Memories of the Duo and other cars
A footnote was appended to a letter to you in the Vintage Postbag for June last year, asking whether any readers remembered the Duo cyclecar; I have been meaning to write ever since.
I well remember the model I owned in, I think, 1919 or 1920: it was my first experience of four-wheeled motoring, and, after my experience with it, I gladly returned to motorcycles again for several years! To the best of my recollection, the Duo was a side-by-side 2-seater. It had a 600 twin air-cooled J.A.P. engine, set length-wise in the frame, and driving a countershaft by chain. From thence onwards, transmission was by motorcycle type belts, the drive being taken by two expanding/contracting pulleys on the countershaft and two similar type pulleys on the fixed axle, à la Zenith gradua motorcycle principle: there was, of course, no reverse gear. Perhaps I was unlucky, but I failed completely to make this contraption work satisfactorily, and sold it very shortly after purchase – naturally at a loss!
I wonder if any reader remembers the 7-h.p. 2-seater Citroën, of which I had a (1923?) model in 1925, and which did yeoman service – Devon and Cornwall, the Lake District, etc.? This was followed by a 4-cylinder 2-seater drophead coupé Waverley; this was built like a battleship (with a similar performance!) and served one well. The manufacturers had their works in Willesden, I remember.
Of all the various cars I have owned in some 35 years, I have the happiest recollections of two – a 1925(?) 10/23-h.p. Talbot 2-seater, bought in 1929 or thereabouts, which was a joy to drive, and on which I did thousands of delightful miles, and a 1935 Sunbeam Dawn saloon, registration B0E 290 – I wonder where it is now? Both of these cars were beautifully made, and both gave me much happiness despite my somewhat penurious circumstances at the time.
Many other cars I have had, including a 14/45 Talbot, a Talbot 90, a Riley Nine, a Wolseley Hornet, a J.2 M.G. Midget, etc., but none do I remember with such affection as that for the 10/23 Talbot and the Sunbeam Dawn. I now own a 1951 Triumph Renown saloon, with which I am completely satisfied at my age in life!
I am, Yours, etc.,
Dartmouth. – C. B. Carr.