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Proud future owner of the 1929 Standard
Lea Francis J Type 1926




The Magazine

A VAVA mystery (update: ca. 1910 Vivinus)

Mystery car_De_Dion_Bouton-470

Another mystery sent in by Hugo Modderman.
Mystery car_VAVAVA_radiator-800The left car is obvious a De Dion Bouton (you can clearly see the name on the radiator). The other car is another story. We can see two 'V's' across each other and also two A's'. We don't know what brand it is. We hope you can help us solve this mystery!

De linker auto is niet moeilijk, want er staat duidelijk De Dion Bouton op de radiateur.


De rechter auto is een ander verhaal. Toevallig is de foto nu een keer superscherp en zien we op het logo twee V's tegenover elkaar en twee A's tegenover elkaar.


Maar welk merk schuilt daar achter??


Als Nederlander denk je dan aan de Vereniging Van Artsen Automobilisten,.

Maar dat was geen automerk en ontstond pas later....







Tuesday, 02 August 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Restoring an unidentified vintage engine (update: Sunbeam? Ballot?)

Unknown vintage engine

Derek Magrath recently stumbled over this:
"I saw this engine in the machine shop recently. It is owned by one of the engineers who works there and who is re-building it. He doesn't know anything about it, although he was told it was a marine engine - I'm not so sure. It looks like early vintage and French, to me, but I can't recognise it: can you?"

editor: let's see what the readers say, but it seems quite a challenge to restore an unidentified engine without any knowledge about the specific engine. Of course there are many generic specifications, but still...
Monday, 01 August 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

History Loses a Scholar and Mentor

MalcolmJeal 470

Malcolm Jeal, automotive historian, writer and editor, died Tuesday, 5th July 2016 after a brief illness. He was 72. Although only occasionally a credited contributor to PreWarCar, his influence and assistance were more deeply felt behind the scenes, through his scholarship and knowledge of the world’s very early motor industries. 

            Born 20th February 1944 in Gosport, Hampshire, UK, he was a graduate of Durham University and was a schoolteacher for 20 years. Over a lifetime of career changes, he became a builder specialising in loft conversions, a restorer of historic cars and most recently researcher, journalist and consultant on motoring history. He was editor of The Gazette of the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain, and headed the Club’s Dating Committee for many years. To the latter task he brought scholarship and unfailing honesty, in a field where egos often run high. His high standards were widely recognized in the auction industry, where he consulted for several companies. He also served as commentator for the London-to-Brighton run for a number of years, and edited the British magazine The Automobile in the late 1980s.

            A long-time member of the Society of Automotive Historians, he was named a Friend of Automotive History, the organisation’s highest honour, in 2007. He served as chairman of the Society of Automotive Historians in Britain, now an independent group, for four years and conceived and edited its annual scholarly publication, Aspects of Motoring History, for ten issues. In recent years he served as an organiser of the annual historians’ dinner sponsored by SAH and SAHB at the time of Rétromobile in Paris. 

            Although he appreciated the entire epoch of the automobile, he was particularly drawn to the early years of the industry, especially in France. Following the pioneering studies conducted by the renowned historian James Laux, he spent much time on the Continent in company and institutional archives, and collected many of the journals of the pre-1910 period. With his understanding of technology and hands-on experience he could analyze early cars in a way that academic historians frequently cannot, and was able to dissemble many a story surrounding built-up cars that posed as forgotten makes.

            His assistance to fellow historians and researchers was unceasing and gladly given. A mere question would typically be answered quickly, and substantiated with copies of pertinent pages from his extensive library of early periodicals. His absence will be most deeply felt. I speak for many PreWarCar readers and contributors in expressing our sincere sympathies to his widow Eunice.                                          

Kit Foster

Sunday, 31 July 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

About Quiz #425: 1922/3 Belsize-Bradshaw

About Quiz #425: 1922/3 Belsize-BradshawIn last week's quiz, the picture shows a Belsize-Bradshaw dating from 1922/3 and of the eleven replies, eight of you were correct.  We mentioned the car's designer enjoyed widespread fame and a quick visit to our search box above will take you to the 2008 story about Granville Bradshaw. His biography makes fascinating reading.
The first Belsize-Bradshaw appeared in 1921 made by Belsize Motors Ltd. of Manchester who had previously made cars going back as far as 1897 as Marshall & Co. and started using the name Belsize in 1901.
Bradshaw's work on engines during the Great War impressed Belsize and he commissioned him to design a new 9HP Light Car which initially used an OHV V twin, later models used side valves, but their oil cooling was the revolutionary idea with the cylinders sunk deep into the oil-filled base chamber where a deluge of oil continually plays upon them.
Oil leaks lead to a reputation for unreliability, but in the right hands would win a Gold Medal in the 1922 London to Edinburgh and complete the 1923 Land's End Trial.
Respected author L.T.C. Rolt's father owned one and wrote, " The engine was a beautiful piece of engineering, and when running was as smooth and silent as any four cylinder engine of the day."
We thank you for the answers sent in, especially Frank Sauerwald who confesses the information came from his 14 yr old assistant Jakob, and we confess choosing a winner was not easy, but since the best answer came from Jury member Ace Zenek, and therefore ineligible, we finally chose Kieran White for his knowledgeable answer.
Congratulations Kieran on your third win and therefore offer to become jury member. You know the procedure for claiming T shirt?
Further information about the Belsize Bradshaw can be found HERE and if you like cake... see HERE. ( Thank you Ace Zenek.) Plus this interesting letter from Bradshaw to 'Motor Sport' magazine in 1960.
Saturday, 30 July 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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