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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)
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.
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)
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