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NSU-Fiat was a German automobile manufacturer which produced Fiat vehicles under license at a plant acquired from NSU in Heilbronn from 1929 to 1957.

In 1957, following a complicated litigation process over the right to use the by now increasingly high profile "NSU" name on passenger cars, the name used for the Fiat-designed cars was changed to Neckar, and with this name the company continued to produce Fiats in Germany until 1971.

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Neckar was in the late 1950s producing fewer than 25,000 vehicles a year, Fiat 500 (Neckar Weinsberg), 600 (Neckar Jagst) and 1100 (Neckar Europa) slightly modified, often more luxurious and sporty than the Fiats produced in Turin.

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The launch of the Fiat 1500 in 1961 and of the Neckar Panorama (derived from the Autobianchi Bianchina) allowed Neckar to reach a yearly production of 50,000 units in 1962. A coupe derived from the 1500 and called the Neckar Mistral was designed. A coupe and a convertible based on the Fiat 600 was produced as the Neckar Riviera. The Fiat 850 (as the Neckar Adria) was the last model produced by Neckar.

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Text from Wikipedia

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cover_nyBack in 2013 I posted a series of posts based on the 1930 edition of Ward Lock & Co’s “ Illustrated Guide Book to London”. For those who have followed this blog for a while it should come as no surprise that I also have in my possession the 1910 edition of Ward Lock & Co’s illustrated guide book for the same city. And just for the record, I have the 1948 and 1956 editions too.

This will be the first post based on the 1910 edition which is surprisingly enough more richly illustrated than the one from 1930. And we start of course with the introduction and work our way through the most interesting parts of the book – Ted

Cabs & Fares

CABS These vehicles, for which there are stands in or adjoining all the principal thoroughfares, are of three kinds taximeter motor cabs, hansoms, & four-wheelers, Some of the two latter classes of vehicle are now also provided with taximeters.

The Motor Taximeters, introduced in 1907, are fast ousting the older forms of conveyance. The taximeter is a small piece of machinery, generally set to the left of the driver, which automatically records the fare by a combination of time and distance as the journey proceeds. When “ in repose " a small flag of red metal is displayed bearing the words for hire.

Directly the cab is engaged, the driver turns down the flag and the machinery by means of which the fare is calculated is set in motion. Four passengers can generally be accommodated. The vehicles are roomy, smartly painted, well upholstered, and silent running, and can be used either open or closed, according to the weather.

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Their one drawback is that they usually only convey a small quantity of luggage. The drivers, who are all stylishly uniformed and present none of the picturesque but not always agreeable oddities of the old-style cabman, are generally paid by a commission on their earnings, and have to pay for their own petrol and to provide  “rank money” and other expenses. 

Needless to say, they have no insuperable objection to accepting a few coins of the realm over and above the amount demanded by the dial. The following is the ofiicial scale of charges for taximeter motor-cabs, whether hired or discharged within or without the four-mile radius from Charing Cross:

Two children under ten count as one person.

Not exceeding one mile, or for time
not exceeding ten minutes:
0s. 8d.
Exceeding one mile or ten mimutes
(1) For each quarter of a mile, or time
not exceeding two and a half minutes
0s. 2d.
(2) For any less distance or time:
Each additional person beyond two,
the whole journey
0s. 6d.
Packages carried outside
0s. 2d.
Bicycles, etc.
0s. 6d.

In addition to their use in town, motor “taxies" are often hired for country and seaside trips. It is optional for other public vehicles to adopt the taximeter system; these also are usually distinguished by a small flag. The following is the official scale for Horse-drawn Taximeter cabs:

Not exceeding one mile, or for time not exceeding 12 minutes 
0s. 6d.
Exceeding one mile or 12 minutes; for each half-mile, or
time not exceeding six minutes; or any less distance or time
0s. 3d.

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Handsoms in Regent Street

Hansoms, named after their 1nventor, are two-wheeled vehicles with a perch for the driver behind. They have seats for two only, but are frequently used by three. The “fare” communicates with the driver by means of a trap-door in the roof.The Four-wheelers, or “Growlers" seat four inside with more or less discomfort, and accommodate an outside passenger on the box. They are generally employed when the traveller is encumbered with heavy luggage.

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Four-wheelers aka Growlers at Westminister

To summon a taximeter, a cab-whistle is blown once; for a hansom twice; for a four-Wheeler three times. Fares for non-taximeter cabs are usually computed by distance; but they may be calculated by time instead, if the hirer expresses his wish for such an arrangement when taking the cab.

Fares By Distance
If hired and discharged within the 4-mile radius from Charing Cross,
1s. for two miles or under; 6d. for each additional mile, for not more than two persons; each additional person 6d. extra for the entire journey. Two children under ten count as one adult.

