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  •   Graeme Hurst reacted to this post about 5 months ago
    Jay Leno uploaded a new video
    / #1932-Mercedes-Benz-SSKL / #1932 / #Mercedes-Benz-SSKL / #Mercedes-Benz
    1932 Mercedes-Benz SSKL - Jay Leno’s Garage
    The Mercedes-Benz Classic Center has painstakingly brought this legendary race car back to life and lets Jay open it up on public roads!
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  •   Jay Leno reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    When Bullitt came out with Steve McQueen I wanted to know everything about the Ford Mustang. The same with #Knight-Rider – I remember tuning in just to see the car. These days most people don’t notice the cars the stars are driving, but they seem to know the ones in the video games, like Gran Turismo 6, which just came out.

    / #Steve-McQueen / #Bullitt / #1968-Bullit / #Gran-Turismo-6 / #1966-Oldsmobile-Toronado / #Ford-Mustang / #Oldsmobile-Toronado / #Mark-Donohue

    The idea that concept cars make their first appearance in video games makes a lot of sense. A movie opens and it makes $50 million and is a huge success. A video game launches and makes 700, 800, 900 million dollars on the first day because people want to see those vehicles.

    In the movie you tend to think of your self as James Bond or Steve-McQueen , whereas in the video game there is no human element, it’s just the car. So you are the driver, as opposed to that person, and you can make it do whatever you want it to. And the video games are way more accurate than the movies. There’s a whole cottage industry of picking out all the little mistakes in various car films. The only thing missing from games now is the gasoline and rubber smell. When you watch a game like Gran Turismo 6, they’ve gone to great trouble to recreate the sounds exactly. A friend of mine got one of the driving games and it has Mark Donohue’s Camaro in it. And he couldn’t last past a certain time, he just couldn’t get any better. Then he read Mark Donohue’s book about how he set up his Camaro and his tyre pressures and things, and he put all the stats from the book into the video game. He was lapping faster. So you actually are driving the car.

    When I got to drive a Jaguar at the Nürburgring, I practised on the video game. Braking points, the Karussell, all of it was exactly as it was in real life. Not that I had it memorised, but it meant that the track was not foreign to me when I got there.

    The amazing thing to me is the amount of time people dedicate to it. If you’r e going to sit down and play a game it’s the same as watching a two-hour movie. You sit down and pick your team, your tyres, and your car. It’s hours of information and input. You’re racing against some guy in Thailand and he’s racing against some guy in Finland. It’s a huge commitment.

    My #1966 #Oldsmobile Toronado is in Gran Turismo 6. They did a great job with the Toronado. The attention to detail is amazing because you just take for granted that when a car goes by you see a shadow. You don’t realize how many hours went in to making that shadow. When they did the car, they came to my garage with a secret camera and they put the car in the middle of the floor with a big tent over it. It was some kind of 3D camera but I don’t know what it does because I wasn’t allowed to see it. It is not just the look but the feel they have replicated well. The heaviness of the big sedan is matched in the game just great.

    I had the #Mercedes-Benz Gran Turismo concept car in my garage recently. It’s stunning. The front of that car looks like an SLR from the ’50s. The pure design of it I thought was really really good. I thought it was a clean design, it looked masculine, and it looked Mercedes-Benz. It looked futuristic yet it looked like it could also be a real car.

    People ask why Mercedes would go to all that trouble for a video game. When you say it like that it sounds disdainful, but when you use the words they used, ‘Gaming Console’, it suddenly sounds more important. It is a gaming console that is played by millions of people. It’s why games, not movies, are seen as the future.

    If a car is in a movie it might only be in the shot for a second. There was some hype about Lexus in that movie with Tom Cruise, but he got in the car and drove away in a second or two, before you even realised what he was driving. In a video game you know your car is going to be seen by exactly the people you’re trying to reach – young men, aged 12 and up. Guys who will soon be getting their licence. And what car are they going to want to drive? The car they lusted after in the video game. It’s very clever marketing. In the future I think you will see people going to dealerships and taking virtual test drives in a simulator. An actual seat from the car and the dashboard in front of you and you’ll ‘drive’ this ‘car’ instead of taking it out on a real test drive. You’ll go on a virtual test drive to see if you like it. I think that will happen. We will see cars reach reality, having started on video games. We already have. Every major car company will do this.

