By way of a Christmas bonus, our Snapshot this week features two cars. Both were in the ownership of a Mr Koosen of Southsea when this photograph was taken in 1905. Even then the motoring press were impressed with the age of the car on the left, an 1895 Lutzmann. Mr Koosen had seen the car in Germany early in 1895 and had brought it over to England later in that year. He was thus considered to be one of the true pioneers of British motoring. The car had already clocked up 100,000 miles in the ten years since its arrival on these shores. The Orleans, a 9 h.p. two-cylinder model, had been recently purchased by the same intrepid motorist.
John Adolphus Koosen was born in Dresden and by 1878 had become a naturalised British subject. He imported this car into Britain on November 21st, 1895, making it only the fourth automobile to be brought into the country. On December 16th, 1895, he was fined one shilling for driving a car without a person carrying a red flag in front. And his car appeared in two events arranged by the pioneer Harry John Lawson to demonstrate the capabilities of the motor car – on June 10th and August 8th, 1906. According to the Motoring Annual and Motorist’s Year Book for 1904 Koosen was extremely devoted to all outdoor sports, found motoring of exceptional value as a cure for insomnia and other nervous affections, and wished to encourage motoring because it led to a great saving of time, and ‘also greater sanitation in the streets’. In the same publication, Mrs Koosen (possibly the lady on board the Orleans in our picture) was also recorded as the owner of a Lutzmann and as an enthusiastic motorist since 1895. It was said that she had had some exciting adventures on the road and was fond of writing short stories, especially on motoring matters, upon which she ‘writes with the experience of an expert chauffeuse.’
Friedrich Lutzmann lived in Dessau in Germany, and was described in an 1896 brochure for his cars as ‘Court Cutler to the Grand Duke of Saxe-Anhalt’. He was clearly inspired by the first Benz four-wheeled car and made a very similar vehicle of his own – and our Snapshot shows one of them. At the 1898 Berlin Auto-Revue, the widow and two sons of Adam Opel, a manufacturer of sewing machines and bicycles, met Friedrich Lutzmann and went into partnership with him to build the first Opel Patent Motor Car at Rüsselsheim in early 1899. Based on the Lutzmann design, it was not a great success, and only 65 cars were built up to 1901.
The Orleans (also known as the New Orleans) was manufactured in Twickenham. It was closely related to the Belgian Vivinus car, and may well have been assembled from imported Vivinus parts rather than being of true British origin. The 9 h.p. was said to have a tubular frame, and this can just be seen in the picture.
Picture courtesy of the Richard Roberts Archive