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PreWarCar Workshop: An exploding dynamo

Amilcar dynamo_explodedWhen you start up your beloved vintage machine and the ampere-meter reads a steep discharge, something might be going on with your charging device (when equipped!). In this case, I wanted to check the status of this dynamo and took of the brush cover to see what I would find.

Well, if you find what you see in the picture on the right, something did fail. In my case, the commutator had come loose and ground the inside of the dynamo to small pieces. The whole thing was crushed on the inside, no usable parts were left. Note that it was still turning and when the engine ran, it was still grinding and eating away more of the inside of this unit.
Amilcar dynamo

Since these units proved hard to find, and when found, owners warned us for how fragile they are and that this seems to happen more often, we chose a different way.

The idea we used came from Andrew Mitchell Automotive Engineering from South Australia. It seems that in Amilcar dynamo_partsAustralia, Amilcars (from which this unit came) have long had generator problems. They adapted Model-T generators to fit the Amilcar with success. The difference between this article and Andrew Mitchell's idea is that we use the original Amilcar housing (they do use the same Kubota dynamo as I did).

The new dynamo's housing is turned to size, the shaft is made new to fit and the Amilcar dynamo_finishedwires are connected to the original terminals. The old bearings are renewed and used in their original locations. This unit doesn't have the radiator-fan attachment on the back but if that was present, it could still be used in this setup. From the outside, it looks completely original. Under the dashboard of the car, a new regulator is mounted out of sight and the whole setup functions again like normal!

Please view the photo album here: https://goo.gl/photos/NpyKQHVPvju9q6QE7

Note: on the new Google Photo's album, the comments are "more hidden". Click on the photo and find my comment in the top-right corner of the page.

Article written by Jos van Genugten.


If you want to publish an article of a repair that you made, or do you have a technical question; feel free to send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Wednesday, 04 January 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

An early Belvallette car body

An early Belvallette car bodyThis 1891 Panhard & Levassor dogcart was one of the first cars of the famous make and probably used by Hippolyte Panhard himself. In P&L code the type was a P2C of 1.5 H.P., in which the P stands for the Daimler engine, the 2 for the 2 cylinders (in V) and the C for chain drive. The car was not only bodied, but practically built by the well known coachbuilding firm Belvallette frères. Their offer of 430 francs included the frame, the body (weighing only 30 kgs.!), the iron mountings of the seats, upholstering and four wooden wheels. Not included: the cost of painting, which depended on the total surface that required painting. Axles, springs and lamps were also not included. Just as the ingenious canopy with fours straps, weighing only 12 kgs. The 'douloureuse' (or total amount) would finally add up to 500 to 600 francs. In 1895 the price for a Panhard & Levassor with a similar body was 5,000 francs. It's hard to recalculate how much that would have been in our currency in 2017, but a conservative estimate would be € 50,000! In 1904 the average weight of a body had increased to 300 kgs, taking the price for the body only to an equal ten-fold level of 5,000 francs. In the same year prices for the chassis ranged from 7,000 francs for the smaller models to a staggering 45,000 francs for a 60 H.P. model. In these days the threshold for becoming an auto-addict was high ...

Words and picture: Ariejan Bos

This 1891 Panhard & Levassor dogcart was one of the first cars of the famous make and probably used by Hyppolite Panhard himself. The type was in P&L code a P2C of 1.5 H.P., in which the M stands for the Daimler engine, the 2 for the 2 cylinders (in V) and the C for chain drive. The car was not only bodied, but practically built by the well known coachbuilding firm Belvallette frères. Their offer of 430 francs included the frame, the body (weighing only 30 kgs.!), the iron mountings of the seats, upholstering and four wooden wheels. Not included: the cost of painting, which depended on the total surface that required painting. Axles, springs and lamps were also not included. Just as the ingenious canopy with fours straps, weighing only 12 kgs. The 'douloureuse' (or total amount) would finally add up to 500 to 600 francs. In 1895 the price for a Panhard & Levassor with a similar body was 5,000 francs. It's hard to recalculate how much that would have been in our currency in 2017, but a conservative estimate would be € 50,000! In 1904 the average weight of a body had increased to 300 kgs, taking the price for the body alone to an equal ten-fold level of 5,000 francs. A year before the prices for the chassis ranged from 7,000 francs for the smaller models to a staggering 45,000 francs for a 60 H.P. Model. In these days the threshold for becoming an auto-addict was high ...

Tuesday, 03 January 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

New Years Resolution

Im ResolvedThe New year has started, new plans are made and also new goals are set up. Leif Ortegren has sent us this Pope Waverley Electric advertisement which says it all. The message is: I am resolved; which we changed a bit:

I am resolved that I will not allow my business to crowd all the joyouness out of my life during the coming year.
I am resolved that I shall give myself and my family all the happiness I can, even if it costs me a little money to do it
I am resolved that I shall get out into the sunshine: fill my lungs with fresh air; and let both the air and the sunshine filter through my whole being
I am resolved that I shall eschew street cars and that all my journeys to and from my business shall be made a source of health and pleasure instead of an annoyance and an exasperation. 
In order to bring about this change in my manner of living I am resolved that I shall look daily at PreWarCar.com.

Happy motoring!

Monday, 02 January 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

Wishing you heaps of Motoring Fun in 2017 !


Mitchell racer_mud_470

Isn't that a great start of the year! A Mitchell racing machine idling while posing for the photographer after a good day at a dirt track (note the mud/snow chains).  May we say that the car is showing off in fine pre-concours condition? When you click the photo can also better see the ergonomics cread for the driver. The seat tilted backwards and the steering column lowered, both also good for better aerodynamics and maybe even to catch a little less dirt!

According to Eldon Guay who recently acquired the photo the driver is Barney Oldfield, as that was told him by the seller who is a (distant) nephew of Mr. Oldfield. Still we have our doubts, as most photos of Barney Oldfield available show a man with er... a bit more bacon on his cheeks. But we maybe wrong and this is just a young & slim Oldfield like depicted here with Henry Ford. Now if that's true the next question is of course, is anything known of Barney racing a Mitchell? We will contact Joe Freeman of Racemaker Press as he is true expert on the subject, but you may be more quick. If all that's solved your editor will stay with this questionmark, what's Frank Sinatra doing in the mechanics' seat?

We wish you a good one!  A very good one. A super 2017! With tons of driving fun. Go for it and find a good dirt track to dress up your Mitchell,  Stutz or Mercer. 


(collection Eldon Guay)
Sunday, 01 January 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

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