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Archive for the ‘Automobiles’ Category

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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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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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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

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The popularity of the original Austin and Morris Minis spawned many models that targeted different markets. These are two of them:

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Built as more luxurious versions of the Mini, both the Wolseley Hornet and the Riley Elf had longer, slightly finned rear wings and larger boots that gave the cars a more traditional three-box design. Wheelbase of the Elf and Hornet remained at 2.036 m (6.68 ft), whereas the overall length was increased to 3.27 m (10.7 ft). This resulted in a dry weight of 638 kg (1,407 lb)/642.3 kg (1,416 lb) (rubber/hydrolastic suspension) for the Elf and 618 kg (1,362 lb)/636.4 kg (1,403 lb) for the Hornet respectively. Front-end treatment, which incorporated each marque’s traditional upright grille design (the Hornet’s grille with a lit "Wolseley" badge), also contributed to a less utilitarian appearance.

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NCA001000905_004, 05-09-2007, 17:01,  8C, 8000x7970 (0+2186), 100%, NCA_08-08-07,  1/80 s, R56.7, G30.6, B32.5

The cars had larger-diameter chrome hubcaps than the Austin and Morris Minis, and additional chrome accents, bumper overriders and wood-veneer dashboards. The Riley was the more expensive of the two cars. The name "Wolseley Hornet" was first used on a 1930s sports car, while the name "Elf" recalled the Riley Sprite and Imp sports cars, also of the 1930s. The full-width dashboard was a differentiator between the Elf and Hornet. This dashboard was the idea of Christopher Milner the Sales Manager for Riley. Both the Riley Elf’s and Wolseley Hornet’s bodies were built at Fisher & Ludlow under their "Fisholow" brandname. Plates in the engine compartment on the right side fitch plate bear evidence of this speciality. Very early Mark I versions of both cars (e.g. press photo of 445MWL) had no overriders on the bumpers and a single piece front wing (A-panel and wing in one piece, no outside seam below scuttle panel) that was soon given up again, allegedly due to cost. The Elf’s and Hornet’s special bumper overriders first appeared in 1962. Early production Mark I’s also had a combination of leather and cloth seats (Elf R-A2S1-101 to FR2333, Hornet W-A2S1-101 to FW2105) whereas all later models had full leather seats. Mark I models were equipped with single leading shoe brakes on the front.

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Both the Elf and the Hornet went through three engine versions. Initially, they used the 848 cc (51.7 cu in) 34 bhp (25 kW) engine (engine type 8WR) with a single HS2 carburettor, changing to a single HS2 carburettor 38 bhp (28 kW) version of the Cooper’s 998 cc (60.9 cu in) power unit (engine type 9WR) in the Mark II in 1963. This increased the car’s top speed from 71 to 77 mph (114 to 124 km/h) . Therefore, Mark II cars also came with increased braking power in the form of front drum brakes with twin leading shoes to cope with the increased power output. Both Mark I and Mark II featured four-speed, gearboxes (three synchromesh gears) with rod gear change, a.k.a. "magic wand" type. Automatic gearboxes became available on the Mark II in 1965 as an option. The Mark III facelift of 1966 brought not only wind-up windows and fresh-air facia vents, but disc brakes replaced front drum brakes, too. Concealed door hinges were introduced two years before these were seen on the mainstream Mini. The gear selecting mechanism was updated to the rod type, as seen on all later Mini type cars. Automatic gearboxes were available to the Mark III in 1967 again. Full-four synchromesh gearing was eventually introduced during 1968. 30,912 Riley Elfs and 28,455 Wolseley Hornets were built. Production ceased in late 1969 when British Leyland discontinued the Riley and Wolseley brand names.

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…. nicknamed Rubelpurke (rubel sow) in Norway

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If it never needs repairs, why do they have complete spare part service

Image found on Casa de Ricardo

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The Mikrus MR-300 was a Polish microcar produced between 1957 – 1960 with a body built by WSK Mielec and engines by WSK Rzeszów. Only 1,728 units were built.

