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A Bugatti Overdose

Atalante in_AtalanteGood chance that you know 'dutch diva' Rosemarijn Atalante Venenbos from her numerous super-enthusiast postings in social media. With her burgundy 'poorman's bugatti' named Amillion she's throwing up dust and turning necks in the vintage car scene. Don't think that the Atalante part is a later added nickname. Atalante is in her passport and possibly also in her genes. Today her observations at a recent meet of Dutch Bugatti owners.

"An angy roaring T35B, a fire spitting T43, a T57 Stelvio and Ventoux passing by like a thunder storm, a cute red dragon CGS car... You had to be quick to get a glimpse of the Bugattis racing over the roads of the south Dutch  countryside. The Dutch Bugatti Club had a party to celebrate for the 60th anniversary, so we all gathered to put the region Brabant up side down! You may think that a Bugatti is hard to get, but this club shows something you would not expect. Youngsters driving Bugattis! Arrogance...? We have never heard of this word in the club. We just like wake up and run to the cars to prep them for the day and of course followed by lots of loud music produced by Bugatti engines while getting the needed dose of exhaust fumes to get a little bit high. The Bugattists are a special species, and they know how to handle the Molsheim creatures... Overtaking each other all the time and making sure to use the cars as Ettore would have wanted, what they are made for, accelerating and speeding. They are just not made to break. And that's something we celebrate all the time, so there we go... VIVE LA MARQUE!!! (while firing a miniature cannon, why not?)"

(text & photos Rosemarijn Atalante Veenebos)
Friday, 30 September 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

American toys in Hershey.

2016 hershey_oldsmobile_1913_470

At first count, we made it 63 pre-war cars and a handful of bikes in the RM  Sotheby's auction being held on 6 and 7 October at Hershey to coincide with the world famous autojumble, or swap meet as it is known that side of the pond.
The auction line-up has a strong emphasis on significant American marques - twelve Packards, six Fords, five Lincolns, three Chevrolets, two Duesenbergs and so it goes on.
There is only one 1913 Oldsmobile Model 53 and it has an aluminium five-seater body by Rothschild & Co.. Described as  'straight and unblemished'  and enjoying a 1940s patina which you can see in the above 'as found' photograph.
Most of the cars display a high standard of restoration, but this 1934 Packard Super Eight Hunting Car has been left alone for the next owner to choose what to do with it. History suggests it was used to transport a pack of hunting dogs - there's certainly plenty of room in the back, and tether rings around the side to secure the animals. The high quality wooden body was built by McAvoy & Son to replace the original le Baron Town Car coachwork and fitted just behind the division partition and extended five feet behind the rear axle. There are two fuel tanks which greatly improves range between fill ups.
To continue with the Oily Rag theme, we cannot resist sharing this 1905 Fabrique Nationale Four-Cylinder with you.  Built in Belgium, this 363cc shaft drive four cylinder motor cycle just needs a little recommissioning and off you go! Perhaps  stitch the saddle back together first?
It's easy to see why the weekend of Hershey is firmly written in so many peoples' diaries year after year.

Text Robin Batchelor, pictures courtesy RM Sotheby's.
Thursday, 29 September 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

PWC workshop: Play on the brake arms

Amilcar brake_arm_finished
In this episode of the workshop series, we take a look at a fairly common issue seen at many old cars: worn out pins and bushings. In this case the play occurs at the arms that actuate the brake shoes. The same principle counts for leaf spring pins though, for which the same repair method can be used.

Amilcar brake_arm_worn_penThe pins are worn on one side because they always rub on that same side while being used. This causes the hole to become oval and the pins diameter to be reduced.

Originally, there is no bushing. Repairing this, the hole in the steel axle part needs to be reamed oversize to be round again and to be able to receive a bushing.  For durability, I choose a bronze bushing to be installed. Amilcar brake_arm_bronze_bearingOf course it is also possible to use a steel bushing if desired.

After boring the hole, a bushing can be made to size, but remember to keep the hole in this bushing slightly undersize before pressing it in, as it can shrink a little from pressing and we want to ensure that the hole is round and accurate.

Amilcar brake_arm_welded_penNow we can add new material to the pin itself making use of welding. Or a new one can be made. I choose welding if the pins are still decent enough, which in this case they were. You can use any type of weld you want, I choose mig welding since it's the fastest way in my workshop.

After welding, chuck it in the 4-jaw and check the end of the pin to run concentric with the front, since it can distort a little from welding, it needs to be checked front and rear. Recut the center if needed to accept a live center and start cutting the weld to original size.

Then measure the final size, ream the bushing installed in the axle some 0,05mm to 0,10mm oversize to avoid binding and accept grease and the part is done.

Photos of this operation can be viewed in my photo album here (click).

Work, photos and text by Jos van Genugten.
Wednesday, 28 September 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

The Caversham Beauty

The Caversham Beauty

For a new manufacturer dipping a toe into the water of motor car production in the early 1920s, there were two ways to go about things. The easy way was to build up a car entirely from proprietary parts – a chassis from one maker, an engine from another and steering, axles, transmission all from different sources.

The second, much more difficult and considerably more expensive, was to design and build everything in-house. This is the path the Herbert Engineering Company of Reading chose when it entered the market in 1920. The company's name gives a clue to its background in light and heavy engineering. It operated its own foundry and could produce engine blocks and axles with ease. Even the coachwork, a component even long-established marques tended to leave to others, was designed and built on site.

Cleary, the HE, as it was christened, was a car of excellent quality. Four- and six-cylinder models were available over a 12-year period, but few were built and today only a handful survives. The car in these photographs has been in the same family since 1930, and has recently emerged from a sensitive rebuild after laying dormant since the 1970s.

In the latest issue of The Automobile, which you can buy by clicking this link, you can read about the history of HE, this car's past and its very bright future in the hands of an enthusiastic owner.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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