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Metropolis motor keeps on rousing readers

Motor car_from_Metropolis
There is no doubt that one of the most daring of silent film projects is Fritz Lang's epic 'Metropolis'. One reader writes: "As I have viewed the film over the years, the question of the make and model of the white limousine, used by Freder in the movie, has never been answered." Indeed, the big chauffeur driven landaulette - clearly modified for the movie - remains a Metropolis mystery of the first kind.

The still shown above comes from our friends of the Internet Movie Cars Database and they have dug up another one, too. Their readers suggest anything from Mercedes to Hispano-Suiza, De-Dion Bouton to Bugatti and from Panhard and Adler to Farman. Martin Koerber of the Deutsche Kinemathek - considered the world's leading expert on the film Metropolis - states that even he has no clue about the automobile used for the film. Urban legend has that Fritz Lang used the car to arrive at the opening of Metropolis in Berlin at the Palast am Zoo movie theater on January 10, 1927, but no photographs to prove this appear to be known. What do you think?

(Picture courtesy

Thursday, 04 September 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

An Eastbourne Seaside Mystery (UPDATE: 1908/09 Itala?1907 FIAT?)

Eastbourne seaside_mystery

Nick Graves sent us above picture of his great grandfather William Charles Butler standing next to an impressive machine. Nick writes that the man was a 'motor engineer' in Eastbourne, Sussex somewhere from around 1910 to 1940. His garage was located at 8, Seaside, as his old business card shows (telephone 1005 - love it). The romantic street name - you can hear the sea gulls cry - has meanwhile been renamed into A259, with number 8 now housing a dull three-story-appartment block.

And so it seems that much of Butler's Garage heritage has been erased for good, with only Eastbourne pier on a stone's throw away as a silent and now ghostly reminder of days gone past. Still then, Nick wonders about that lovely picture. Who knows what kind of car his great grandfather was standing so proudly next to? The number plate DI 37 indicates it was registered in Kent after 1913, but we guess the car is a bit older. More like 1909, or? Check the engine design up closely - do we see four seperate pots? And what about the crankcase(?) cover left on the ground?  Is the brass ID-plate high up on the right of the firewall... Peugeot? But then the XL Rushmore headlights may bring us in the US. Over to you!
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

What will you be bringing home from Beaulieu?

1936 mg_ta_bonhams_beaulieu_470
Beaulieu is on our mind! Only a few days away from totally unexpected treasures.  And only a few days away from unexpectedely selling that heap of parts. You'll never know what happens and one thing is sure, whatever you think of Beaulieu, it's never a bore. Like the nearby  sea Beaulieu gives, Beaulieu takes...
So what have we got here? A prototype of a Lotus Super Seven van? Well not quite, although we're not sure what the designer/engineer had in mind when he started of with his 1936 MG TA in the sixties. Seller Bonhams describes the MG TA Special tongue in cheek as a 'breadvan'. One thing is sure, when you get EPG32 on the road again, you won't go unnoticed. And Beaulieu 2014 will stay in your memory forever. See you this weekend! 

 (photo courtesy Bonhams)
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

The World's Fastest (Indian) Cyclecar?

indian v-twin_powered_fwd_cycle_car_470
Keith McElroy spotted this sporty cyclecar at Steam & Traction rally at Lake Goldsmith, Victoria, Australia two years ago..! And the mschine is still haunting him. The engine is an aircooled Indian V-twin. Furthermore one can see it is a frontwheel drive. A rather intersting machine We suspect the car is a one-off, and we're sure there are a few friends out there who can tell Keith and all of us all about it. 
Monday, 01 September 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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Post War Choice

1961 Volkswagen Micro Bus
Back then your editor owned a similar VW Camper with the xxs 1200 cc engine. That was no 'Porsche Fresser' .......  Go >>