Model history

The MR-300 was designed as a cheap car for the masses. The idea to design this construction, one of very few automobile manufactured in Poland, arose a12111_mikrus_04coincidentally. At the end of 1956 the authorities decided to make use of spare production capacity at the aerospace manufacturers WSK Mielec and WSK Rzeszów. At the time, both plants were only producing planes and motorcycles. The new plan was to add automobile manufacture as well. During the initial period WSK Rzeszów prepared plans for the engine, while WSK Mielec focused on the chassis and bodywork. The project was presented at the beginning of 1957, during the National Automotive Meeting. The first prototypes were presented on July 22, 1957 in Warsaw. The new car was named Mikrus MR 300 (taking its name from the initials of the words Mielec and Rzeszów). By the end of the year, the first cars left the assembly plant. In addition, two convertible models were available.

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Press reports at the time stated Taking into consideration the price, which should not exceed the price of a similar cubic capacity motorcycle by more than 25 – 30% we may assume that it will constitute a very popular means of transportation for a wide spectrum of users. The Mikrus turned out to be very popular. However, the high cost of manufacture prevented the idea from developing into a mass, individual motorization. At the same time, the high price of the vehicle was meant few could afford it. The Mikrus cost 50 thousand Polish Złoty, the average of 50 salaries. The much larger Warszawa cost 120 thousand Polish Złoty.

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The Dynasphere (sometimes misspelled Dynosphere) was a monowheel vehicle design patented in 1930 by J. A. (John Archibald) Purves (7 August 1870 – 4 November 1952) from Taunton, Somerset, UK. Purves’ idea for the vehicle was inspired by a sketch made by Leonardo da Vinci.

Detail

Two prototypes were initially built: a smaller electrical model, and one with a gasoline motor that attained either 2.5 or 6 horse power depending on the source consulted, using a two-cylinder air-cooled Douglas engine with a three speedgear box, also providing reverse. The Dynasphere model reached top speeds of 25–30 miles per hour (40–48 km/h). The gasoline-powered prototype was 10-foot (3.0 m) high and built of iron latticework that weighed 1,000 pounds (450 kg). The next generation version had ten outer hoops, covered with a leather lining, shaped to present a small profile to the ground.

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The driver’s seat and the motor were part of one unit, mounted with wheels upon the interior rails of the outer hoop. The singular driving seat and motor unit, when powered forward, would thus try to "climb" up the spherical rails, which would cause the lattice cage to roll forward. Steering of the prototype was crude, requiring the driver to lean in the direction sought to travel, though Purves envisioned future models equipped with gears that would shift the inner housing without leaning, thus tipping the Dynasphere in the direction of travel. The later ten-hoop model had a steering wheel engaging such tipping gears, and was captured in a 1932 Pathé newsreel, in which the vehicle’s advantages are first described and then demonstrated at the Brooklands motor racing circuit. A novelty model was later constructed by Purves that could seat eight passengers, the "Dynasphere 8", made specifically for beach use.

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Purves was optimistic about his invention’s prospects. As reported in a 1932 Popular Science magazine article, after a filmed test drive in 1932 on a beach in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, he stated that the Dynasphere "reduced locomotion to the simplest possible form, with consequent economy of power", and that it was "the high-speed vehicle of the future". An article in the February 1935 issue of Meccano Magazine noted that though the Dynasphere was only at an experimental stage, "it possesses so many advantages that we may eventually see gigantic wheels similar to that shown on our cover running along our highways in as large numbers as motor cars do to-day." According to the 2007 book Crazy Cars, one reason the Dynasphere did not succeed was that "while the [vehicle] could move along just fine, it was almost impossible to steer or brake." Another aspect of the vehicle that received criticism was the phenomenon of "gerbiling"—the tendency when accelerating or braking the vehicle for the independent housing holding the driver within the monowheel to spin within the moving structure.