    ‘WHEN I GOT TO DRIVE AT THE NÜRBURGRING, I PRACTISED ON THE VIDEO GAME SO THE TRACK WAS NOT FOREIGN TO ME’
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  •   Matt Petrie reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    ROBERT COUCHER THE DRIVER

    ‘CLASSIC ENTHUSIASTS HAVE A BOND WITH THEIR CARS, SO THEY SEE BEYOND BRAND IMAGE - DRIVERS OF MODERN CARS DON’T’

    Let’s face it, we all like an underdog, especially here in Britain. I suppose you can apply the idea of an underdog to motor vehicles. Without wanting to anthropomorphise inanimate motor cars, human beings have had a long and illogical relationship with their motors. A car is a strong reflection of its owner’s personality and position in society and there is no brand stronger than a motor vehicle. #Audi , #Bentley , #BMW , #Ferrari , #Mercedes-Benz , #Jaguar , #Porsche , #Rolls-Royce and so on spend a fortune burnishing their brand credentials and it works. Aston Martin was recently the coolest brand in Britain, ahead of #Apple , #Nike and #Rolex .

    People very seldom just purchase a ‘car’. They buy a product that reflects themselves. As the doyen of advertising David Ogilvy said: ‘You have to decide what "image" you want for your brand. Image means personality.
    Products, like people, have personalities.’ Sure, people buy cars based on price, but the mid-market 3-Series has long outsold the perfectly good #Ford-Mondeo - because it has a BMW badge on the front. And why do so many urban dwellers want a 4x4?

    Because a soft-roader is a lot cooler than a sensible saloon.

    Of course, those of us who are ‘into’ classic or historic cars have a real attachment: we actually love our old cars, which is faintly ridiculous, though also great fun and rewarding. Apart from the engineering and performance, classic car types are acutely aware about what their cars say about them. Both an E-type Jaguar and Mini are cool icons of the 1960s but are totally different, only having the fact that they are motor vehicles with four wheels in common, unlike a Morgan three-wheeler. Classic cars offer a wide canvas for tweedy types and Teddy Boys alike.

    But because classic car enthusiasts actually have a bond with their cars, they can see beyond just the brand image in a way drivers of modern cars don’t. Of course, modern cars are built to hammer down endless motorways and sit in traffic, whereas classics are for enjoyment. That’s why many classic car owners will often have an underdog in their garage along with a more recognised classic. As well as his C-type Jaguar and #Rolls-Royce-Silver-Ghost , the late Alan Clark MP also enjoyed A #Citroen-2CV and a #VW-Beetle (the latter admittedly with a #Porsche-356 engine shoehorned into the rear).

    Americans call these ‘trinket’ cars. Fiat 500 Jollys used to be trinkets but, now that owners of superyachts want them as tenders, they are priced like expensive jewels. I’m sure, like me, you have a soft spot for the automotive underdog, a classic that is not about the smart badge on the bonnet. The first time I drove a classic Mini I was shocked at how good it was on a tight road. It made the Porsche 356 I was driving at the time seem a bit numb. And years ago my father had an immaculate #Lancia-Aurelia-B20GT . To be fair it was the last of the line, a heavy sixth-series example. But when I raced him in my boxy, four-door #Alfa-Romeo-Giulia saloon, I’d blow his (two) doors off every time.

    As a member of the #Drive-My team I’m fortunate to get to drive some pretty impressive pieces of kit. And it is interesting to see quite how good some cars are - often the underdogs - and quite how lousy some of the supposed great classics can be. My good friend Ray Jones of Sydney, Australia, invited me to take part in the #Mille-Miglia with him in #1999 . We were to drive his #Chrysler-75 .

    Some in the vintage world look down on these Americans. Halfway through, #Bentley specialist Stanley Mann wandered over. ‘What sort of supercharger do you have fitted to the Chrysler?’ he asked (we’d overtaken his vintage Bentley a number of times). Ray opened the bonnet. Its two huge SUs and banana-branch exhaust header would have given your average VSCC scrute heart failure but there was no blower. Stanley was amazed. And the #Chrysler had excellent, original hydraulic brakes.

    In 2007, deputy editor Mark Dixon and I competed in the #Mille-Migila in a bog-standard #Triumph-TR2 , mustering just about 90bhp. Not powerful, but it handled well. In the mountains this light car was ace because of its overdrive gearbox, which operated on second, third and top. The #Triumph really annoyed a number of drivers of heavy Mercedes-Benz Gullwings with their wide-ratio gearing. Up the steep mountain roads we indulged in some of the most impertinent overtaking ever.

    Yes, it was a proper underdog.

