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‘PROGRESS’ Club Address:

40 Masons Rd, Albany



Editors E-Mail Address: Club Nights: Every Wed from 7.30pm. Restoration Shed: Every Tuesday &Thursday Mornings 9am - 12pm Committee Meetings: Last Monday of the Month, 7.30pm (All Reports Email to Editor Within 2 days of meeting please)

First Sunday of the Month (2 – 5pm)

Club Open Days:

Ladies Night: 3rd Wed of the Month. Club Runs: Normally 1pm Start, 3rd Sun. of month. Always check the ‘coming event’s page, or elsewhere in Magazine, for information regarding these events. NSVCC Website: And

The COMMITTEE Chairman Vice Chairman Secretary: Treasurer: Club/Capt: Assist. Club/Capt

Paul Collins Kevin Lord Maurice Whitham Ross Moon Neil Beckenham Andrew Lloyd

09 4220500 09 4139157 09 627-0310 09 4261508 09 426-5831 027 7190003

0272922204 027 2350142 027 2969293 021 588536

COMMITTEE Members: John Tombs Clive Sandham Alistair Reynolds John Higham Barry Thomson Brian Cullen (Editor) ISSUE NUMBER: 471

09 4785677 09 486-6047 09 4182921 09 4787973 09 9590206 09 4434912 MONTH:

027 3785590 021 903548 027 4760775

021 1630686

MAY - JUNE 2018


20 13 24

Triple combined run NSVCC--- AGM Auckland / North Shore combined run

OTHER EVENTS: Auckland Branch—Mid week runs: 16 May Wed---See Page 7 for details 20 June Wed---See Page 7 for Details 18 July Wed---See Page 7 for details 2018*= Petrolhead for details SMALES FARM CAR SHOW—Last Sun of each month.



Meet at Club Rms Approx 10.00am -- Leave 10.30 BYO lunch---Lunch stop at Waitoki Hall Finish at Wellsford/Warkworth Club Rms 1 2


Silverdale Historical Places would like to have some vintage cars for display over Queens birthday weekend. Anyone interested?? New storage shed. A Five Bay shed is favoured by the committee, with all 5 doors chain operated. John Higham has consulted with council, and we seem to have met all requirements in regards to Resource consents ---(Not required) Permit only Reqd. Our 50th Northern Raid is due in 5 years time, and it was suggested that we should plan for something special in advance,

Chairman’s Report April/May 2018

April provided a host of events for many to attend providing lots of opportunities for us to use and show off our club vehicles, including our branch’s annual calendar event, The Northern Raid Rally. Some extra last minute lobbying brought in a few more entries to make it all worthwhile organising. The afternoon visits, firstly to the workshop to see the replica of an early 1930’s Alfa Romeo being built to exacting standards and specifications, then secondly to see a private collection of vintage Radios, old time electronic and telephone equipment and other early electrical devices. It was simply amazing, drawing lots of comments and praises to these enterprising people. We thanked them for the opportunity to visit. Prize giving dinner followed back at the clubrooms. We congratulate this year’s winners, Arnold and Marika Van Zon in their Lovely Packard car. Passing wet weather (and cyclones) has disrupted the country over the last few weeks causing the cancellation of some events, and destruction to roads and property with flooding and slips creating havoc in many areas. I hope all have managed to cope without too much stress. The club has been fortunate to have been gifted a 20 foot container, which will serve as additional storage for the parts shed. If you have not visited the parts shed for a while please take the time to have a look at the great job the team has been doing, tidying and sorting, labelling, listing of the items etc. over the last year. Great work chaps. Owen has been very busy doing repairs and painting to our Library building. We would like to thank him, and also all the other workers who volunteer their labour to work on the vehicles, and help keep the clubrooms and grounds tidy and well maintained for us all. We are fortunate to have very good turnouts each Thursday morning, with everyone enjoying the camaraderie (and morning Teas), and this keeps our branch growing and moving ahead like it has. The Triple Combined Rally comes along in May (20th), followed in June by our AGM on the 13th. Please think about joining the committee and help guide your Branch ahead into the future. Winter is also a good time to do maintenance on your club vehicle, in readiness for Spring events ahead. Don’t forget the WOF which is easily overlooked if you have a number of vehicles in your stable. Keep warm and keep on motoring. Paul

