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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

Looking for new facts about the Schlumpf brothers

schlumpf bothers_470

At the moment Arnoud and Ard op de Weegh are working on a new book about the Schlumpf Affair. "This book will tell the whole truth about the affair and will display many new photo's that never have been shown before. We're also the writers of 'The Fate of The Sleeping Beauties', the book that tells the truth about the Dovaz collection (Sleeping Beauty collection) that was photographed in the early 80's bij Herbert Hesselmann. We have a lot of information yet (for example: the fact that some people have tried to buy the collection from Fritz Schlumpf to keep the factory going. And Fritz agreed, but the deal could never be made... etc. etc.), but if you have any new facts about this collection or documents or photo's that could make this book better, please let us know! Don't hesitate to contact us!

Arnoud op de Weegh & Ard op de Weegh

Thursday, 30 October 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Austin Seven Vs Morris Minor

Austin Seven Vs Morris Minor

There are some types of car which inspire total dedication from their owners. Much more than a means of transport, they become part of the owners' personality. Along with this dedication comes too a single-minded belief that their car stands head-and-shoulders above its rivals, and they pull no punches when debating this fact with owners of other, lesser, vehicles.
 Perhaps the longest-standing of these rivalries was initiated in 1928 when William Morris launched his Minor as an answer to Herbert Austin's groundbreaking Seven. Foolish is the man who suggests to an Austin owner that a Morris Minor is the better car, and vice versa.
 Matthew Bell recently braved the flak from both camps in a good-natured shoot-out between the two cars. Growing up with baby Austins, could he put aside his personal preference in the name of impartiality? Pick up a copy of the November issue of The Automobile to find out.

(Photographs by Jason Bye)

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

A 1914 GN returns home

Amongst the cars sold at RM’s Hershey auction was a 1914 belt drive GN which is well known to the British GN fraternity and had enjoyed some competition after being discovered in a UK barn in the 1950s. A new generation of enthusiasts has emerged along with more knowledge about GN cars’ history and the good news is that the car is returning to UK into the hands of a deserving owner who is painstakingly uncovering the history of the car.

It is the only original pre-war belt-drive GN known to exist, there being one other 1915 belt-drive car built up by Arthur Gibson who fitted a  Precision V Twin after unsuccessfully hunting high and low for a 90° J.A.P. V twin motor. Those engines are rare and only two are known to exist, I believe both with the same Australian owner. GN built their own 90° V Twin because it was ideal for Cyclecars and the engine in the car returning from America has the only example I know of. Tragically, its original body was discarded and a new one fitted, so more detective work is needed to unravel the car's origins. The body profile as found is similar to photographs of this Brooklands GN  and the discovery of drilled con rods and pistons from the original restoration might mean the car cornered on the concrete at the 7 year old banked track in Weybridge? This picture from a copy of Cyclecar shows a 2 seater GP GN captioned 'The Grand Prix GN to be driven by Mr. Nash.' Notice the cycle mudguards as on the car when discovered.

(Text & pictures Robin Batchelor)

Tuesday, 28 October 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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