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Brightwells 21 September: saloonist heaven

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Some of you will turn away in dismay. You may primarily be interested in bright coloured Coupes and Convertibles. Sorry,  today we will zoom in on next week's auction of Brightwells but concentrate - for a change - on the not so bright coloured but quite long line up of pre-war saloons that will be on offer.  Starting with this most attractive 6 cylinder Alvis Crested Eagle Six Light Saloon by Charlesworth. A longnosed, sporty saloon with plenty of room  and comfort. We envy the next owner.
Yet there's more, much more to long for and to consider.  Only several hundreds of the Alvis Speed 25 were produced. Still missing specimen keep re-emerging form oblivion. And what's more this 1939 Speed 25SC bodied by Charlesworth has even more to offer. It was a 1939 private competitor in the Monte Carlo rally.  There's yet another Alvis Saloon, but that's 1947 and we stick with pre-wars here. 
The next one is a sheer statement. Not the prettiest ever but you will not go unnoticed when you arrive with a swing with this 1938 Austin 18 Windsor Limousine.  
When you are in the market for something highly usable and not so dear, then take a longer look at the 1938 Austin Big 7 Forlite Saloon.  There is another probably very-very cheap Light 12/4 saloon, yet that one is in a very sad-sad condition.  More cheers for the 1932 Austin Seven RP Saloon which not only is very presentable but has serious upgrades. 12 Volt and hydraulic brakes! Ready for anything.
When you are really in for serious continental mileage you could seriously consider the wellsorted Ford 3,6 Litre V8 Fordor Deluxe.
For Morris fans Brightwells has a threesome to choose from. Like this very attractive black over forest green 1935 Four door with original interior.   
Riley aficionados probably will keep an eye on the bidding on this '36 Adelphi 12/4.
More offferings in the Crewe department. A choice of three, er... that is saloons, be sure to check the longlist for more! Anyway there's one well cared for 20/25 Mulliner Saloon with a long and detailed history. And finally as a grand saloon finale a choice of two projects a decade apart. A 1927 20HP Saloon with lots of work, kindly described aby the auctioneer with 'lots of potential'. 
Similar words coem up with  the second RR saloon project. a 1937 25/30 Hooper 'stiff upperlip' Sports Saloon

Happy salooning! Brightwells, Wednesday 21 September 
Thursday, 15 September 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Mystery brakes on the Parry Thomas GP Car (update: Perrot ?)

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Geraint Owen, whom we all know from the famous BABS (a lot less people know he was the first private to sell a car through these pages many-many years ago), has problems identifying the vintage brakes on another brilliant car, the Parry Thomas Flatiron car (right in the picture below, Babs on the left and the Leyland-Thomas in the middle).

'They are metric (all the bolts are metric threads and the diameter is 300 mm). They may well have been made in France, but I know for sure that they were made in the winter of 1925/26. They are fitted to the Parry Thomas Flatiron GP car'

Any idea about these mystery brakes? Please share your comments and/or educated guess below.
 JGPT with_three_cars_1927-800 Mystery brakes2_600 Mystery brakes3_600

Wednesday, 14 September 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

125 years of Panhard traces


On the first weekend of October, there will be a get together with more than 100 Panhard (et Levassor) cars in Compiegne to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the grand marque.
It is during Rallye des Ancetres, organised by Club de Teuf Teuf of France, so a good reason to visit Compiegne that weekend. For the occasion we invited french car historian Fons Alkemade to show us traces the famous make has left in the streets of Paris. 1470051954_resized_courrier-n2-inscription

One can doubt whether the first Panhard & Levassor car was built 125 or 126 years ago, but for now let’s focus on something else: where can a visitor to Paris still find traces of this automotive pioneer.

The history of Panhard is closely related to the avenue d’Ivry. Here at numbers 17 and 19 the company Perin Panhard et Cie., making wood-working machines, erected a new factory in 1874. And it was here that René Panhard and Émile Levassor started to build the first gas engines, under German licence, in 1876. P&L became the authorized builders of the Daimler engines and then, in 1890, the very first voiture automobile was born and the avenue d’Ivry – it is hard to imagine now – became one of the first streets in Paris where cars could be watched in some numbers.

Remarkably, parts of the old factory are still there. Up to the very end, 1967, Panhard luxury cars were produced here. From 2007 to 2013 important reconstruction activities took place and the huge factory hall was transformed into offices, a kindergarten and a daycare house for the homeless. Walk around the block, close your eyes and imagine what impact the very first Panhards which were leaving the factory gate must have made on the Parisians.

When visiting Paris, one should at least see the monument erected for Émile Levassor to commemorate him and especially his incredible victory in the 1895 Paris-Bordeaux-Paris race (48 hours and 47 minutes). Unfortunately, it is not that easy to find the monument. Due the permanent reconstruction of Paris in the last 100 years the impressive piece of stone has been put in the Square Alexandre-et-René-Parodi (near metro station Porte Maillot). If you have found the entrance of this little park, you can read (I must admit that the city of Paris is very good in hanging texts everywhere) that the monument was erected in 1907 and has been sculptured by Camille Lefebvre (1853-1933) after a sketch by Jules Dalou (1838-1902). My photo was made in 1998 and I hope the monument is still looking this fresh.

If you want to see a really old Panhard & Levassor car in a public place in Paris you have to go the Musée des Arts et Métiers (there are no specific automotive museums in Paris anymore…). In the former chapel several very early vehicles can be admired (e.g. the Cugnot machine) and if you do not suffer from height fear you can climb some stairs to find a 1896 P&L with a nice canopy on top.

Another very early Panhard is still – as far as I know - in the entrance hall of the Automobile Club de France at the place de la Concorde. But for most of us it is practically impossible to enter this bastion containing so many traces of automotive history. Only if you join the annual diner in February organised by the Society of Automotive Historians you are able to spot some parts of this huge building. Jean Panhard, who died in 2014 at the age of 101, was president of the ACF from 1977 to 1989.

And in case you just want to stroll around some Parisian streets why not try the quai Panhard & Levassor (near de Pont de Tolbiac) or the tiny rue René Panhard or the rue Émile Levassor (passing the École E. Levassor). Also a nice place to make a walk (with some serious climbing) is the cemetery Père Lachaise. In division 36 one can find the huge family tombe of the Panhards (which is in much better condition than most other tombes nearby).

photos and words Fons Alkemade 


Tuesday, 13 September 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

A London & Picton Mystery

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We received these beautiful pictures from Alex Selley, who is looking for identification of the 2 cars. Alex writes: "The photo of a chauffer driven car was taken in London, Circus Road, St. John's Wood in about 1913, the photo was given by his brother neighbour, a Mr Hartley of Western Australia who's Grandfather is the gentleman standing along side the car.

veteran mystery-800The second photo was given to me at a veteran car display to see if I could have this car identified. The gentleman who handed him the photo, has his grandmother sitting on the right in the back seat, the photo was taken at Picton, just out side Bunbury, Western Australia in about 1912 at the home of George Forrest, youngest brother of Lord Forrest 1st Premier of Western Australia."

Already we're looking forward to see/read your comments! And when you have family photos waiting for an ID, don't hesitate to send them in to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Monday, 12 September 2016 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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