Enthusiasts' Directory: No. 6 - Fire-Extinguishers




Common sense does not prevail as often as might be supposed, if the lack of a fire-extinguisher in many garages and on so many cars is any criterion. In fact, the Petroleum Spirit (Motor Vehicles) Order No. 952 calls for provision of fire extinguishing apparatus or other effective means (such as sand-buckets) of extinguishing fires occasioned by burning petroleum spirit in garage or car if there is petrol in the garage or car’s tank. A maximum penalty of £20 per day can be imposed for ignoring it. Apart from this, appreciation of one’s car should compel the carrying of a modern extinguisher, and such equipment is nowadays compulsory on every car taking part in a race.

That modern extinguishers are exceedingly effective requires no emphasis. We recently set light to some petrol, let it blaze up, and extinguished it instantly with a minute American extinguisher, easily operated and so rapid in action that it was possible to relight the unburned surface petrol. Scarcely a mark was left on the floor and no white powder or foam was deposited. This appeals to us as a fine achievement and below we provide details of a number of modern fire extinguishers from which a choice can be made. Buy one NOW, before you merely wish you had done so ! – W.B.


Antifyre Primax extinguishers are guaranteed for ten years against defect, leakage or evaporation. They are all-metal, with solid drawn copper body to which a solid brass head is brazed, the cylinder being tested to five times its working pressure. This is a pressure extinguisher, operated by turning a cap. The flow of liquid can be adjusted from a quick “hiss” to quell a carburetter fire to a full and powerful stream. The non-corrodible, triple gas-lock valve has no washers, leather, felt, cork or rubber in its construction and when turned off is ready for fresh use until completely empty. The fluid is harmless to clothing, engine or paintwork, and it is claimed that the Antifyre Primax throws a jet three times as effective as a pump-type extinguisher. It is thus possible to operate farther from the flames. The folder describing it, incidentally, shows a vintage 14/40 Vauxhall tourer being destroyed by fire.

The Primax Junior, for private cars, is 9 1/4 in. high, 2 3/8 in. wide and weighs 3 lb. 9 oz. It has a capacity of approximately a pint. The price, with quick-release vibration-proof bracket, is 77s. 6d. in burnished copper or 87s 6d. in polished chromium. Refills cost 3s. 9d. The Primax Midget model is made specially for racing cars and measures only 4 3/4 in. by 2 1/2 in and it is very light. C.T.C. is ejected by CO2 gas. The price is 77s. 6d.; refills 4s.

Antifyre also make the Pistole Extinguisher, which is used like a pistol. They offer free refilling when used on a fire and no liquids or gases are employed. Instead, a fine cloud is emitted, capable of quelling 95 per cent, of fires; but for bonfires and smouldering, deep-seated fires the Primax is required. The Pistole is 14 in. long, weighs only 3 1/2 lb. charged, and may be recharged during fire-fighting. The Model III as a “Motor Unit” is supplied with two charges and vibration-proof brackets, at 80s. in red and black enamel or at 110s. in polished chrome. A Junior Car Unit, consisting of one Pistole and bracket, is priced at 67s. 6d. and 85s., respectively.

Antifyre users include Stirling Moss, who relies on the Pistole, Duncan Hamilton, the Cooper and Aston-Martin teams, and Basil Tye, etc., while as an item of history, the late Sir Malcolm Campbell was also a user, and in 1933 a fire in K. Hutchison’s Bugatti at Donington (happy memory !) was extinguished by Antifyre apparatus after eight pump-type extinguishers looked like failing. Crips Bros., of Sidcup, put out a fire on a Cooper 500 with a Pistole cartridge at Brands Hatch last year.



The Desmo No. 102 P.S.V. extinguisher is of double-action pump type, and has a capacity of two pints. It costs £4 5s. in all-chrome finish, or £3 15s. in lacquered brass. The No.103 Junior extinguisher is of the same type but holds one pint; chromium finished, the price is £3 5s. Carbontetrachloride liquid is used in both extinguishers.



Nu-Swift make pressure-operated fire extinguishers that emit an instantaneous cloud of heavier-than-air vapour which leaving the nozzle at 95 m.p.h. rapidly expands to 233 times its original volume (i.e., discharged at six feet it covers a fire-smothering area of approximately four square feet), to kill fire.

NU-SWIFT LTD., Elland, Yorkshire. (Tel. : Elland 2852).


The “D” Minimax has been constructed to combat petrol, oil and electrical fires including electrically-driven moters and has proved its worth in innumerable cases.

The fluid is quite harmless and being non-conducting may be used on electrical equipment, etc. The fluid almost immediately evaporates and leaves no trace.

This type of extinguisher can be fitted to any type of vehicle and is designed to withstand tropical heat or severe cold.

Minimax Major and Minor models are supplied complete with bracket and ready filled.

These models are built to British Standard Specification and approved by all competent authorities: the Minimax Major complies with the requirements of the Ministry of Transport for Public Service Vehicles.

Extinguishers of this type are not recommended for use in confined spaces.

MINIMAX LTD., Feltham, Middlesex.


The Pyrene Company was launched by Mr. Wallace B. Phillips, its founder and chairman, in 1914, with the famous pump-type Pyrene fire extinguisher as its basic product. Over 17 millions of these extinguishers have been supplied to date and they are still providing world-wide fire protection service for motor vehicles, electrical plant and various other fire dangers.

The Pyrene Company opened the head office and main works on the Great West Road in 1930 and considerable extensions to property and plant have been added since this date to cope with the ever increasing demand for Pyrene fire-fighting equipment. This demand has continued to increase, with the result that a supplementary factory was opened during the second world war at Windmill Road, Brentford, and two new factories are in full production at Ferndale in the Rhondda Valley.

The well-known hand extinguisher containing Pyrene liquid can be used safely against electrical short circuits of up to 200,000 volts. These extinguishers function as double-acting rotary pumps, projecting a powerful, continuous stream of liquid at any angle and any side up. Leakage is safeguarded and they are proof against wear due to vibration.

The Standard model holds approximately one quart, the Junior version approximately a pint. These extinguishers are easily refilled after use by unscrewing the filler cap and pouring in more liquid. The handle is turned to the left to operate and worked like a syringe. The liquid is freeze-proof in 36 degrees of frost, and anti-corrosive.

Filled and complete with black-enamelled bracket, the prices are:

P.1. Standard in polished brass, 1 quart … 77/6

PO.2. Standard in chrome, 1 quart … 90/-

P.3. Standard black plated, 1 quart … 90/-

P.4. Junior nickel plated, 1 pint … 65/-

PO.4. Junior in chrome, 1 pint … 70/-

Refills cost 8s, 6d. in quart size and 6s. in pint size, Ref. No. P.6 and P.7 respectively.

There is also a P.32, 16 in. by 3 in., 6-lb. pressure extinguisher with copper cylinder, which has to be returned for recharging.



The S.C.L. Mighty Midget extinguisher designed for sports-car use is only 7 1/2 in. long and 1 1/2 in. in diameter, yet it contains eight ounces of c.b.m. which is discharged under a pressure of 150 lb./sq. in. The makers claim the “Mighty Midget” to be as efficient as other extinguishers five times its size.

We have satisfied ourselves that it is not only very easy to use and control by reason of its tap-type valve; but that it puts out a petrol fire with extreme efficiency without leaving any white powder or deposit. It is available, with a strong mounting-bracket, in chromium brass finish. It can be refilled in a matter of minutes.

SPORT CARS LTD., 4,128, Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 5, California.