If hired outside the radius, wherever discharged,
1s. for the first mile; 1s. each succeeding mile or part of a mile.

If hired within but discharged without the radius,
1s. for the first mile, 6d. for each mile ended within circle, 1s. for each mile ended without circle, 1s. for any part of a mile over.

Cabs kept waiting,
8d. for each completed quarter of an hour. Drivers of horse-drawn cabs not fitted with a taximeter may, if they so desire, intimate to the “fare,” their willingness to accept sixpence for any journey not exceeding a mile.

Fares By Time
Within the radius,
four-wheelers, 2s.; hansoms, 2s. 6d. for the first hour; 6d. and 8d. for each additional quarter hour.

If hired outside the radius wherever discharged, or if hired within but discharged without,
four-wheelers and hansoms, 2s. 6d. for the first hour or less; 8d. for each additional quarter hour.

Luggage carried outside the cab, 2d. per package, bicycles, etc., 6d.

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For the 1939-1949 World’s Fair in New York, Pontiac had a special surprise in store. Working in collaboration with chemical company Rohm & Haas, who had just developed a new product called “Plexiglas”, they created an entire body shell for a 1939 Pontiac Deluxe Six. It was soon dubbed the “Ghost Car.”

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When the car was first featured at General Motors’ “Highways and Horizons” pavilion, it was a massive hit. Most people wouldn’t have seen Plexiglas before, so a transparent material with that many curves was almost unheard of. Here you could look through the body of the car to see all its internal workings exposed. For aesthetic purposes all structural metal was given a copper wash, while the hardware and even the dashboard were covered in chrome. All the rubber elements in the car were made in white, including the tires.

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The final price for the car? In the days when a new Pontiac was just about $700, this beauty cost $25000 to build. When this car was auctioned by RM Auctions in 2011, it went for just a little more than its original price. The one-of-a-kind car sold for $308,000.

Images and text found on Visual News – And a big thanks to Disperser from Disperser Tracks for pointing me to the link.

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The fourth Anglia model, the 105E, was introduced in 1959. Its American-influenced styling included a sweeping nose line, and on deluxe versions, a full-width slanted chrome grille in between prominent "eye" headlamps. (Basic Anglias featured a narrower, painted grille.) Its smoothly sloped line there looked more like a 1950s Studebaker (or even early Ford Thunderbird) than the more aggressive-looking late-’50s American Fords, possibly because its British designers used wind-tunnel testing and streamlining. Like late-’50s Lincolns and Mercurys and the Citroën Ami of France, the car sported a backward-slanted rear window (so that it would remain clear in rain, according to contemporary marketing claims).

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In fact, this look was imported from the 1958 Lincoln Continental, where it had been the accidental result of a design specification for an electrically opening a121288_anglia_03(breezeway) rear window. As well as being used, by Ford, on the Consul Classic, this look was also copied by Bond, Reliant and Invacar, for their three wheelers. The resulting flat roofline gave it excellent rear headroom. It had muted tailfins, much toned-down from its American counterparts. An estate car joined the saloon in the line-up in September 1961. The instrument panel had a red light for the generator and a green one for the oil pressure.

The new styling was matched by a new engine, something that the smaller Fords had been needing for some time—a 997 cc overhead valve (OHV), straight-4 with an oversquare cylinder bore, that became known by its "Kent" code name. Acceleration from rest was still sluggish (by the standards of today), but it was much improved from earlier cars. Also new for British Fords was a four-speed (manual) gearbox with synchromesh on the top three forward ratios: this was replaced by an all-synchromesh box in September 1962 (on 1198 powered cars). The notoriously feeble vacuum-powered windscreen wiper set-up of earlier Anglias was replaced with (by now) more conventional windscreen wipers powered by their own electric motor. The Macpherson strut independent front suspension used on the 100E was retained.

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In October 1962, twenty-four-year-old Tony Brookes (see also Ford Corsair GT) and a group of friends took a private Anglia 105E fitted with the £13 Ford Performance Kit to Montlhèry Autodrome near Paris and captured six International Class G World Records averaging 83.47 mph (134.33 km/h). These a121288_anglia_05were 4,5,6 and 7 days and nights and 15,000, and 20,000 kilometres. The Anglia’s strength and durability meant that no repairs were required whatsoever other than tyre changes.

The car’s commercial success has subsequently been overshadowed by the even greater sales achieved by theCortina: in 1960, when 191,752 Anglias left Ford’s Dagenham plant in the 105E’s first full production year, it set a new production-volume record for the Ford Motor Company. From October 1963, production continued at Ford’s new Halewood plant at Merseyside alongside the newly introduced Corsair models. The Anglia Super introduced in September 1962 for the 1963 model year shared the longer stroke 1198 cc version of the Ford Kent 997 cc engine of the newly introduced Ford Cortina. The Anglia Super was distinguished by its painted contrasting-coloured side stripe.

