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Hollow bronze crank case of cycle car circa 1905-10
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Sudden changes of climate

Changing times,

The climate is a big issue to some, and rightfully so. The first 100 Miles of Amsterdam was scheduled just after the Copenhagen Climate Conference (2009) warning us about the warming of planet earth. On the morning of the rally, to our surprise we were confronted with a full foot of fresh snow, plus blizzards, closed roads, closed restaurants and dug-in marshals. We had to postpone the event to the distress of many.

For this year we planned the 100 Miles of Amsterdam on the longest night, dark, cold and  miserable. The city of Amsterdam was even going to assist us. We told you that bureaucracy is too slow and that we are still waiting for a suitable starting location. In fact it is the weather, we do not want to offend the hardened winter driver with subtropical winter conditions. For next year we are confident that we can start on the Museum Square, and we pray for a smooth layer of fresh snow.

(Text & photo Bart Kleyn)

Sunday, 21 December 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

About Quiz #385: Chevriac or Pontrolet!

About Quiz #385: Chevriac or Pontrolet!

We said this would be easy, yet hard. Every contestant knew this is a Pontiac, and all but one correctly pegged it as 1940. Five of you knew it's a Pontiac Arrow, a Canada-only model, based on that year's Chevrolet. Like the US-built Pontiacs, whose least expensive model was the Special Six, the Arrow shared GM's "A" size body with Chevrolet. but unlike the Special Six, which had a 116-1/2 inch wheelbase and 222.7 cubic inch sidevalve engine, the Arrow had 113-inch Chevy chassis and 216.5 cubic inch overhead-valve "Stovebolt" engine. The dashboard, however, was Pontiac. To make the Pontiac nose sheet metal fit the shorter chassis it was reconfigured, resulting in more front overhang and a look best described as "uncomfortable." The difference shows up when comparing to a 1940 Pontiac Special Six and the Chevrolet Special Deluxe.

The postwar Canadian models are fairly well known, Chrysler Corporation's "Plodges," typically Plymouths with Dodge noses and trim, and Ford's Monarch and Meteor sub-marques sold only in Canada, as well as more modern Cheviacs. International tariffs are sometimes blamed for this variety, but the more important reason had to do with dealerships. Canada's smaller, less-densely settled populations resulted in car dealers spaced farther apart. The Cheviac gave Pontiac dealers a less expensive car to sell than was available at their stores in the USA. Since there was not a Chevy dealer next door, corporate fratricide was a minor worry. Today, of course, automakers just swap the badges of one marque for another, and thanks to the Canada-US Auto Pact of 1965 there is free trade of cars across the border.

Gerry Barrett gave us all the specifics, while adding that the "A Vendre" sign and fire hydrant peg the photo as taken in French-speaking Canada. Indeed, I snapped it in Sabrevois, Québec, while returning to the USA from Montréal. He also gives Regina, Saskatchewan, as a Canadian Pontiac plant, although the Sanford Evans data book, a trove of elusive information on Canadian cars, indicates they were also built at GM's Canadian HQ at Oshawa, Ontario. Congratulations to first-time winner Gerry, please email us your T-shirt size and mail address so we can send your T-shirt. A special mention to jury member Alan Spencer who contributes the colloquial nicknames "Chevriac" and "Pontrolet," and to Peter Johnson, who educates us about the "lovely Clow type D67 Premier fire hydrant and Canadian style sign."

(Text & photos Kit Foster)

    
Saturday, 20 December 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

A Catalonian Christmas Greeting

A Catalonian Christmas Greeting.
I have learned not to say Ceci lives in Spain, because she lives in Catalonia and Catalonians fiercely value their independence. Luckily, she loves England and all things English and occasionally visits these shores to attend English courses to improve her skills as an English teacher. Ceci wanted to do some Christmas shopping, so I drove her to Waddesdon Manor in my Bullnose Morris. The Buckinghamshire Manor was built in the Neo-Renaissance style of a French château between 1874 and 1889 for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild but is now owned by The National Trust which always has a well-stocked shop. The car park attendant melted at Ceci’s pleas to allow us to drive right up to the door and I promised not to drop any oil on the gravel drive.

It had rained while we were shopping so I bought some mince pies to warm us for the journey home – I drove and Ceci was navigator. Happy Christmas !

(Words & pictures Robin Batchelor)

Friday, 19 December 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

The 5cv Cloverleaf Mystery

citroen 5cv with special body

Angelo van de Rijt recently found this special bodied 1923 Citroen 5cv. writes: "We would love to find some info about this special bodied Citroën 5cv 'cloverleaf'. It's been in storage for many decades. The widow fo the former owner couldn't tell us a lot about the history. All we know is what we can see, the workmanship is far above avarage and has very nice detailign . Also the car seems like never restored before, so we will refrain from undetaking any form of restoration and limit ourselves to a careful recommissioning. We just would love to hear more about the possible coachbuilder who was involved."
 
  
Thursday, 18 December 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

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1964 Ferrari 330 GT FIRST SERIES COUPE
Fly to Mallorca and drive back home in a 1964 Ferrari 330GT...  Go >>