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Identification of charabanc in photo circa 1925


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Hi 58L-Y8

I hope you and yours are keeping safe In Dalton. Our daughter lives in NYC and we don't know when we're going to see her again. COVID-19 is having new spikes in Australia although our numbers are still very low but one of our states has gone back into lock-down, with strict curfews. Many thanks for your help with the ID of the char-a-banc. I'd like to acknowledge your assistance in my article if you agree to provide your name but I understand if you wish it to remain confidential.

Kind regards

35 Ford

 

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Hi Craig

Many thanks for that very useful additional information. The vehicle in the photo does appear to be the 15 passenger White char-a-banc that Smith & Waddington made for N L Day of Coogee who used it on the Jenolan Caves and Royal National Park tourist runs? I just got that information from the Powerhouse Museum collection database which has an album of photos of vehicles constructed by Smith & Waddington and includes another photo of the same vehicle without driver and passengers. Here's the link https://collection.maas.museum/object/571869

Kind regards

35 Ford

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Hi Craig

The tour company Day's, who ordered the vehicle from Smith and Waddington, was the subject of an inquiry in the 1930s into a monopoly because they had the sole contract for tourist services with the NSW Tourist Bureau and they certainly did run tours to Jenolan.

Kind regards

35 Ford

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Hi 35 Ford

 

I recognized the make because of the distinctive White radiator shell plus all the suspense surround the 16 Valve White Four Series that's recently come to light.  Char-a-banc must be a regional term, they're called sight-seeing coach or bus here in the States.   

 

NYC and the State in general has brought this Covid-19 situation under control with people being thoughtful of more than just themselves, by wearing mask, social distancing, sanitizing, self-isolating when potentially contagious.   We continue to do so, because this isn't over and we're all still in this together.  We will get through this with a bit of intelligence and thoughtfulness for others.

 

Steve 

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Hi Steve

The term was originally char-a-bancs (it should have a grave accent over the middle 'a') and originated in France in the 19th century It literally means 'carriage with benches' and early examples were horse-drawn. The term char-a-banc was commonly used in Britain and Australia for motorised versions in the early 20th century although some early examples with several rows of seats and drop-down sides e.g. some on Milnes Daimler, Panhard et Levassor and De Dion Bouton chassis were called wagonettes. Wikipedia suggests char-a-banc was pronounced 'sharrabang' in colloquial British English. Later, closed versions in the 1930s to 1950s had up to six rows of seats each with a separate door and were known as 'parlour cars'. Several Australian cities had coach-building companies who built parlour cars on imported chassis. I 've attached a photo of one.

35 Ford 

Dinds tourist car outside AGNSW.png

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Hi 35 Ford

Thanks for providing the history of the term 'char-a-banc', something I wondered how had come about.    Here in the U.S. they were also called an "airport limousine' once air travel became a more widespread and airlines provided such transport as a courtesy to their customers to and from hotels, etc. 

Steve

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