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The R360 was Mazda‘s first real car – a two-door, four-seat coupé. Introduced in 1960, it featured a short 69 inch (1753 mm) wheelbase and weighed just 838 lb. (380 kg). It was powered by a rear-mounted air-cooled 356 cc V-twin engine putting out about 16 hp (12 kW) and 16 lb·ft (22 Nm) of torque. The car was capable of about 52 mph (84 km/h). It had a 4-speed manual or two-speed automatic transmission. The suspension, front and rear, was rubber “springs” and torsion bars.

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Within a few years of introducing the R360, Mazda had captured much of the lightweight (kei car) market in Japan. It was augmented by the Mazda P360 “Carol” 2+2 in 1962, as well as a convertible version in 1964. Production of the R360 lasted for six years.

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Images found on oldcarmanulproject

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Lieutenant-Commander Montague Grahame-White (racing driver, car, yacht & aeroplane broker), at the wheel of a Wolseley racing car with actor Julius Knight – c. September 23, 1902

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Origins of the project

In the 70s, the Brazilian market was closed for imports. The only sports car officially made there was the aging (and by then retired) Volkswagen Karmann Ghia, and its failed successor, the Karmann Ghia TC. Only independent car makers were able to fill the gap, notably Puma, Santa Matilde and Miura.

"Project X"

The Volkswagen subsidiary in Brazil always had some degree of independence from Wolfsburg, so in 1969 they decided to start a new project of their own. A team led by Mr. Schiemann and supported by Rudolf Leiding (the CEO of the subsidiary and later of the entire company) started work on a so-called "Project X", and presented a prototype in a 1971 fair. But it would take another year before the car reached the streets.

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Production models

The SP, the final name of the car, was built on the frame of a Variant, with the same Volkswagen air-cooled engine, but upgraded to 1700 cc, it developed 75 hp (56 kW), 160 km/h (100 mph) and made 10 L/100 km (28 mpg-imp; 24 mpg-US).

When the car was presented, it quickly drew media attention, with its many improvements over the local "air cooled" VW line, an impressive interior, its many extra features and its superb finishing.

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Decline

A car named SP1 was also built, similar in almost every aspects but the engine, logo and a few trim items. However, due to its very poor performance (only 65 hp (48 kW) with a 1600 cc engine), it was soon discontinued, after 88 units. The same problem plagued the SP2. In fact, a malicious joke at that time was to relate the "SP2" name with "Sem Potência" ("Without Power", in Portuguese)

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Despite its revolutionary look, the car failed to beat the Puma in performance. Although they used similar engines, the fiberglass Puma was much lighter. This resulted in low sales, and the SP was discontinued in February 1976.

With a total of 10,205 units made (670 of them exported, the majority 155 went to Nigeria with only one going to Europe, Portugal), the car is now sought-after as a valuable collector’s item. One of them, in white, is in the VW museum on public display. While prices during the production time frame were roughly the same as the Beetle, the price of a well-preserved example today is considerably higher than contemporary VW models.

P3

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An attempt to resolve SP’s main problem, lack of engine power, was called "SP3 project". It would be basically an SP2, but with a 1.8L EA-827 (AP in Brazil) engine, water-cooled, 8,5:1, 100 cv SAE at 6000 rpm and twin carburetors, all "borrowed" from the Brazilian version of the Passat TS. Although nothing came of the factory project, a prototype was made by Dacon who also offered a (prohibitively expensive) conversion kit.

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Legends cling to many famous cars, but perhaps the most fabled of them all
is the story of the “Blue Train” Bentley.

Once upon a time, March 12, 1930, to be exact, a wager was made amongst a group of early motoring enthusiasts at a dinner party at the Carlton Hotel in Cannes, France. A high-spirited discussion was prompted by the Rover motor car’s advertisement, claiming that its Light Six was faster than the famous express train Le Train Bleu. One person in the group was Captain Joel Woolf “Babe” Barnato, a well-known playboy millionaire, the heir to a South African diamond and gold mine, an international sportsman, and one of the original “Bentley Boys,” as well as the chairman of Bentley Motors and the winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1928 and 1929. He boasted that he would have no difficulty outrunning Le Train Bleu in his Bentley Speed Six. He bet £100 on his claim.