    ROBERT COUCHER

    Robert grew up with classic cars, and has owned a #Lancia-Aurelia-B20GT , Alfa Romeo Giulietta and Porsche 356C. He currently uses his properly sorted #1955 #Jaguar-XK140 as his daily driver, and is a founding editor of this magazine.
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  •   Matt Petrie reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    I often play the same game with friends at auctions or art galleries – if money was no object, what would you take home? It’s a fun challenge that’s guaranteed to focus interest in the subject. I’ve always had a soft spot for early De Tomaso Panteras – particularly before huge wheelarches and wings spoilt Tom Tjaarda’s styling in its purest form, while their tough 5.7-litre Cleveland V8 offered supercar performance without the worry of big bills.

    Ex-Lamborghini designer Gian Paolo Dallara was responsible for engineering the new monocoque and even hero Mike Parkes had a hand in the Gp4 racers before he moved on to the Lancia Stratos. If you can’t have a #GT40 , this is the next-best option. Critics dismiss it as an Italian kit car, but for me it’s a must-have in that dream V8 set with a Cobra 289 and a #GT350 #Mustang .

    When Historics at Brooklands’ latest auction catalogue arrived in the office, lot 282 had me transfixed. Few colours suit the Pantera better than metallic blaze orange, and I looked carefully for any assets that I could quickly sell to fund this low-mileage Californian import. At the earliest opportunity, I was over at #Mercedes-Benz World for the preview day – and even dragged buddy and expert mechanic Colin Mullan along to check it over. Few people have more experience with V8s than the former drag racer and Monteverdi 375L owner. “I worked on a friend’s Pantera once, and the test drive nearly killed me,” he recalled. “At the first corner it just ploughed on. It felt as if I was on ice.” So he clearly wasn’t keen to look at another.

    The Pantera was positioned on the first floor in the immaculate confines of the showcase dealership, where Historics’ specialist Stewart Banks reported strong interest in the dazzling lefthooker. But there was no chance of even starting it, let alone a short drive. Other than its 2013 import to the UK as a project, there were few specific details about the rebuild by a Surreybased serial Pantera restorer who I later discovered had five in his garage, although I wasn’t able to talk to him before the sale.

    The #1974 #De-Tomaso-Pantera-GTS looked straight, its original specification possibly verifying the mileage of just 19,343. The recent repaint was reacting in places, while upgrades included a new aluminium rad and a full retrim. Yet without a test, there was no chance of checking the expensive #ZF transmission. Even with a torch, I couldn’t really assess much of the underside or suspension. “It looks a straight car,” observed Mullan, but specialists maintain that it’s key to inspect any #Pantera on a ramp for the critical rust areas. The crisp lines of the early cars have always seduced me, and Tjaarda once related at a concours that American football players were an influence.

    “Mid-engined cars disturbed me because you couldn’t really tell where the engine was,” he said. “I wanted a simple clean nose with all the intakes at the back to give it a big muscular look. One car was windtunnel-tested, but the front gets light at 150mph. I took one to 125mph and that was enough. My heart was in my mouth!” I’ve yet to drive a Pantera, but the experience appears to be mixed – right back to the original magazine articles. One of the first was by Belgian Grand Prix ace and #1960 Le Mans victor Paul Frère, who collected a prototype with wild twotone hammock-style seats from the Ghia factory in early #1971 . Minor irritations included lifting wiper blades at 125mph and the need for extra spotlights to flash at slower cars, but Frère found the De Tomaso to be utterly stable, including through the fast S-curve on the Torino-Ivrea autostrada. ‘It took it flat with lots to spare even though this was faster than I’d ever taken it before,’ he reported. Several stops from high speeds thankfully proved that the brakes were superb, too. Frère was less happy on winding mountain roads because the car understeered excessively, which he put down to a heavily pre-loaded limited-slip diff. Gear ratios that were too closely stacked with a short fifth that restricted top speed to 137mph in Autocar’s road test (it did 155mph with the later transmission) were other criticisms, but overall the #De-Tomaso impressed. Ford instantly fell for the Pantera and sold it via its Lincoln-Mercury dealers, but soon realised that it had myriad faults – leaking fuel tanks, failed sensors and weak suspension mounts. The man tasked with sorting it was legendary raceteam boss Bill Stroppe, who even tracked down the dozen people who’d bought Panteras before the problems had come to light. He turned up in person and did the work on the owners’ drives!