Cheers to all,

CLUB CAPTAIN’S REPORT APRIL 2018 On April 22nd was our annual Northern Raid, a national event which was well attended with participants from Wellsford/Warkworth Branch and Auckland Branch joining in the day’s activities and socializing. It was enjoyed by all The morning’s competition event was well received and enjoyed. Thanks to Kevin Lord and his plotting skills. The BYO lunch back at the club rooms was enjoyed by our 67 attendees. The afternoon tour took us to see the Alfa Romeo workshop of Colin in Stillwater, showcasing his incredible workmanship in producing these replica vehicles. Brilliant work! Next was a visit to a vintage radio collection only a mile away. Once again, a beautifully set out collection. Back to the club rooms for pre-dinner snacks and then our roast dinners were served. Delicious food again, from the Silverdale Roast Shop, and of course, great company. A Special thanks to our Marshals who gave up their opportunity to compete, -----Tony Gillet and Ray Urban, and Marlene McGinty. Thanks to Len Woodgate for the workshop tour contact and Paul Collins for the vintage radio contact. Many thanks to Marlene and Brian and all those who helped clean up the dishes afterwards. The winners of the completion section of the day was Arnold Van Zon in his 1929 Packard. Arnold was the overall winner of the 1st North Shore Winner and the pre 1945 winner. An amazing result. Paul Collins came in a very close second with only 1 point between them. Those of us who chose to participate in these events should appreciate the hard work that goes into organizing these events. We must remember that the touring section of the day is just, if not more work and it can be disappointing to have people register for the event and then not show up. However, from those who did, I received excellent feedback and people were saying that they have never been down ‘that’ road before. This month’s run is the Triple Combined Run which we are joined by the Hibiscus Vintage Car Enthusiasts and the Wellsford/Warkworth Branch. We will be leaving from the North Shore Branch. Details to follow. Neil

North Shore Vintage Car Club of NZ Inc ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2018 The North Shore Branch of the Vintage Car Club of N.Z. Inc hereby give notice of the Annual General Meeting, to be held at the Club Rms, 40 Masons Rd Albany, Wednesday 13th June 2018 at 8.00pm.

AGENDA. Present Members Apologies Minutes of previous A. G .M. Matters arising Correspondence Chairman's Report Treasurers Report Delegates Report Editors Report Club Captains Report Presentation of awards and L.S. Badges Election of Officers Notice of Motion 1 To Discuss and vote on the erection of a new shed. 2 To Discuss and vote on Financial arrangements for the new shed, if agreed to proceed with the above project. This would involve the lowering of the financial CAP. PROPOSED: John Higham SECONDED: Brian Cullen General Business

Mid-week notes for May Bulletin (Auckland Branch) Well, last month’s run turned out to be a double banger !. Not only did we visit a collection of antique guns, but we also had the privilege of having lunch in a real duck shooter’s “cabin”. Built entirely of recycled materials, a room at a time over many years, totally weatherproof, running water, (in pipes) very little paint or adornment, but full of character and nostalgia, it was a real treat as well as an education to many of us. Big enough to house everyone, not necessarily in the one room, and sleeping eight in the bunk-room. Duck shooting is only for two weeks a year, but this structure is used on a weekly basis, hence the one and only brand new item, a massive TV on one wall. Photos “papering” the walls testified to our host’s other interests including Indian motor cycles and Bugatti hybrid specials, as wells as firearms. The whole place was an unexpected bonus. After lunch, across the road to the farm house and the ancient, now restored, jail which houses the gun collection. A life times hobby here, and our host was so knowledgeable and answered our many questions enthusiastically. Some of the guns had NZ connections, including one pistol from a murder committed during the gold rush days of the 1880’s. Interesting that the culprits were caught after drawing attention to themselves by suddenly spending large amounts of money. As the saying goes – nothing new…………….. The farm is still owned by the same family who settled it in 1864. For obvious reasons I am not going to identify anything in print. Apologies to those who failed to make it over the road to the farm house, what do they say about “the best laid plans of mice and men”, but there will be another opportunity and we’ll make amends then. Thank you to John and Ngaire Cheale for volunteering and for the really enjoyable day they put on. Well done !. Also thanks to our host on the day, we appreciated your hospitality.

