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I had always been puzzled by the small bore export engines listed in the parts manuals. Now it all makes sense. I was not aware of the horsepower tax. You learn something new every day :) 

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That horsepower rating may be in the German DIN standard, not the SAE rating.

 

Craig

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This is the first sentence of the Wikipedia entry on "Tax Horspower":

 

"The tax horsepower or taxable horsepower was an early system by which taxation rates for automobiles were reckoned in some European countries, such as Britain, Belgium, Germany, France, and Italy; some US states like Illinois charged license plate purchase and renewal fees for passenger automobiles based on taxable horsepower. "

 

The article gives the formulae used to calculate it. In Britain, it was (bore diameter squared) times number of cylinders divided by 2.5.

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There is also the NACC (National Automobile Chamber of Commerce) rating, but it will be something like 8.5 hp.   Someone with a shop manual can state the exact NACC figure.

 

Craig

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On 4/8/2019 at 7:10 AM, 36 D2 Coupe said:

I had always been puzzled by the small bore export engines listed in the parts manuals. Now it all makes sense. I was not aware of the horsepower tax. You learn something new every day :) 

In Ontario annual license plate fees were based on horsepower up until the sixties.  After that was based on the number of cylinders, But the rates were much lower than in the UK.

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So it is already certain that the car was made for Germany and the engine was adapted to German tax regulations. The door on the back was probably made after WWII, when cars were missing and therefore body were adjusted for the taxi. Probably the rear seats shifted a little forward and behind them was made room for luggage with access through the fifth door. I'm still waiting for a detailed photo of the door to confirm that it's really a later adjustment.

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Posted (edited)

Did a little checking online and 1 British pound in 1920, would be equal in buying power to $58.05 US today.

 

At this rate the license fee of an Austin 7 would be $406.35. A typical middle class car would be in the 14HP class which would cost $812.70 and a 40HP car like a Rolls Royce would be $2322. And this was an annual expense. This would explain why tax discs were usually bought for 3 months at a time.

 

The 1928 Dodge "65" had a six cylinder engine with a  bore of 3.25" which translates into 25.35 HP. This would mean an annual license fee equal to $1471.56 in today's money.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)

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I don't see any rear seat in the photos. This suggests the car was converted into a delivery van by adding a rear door and removing the seat. At this time the spare tire was moved from the rear to the right front.

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The rear seats are not much visible in the photos. I have verified that the car was in Prague as a taxi and that the rear seats should be. It is possible that after WWII was redesigned for delivery and some time so I rode. I haven't been able to find out yet.

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