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About What is it quiz #452 a 1925 Ravel 12 HP

About What is it quiz #452 a 1925 Ravel 12 HP
Maybe some of you were so impressed by the lady in the car that they forgot to answer. But some of you gave the correct answer! The car we used in the quiz was a 1925 Ravel 12HP. According to 'Autocar' this was a medium-sized car with a 12CV 2.1-litre 4-cylinder ohv engine, a 4-speed gearbox and front-wheel brakes from the beginning of its life.
So it was a Ravel, not a Bignan. Nor was it a Georges Irat. Good answers came from Fedor, who gave us the year, car and type. Poisson, who told us where to find the existing ones (in Mulhouse and Autoworld). But, jury member Fried Stol gave us the most complete answer: "1925 Ravel designed by Louis Ravel. Around 1898 he had built his first car, a rear-engined, two-speed Vis-à-Vis. In 1906 Louis Ravel moved to Besançon, and joined Theodore Schneider in 1910. In 1922 Louis Ravel left the Schneider Company to make his own cars. Bodies were made by Mamy and by Monjardet et Cie. This 1925 Ravel model included 1,460 cc 4cyl engine. By 1928 finance was running out. Louis Ravel was a sick man (he died in 1930) Leaving behind a highly respected make, the output was about 350 cars, between 1922 and 1929." So, congratulations Fried. 

He also told us about the woman: the famous Coco Chanel. Unfortunately, we cannot find proof of this so we are hoping Fried can give us this.

Enjoy your weekend.
Saturday, 02 September 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Surviving Autojumbles for Women

Friday Ladies 1 september
While visiting the Autojumble at Beaulieu this weekend, you might well pass the stand of Antonia Davison, a lovely lady who is a regularly stand holder at autojumbles, fairs and shows all over England. Accompanied by her partner John Firth, who is into cars, of course, she sells all kinds of merchandise which are more of interest to the women, accompanying their husbands. As these husbands inevitably get lost during the day, and as the ladies are not always as keen on carburetors, oil pumps or other rusty car parts, Antonia gives them the opportunity to do some shopping in their fields of interest. 

Antonia's maiden name is De Kok and if you have the impression that this name sounds rather foreign, you are correct: Originally she is from The Netherlands, but she's living in the UK for many, many years now. Still, she likes to talk Dutch if the opportunity arises, so therefore this call to visitors coming from Dutch-speaking areas all over the world: find her stand and give her a few minutes of Dutch conversation!

Words and photo by Ariejan Bos

Friday, 01 September 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Back to its roots: Minerva in Antwerp

Minerva in Antwerp
Last Sunday about fifteen Minerva cars gathered in Antwerp. Every ten (!) years the Belgian Vehicle Heritage club organizes a rally for Minervas only. They started in 1997, one hundred years after the De Jong brothers started their bicycle factory, so this was only the third edition. The oldest car present was a tiny 1904 Minervette, the youngest was from about 1930.

I attended the meeting of the participating cars in Wilrijk, a suburb of Antwerp, and as I went there from the beautiful Central Station of the city on my bike, I decided to have a look on the Karel Ooms Lane, where the Minerva car factory had once been. Alas, you will not find any trace of this factory today. I understand that the last remaining parts were destroyed around the year 2000. However, there are some interesting places along the Karel Oomslaan related to Minerva. At number 36 you will find Restaurant Minerva and it seems that the walls there are decorated with old Minerva posters and other Minerva-related prints.

More closely related to Minerva, and cars, in general, is the garage at number 14. It is inside an apartment building, built in 1927 with some art deco elements. The garage has always been used to store taxis and they are still there today. If you enter the garage entrance, you will find some old photos on the wall showing the history of the Antwerp-Tax company (AT) and some of these definitely show Minervas. They only had to cross the street to fetch them at the factory!

