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River dries up – cars turn up

River dries up – cars turn up
We told you about the long-lost Land Rover that all of a sudden, 27½  years after being taken by the sea, turned up once more in Cornwall (click here), but how about this one? These pictures were sent over to us without much reference. So we can only guess to what happened.

That’s a river gone dry for some reason. Perhaps a bypass was made? Perhaps it was a really, really, dry summer? Who can tell? What we do see though is a couple of cars that should probably never have ended up in the river in the first place. Was there perhaps no kerb on the parking on top of the river bedding in days now gone? Or were these stolen and driven into the river on purpose? Those are an awful lot of questions.

We do think the pictures were taken in France though. Not only does the setting ooze France in some way or another, it’s also about the cars. All the ones that we think we are able to identify appear to be of French origins and from a certain era when the French were French enough to only buy their own products. So.. do you know more? And can you identify these cars? Do drop us a line in the comments below.

(Words editor, picture source unknown)


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

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Paris to London per Peardrop

We found another little moving image gem. It’s about a microcar named the Peardrop. And the car can be seen driving through London traffic in 1952, Piccadilly Circus and all. That gives a good view on the fascinating little three-wheeler, with its retractable bubble top and one-cylinder air-cooled – and no doubt two-stroke – engine. We couldn’t find much more about the Peardrop, though. Despite its British name we did note the French registration from the ‘75’ department: Paris. No too sure if we would dare to drive it through either London or Paris traffic, leave alone from Paris to London! The film footage does give a great little insight in the British capital, back in the days when men wore bowler hats and trains ran on steam, though. Now, where did the Peardrop go next? Berlin? Milan? New York?

Video Diagonalview

Monday, 24 July 2017

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The Last Hotchkiss

The Last Hotchkiss

What can you tell about the car in the photograph above? It’s a sober black saloon from the early 1950s. The styling is a little on the heavy side, and it all looks somehow unfamiliar. Students of motoring’s great failures will recognise it at once as the Hotchkiss-Grégoire, the last all-new car launched by the French company.
The car was the brainchild of front wheel-drive pioneer Jean-Albert Grégoire, and was a total break from the traditional Hotchkiss product. It featured a 2.2-litre horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine driving the front wheels, complicated suspension with horizontal coil springs in tension and a cast aluminium main structure to which aluminium panels were attached.
It was also difficult to build, vastly expensive to buy and unusual to look at. Fewer than 250 were sold and Hotchkiss stopped producing cars altogether shortly after production of the Grégoire ended. But was it actually any good? With only a handful of survivors still in use, few people have the opportunity to discover for themselves. In the latest issue of The Automobile, which is out now, the only roadworthy Hotchkiss-Grégoire in England is put through its paces – but you’ll have to read the full story to find out the verdict. 

(Photographs by Nick Clements)


Sunday, 23 July 2017

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Tough to crack car puzzle #163

Tough to crack car puzzle #163
This is not a car, but a detail of a car. And what a funky one! It is of course a steering wheel, but not completely as we know it. This steering wheel – or actually its boss – also houses gauges, metres, stalks and switches. Pretty clever isn’t it? But still, it didn’t catch on, and we have never seen any other car with this distinctive feature. That narrows the search down considerably, doesn’t it? We think you may well remember it if you ever came across it. Oh, and have a closer look at the script on these gauges: ‘Benzina’, ‘Press. Olio’, ‘Acqua’, ‘Temp Olio’… We’re not giving away more for now! Do indulge us with insider stories if you have them. We’re expecting plenty of answers from you. Please do click for the rules below first. And enjoy the weekend for now!

Saturday, 22 July 2017

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