Coming events. Wednesday 16th. May. Starts from the Drury Service Centre, Southern Motorway. 1000am for a 10-30am departure. Our destination is Brookby, where we will be hosted by members Peter and Judy Alderdice. Between them they have horses, Morgans, and Harley Davidsons. Peter also sells a very good sealant for petrol tanks and a variety of coloured “jewels” for sprucing up your car or bike. BYO everything. Wednesday 20th. June. Starts from The Warehouse car-park, Westgate. 10-00am for a 10-30am departure. Don Johnston is organising a run to Gulf Harbour, where we will be treated to a fantastic display of large fish feeding in their natural habitat. BYO lunch etc, although there are also cafes nearby. Wednesday 18th. July. Starts again from The Warehouse car-park, Westgate. 10-00am for a 10-30am departure. More details to come. The Dewdrops and the Mid-week Team Tel. 09 232 0245 Email

CONGRATULATIONS RAY URBAHN Congratulations to NSVCC Member Ray on completing the Rotorua Marathon 2018. Competitor Number 719, Ray Urbahn, Red Beach Official results: Overall placing: 778 out of 937 finishers Male placing: 501 out of 568 finishers Place in 85 to 89 age class: 1 out of 1 finishers 5 hours 54 minutes 48 seconds And Ray’s age? It has something to do with two fat ladies. Well done Ray, you put us much younger people to shame.

1941 Chevrolet Special Deluxe Convertible

NOTICES STORAGE SHED; Several Club Vehicles are currently stored in this shed. Anyone can apply for the use of a space at a reasonable cost, (If available) --- If interested, please contact --- KEVIN LORD for details and rules governing the use of this shed. PH 09 4139157-- 0272350142 REMEMBER: Work on vehicles is NOT permitted in the storage shed. ------------------------------------

Club Rooms Bookings: (Members only) Please Contact: John Tombs---09 4785677 Restoration Shed Activities. Would all members please remember to return tools to their correct place at the end of the morning´s restoration activities. Would all members please remember to include their name and branch (Plus membership number) on any payments etc, in particular, any payments to Head Office when paying their membership subs. Thanks.

Club owned Vehicles are available to members for their use on Club events etc. Contact Kevin Lord for information on conditions and availability of these vehicles. All requests must be passed by the committee. Basic Conditions for use: 1

The vehicles MUST be returned to the shed from which they were taken

2 3 4

---immediately after use. Fuel used must be replaced. Vehicle must be cleaned immediately on return. Any defects encountered must be reported to Kevin, or the person nominated for responsibility for the vehicle.

AD’S AND NOTICES North Shore Vintage Car Club Branch Price List ----------------------------Cloth Badges $6 (All Queries please contact NSVCC Car Badges $15 The Secretary) VCC Chrome Wings $25 VCC Brass Wings $20 ( All payments are to be NSVCC Lapel Badges $5 made to the: Rally Card Holders $10 North Shore Vintage Car Club) EDITOR’S E-MAIL ADDRESS;

Name Badges: Would members please wear their name badges on rallies or events, to assist in helping to “get to know” each other, particularly new members. --------------------------------------

Please be sure to add your name to the list (in the club rooms) when attending rallies. -I.D.Cards: These are compulsory for all National Calendar Events. Be sure to take them with you. Photographs of your Vintage car. The club needs a photo of your Vintage Car to display in our club rooms, along side those already on display. These should be of a size 10 x 8 inches. Frames and captions are free. Remember, these photo’s are one of the main attractions for visitors, prospective members, and of course, current members. A Photo of your car can be arranged next time you attend a rally or club function. Please: Check with a committee member first. Events: Make sure you have a current W.O.F. & Rego. when participating in Club organized events. NOTICE FROM THE EDITOR

