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Beaulieu Bluebird

napier campbell_bluebird_special_470

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)

Friday, 12 September 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

A one-pot, four-valve, four-spark Mystery

1910 one_pot_4_valve_mystery_300The 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...
Thursday, 11 September 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

Drive slow or… (UPDATE: very rare Peuegeot 402 Roadster and yes it's a Ford)

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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.
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

The oldies must go to keep the youngsters interested...!?

Fancy a Ford?

No less than 47 pre-war and early post-war Fords will be auctioned on October 1 and 2 in the Dutch flowerbulb municipality of Hillegom. They form part of the largest private collection of Fords in the world, the Den Hartog Ford Museum. In 1997 the Den Hartogh Ford Museum openend its doors to the public and in 2002 the Guinness Book of Records granted it official status as world's biggest private collection of Fords. The museum houses some rare examples including a 1903 Model A, 1904 Model B and C, 1905 Model F and the first 6-cylinder Ford, a 1906 Model K. However, the times are changing and the Ford Museum feels it needs to attract a younger public... ouch that hurts!

To do that, they are looking to say goodbye to no less than 10 Model T's plus 37 other oldies and to add a number of post-1940 Ford models to the collection. Pfff, as if that will help! They would do better in stead of selling to use the Model T's to drive around town and pick-up youngsters from bus stops and nearby train stations. Bet you they like these more than a modern classic Mustang or Capri...

The good news, the really good stuff remains in the collection. Yet there are some quite interesting buys. Buses and fire engines feature prominently, not sursprisingly as they take up a lot of space. And how about a 1937 model 950 V8 touringcar that seats 16? Perfect if you like to travel with friends, Beaulieu? Hershey? Or maybe you have a big garden and are looking for something to speed up watering your plants? The 1946 V8 fire truck with its impressive engine driven Kronenburg waterpump at the front might be just the ticket! The oldest car to be auctioned is a 1911 Model T Speedster. Viewing day is on Sunday, September 28 and the online auction takes place on October, 1 and 2. See for full inventory BVA auctions.

Tuesday, 09 September 2014 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail

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