Sunday, July 15, 2018

West Australian Motor Museum new wing

In March 2018 I took the opportunity to visit the newly expanded Motor Museum. An additional wing has been added to the rear of the museum, doubling its size. Some of the funds raised from the Classic Car Show this year will be used to rebuild the entrance with an atrium and better access.

Looking to the left in the original hall. Primarily English cars.

1948 Wolseley police car.

The Lightburn Zeta - roundly regarded as one of the worst cars ever built. Lightburn in Adelaide specialised in cement mixers and washing machines before launching out into the car industry with their 500cc two-stroke engined, fibreglass washing machine on wheels. To the right is a Lightburn washing machine.

1958 Lloyd Hartnett, restored and donated by my friend Ian Corrans.

This section is a somewhat random selection, with a Ford ambulance, Sinclair personal transporter, Bedford truck and Austin A40.

The veteran collection is dominated by several vehicles from the Markham collection. The 1898 Star  and 1905 De Dion Bouton were both important vehicles from the collection.

Model T Ford

Percy Markham's surviving sons, Barry (left) and Roger (centre) Markham receive begrudging recognition from the WA Museum for the family's extraordinary contribution to the state's heritage. It's been 40 years since the controversial sale of part of the Markham collection and the museum and state government still refuse to come clean on the issue.

1902 Oldsmobile and 1905 De Dion Bouton

Model T Ford

The Detroit Electric (right) was part of the Markham collection

Ford Model T in St Johns Ambulance livery

This interesting commercial vehicle was used as a railway luggage transporter. The driver would stand at the front and control the vehicle via the little handles on top.

As found display

Austin Seven



Packard Straight 8

De Soto Airflow. This car was driven to Celebration of the Motorcar last year.

1927 Stanley Steamer. This is one of the Markham collection cars. It has recently been returned to display at the Motor Museum.

1932 Rockne. An unusual marque that was produced by Studebaker as a budget model.

1924 Vauxhall Tourer. This is one of the Markham collection cars. It needs a radiator rebuild.

1929 Triumph sportster

1924 Rolls-Royce light limousine. This was one of the Markham collection cars.

Walkway to the new wing

The major drawcard of the new wing is Daniel Ricciardo's 2014 Red Bull RB10 racer. Daniel has kindly loaned the Museum the car he won the 2014 Grand Prix in. 

1951 Byfield-Jaguar. The museum acquired several home built vehicles constructed by Cliff Byfield. This car was a custom built from Jaguar components.

1947 Byfield-Riley. This car utilizes Riley running gear. Cliff Byfield was 93 years old when he built this car!

This Byfield-Jaguar is as far removed from the previous car as its possible to be.

RAC display


Holden Premier display. This collection of 11 Holden Premier models has been put up for auction.

Two replica vehicles that take us all the way back to the dawn of motoring - the 1886 Daimler motorcycle and 1888 Benz Patentwagen

I expect few visitors looking at these frail contraptions and the supermachines in the same hall make the connection.

A large section of the new wing is given over to racing

E-Type Jaguar

Volkswagen Beetle

Overview of the new wing

Motorcycle display

Holden 48/215

1946 Ford

Pack the picnic, love!

The Motor Museum at Whiteman Park is open daily from 10.00am–4.00pm
Adults $15.00, Child $10.00, Conc. $12.00, Family Pass $35.00

Monday, July 9, 2018

Tatra Restoration update

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a naive Tatra owner placed his Tatraplan in the hands of his mechanic friends for some general maintenance which ended up stretching out for two years. The details of the saga can be found in this post

We are now at the end of the saga. The gearbox was finally rebuilt and returned to Classic Gasoline for installation in December 2017. I can appreciate the point of view of the gearbox reconditioning service. They did not want to proceed with the reconditioning of a gearbox that was in such poor condition as the end product may not reflect well on them.  Their insistence on NOS parts was understandable but the supply of NOS Tatraplan gearbox parts has long since dried up and everyone must live with what they have.

Anyway, what's done is done and that includes the gearbox. When the guys started the reassembly we realized the engine mounts were toast so once again I had to go back to Czechoslovakia for parts. That took a couple more months of waiting.

The engine out and in the shop.

The new mounts finally went in but the clutch was so worn that a new one was required. Fortunately a Volkswagen clutch was fine. The flywheel required remachining.

The rear brakes, which had been damaged by leaking gearbox oil were refurbished.

And finally, after a little over two years the Tatra has finally returned home in running condition. There are still a few issues to iron out and the gearbox will take some getting used to, but I can now drive and enjoy it at last.

After its first long drive. It really is a wonderful, handsome car. I can't help feeling lucky being its custodian.

Just as a point of interest, when we stripped the car for painting we discovered its original colour was dark green, as in this example in Ireland. Silver has become the standard for Tatras these days but dark green is a very nice colour.