Low-cost veteran motoring
In view of the prices the older cars now fetch, it is refreshing if frustrating to think back to old times. I am thinking of a 1903/4 two-cylinder Panhard bought for 14 at auction soon after WWI. It had lain in a stable, tyreless, since 1910. It cost its new owner an extra £18 10/- for repairs, lamps and tyres. He made a few modifications, like removing the tonneau seats and lowering the front ones, but kept the Krebs carburettor. The brakes were relined and a couple of used driving chains bought for 2/6d (12 1/2p) as spares, along with a 30/- (£1.50) 870×90 Dunlop tyre.
The first run was for 50 miles along the Bath Road. The low-geared veteran, on the new 875×105 Dunlop cords, gave 30mpg and averaged 17 1/4 mph, doing 23 miles in its best hour, and fully laden could do at least 30mph.
I wonder whether D7008 survived another war and the scrap drive. Its invalided ex-army owner said such oldsters were practical if you could use simple tools (rules me out), understand cars mechanically, not expect to start from cold with a couple of pull-ups (such engines need to be swung), are able to change gear on a crash gearbox, don’t stop the engine involuntarily or drive on the brakes and are able to diagnose any new noises the car warns you with, and not to object to crowds gathering when you park, as when this Panhard went to Holborn in 1923.
Most VCC members will agree.