Ivan Saxton

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

77 Excellent


About Ivan Saxton

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 11/04/1940

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. To overcome rainwater lubrication of your band brakes, you cut a series of grooves cut across the lining on about45 o4 60 degree angle, so that water and debris were expelled to under the car so wheels did not get dirty. I have worn original cast iron brake shoes with similar angled grooving. These ran in steel drums of a 4 cylinder Napier that I have. Some of the big multi-axle heavy haulage military trucks of the early 1940s, maybe Diamond-T, Mack, Federal, had heavy duty disc brakes on the back of the transmission. I recollect seeing similar on something much smaller, like an amphibious Jeep.
  2. I recollect that Steve sent a goodwill message to the Veteran Car Club of Australia for the 1970 FIVA International Rally from Sydney to Melbourne in April 1970. I think it was reported that he had cars in the category of big Stearns and Simplex. I know his hot mustangs would have done half an hour in 20 minutes; but photos of his great early big Antiques might have been essential interest to many of us. His lever action Winchester impressed me. My father had a 32/40, that he used for deer shooting before military 3006 Garrand s were available. Someone broke into the locked storage and stole the 32/40, but I still have the ammo. It would have been good to control foxes here. I would like to see photos of Steve's big early cars if anyone knows .
  3. Best entry level to understand the remarkable Dr Lanchester, his cars, and other aspects of his life's work is 'Automobile Design: Great Designers and Their Work' . (editors Barker and Harding) . Each chapter was contributed by someone with specialized knowledge and interest. If you cannot find what you want at a good price on the internet, send me a PM, and I will guide you. For goodness sake, read the whole book and treasure it. Otherwise you will not know about the Bollees of Le Mans, or Hans Ledwinka.
  4. My initial post on this was that it may have been a Morgan derivative. Internet of Lomax name gives the initiation as a kit car from 1982. The three wheel layout is very like the typical Morgan. One of my friends here who was much more conversant with those, and had been terrified by one, told me that if the single rear wheel goes flat, the car becomes like a centipede with the scrub itch. One of Mike's friends fastidiously restored a genuine 3 wheel Morgan, but would not drive it. No matter what power unit was used, be it 2CV, 2cyl fwd Subaru Sherpa, or a cross engine like a Lancia Beta, any modern special with that single rear wheel should properly be known as a "Darwin", in reference to the possibility of removing someone from the population gene pool.
  5. The nature of the front axle beam may be definitive. If they had been thoughtful enough to open the hood before the photo it may have been more helpful. The relative scale of car and people might indicate that a smaller Buick is more likely.
  6. There used to be a 1929 P-A sedan in North Island of NZ that had the conventional headlamps in the mid1960s, and the owner was desperate to alter them to standard. The very derelict car I bought for 20 pounds was one of the handful of 1929 7 passenger sedans which City Motor Services in Melbourne used with scores of model 80s and maybe a dozen model 81s as prestige hire cars. They also imported a batch of low mileage Rolls Royce Phantom 1 cars from India, These had beautiful elegant English Touring bodies. There were two problems with these. They only ran formal sedans; and the import tax on bodies was extrortionate, so the bodies were removed and tipped over the edge of the wharf. Jim McLeod, whose uncle was one of the owners of City Motor Services, worked there in his youth, and my understanding is from his personal knowledge. There was a plate glass wall between the garage and the office, and when the RRs were parked against the glass wall , which apparently seemed to amplify the sounds of the engines cooling down, to the distraction and distress of the office staff. So they parked the Rolls Royces away from the office, and the Pierce Arrows did not annoy the office staff.. Now the 1929 8 cylinder cars were used to transport the federal parliamentarians back and forth between Melbourne and the national capital Canberra. The man I bought mine from told me that the log when he received it from CMS showed it had travelled 400,000miles. He used it for an other 136,000 miles, often towing a trailer with his trotting horses, even interstate. A second fuel tank was inelegantly enclosed by an extension to the back of the body, and the fenders were extensively altered and skirted. I had a full set of original fenders from one of the other cars. When a New Zealander visited, we cut the traditional headlamp sections from the worthless altered fenders, and he took those in his luggage to deliver to the man who desperately wanted them. There was no money involved, only supposedly goodwill. There was no acknowledgement either, which was rather graceless. The owner's address was a hotel; so I supposed he was a drunk's labourer. I hope that Pierce has fender headlights as that fellow so desired.