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A new Anglia saloon tested by the British Motor magazine in 1959 had a top speed of 73.8 mph (118.8 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 26.9 seconds. A fuel consumption of 41.2 miles per imperial gallon (6.86 L/100 km; 34.3 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £610 including taxes of £180.

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The old 100E Anglia became the new 100E Popular and the four-door Prefect bodyshell remained available as the new Ford Prefect (107E) which had all 105E running gear, including engine and brakes, while the 100E Escort and Squire remained available, unchanged. In 1961 the Escort and Squire were replaced by the 105E Anglia estate. Both cars are popular with hot rodders to this day, helped by the interchangeability of parts and the car’s tuning potential. The 100E delivery van also gave way to a new vehicle based on the 105E. Identical to the Anglia 105E back to the B post, the rest of the vehicle was entirely new.

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EPSON scanner image

Visitors to Hampstead Heath in north London could have been forgiven for thinking they had somehow taken a wrong turn and ended up in Norway this afternoon. The unexpected sight of a nearly full-size ski jump, complete with real snow and skiers, on a sunny March day in southern England, was enough to make the most broad-minded of observers do a double-take.

The snow, and most of the skiers, were indeed from Norway, but the ski jump was the creation of the Central Council of Physical Recreation, alongside the Ski Club of Great Britain and the Oslo Ski Association.

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The team of 25 Norwegian skiers brought the snow with them – 45 tons of it, packed in wooden boxes insulated by dry ice.The jump itself was supported by a tower of scaffolding 60ft (18.29m) high, giving skiers a 100ft (30.48m) run-up to the jumping point, 12ft (3.66m) above the ground.

We are very much hoping it will become one of the country’s major sporting features

Event official

Modern ski jumps reach 200ft – 300ft (60m – 90m), but skiers on Hampstead Heath only had enough room to jump to about 90ft (27.43m).

The London ski jumping competition, as it is known, held a trial contest yesterday evening involving only the Norwegian skiers. The event the crowd was waiting for, however, was this afternoon’s contest between Oxford and Cambridge University. Tens of thousands of people gathered in the sunshine to watch the University Challenge Cup.

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It was the first time ski jumping had been seen by most of the crowd. A broadcast commentary on the competition kept everyone informed of the quality of each jump. Spectators, however, seemed to be more interested in how deep each skier disappeared into the straw laid at the bottom of the run.

In the end, the Oxford team, captained by C. Huitfeldt, won the competition, while the London challenge cup – open to all competitors – was won by Arne Hoel of Oslo. An official said of the event, "This exhibition has been such an unqualified success that we are very much hoping it will become one of the country’s major sporting features."

In Context

The ski-jump competition was never held again, despite several attempts to revive it.

The ski-jump on Hampstead Heath was among the last major events to use real snow to re-create ski conditions.

The first artificial snow was made two years later, in 1952, at Grossinger’s resort in New York, USA.

Text from BBC’s OnThisDay

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Flying Cloud was a clipper ship that set the world’s sailing record for the fastest passage between New York and San Francisco, 89 days 8 hours. The ship held this record for over 100 years, from 1854-1989.

Flying Cloud was the most famous of the clippers built by Donald McKay. She was known for her extremely close race with Hornet in 1853; for having a woman navigator, Eleanor Creesy, wife of Josiah Perkins Creesy who skippered Flying Cloud on two record-setting voyages from New York to San Francisco; and for sailing in the Australia and timber trades.

World record voyage to San Francisco during Gold Rush

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Within six weeks of launch Flying Cloud sailed from New York and made San Francisco ’round Cape Horn in 89 days, 21 hours under the command of Captain Josiah Perkins Creesy. In July, during the trip, she ran the following nautical mileage, 284, 374 and 334 for 992 nautical miles total over the three consecutive days. In 1853 she beat her own record by 13 hours, a record that stood until 1989 when the breakthrough-designed sailboat Thursday’s Child completed the passage in 80 days, 20 hours. The record was once again broken in 2008 by the French racing yacht Gitana 13, with a time of 43 days and 38 minutes.

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In the early days of the California Gold Rush, it took more than 200 days for a ship to travel from New York to San Francisco, a voyage of more than 16,000 miles.Flying Cloud’s better-than-halving that time (only 89 days) was a headline-grabbing world record that the ship itself beat three years later, setting a record that lasted for 136 years.

