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Alice’ all-American adventure

Alice’ all-American adventure

Like yesterday, let’s have another look back. As for this day in 1909 something remarkable happened: Alice Ramsey and three girlfriends became the first women to complete a transcontinental motoring trip, driving their green Maxwell from coast to coast in the US. If you follow us for longer you may even remember the memorial trip some years ago. Anyhow: 22-year old Alice left Hell Gate in central New York on June 9, 1909, to arrive in San Francisco, California, 59 days later on August 7.

That really was a brave road trip. Of the 3,800 miles covered just 152 reputedly consisted of paved roads back at the time. Alice had to change 11 tires and at one point she even was surrounded by a group of native Americans, bows and arrows drawn. In her biography she wrote that the four of them had mainly navigated by using telephone poles. Up until 1975 the late Alice made the trip over 30 more times and was frequently quoted: “Good driving has nothing to do with sex. It’s all above the collar.” Good girl.

(Picture courtesy Bain News Service, through US Library of Congress)
Thursday, 07 August 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Judge Joseph’s last ride Mystery

Judge Joseph’s last ride

One of America’s more intriguing mysteries took place on this very day in 1930: Judge Joseph Force Crater stepped into a taxi in New York city, only to disappear completely, never to be seen again and earning the title of ‘the missingest man in New York’. Judge Joseph was a bit of a scandalous figure, involved with some of the city’s more shady cases – hence the raid.

16,000 Tips from all over the states couldn’t crack the mystery – despite some pretentious big headlines. The strange thing is, just about every detail of the disappearance is known, right up to the colour of the spats the judge wore. But nothing seems to be known about the cab. What kind of car could that have been? And wouldn’t it have been possible to track it down? How do they know he got into a taxi at all? The case was officially closed in 1979, so we will most probably never know, but it seems a missed opportunity. Or should we really think in complot theories?

(Photo collection Jeroen Booij)

Wednesday, 06 August 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Austin Seven discovered behind furniture

Austin Seven discovered behind furniture 

Due to its small size an Austin Seven can be housed almost everywhere. They are not only sinfully funny machines to drive... after a country ride you can store them in your living room. Not a long time ago we were told about an early Seven kept for a long time in a storage room full of furniture. The situation made us think of these now-famous American tv-programs about storage auctions. Luckily there was no need to bid to see this car. After around one hour moving old furniture we saw a sheet covering a little automobile: yep - this was 'our' little Seven. Rapidly we removed the cover and then saw what you can see in the main photo. An early Austin Seven... but very far from the "Very original restored Chummy" as it had been described to us. The car showed a hand made radiator cover and modern headlights in the front (photo 2). The windshield and top seems to be sourced from a Citroën 5 CV. The body has strange forms and includes non-original moldings all over. The bonnet has louvres, the dashboard has nothing in common with the original (photo 3) and even the seats appear to have been made by a not very careful restorer (photo 4). At least the engine seems to be in good overall condition, even if the original carburettor has also been replaced by a modern one. In conclusion, a 1970s bad restoration of which only the rolling chassis is unmolested. At least our experiencie with the storage room was good fun!

(Text and pictures: Francisco Carrión)
Tuesday, 05 August 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

VSCC – motor sports galore since 1934

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The Vintage Sports-Car Club has become an oldtimer on its own, eight decades after it was instigated. But fortunately it still oozes the same atmosphere of a slightly eccentric members-only social club for gentlemen, and a few women, preferring anything dangerous, which smells of oil and partially unburnt mixture and will be quick when pushed to its surprisingly far-reaching boundaries.

Back at the time of its forming members’ cars had to be at least 5 years old – that’s anything pre-1929. Since that first meeting in October 1934 there has been some debate about the question of the age of eligible cars, but eventually the club decided that the limit should be kept at 31 December 1930. That was back in 1936, and the club has never come back to it.

(Text Jeroen Booij, picture courtesy Broadway Manor Cottages)
Monday, 04 August 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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1955 Lancia Aurelia B12 Saloon
Stylish commuting tool: 1955 Lancia Aurelia B12 Saloon...  Go >>