In his book “The Vintage Car”, T. R. Nicholson says that the second “n” was dropped in 1921—presumably to make the car sound less Germanic. Mr. Plaister’s Coventry-Simplex-engined car (the one Mr. Grigg mentions in his letter in March) is, I believe, a 1921 model and has Horstman on the radiator but Horstmann on the rear cover of the integral gearbox/rear axle assembly. The 1923 Anzani-engined tourer, which Mrs. Horstmann owned until recently, has Horstman on both the radiator and the axle/gearbox cover, but Horstmann on the tax disc and so (presumably) in the Log Book! Mr. Grigg’s letter tells us what many eminent authorities have said on the subject of the first British car to have hydraulic brakes. Michael Sedgwick says that this honour is shared by Triumph and Horstman! However advanced the brakes on the 1925 Horstmans (men?) were, those of the ex-Mrs. Horstmann tourer are quite basic: cable-operated, on the rear wheels only, using internal expanding and external contracting shoes on the same drums—the former being the footbrake and the latter the handbrake. What this particular car lacks in the stopping department is more than compensated for by the methods available for starting the engine. There is a starting handle in the conventional position, a starter motor mounted under the driving seat working through a worm gear onto the prop-shaft, and a kick-starter operated from the driving seat, which works on the Archimedean screw principle and is rumoured to have unpleasant effects should a backfire occur!
Jim Whyman – Newbury.