Woman navigator

Flying Cloud’s achievement was remarkable under any terms. But, writes David W. Shaw, it was all the more unusual because her navigator was a woman, Eleanor Creesy, who had been studying oceanic currents, weather phenomena, and astronomy since her girlhood in Marblehead, Massachusetts. She was one of the first navigators to exploit the insights of Matthew Fontaine Maury, most notably the course recommended in his Sailing Directions. With her husband, ship captain Josiah Perkins Cressy, she logged many thousands of miles on the ocean, traveling around the world carrying passengers and goods. In the wake of their record-setting transit from New York to California, Eleanor and Josiah became instant celebrities. But their fame was short-lived and their story quickly forgotten. Josiah died in 1871 and Eleanor lived far from the sea until her death in 1900.

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Loss of the ship

On June 19, 1874, Flying Cloud went ashore on the Beacon Island bar, Saint John, New Brunswick, and was condemned and sold. The following June she was burned for the scrap metal value of her copper and iron fastenings.

Text from Wikipedia

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The Moskvitch 400-420 was a car introduced in 1947 by the Soviet manufacturer Moskvitch.

Between 1940 and 1941, the Russians had independently made 500 units of the KIM 10-50, a loose copy of the similarly sized four-door Ford Prefect, but national priorities changed with the German invasion of Russia in Summer 1941, and the production of the Ford inspired car was not resumed after the war. It was Joseph Stalin who personally chose in June 1945 a four-door Kadett to become a first mass-produced popular Soviet car, so plans and tooling of a four-door version had to be reconstructed with help of German engineers, who worked upon them in a Soviet occupation zone.

Development began in 1944, following a prewar plan to produce a domestically built car able to be used and maintained by citizens living outside major cities. The KIM factory was selected to build the car, with the prewar KIM 10-52 (not built due to the Second World War) as a basis, with production approved in May 1945 and prototypes intended to be ready in December; by the end of May, however, these plans had faltered.

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At war’s end, the Soviet Union deemed the plans and tooling for the 1939 Opel Kadett K38 as part of the war reparations package, since the tooling in the Rüsselsheim factory was largely intact; residents dismantling the Kadett production tooling and loaded fifty-six freight cars, bound for Moscow and the newly built "Stalin Factory" (ZIS). However, according to recent Russian sources, the Kadett plans and tooling were in fact not captured from the factory, because they did not survive there (and what survived was appropriate for producing a two-door model).

In any event, after KIM was renamed MZMA (Moscovskiy Zavod Malolitrazhnyh Avtomobiley, Moscow Factory for Making Small Cars) in August 1945, the new car was ready for production before the end of 1946 (somewhat behind the planned June deadline): the first 400-420 was built 9 December, "400" meant a type of engine, and "420" the (saloon) body style. With unitized construction, independent front suspension, three-speed manual transmission. and hydraulic brakes, it was powered by a 23 hp (17 kW; 23 PS) 1,074 cc (65.5 cu in) inline four (with acompression ratio of 5.6:1). Acceleration 0–50 mph (0–80 km/h) took 55 seconds, and achieved 9 L/100 km (31 mpg-imp; 26 mpg-US) (the best of any Soviet car at that time). With a wheelbase of 2,340 mm (92 in)) and ground clearance of 200 mm (7.9 in)), it measured 3,855 mm (151.8 in) long overall 1,400 mm (55 in) wide, 1,550 mm (61 in) tall. Approved for mass production by the Soviet government on 28 April 1947, 1,501 were built the first year, with 4,808 for 1948 and 19,906 in 1949, the same year a mesh oil filter was introduced. In 1951, synchromesh was introduced on the top two gears, and the gear lever relocated to the steering column.

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In 1948, a prototype woodie wagon, the 400-422, with an 800 kg (1,800 lb) payload, was built, but never entered production. Neither did the similar 400-421 estate or pickoupe. The 400-420A cabriolet debuted in 1949.

Most of the Opel tooling removed to Russia was for the two-door Kadett model, and the Russians converted this into a 4-door configuration that visually was near identical to the original Kadett 4-door. Although Opel was U.S. property, GM did not recover control of the factory until 1948 and were therefore unable to contest the transfer.

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The 400 went on sale in Belgium in October 1950, making it a very early Soviet automotive export product, priced at 349: below the Ford Prefect and Anglia, and well below the Morris Minor. Motor praised its engine’s quietness, the caliber of its finish, and the quality of the ride.

The 100,000th Moskvich was built in October 1952.

Several prototypes were also built. In 1949, proposal for an improved 26 hp (19 kW; 26 PS) 401E-424E and a 33 hp (25 kW; 33 PS) 403E-424E saw only six examples built. Following this, in 1951, the factory produced the 403-424A coupé with a 35 hp (26 kW; 35 PS) four. The "stunning" 404 Sport of 1954 used a new 58 hp (43 kW; 59 PS) overhead valve hemi engine.

My family’s first car when I was a kid was an Opel Kadet K38 – Ted

Text from wikipedia

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