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About Quiz # 443 : 1920 Belsize Fifteen


1920 belsize_motorcar_470

Sorry, no Sunbeam and no Daimler as some of you wrote. One respondent complained that we ran this quiz earlier. Probably he referred to a quiz we had last summer that was about a Belsize -Bradshaw, the light car that was introduced a year later, in 1921. So yes there is a family relation with the earlier quiz but no we didn't use this car or picture before.

A beautiful advertising illustration in simple pen & ink technique or perhaps a print out of a copper plate etching. Showing a fine 1920 product from just outside Manchester. Belsize was one of Britain's earliest manufacturers and according to some sources perhaps the first of Manchester. By now they are long forgotten despite the fine products they made. A car very similar to the one pictured above seems still to be around. Just like the factory premises in Clayton as claimed by John Warburton. He wrote us the factory was situated at Clayton Road adjacant to the small 'cul-de-sac' Cycle Street , 1.5 mile east of Manchester's city center. Not too many years ago the premises were still there with the old painted lettering BELSIZE when the light hit the door lintel at an oblique angle. Not anymore we are afraid. We checked the location on GMaps and found this new park area... So don't wait too long when you hear about old surviving locations. Or cars...

As usual the  competitors in "What is it ?  #443"  provided far more information than we could find.  Kevin Atkinson and Fried Stol (both jurymembers) were spot on but not eligible to win, which brings us to the next best senders Phil Seed and John Warburton. Phil was extremely efficient with "Belsize Fifteen Tourer.. "  But we thought John's slightly more detailed answer was more attractive and informative: 
"A local enthusiast for some years ran a 1922 15hp Belsize tourer which was a very close match with the car seen in this very pleasing artwork. The Belsize factory was in Clayton, on the eastern side of Manchester's city centre, and it still stands. Under certain lighting conditions, the overpainted name of the firm can still be read on the lintel over the main entrance. The specification was conventional - [2.8 litres 4-cyl side valve, 4-speed gearbox]. The 15hp Belsize had good lines and was a well-made quality car. The bulging radiator header tank was a current styling feature shared with the air- (and oil-) cooled Belsize Bradshaw light car."

Congratulations John!  Thanks for sharing your knowledge.  Next week a new chance. Have a great weekend.
(Belsize advert courtesy Horwitz Collection, text Joris Bergsma,) 


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