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How many pre-war Siata heads?

Pre-war Siata heads

What do you say about that. A good old friend picked up this Siata 500 head (#1628) from an online fleemarket in the former eastblock. You won't be surprised to learn that it is part of a pre-war tuning kit for the Fiat 500 Topolino. We understand these were made from 1937 up to 1942. One was presented on these pages some time ago. And when you search google images with Fiat-Topolino-Siata you'll find a large selection barchettas and funny prototypes. The Siata head is however not always visible as detailed as now. Enjoy the sideview and click the picture above to see how it looks from the other side. We just started to wonder how many of these were made. 1628? Or? Anybody of you owns or drives a car with the Siata 500 kit?

(Pictures by Jimsky)

Monday, 15 June 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

Knokke, just a few miles from Blankenberghe (update: Humber Snipe, plus... ? )

Knokke

Just a few weeks ago we travelled to the belgian beachresort  Blankenberghe. Today we're just a few miles down the road but also 10-15 years back in time. It's very busy and we're on a higher location at the Place Vanbunnen right opposite the once famous grand hotel Cecil.  Sorry for the poor postcard quality. Let's zoom in and see if we can ID at least one or two cars. Central in the picture we guess to see a Model T.  The two cars that really draw our attention are the cut of tourer in the low left corner. And the large light coloured tourer waiting at the door of Cecil's: Renault?
After that you have resolved all this trivial matters, we suggest that you jump in a proper car yourself and enjoy this perfect june weekend. Your editor will enter today's local No-Rust-Rally. More about that in the week to come.

Sunday, 14 June 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

About quiz #396 the Jean Goupy Sport

quiz #396 JS Sport


In last week's quiz we only showed you a ‘plaquette’ with ‘Voiture J.G.S.’ and still some of you knew to which car this once belonged. We had three participants with the correct answer: the French J.G. Sport of the 1920s. It was built by monsieur Jean Goupy who drove his little sporting machines during several races.

Jurymember Stuart Penketh wrote: “The JG Sport was a French cyclecar, manufactured from 1922 until 1923. Founded by M. Janvier in 1922 in Paris. In 1923/24 production ended, 3 vehicles only were made. Drive was provided by a Ruby four-cylinder ohv engine, ("AS" block), with a 57 mm bore  and 95 mm stroke giving a 972 cc displacement. Chain drive, with a 6 speed gearbox.”

The most detailed information on the J.G. Sport can be found in the september 1975 issue of the French journal Le Fanatique de l’Automobile. This invaluable source of information on cars (not only French!) was founded in the 1960s by the well-known French connaisseur Serge Pozzoli who somehow succeeded in unearthing an impressive amount of facts and data for all those small French car makers of the 1920s. Serge explains in his short article on the JGS that the car had a friction transmission, which explains the remarkable number of speeds. As you can see from the pictures the JG Sport had a front wheel suspension system which resembles that of the better known Sizaire-Naudin. The wheel base was only 2.05 meter and the car was able to attain 95 km/h.

Occassionally Serge Pozzoli was also able to give information directly from the builders of the cars. He had met M. Goupy in the 1960s who then told him that he had only built three cars and that he still owned a ‘modernized’ Sénéchal cyclecar. This may explain another remark given by Stuart Penketh: “The engine no. (DS 2908) tag conflicts with an engine no. quoted for a 1924 Senechal TS2 cyclecar, which used similar Ruby engines. See the following link. I can only assume this engine was found and substituted into the Senechal during its first refurbishment.”

In the december 1968 issue of Veteran and Vintage Magazine one can find that an Englishman had imported this car from France. Possibly he had bought it from M. Goupy himself or from one of his relatives.

Correct answers also came from Poisson (who referred to the book ‘French vintage cars’ of 1964 by John Bolster, a good source for this kind of cars) and from Kieran White. Both have been winners twice before. Yet in our view Mr. Poisson came up with better detail. So we congratulate him twice. Once for winning. And another time for becoming jury member! 

(text Fons Alkemade; the ID-plate as shown in last week's quiz is owned by Christophe Marchal) 

  
Saturday, 13 June 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

Vera's car catches fire and she flies away (update: 1903/4 Renault?)

vera hedges_butler_1901_renault_4.5_470

In 1901, three wealthy motorists, Frank Hedges Butler, his daughter Vera and the Hon. Charles Rolls, had proposed a motor tour, but this was cancelled when Vera's Renault 4.5 caught fire. The lady arranged a balloon flight with the distinguished professional aeronaut Stanley Spencer, as a distraction.

Over a glass of champagne during the subsequent voyage, passing near Sidcup in Kent, they agreed that an Aero Club should be formed and after landing this was done without delay. Due no doubt to the presence and personality of Vera Butler, it was uniquely - for the time - agreed that it be open "equally to ladies and gentleman, subject to election". And so The Royal Aero Club was born. Rolls was granted aviator's certificate No. 1 and every weekend, weather permitting, he and his friends would be seen at The Hurlingham Club ready to ascend in balloons.

The picture shows Vera in her second Renault, an 8HP model, in 1902 and you can read her impressions of it HERE. Had she been in London last sunday, she would have been proud to see how the sport of ballooning has blossomed when 40 brightly coloured hot-air balloons drifted across the city at sunrise to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the British Balloon and Airship Club and also raise money for The Lord Mayor's charities.

(Text & pictures Robin Batchelor)

Friday, 12 June 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

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1958 Aston Martin DB5 MkIII Sports Saloon Coachwork by Tickford One o
Serious wash & shine assignment: 1958 Aston Martin DB5 MkIII ...  Go >>