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Throwback Thursday: Voisin's Abstract Beauty

voisinmotor-1Last week we promised you to show you a series of great stories from a more or less distant past in view of PreWarCar's 15 year anniversary. This story by Rudy Kousbroek was published by us in November 2004. We found out that it was read, clicked and found better than any other story ever published at PreWarCar. Sadly Rudy died nearly six years ago.  He was a renowned writer, amilcarist and a personal friend of Gabriel Voisin. We are still proud that he liked to help us with this write up about the art of Avions Voisin. 

by Rudy Kousbroek:
(the above photo was a gift by Gabriel Voisin)

"What is the meaning of the word ‘classic’ in connection with motor cars? With the increasing use of the word its definition has become detached from the original meaning of 'a creation of the highest excellence', to mean not much more than 'old' when it is applied to cars. For this reason I prefer to use the English word 'vintage'. A vintage car is, in principle, an automobile dating from before 1930, but even so not every car from that time is eligible. Very rarely some vehicles of a later date may also be included in the vintage category, but they must fulfil exceptional criteria. That, to me, is what 'classic' means with respect to cars. No American cruisers with fins, no Volkswagens, no ‘oldtimers’. Recently someone handed me a copy of the magazine Classic Trader. I was appalled ....
Thursday, 31 March 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Monte Carlo or Bust on a prewar Riley Nine

Monte Carlo or Bust on a prewar Riley Nine

The Riley Nine has the honour of being the first light car to complete the torturous Athens to Monte Carlo route of the famous endurance rally. In 1932, with the appropriately-named Rupert Riley at the wheel, a specially prepared WD tourer was one of only six teams that completed the notoriously tricky route. In 1934, he repeated the feat and this time came 2nd in the 1500cc class, beaten in the final driving tests by Donald Healey in a Triumph Dolomite. His performance also earned him seventh place overall – a remarkable performance in a remarkable car.

With these historic drives in mind, the owners of marque specialists Blue Diamond Riley Services decided to try and re-live some of the glory (if not the hardship) in a restored WD tourer prepared by themselves. Taking the less strenuous, but still challenging, John O'Groats route of the newly inaugurated Monte Carlo Rally Classique, the team covered more than 1600 miles in four days in their 84-year old Riley. It would make for a much more dramatic story if they had suffered breakdowns at every turn, but in fact the car didn't miss a beat during the entire trip and the team arrived triumphantly in Monaco, tired but unscathed.

You can read both sides of the story – Rupert Riley's 1930s attempts and John Lomas and Gordon McAllan's recent jaunt – in the latest issue of The Automobile, which is out now.

(Photographs from BDRS/Motoring Picture Library, Beaulieu)

Wednesday, 30 March 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

PreWarCar Workshop: getting spares for your car.


One of the most important sections of our beloved hobby is finding spare parts for one's vehicle. Things will break from time to time. And finding spares is not always easy. Sometimes parts are relatively easy to reproduce by machining in the home shop. Simple lathe and mill work can give you most bolts, pins, supports etc.

When your broken part is a casting, it gets a little more complicated. Brass and aluminum are easily casted in the home shop, cast iron is (although not impossible) a little more challenging.Like The_Original-100

Starting with this article, we like to show you repair projects under the name "Prewarcar Workshop". This week, we like to show you a mounting bracket for a friction shock absorber.

In this case we chose to reproduce a cast part by machining it and patinate the part by hand to make sure it gets an original look.

Square Block_Of_Steel-150The project starts with a square block of steel. It's machined in several steps to a fully machined part.Fully Machined_Part-150 Then the elbow grease is applied and after a couple hours of hand filing the part is shaped like the original with all the machining marks removed. Now it just needs a little sanding for paint and it's done.

For a full photo album with descriptions of the machining of this part, click here.

(Work performed and article written by Jos van Genugten)

If you want to share your projects for the 'PWC Workshop', let us know
Tuesday, 29 March 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

While hunting for Split-Screen campers!

above Amilcar_mystery_Peru-470

"Junior Editor" Griff sends in a recent discovery. You may know what it is. We know what it is. It's just hat he doesn't know what it is. It seems that Amilcars pop in from everywhere currently... Today from a remote country on the southern hemisphere, no not Australia/New Zealand! Here's the story, we decided to edit as little as possible, just because we love the story so much, and how the search can be if you don't know where to start looking:  

"My friend went to Peru on Holiday and whilst he was there I asked him to get Splitscreen Campers, if possible. The designers Son Mr Pon lives a mile away in Somerset and we have always liked them
When travelling to see a 1960 Kombi my friend spotted an advert for a "1920's Roadster" in the same area
Engine Amilcar_mystery_Peru-150My friend said what did I think of it and I said I don't really know much about pre war cars but will try and do some research.
Then on Friday I had an email saying my friend had purchased it !
The car has been packed up and is going to be shipped in May

We have found a brass stamp on the block saying "VISITE DU COLLECTEU" which means Visit the collector in French (editor: haven seen one of those before).  Also "Establts Ducellier" on the starter motor which seems to be Italian but the translation just said Italian dialect detected. (editor: Ducellier is a french margque of auto electric s). Also the head has the letters "FPS" Stamped on it it two places. (editor: we know these as marking of the F-oundry) 

There are two pairs of numbers 13  58 stamped on the chassis , I did a Google search of GP cars of 1913 and a photo of Albert Guyot in a 6-2l 4 cylinder Delage in the 1913 French GP (WITH N0 10 0N GRILLE) he finished 5th  (editor: we're afraid Griff, this has little to do with your otherwise amazing find)

The radiator looks very similar and the engine is a flat head 4 cylinder(side valve possibly) so I think it may be pre war rather than 1920's.  The hoops for the body work look like early Ferrari or Alfa Romeo there is also letters on the hoops but until we get the chassis cleaned up identifying the letters from the photos is difficultfront Amilcar_mystery_Peru-150

It may be a red herring but there was a photo of Jimmy Murphy in a white Duesenberg in 1921 at the indy 500 (with n0 35 on the car) in the original advert and the car had some similarities. The last bit of information is that we have been informed that the engine runs, hence the new spark plugs. (editor: well miracles do happen from time to time)

Having paid very little for the car and because the engine runs whatever it is , wether its a "Bitsy" we will restore it regardless of its value as a fun project
However we would love to find out what it is so we can( if applicable), restore it to its original condition if its a historic car
All we know from the chaps in Peru is the car was rescued from a car "Grave yard"
The car is pretty complete but the chassis does not seem to have the leg irons for the front suspension

rear Amilcar_mystery_Peru-100Once again thanks so much for your help in this matter and any help in solving the mystery would be wonderful

R A Griffiths,  'Junior Editor' 

Monday, 28 March 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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