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Letters to the Editor

Please deliver your views, opinions, ideas and more in  our  mailbox.
Yet keep in mind, that if you are rude, too  loud or too long we may edit or not publish.
If you would like to submit content to please choose one of the themes below.

Man owned & drove the same car for 82 years!

Wednesday, 09 January 2013


They certainly don't make them like that anymore. This man owned & drove the same car for 82 YEARS. Can you imagine even having the same car for 82 years! "How Long Have You Owned a Car?"

Mr. Allen Swift ( Springfield , MA.) received this 1928 Rolls-Royce Piccadilly-P1 Roadster from his father, brand new - as a graduation gift in 1928. He drove it up until his death last the age of 102!!! He was the oldest living owner of a car that was purchased new.

Just thought you'd like to see it. It was donated to a  Springfield museum after his death. It has 1,070,000 miles on it, still runs like a Swiss watch, dead silent at any speed and is in perfect cosmetic condition.

82 years. That's approximately 13,048 miles per year (1087 per month)...

(sent in by Jeroen Helms)


Back seat etymology

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Dear PreWarCar,

Sometimes a word's origin is quite clear. Take for example the "mother-in-law seat" or "le siège de belle-mère" as the French call it. Just show a person a Léon Bollée, and they immediately understand where the expression finds its origin. Later on, the same expression was used to indicate the rumble seat or dickie seat, and you can clearly see why. But where do the words "rumble seat" and "dickie seat" (or dicky/dickey seat) find their origin?

Is there a PreWar enthousiast who can solve this mystery, or do we have to go and look for horse carriage enthousiasts?

Many thanks in advance for your help!

Best regards,
Vincent Mahy
Ghent, Belgium

Warning, buyer beware! (Update: Ask their address, Use PayPal & Photo !!!)

Friday, 12 October 2012

I had a phone call recently from 'Robin' in the 'Isle of Man'. He had seen my wanted ad on the website asking for veteran Rudge spares.

Robin had a rusty frame, a nice restored petrol tank, a rear wheel and some other small parts.

I suggested a price, which he accepted, and he said he had a carrier arriving later that day, and he could ship the parts straight away, if I paid the money into his Nationwide Building Society account.

I paid the money into his account, with a bit of doubt in my mind, but I wanted those Rudge parts.

And guess what, the parts haven't arrived and 'Robin' isn't answering his phone.

I have since found a similar story on the interenet of a chap responding to a wanted ad for car parts, and he was using the same mobile phone number.

He was very, very convincing. He knew exactly what parts he had, and described them in detail. The frame was rusty and might need repairing, and he didn't have the engine, sorry.

The main warning sign if you should be offered a similar deal - it was all done in a great rush. He told other buyer was just about to fly off on holiday.

Editor:  These villains change names every day. We have also seen the name Tommy Baxter. The point is that the buyers act too greedy too quick and should take more precautions:

- ALWAYS ask detailed photos of the parts they have available
- ALWAYS Per Paypal for Protection
- ALWAYS ask a good answer first where the parts are available for inspection (and check the answer, easy!).

With these three rules your protection is nearly water tight.


registration number transfers

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Rod Renfrew has a question about the new MOT system in the UK:

Hi, for many years if a registration number was to be transfered from a vehicle, the doner vehicle would have to have a current MOT test certificate. It was also that a vehicle that was issued with a desirable registration number such as a tractor or road roller yet did not require an MOT for road use and therefore could never be considered for transfer, so with the oncoming no MOT required for vehicles before 1960 how does this effect the registration system? Does anyone know the answer ?

L.Scott Bailey of Automobile Quarterly

Monday, 09 July 2012

The quarterly magazine (or is it a book?) Automobile Quarterly (AQ) was first published in Spring 1962. The brainchild of founding Editor L.Scott Bailey who took a risk that there were enough enthusiasts who would buy such a relatively expensive publication which was devoted solely to automotive history. It was of the highest quality and he only commissioned the best writers and photographers. Volume 1 number 1 for example features amongst others Kern Purdy, Ralph Stein, Denise McCluggage with photographs by Tom Burnside and Ozzie Lyons. AQ is a publication that should be on every motoring historians book shelf.

Scott Bailey, an American, later sold AQ and retired to live in Wood Stanway in the Cotswolds, where he spent much of his time researching naval history. He passed away at the end of June. A memorial service will be held on the 21st July at Stanway Church (Gloucestershire) at 3 pm.


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