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About What is it? Quiz #453

Whatisit quiz #453
 

Congratulations to all contributors, as everyone identified the car as a Bellanger, built by the former Paris agent of Westinghouse, Delaunay-Belleville and Pilain. Most of you also agreed upon the prewar origin of this specific model, but then it started to diverge And I agree, it is difficult to find information on the prewar Bellangers. Officially and with a mouthful this model is designated as the 2CH 20 HP 3.3 litres sports torpedo type 'Lyon' from 1913. Yes, several prewar models had been given European city names. Other examples were the 'Londres', the 'Madrid', the 'Bruxelles' and even the 'Christiania'! Before the war, all were equipped with a Daimler Knight engine and a chassis which according to some sources came from Belgium. Hence the 'international' designation. The initial models were the 15 HP 2.6 litres and the 20 HP 3.3 litres. Only in 1914, the range was extended with a 38 HP 6.3 litres. A small catalogue image of our quiz model can be found in the excellent article by Michael Worthington-Williams on this make, which appeared in the April 2016 issue of The Automobile.

But back to our quiz-contributors: Fried Stol sent in a good overview of the make, as did Robert Vierbergen, but none of the contestants was really spot on with the model. Closest was Philippe Becret, who was correct in the 2CH 20 HP 3.3 litres, but thought it was a 1914 model. And, as for me the model identification puts more weight on the scale than the extras, I congratulate Philippe with his win this time!

Saturday, 16 September 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

6 reasons I love my Model Ts

6 reasons I love my Model Ts

6 reasons I love my Model Ts, need I have to say anymore???? Oh, yes! once they get in they don't know how to open the door/

by Warren Henderson
     
Friday, 15 September 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

Finding the owner in Denmark of a 1927 Franklin

Finding the owner in Denmark of a 1927 Franklin
Bill Roth of St. Paul, Minnesota is looking for the current owner of a Franklin he restored.
"I restored this 1927 Franklin Oxford Victoria Coupe in 1974 and sold it approximately in the late fall of 1997 to a man in Denmark. I never was able to speak directly with him (language barrier), but I did speak through an Englishmen translator, who facilitated working out the shipping details. I have lost my records of the sale.

In 1975, this Franklin has won the Antique Automobile Club of American National Presidents Cup for best restoration of that period and also won the Classic Car Club of America best restoration for cars from 1895 to 1935. The photo attached is from The A.A.C.A. "Antique Automobile" back cover page publication of Jan-Feb 1978.

I am interested in finding what has happened to the car these last 20 years and who owns it now. Any leads would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!"

Thursday, 14 September 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

A military trial

A military trial
This Panhard-Levassor lorry dates from 1900 – and was taking part in military maneuvers held by the French army to assess the capabilities of petrol and steam commercial vehicles.  There is, however, a curious thing about this image: it appears that the army is hedging its bets, by testing a replacement for horse-drawn transport – but making sure it could still supply feed for those same horses.  The magnificent name in the caption of this photograph is Chariot-Fourragère – or Fodder Wagon.
The French army at this time saw that the greatest advantage of petrol or steam vehicles would be to reduce its reliance on horses.  These were extremely costly to maintain – and above all the transport of feed took up vehicle capacity that could have been better employed in moving men and equipment.  Another, even more, troubling problem was highlighted by the experience of the British Army in the Boer War that was still raging at the time of our photograph: setbacks in the war caused by the death of horses and mules.  According to reports by the British, these would have far less impact if the army had access to more “mechanical tractors.”
Perhaps, therefore, it is not surprising that such great military interest in motorized transport existed at such an early date.  And this interest wasn’t confined to simple lorries.  Whether during the specific 1900 manoeuvres or in general testing, the French military was also evaluating some highly-specialised forms of transport.  In the same article that provided our main image there was mention, and an illustration, of a military vehicle for transporting carrier pigeons, driven by ‘heavy oil’.  Just visible in the image (which we also show here) are the words Automobile Système Koch, which took us to a short entry in Georgano that confirmed that use of heavy oil, in an opposed-piston single cylinder engine based on the first Saurer cars.
More fascinating vehicles were being trialed: another image shows a vehicle for carrying telegraph cables on drums, including all the equipment needed to install the telegraph lines.  There was an ambulance by de Dietrich and van for military post by Georges Richard.  And, most impressively, there was a Scotte steam tractor, hauling a train of at least six loaded wagons.  Although these are shown in much smaller photographs than our main image, we’ve included them to show the wide range of vehicles that were being tested by the French military – many years before the First World War became the first war truly recognized as being ‘mechanised’.
Words by Peter Moss
Photograph courtesy of the Richard Roberts Archive
     
Wednesday, 13 September 2017 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

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