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Brochure : Darracq 20/28 1907


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About Quiz #411: 1923 BOB 5hp


This quiz is about a Berlin built oddball. We were glad that the hints were enough to get nearly 10 competitors on the right track. The explanation comes from Thomas Ulrich, car historian from Berlin. The photo shows the winning Bob 5HP racing-car at the Stadium Rennen of 1923 in Berlin. This car with driver Fettkenheuer won the class V race at the Grunewald Radrennbahn in front of a Koco and a Peter Moritz. The last car in this race was an Omikron. The class V was for cars with 5 'Steuer PS' (Tax rated horsepower) Carraciola won the race for 4 PS cars. As it was a bicycle racetrack, only 4 cars competed together in one race.

The firm Bob was founded in early 1919 and they built cars until 1925 under three different owners. They built mostly cyclecars with 4 HP, but also some 5 HP. They also built a sportscar with a 5 HP engine, Siemens & Halske like most of the other engines. It had an underslung chassis and only two were built. One of them was bought by Zora Arkus Duntov of later Chevrolet fame. Over the years the total production of Bob was around 350 in total.

The racing car from the photo had an engine built by Bob themselves. The four cylinder engine had a bore of 63 mm and a stroke of 102mm. Of nine competitors Anders Svenfelt, Robert Hafner, Fedor, Graeme Jarrett, Heinzgerd Schott and Leon Mitchell plus one competitor Mr. S were all correct on Bob. In the end it was decided that this last competitor was best, even in view of the fact that the car was not 5 but 4 PS as in his answer: "The Bob Automobilgesellschaft AG built cars in Berlin between 1919 and 1925, mostly using Siemens & Halske engines. The most powerful 4 cylinder engine (5/25hp) had a bore and stoke at 63mm and 102mm respectively with 1298ccm, pressurized lubrication, thermo-syphon cooling and chassis weight of app. 690kg. Bob Cyclecars made appearances in various races in the 1920s and did especially well at the Stadionrennen in Berlin on 28/29 April 1923. The Fettkenheuer piloted Bob car came first within the 5hp class. In the 4hp class an EGO car came first piloted by ... Rudolf Caracciola!"

Congratulations Mr. S. (name known with the editors), please send us your shirt size and mail address. 

(Text Thomas Ulrich, photo from his collection; Thomas is member of the Society of Automotive Historians)

Saturday, 16 January 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Late Bottled Vintage Mystery

mystery car-470

So strange that look over the cliffs of time. This photo from 1941 was on an undeveloped film and was only very recently printed, so finally one can see what was there and then, 75 years ago. It is as if the lady behind that distant gaze is realising herself how long her look will be stacked away for future admirers.  

Tony Hilyard came up with the picture: "Yesterday my wife and I visited two Belgian friends in the next village to us here in Normandie, for tea and a natter. This couple used to have a restaurant in Brussels. This friend’s mother died a couple of years ago and earlier this year they decided to clear out the loft of his mother’s house here in France.  

In amongst all the strange things people keep they found a roll of undeveloped film. It seems the photo was shot in Brussels in 1941 (maybe Bernard Marreyt or Marc Hendrix - both are from the Brussels area - can recognize which exact street?). Once the film had been developed they found, apart from the usual family photos, this one of his mother leaning on a large saloon car. It looks American to me but it’s possible one of the website readers might be able to give more information. Any help or information would be much appreciated."

Editor: Well Tony, identification of the car will not be a problem. We're just grateful you have shared this enchanting photo with all of us!

Friday, 15 January 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

A Massey dealer Mystery car

W.J.Massey automobile_bicycle_vancouver_470

John Peirson writes: "Please can you identify the car in this photo? The photo is from the City of Vancouver Archives. Neither the car nor the people are identified. There is a much larger version of the photo available. The background is the W.J. Massey Automobile and Bicycle Company. The photo is dated circa 1909."

Editor: The round shouldered radiator makes us remind of... - wild guess -  Rambler Model 44 perhaps? Ah... upon closer inspection of the photo we see part of a Ra...mbler? Logo appear behind the head of the passenger. Case closed? Well at least you can help us determine which exact year and type of brass age Rambler we're looking at. With all the Rambler we browsed today we didn't find this specific front wing style. We love to learn from you! 

Still time left? There's more to discover in and near Vancouver

(Photo courtesy City of Vancouver Archives)

Thursday, 14 January 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

'The Earl of March' will be visiting PreWarCar later this week

1934 alvis_speed20_mulliner_earl-of-march_550
You may remember that we invited you per Newsletter to show your car at the PreWarCar-PostWarClassic stand in Maastricht, Interclassics (Thursday 14- Sunday 17 January). We received many most interesting candidates and we like to thank you for the fact that you took the time to write us. We were offered a very nice Bugatti Bescia, an Edwardian SCAP tourer (once offered on these pages and now 'on the road' again). A German built MAF and various other interesting beauties. Unfortunately we have only limited space and had to select one pre-war car and one post-war.

For the pre-war selection we decided for this one-off 1933 Alvis Speed 20 SB that was bodied by Arthur Mulliner as commissioned by the Earl of March (the later Duke of Richmond and Gordon). First registration was AXA 137. Some of our UK readers may remember the car from many years ago when it still was red and in need of er...  a lot. The full restoration has taken the most of 15 years and the car was only finished last summer and did appear briefly at Schloss Dyck. As from Wednesday until Sunday it will be shown in full glory at PreWarCar's stand at Interclassics.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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