects in Wolgarston high school in Penkride. The amazing fun family tradition started with my Great Grandad, Tommy Barrett.

He was a scrap man, scrapping the Rolls Royce Ghosts when they weren't as expensive, he used to drive a 1947 V8 flathead ford Thames. Next it is my Grandad, Anthony Barrett, who is a vintage and classic specialist with a big collection of vehicles, he also is a scrapman and mechanic. After it is my Dad Anthony Barrett jr with a ( edit. Bentley) 4 litre in a 4 and a half chassis, he is a mechanic like my Grandad. Next it is me, an enthusiast looking for a project. I caught the bug when I joined the Bentley club in 2008.

I have had an Austin 7 project before but after I put the chassis all together I found out it was too late for vscc trials.  I help my Dad with the Bentley when I'm able to, so I can build my knowledge of vintage and veteran I have read books like Bentley 50 years of Marque, the Vintage Years, Austin 7 specials bill Williams."

Thumbs up to you Tom! Looking forward to hear more from you in future.
 
Sunday, 05 October 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

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1953 Panhard Dyna X87 Junior Roadster
One of the most attractive post-war Panhards: 1953 Dyna X87 Junior Roadster...  Go >>