    That just adds to the mystique of the Pantera for me and I still can’t get that orange beauty out of my mind. I feel really quite envious of the lucky French buyer who snapped it up unseen for £57,120. Just imagine it burbling through Paris on a Saturday night…

    “I took one to 125mph and that was enough,” recalled designer Tom Tjaarda. “My heart was in my mouth!”

    Stunning low-mileage 1974 GTS wowed Walsh at Historics.

    Belgian racing legend #Paul-Frère steps into an early Pantera at Modena.
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  •   John Leighton reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Ross Brawn’s #Wilson-Pilcher . The #Formula-1 legend and his unlikely mount. Day Off Ross Brawn’s Wilson-Pilcher.

    WILSON, PILCHER

    He’s the technical genius behind nine Formula 1 Drivers’ Championships. So why is #Ross-Brawn ’s passion now driving the unique London-to-Brighton #1904 Wilson-Pilcher ? Words Glen Waddington. Photography Andy Morgan.

    We meet early-morning on a chilly Thursday in winter, Ross Brawn alert yet laidback, friendly without being over-effusive. He comes across as a focussed yet straightforward man, the kind of persona you might expect of someone with his career and reputation, albeit disarmingly down-to-Earth. He hops into the passenger seat of my car and directs me to where he keeps his collection, a few minutes' drive from his house.

    It's an unassuming, anonymous industrial unit that photographer Andy and I are invited into, with the promise of coffee to warm our insides. Within are arrayed a number of cars, the stars of Brawn's personal collection. 'I tend to collect cars built by the manufacturers I've been associated with,' he smiles, before asking us to guess what's what under the covers. Without wanting to give away too much, we spy the outlines of #Ferraris-288GTO and F40 - 'great on a track, if you like that sort of thing, but too fast for the road' - plus #Jaguar-E-types and a #Mercedes-Benz-300SL Gullwing, all reminders of time spent dominating Formula 1 at Ferrari (six consecutive championships with Michael Schumacher from 1999 to 2004), his period at Jaguar (he was lead designer on the #Jaguar-XJR-14 , which won the #1991 World Sportscar Championship), and the #Mercedes-Benz buy-out of his own Brawn GP outfit after winning the manufacturers' title (and Jenson Button's Drivers' Championship victory) in #2009 .

    There are others too, including an #AC-Ace (the rare Ruddspeed-engined one, of which he seems particularly proud) and a 289 Cobra. Yet while most of the collection spans a not-unexpected era (from the 1950s to the 1980s, on the whole), there's one car in here that breaks with that convention. Massively. And it's the one that gets Brawn smiling more than any other, no matter what's lurking under those covers. It's the 1904 Wilson-Pilcher in which he completed the Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run last year - when it was 1.1 centuries old.

    'We're blase about transport these days,' says Brawn. 'When this car was new, people had to adjust from riding a horse one day to jumping on and driving this the next.'

    Even by 1904 standards the Wilson-Pilcher is unusual, and this one is believed to be the sole survivor. If you read the badge on its nose you'll discover it's actually an Armstrong-Whitworth, built at the company's Elswick works in north-east England to Wilson-Pilcher patents. Of which there were many. A flat-four engine, for a start, 'certainly the earliest I can think of', according to Nigel Parrott, who recommissioned the car for Brawn and has worked with London-Brighton entrants for some 30 years. There's also a four-speed semi-automatic transmission, achieved by two epicyclic gearpacks and a pair of crown wheels (one forward, one reverse) in the aluminium-cased live rear axle. It should come, therefore, as no surprise that the Wilson pre-selector gearbox popular in luxury cars of the 1930s was designed by the very same man. Furthermore, the engine is separated from the main chassis by a subframe, attached laterally by coil springs to the main structure.

    'It's extraordinarily smooth for such an old car,' says Brawn.
    'Walter Wilson [its designer] clearly got his head around the needs of the day,' Parrott tells me later, 'and discovered that motorists wanted less vibration and an easier drive.'

    We'll find out more about that shortly. First some history. Walter Gordon Wilson founded the company in Westminster where, according to his grandson, he built perhaps the first 50 to 60 examples of his car, beginning in #1900 , and established 25 engineering patents in doing so. While his great friend Percy Pilcher was not involved in the car company, Wilson honoured him posthumously: #Pilcher had died in a gliding accident in late #1899 at Stanford Hall in Leicestershire. #Wilson had designed an engine for the flying machine but a last-minute fault meant the aircraft had to fly without it. Had matters turned out less tragically, the pair could have beaten the Wright brothers as the pioneers of powered flight by three years.