I have compiled an “up to date” membership list for our branch. It gives the names of current members and their Ph Numbers, and as well, the names of their wifes/partners ( where I have the information.) This list is available to all members—So if you would like one, please e/mail me at: NOTE:(It will only be sent by E/mail)

1931 Auburn 8-98A Deluxe Phaeton

1932 Pierce-Arrow 54 Convertible Coupe

1960 MG A Roadster

1994 Morgan Plus 8

1954 Fiat 1400

A 1954 Fiat 1400 A, the first restyled 1400

By 1952, the 1400 had established itself as a robust Fiat success, enjoying happy years on the Italian market and, as seen, also making some inroads on the European automotive scene: Despite relatively low export numbers, the 1400 was widely acclaimed as one of the foremost automobiles in the world, winning accolades by foreign critics. However, Fiat men were also aware that in a reawakening Italian and European economy, the small original engine of the 1400 wasn’t totally fit to fight in a more upscale market segment, a segment where most Italian and European rivals were now trying to set their place. Therefore, the project to offer a Fiat expressly devoted to that kind of market spectrum was resurrected, albeit not in the grandiose way originally devised when there were talks of American construction or V8-engined autos. While those remained dreams, a more solid reality entered in the equation: It is the 1900, named with a lack of fantasy just like the Alfa’s first all-new postwar car, but offering some originality and distinctiveness of its own. In this chapter, we will see its origin and story, and also the evolution of the whole original 1400 concept, with cars as diverse as the A and B models, and the hardtop Granluce and the fleet special Diesel variant, all accompanying the car’s life until its demise. Quite a thriving evolution!

Just like in the previous chapter, I used again original photos taken off old Motor Italia and Auto Italiana’ magazines, images here used strictly as Fair Use materials, with no commercial or promotional purposes, in order to offer a fascinating vintage look at how the 1400 and the 1900 were considered back in their glorious days. On the other hand, the contemporary photos of the various 1400s, 1900s, and Granluces come from my own archive, showing mostly cars of my dear Italian 1400’s owners and friends, with the noteworthy addition offered by Mr. Hans Johansson, who let me use his magnificent 1900 A Granluce’ images, a car which has just been the subject of a perfect restoration in Sweden. Thank you again Mr. Johansson for showing all of us how deep and how far reaching is your love for these often overlooked Italian cars. Surely they deserve the kind of attention you reserved to them! Enter The 1900–When Italian Riviera Met Buick Riviera. The dream of a Fiat-badge modern admiral was never abandoned by Fiat top management and designers. But the dream of a really upscale proposition, something far different in image, styling and dimensions from the already existing 1400, had to be quickly forsaken. What’s more, for a while the 1400 alone was plenty enough for also typical upscale connoisseurs. For a while. In fact, in an era when affluent buyers had to be closely pursued also by those European makers apparently devoted more to popular priced market segments, because profit margins also in those days were difficult to reach with economical autos (and in proportion, European motorists were, as an average, more on the affluent side of the market ladder ), a more prestigious and more important auto than the 1400 was almost mandatory. So, enter the 1900, a simple yet effective – for a while – way to lure richer buyers in Fiat’ showrooms. Rarely an Italian car ever looked so outlandish in some details, yet so elegant and so rich-looking in others, like the Fiat 1900, in its hardtop coupé format especially. But a very quick glimpse at the Granluce (in English Grand View, an obvious reference to its airy greenhouse) makes everybody understand why the 1900 could well be considered as one of the (if not The) most American-look Italian car ever. Later As and Bs Granluce are the epitome of this phenomenon, and one could say that early 1900 were positively austere, but just like Detroit again suggested, when in doubt about how to offer a luxury car, just add: add cubes, add horse, add niceties, add chrome, add glam.

