Cultra: Motoring with panache – The Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club Motor Meet and Hill Climbs 1905 to 1911

By Paul Robinson 2023 review by Autolycus This small softback book in A5 size and with just 54 pages...

What happened to the class of 1955?

By Tony Bagnall 2023 review by James Loveridge As in most of life there are niches and this includes...

Aspects of Motoring History # 18

Published July 2022. 126 pages, 92 black & white illustrations and charts and 24 full-colour images, softbound. Articles: Craig...

Aspects of Motoring History # 17

Published June 2021. 109 pages, nearly 40 black & white illustrations and charts and 32 full-colour images, softbound. Articles:...

News from 125 years ago, 1898 – an extract from The Autocar

This extract is in fact from the 9 February 1923 issue of The Autocar – looking back 25 years to 1898. The headline image is of a Ducroiset, built in Grenoble and powered by a front-mounted 8 h.p. two-cylinder horizontal engine. Georgano has very little on this car except to say that it was a heavy wagonette with belt drive to a countershaft and chain final drive, sold in England under the name Hercules.

Other news from 1898 included a report by H O Duncan on the French motor industry, with images of the Peugeot factory. Duncan was Managing Director of De Dion-Bouton France and Chairman of De Dion-Bouton London and closely connected with motoring from its inception. He took part in the first London to Brighton Run in 1896, founded some motor journals and contributed to many others.

Toward and Philipson of Newcastle were reported as being the principal British exponents of the steam car, but seemingly were only producing experimental vehicles. Their company did not survive.

The most notable person mentioned in 1898 was Charles Rolls, who described his run from London to Wales for Christmas on the famous “No. 6” Panhard, winner of the Paris-Marseilles race. He encountered a slipping clutch and an ineffective sprag that was so worn from constant use that his car ran back on a hill. he spent the night at Swindon, after which the car continued with six people, their baggage, two boxes of tools and enough petrol for the remaining journey. Birdlip was safely descended “with all five brakes on”, and a stop to attend to a hot pump bearing was the only further incident before arrival at his family home The Hendre. Rolls considered that his report of this successful journey would “benefit the movement”. To us 125 years later the article brings home the uncertain nature of motoring 125 years ago.

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