    At the #1904-Crystal-Palace-Motor-Show , Wilson displayed a flat-six- engined car - 'which must have been a monster!' says Parrott - but, though he was clearly a design and engineering genius, his prowess as a businessman was less assured. Already short of capital, in late 1903 Wilson had been persuaded by Sir WG Armstrong-Whitworth (of the armaments and shipbuilding conglomerate) to sell his business. That's why this car was badged as such and built in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It is believed that 100 Wilson-Pilchers were manufactured there, re-designated as Armstrong-Whitworths, of which this one - registered BB 96 - is chassis number 52.

    Henry Wilson is The Grandson of Walter Gordon. 'My father gave it to me when I was 21,' he tells me. 'I drove it on the Veteran Car Club Centenary Run in the 1990s and we made it - just. It drove my daughter to her wedding too. We had lots of work done by Patrick Blakeney-Edwards but we could make little use of it and it cost a fortune to keep up.' The family, worried it would leave the UK, reluctantly decided to sell the car at the Bonhams auction ahead of the #2012 London-Brighton Run.

    If 150 or so Wilson-Pilchers were built, how come only this one survives? The answer is that it lived at the factory, close to the family. 'It was bodied as a fire tender and kept at the Elswick works. Apprentices there restored it during the 1950s and presented it to my father who, at the time, was the managing director of Self Changing Gears.' That's the company that grew out of the Wilson pre-selector business, and was based in Coventry.

    'The Wilson-Pilcher sat in the foyer of the office block; the building was by Sir Hugh Casson, so it was quite an impressive sight. And it remained there until my father resigned soon after the take-over by Leyland.'

    Yes, the Wilson transmission concern became a casualty of the Leyland empire. 'My father left to set up his own consultancy and the car went with him. It lived first at Stanford Hall, then at the Bovingdon Tank Museum.' Wilson had perfected the design of the first British Army tank; in MkV form it featured his transmission and could therefore be operated by one driver instead of four. For his wartime work, Wilson was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in #1917 .

    'From there it went to the Coventry Transport Museum, where it remained until it was restored by the Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust's volunteers from 2006 to 2011 at the Derby works.' Walter Wilson had been a personal friend of Charles Rolls.

    'I remember him as a great character; not an easy man but extremely talented,' says Henry. 'And the car was really quick when it got going.'

    That's a Story In Itself. Ross Brawn climbs on board to retard the ignition timing via a lever on the steering column. Meanwhile, his mechanic Darren Glass busies himself by ensuring that the pressurised lubrication system is operating and that fuel is able to make its way to the carburettor. Then it's a swing of the crankhandle and 2.7 litres of 1904 fiat-four erupt into life with a pall of smoke from the exhaust... and very little other drama. In fact, the engine is mechanically very quiet, all the vocals instead arriving as a high-frequency phutt-phutt-phutt from the rear end of the car.

    Brawn's delight is palpable as he invites me to clamber on board, and so I join him, to perch on a bench that's mounted directly above the fuel tank. 'My wife Jean sat there for the London-Brighton. I was surprised at how enthusiastic she was and she smiled all the way through, despite terrible rain and hail. She'd have had to pay a fortune at a beautician's for a facial to match what the weather managed that day! I thought she'd have hated it but she loved it. I didn't mention about the fuel tank though…

    It takes a moment to engage drive as there's still a bit of work to be done on the epicyclic transmission, which has a tendency to slip, but up with the clutch pedal and we're away, without any hesitation or snatching. None of that ear-rending transmission whine you so often suffer with cars of this era, either, and the lack of roughness from that isolated fiat-four is nothing short of astonishing. With refinement of this level, London to Brighton would surely be a breeze.

    Well, not quite - though it's hardly the car's fault. 'Driving it is a very different pleasure from what you experience even with an older sports car,' says Ross, slipping the lever (no clutch pedal required once you've set off, remember) effortlessly into the next ratio. 'What you really have to remember is how much you need to anticipate traffic; you have to be assertive...' (Right now, we're in the middle of the road, passing parked cars and facing down a white van that's coming towards us. We win.) 'Most of the time your hands are full, so it's fortunate there aren't many gauges to look at. You have to be aware that other road users don't know how much distance you need to stop or how much of the road you need to manage a corner. They don't mean to get in the way, but they do.'