  7. Maybe we need to give him credit for inventing/manufacturing something with more useful. "Reeves drive " is associated with a variable speed V belt pulley drive with variable ratio. One pulley was either positively set, or spring loaded axially, so the V belt ,which may have been fairly wide, ran closer to the axis or periphery as required, to alter the ratio. I remember buying TWO different examples for curiosity at machinery auction in North Melbourne in the 1970s. They may still be in the shed somewhere, but I never found use for either. I was the only bidder at the auction, so everyone else there saw no usefulness for them.
  8. Best basic information on design considerations of the F -head is Sir Harry Rickardo's "High Speed Internal Combustion Engine" This was text book for mechanical engineers for many decades. He was instrumental in RR and post-Bentley Bentley using F-head. Do not forget that Rajo 4 valve heads for T Ford were F-head. It is interesting that the very first high efficiency high compression engines were 1907 Isotta Fraschini Tipo Taunus. These were an 8 litre displacement 4 cylinder T-head, with stroke shorter than the bore size. The piston crowns were highly domed, and nearly touched the combustion chamber roof. Having a spark plug each side firing synchronously by a 2-spark Bosch Magneto which had In the 1907 Coppa Florio race, Ferdinando Minoia won at average speed of 69mph. You could liken this to a double-sided Rickardo patent L-head engine. It was effectively "prior art " to Rickardo's 1917 patent. Minoia used 19.8 imperial gallons of fuel in the race over 302 miles. Fifteen miles per gallon from a big T-head !!!!! No owner of a big Locomobile or Pierce could comprehend that; and probably Giustino Cattaneo did not understand what he had achieved. …… You can pick this from the early racing chapter, and an engine cross section drawing in Angelo Tito Anselmi's book Isotta Fraschini. I don't think author Anselmi recognized the historical and technical achievement either.
  9. I would suggest that for 28 inch wire spoke wheels on a car, which likely would be one of significant power and speed capability, You would have a lot of spokes missing for usual lacing patterns. I have 28 inch beaded edge Rudge Whitworth wire wheels for clincher/beaded edge tyres. Originally I had a good few more than two sets of wheels with the big hub fitting that has six flat-top splines, which are supposed to stop the wheel centre oscillating and fretting on the hub. I retained a set of five very good wheels for my 1911 Napier. Bob Chamberlain was desperate for wheel hubs for the fastidious re- creation of Napier's first great 6 cylinder racing car "Samson". This was built using the original engine, which apparently had been stored and ignored under a bench in the factory when Napier built and fitted a bigger one to shift the scenery faster at Daytona. I understand that he spent a significant time in months transcribing Arthur Rowledge's notes from his design notebooks from when they built the original car. In the late 1960s and most of the 1970s we would find, understand, and conserve things that were significant; and no money was expected to change hands when they went to someone who had genuine need, and genuine intentions to help other people in return. I was later disappointed that Bob's consumption of early Rudge Whitworth wheels was less need than greed. So he had one set of 895x135 beaded edge wheels and tyres to be more period-correct, and another set with 700 x 20 or 21 straight sided tyres that Dunlop had supplied to be safe around 100mph ( if I remember correctly). My other leftover wheel centres I gave to Ray Whyte for his big early 4 cylinder T head 1907 Mercedes. ( Ray was a vital silent witness in a considerable period of Australian politican history. Ray was police bodyguard to a number of Australian Prime Ministers, and also to Governor General Sir John Kerr. He and I always stayed with a mutual friend for Bendigo Swap. We talked about our antique cars but I never asked him questions. He did decide to share information about the truth of what happened when Prime Minister Whitlam was dismissed ; and it seems he wanted someone to know the difference between the truth and fiction.) I will check the spoke numbers and rows of my Napier wheels for you. If you don't get it right you may be making an entry for the Darwin Awards. Of theR W wheels into the 1920s, most American wheels had 72 spokes, and occasionally you could find similar wheels of the same size with English 70 spoke pattern.. Surprisingly, nobody was ever spark enough to see the difference when I used a combination of 72 and 70 spoke wheels on my 1918 Mercer...………...
  10. Packard used two different sizes of Rudge Whitworth wire wheels in the period roughly around 1918 to 1924. Rudge 80 were used on the small six cylinder model. It seems just a few of the Twin Six were fitted with Rudge 100. They were probably a special order item, and the wheel maker was Buffalo for both. The wheels on the six do not appear to have worn well in general judged by the ones I have seen over the years, compared to those of the same size on Mercer or A model Duesenberg. The latter have a better fit on the hubs, which likely is because Duesenberg would have made their own hubs. From the beginning in 1921-2, Duesenberg could not have used standard issue hubs,. Rears were totally unlike those for any other car, because the hub and axle were machined from a single steel billet, with a hole bored through from end to end, probably intended to reduce incidence of broken axles. Mercer Rudge 80s were made under licence by Standard Roller Bearing. Probably one of the wealthiest