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Thursday, 21 August 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Oily Rag Ford returns to the road

1935 ford_22hp_coupe_oily_rag_run_2014-1

With The Automobile's event exclusively for unrestored cars, the Oily Rag Run, drawing ever nearer, it seems like the perfect time to take a closer look at a truly Oily Rag conservation story. This rare 1935 Ford 22hp coupé was found by owner David Acon in 2012 in the USA. Discovering it was originally an English-market car, he bought the Ford and had it shipped back home. Instead of embarking on a full restoration, he had the mechanical parts rebuilt and renewed, including a full engine rebuild, and carefully conserved the paintwork and interior in their original state.

As expected, there are some age-related scuffs and the moth has been at the seats, but overall the condition is amazingly good. David discovered why when researching the car's history: owned from new by a doctor who died in 1940, the Ford was put into storage by his widow, where it remained until 1962. After the engine was damaged in the harsh winter of 1962-63, it was again taken off the road, where it remained until 2012, meaning this rare survivor has spent more of its life off the road than on it. Read the full story of its discovery and renovation in the latest issue of The Automobile, which is out now.

(photographs by Tom Pilston)

Thursday, 21 August 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

What colour to choose for George Roesch's finest saloon?

1935 talbot_ba110_james_young_sports_saloon_470
This is about the dilemma of Stewart Wilkie. While restoring his Talbot Saloon (hear-hear!) he has arrived at the point where he needs to decide about colour.

Stewart adds: "Very few of the type 110 saloons have survived as they were broken up for racing spares or converted into racing specials. Even more rare than the standard saloon is the James Young creation. Two were made and only one survives. My 1935 Talbot BA110 James Young sports saloon has the wonderful 160 BHP engine - designed by George Roesch the maestro. It was with a similar production car (not a single seater) that he lapped Brooklands at 130 m.p.h. After a 22 year restoration it wil be seen on the road by early next year. The photo above is the other one while my car - the survivor - was made for the Birkin family (Tim was one of the Bentley boys) so Brooklands green or Bentley BRG are the favourite colour options at the moment and with a month to decide I will have a bit to think on..."

Editor: In view of the Brooklands story, that shade of green seems to be more close to the essence of the car. Yet that's only our humble opinion. What would be your vote?

Editor (2): James Fack adds to the info about the James Young coachwork as provided by Pass & Joyce Ltd.. Archie H. Pass & Charlie J. Joyce were the partners in a car-dealing business which they described - rightly or wrongly - as the largest in London and its surrounding counties (the so-called 'Home Counties'). They also fancied themselves as coachwork designers, and during the early 1930s they were either the owners of James Young & Co., or its financial backers in one form or another: I've just received an e-mail from Tom Clarke, probably the greatest authority on coachbuilding in Britain - if not in the world! - and he has a 1936/7 Pass & Joyce Rolls-Royce and Bentley sales brochure in which every single body is by James Young & Co.!

I've heard it said that Charlie Joyce died young - in about 1937. Whatever, James Young & Co. was then bought by the major Rolls-Royce & Bentley dealer Jack Barclay, and he re-named it James Young & Co. Ltd. He then bought J. Gurney Nutting & Co., and transferred the latter's Chief Designer A.F.McNeil - whom many believed to be the best in the country - to James Young & Co. Ltd. Gurney Nutting then carried-on with John Blatchley as its Chief Designer - but he went to work for Rolls-Royce during the War and never left it afterwards: he part-designed the Mark VI Bentley/R-R Silver Dawn, and totally designed the Bentley S/Silver Cloud and the Bentley T/Silver Shadow! Gurney Nutting basically never recovered from this, and went out of business in about 1947...

Wednesday, 20 August 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Art-deco Ruxtons overwhelm at Pebble Beach

Colourful Ruxtons overwhelm at Pebble Beach
Right. Holiday is over and we’re going back to work. Well, okay – just one more look back at Pebble Beach before we do just that. Now, there was quite a lot that impressed. How about a Bentley Speed Six with drophead coupe body by Saoutchik. Yes – a Bentley! Or that gorgeous little 1913 Peugeot L45 racer in between all that big machinery and century-old BIS Mercedes racers.

But it’s this image of a string of 1929/1930 front wheel driven Ruxton Sedans at the prestigious concours that stays with us above all. To see one of those crazy multi-coloured creatures is something you won’t forget soon – but four of them! We learned that this unusual colour scheme was designed by art-deco architect Joseph Urban to lengthen the appearance of the car through broad bands of white intermixed with vivid colours. Certainly a most daring feature to put on the market in the middle of the big crisis…

(Picture courtesy Kimball Studios)
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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