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A Minerva for the Concours?
Hi can anyone identify this car please?

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Alice and Kay brush up Kington memories

Alice and Kay share old memories with Mark.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.
Friday, 29 April 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

Throwback Thursday: A splendid tow car... (by Kit Foster)

Earlier published nearly fourteen years ago (Christies was still into auctioning cars!)  on the first of August, 2002. Some short notes by our good friend Kit Foster. Super loyal supporter from near the very start of PreWarCar. Not sure if he googled-in or found us by other means. Anyway he helped, advised, corrected(!) and supported PreWarCar.com a zillion times over the years. Kit, thanks a million! There is very little chance that you are into this hobby without ever reading words from his hands. Kit is all over the motoring globe. On countless pages online and offline pages (including Kit Foster's - slightly overgrown -  Carport) and in many books like his famous The Stanley Steamer.  Thanks Kit !



Earlier Text:
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.)
Thursday, 28 April 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

Looking for Puls Preselector Gearbox History

Puls Preselector Gear Boxes
 

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:

"A few days ago I had a phone call from Dr. Chr. Puls, managing director  of  the company "Puls-Getriebe" in Karlsruhe, South Germany, who is the 3rd generation to lead the company.

He came up with a very interesting story: his grandfather E.F. Puls  founded  the company in 1926 and designed semi-automatic and pre-selection gearboxes for cars, trucks and buses (for Dixi, Maybach Vomag, Austin, Morris, Wolseley, Büssing, Wanderer and Horch to name a few). In 1932 he moved to Birmingham/England and worked for Austin,  Morris  and Wolseley, designing preselector boxes for several cars from Austin,  Morris and for the Wolseley Twelve Six. More details are to be found on  the  company's  history page (in German).

A very interesting part is the 1932-1935 period, when the Puls articles  about Wolesley 12/6 in "The Motor" (Aug. 1934) and "The Light Car"(Jan. 1935)  were published.

This year the Puls-Getriebe will celebrate ist 90 anniversary and Mr. Puls  is planning to publish a book about the full history of the company. He  asked me to dive even further into the history and to write a  Chapter  regarding the inventions of his grandfather. I visited him recently and  found he  has piles of original drawings from his grandfather, including some of his  work  in the UK!

I am now trying to find out more about the gearboxes that were built and hope to find an owner of a car equipped with a Puls gearbox or maybe even somebody who has a Puls-Box somewhere on his shelf."

Wednesday, 27 April 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

Alfa service station on the Mille Miglia

Alfa service station on the Mille MIglia

Tuscany is full of surprises; you expect (and for sure get) great food, the exquisite wine and the awesome views. But being an automobile afficionado you want more. Just stopping at a garage during the recce of the Via Flaminia we got in touch with the Franco, the son of the old owner of Autofficina Bellini in San Casciano in Val die Pesa (for that name alone you would go!). As it appears, the shop used to be an official assistance and filling station of the Mille Miglia. Brave drivers lake Nuvolari, Campari, Varzi, Villoresi and Borzacchini stopped at the Bellini shop for service. The place is filled with old memories, as Franco is proud to show us. A few of the pictures depict a very special Alfa 6C, one running on coal gas ('carbone' or 'gasogene'  ; possibly the 6C1750 with a gasogene history offered in Monaco by RM Auctions. The two drivers are in white overalls, to show that the car is not polluting. Environmentalists of today, take note ! The car finished the race at an average of 60 km/h. We will incorporate the Bellini garage in the Via Flaminia route. ( text & photos Bart Kleyn) 

    
Tuesday, 26 April 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

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