Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Classic Cars and Coffee 16th June 2019

It was a cold, crisp but clear Sunday morning for the June Classic Cars and Coffee meet. Despite the lack of rain, numbers were quite down this month after last month's massive turnout. For those attending it was still a good morning. Here's a sweet Jaguar XK-140.

I had popped open the bonnet of the DKW when I arrived and it drew a crowd. They were all probably wondering where the engine was.

A new arrival at this month's meet was this recently imported 1968 Fiat 2300S.

Vauxhall row

Open bonnets were a bit on trend.

1940s Ford

Another interesting Fiat and row of British Fords.

1960 Chevrolet Impala

1962 Toyota

Holden EJ (left) and its successor, the EH.

The earlier EJ had a nicer rear profile in my opinion.

Another engine inspection for a Holden Monaro. It looks from this angle like it's been unmolested (amazing!).

Alfa Romeo.

The DKW ran perfectly despite not having been driven for a few months.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

York Motor Museum visit 2019

Over Easter Shelly and I attended a wedding in York, a town in the Avon Valley, east of Perth. York is home to a small but excellent motor museum. My Tatraplan had been a longterm exhibit at the museum since 1986. I first saw her there when we'd driven up in the DKW for the York Motor Festival in 2013. I'd been quite amazed that there was a Tatraplan in Australia, let alone in WA. I couldn't have realized it at the time that I would end up owning the car years later.

The museum was founded by Peter Briggs and James Harwood in 1979 and it became a feature of the town. Classic motoring events have been held in town ever since, including the York Flying 50 classic races, the York Motorcycle Festival and the York Motor Festival. James Harwood, who'd been the museum's curator, passed away several years ago and the museum began to suffer a bit of a decline. Some of the cars were sold off - my Tatra included - to keep the place running. Eventually, Peter Briggs decided it was time to sell up. Being such an integral part of the community, the town council and the local car club agreed to take over the museum and keep it running. The town now owns the building and Peter has agreed to keep part of his collection there. The museum also managed to negotiate the exhibition of the remaining cars of the Percy Markham Collection with the Museum of WA (some remain on display at the Motor Museum at Whiteman Park). Local car club members also loan their cars to the museum so there is a large collection of interesting cars available for display.   

1919 Australian Six. One of Australia's early attempts at a locally manufactured car. It was cobbled together from parts from various US made parts and didn't perform or sell particularly well.

Lovely 1934 MG coupe

1957 Messerschmitt KR201. I first saw this little beast driving around the York Flying Fifty in the 1980s when I was around 13 years old. I decided there and then I wanted one. Still waiting....

Shelly and I both agree this 1946 Allard J1 racer was one of our favourite vehicles in the collection. These British made sportscars were built from assorted parts in the post-war years. This one, the fourth built, was used as a racer, was powered by a Ford V8 engine and had aluminum bodywork. Twelve were built, of which three (including this one) are believed to survive. The car has been recently restored and is up for sale. Well out of our price range!

1948 Morris Minor. This very early low-light model retains a very interesting feature of the early prototypes. The Morris Minor was originally an updated version of the prewar Morris 8 and included its predecessor's narrow track. With the Minor's heavier bodywork, the new car proved to be unstable. Rather than rework the design, Morris engineers simply cut the car down the centreline and widened it by six inches. Evidence of this handiwork can be seen in the separate chrome strips in the bumper and the ridgeline down the centre of the car.

Mercedes-Benz 220

James Bond prefers a 1954 Alvis TC21/100

Cadillac Eldorado

Absolutely cool Bowden Spacelander streamlined bicycle. Despite its stunning looks, it was only produced for a short time in 1960. Examples are rare and fetch high prices.

Dodge Brothers truck and Dennis Fire Engine

The Robin caravan

I don't recall what this vintage car is

This is Percy Markham's Morris Cowley; the first vintage car he purchased. I had previously thought the blue Morris Cowley at the Motor Museum at Whiteman Park was Percy's car, but I was incorrect. This is the one. He bought it as a family project to teach his sons mechanical skills. It started a lifelong passion for vintage cars.

1938 Morgan Plus 3. This is the first Morgan model to employ a water-cooled car engine rather than an air-cooled motorcycle engine mounted ahead of the radiator. 

1925 Austin Seven.

Another of Percy Markham's cars is this 1910 BSA. Birmingham Small Arms (BSA) were more famous as a motorcycle company, but they did build a few cars before the First World War.

Subaru 360SS. These cute little 'kei cars' were built between 1958 and 1972. Tiny, powered by a 360cc two stroke and very lightweight, there are very few surviving in Australia. One of the club members in SIVA has one under restoration and there is another one in poor condition in a south west collection.

Volkswagen demonstrator chassis. This chassis, with cutaway engine, gearbox and torsion bars, was used as a training exhibit for Volkswagen mechanics. Behind is the oldest Volkswagen Beetle in Australia.

Australia's oldest, privately owned, post-war Volkswagen Beetle is this 1946 Standard Type 1. This car was one of 7677 built in 1946 for use by the British Occupation Authority. After several years of official use it as purchased by a British officer as his personal car. He sold the car on to a German lady in 1951, who shipped it to Australia when she and her family migrated here in the 1950s. In 1961 Volkswagen Australia advertised nationally seeking the oldest Volkswagen in the country. The family contacted Volkswagen and Volkswagen exchanged this car for a new model. The car then toured the country as part of promotional campaign. Peter Briggs purchased the car after the campaign.

There are, of course, older Volkswagens in Australia including some wartime Kubelwagens and Schwimwagens, that have been brought over as private imports.

The space where the Volkswagen chassis and Austin Seven are parked is where the Tatra used to be exhibited.

The Tatraplan in the museum in 2012. Note that the walls were brown and dark back then. The place looks so much better and brighter now.

1913 Peugeot Bebe. The first car designed by Etorre Bugatti, before he struck out on his own.

Veteran cars in the third hall.

Vintage speedway and racers.

1910 Hupmobile. This car was one of the Percy Markham collection. It's on loan from the WA Museum.

1904 Rover 8HP. This was a part of the Percy Markham collection. On loan from the WA Museum.

1901 Clement. This veteran was the governor of Tasmania's official car until 1906. The design and styling was clearly based on a contemporary De Dion Bouton.

1901 Clement

1903 Oldsmobile Curved Dash. These American high wheelers were the first automobiles to be built in a production line.

1906 Cadillac. Although it looks like a front engined car, the engine is actually mid-mounted under the front seats.

1910 Bedellia. These little tandem seated cycle cars were used for racing well into the 1930s.

1906 Napier. This amazing car is the first British car to exceed 100 miles per hour. It set several records at Daytona Beach. After its life as a record breaker was over, the car was rebuilt as a tourer. The car ended up being broken up. The chassis and engine ended up in Australia and was eventually put back together.

The cars unique copper tube radiator is a particularly interesting feature.

The motorcycle collection.

1951 Lambretta Type D

An interesting 1913 Australian-made Lewis motorcycle. Note the leather 'chain.'

1968 Toyota S-800

BMW Isetta and 1906 Scott motorcycle

If you're in York, swing by the museum and check it out. York is a pleasant drive about an hour east of Perth. You can also check out their new website: