Mystery Gearboxes




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What is it? # 137 (Update: '37 Panhard

It is a brand New Year! And we want to express our wish that 2005 will bring everything you hope for. For instance a brilliant barnfind like this one which landed in the editorial mailbox only very recent. The car emerged after a barnsleep of no less than 50 years. Now for connoisseurs of the French car this will seem not very complicated. This make by the way was the first -long before Henry Ford- to introduce series production. We think this was even before 1900. Anyway. hope you're still on board, we want you to name the Make(1), the Year(2) and the Type(3). Now everybody can see this is not a standard model, so that is where this quiz is getting ugly... Question 4 : who is the coachbuilder? By the way this southern France company is still alive & kicking and even do have a website...! (photo source to be revealed next week)
Saturday, 01 January 2005 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

What is it? # 135 (Update: 1919-21 SAF )

The flagstandards show possibly the Fin flag (or is it the flag of England; red cross over white field?). One competitor gambled for Switzerland. One for Norway. That last competitor admitted there are no 'Made in Finland' cars known from the twenties (or..?) to us. All in all no winners this time, which gave us a little spare time to do X-mas preparations. Only jurymember Lars-Göran Lindgren had it all right, it was a walkover for the Swedish brass expert (click) He came up with SAF: the Sveriges Automobil Fabrik (or is it Svenska Automobil Fabrik ?). One of those typical oddballs that was produced only very short and in very limited numbers. Even the US made engine made by Golden Bellknapp & Swartz is not the most wellknown around to put it mildly. Read more about this Swedish make at Next time better for all of you (click photo for SAF photo)

Additionally Lars-Göran found in the Swedish car encyclopedia ("Svenska Bilar - 151 olika märken") 33 pre 1945 established Swedish makes, beginning with Vabis in 1897 and ending in 1943 with Husqvarna. (photo collection Leif Ortegren (US); click for more detail)
Saturday, 18 December 2004 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Abstract Beauty

by Rudy Kousbroek:

(the photo was a gift by Gabriel Voisin)

"What is the meaning of the word ‘classic’ in connection with motor cars? With the increasing use of the word its definition has become detached from the original meaning of 'a creation of the highest excellence', to mean not much more than 'old' when it is applied to cars. For this reason I prefer to use the English word 'vintage'. A vintage car is, in principle, an automobile dating from before 1930, but even so not every car from that time is eligible. Very rarely some vehicles of a later date may also be included in the vintage category, but they must fulfil exceptional criteria. That, to me, is what 'classic' means with respect to cars. No American cruisers with fins, no Volkswagens, no ‘oldtimers’. Recently someone handed me a copy of the magazine Classic Trader. I was appalled ....
Sunday, 14 November 2004 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

upd. : What is it? # 111 (or doing 100 mph in a 1915 'walking beam' Duesy )

by restorer David Greenlees: "To give you a feel for what this car is like we will give you a trip around the Indianapolis Speedway but first we must start it. The hand pump on to dash is used to pump up two pounds of pressure in the gas tank. The Miller barrel valve updraft carburetor with seven jets has no choke so we must stuff a rag up the velocity stack. Then we give the crank about five smart pulls to choke it. Rag out we go back and adjust to controls for spark, throttle and turn on the Bosch switch. Back out front one quick pull of the crank and it comes to life with a roar and pulse I can best describe as two big twin H-D motorcycles with straight pipes running at a fast idle. While it is warming up we put on our helmets and goggles and slide in. It is a very tight fit for the driver and riding mechanic who must be careful of the hot exhaust pipe. Into gear and we are off and enter onto to unbelievably large 2.5 mile track and down the 5/8's mile front straight. The car is geared very high ( Has three sets of rear end gears 2.2 to 2.6-1 for different tracks) yet pulls very strongly through the gears letting you feel each cylinders firing pulse. The track, pits, grand stands and people are an incredibly colorful site as we get up to about eighty entering the first turn.... proceed at --->'Read More' (includes technical background and a second driver's report of a second Walking Beam driver: Bob Cole ! )
Wednesday, 19 May 2004 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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