SOME NOTES ON A 1910 26-h.p. BOLLEE
NCE upon a time there was a Noble Lord, who dwelt on his magnificent estate in the fair county of Cheshire. The estate was so large that within its bounds it actually included the Baronial Church, which was, from all accounts, in full working order.
Now the Noble Lord realised that his aged mother was a most ardent churchgoer, so one day when the horses which drew the family landau were down with the staggers, or glanders, or were being decoked, or something, he decided to buy her a motor-car instead.
This was in 1910. In 1924 the road to the Church became public, so, gnashing his teeth, the Noble Lord had to licence his motor-car for the first time.
And so after a lapse of time the car was sold to its present owner, Mr. Morgan, of Stockport, by whose courtesy the writer was able to glean a few notes. If any readers have further details they would be most welcome, as it is a model which the writer has not previously met.
On arriving at the Morgan abode we were taken into the cellar, where we at once saw that we had come to the Right Place, what with pieces of motor-car strewn right and left, and a partially dismantled example of Abingdon’s efforts in view. As we had previously inspected with pleasure the owner’s 4-litre Bentley coupe, fitted with a 3-litre engine for wartime economy, we were prepared for a good day. Outside the cellar, which had by now mysteriously become the garage, there also stood a worthy old ” 13.9 ” Rover.
Towering above these was the Noble Lord’s machine itself. Over 7 ft. high, it was a 1910 26-11.p. Bolice landaulette. This last word raises visions of a sort of bloated taxi, but the narrow body and low bonnet, combined with a long wheelbase, gave it a certain raffish air, which will be even more evident when its present colour of ” invisible green .” is changed for white with red wheels and lining-out.
The engine is a “‘1’ “-headed fourcylinder, the cylinders being cast in pairs. The bore is 102 mm., but the stroke is unknown. On the off side is the induction pipe, of the usual 1910 length; from which, at the end of a long vertical riser, depends a Zenith carburetter. The reason for the long pipe is not, as some Would think, to deposit as much fuel as possible on the walls, which, running back into the carburetter, could be used twice over, thus resulting in fuel economy. The fuel tank is under the driver’s seat, and gravity fuel feed is employed, so the carburetter has to be pretty low down. The plugs are fitted over the inlet valves. The fan, of the six-bladed variety, is driven by a flat belt from a pulley which has a separate shaft emerging from the timing case, which also provides for a dynamo drive ; the dynamo is a Brolt. On the near side is the Simms magneto and an unusual exhaust system ; a
separate pipe runs from each pair of cylinders to the silencer, and a sheetmetal jacket is fixed to these manifolds by screws, to protect the bonnet-sides from heat ; no asbestos enters into this argument, air being recognised as a nonconductor of heat. The blocks have separate return pipes for water to the radiator, but the water pump is interesting, consisting of an eccentric vane fitting into a slotted driving member, which extends the full width of the pump casing; the only disadvantage of this very positive system of circulation would be that in the event of the pump drive failing, thermo-syphonic action could not occur.
The gearbox has four speeds and, except that reverse is through first, the gears are in conventional Order. There are no selector locks in the box itself, -these being embodied in the gate ; one can insert a gear at will, but to withdraw same first calls for depression Of the reverse catch. The foot brake works on the transmission, and the hand lever, of most imposing size, actuates internallyexpanding brakes in very large drums on the rear wheels.
The rear axle is of bevel type ; the ratio is not known. Transmission is by open shaft with Hooke joints, and the axle is located by radius rods.
The dashboard bears ammeter and space for voltmeter, a mag. switch suitable for a power-station, and the lubrication system, consisting of four sight-feeds, supplied from a cylindrical tank on the off side of the chassis, which lubricator, incidentally, is the only part of the car bearing the name of Bollee (so far as could be seen). The speedometer is mounted outside the frame of the windscreen, where a driving mirror would be fitted to-day, and the flexible drive goes vertically downwards Outside the car, to disappear under the chassis to meet its driving-pulley. The actual instrument is a Cowey, reading to 60 m.p.h., and the mileage recorder shows a little over 7,000 miles, which, in view of the car’s history. is probably the total mileage. Yes, in 32 years.
Electric lighting has been fitted. The headlamps are fairly early Lucas ; the .sidelamps are missing.
The body is tastefully upholstered in grey Bedford cord, with Comfortable facebackward occasionals, and is beautifully clean inside. Luggage rails surround the non-openable part of the roof and astern is a very small locker, in which the present owner found an Evening Standard dated 1920.
The wooden wheels have Warland dual rims, and there are eight excellent tyres, the front wheels having 815.x 120 and the rear 880 x 120.
We were unable to road-test the car, but there were four extremely healthy compressions and the only mechanical faults detected were wear in the universals and oil in the rear brake drums Otherwise, it is in the most beautiful condition.