And the 1900 sure added, so much so that among all the 1400 family members, I could almost say that the “ideal” 1400 might well be the original 1900, thanks to its formula which addressed some shortcomings of the original 1400. But while this could have worked in case the 1900 was nothing more than a larger 1400, maybe also sporting the same name (say, 1400 1.9 or some other Mercedes Benz-like practice), this didn’t exactly give prestige to the car: it was always considered too much as a derivative of the 1400, and not the distinctive Aurelia-beater it should have been. Marketing considerations aside, what in the end resulted was a good car. As anticipated, the idea of offering a “large” engine car to the buyers wasn’t abandoned and in October 1952 , at the Paris Salon, the 1900 debuted. Soon after the 1400 entry on the market, it had become clear that in order to compete with even newer cars like the Lancia Aurelia and the Alfa Romeo 1900 a larger engined model was de riguer, but the idea of adapting to it the V8 was in the end deemed as too difficult and costly, especially because a large export effort toward the USA was already seen as economically unfeasible for Fiat (this explaining why, during its production life, the most American-looking and American-dedicated Fiat was a very rare beast on the market which apparently was the Chosen One for the model). Of course, the V8 became the engine which was used by the eponymous sensational coupè, so it wasn’t all a waste of time and money, but the aforementioned V6 was out of question, at least for the all-important bean-counters, and this despite the fact that Fiat marketing director, Luigi Gajal de la Chenaye was among those pushing toward a more fractioned and larger still engine. In effect, Dante Giacosa himself wasn’t terribly convinced about the feasibility of offering more than a four cylinder engine, considering the timing of the car’ birth. In 1950, the market for a Fiat with a larger than 1,5 liter engine wasn’t all that wide, and if the export projects towards markets inclined to accept larger engines were to be doomed, as in effect it happened, it was somewhat futile to continue with the “more than 4 cylinders” approach. There were tentative experiences about developing a larger car with the V8 as early as 1950 but the project, with a body made by none other than Pinin Farina, was superseded; in its place, the Project Code 105 was set, whereas main body structure had to be maintained. During its development, even the Project 105 lost some of its supposed distinctive aura, and the resulting car was nothing more than a mild restyling of the existing Project 101 structure: in other words, this did mean putting some chrome and a slightly larger back window on the original 1400’ body.

One of the various tentative efforts done as studies for the eventual Fiat flagship by Pinin Farina apparently provided early design ideas for the Peugeot 403; albeit some sources stated that most of the proposed 1900’ ideas by PF were judged ugly, certainly what was later used for the 403 was as good as many. In any case, using the body of the existing 1400 was certainly a good solution for a marque, like Fiat, where at the time the very same engineers thought about some manufacturing solutions like full-time bean counters. And naturally, the V8 idea wasn’t lost, and neither its role as bearer of an “upmarket Fiat” tradition; however, this role was now worn by a sensational sportscar, quite a distant car from the last grand-looking Fiat admiral, the 2800. But that’s another story. In any case, the projects aimed at developing a far different looking car that the 1400 failed mainly because of a lack of funds and time to build such a car in a proper way: in the end, Giacosa in person said that probably the production costs of the 1900 drivetrains were as high as those considered for the more sophisticated engines studied until then. Drivetrains, that is, because what had made an enlarged 1400 engine viable in the beginning also continued to be as such during production car’ life. In effect, what made the differences in costs was mounted aft the engine…And naturally, a larger 1400-derived engine was already available for usage, because a certain very special car which had debuted exactly one year before the 1900 was putting it to good use. And just like some other contemporary luxury cars from abroad (’49 Lincolns, just to name one), there was no scandal in using a truck-derived engine for an upscale auto. In any case, what finally resulted was a far different animal than the fabulous 8V Berlinetta, the car which had the engine originally imagined for the most luxurious Fiat sedan.

NORTH SHORE VINTAGE CAR CLUB. 2018 AGM. Nomination for Office. I, the undersigned,

hereby nominate

(Name) ---------------------------For the position of:---------- --------------------Proposer:____________ Seconder:_________________

In consenting to the above nomination, I agree that I will act in accordance with the Constitution of the North Shore Branch of the Vintage Car Club of NZ INC.