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Captain Joel Woolf
“Babe” Barnato

The next day, at 5:45 p.m., Le Train Bleu steamed out of Cannes, heading to London’s Victoria Station, while Barnato and his relief driver left the Carlton Hotel in his Speed Six. Although they battled heavy rain and fog, delays from searching for fuel, a punctured tire and having to use their only spare, and a choppy ferry ride across the English Channel, they arrived at the St. James Street Conservative Club four minutes before Le Train Bleu had even reached the ferry at Calais, France. Captain Barnato won his bet; however, the French authorities promptly fined him a sum far exceeding his winnings for racing on public roads. Bentley Motors was also excluded from the 1930 Paris Salon for conducting an unauthorized race.

The next day, at 5:45 p.m., Le Train Bleu steamed out of Cannes, heading to London’s Victoria Station, while Barnato and his relief driver left the Carlton Hotel in his Speed Six. Although they battled heavy rain and fog, delays from searching for fuel, a punctured tire and having to use their only spare, and a choppy ferry ride across the English Channel, they arrived at the St. James Street Conservative Club four minutes before Le Train Bleu had even reached the ferry at Calais, France. Captain Barnato won his bet; however, the French authorities promptly fined him a sum far exceeding his winnings for racing on public roads. Bentley Motors was also excluded from the 1930 Paris Salon for conducting an unauthorized race.

Spare parts and accessories for Rolls-Royce and Bentley motorcars
As for the car that he actually raced that day, that story too is one of legend. Barnato happened to have owned ten 6½-Litre cars, with seven being standard chassis and three being Speed Six chassis. For decades, the car depicted as the “Blue Train Bentley” in countless newspapers and magazines, as well as in a commemorative painting of the race with Le Train Bleu by Terence Cuneo, was Barnato’s streamlined “fastback” coupe, which had been bodied by Gurney Nutting and wore chassis number HM2855. However, the Bentley he actually drove that day was a rather unassuming black, fabric-covered saloon that had been built by H.J. Mulliner on a 1929 Bentley Speed Six chassis, number BA2592. Captain Barnato had owned that car for a year before the event, while his Gurney Nutting Coupe was still being built.

Text from RM Auctions

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The GAZ-M20 "Pobeda" (Russian: ГАЗ-М20 Победа; Победа) was a passenger car produced in the Soviet Union byGAZ from 1946 until 1958. It was also licensed to Polish Fabryka Samochodów Osobowych, as FSO Warszawa. Although usually known as the GAZ-M20, an original car’s designation at that time was just M-20, for "Molotovets" (GAZ factory bore a name of Vyacheslav Molotov).

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Originally intended to be called Rodina (Homeland), the name Pobeda (Victory) was a back-up, but was preferred by Stalin. The first Pobeda was developed in the Soviet Union under chief engineer Andrei A. Liphart. "Pobeda" means "victory"; and the name was chosen because the works started in 1943 at Gorky Avto Zavod (GAZ, "Gorky Car Plant"), when victory in World War II began to seem likely, and the car was to be a model for post-war times. (The plant was later heavily bombarded, but work was unaffected.) Styling was done by the imaginative and talented Veniamin Samoilov, which admitted to have drawn inspiration from the 1938 Opel Kapitän. The monocoque body and front suspension is also of a similar construction. The modern ponton styling, with slab sides preceded many Western manufacturers. The M20 was the first Soviet car using entirely domestic body dies; it was designed against wooden bucks, which suffered warping, requiring last-minute tuning by GAZ factory employees. The first prototype was ready on November 6, 1944 (for an anniversary of the October Revolution), and after it gained approval the first production model rolled off the assembly line on June 21, 1946. It was the first Soviet car with electric windshield wipers(rather than mechanical- or vacuum-operated ones). It also had four-wheel hydraulic brakes.

