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A Colonial Oryx

A Colonial Oryx

Many European countries have a colonial history, sometimes going back many centuries. And although today we are not always proud of this history, the memories remain in many forms. To one of these forms belong the numerous photographs showing our ancestors in surroundings which have disappeared forever. Like these two photos, with a scene of a couple in a ca 1909 Oryx (the woman in charge of this cute little car!), a relative or friend and some servants. Obviously the setting is colonial, and in this case, probably situated in the Dutch East Indies. I'll tell you why I have that opinion.

One of the oldest motor car agents in The Netherlands was the firm Verwey & Lugard in The Hague, who represented Peugeot from 1899, and in later years makes like Spyker and Fiat. The firm prospered and around 1907 they decided to build a small car of their own. They called it V.L.A.M., the syllables standing for Verwey & Lugard Automobiel Maatschappij (= Company). If this was of completely own design is doubtful, but it is still not clear from where the design originated. Another firm in the same city, Auto-Palace, sold in 1908 also a voiturette under its name, the Auto-Palace, but this was clearly a rebadged Oryx (on the third photo; compare with the 1907 ad). Apparently, neither of these voiturettes was a success, as they disappeared very quickly from the market. Verwey & Lugard thought otherwise about the Oryx and from 1909 they sold them under their original name. Many of these were shipped to the Dutch East Indies and promoted there. On the last photo, you can see B.E. Lugard, one of the firm's associates, travelling in a 1910 Oryx through the Indies.

In a 1998 newspaper article the Dutch writer Rudy Kousbroek, who was born on Sumatra, tells about his father who had owned an Oryx at the time. He mentions the car used friction drive, which was definitely true for the Oryx in 1907 when many Oryx taxis drove around Berlin using this simple transmission type. From 1908, however, the Oryx was equipped by choice of the client with either a planetary transmission (yes, the same used by many American cars including the Model T Ford) or a conventional 3-speed gear with reverse. So Kousbroek (who was a Voisin-connoisseur by the way and who had corresponded with Gabriel Voisin for a long time!) was not correct in this, as all cars which were exported to the Dutch East Indies as Oryx already had these new transmission types.

Although Oryx was part of Dürkopp from 1909, the firm continued to produce their cars independently. From 1922 private car production was discontinued, and also the firm Verwey & Lugard disappeared shortly after WW1. The memories however remain and looking at these photos it is difficult not to become nostalgic...

Words and photographs by Ariejan Bos.

    
Friday, 12 January 2018 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

Magnificent Mercedes

Magnificent Mercedes.Less than a week to wait before Worldwide Auctions hold their next auction in Scottsdale, Arizona on 17 January at 5pm.

hitler-carThe star of the show will surely be the 1939 Mercedes-Benz 770K Grosser Offener Tourenwagen ordered by, built for, and used by Nazi German tyrant Adolf Hitler.
Described as 'The most historically significant automobile ever offered for public sale'  it is  'extremely expensive, obsessively engineered, robustly constructed and hand-crafted.'
1939-Mercedes-Benz-770K-Grosser-Open-Tourer.ignitionPurpose-built to carry the most opulent and impressive custom-coachbuilt bodies ever devised and obviously intended for captains of industry and heads of state.
The 7.7 litre straight eight OHV engine has twin ignition and gives 155HP, but engage the supercharger and it shoots up to 230HP.
This car was mostly used for parades and propaganda but was capable of over 100 mph and the four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes were there to bring this 5 Ton monster to a halt.
Bidders have registered from all over the world and they will have all inspected this folder of all the well-researched history and provenance from new.

BMW-327-1939The 1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 Cabriolet is inevitably slightly eclipsed by the car above, and a very desirable 1939 BMW 327 Cabriolet (see picture) is presented in immaculate condition and the crisp note of its 6 cylinder OHV 2 litre engine has given pleasure to its previous owner for 37 years and is ready to delight the next for decades to come.

1907-cadillacTake your pick from four Cadillacs - a 1907 Model M Touring  ( see picture) with a 10 HP single cylinder engine with 2 speeds and reverse.
Or a 1934 with a V8 with a distinctive mascot at the front, or perhaps a V12 from 1931 or this splendid V16 Town Sedan with a 6 volt battery just for the lights and a 12 volt battery just for the starter motor !

marmon-v16-1931Another V 16 on offer is this 1931 Marmon Sixteen Close-Coupled Sedan whose all-aluminum 491 cubic-inch engine produces 200 HP .
Overhead valves are pushrod-operated, a modern design two-barrel carburetor feeds crossflow alloy cylinder heads, and the aluminum block has wet cylinder liners. It is so smooth that a light flywheel is possible, allowing surprisingly rapid acceleration, and the compact, well-lubricated valvetrain is nearly silent.

Cord-1931There are a couple of straight eights - an enormous 1931 Cord L-29 Cabriolet
( see picture)  and a 1923 Duesenberg Model A Sport Touring.
If we had to choose between these two V 16s it would be the Cord.  Just look at that style,  with is Front Wheel Drive mechanical packaging combining the engine, transmission, differential, and front brakes all into one single assembly, resulting in an exceptionally low ride height and unprecedented design freedom, fully exploited by Alan H. Leamy, Auburn’s chief designer.  An outstanding example of one of the finest achievements of the Classic Era – bar none.

jaguar-1936Another fine example of 1930s style is this 1936 Jaguar SS 1 with 2.6 litre OHV straight six, four gears - synchromesh on the top three - and ..."  a rich and sultry interior adorned with art-deco designs and gleaming chrome ."
Looking at any SS1 demonstrates just how a combination of a low roof, long hood, and short trunk add a certain mysterious appeal to any car.




