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Unknown car used by R.A.F in WW II in Africa

unkown car used by R.A.F in WW II in Africa

Peter Huson would like to know the following:
"This photo was taken of 237 (Rhodesia) Squadron R.A.F. personnel in the early years of WW2 either in Kenya or Tanganyika. Can anyone please help with the identification of the make of the vehicle they are driving?"
Editor: Looks like they have lots of fun with their rundown tourer. The side covered with text (Rhodes... and more) that could be added to the history and 'palmares of the car. Headlights, windshield and more are missing. It has seen places! Interesting to see the badges(?) they hammered on the radiator cowl. Being straight cut the radiator has a Lancia look, yet the toptank seems too low and the overall look plus wheels look US made to us, or is it just Fiat 525?  Over to you car connaisseurs, sleuths and detectives.
Monday, 19 December 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

The search for "L'Automobiliste" by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

The search for "LAutomobiliste"  by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
A little research of histroy won't hurt in these dark December days. Mr. 'Pugrider' (editor: is he driving this 1907 Speedster? Wow, we envy him!) reports:

 "While researching another Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec image I came across this one entitled L'Automobiliste (The Motorist). The driver is Lautrec's cousin, Gabriel Tapié de Céleyran. He and Paul Guibert (a close friend of Lautrec's) were among the first automobile drivers in Paris. Lautrec drew the image in 1898 and made it into a Lithograph (20-25 total made) to give as gifts. In typical Lautrec fashion, rather than featuring the automobile he focused on the face of his cousin, one of the earliest depictions of the "need for speed" that would define the automotive age. In the background he has a woman calmly walking her dog, ignoring the new contraption belching smoke and likely making a terrible racket.

Thirteen of the original lithographs are in public museum collections, including MOMA, the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art and the Bibliotheque Nationale de France. All well and good, but when I went to find a print - nada. And the search began...

As I searched commercial sites for a print of L'Automobiliste By Henri De Toulouse Lautrec all I could find was a small art card on eBay being sold in England. With no other leads I emailed him and asked if he knew of anyone who was selling a larger print. He checked with a friend, who said he did not have it in his inventory. I told him the original sketch was larger than most of Lautrec's drawings (14x10"), and was detailed enough to warrant a larger printing (likely why he made it into a lithograph). Jonah (the print shop owner) and I worked together, and he confirmed it was one of the most difficult images to locate given the popularity of Lautrec's work. He obtained rights to a high definition scan of the work, and agreed to print it on a sepia background at the largest size his printer was capable of making. He decided to send me the resulting print as a thanks for aiding his search for the image. The final print ended up 36x48", and is amazing. I had it framed and it now hangs in the hallway outside my office downstairs, the only wall space with proper lighting where it would fit. The image is now available on Jonah's web site for peanuts. So there you have it, my contribution to the world of art."

Sunday, 18 December 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

About Quiz #435 - 1921 Deemster

About Quiz #435 - 1921 DeemsterThe car pictured in last week's quiz is a 1921 Deemster made by the Ogston Motor Co. (1918) Ltd. at the Deemster Works in Acton, west London. The image was captured by the camera of Peter McFadyen who travels to many VSCC events throughout the year and the results appear in his traditional end-of-year publication.

The Deemster car was first offered in 1914 and ceased production in 1924. It initially used it's own 4 cylinder 10HP whichw as replaced by the more sporty 12HP Anzani unit in 1922. A racing Deemster was entered in the 1921 200 mile race at Brooklands and the link to a non-UK Island is the fact that Isle of Man magistrates are called 'Deemsters'.

The car entered the VSCC Light Car & Edwardian Section Welsh Rally and was listed as 1923 which might have misled some of our entries as it misled us in our report. ( The first clue given last week.)
The second clue was in the mention of Christmas ( click here) so we were surprised to receive two suggestions of a Bullnose Morris and one of a Newton Bennett (which does have a very similar radiator).

However, after receiving five correct responses, three of which declared themselves ineligible, we congratulate Simon Thomas and Robbie Marenzi for their correct answers and since Robbie had a guess at the year of manufacture, we declare him this week's winner.

Ed.  We have subsequently learned that Robbie Marenzie is a jury member, so that means we can declare Simon Thomas the winner.

Please send us your mail address and shirt size Simon and we will send you the PreWarCar T-shirt.

Quiz by Robin Batchelor, main photo Peter McFadyen

Saturday, 17 December 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

A date with Rétro Renault in Paris

A date with Retro Renault in Paris

If you already have a 2017 diary, then turn to those February pages between 8 and 12 and see if you can squeeze in a date with the elegant lady leaning against the Renault Type ACXI Viva Grand Sport Cabriolet from 1937.
Allow yourself to be transported back to an elegant time in an elegant city and dream of wandering into the Renault showroom to be greeted by the professional salesman with polished shoes who will sing the praises of this magnificent motor car.

The Renault company promise to bring a collection of vehicles to Rétromobile which illustrate the Renault Style starting with a proper town carriage, a 1907 Type XB looking resplendant and only missing her ladyship's shopping bags and hat boxes. The 1911 Type CH is altogether more sporty with a 5 litre engine nestling beneath the bonnet and a little bench seat at the back for the kids who don't care that there are no front wheel brakes. The more than imposing 40HP 1922 Type JV does have brakes at the front and weighing 2,650 KG it needs them. The 1933 Reinastella was introduced to compete with other high-end luxury cars such as Hispano Suiza and Rolls Royce. The Stellas, or Grand Renaults, were marked with a star riveted to the radiator grille above the famous Renault lozenge. See if you can find it?

But we think our date has had enough facts and figures and is feeling thirsty, so it's time to look for the champagne bar in this fabulous Paris Expo Porte de Versailles housing Rétromobile 2017.
We look forward to seeing you there!

Text Robin Batchelor, pictures courtesy Rétromobile.

Friday, 16 December 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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