    We're purring along now, Ross measuring his accelerative success through the village by whether he can turn out from his storage facility and gain sufficient pace to make the 30mph warning sign glow. We manage it. Shortly after, we also demonstrate what was said about space for corners; another driver slows to take a look (and who wouldn't) and his car takes up the very patch of road we need to make the turn: time for a rapid exfoliation by a holly bush.

    By the standards of its day, this is an easy car to handle, and - despite the intense cold of being exposed to winter weather with zero protection - it's comfortable, with a soft, bumbling, slightly lurchy ride. Yet the steering is always heavy, and the brakes don't offer stopping power so much as gentle attenuation. There's also what Ross describes as a pronounced castor shimmy through the steering wheel, which seems to be set off by the particular frequency of undulations on this road. It's the only real dynamic demerit the car suffers from.

    There were reports of a Wilson-Pilcher being driven 270 miles from London to Newcastle in June #1903 , averaging 42.5mph and returning 20mpg, all the while proving remarkable for its absence of vibration and smooth running. This is a car that has always impressed. Except, perhaps, when Brawn first bought it. He immediately presented it to Nigel Parrott.

    'Those #Rolls-Royce apprentices hadn't been able to get it to work properly,' he says. (Indeed, Henry Wilson had told me that they only got to the end of the Centenary Run by blowing into the tank to pressurise the fuel system!) 'We stripped the valves out and checked the timing, which was out by a full 45° - that meant there was only half an induction stroke; the timing marks turned out to be wrong and heaven knows who put them there. Things get changed over time.'

    With that done plus myriad other details, Nigel found power and could get the car running without resort to bump-starting. Then he simply had to make it driveable. 'We stripped the top off the gearbox: there were no details or drawings available on how to set it up. It's a work of art. We had to get our heads round how it worked but we got it functioning properly. Then it was just a case of tightening the wheels and relining the brakes, then showing Ross how to operate it - which he picked up very quickly. He made good time on the London- Brighton; the thing certainly gets a move on.'

    Which ought to suit Ross Brawn. Or so you'd think. Ironically, 'I'm not into competition driving,' says the Formula 1 legend. 'This has opened up an interest in older cars.' And just how does it pique that interest? 'I like to look at the solutions that were applied. That's what fascinates, seeing how Wilson achieved his objectives. A cam-driven inlet system is clearly better, but looking at the requirements of the engine and its atmospheric set-up, well, why not? Engineers of that era were empirical. They worked on intuition, experience. They didn't have great knowledge of materials and calculations but they had a feel for strength. Nothing here is over-engineered or crude. It's all been resolved within the limitations of the day.'

    His favourite aspect? 'It's the product of one man; themes run through the whole car, rather like a single philosophy runs through a Formula 1 car. There's a quality of engineering that flows through it in a consistent way. The more I look, the more appreciative I become of how advanced it was for its day.'
    The Wilson-Pilcher is more than 110 years old. And still counting.

    THANKS TO Ross Brawn, Henry Wilson, and Nigel Parrott of NP Veteran Engineering Ltd, tel: 1435 813811. The 2015 Bonhams London to Brighton Veteran Car Run is on Sunday 1 November 2015, the first car leaving at 6.54am from Serpentine Road, Hyde Park. Entries open on Monday 30 March, veterancarrun. co. uk. The EFG International Concours d’Elegance will be held the day before, from 10.30 am to kpm at the Regent Street Motor Show in London.

    Car 1904 #Wilson-Pilcher-12/16HP-Phaeton

    ENGINE 2715cc flat-four, atmospheric inlet valves, cam-driven exhaust valves, fixed-jet carburettor with adjustable air controls
    POWER 12/16hp RAC fiscal rating, max 900rpm
    TRANSMISSION Four-speed epicyclic, rear-wheel drive
    STEERING Worm and quadrant
    SUSPENSION
    Front: beam axle, elliptical leaf springs.
    Rear: live axle, centre-pivot tie rods, elliptical leaf springs.
    BRAKES Rear drums, rod-operated
    PERFORMANCE Top speed 55mph (est)

    Above and right Noweatherprotection and only an oil pressure gauge to see from the bench seat; new rear bodywork was fashioned from aluminium in the 1950s and restored 2006-11; original front wings are wooden.

    'The engine is mechanically quiet, the vocals arriving as a phutt-phutt-phutt from the rear’

    Left and above Ross Brawn shows writer Glen Waddington around the car before setting off for a drive. Note the vaned flywheel that acts as a cooling fan, and suspension tie rods pivoted from the gearbox.
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