V.E.V. Miscellany, September 1967

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We are pleased to observe the continued efforts of the Daimler & Lanchester D.C. and the Fiat Register to keep the prices asked for pre-war cars to reasonable levels. The latter Register suggests, for instance, a sum in the region of £40 for a Fiat Topolino in running order. Vintage cars noticed going about their lawful occasions recently have included a 2-litre Lagonda saloon and a four-seater Morris Minor. The Morris Eight at that Gulf garage in London turns out to be only a shell, but the Morris Eight Tourer Club is investigating.

A Daimler taxameter which has been in the Heidenheim/Brenz Museum of Local History and Geography in Southern Germany can now be seen in the Daimler-Benz Museum at Stuttgart, where it is on loan. It is one of seven such vehicles which were supplied to the Motorcab Company of Stuttgart between September 1896 and October 1899. These vehicles had 4-h.p. twin-cylinder engines and belt drive. The bodies corresponded to closed-cab landaulettes which could be opened to Victoria form in line weather and the rear compartment was heated, probably the first time this was done on a passenger vehicle, although four Daimler trucks built in 1896 were so equipped. These pioneer taxis made journeys of up to 125 miles a day, driven by liveried chauffeurs, and were more adaptable than horse cabs in the steep streets of Stuttgart. Even earlier, Benz had had two motor cabs passed by the Stuttgart Police Headquarters and a service with these was started by Dietz. Emile Roger, the Benz dealer, introduced Benz cabs to Paris in 1896. Daimler-Benz proudly quote these facts and remind us that today about 66% of the taxis in the Federal Republik of Germany are Mercedes-Benz and in Finland about one-third of the cabs are of this make, the totals being approx. 16,900 and 3,400, respectively, while other percentages of modern Mercedes-Benz taxis in use are more than 80%, in Vienna, over 50% in Copenhagen and 30% in Helsinki.

George Burton is joining the “brain drain” and will shortly leave for Australia. We regret to report the death, from lung cancer, of R. C. Hiller, who ran a 1929 Hillman Fourteen drophead coupe. Seen in the traffic recently, a rare 2-litre Lagonda saloon, and a couple of girls in a very original 1929 Austin 7 Chummy, complete with saddle in the back seat. A full-page colour advertisement for broiler chickens in the German magazine Neue Illustrierte Revue depicts a Dixie version of the Austin 7. It looks just like a British Chummy Austin with a different badge and plated headlamps, which makes the reader who sent it to us wonder if Dixies really looked like that—and we wish the occupants wouldn’t hang on to its windscreen! Where else but at V.S.C.C. Prescott would you see in the car parks a 1923 Targa Florio Mercedes and a Type 57SC Bugatti electron “Atlantic” coupe?