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Despite the booming sales of Tesla coffee grinders and tv sets, the frequency in which we see fully electric cars at racing circuits is not alarming. Still you can test your senses and very soon see - not so much hear - two impressive electric motorcars show up at Brooklands, June 11th. The two sparkling motorcars are a 1906 Pope-Waverley, aVictoria Phaeton, or in simpler words a two seater drophead. And a slightly more modern 1907 Victor High Wheel Electric Runabout, in other words a highweeler buggy also apt for adverse road conditions as often was the case in rural America of those years.
Back then buying such a car had nothing to do with any green thoughts. Much more with women's liberation. The freedom brought by the car was in fact limited to male drivers as starting and masteign the technique of the prewar years had more to do with muscles than with gemale refinement. The electric car was a brilliant alternative. No start and extremely easy to handle and thus bringing motoring freedom to women as well. That speed and range were limited, were relative isssues. However, when a few years later the electric starter was introduced, the end came quick to electric motoring. And the cars and makes were quickly forgotten.
Yet times are a changing. A growing list of big cities around the world is no longer allowing older diesel and petrol cars in the center. And our fear is that this will have a large impact on our hobby in the end. By that time we will greatly envy the happy few who have timely invested in those early forgotten electrics. They will be allowed to drive anywhere, anytime.
(photos courtesy Historics at Brooklands, auction June 11)
Complicated yet clever marketing, to start a new auction company and organise a first auction in worldfamous Hershey, but in a totally different segment of the calender. Not early October, but June 11. They show guts these guys and they aim high. Top cars, top photography must proove their ambition. Here just two fine examples of what The Finest Automobile Auctions has in mind for the future.
When you read about the history of certain cars, it encourages deeper research and you end up better informed - not only about the car but about the people and the times that surround it.
The 1927 Bugatti Type 38A Grand Sport is just such a car and is being offered for sale at The Elegance At Hershey auction held on Saturday June 11 by The Finest Automobile Auctions.
The car's first owner was L.G.Bachelier who co-founded the Bugatti Owners' Club in UK and owned a total of nine Bugattis in his lifetime. The description records all the car's owners and what they did to the car, but the current owner has spent much time and money on a meticulous restoration with its supercharged 8 cylinder Type 35A engine and Art Deco inspired Grand Sport boat tail body. People were stunned when the car was sold in 1991 for $91,000 - these days we are more used to seeing what buyers will pay for such fine cars, but to somebody who wants a comfortable sporting grand touring Bugatti with excellent road manners, it's worth every penny.
The 1929 Type 40A Roadster went to the US after the war and was discovered in southern California when an old house was demolished in Chavez Ravine for the development of the baseball park for the Los Angeles Dodgers. This model has 4 cylinders and no supercharger but with the elegant Jean Bugatti designed body, it pleased the Parisian aristocrat Alastair Marmaduke Gresham Leveson-Gower who drove it to Paris with Louis Chiron as co-driver!
We love learning the stories that are woven into the history of old cars and future generations will enjoy doing the same as each new driver adds his/her own fresh adventures.
Text Robin Batchelor; pictures courtesy The Finest Automobile Auctions.
Christopher Haas stumbled over a seemingly deserted firestation at the Durbar square in Katmandu. It almost looks like an official firestation with the hoses packed on the side left and right. Yet we can assure you that Kathmandu has modern firetrucks as well. Next question of course is what machinery we're looking at. The big Dennis on the left is a Big Four? Or a G-type? The car on the right is a bit harder to ID. The radiator at least looks like Fiat 514-ish. But we're sure that you may come up with better suggestions.
(photos Christopher Haas)
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