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The history and future of a pie-truck
The story of this 1914 Ford Model T Pie Truck, bought new by our family, is really the story of Irish/Scottish laborers and indentured servants. These immigrants who made their way to America were farmers, laborers, and veterans of the Civil War.  They started selling pies on Thanksgiving Day 1885 from the back of a wagon in Georgetown, in the District of Columbia, and over the next 3...
Epic Glimpses into French Pre-War Motoring

 

      

Nestled amongst numerous commercial vehicles and more ...

River crossings in the 1920's
The early days of motoring in Southern Rhodesia were often hard work if you left the major cities and ventured into long-distance travel. Apart from the fact that the roads to the outlying districts were merely tracks, dusty in the dry season and muddy in the rainy season. Whether dry or rainy weather, problems nearly alway arose crossing the many rivers in your path. In those days there wer...
What happened to the Ariel Grand Prix racer?

This post was originally planned as two separate posts: the vanished Ariel Grand Prix racer and a rakish Ariel sports car. However, during research and writing, both converged to one, as you will see. The racer was presented at the Olympia Show end of 1907 and was a great attraction. The Autocar wrote that it was the first Grand Prix racer built to conform with the new international rac...

Photos when his father was young.
Some great photos were sent by Alistair Dray, taken by his father when he was a young man. His father visited the UK and Europe in 1962-1963. He was 'road crew' for Len Southward, who brought his 1904 Wolseley to UK for London-to-Brighton, and also he followed Bruce McLaren around some of the GP circuits.The photos are of Mephistopheles resting in the paddock, and another of a fine Alpine Gh...
What is it? quiz #457
This car with three beautiful ladies is of a well-known make, both in France as well as England. Twin sister cars were regular competitors in the London-Brighton run, but checking the starting list I noticed they are absent this year. However, 6 of her sisters of a different model, partly of slightly younger age are present. The three ladies in the car were well-known in their days, but as you may...
Two Ladies lead the way for all the ladies this Sunday with a Steam Car
On May 21st of the year 1902, two ladies decided to make a short tour from a place near Dover to Chandler's Ford in Hampshire, a distance of about 155 miles. The car they drove was a 1-year-old, much used Serpollet steam car. I must admit that I've read their story, which was published in The Autocar of June 28th, with increasing amazement. In their story, the author stresses mainly their tr...
Haven't I shown you my new car yet?

Just a few days till the famous London to Brighton and a few days before we can see thousands and thousands of photos online about the very early cars. But it is curious to remind that photography was invented just in time to document the early stages of car technology and development. Without this very happy coincidence, our perspective of early car history would have been entirely dif...

An ogreish car for a scary Halloween
Will the great Pumpkin arrives with a car, but as it´s Halloween today, we have a special car for you, in which Ernst Gennat, „Der Buddah vom Alexanderplatz“ arrived at dozens of crime scenes. Ernst Gennat was a policeman in Berlin during the early 20s century. Born in 1880, he started his police career in 1904. He left the university without a graduation. During this time, the police h...
A colourful start of the week.
Most often, we receive black and white photos of old cars. But today something different. A 1937 Studebaker Coupe Express pick up in an interesting condition was photographed by John Sandoval and sent in. Only 2200 -2500 of these beauties were produced. No one knows the exact number. This one was built in the short-lived California located assembly plant. Even though the sales were not ...
Preparations for an auction of 300 vehicles.
A famous Dutch collection of cars will be auctioned in November. This large collection consists of over 300 classic cars, trucks, buses, mopeds and more. For auction house Epic Auctions this will be the first sale of classic cars. We spoke to the people at Epic Auctions and were most interested in how they manage this auction and if it meets their expectation.  The preparations sta...
About What is it quiz #456: Claveau 6CV "Auto-Bloc"
Ten good answers for last weeks quiz. The car, we were searching for is the "Claveau 6CV Auto-Bloc" - prototype of the early 1930s. But what or who is a "Claveau"? Emile Claveau was not a professional automotive engineer. He studied painting at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Tours. But in 1923 he started his automotive career.Claveau’s first “4CV” model featured an aerodynamic silhouett...
Our announcers from China; quite a challenge!?
Promotion is necessary for any event to maintain a steady number of entrants, and there are several ways to go about it. The option to organize a press photo shoot with a group of attractive models is usually reserved for sports car events. Here, the Chinese organization of the 4C rally has taken an innovative approach! The photo was taken in the city of Wuxi, after finishing the seco...
Driving in China, sometimes allowed. And what a joy!
This year’s 4C was organized for the 7th time and saw a mixed collection of Chinese-registered and foreign cars driving a scenic route between the metropoles of Beijing and Shanghai. Again over 30 participating cars were shipped from all over the world to temporarily obtain a Chinese registration. For anyone not used to driving in Asia, the 4C is a rewarding experience. It is an introdu...
Roadside Repairs: Made in China

Roadside repairs: often it is the history of sudden accidents and quick repairs that make a classic car so special to its owner. The 1936 Ford V8 Panel Van which we were driving during the 4C rally through China runs on a famous V8 flathead engine equipped with dual water pumps. In this engine, the alternator and the fan are directly connected by a small shaft that run...

A challenge from China
Looking at the winner of the 1907 Peking-Paris race in our main picture, we can imagine the fearsome physical obstacles facing the cars and teams as they set out on 10th June 1907 from Peking (then known in Britain as Pekin) to drive to Paris.  But there were cultural obstacles, too.  A first report in the British Motor magazine for 11th June summed it up beautifully: “On Monda...
Early Motoring Days in China
The motor car in China had a slow start if compared with many other countries. Around 1900 China was an empire in decline and economically exploited by foreign powers. In China there was much aversion against this Western colonialism, giving rise to a strong nationalistic movement. This resulted in the Boxer revolt directed against the western interference, which started in 1899 and was ende...
The Chinese automotive industry is 109 years old.
The Chinese automotive industry is 109 years old. You probably don’t believe this. But here it is: In the streets in China today you will find a lot, a lot of cars. Most of them are from Japanese, European or American origin, some are Chinese. When you ask someone in the street which was the first Chinese car,  most people will answer “Santána”. The Shanghai-Volkswagen Santana...
What is it? Quiz #456

This weeks quiz is about a company that built very unusual and modern cars. The ideas of its inventor „were always right, but far ahead of their time“. He showed prototypes on many shows from 1926 till 1956 but unfortunately he didn´t sell a single car. The first prototype was a streamlined mid-engined car with many modern features, but in 1930 he changed the ...

A 1936 Continental tour by Lady Hamilton
This picture looks rather formal and professionally posed – and it is.  It is part of a promotional article that nowadays we would call “advertorial”, and is subtly putting forward the qualities of Humber cars – and the quality of the people who buy and use them. The article is from the Modern Motoring magazine of January 1936.  This looks at first glance to be a perfect...

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