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When you spend three days at the annual Beaulieu Autojumble,the three fields are mostly filled with men and their beloved motoring stuff. So it was a refreshing surprise to come across Jackie sitting in the Napier-Campbell Bluebird Special which had only recently emerged from the workshop of Lord Lorne Jacobs.
Jackie is no stranger to big cars with big engines because her friend Mike Vardy owns this Isotta-Fraschini-Fiat whose engine is a mere 16½ litres compared with the Napier Campbell’s 22.3 litres from its (earliest known) Sea Lion W12 cylinder engine. I had recently photographed the Napier-Campbell elsewhere, but these pictures were more fun as can be seen as Jackie climbed out of her new favourite car.
(Text and photographs Robin Batchelor)
The Beaulieu Autojumble always will cough up a few mysteries. This time best of show in that respect was the engine Yesterdays (antique Motorcycles) put up for display. An extremely well engineered one cylinder, approximately two and a half feet high. The Yesterday people think it was created around 1910 yet the machine is ultimately modern in many respects so anything is possible. Let's start with the basics. The single cylinder for breathing has four desmodromic valves and a compressing unit getting the umpf from sub-piston pressure, and regulated by the bevel axle which also drives valvetrain and ignition. The twin ignition feeds four sparkplugs.
You can find more pictures HERE and a video of the engine being turned HERE.
Ok, now where would one need a set-up like this car (Voiturette racing machine? Racing boat?) Except for a few below 10 digits the engine has no markings at all. Possibly it is a prototype or demonstration machine. The machine is showing strong family resemblances with the 1910 Lion-Peugeot Evolution long stroke vertical twin as shown in Kent Karslakes's book Racing Voiturettes. Maybe a one cylinder study on the same theme?
Over to you...
Our friend Fer likes to stroll around on flea markets, jumble sales and car boot sales and manages to find a little treasure every now and then, too. Take this picture for example, discovered at a 'marche aux puces' in Belgium recently. It shows a beautiful Peugeot 402 cabriolet. And it's not on its own. In fact it came in a stack of 10 photographs, all depicting the same, Belgian registered, 402. Fer believes they must have been made during a trip through Austria and Hungary. And there were even more. As a matter of fact visiting a race seemed to be one of the purposes of the travels, with more pictures of cars in action - Auto Unions supposedly - emerging. However, these were left on the flea market as the picture's quality was pretty bad, says Fer. Ouch!
He wonders about this cool picture, though, showing another pre war car. It's mounted high up on a sign post, which according to Google's translation programme reads 'Drive slow or memorial service'... We can only guess the car was once involved into a nasty crash. Question is what it can be. A modified T-Ford?, Fer asks. We're sure you will be able to tell him.
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