During the design process, GAZ had to choose between a 62 hp (46 kW; 63 PS) 2,700 cc (165 cu in) 2,112 cc (129 cu in) inline four; Stalin preferred the four, so it was used. For cost efficiency, the engine construction was based on that from a 1935 Dodge D5 of which the plans were purchased from Chrysler for $20 000,-. In addition, the headlights were covered by an American patent.

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Production was difficult; by the end of 1946, only twenty-three cars were completed, virtually by hand. Truly mass production had to wait until 28 April 1947, and even then, only 700 were built before October 1948. There were numerous problems. The Soviet Union was unable to produce steel sheets large enough for body panels, so strips had to be welded together, which led to countless leaks and 20 kg (44 lb) of solder in the body, as well as an increase in weight of 200 kg (440 lb). Steel quality was so bad, up to 60% was rejected, and overall quality was so poor, production actually stopped, by order of the government and the company’s director was fired.

After making 346 improvements, and adding two thousand new tools, the Pobeda was restored to production. It had a new carburettor, different final drive ratio (5.125:1 rather than 4.7:1), strengthened rear springs, improved heater, and the ability to run on the low-grade 66[octane] fuel typical in the Soviet Union. (Among the changes was a 5 cm (2.0 in) lower rear seat, enabling Red Army officers to ride without removing their caps.) The improvements enabled the new Pobeda to reach 50 km/h (31 mph) in 12 seconds, half the previous model’s time.

The improved Pobeda was placed in production 1 November 1949, and the techniques needed to develop and manufacture it effectively created the Soviet automobile industry. In 1952, improved airflow in the engine increased power from 50 hp (37 kW; 51 PS) to 52 hp (39 kW; 53 PS); it climbed to 55 hp (41 kW; 56 PS), along with the new grille, upholstery, steering wheel, radio, and radiator badge, as the M20V (Russian: М-20В), 1955.

A column shift synchromesh gearbox appeared in 1950, replacing the floor-shifted "crash box". In 1949 debuted a cabriolet(without a separate designation, surviving until 1953), and a taxi M-20A, with cheaper interior (first regular taxi model in Moscow); some of the cabriolets were also used as taxis.

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The car was a successful export for the USSR, and the design was licensed to the Polish FSO factory in Warsaw, where it was built as the FSO Warszawa beginning in 1951, continuing until 1973. A few were assembled in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Weighing 1,460 kg (3,219 lb), the Pobeda has 2.1 litre sidevalve straight-4 engine producing 50 hp (37 kW) and top speed of 105 km/h (65 mph).

The Pobeda was the first Soviet automobile to have turn signals, two electric wipers, an electric heater, and a built-in AM radio. The car came to be a symbol of postwar Soviet life and is today a popular collector’s item.

In 1949-53, 14,222 M-20s were built with 4-door convertible body (of ‘cabrio coach‘ type), but sales were poor and the GAZ never returned to the idea of mass-producing a convertible. The only reason to create a cabriolet, less practical in Soviet climate, were low production capabilities of sheet metal, due to war damage.

In 1955, the first "comfortable mass-produced" monocoque all-wheel drive vehicle appeared, the M72, with a four-wheel drive system adapted from the contemporary Soviet GAZ-69. It was the brainchild of Vitaly Gracheva, assistant to the GAZ-69’s chief engineer, Grigory Moiseevich. It used a standard Pobeda transmission, mated to the GAZ-69 front axle, leaf spring suspension, and transfer case, with a brand-new rear axle (used on no other vehicle, a rarity for Soviet car production). The body had fourteen panels added to strengthen the floor, frame, doors, and roof. Trim and interior were otherwise the same as the M20, and in all, 4,677 were built by end of production in 1958.

