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Dear Prewar Editor:
Chris Leigh-Jones reports from wonderful historic Charleston. Would you know of any better place in the US to use a french vintage car? Chris wrote: "In the past I did the 2 hour daily commute from Littlehampton into London. Luckily my wife convinced me to emigrate and now the commute takes only 22 minutes in the rush hour of Charleston, South Carolina. I drive the Bug perhaps 20 times a year. It has to be a time when it's not going to rain, rain here is torrential but failing that the weather is beautiful most of the year, the commute is 12 miles. If you have a truck behind you then bet to go faster, they can’t see you very well most times or just don’t look. My son gets taken to school in it at the same time." Chris is very modest and honest about the car, "...it's made from Ebay in the main and has very many none standard parts on it. Like the steering box came from a Fiat, the chassis is a copy."
Editor: Well Chris, the number of Bugattis with a non-Molsheim frame probably would give a traffic jam longer than the French Quarter where you live is wide. So don't worry too much about that. The great thing with a car like yours is that you won't hesitate to take it out in US rush hour traffic!
(Photos by Chris Leigh-Jones)
It is a lovely cyclecar with outspoken radiator, nice cocky wings, interesting frontaxle and 'desirable' beltdrive. The radiator is topped with a figurine which looks like a flamenco dancer, yet that's not very clear and we're also not sure if it's a factory item. The photo is a bit unclear due to the fact that it was printed for use as a postcard. We understand this is the two seater sports version, but we are not sure if we're looking at the 2 or 4 cylinder (Ballot?) version and in fact are hoping to learn more from you. The marque lived only for two years.
You know the drill. We want the name and model designation of the car with any extra information being awarded. Bonus points for any trivial knowledge not readily available from 'the web' or 'the shelf'. In order to have a chance of winning the infamous PreWarCar T-shirt, please check The Rules under 'Read More'. Results will be published next Saturday September 27.
When I have guests staying from overseas I like to take them to Oxford and all its architecture and museums and shops, but on the way there I turn down a small side street and stop. Out with the camera and take the picture that is always the favourite. A shark in a roof!
It’s known as the Headington Shark and when ‘Kat’ came to stay from Germany, a ride in my Bullnose Morris would have been enough, but the look on her face as we rounded the corner was priceless. The car was made in 1921 only a few miles away, in Cowley. The shark has become very popular with tourists and the original house owner has now rented the house out to new people to let them answer the constant questions.
(Text and photographs Robin Batchelor)
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