Didn’t the city of Antwerp put any information sign telling about the history of this spot somewhere on the Karel Oomslaan? I didn’t find any. I only found an obscure small construction (maybe related to traffic lights or lamp posts) with a rather nice decoration and I am inclined to think that the cars must represent Minervas.

For some years one could admire at least one Minerva in a more or less public place in Antwerp: a beautiful and impressive M8 of 1930 in the MAS museum. Unfortunately, the owner of the car died some years ago, the car got a new owner and it was taken out of the museum last year (in a rather spectacular way).

Is there a Minerva street in Antwerp? Well, there is even more than one. That in Edegem, another suburb, may be worth a visit for those interested in the history of architecture. In this Minervastraat you can find small houses which were specially built for the workers of the Minerva factory which was opened in Edegem in 1922 (In 1929, not long before the downfall, Minerva had six factories).

If you visit the center of Antwerp, don’t forget to visit the Rodestraat. Here you will find a memorial that was once located in or on the factory at the Karel Oomslaan. It shows the goddess Minerva and is dedicated to the workers who lost their lives due to events during the Great War.

What you will not find in Antwerp is the grave of the Dutch founder of Minerva, Sylvain (or Salomon) de Jong. It is at the graveyard in Elsene near Brussels. And as far as I know, you will also not find any mural advertising for Minerva in Antwerp itself. But you can still find several in other parts of Belgium. Maybe the ones closest to the Karel Oomslaan are in Mechelen, about 20 kilometers away (use ‘n1 255 Mechelen’ in Google Maps; there are even two Minerva murals on this house!).

Photos and text: Fons Alkemade

Thursday, 31 August 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Beaulieu beckons.

Beaulieu beckons.It's Wednesday, but no ordinary Wednesday, because there is frantic activity across the land as we load our vans, our trailers, our mobile homes because it's the time of year when Beaulieu beckons.
Enthusiasts from all over the world have their tickets ready and those who have booked stands will join the throng converging on the New Forest early Friday morning ready to join the queue for the gate printed on your windscreen sticker.
The organisers have it down to a fine art and they are ready for the thousands of us who choose to spend three days in a field selling stuff we don't need, buying more stuff we don't need, and occasionally stumbling across stuff we DO NEED.

friendsBut the real reason we migrate to the Beaulieu Autojumble every year is the people.  We meet old friends, we make new friends.  We enjoy transactions that you simply cannot make on the internet.
Of course, we buy and sell online more and more and we rejoice in the fact we live in an era when we can buy an autovac from our armchair - Lalique from our laptop or a magneto from our mobile phone.

napier-beaulieuThe range of things for sale is truly wonderful, but of course you can easily end up buying a car - either in the 'dealermart' or the Bonhams auction where they always assemble a tempting array of Pre War Cars.  Do you remember the story about the Beaulieu Bluebird? Well, the very car is offered for sale HERE.
Are you brave enough?

bullnoseartIf you get fed up with all the ironmongery, head for the marquees selling magazines, books, pictures, ephemera. You will most certainly find something irresistible if you look hard enough.
How can I have said 'No.' to this 1946 drawing of a Bullnose last year? Perhaps I'll find it again this weekend.  But I shall also be looking for a manual for my latest acquisition - a Charron C 1918.
You have to be optimistic.

tentWe are human- and we need to eat and drink. So once the public have obeyed the tannoy and returned to their cars, the traders come alive. It's party time. The smell of cooking wafts across the fields and bendix gears smell of bacon, carburettors smell of curry, and tyres smell of rubber.  The bar nestles up to several food outlets and on Saturday night a band plays to help the joi de vivre late into the night.
I wander back to my tent hoping it has escaped the wind and rain and once I've zipped up and got horizontal, a neighbour plays the entire Pink Floyd album 'Dark Side of the Moon' across the camp site.
I toss the intolerance out of the tent and lay there being transported back to my youth enjoying the unique atmosphere of people enjoying themselves and their hobby.

Text and pictures Robin Batchelor.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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1937 Rolls-Royce 25 30 HP Saloon
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