Being an interested reader of your journal, especially the vintage section, I find these articles most absorbing. I am 62 and have held a licence since 1912, so some of these articles have memories for me. In this month’s issue reference is made to the Star as from 1922. I have an illustration and specification showing a 1920 Star 15.9-h.p. 5-seater, chassis price £600, complete open tourer £750. They also produced a 20.1-h.p. model in the same year at £675 and £725 respectively. Incidentally, I have in my possession an illustrated review of 1920 models on the British market. This was apparently a supplement to the Autocar (March 13th, 1920). This I would willingly lend to any genuine individual or club who may be interested, should you be able through the medium of your journal to make this known. Believe it or not there are 158 cars described. Although not a veteran car owner myself, I have owned since 1937 a 1913 Matchless J.A.P. outfit which has carried me quite a few hundred miles, and brought home quite a bit of bronze.
I am, Yours, etc., F. E. Collis. Povey Cross.
I should like to correct Mr. Peter Blackbury regarding the eventual fate of the Mercedes in which Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his morganatic wife Sophie met their death at Sarajevo on June 28th, 1914.
My parents saw this car, displayed with the uniform worn by the unfortunate Duke in the Arsenal in Vienna in about 1936.
After World War II this building was, I believe, occupied by the Russians. Last year when I was in Vienna I took the opportunity of searching for the car. The Army Museum inside the Arsenal was then undergoing restoration and the car was not to be found.
But just as I was leaving the building I saw a bulky object under a dustsheet in the porch which proved on examination to be the car itself. Its wheels, and various other parts, I think, were missing and it was painted dark green — not the yellow which Mr. Blackbury mentions. An attendant assured me that this was the original car and it would be placed on exhibition this year.
If Mr. Blackbury cares to visit the Arsenal I hope he will find it on display in its original condition, complete with bullet-holes, etc.
I am, Yours, etc., C. D. L. Piggott. Oxford.
With great interest I have read the several letters about Austrian cars in the section of your excellent magazine devoted to old car matters. Especially I think of the Archduke Ferdinand car at the moment of Sarajevo, June 28th, 1914,
Old photographs make me doubt if the car was a Mercedes; it seems rather to be a Austro-Daimler 27-60-h.p. of about 1912-14 vintage. In the early ‘twenties I read that the car had been sold after the Kaiser-war to a man who had very little luck with it and finally he crashed the car so it was written off.
Some years sooner a photograph in a non-motor paper told me the car was standing in a museum of Vienna but the picture only exposed the tail of the car with the hood missing and the two historic bullet holes well preserved. Unfortunately the paper not told the name of the museum but perhaps it is standing there also in present time.
I am, Yours, etc., B. Lindblad. Koping, Sweden.
Having owned a 15.7 Crossley saloon for some two and a half years, I am interested in forming a club or register for the mutual benefit of Crossley owners.
I understand that this has been done before, the club being called “The Green Cross,” after the radiator badge, but I have been unable to find out what happened to the club. I have traced one or two one-time members but they have been unable to help.
May I therefore ask anyone who is a Crossley owner, or who is interested in the marque, to contact me so that I can ascertain how much support we are likely to obtain ?
I feel that under the circumstances we should not confine ourselves to vintage models only, and owners of later models will be welcomed.
I am, Yours, etc., D. H. Taylor. Harpenden.
I enclose a photograph which you may care to publish of a B.M.W. Dixi of uncertain vintage, but obvious ancestry. Apart from the electrical equipment, which I believe was of Bosch manufacture, the car would have felt quite at home at Longbridge! The photograph was taken in the staff car park at Volkwagenwerk, G.M.B.H., at Wolfsburg.
I am, Yours, etc., T. R. Seager. Coventry.
Although I was very young at the time I can well remember my mother’s Rover which we (the family) had in 1932/34 era. My elder brother and myself, both at school, aged 9 and 7, and my younger brother, aged 4, all loved it as the dickey proved a source of fun and excitement, especially with our spaniel, also out for a ride. It was purchased for £5 from a master at our school, with the snag that the sparking plugs had to be heated in the oven before it would start on a cold day.
As can be seen, it had beautiful lines, with a real boat-tail and aluminium bodywork. The photograph was taken before a crash, which wrote off a brand new saloon but entailed only the loss of the Rover’s bumpers.
The brakes which could be best described as weak when we had the car at Deal (scene of the crash), were found to be totally inadequate during our holidays at Lyme Regis, and on our mother’s half-expressed wish that she would have to get rid of it, found after coming home from a walk one day that our grandfather had sold the Rover to some young men who happened to be passing by our home which was near the top of the Sidmouth Hill. The sale price of £5 must have been satisfactory as we heard no more, nor did we hear a crash at the bottom of the hill.
The photograph was taken outside “the Old house.” Upper Deal, Kent, and I make a wild guess that the Rover was built in 1925. Does anyone know better ?
I am, Yours, etc., John Sweet-Escott. Harrow.
In looking through a copy of Esquire I found a list of American Veteran Cars and among them in 1908 was one called a “Benner.”
As this is my name I was interested but I have been unable to find any particulars.
Can you help in any way?
I should like to get a print and some detail, because I’d like to make it my next year’s Xmas Card!
I am, Yours, etc., Charles Benner. Balcombe.
I wonder if the enclosed photos will interest you? They are of, I think, a rather pretty little Peugeot circa 1913 which my father drove at that time and in which he went to Scotland and back in a week! Memory only allows that it was not fast (about 55-60 m.p.h.) and perhaps of 14-h.p.
I am, Yours, etc., H. F. Stevens. Sandhurst.
[One photograph is reproduced below. — Ed.]
Thank you for your nice remarks about my 1929 Grand Sport Amilcar. I feel I should make it clear, though, that my car was not made in Italy, but it is quite probable that the body was made by an Italian coachbuilder who also added the radiator badge, which reads: —
“Amilcar Italiana S.I.L.V.A. Verona”
I, in fact, purchased the car from its original owner, who bought it new in Rome.
If any of your readers can give any further information as to the meaning of the radiator badge, I should be extremely grateful.
I am, Yours, etc., B. K. Goodman. Reigate.