Signed By:-----------------------------------------


On A Lighter Note Murphy says to Paddy, " What ya talkin into an envelope for?" "I'm sending a voicemail ya fool!" Paddy says "Mick, I'm thinking of buying a Labrador.""Blow that," says Mick, "have you seen how many of their owners go blind?" 19 paddies go to the cinema, the ticket lady asks "Why so many of you?"Mick replies, "The film said 18 or over." The Grim Reaper came for me last night, and I beat him off with a vacuum cleaner,Talk about Dyson with death. I went to the cemetery yesterday to lay some flowers on a grave. As I was standing there I noticed four gravediggers walking about with a coffin, 3 hours later and they're still walking about with it. I thought to myself, they've lost the plot!! My daughter asked me for a pet spider for her birthday, so I went to our local pet shop and they were ÂŁ70!!! Blow this, I thought, I can get one cheaper off the web. I was at an ATM yesterday when a little old lady asked if I could check her balance, so I pushed her over. I start a new job in Seoul next week. Thought it was a good Korea move. I was driving this morning when I saw a parked RACQ van. The driver was sobbing uncontrollably and looked very miserable. I thought to myself, that guy's heading for a breakdown. Statistically, 6 out of 7 dwarfs are not Happy. My neighbour knocked on my door at 2:30am this morning, can you believe that, 2:30am?! Luckily for him I was still up playing my Bagpipes. I was explaining to my wife last night that when you die you get reincarnated but must come back as a different creature. She said she would like to come back as a cow. I said "You're obviously not listening."

The wife has been missing a week now.Police said to prepare for the worst..So I have been to the charity shop to get all her clothes back. Two Muslims have crashed a speedboat into the Thames barrier in London ........Police think it might be the start of Ram-a-dam. Sat opposite an Indian lady on the train today, she shut her eyes and stopped breathing. I thought she was dead, until I saw the red spot on her forehead and realised she was just on standby The wife was counting all the 5ps and 10ps out on the kitchen table when she suddenly got very angry and started shouting and crying for no reason. I thought to myself, "She's going through the change." When I was in the pub I heard a couple of plonkers saying that they wouldn't feel safe on an aircraft if they knew the pilot was a woman. What a pair of sexists. I mean, it's not as if she'd have to reverse the bloody thing! Local Police hunting the 'knitting needle nutter', who has stabbed six people in the rear in the last 48 hours, believe the attacker could be following some kind of pattern. Bought some 'rocket salad' yesterday but it went off before I could eat it! A teddy bear is working on a building site. He goes for a tea break and when he returns he notices his pick has been stolen.The bear is angry and reports the theft to the foreman. The foreman grins at the bear and says "Oh, I forgot to tell you, today's the day the teddy bears have their pick nicked." My girlfriend thinks that I'm a stalker. Well, she's not exactly my girlfriend yet. Just got back from my mate's funeral. He died after being hit on the head with a tennis ball. It was a lovely service.

Talkin’ alternative-power cars with Jay Leno

We’ve decided to dedicate the October issue to the alternative-power cars of yesteryear, so we figured who best to talk to regarding electric cars, steam cars, and even turbine cars than a collector who owns one of just about every alternative-power cars out there: Jay Leno. In fact, he had more such non-gasoline, non-internal combustion cars than we had room in the magazine, so we thought we’d share some of those we didn’t print here. We’ll start with Jay’s 1909 Baker Electric, above. In Jay’s words: Electric cars were quite popular in the first ten years of the 20th century. New York City had charging stations everywhere. The Baker, like my 1909, could go 80 miles on a charge; they used electric lights and interior lighting when everyone else was using gas to illuminate. It has leather fenders – the carbon-fiber of a century ago. And there’s no maintenance on it; even today, all I do is charge it and drive it. This one uses original Edison alkaline batteries–I just wash ’em out, refill them and go. Women loved electric cars: they were easy to drive, they weren’t smoky or greasy, they were quiet, you didn’t have to crank them to get started – you just twist a key and go. (Editor’s note – Inside, Baker provided a makeup kit and a flower vase; all windows, front and rear, went fully up or down. Comfort, not mechanical prowess, was the order of the day with the Baker.) Rich men bought them for their wives, not for themselves. Even Henry Ford’s wife, Clara, had one. But the electric car had the same problem as the Mazda Miata had when it came out – you can’t sell a man a woman’s car. Its range is between 80 and 110 miles without needing a recharge – not so different than the pure electric cars of today – but with a top speed of 25 MPH. As time went on, gaspowered cars evolved to become easier to operate – the self-starter came along in 1912, and electric lighting in cars proliferated in the mid-Teens – forcing Baker to cease production of its electric car in 1916.