Text Robin Batchelor, pictures courtesy Worldwide Auctions.
Thursday, 11 January 2018 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

Heading for The Drivers Lunch, Sunday 21 January

drivers lunch_21_january_2018_sabattier_470
Joris Bergsma likes to invite you for a most simple and basic event meant for those who like to drive on own initiative, planning their own route while letting roll their own pre-war wheels. Without suspenders confining the motorcar to a trailer or similar sad contraptions.

The (first) Drivers Lunch will be in Schoonhoven in the mid-west of The Netherlands, on Sunday 21 January.
The idea is to drive from remote and diverse places (your home) and to get there 'on own wheels' with a pre-war motorcar. Just to have lunch, to meet friends, to enjoy break down chat and the old Dutch custom: complaining about the weather... and perhaps warm up a little.

So no trailers, no accompanying vehicles and no cars built later than 1940.
The organizers will not check if you really make it on own prewar power but we will encourage you to post milestones or memorable moments of your trip on a dedicated Facebook page. Or to produce more period proof of your trip like pan ready chickens... There will be a small award for the participant who has covered most kilometers/miles in order to arrive at lunch in time.

Participation will be free, food and drinks to your own liking and budget.
Based on our pre-invitation 15 cars have registered already.

We have arranged a pleasant and period restaurant with adjacent parking lot which can be seen from the dining room. In order to receive full details or to list yourself please call Joris at +31.653.362.640 or email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Looking forward to meet some of you on Sunday 21 !


1905 illustration from L'Illustration by L. Sabattier (courtesy Invaluable Auctions) , titled 'Perdu' (Lost)

Preliminary list of particiants:

1. Ton v. Deutekom / Salmson
2. Hubert Kranz & Gudrun / Riley 15/6
3. Laurens Klein / Alvis FWD
4. Hans van Huizen / Talbot AM90
5. Adrie van Kleef Austin Seven Special
6. Ab van Egmond Alvis 3 litre Sport Special
7. Jan en Margreet Austin Seven Special
8. Michel Laarman en Maryan on Knox Speedster or Sunbeam 3 litre TC
9. Henk Fortgens, 1927 Amilcar CGSs
10. Arie en Tineke Roest, Wolseley 6 cylinder Roadster
11. Ed & Fey Kerkhoven, Austin Seven Chummy
12. Robert Rozeman, Austin 12 Tourer
13. Andrew en Mrs. Fallon 1932 Austin 7
14. Kees Kersten & Ineke, Amilcar CGS
15. Jos Cox & Hermien, car tba
16. Jos van Genugten & friend, Bugatti Type 40
17. Hugh Ellis & friend , Lagonda Tourer
18. John & Carla Leliveld, 1931 Adler Trumph 
19. Marc van den Broeck & friend, 1930 Model A Ford Cabriolet
20. Marcel & Eugene Koreman, Singer Le Mans Roadster
21. Hans van dn Bosch & friend, 1932 MG J2
22. Arjan Wooning & Jacques Poelwijk, car tba.


Organisation vehicle: 1931 Talbot K78 Saloon


Wednesday, 10 January 2018 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

Classy feminine taste in RM Sotheby’s Pre-War Motorcars

CLASSY FEMININE TASTE IN RM SOTHEBY’S PRE-WAR MOTORCARS
Amongst a generous collection of high-quality American, British and Italian vehicles going to auction with RM Sotheby’s in Arizona, there are two stunning motorcars that have been owned by rather famous ladies of the pre-war era. Both vehicles carry an estimate of $250,000 - $300,000 and are due to go on sale at the Biltmore Resort & Spa on 18th & 19th January.

The first of these motorcars is a 1933 Cadillac V-16 Seven Passenger Town Cabriolet, the original owner of which was none other than Hollywood cinema legend Joan Crawford. Around the same time that Joan was listed as one of the ‘Top Ten Money Making Stars’ and working alongside the movie elite of Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, and Greta Garbo, she would also have taken delivery of this extremely elegant Cadillac. With impressive curves that sweep in beneath the spare wheel, a delicately meshed radiator grill and art deco features highlighted in sparkling chrome, this pre-war motorcar is simply breathtaking. Step inside and your eye will likely be drawn to the graceful cluster of dials, housed within satin-plated pewter, the finish of which was supposedly requested to prevent photographers from catching Joan’s reflection as she traveled.

Equally impressive is a 1938 Packard Twelve Landaulet that was ordered by Doris Duke, heiress to the American Tobacco Company fortune and renowned socialite and philanthropist. Custom-built by Rollston, New York’s most costly coachbuilder, this stunning motorcar possesses many special features including a one-piece windscreen, a highly ornate interior and cocktail bottles stored within the seating. A particularly charming addition is the centrally located dials facing the rear - the left dial showing the speed of the car while the right dial gives the time. Perfect if you like to keep an eye on your driver and when you shall be arriving at your next engagement! Following a complete restoration, this Packard won Best Pre-War Open Car at the Newport Concours d’Elegance in 2009. Chances are the ‘Richest Girl in the World’ would have been delighted as it was in this very area that she had a summer cottage, to which she traveled to with the Packard Twelve.

Although neither car can claim the highest estimate at RM Sotheby’s up-coming auction, both demonstrate an exceptional level of class and social history thanks to two very highly regarded ladies of the pre-war era.


Words by Gillian Carmoodie, images courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

      
Tuesday, 09 January 2018 Attention: open in a new window. Print E-mail
   

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