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The Holverta 4WD Mysteries ( update: Albert Holle)

Mystery Riley

Car historian Ivan Taylor writes: "I came across this photo a long while ago and so far have not been able to identify it. I wondered if your experts and readers can help me. It has a most unusual front suspension set up. I wonder if it is front wheel drive with separate electric motors on each wheel, if not what are they? Maybe some form of shock absorbers. The only link I have found is a man called Holverta.

While searching I was directed to a Youtube video "Nuevos Sistemas de Automoviles" (Editor: about a system deployed on an Alfa Romeo and Breda(?) from Milano). Take a look at it. This early 1920's film shows a car being demonstrated over tough up and down country for the army and other dignitaries present. It carries a GB plate XP7652 and looks larger than the one in th photo above. If you look closely it appears that it also may have rear wheel steering and is possibly 4.W.D. (Editor: the tube shaped forms suggest the use of a worm drive). Holverta evidently took out patents on a similar or maybe this car but I have drawn a blank on him, or his patents and car. I wonder why the front wheels are on such an angle, and also what sort of a steering lock it had. The radiator is a different shape also."

Tuesday, 04 August 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Garage or Motor House?

Garage or Motor House?

The Bullnose Morris has featured in two recent stories on these pages, so why stop now? The picture shows how William Morris was thinking of his customers (and his bank balance) when he offered a motor house for the Cowley(£15/15/0) and Oxford (£17/0/0). The pages of motor magazines carried adverts for a variety of garages for the motor car owner and one 1919 advert made it clear they were all ex-Servicemen and competent carpenters. These ad's were aimed at the DIY motorist who had no money to waste on luxuries, but who gave priority to protecting their cars from weather and thieves.

Go back a few years and we begin to see how 'the other half live' and their motor cars enjoyed accommodation almost as comfortable as their owners. Can you identify the cars? We wish we could see inside the motor house at Windsor Castle where everything must have been spick and span and the cars need no identification since the Royal family mostly drove Daimlers. Thinking of all those garages and motor houses in the early days of motoring gives us a feeling that the owners kept them tidy and clean. How many of us can say the same?

(Text & pictures Robin Batchelor)

Editor: Please take a look at some wonderful pictures John Elema sent us after reading this article.

Monday, 03 August 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

The Codfish Car Mystery

The Codfish Car Mystery

This beautiful photo shows off a happy event: The inauguration of a cannery dedicated to the Codfish elaboration. It was located in the beautiful atlantic island of Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain), but we haven´t got more details apart from the name of the company, clearly visible in the front facade. Due to the period clothings, the shape of the building and specially the car in the right corner we could think of an early 1910s image. The car is another mystery itself, even with a close-up view (photo 2). It has no headlights or windscreen, and the radiator has a circle in its front top with which appears to be a large  "R"; to us its general lines seems similar to some british vehicles, some sort of an undersized Daimler. The five spoked steering wheel and the small size -perhaps comparable to a cyclecar- are another two important clues, but ... could anyone help to identify this car?
Sunday, 02 August 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

What is it? Quiz #400

quiz 400 chassis

Here we have a chassis produced by its makers for the 1909 season to meet the expected demand for a high-class reasonably priced car of medium horse-power. The company used to make a car of another name from 1904 to 1906 and then concentrated on their own range of models from 1906 to 1915. Based in England they had a very good engineering name and you will perhaps tell us what other aspects of transport they were connected with?
Some of you may have guessed by now, but if you need a clue, here's a picture of the front of the car and perhaps a picture from the rear will help you? And positively the last clue is of a whole car, presented to the Bishop of the maker's town by his personal friends and in thanking them, his Lordship " asserted that no more valuable or useful present could have been given to him."

Please give us any relevant information you may have on this particular car. Starting with Make and Type. Plus whatever you can come up with, that is to say within 100 words. Please post your answer in the comment box below (please do not email) and be sure to read The Rules under Read More. This may be your chance to win the infamous PreWarCar T-shirt and wear with pride at this season's events! Results will be published next Saturday, August 8.

Saturday, 01 August 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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The Market



Post War Choice

1956 Bentley Drophead S I
Back to work in style: 1956 Bentley S I Drophead Coupe adaptation....  Go >>