men in Melbourne was Sir MacPherson Robertson, who bought a considerable number of Packards, possibly more than one at a time. He was a large scale manufacturer of chocolate bars. He had a large factory area, all painted white; and I believe the vast majority of his employees were women and girls, for whom exercise commendable care and respect. He was also a large scale public benefactor, for instance , he had a public secondary school built for girls. MacRobertson Girls High School has been run by the Victorian State education department , after costs and staffing were said to have been paid initially by Sir MacPherson Robertson himself. He also paid for Sir John Monash, an architect and engineer, to build a new bridge over the Yarra River in Melbourne. Monash was the general whose command towards the end of WW1 is generally credited for bringing an end to the slaughter. I have considerable remains of one of Robertson's Twin Six Packards. I understand it was stored in a building on one of the family's properties in the Dandenong Ranges. The Denny family who purchased the remains of the Runabout with Rudge 100 wire wheels told me that a very large tree had fallen across the building and the Packard, and they only saved what was undamaged. We bought the engine, gearbox, and instruments from the dash. Years later I was able to buy other important parts from one of the Denny family. I now have almost enough parts from other sources to construct a car similar to the original ; though the front section of the body , which has the distinctive features seen in that car, is so rusted that I tell people it looks as though it has been attacked by rats with tungsten carbide teeth. The engine I have has a 1922 casting date on the crankcase; and above the serial number stamped on the gearbox is the identification "3-25". This indicates a third series Twin Six with 125 inch wheelbase. Decades ago I bought a front axle with Rudge 100 wheels from an old car wrecking yard in Melbourne. It is from a 1924 Packard 8 with front brakes. If you refer to page 236 of Ralph Stein's book "The Great Cars" for his comments on driving Henry Austin Clark's Twin Six, you will understand why those Packard front brakes will be part of my project.
  11. The two in Australia that I have not seen but am aware of are were restored by Bob Trevan at Lismore NSW, who had a Ford dealership for many years, and Francis Ransley in Northern Tasmania. Bob Trevan's engine may have been rescued from a boat. I am more familiar with the 6 cylinder car which is a 6 cylinder version of the Model L. I understand this may have originally been a Ford family car. David Dryden lives about 15 miles away from here. All his early Fords are superb personal restorations. He used the machine I built when he painted the wheels on the Six. The spindle is controlled by a "Zero-max variable speed drive. Technique is to build up the coating at a suitable spindle speed, then turn it to maximum so insects do not land on it while the paint is cross-linking.
  12. Often Clutter, perhaps. I can give you another instance of an interstate friend here, who incidentally a specialist in Maserati. Les told me that he as an exceptional collection of fine and notable guitars, some 400 in all. When I was at boarding school I was afflicted by my mother's obsession that I should take music lessons, but that was something that I just could not include among my many obsessional interests. I endured ten years of piano lessons, but I never learned to read music or play a piano. In that, my mother was a very slow learner. One day Les was refueling his car at a service station, and there was a youngish man fueling his Maserati. So Les asked how he liked his "Maser". He liked the car of course; but could not find anyone to service it properly. Les handed him his business card, and said he would be only too happy the service the car if he wished. At completion of the job, the mechanic came to Les because he had encountered a problem with one item; so "could he please come and have a look at the reason he could not rotate the positions of the five wheels. The key opened the boot, all right; but it was filled with high power rapid firing armed robbery equipment. Note was written that it was not possible to unlock the boot to rotate the positions of the wheels, and please ensure that it would be possible to access the spare tyre the next time the car is brought in for service. A couple of weeks later the man was found shot dead in his Maserati.
  13. Alan Murtagh, up the King River valley beyond Edi, had a small post-war 4 cyl petrol engine Morris Comercial, which seemed fairly complete when I got a Lancia Kappa chassis and axles from him some years ago. Several years ago I saw a much bigger Morris "Comical" (as they were called by some). It had survived on a farm. It had the 6 cylinder 4 litre Saurer diesel engine, which should have been good. The crankshaft is massive, and the rest of the engine with wet sleeve cylinders in aluminium block. One peculiarity was the pore-less injector tips . The fuel spray came when the injector pump pressure lifted the tip off the body of the injector. They originated too far from Sir Harry Rickardo's efficiency and performance, though they may be useful with a whiff of LPG into the intake air, coupled with a turbocharger. As built they were a very obvious air pollution device. Otherwise they probably complied with Arthur Lang's descriptive metaphor ----- "like a Railway cup of tea . Big and weak".