Thursday, March 31, 2016

From this...... this.

Just wondering........

........why the Birdwood Museum trotted this one out for All British Day.

Nagari door hinges on a 7.

Chris Gascoigne is making steady progress on his doors.
As you can see, the front of the door is Nagari. Fitting the passenger door hasn't been easy and there's still another door to go. This door still has lots of work to be done but hopefully the second door will be a lot easier. Anyway, it gives Chris about another 3 inches opening and he's pleased with the look and the available adjustment.

The new nose and the flat tail look really good too.

Nothing is new.

World's first hybrid. 1896 Armstrong phaeton.

 6.5 liter opposed twin, sequential 3-speed with reverse. – Enumerating the ways this 120-year old car is far ahead of its time will take a while, but it’s worth taking the time after saying its older UK restoration gave more emphasis to preservation than to appearance and Holman Engineering’s recent work has brought it to fully functional working condition. Keep in mind that when this car was built Henry Ford was still trying to figure out how to get his Quadricycle out of the barn, the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens and Walter Arnold received the first speeding ticket for exceeding the East Peckham, Kent speed limit of 2 mph. You get the idea: it was a long time ago. Harry E. Dey’s vehicle was built for the Roger Mechanical Carriage Company of New York which had been importing French carriages and automobiles. Armstrong Company in Bridgeport, Connecticut built Dey’s conception under contract. Dey’s implementation was nothing if not prescient: 1) a DC generator (dynamo) built into the 2-cylinder engine’s flywheel; 2) electric starting (only, there’s no crank) with the dynamo operating as a motor; 3) wheel steering; 4) electrical clutch (fly by wire) closed by electromagnets that get stronger as the engine/dynamo goes faster; 5) sequential 3-speed shift (with mechanical reverse gear) integrated with the clutch for ‘automatic’ shifting; 6) a mixing chamber carburetor throttled by a butterfly; 7) tubing peripheral frame; 8) coil and spark plug ignition; 9) mechanically advanced ignition timing; 10) moving a switch while in motion will convert the dynamo to a motor for extra power. Dey recognized that the power pulses from the 2-cylinder engine were raucous, so he made the transmission drive gears from impact-absorbing laminated rawhide (now replaced by brass gears, it’s hard to get good rawhide in the 21st century.) There is plenty more, despite this looking like a crude carriage with an engine, but that’s more than enough to mark this as a milestone that got lost after its first showing in New York. Roger went broke and the Dey vehicle went back to Armstrong who had built it and sat in their Bridgeport mill until 1963 when the company was sold and an executive recognized this as an important and complete, if deteriorated, artifact. Dennis David also recognized its importance and it was eventually restored, with due consideration to its originality and survival in the UK by Robin Loder. Brought back to the States some years ago its operation has been refined by Holman Engineering and now it operates as intended. Its history is firmly established with period publications and as-found photos. It has been VCC dated in the UK and will start in the first wave of the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run where its 20 mph top speed may see it back in London before the last runners even leave the starting line. – ‘There was no right way’ to build a self-propelled vehicle in the transition from 19th to 20th centuries. Every inventor had his own ideas, but none had more original and prescient ideas than Harry E. Dey as embodied in this vehicle. It is marvelous, and motored around the lawn outside Bonhams marquee at prodigious speeds, all while in only the first of its three gears. Offered at RM’s Hershey auction with a $550-750,000 estimate but not running it fell short at a bid of $375,000. Now rendered with all its potential, it brought an appropriate price. Look for it at the Brighton Run next year after even further development where it will confirm American imagination, ingenuity and skill.

Isn't that amazing?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Another yellow Bolwell.


Iconic Grand Prix tracks.


Adelaide Hotrod Show 1971.

This is the late, great John English's famous '32 that used to make the trip over to run at Brooksfield.
How do I know it's 1971? Because that year Daryl displayed the yellow Nagari - top RH corner.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Ha ha.

My mate said, "I like your sports car."
I said, "it's not very practical now we have a baby."
He said, "How about I buy it off you?"
I said, "Go on then. Three Grand?"
He said,"You've got yourself a deal."
I said,"Nice one, I'll drop it off next Tuesday."
He'll make a great Dad...

Friday, March 25, 2016

JWF Italia.

David Straughan took these photos 25 years ago at Will Smith's yard on the Gold Coast. As they were well known hoarders, he checked again recently to see if it was still there only to be told that it had been sold some time ago.
Bill Wedd and Ellis French have been contemplating the possibility of it being this car of Robbie Mills' in Tasmania which for a while sported a Repco head.
Not that it does now.
Meanwhile, here's a photo of  Daniel Woods racing his Italia at Brands Hatch taken by Gary Hawkins. Justin says he brings it out a couple of times a year but it does suffer a bit from overheating.

More Tailem Bend.

Real Skylines!

They were the days!
Now they're coming out of the woodwork.
I thought Alan Hanns and his dad had cornered the market on them years ago.
Now you'd be battling to afford a 4 cylinder one. Well, I would anyway.
They used the same principle as the Torana. Fit a straight six, just extend the bonnet.

Tailem Bend.

Construction is under way.

The Williams Special has found a new home.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Dramas in getting to race a Nagari in UK.

Justin Murphy, an ex-pat Aussie Producer/Director living in London, has had his mind set on racing a Bolwell over there for many years. In 2002, Chris Camp offered to sell him the Nagari that eventually went to Leo Kusters after Justin opted to secure the ex-McGovern Milano GT,  which he raced successfully for about 10 years before selling it to Bruno Von Rotz in Switzerland.

Meanwhile, Justin got his racing fix with a Ginetta G4 but it's not a Nagari and it's not Australian.

In 2012 he set his sights on B8/1 which Graeme was selling by tender in Sydney. There was good reason for his interest in this particular car. The historic class that Justin has been racing in requires the cars to be pre-1970. You would agree that B8/1 would most likely be the only 1969 Nagari full stop. Anyway, the condition of the car, the amount of money required to purchase it and the huge costs of getting it into England (he'd already imported a JWF Milano remember) made B8/1 out of the question.

It just so happened that about this time Chris had brought over a Fibrecar Nagari body/chassis that he'd picked up in Tasmania. This car was very basic and after considering the amount of work involved in turning it into a race car, he offered it to Justin for what it owed him, complete with  Bolwell Club paperwork to the affect that it was B8/13 built in 1970.

While negotiations for B8/1, which eventually went to a good home with Ross, Justin slipped over to Belgium for a look at the Kusters/Flipse Nagari. This was in the early part of 2013. He eventually secured it in November 2014. It was not until March 2015 that the deal was properly locked in and by August/September it was in the UK and in the restorer's workshop for a rewire and paint and trim. If only that was all that was needed. As time goes on more and more inadequacies are discovered e.g. roll cage made from 2" exhaust pipe, drilling of chassis to lighten it has weakened it badly etc. etc.

Meanwhile Justin comes home to see the family for Christmas and returns with Ford callipers in his hand luggage only to discover that they can't be used because while the car was in Europe it was fitted with brake parts from an AMC Rambler.                
                                                                                                       To be continued.

Sunday, March 20, 2016


Why is it when I look at these wheels I think of Roman chariots?

Remember the Glammer?

I haven't seen one in ages. Then this turns up on an Adelaide cruise.
"Hollywood" (the Adelaide one, not the Queanbeyan one) produced a particular kit car in a corner of the family saucepan factory on Port Wakefield Road and began making these stretch limos out of HQ Holdens back in the 70s. I believe Benson's still have at least one.