De Dion Bouton type ?
Baillard engine question

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Paris-The Hague in 5 hours flat. (Upd. Martin's career)

A real oddball which will be on display amidst ten others is the one off Amilcar-Martin Special Coupe which was built by the French designer/engineer Jean Martin. The car may look as a full grown Coupe, but in fact it's verrry small and low. The last long time owner was Rudy Kousbroek who drove the car countless times up and down to France from The Hague, Holland. One time in the devastating record time of only 5 hours. An average of 90 km/hour over five hours in that era (late sixties) and on the roads of that time and in this car is truly amazing. No wonder that he usually left behind him ultramodern Peugeots "404" and Renaults "16" in awe and disbelief. Yet the car is a total mystery. From the very much unAmilcarish V-shaped radiator through the superlow unknown coachwork (any mass-production elements from other makes?) to the mystery rearaxle. Anybody in France who has known Jean Martin or remembers when and how the car was built? Check the ultra low roof Coupe made from very thin alloy on a "combi" photo showing Kousbroek and current owner Kersten. If you want to study the car somewhat better, then come to Maastricht / InterClassics this weekend. (photos courtesy les Amis d'Amilcar des Pays-Bas)

UPDATE by Bart Oosterling:"In W. Boddy's book on Brooklands Race track there is a reference to a Jean Martin driving a private entry blown Salmson (1928). In Small Car Racing and Record Breaking by Mike Hawke the same info is given. Boddy adds that he was a "non starter".
In Chris Draper's Salmson book there is mention of a "Martin" in the 1934 "GP de France" at Monthléry, where Martin did not finish in his Amilcar (p.117). Also this book mentions a "Martin" in a Salmson (p.98) at Brooklands JCC 200 mile race, 1926 but no reference about this in Boddy's book. Maybe Chris Draper can verify is this is the same Martin. "
Wednesday, 10 January 2007 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

The twin pot mystery cyclecar.

This Gauloise blue cigar is owned and currently restored by Josep Mataró from Spain. The aircooled opposing twin looks like a Douglas twin but isn't according to Douglas experts. When you check the engine you will also see the GN-like front suspension with the leaf springs being the only connection between frontaxle and chassis. Chances are big - or should we say long in this case - that the mystery cyclecar is a one off created by a long forgotten engineering genius. Maybe it was one of the small group of cyclecars that once raced the doomed track of Sitges Terramar. Who knows? This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Monday, 12 June 2006 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

The ' CVT ' Cyclecar Mystery (UPDATES : Turicum ? .. or La Ponette ?)

Fabrizio Taiana of Italy wrote us: "Dear sir we have in our stable a small car (only chassis) equipped with a 2 cylinder engine, chain drive and a special gearbox with variable transmission . It is a right hand drive. It was bought in France in the seventies. The chassis is small and light. It is not a Maxwell, it might be a GWK or a BABY. We cannot identify it. It would be great if someone could help?" This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it UPDATE by Detlef Kayser (Berlin):"The radiator of the mystery car looks quite a lot like the radiator of La Ponette sold lately in Geneva by auction from the Tua collection. As far as I know the La Ponette also sports friction drive...."
UPDATE II by Fer Cools, NL:"this may be a Turicum from Zurich, CH. That also had this fricion drive."
Update III by Fons Alkemade: "First of all, I wouldn't call this car a cyclecar but that may be a matter of taste or definition. I can agree that the mystery car looks very much like the La Ponette from Geneva, but (1) I cannot find any sources which tell me that La Ponette used friction transmission; (2) La Ponette seems to have made only 1 and 4 cylinder models. So, I think, the mystery remains very much a mystery."
Update IV by Kit Foster: “The March issue of The Automobile shows on page 23 a photo of the 9 hp 1913 La Ponette sold from the Tua collection by Osenat. As Detlef Kayser has pointed out, the radiator looks exactly like that of the mystery car.”
Update V by Urs Reisel from the Swiss Automobile History Research who wrote: “This is not a Turicum. The only similarities are the engine look and the friction drive system. But Turicums look very different:
1. the Turicum friction (spoke) wheel is not cast like on the photo, but pressed sheet metal 2,5mm
2. the mounting of the friction drive to the chassis looks very different (Turicum is much lighter and simpler)
3. no Turicum has a fly wheel between engine and the cast iron disc of the friction
4. Turicums have all steel wheels with solid steel tube spokes (9 or 10 in front, 10 in rear). 4x11 spokes are the very similar Fischer Wagen.
5. the steering on all Turicums is behind and not in front of the front axle
6. the connection between wheels and axle are very different to the Turicums
7. the radiator looks very different
8. "Turicum" is cast in the cylinder block on the right (magneto) side
9. the crank shaft housing is cast aluminum and shows also a large "Turicum" script on the same (right) side

70% of the actually known survived Turicums worldwide are very exactly documented (photographed and measured) in my computer. I also have a "very large" collection of original Turicum and Fischer brochures, about 150 glass negatives of the factory photos, used to print the brochures, a complete collection of patents including the drawings. The history research of Martin Carl Fischer (engineer of Turicum and Fischer Wagen) is not my passion, but my sickness…. I also have all the survived documents of the Fischer family concerning automobiles (Martin C. Fischer was a watchmaker and engineer of the Magneta - watch system and several Swiss Automobile makes).”
Tuesday, 21 February 2006 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

It was easy to determine that it's a Lorraine-Diétrich.

The first to enter PWC’s Hall of Fame is Hans Etzrodt, GP specialist from the US who came up with a clear answer to last week’s mystery car. Enjoy his detailed deduction. “There is no other car with this specially shaped radiator grill upper end, almost like a trademark. Now the year. The car was raced in 1906 with the same radiator/hood arrangement, but there were no wire wheels yet in use except by Hotchkiss. I cannot find any good Lorraine-Diétrich pictures from the 1907 or 1908 Grand Prix. But in 1912 the Grand Prix was held again. Lorraine-Diétrich started with 4 cars. Victor Hémery drove car #11, while Paul Bablot had #31, René Hanriot had #34 and Heim #57. ----click the photo and you'll end up at hans Etzrodt's Grand Prix Winner listings 1895-1949) (photo collection editor)
Tuesday, 20 September 2005 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

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