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A few days ago a friend sent us these pictures asking for the potential sales price of "this Ford Model T engine" which he had casually found. At a first glance almost everybody could discover that it isn´t a Ford Model T engine... nor any other kind of Ford design. The T-head engine concept is primarily known from larger, often American engine. Inlet manifold and inlet valves on one side. Exhaust manifold and valves on the other side (like pictured above). Yet also small and very small European engines are known to show the same basic set-up, as some of the older Ruby engines. Best known is probably the 855cc as used in Ettore's brainchild: the Peugeot Bébé (visit the register). Although exact sizes are not available at this time, is the engine pictured above of similar size. The spark plugs speak for themselves in this respect. Unfortunately the engine has no further identification plates or numbers, only the magneto has the inscription "2 RB" . Our thoughts are in the direction of a cyclecar French marque, but we are not sure at all, so we ask your help in this.
(Pictures by Francisco Carrìon)
It is amazing the number of different designs and construction ideas that formulated in the inventive brains of the early engine designers, the ideas seemed endless. One of the more completely different and innovative must have been the 3 cylinder motor designed by D.Fox Graham in 1903.
John W. Eisenhuth an engine builder had designed a motorcar as early as 1896 which he built in Newark, New Jersey but he decide to move east, where all the action was happening, moving to the Greater New York to continue his experiments. He then moved to Middletown, Connecticut and purchased the Keating Wheel and Automobile Company. In 1903 he also established the Elsenhuth Horseless Vehicle Company. He met D. Fox Graham who had invented the Graham-Fox compound engine and the two companys merged, forming the Graham- Fox Motorcar Company and produced a new car that they called “the Compound”.
In 1903 a prototype design was shown at Madison Square Garden where it was called the Graham-Fox, but when the first production model was produced in late 1903 the name had changed to “The Compound". Their 1904 model was a 7 seater touring car, with a 3 cylinder engine vertically mounted at the front of the car. It produced 35 hp weighed 3100lbs. it cost $6,000 to $7,000 depending on the body style and extras.
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This Quiz #397 was a true challenge for the inner circle of insiders. We wanted to show this car primarily due to its refined 'out of the box' engine concept. This inspired by an article from the hand of Ivan Taylor which will appear tomorrow. Back to the quiz, when you are on the right track you will sooner or later land at the Fountainhead Museum in Alaska. They presumably own the last surviving Compound Car, said to be a 1906 Model. According to jurymember Ariejan Bos that must be a late 1906 model as it has the looks of a 1907 series. Now to avoid confusion the car depicted in the advert above is a 1905/1906 model, so slightly different from the sole survivor. We had seven participants (including jury members) who were at least correct in naming Compound car. Four of those were also correct in the type 'Model 3' and finally three were correct in the year 1905. Be sure to read what our expert competitors wrote which goes way beyond our own knowledge. Special mentioning for Ed La Bounty who in very few words explained the engine: "...3 cylinder, the center one used the exhaust from the other two for additional power like a compound steam engine." In the end two competitors remained very-very close to each other. Korneel Vanremoortel and Kevin Atkinson. So close that by exception we decided to honour both. Congratulations Korneel! Congratulations Kevin!
Next week a new chance to show your superior knowledge. Or try today's post-war challenge. Today's winners: please send us your mail address and T-shirt size S, M, L, XL, XXL or XXXL and your prize will come your way!
(photos courtesy Fountainhead Museum)
The caption on this picture tells us it is the 1932 Concours d'élégance in Bois de Boulogne. The two ladies could easily be twins, but are named as Marie Costes and Mme de Beaufort and we wonder just what connection they had with Alfa Romeo? Did they know this model 8c 2300 won the Monaco Grand Prix and the Targa Florio driven by Nuvolari? If they didn't know that great driver, perhaps they knew Raymond Sommer or Luigi Chinetti who won the 1932 Le mans 24 hour race in one? All eyes are on the ladies in their matching outfits and we hope someone may know more about them or the car, which we hope we have identified correctly!
UPDATE by editor - Eagle-eyed readers quickly identified this car as a 6c 1750 ( smaller brake drums) and we trust they will help decide the name of the coachbuilder. Zagato? Touring? Or by Brianza?
(Text Robin Batchelor picture courtesy Bibliothèque nationale de France)
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