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About what is it? Quiz #446: A 1905 Raleigh


Whatisit Quiz 446: A 1905 RaleighNo, not a Duerkopp as mentioned by George T. Cassidy, though the engine of this car indeed did come from Germany. The car is of English origin, as Kevin Atkinson describes very correctly: “The car is a 1905 Raleigh, designed by T. J. Biggs. It used a four cylinder 10hp Fafnir engine but didn't get past the prototype stage. It was the only car Raleigh produced until 1915 when they built a shaft driven 11hp cyclecar. Most modern references describe it as a 16hp, however Bigg’s own records, written in 1915 (which still exist) clearly call it a 10hp. It was driven in the 1905 Kettleby Hillclimb by G.P. Mills, again as a 10hp. Theodore James Biggs, of car producers Eastmead-Biggs, would later design the TT Humber, racers for Arrol-Johnston (including the first engine with an aluminium crankcase and water jacket) and the Beardmore Precision Motorcycle, before he joined Aster Engineering in 1922. He remained with the company through its merger with Arrol-Johnston Ltd in 1927 when it became Arrol-Aster. In 1939, at the age of 70, he joined the Austin Motor Company. He died in Birmingham in June 1959 at the age of 89.” I guess the 16hp was a printer's error already in the first edition of the Georgano. Interesting is also that the same George P. Mills would drive and win the Heavy Touring Car race of the 1907 TT in a Beeston-Humber! The most well-known product of the Raleigh motoring adventures however was yet to come: in 1929 a three-wheeled parcel van (the Karryall) would be produced, followed by a passenger tricar, the Safety Seven. When Raleigh turned again to cycles only in 1935, chief designer T.L. Williams of the Raleigh Motor Department decided to continue the production of the van under the name of Reliant. A passenger version was added in 1952. Which we all know of course ... So Kevin, congratulations with your win: you may call yourself the King of the PreWarCar Whatisit-Quiz for the next two weeks!

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