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China4C: A day of rest in Zaozhuang
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A day of rest in Zaozhuang

A day of rest in Zaozhuang

Sorry chaps, no cars today. Even a rallying reporter has to obey to the rules. And today - yesterday to be exact - was a day of rest & relaxation in the China Classic Cars Challenge. This to gain new energy in view of tomorrow's 200 mile trip. So this day we used up to explore Zaozhuang - also known as Shandong - the place of birth of philosopher Confucius and to indulge in the fabulous hospitality of course director Mr. Zong, here assisted by his most charming PA with a perfect Boston accent showing us how to prepare a local spicy pancake (as served in the top location depicted above). The outrageous variety of food and dishes is just one of the treats of this exotic rally along the highlights of China. Tomorrow back in the MG's bucket seats for a long day of winding and fast back roads leading to Nanjing.
Maybe we should end the day with the wise Confucius' words:

"Man who run in front of car get tired.
 Man who run behind car get exhausted.
 Man who drive like hell, bound to get there."

(source of these confucian sayings)

(Text and pictures Joris Bergsma)
Thursday, 16 October 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

A Hershey Tradition

A Hershey Tradition

That's what some people call rain. Others call it a curse. More often than not the high holy days of Hershey see some rain; once in a while many days see a lot. It's not the horror it used to be, when the meet was held on green fields and even moderate rain meant deep, deep mud, but it still deters shoppers and spectators. This year, the rain fell mostly at night, but lingering showers sprinkled the Saturday morning car show. The visitors didn't mind, though, nor did the car owners. There were ample quantities of both.

As always, interesting and unusuals cars abounded. A case in point was the rare 1932 DeVaux that heads this article. Others included a late model (1932) Detroit Electric and a French Front 1904 Oldsmobile. The latter is a version of the curved-dash Olds, but with a "conventional" front radiator. Also being judged were a 1934 Aerodynamic Hupmobile and a 1934 Railton from the saem year. Built in Britain on Hudson chassis, Railtons sported classic coachbuilt bodies.

The Antique Automobile Club of America's Historic Preservation of Original Features Class continues to grow. In near-barn find condition, a 1918 International truck delighted visitors with its engine running. Showers resumed as spectators flocked to a brace of Mercers, but they were not deterred. The umbrellas went up and the show went on.

(Text and pictures by Kit Foster)

Wednesday, 15 October 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

China4C: Stains of honour... (update: 1929 Phantom II !)

Stains of honour...
Lean back and relax when you read this - we will be somewhere on our dusty jaunt from Beijing and Shanghai for the Classic Car Car Challenge China. Earlier we proposed to you the oldest competitor in the 2014 Beijing - Shanghai rally: a fine 1929 Rolls-Royce Pantom I Sports Saloon by Parkward. Upon closer inspection at the start we found the car to be in perfect fettle and up to anything what a gentleman driver would plan to use it for. Now maybe slightly more dusty than an appearance at Oxford Street would demand for, but apart from that it appears to be in spotless condition. But it also seems that the princely motorcar is a very well choice of transport for this event. The Belgian owner and his spouse cruise effortless over steep and winding mountain roads, along fast mainroads and through the crazy busy Chinese city traffic. 

Now, taking part in a sports event - and certainly in China - will bring you in circumstances unforeseen from time to time. Yesterday a sudden break up of the road resulted in manoeuvring the cars over a very much unpaved area with several nasty potholes. The elegant Sport Saloon picked up an unpleasant blemish in the course of taking a very deep bump, leaving its track to touch a parked tricycle. A small dent and scratch were left at the off side front wing. This was the only incident on a harsh rallying day with 350 km along demanding roads. We were most happy to learn that all competing cars arrived safely at the superb hotel in Jinan. And the Parkward R-R - that's taking a deserved rest for the night as well.

(Text and picture Joris Bergsma)
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

When is a trunk not a trunk?

When is a trunk not a trunk?

When it's a Carrier Deluxe. Then the trunk becomes a pickup box, a bathtub or even a coffin. A neighboring vendor at last week's gigantic AACA Eastern Division Fall Meet at Hershey, Pennsylvania, offered this unassuming auto trunk. A second glance, however, shows that it opens at the middle, not at the top or side. When the clasp is released, each end section swivels outward, allowing the trunk to be top-loaded, then closed again. Alternatively, the end sections can be swiveled completely downward, forming a large open vessel twice the length (or width) of the trunk when closed, ostensibly doubling its capacity. The concept seems clever, but poses a few questions. What supports the extended ends when it's open? The trunk rack would have to be twice as wide, and would have to be mounted clear of the rear fenders. And what do you do when it rains? A canvas cover of some sort would be needed. Did the Carrier Deluxe come with a cover, one wonders?

It bears the label of the Durkee-Atwood Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Durkee-Atwood apparently manufactured or distributed a considerable line of auto supplies and accessories, like vee-belts and tire tube repair kits - and trunks. The company appears to be out of business, for its building, at 215 NE 7th Street in Minneapolis currently houses Durkee-Atwood Lofts, offering "very economical converted living space". Does anyone have experience with a Durkee-Atwood Carrier Deluxe? If so, how well did it work? This example certainly had appeal, as it found a new owner by Thursday afternoon.

(Text and pictures by Kit Foster)
Monday, 13 October 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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