The Horbick car may be a rarity, but the article in Snapshot 127 prompted an important comment from John Warburton, chronicler of the Horbick in the February 2011 issue of The Automobile. To quote John: “I’ve been intrigued by the history of Horbick cars for long enough – a make local to me. But it was only in the last year that I heard that a Horbick 4-cylinder engine still exists – in Australia of course. No complete car or other parts ever have come to light. In the hands of a leading enthusiast, the engine is indeed a White & Poppe [as mentioned in Snapshot 127], its Horbick connection shown by a brass plate that is riveted to the crankcase. No, it isn’t for sale! This engine was one of a collection of assorted early car components that previously had passed from hand to hand within the veteran car enthusiast community, and its source cannot now be traced.”
And now John has kindly sent us some pictures of the Horbick engine – with the estimation that it dates, perhaps, from around 1907. We’ve attached the two photographs below.
We are grateful to John, and to the owners and friends of the owners who have generously given permission for us to use the pictures.
And finally: the second comment on Snapshot 127 came from Derek Mathews, who used to work at Horsfall & Bickham (long after the days of their car manufacturing venture). He wrote a book on Horbick based on documents he found in a drawer in the offices – he saved them from being thrown on the tip. We visited him, and we have placed a review of his book on the Horbick in our Book reviews section.
We don’t think that Derek has ever seen John’s Automobile article. So we’ve sourced a back copy, and it’s on its way to Derek with a mention of these new photos. Horbick cars will not be forgotten!
Side view of the White & Poppe engine from a Horbick
Front view of the engine, with the Horbick symbol