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The ' CVT ' Cyclecar Mystery (UPDATES : Turicum ? .. or La Ponette ?)

Fabrizio Taiana of Italy wrote us: "Dear sir we have in our stable a small car (only chassis) equipped with a 2 cylinder engine, chain drive and a special gearbox with variable transmission . It is a right hand drive. It was bought in France in the seventies. The chassis is small and light. It is not a Maxwell, it might be a GWK or a BABY. We cannot identify it. It would be great if someone could help?" This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it UPDATE by Detlef Kayser (Berlin):"The radiator of the mystery car looks quite a lot like the radiator of La Ponette sold lately in Geneva by auction from the Tua collection. As far as I know the La Ponette also sports friction drive...."
UPDATE II by Fer Cools, NL:"this may be a Turicum from Zurich, CH. That also had this fricion drive."
Update III by Fons Alkemade: "First of all, I wouldn't call this car a cyclecar but that may be a matter of taste or definition. I can agree that the mystery car looks very much like the La Ponette from Geneva, but (1) I cannot find any sources which tell me that La Ponette used friction transmission; (2) La Ponette seems to have made only 1 and 4 cylinder models. So, I think, the mystery remains very much a mystery."
Update IV by Kit Foster: “The March issue of The Automobile shows on page 23 a photo of the 9 hp 1913 La Ponette sold from the Tua collection by Osenat. As Detlef Kayser has pointed out, the radiator looks exactly like that of the mystery car.”
Update V by Urs Reisel from the Swiss Automobile History Research who wrote: “This is not a Turicum. The only similarities are the engine look and the friction drive system. But Turicums look very different:
1. the Turicum friction (spoke) wheel is not cast like on the photo, but pressed sheet metal 2,5mm
2. the mounting of the friction drive to the chassis looks very different (Turicum is much lighter and simpler)
3. no Turicum has a fly wheel between engine and the cast iron disc of the friction
4. Turicums have all steel wheels with solid steel tube spokes (9 or 10 in front, 10 in rear). 4x11 spokes are the very similar Fischer Wagen.
5. the steering on all Turicums is behind and not in front of the front axle
6. the connection between wheels and axle are very different to the Turicums
7. the radiator looks very different
8. "Turicum" is cast in the cylinder block on the right (magneto) side
9. the crank shaft housing is cast aluminum and shows also a large "Turicum" script on the same (right) side

70% of the actually known survived Turicums worldwide are very exactly documented (photographed and measured) in my computer. I also have a "very large" collection of original Turicum and Fischer brochures, about 150 glass negatives of the factory photos, used to print the brochures, a complete collection of patents including the drawings. The history research of Martin Carl Fischer (engineer of Turicum and Fischer Wagen) is not my passion, but my sickness…. I also have all the survived documents of the Fischer family concerning automobiles (Martin C. Fischer was a watchmaker and engineer of the Magneta - watch system and several Swiss Automobile makes).”
Tuesday, 21 February 2006 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

It was easy to determine that it's a Lorraine-Diétrich.

The first to enter PWC’s Hall of Fame is Hans Etzrodt, GP specialist from the US who came up with a clear answer to last week’s mystery car. Enjoy his detailed deduction. “There is no other car with this specially shaped radiator grill upper end, almost like a trademark. Now the year. The car was raced in 1906 with the same radiator/hood arrangement, but there were no wire wheels yet in use except by Hotchkiss. I cannot find any good Lorraine-Diétrich pictures from the 1907 or 1908 Grand Prix. But in 1912 the Grand Prix was held again. Lorraine-Diétrich started with 4 cars. Victor Hémery drove car #11, while Paul Bablot had #31, René Hanriot had #34 and Heim #57. ----click the photo and you'll end up at hans Etzrodt's Grand Prix Winner listings 1895-1949) (photo collection editor)
Tuesday, 20 September 2005 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Which advertised car will WIN the Private Sellers painting ?

Think of the day you'll have to sell your vintage car again. Keep a few decent photos at hand. Starting this April we start a test to see what kind of amazing photos you have made of the car you offer for sale. The car-photo we think is most interesting, arty or uncommon will win. That car will be painted with oil on linen by the specialists of and will be presented to the winner. Now don't think you will only have a chance when you advertise a V 12 Packard, T 35 Bugatti, or Mercedes-Benz 540 K. No matter if you see a 1000 Euro or a Million dollar car, when judging the photos we will only look for the artistic possibilities. So to make a chance the only thing you have to do is: put up your private prewar car of motorbike For Sale through these pages. Take for instance this living room project: the BSA offered by Carl Hinchclife from the UK. A full history on the GBP 2500 project when you go to 'Read More'. Early in May we will report which advertised car has won the painting and show it as soon it is ready.
Thursday, 07 April 2005 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

The Majola Monjoie Mystery ... (about # 142 + OHC-Update)

Update: Mark Dawber (NZ) on early OHC cars: "I recall reading a long time ago that the Welch car in the US was an early user of ohc. I see by the Statdard Catalog that they claimed in late 1905 to be the first US manufacturer to have this feature. The Pungs-Finch of 1906 was similarly equipped. In England, the Maudsley car featured an overhead camshaft that could be swung out of the way to allow access to the valves. It was designed by Alex Craig who did design work for some other makers. The Maudsley also had full pressure lubrication but it didn't extend to the ohc - that required oiling with an oil can (according to the article in On Four Wheels). I am not sure when this model was introduced but it could have been as early as 1904."
EARLIER TEXT: Competition # 142 maybe was an overdosis in difficulty. Just one competitor and one jurymember who had the courage to respond! We will not keep up the mystery longer than needed. The car is a Majola. As the overhead cam has not yet the later chaindrive this is the type A, which places the car before 1913. The engineer Doutre Maurice constructed the brilliant 8/10 HP 1,3 Litre 4C. Still many questions should be answered. Like what the meaning is of "Monjoie St. Denis" on the radiator shield. As the car was constructed we think these are heraldic banner words of the city. A small Google search also learns that this was the French warcry form the Middle Ages (Charlemagne). Anybody who knows about the relation Majola / Monjoie? Owner and Salmsoniste Bertrand Lopez would like to hear from you. Also if you know more about this very special Make. The other questions about which car, which boat were the first to have an OHC will have to wait to another occasion maybe. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Despite all this we had one -yes one !- response in of a French visitor who had it right! By lack of a proper translation we print his French answer: "La voiture représentée est une Majola 1ère version, (avant 1914), dotée d’un moteur à arbre à cames en tête dont la rotation est assurée par un ensemble de pignons à renvoi d’angles et à un arbre de transmission vertical. La particularité de ce moteur est d’avoir des ensembles, ( siège de soupapes, ressorts de rappel et soupapes) démontables tant pour l’admission que pour l’échappement."
Congratulations / Félicitations Roselyne !!!
(photos Bertrand Lopez)
Friday, 11 February 2005 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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