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On My Merry Oldsmobile

On my merry Oldsmobile.

Recent sunny weather plus longer daylight hours convinces us that Spring is truly sprung and we should all jump in our cars and celebrate the new blossom, daffodils, baby lambs or whatever takes your fancy in this new season.
Our Friday lady has Agaves growing nearby – not the prettiest of plants – but never mind, the jaunty angle she holds her head, and her choice of pleated frock tells us she would love to go for a drive in the country and enjoy the fresh air.

The car she carefully climbed upon is a 1928 Oldsmobile Coupe, also known as a Landau Coupe because of theose 'Landaubars' ( short for Laundaulette) which were carried over from horse-drawn carriage days. The Oldsmobile name goes back to 1901 when the Curved Dash Oldsmobile was made from 1901 to 1904 – some say the first mass produced car.

Notice the radiator has vertical radiator slats, controlled by thermostat, which allows the reduction of air flowing through the radiator in cold weather. The history books tell us that the first pilots to fly the Atlantic Ocean were Alcock and Brown on 14 June 1919 in their twin-engined Vickers Vimy, but the previous month, Hawker and Mackenzie Grieve took off in their single-engined Sopwith but were forced to ditch in the ocean when their cooling water boiled. The radiator shutters in front of their 350hp Rolls Royce Eagle motor were closed because the lever in the cockpit had mistakenly been fitted to read back to front !

The quality of the Shorpy image reveals the sparkling paint of a brand new car, not yet fitted with registration plates,  and notice also the creases in her stockings. Nylon wasn’t used in stockings until 1940, and the stretchy lycra fibres weren’t added to women’s stockings until after 1959, that leaves silk ( or rayon) which was notorious for bagging at the knees and ankles as the day wore on, so our lady is looking as good as possible early in the day.

The early cars were officially known as “Olds Automobiles”, but the name “Oldsmobile” was popularised by the lyrics and title of the 1905 hit song “In My Merry Oldsmobile” and if you take our lady by the hand and help her down from the car, you can ask her to dance to that very song. Listen HERE. The gentleman playing it for you is Graham Rankin, who periodically corresponds with PreWarCar.com and has a passion for early gramophones of the best quality. Oh, and amongst several other cars, he also owns a Curved Dash Oldsmobile.

PS. Remember to put your clocks and watches forward 1 hour on sunday for British Summer Time.

(Text Robin Batchelor, photograph courtesy Shorpy)

Friday, 27 March 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

95 years Bentley; allow your car a day out in Holland

bentley 3litre_470

Is your car tired of the City? Then consider this. It may not have come to your mind, but it's 2015 and so Bentley cars show their aristocratic face around the globe since 95 years. The clever organisers of  The National Oldtimer Day in Holland (always on Father's Day; this year Sunday, June 21 ) must have thought, let's not wait for the centennial  in 2020 when everybody claims these cars. So why not do a Bentley 95 celebration? Bright idea! This in cooperation with PreWarCar. Our common goal is to get together a crowd of 95 vintage and classic Bentleys.

So if you own a vintage or post-vintage Bentley you are most welcome as a special guest at the largest pre-war & classic car event of the Netherlands. All participating Bentley crews will receive a 'Certificate of Participation' handed out by the British Consul-General in The Netherlands, Sir John Haseltine Cameron-Webb, which of course is fun but more important is the outlook on a super Bentley gathering with many PreWarCar friends. We are really looking forward to welcome you and your car at the PreWarCar hospitality. Now if you consider coming over, be sure to contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or contact organiser William Vermeulen at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

So far have entered:

1925 Bentley 3 litre Sports Tourer Gurney Nutting

1929 Bentley 3.5 ltr. Special

1931 Bentley 4.5 Blower Special Vandenplas

1928 Bentley 4.5 Vandenplas Tourer

1935 Bentley 3.5 Park Ward DHC

1937 Bentley Saloon Mann Egerton

1949 Bentley Mk VI Mulliner Saloon

1950 Bentley Mk VI Park Ward DHC 1950

1952 Bentley S3 First Serie Standard Saloon

1965 Bentley S3 Saloon  

1966 Bentley T Saloon

1995 Bentley Continental R 



(photo is showing the 1925 3 litre (thanks for the correction Greg) Gurney Nutting sports tourer owned by Bert Degenaar)

Thursday, 26 March 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

Auburn going places... (update: Excelsior bike and Essex Boattail Speedster)

1926 auburn_groningen_470
When you live in the Netherlands the province of Groningen is not exactly the place where you expect high-end cars. Certainly back then it was a remote rural area mainly inhabited with relatively poor farmers. The attached photos were a wake up call for your editor. We never thought of the upcoming industrial culture of chaps producing carton, potato flour and more. The issue came up when a nearby living friend, architect Matthijs Neven was clearing out family archives. And came up with three interesting cars from Groningen:
- The above 1926 Auburn six cylinder, interestingly the owner of this cr first drove a 1920 Minerva (?) motorbike (correction; Excelsior ) with the same A-5028 registration. About the XL headlights on the Auburn we thought they were a later addition. But a nearly identical car is known in Kalkota, India
- Second car is a 1928 Amilcar CGSs, registration A-807, appearing at the start in the same tour, rally, sprint (judging the skid marks in the Amilcar shot this may have been a short sprint with 'a cheval' stop...?) The photo soon will be added to the online album of Dutch Amilcars.  
- Third car is an Essex, registered A-20231, presumably a 1927 Essex Roadster or? (correction:  Boattail Speedster) We wonder if the horizontal lines in the radiator were a one year only thing? At the end of the war a Pontiac car with the same registration was taken by the Germans.
We started with three old B&W snaps delivered to our office at the end of last week...

(family archive Matthijs Neven)

Wednesday, 25 March 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

Build your own Phony & Flashy

delahaye usa_470
We know that most of you love a good replica, especially when it's made of the good type of resin. So we thought why not present to you the very best of show in this category at Amelia Island. No it's not a Volkswagen or anything near what's hiding underneath. It's up to you to decide what would give a nice fit under this shiny skin. Yet to keep your creativity alive, we decide here and now there is no Delahaye or Delage gear available. We love to hear your opinions and ideas...

Can't get enough of this?  There's more at DelahayeUSA.com
Tuesday, 24 March 2015 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

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