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Click to open the barn doors

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Looking at the main picture most of us can imagine interesting cars parked inside having collected dust over many years. And though in many cases it appears to be no, in this case it was yes: a beautiful collection, most of them american and prewar, unused and covered by dust. An usual "barn find"? Not entirely. Some of the cars, as the Ford V8 of photo 4 seems to have been subject of a complete restoration, although it hasn´t been driven for years. So what we have here? The remains of the garage of an old collector who deceased some years ago. He restored beautifully many classic cars, and what you are seeing are his "reserves", many of the cars he was going to restore. In fact many of them are unmolested "oily rag" examples which probably were bought to its original owners. The Buick of photo 3 seems utterly complete and original, as is the huge 1929 Cadillac of photo 6, whose engine has curiosities as an old can, an oil filler and two carburettors fitted! (photo 7). There are even trucks, as the very original 1930 Dodge Brothers of photo 5, or a Willys-Knight with its sleeve valve engine, among others. And this is the meaning which the words "Barn find" are becoming: Old collections reunited years ago by pioneering classic car fans unused for years, as is becoming increasingly difficult to find real barns which have never been seen by afficionados and still belong to the original owners.
Monday, 03 November 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

A Phoenix Green Neighbour Mystery (update: 1923/24 Singer Junior )

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Rick Ford received this photo from an old Royal Air Force colleague: John Porter - son of a clockmakers dynasty - lives not too far from the VSCC fundaments - The Phoenix Green Inn :
“I have just uncovered the attached photo of my father - Basil Porter - probably about 1930. Actually I think the car actually belonged to my grandfather Alfred Porter and was used for the weekly journey on a Thursday to wind clocks in all the Historic Houses in the area, amongst which was Bramshill House (Lord Brocket), Elvetham Hall (Sir Fitzroy Calthorpe) and  Stratfield Saye (Duke of Wellington).
Regarding the car the closest I can get is a 1927 Morris Flatnose Tourer?” Rick Ford adds: “I think not a Morris, it is earlier by far than 1927. Beaded edge wheels, scuttle side lamps are early. Although the agricultural boot (hindquarters) suggests a cheap near cyclecar… the domed wings (mudguards) were probably 'Franconia'. An early option normally fitted by quality coachbuilders. Bonnet louvres again suggest quality. High-set bonnet fasteners very distinctive. Almost a Cabriolet rather than pure tourer, careful study shows the passenger door open and perhaps a rear side screen to that side. Valences hide all springing and chassis details.”
Well we can't add a lot to the dialogue of the two old friends, so we leave the problem on your desk. 

Case solved: 1924 Singer 10 HP, see period brochure.

Sunday, 02 November 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

What is it? Quiz #382

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A fine two seater cycle car roadster. It looks like many of its contemporaries, but be careful! Most of those had just like this one a 1000 cc four cylinder engine; yet not in alloy like this one had. We understand the car came in various appearances, this being the most sporty body. Too bad they made so few and died off years before 1930.

Over to you. Tell us all about the exact car depicted, but limit yourself to the max of 100 words. We want the name and model designation of the car with any - trivial - extra information being valued highly. But before writing down your response, be sure to read the Rules under Read More and start looking, looking, looking. This may be your chance to win the coveted PreWarCar T-shirt. Results will be published next Saturday, November 8.

(source of photo to be disclosed next week Saturday, together with results)

Saturday, 01 November 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Jack o' Lantern and Witches

Jack o Lantern and Witches.

The annual habit of carving a grotesque face into a pumpkin dates back to long before our cars were made, and commonly believed to be an ancient Irish custom where they also carved turnips and was named after the phenomenon of a strange light flickering over peat bogs, called will-o’-the-wisp’or jack-o'-lantern . Those of you who, like me, were brought up on Eagle comic will remember the character Jack O’ Lantern – a lad called Jack Yorke whose adventures in Napoleonic England gripped the boys of Britain every week. True afficionados in Britain know that Jack O' Lantern has a strong car connection as well.

The flickering pumpkins you’ll see tonight however will herald a night of superstition where we are led to fear ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night. But most of the posters and post cards from the past tell us there's nothing to be afraid of, so whether you encounter witches or goblins, HAVE FUN!

(Text Robin Batchelor)

Friday, 31 October 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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Post War Choice

1955 Cadillac Series 62 Sedan
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