Apart from its electric power, Jay Leno’s 1909 Baker Electric features a reverse-facing jump seat. Electric or not, it seems like a strange option. Today it might be, but it reflected the times. Leno explains: In the Teens, Christian groups protested two-seater cars; men could take women out unescorted and have their way, or leave them in the woods, or who knows. Back when cars were still new, one of the magazines in my library did an article asking whether a Christian would drive an automobile. To prove you were a good Christian car dealer, you’d install a chaperone seat, or a mother-in-law seat. This way, they could go on a date with you. It was such a different mindset then. Sometimes you see those seats outside the car on the running board, or hanging off the back; that was the car dealers being wise guys and saying [f-u].

Jay’s Owen Magnetic dates to 1916, the first year for the marque (and, curiously, starting the same year that the Baker Electric died). Many consider it to be the first mechanical hybrid, outdating their more contemporary arrival on American streets by more than eight decades. The Owen Magnetic solved the age-old problem that electric cars have always had: what do you do when the battery runs out? The Owen Magnetic uses a six-cylinder gasoline engine, which turns a 24-volt dynamo which powers the electric motor. There is no mechanical connection between the gas engine and the driveline. It carries its own generator; it’s kinda like the Chevy Volt, except the engine has to be running. Start the engine, the flywheel spins and creates a magnetic field. A sophisticated system of relays gets power to the 24-volt dynamo, which turns the rear wheels. Instead of a transmission, it has rheostats, like a transformer on a train – just click into a different quadrant and you go faster. This is pre-transistors, but it goes pretty good. No clutch, no transmission, just tons of torque ’cause it’s electric – an electric car driven by a gasoline engine. Yet servicing was an issue: the relay box came with a strict warning label not to let anyone but an authorized Owen Magnetic dealer open up, which discouraged fiddling shade-tree mechanics. It may have been genius, but at $9,000 (or the cost of nearly four Cadillac roadsters of the same era) there were few takers, and Owen Magnetic was gone by the early 1920s.

Finally, while we profiled a couple of Jay’s White steam cars in the article, Jay also shared with us the process behind starting a White steamer: Steam cars have so much rigamarole to go through to get ’em started. First, you make sure there’s air pressure in your pilot and your fuel tank. An air pump runs with engine once you’re going; it’ll pump air into the gas tank, which will force the fuel forward. This car has no electricity, so everything is mechanical; there’s a hand pump in the interior floor. Or, you can attach an air hose to the open bung under the hood, and you can do it quickly with a powered air hose. Once the interior air-pressure gauge registers sufficient pressure, open the pilot fuel under the car – you can hear the air go through. Then you use a key to open your gas tank pressure. Make sure you have water in the boiler. Force water into the coils – you can hand-pump from water tank, or just use a hose. Once you see water coming out the drip valve, there’s enough in the boiler and it’s safe to fire up. To preheat the pilot, open the door and introduce a little gasoline by opening the valve that connects to the pilot, then light it. I’m just heating the surface area where the liquid gas comes through, hits the hot metal, becomes a gas and ignites my pilot higher up. I need to transfer all the fire up to there. Fiddle with it. Then open the firing-up valve; this just shoots raw fuel in, and doesn’t regulate. Once everything is hot, you can shut the firing-up valve, then open up another valve that will automatically regulate fuel through the flow motor. Once the temperature reaches 700 degrees, then I know I have superheated steam. The process takes the better part of a quarter-hour or more, so suddenly, we see why gasoline-burning engines found favor. “With a gas engine, you just turn the key and go,” Jay said.

1934 Packard Super 8 DUAL-COWL SPORT PHAETON


North Shore VCC May 2018  
North Shore VCC May 2018