2012 All British Day Part 2 – The Curvaceous Bentley and the Purple Daimler

2012 All British Day Part 2 – The Curvaceous Bentley and the Purple Daimler

The 2012 All British Day has produced a bumper crop of motor cars (that’s English for ‘automobiles’) to look at and admire. Here’s a few more that stood out.

A unique car is this 1938 Bentley 4 ¼ Litre. The special body was constructed in a furniture factory. The owner had a share in the factory and was able to utilise the carpentry skills of the workers to build the timber frame of the body. Auto body builders did the rest. The result is an attractive touring design with traditional cut-down doors.

1938 Bentley 4.25 Litre tourer _All British Day 2012

Bodied in a furniture shop - 1938 Bentley 4 1/4 Litre tourer, All British Day 2012

One can over-use the word ‘unique’ quite easily but there is no way around it – this 1951 Bentley Mark VI convertible coupe is a one-off in its combination of chassis and body style. It has design and craftsmanship worthy of the French carosseries of the 1930s such as Franay, Figoni et Falaschi or Henri Chapron. It was proudly presented at the All British Day in a semi-finished form, and the sneak peek was worth it.

1951 Bentley Mark VI Special _All British Day 2012

Masterpiece in progress - 1951 Bentley Mark VI Special, All British Day 2012

With the bonnet in primer, the grille shell in brass (it looks like bronze) and the body in unpainted alloy panelling, this Bentley may have started out as a regular Mark VI saloon, but is becoming something really special. The flowing lines are extremely handsome and it remains to be seen in what colour or colours the result will be painted.

1951 Bentley Mark VI Special _All British Day 2012

A symphony in curves - 1951 Bentley Mark VI Special, All British Day 2012

The Mark VI engine was a continuation of the pre-war 4 ¼ Litre straight-six, using an F-head configuration. This was modified in 1951 to a 4 ½ Litre version. Power and low-speed torque was coyly described by Rolls-Royce / Bentley as ‘adequate’. A four-speed synchromesh gearbox was standard.

Even with standard mechanicals, I’m sure that W.O. himself would have been proud.

1930 Morris Isis Six 6cyl OHC 2.468L 17.7hp _All British Day 2012

1930 Morris Isis Six - attractively middle class. All British Day 2012

Affectionately known as ‘Iris’, this 1930 Morris Isis Six was meant for the successful Englishman who could afford a six-cylinder car. Proudly labelled with delicate wings round the radiator badge and flamboyant script on the running boards, the Isis Six is no less impressive in its engine. This is an advanced overhead valve, overhead camshaft unit of 2.468 Litres capacity, taxed at a 17.7 hp rate.

1930 Morris Isis Six radiator badge - a red bull with wings. All British Day 2012

1930 Morris Isis Six radiator badge - a red bull with wings. All British Day 2012

The upright, formal lines are elaborately moulded and painted in black and two tones of green. The all-steel body was pressed using Budd dies, and the panels were inherited from the American 1928 Dodge Victory! A roof ventilation flap or skylight was opened during the display, perhaps to keep the interior temperature down.

Welcome aboard - 1930 Morris Isis Six. All British Day 2012

Welcome aboard - 1930 Morris Isis Six. All British Day 2012

Imposingly large and tall, a black 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II simply could not be ignored – in any automotive company. Body builder Hooper made this Landaulet de Ville with its tall greenhouse and folding rear roof.

1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Landaulet de Ville by Hooper. All British Day 2012

Quality by the ton - 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Landaulet de Ville by Hooper. All British Day 2012

The engine is still a 7.7 Litre six-cylinder, improved with an OHV crossflow head and built with the precision of a Swiss watch. From its position in the engine bay, the horn is set to startle the carburettor, let alone any other road users!

7.7 Litres of motivation - 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Landaulet de Ville by Hooper. 2012 All British Day

7.7 Lires of motivation - 1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Landaulet de Ville by Hooper. 2012 All Brit

Seen again this year is the 1927 Lanchester 21 h.p. saloon with its tall body and generous greenhouse, and I was able to take better pictures of this stately car. The apparent lack of a radiator badge is not an oversight – Lanchester cleverly provided a window through which to see the coolant level within.

1927 Lanchester 21hp saloon. All British Day 2012

For the elegant Englishman - 1927 Lanchester 21hp saloon. All British Day 2012

A pioneer of the British auto industry, Lanchester was still an independent luxury car maker at this time, but could not withstand the ravages of the coming Great Depression, and was absorbed into the Daimler-B.S.A. company fold in 1931.

Comfortable rear seat - 1927 Lanchester 21hp saloon, All British Day 2012

Comfortable rear seat - 1927 Lanchester 21hp saloon, All British Day 2012

1927 Lanchester 21hp saloon. All British Day 2012

Luxury for the owner-driver. 1927 Lanchester 21hp saloon. All British Day 2012

Truly enormous was a 1928 Daimler 35/120 convertible sedan for seven passengers, painted in black and lavender (or is it royal purple?). I did not need to bob down to photograph the close-up of the radiator tank – the car is massive in every way.

1928 Daimler 35-120 Convertible Sedan. All British Day 2012

Imposing and unmistakeably a Daimler. All British Day 2012

 

The engine is a riot of quality and complication, being a 5.8 Litre six-cylinder of the Knight double-sleeve valve principle. It puts out 120 b.h.p., at a cost of 11 m.p.g. (Imperial gallons). This power working through a four-speed gearbox enables a top speed above 70 m.p.h.

1928 Daimler 35-120 Convertible Sedan. All British Day 2012

A riot of quality and complication. The sleeve-valve 1928 Daimler 35-120 Convertible Sedan. All British Day 2012

This is an example of the largest six-cylinder chassis Daimler made. The V-12 engined Double-Six was the only higher level car made by the old company, and its chassis was of the same size. All Daimler engines were still sleeve-valve at this time using the Knight patent under license. The motors were almost silent but could burn oil and smoke excessively, and there were all those complicated reciprocating parts!

1928 Daimler 35-120 Convertible Sedan. All British Day 2012

Everything opens. 1928 Daimler 35-120 Convertible Sedan. All British Day 2012

1928 Daimler 35-120 Convertible Sedan. All British Day 2012

A folding jump seat and a courtesy lamp are visible in this peek inside the 1928 Daimler 35-120 Convertible Sedan. All British Day 2012

For contrast, another 1928 car is on a more typical scale – a Singer Six 14/34 touring car. The colour scheme could be described as ‘strawberry and cream’.

1928 Singer Six  4-34 tourer. All British Day 2012

1928 Singer Six 14-34 tourer. Strawberries and cream? All British Day 2012

In unrestored condition, this Vauxhall GX rumble seat coupe is about a 1935 model on the 14 h.p. chassis. It comes complete with an Art Deco styled trunk on the luggage rack!

1935 Vauxhall 14hp GX rumble-seat coupe. 2012 All Brit Day

The trunk on the rack is streamlined too. 1935 Vauxhall 14hp GX rumble-seat coupe. 2012 All Brit Day

1935 Vauxhall GX 14hp rumble-seat coupe. 2012 All Brit Day

Ready to be restored - 1935 Vauxhall GX 14hp rumble-seat coupe. 2012 All Brit Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Still to come from the All British Day – Edwina the Collapsible Three-Quarter Landaulet (no relation to Eric the Half-Bee :-) )

- Igor Spajic

VCH correspondent

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