A limited edition M20G for the KGB (number unknown, but very small), powered by a 3,485 cc (212.7 cu in) straight six (from the GAZ M12 ZIM), was also produced, giving the Pobeda a top speed reportedly 87 mph (140 km/h), and 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) time was down to 16 seconds from the stock model’s 34; handling was compromised by the extra front-end weight.

Total production of the Pobeda was 235,999, including 37,492 taxis and 14,222 cabriolets. A great number of cars was used by government organizations and government-owned corporations, including taxicab parks (there were no private taxis in the USSR). Despite its 16,000 ruble price tag, with average wage 800 ruble, the Pobeda was available to buy for ordinary citizens, and only from 1954-1955 a demand for cars in the USSR started to overgrow a production, and there appeared long queues to buy a car It was also the first serious opportunity for the Soviet automobile industry to export cars, and "Western drivers found it to be almost indestructible".

The Pobeda was replaced by the GAZ M21 Volga.

Text from Wikipedia 

Between 1945 and 1960 there was strict restrictions on new car sales of in Norway, but for some reason this did not go for Eastern European cars so my childhood was full of Pobedas, Volgas, Skodas, Tatras and lesser known cars from behind the iron Curtain – Ted

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History

In the first half of 1932, Wilhelm Gutbrod, the President of the Standard Fahrzeugfabrik, came into contact with German engineer Josef Ganz. Ganz had been working on a small car design since the early 1920s and had so far built two prototypes, one for Ardie in 1930 and one for Adler in 1931, called the Maikäfer (May Beetle). After a demonstration with the Maikäfer by Ganz, Gutbrod was most interested to build a small car according to this design. The Standard Fahrzeugfabrik then purchased a license from Ganz to develop and build a small car according to his design. The prototype of this new model, which was to be called Standard Superior, was finished in 1932. It featured a tubular chassis, a mid-mounted engine, and independent wheel suspension with swing-axles at the rear.

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Models

The first production model of the Standard Superior was introduced at the IAMA (Internationale Automobil- und Motorradausstellung) in Berlin in February 1933. It had a transverse 396cc, two-cylinder, two-stroke engine mounted in front of the rear axle. Because of some criticism to the body design, not in the least by Josef Ganz in Motor-Kritik, it was followed in April 1933 by a slightly altered model.

In November 1933 the Standard Fahrzeugfabrik introduced yet another new and improved model for 1934, which was slightly longer with one additional window on each side and had a small seat for children or as luggage space in the back. This car was advertised as the German "Volkswagen" (a term that means, literally, "people’s car" in German.

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The Volkswagen Beetle connection

With the Ardie-Ganz, Adler Maikäfer and Standard Superior cars, as well as his progressive writings and promotion of the concept of a Volkswagen (people’s car) in Motor-Kritik magazine since the 1920s, Josef Ganz is claimed by some to have had input into the Volkswagen Beetle. These cars had some of features of the later Volkswagen Beetle, such as the tubular chassis, rear-mounted engine and independent wheel suspension with swing axles. While the Volkswagen Beetle was produced in its millions after World War Two, the name of Josef Ganz was largely forgotten. In 2004, Dutch journalist Paul Schilperoord started researching the life and work of Josef Ganz, and in 2011 he published The Extraordinary Life of Josef Ganz: The Jewish Engineer Behind Hitler’s Volkswagen.

Text from Wikipedia

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Mitsuoka Motors
(光岡自動車?) is a small Japanese automobile company. It is noted for building cars with conventional styling, some of which imitate British vehicles of the 1950s and 1960s. It is primarily a coachbuilder, taking production cars, like the Nissan March, and replacing the bodywork with its own custom designs. It has also produced a sports car, the Orochi. Mitsuoka Motors is also the principal distributor of retro-classic TD2000 roadster in Japan. Mitsuoka is the youngest Japanese auto manufacturer, and bases its current cars on Nissans and Infinitis. Also, it built just one ute version of the Viewt, which is in the U.K. It also makes its cars look like different cars (i.e., the Galue is meant to look like an older Rolls-Royce).

Text from Wikipedia

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