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The lady you see looking so happy is Kay Lorenzato and you would feel joy too if you had just been for a drive in your old 1923 Vauxhall Type OD 23/60 Kington Tourer and had all your memories from the 1950s and 60s come flooding back.
Kay's late husband Raymond Lorenzato was one of a group of four who bought the car in 1955 from Captain Donald Gill - a real enthusiast who wrote about the car in a 1949 Motor Sport (see here). They christened her 'Alice' and drove her far and wide but when the garage rent became too much for the syndicate, Lorenzato bought out the other three and became sole owner.
There is an old sticker on the windscreen from the Grimsell pass in Switzerland which illustrates just how far this venerable Vauxhall has ventured in its life with no front wheel brakes.
The new owner Mark Walker, seen sitting beside Kay in the picture, drove the car down to Vauxhall's Motor heritage Centre to meet Kay and 3 generations of her family. Mark enjoys cars with only rear wheel brakes... "In Alice, 60 mph at 2000 rpm is still a comfortable and smooth cruising speed and the car keeps up well with modern traffic. Higher speeds are certainly possible, but with only rear brakes, probably not advisable! I intend to use the car as family transport. " ( During Walker's work on the car, we note he fitted high compression pistons, but otherwise he has followed his mantra of conservation rather than restoration.)
Kay says her husband would have been "proud to see Alice on the road again" after he'd shared so many experiences with the car during the 1950s and '60s. She has fond memories of attending rallies in Alice with her husband in the early 60s and recalled how attached they both were to the car.
Their last outing in the car was 1967 after which it was stored in a shed until 2014 when it next saw the light of day. We wonder if Kay would agree to a drive in Walker's other car with no front wheel brakes??
Text Robin Batchelor, pictures courtesy Vauxhall Motors' Heritage Centre.
Kit Foster's - slightly overgrown - Carport) and in many books like his famous The Stanley Steamer. Thanks Kit !
Kit Foster wrote the Blackhawk chapter in 'The Splendid Stutz' (The Stutz Club, 1996). Here his comments on last saturday's photo: 'Upon closer inspection I agree that it's a 1929 car, not 1930. In 1930 the hub size increased due to adoption of bolt-on wheels. The car is certainly 145-inch wb, and the body style, according to Stutz terminology, is a 'M-44, 4-passenger speedster with tonneau cowl & windshield'. Its list price was $3995, shipping weight 4770 lb. As Roger says, most open bodies were by LeBaron, though not usually badged as such. This one bears some of the same hallmarks as a 1929 Blackhawk LeBaron speedster with which I'm familiar, so I'm confident it's by LeBaron. As for the car's overall condition, it goes with the photo's period of circa 1950. That was the 'low point' for the big American Classics, those that had survived the war, anyway. They were worth typically $150-300, were not recognized by any of the big clubs (Classic Car Club of America was formed in 1952), largely in response to the Antique Automobile Club of America's classification of what they now call 'Full Classics' as 'tow cars.' The typical owner in that time was not a moneyed person who had lost it - he was probably an impecunious student of good taste with a sense of adventure. (edit.: Not for impecunious students: six Stutz cars will be auctioned by Christie's at Pebble Beach.)
Even if you never heard about the German company Pulse this may be of interest to you. Especially if you are a fan of the British Wilson or French Cotal preselector gearboxes. This is what Peter Meyer wrote us:
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