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Another long-time mystery solved by Ariejan Bos. He writes: It's not a Napier, but a Humber! In September 1903 the annual 1,000 Miles Reliability Club Trials were held in England. The Autocar reported extensively about these trials and noted that 140 cars had been entered, 48 more than the year before. The cars were tested on efficiency of brakes, condition after trial, restarting on hill and absence of noise, vibration, vapor or smoke, and dust. On eight consecutive days journeys were made with the Crystal Palace in London as the starting and return point. On the Evan Lewis mystery photo we see the entrant with number 122 (click!), a large 20 h.p. Humber during one of these journeys. With 9 ft. the car had the longest wheelbase in the trials. The Humber wouldn't win its class, the winner being Captain Deasy on a Rochet-Schneider."
Anthony Evan Dowden Lewis sent us this most interesting '1906' snap on glass negative showing a large tourer racing or rallying. Four men aboard, driving through a busy street with shops. The car carries a licence (or rally) plate with unreadible text and the number "122". Is this during a Gordon Bennett, or what? This is what Evan told us: "I recently acquired about 100 glass plate negatives of photographs taken by my Great Grandfather Anthony Lewis and his sons Leslie and Hubert. They lived at Hillside House in Compton, Herts, near Winchester, UK. We believe that this photograph was taken in Winchester about 1904 to 1906, but identifying the car would help us confirm the date. The car possibly being a 45 HP Thornycroft. Notice the license plate 122! I wonder whether there are old license registration records available. It is a huge vehicle and the design is typical of 1904 to 1910 approximately, the body is similar to the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, but the radiator is very different. It is unusual in that it does not have leaf springs protruding out the front. Most cars of that period had these leaf springs. Instead it appears to have a torsion bar or anti-roll bar across the front."
Part of our beloved hobby is the restoration/maintanance of the aged & tired vehicle. Just recently we have started a series of repair samples under the name "PreWarCar Workshop". In this week's Workshop
we like to show you the problem with cracks in cast iron.
Say, you've got a special car. Only a few still exist. And then you find out there are cracks in your cylinderhead. That can be quite a problem if the material is cast iron. Welding the 'normal' way is difficult and sometimes nearly impossible. And to have a new one cast is very expensive. One of the options is to braze it with bronze. A decent procedure for certain parts. You first drill a small hole at the begin and end of the crack, make a V-shape in the crack, clean it, heat the material until it is red hot and then let the bronze flow in the crack.
This is good for some cracks but not strong enough for all repairs. I had this problem with one of my cars and found a company called Cast Iron Welding Services ltd. close to Leicester, UK. The name says it all. The only thing they do all day is repairing cast iron. The way they weld is different from most other welding methods and it looked very simple (but isn't that always the case that things look easy when a craftman is doing his thing...!).
They start with cutting all the bad areas from the cast iron. The missing bits being replaced with inlays of newly cast iron. After cleaning, a furnace is created around the part with bricks and a big heater.
The furnace will burn for a day and night, so the complete part is the good temperature for the next step. The welding itself is comparable with the bronze blazing . A torch to heat even more and let a cast iron rod flow in the cracks. The material becomes one and is as strong as the original cast material.
After machining it is nearly impossible to see where repair and original meet. But more important, the cylinder is usable again (they even offer a 12 months warrenty) .
If you have any experience with repairing cast iron, or you have another interesting subject for the Pre-War Workshop-section, please let us know!
(photos courtesy Cast Iron Welding)
It was back in 1956 that the late Gianni Mazzocchi founded Quattroruote - the most-read automotive magazine in Italy - and being a passionate petrol-head, his car collection bears the same name. It is this collection that RM-Sotheby's will sell on Saturday May 14th at Le Sporting Monte-Carlo in Monaco.
Predictably, Italian origins runs through many of them but we rather fell in love with the 1930 Hispano-Suiza H6B Coupé Limousine with coachwork by Henri Binder. A French car built in Spain and the Swiss half of its name is a salute to Mark Birkigt, the brilliant designer responsible for the straight six SOHC engine of 6.5 litres with flat line torque permitting smooth acceleration from 0 to 85 mph in top gear.
If your bank balance or garage won't stretch to the whole car, you can buy an H6B engine alone and perhaps ask permission to display it in the sitting room ;-)
From Germany, the 1914 Benz 8/20 HP Tourer has an engine capacity of just 1.9 litres to avoid tax put on large-engined cars. This made it popular with taxi drivers and it kept the company afloat until it merged with Daimler in 1926.
Mazzocchi had good taste and we see the Gangloff-bodied Bugatti 57 from the 1939 Geneva car Show which later became factory demonstrator, and British cars include a 1931 Austin 7 tourer and a 1929 Rolls Royce Phantom II with red velvet upholstery.
And so to Italy and we find 1914 SCAT Tipo 14-1 with original Torpedo coachwork by Solaro of Turin. The first authentic SCAT to become available for public sale in many years, but let us finish with one of the most significant cars in the collection. Bought in 1962 from the famous Sword collection in UK where it was misidentified as a 1927 model, Mazzocchi recognised it as one of the earliest known first series Lancia Lambdas from 1922 and has been cared for in the Quattroruote collection for the last 55 years.
Text Robin Batchelor, pictures courtesy RM-Sothebys.
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