Wednesday, April 22, 2020

1994 Irmscher Selectra - a two-stroke hybrid

Being the owner of a two-stroke powered motorcar, I have always believed that a two-stroke hybrid engine offers an effective solution to the problems of hybrid-electric vehicles. Modern two-stroke motors, combined with low smoke synthetic oils, can be made to run with significantly reduced emissions. A small capacity engine would enough to keep the electric motor fully charged and therefore significantly extending the range of the vehicle. The two-stroke engine would not need to be running all the time and would only kick in to keep the batteries charged.

Of course, I'm not the only person to have thought of this. In 1994 the German automotive tuning company Irmscher unveiled a hybrid-electric car at the Geneva Motor Show. The potential return of a two-stroke car to the market attracted the interest of the Auto-Union Veteranen Club, who featured a write up by Hubert Bertha in their October 1994 magazine. Below is my translation of the original German article into English. The original magazine can be found here:

"Two new two-stoke engine cars were presented at this year's Geneva Motor Show. The tuning company Irmscher developed the so-called hybrid car. The small petrol engine is used as a supplement to charge the electric generator which drives two asynchronous electric motors.

The petrol engine, a 90 cubic centimetre two-stroke, operates via an injection system with a catalytic converter. This environmentally friendly engine consumes only one litre per 100 kilometres.
The H 301 was developed by the Essen-based Finna Esoro in Switzerland, and is equipped with a parallel drive. Both motors, the electric drive and the petrol engine, are used alternatively depending on driving conditions. The petrol engine is also a modern two-stroke engine.
Both vehicles are still prototypes. lrmscher and Esoro are waiting for manufacturers to take over series production."

Neither the Irmscher or Esoro cars ever made it into production. Irmscher continue to customize electric vehicles and offer their own electric sportscar -
Esoro appears to still exist too -

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Australian Motor Manual April 1951 Motor Show Edition

If there is one thing that corona virus lockdown has done, it's given me time to work on projects and sort through masses of automobilia that I have collected over the years, put it in order and scan here. This is a good example.

Several years ago at an antiques fair I stumbled across a box of very yellow, very poor condition motoring magazines. Their condition was so bad that I walked on after a cursory glance, but then something caught my eye. The cover of one magazine mentioned the 1951 Melbourne Motor Show. Tatra showcased the Tatraplan at that show so I wondered if it was mentioned in the magazine. It was, so I purchased the lot for $5.

Australian Motor Manual was an automotive trade magazine (no longer extant). This special pre-motor show edition presents highlights of what is expected at the coming motor show. New cars on the Australian market are documented, including the Tatraplan. In addition to the motor show report, there are interesting reports about motoring developments during this important period.

In this edition:
  • Motoring News
  • Previewing the 1951 Melbourne Motor Show
  • Transition in Transport - Austin Motor Company
  • The new Alvis 
  • Aston-Martin
  • Henschel diesel engines
  • Austin's new sports roadster
  • Austin A90
  • Armstrong Siddeley
  • Bentley's on view
  • Buick, better than ever
  • Bristol, Britain's best continental type
  • Luxurious Chevrolet
  • Citroen reaches a new level of popularity
  • Daimler retains its dignity
  • Dodge and De Soto
  • Delage, Delahaye
  • Three different Fiats
  • Fords of all sizes but few for sale
  • Hillman - most attractive small car
  • Introducing the Hartnett
  • Australian Holden
  • American Hudson
  • English Humber
  • Ever prominent Jaguars
  • Jowett Javelin, an astonishing performer
  • Lagonda
  • Lanchester with fluid transmission
  • Lea Francis
  • Mercedes - back after years
  • Morgan Plus 4 with Vanguard motor
  • Morris 
  • Oldsmobile for looks
  • Plymouth, one of America's big three best sellers
  • Peugeot with overdrive
  • Pontiac
  • Renault can overtake in traffic
  • Riley
  • Rover
  • Simca
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Singer
  • Studebaker
  • Standard Vanguard
  • Skoda
  • Sunbeam Talbot
  • Triumph
  • Tatraplan
  • 1951 Wolsleys
  • Vauxhall
  • How do they go? An analysis of performance of some leading post-war cars
  • Birth of the Australian car
  • Training of engineers
  • Sales of new cars - last year's registrations
  • Maps of Australia
  • Holidaying in Australia
  • What you should know about Horsepower
  • Landrover, now convertible to a covered wagon
  • Trucks at the show
  • Tractors and diesels
  • Overseas developments
  • Motorcycle prices
  • Comparing car sales


Review of the Tatraplan in the February 1951 edition