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Wilmot-Breeden Bumpers


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Alsfarms, in his thread on Alvis cars, showed a picture of a 1933 Alvis Crested Eagle drophead coupe. I commented on the cut made in the front bumper to allow for starting handle access. It looked like not much thought was put into the aesthetics and I found the effect somewhat jarring.1788514340_1933AlvisCrestedEagle.png.5b810109958f31d9d7056189a926ce1f.png


Later, I was thinking about it and realized this bumper was not present just as a bumper, but was an example of a Wilmot-Breeden harmonic stabilizer bumper. The cylinders at the ends contained lead weights and were used to mount the bumper to a spring steel flat bar that itself was mounted to the car frame. The intent was to reduce front axle tramp. This bumper was used on various pre-war British cars and and probably on cars of other countries as well. For example, in addition to Alvis, the Bentley 3 ½ L and 4 ¼ L cars had them, Pre-war SS and Jaguars (and early post-war Jaguars) had them. Some models of Wolseleys had them.







Some questions: How well did they work? Did many American makes use them? Were the 1934 Packard bumpers shown in the Trippe light thread examples of this, or were they just bling, as Graham Man suggests?



Edited by pmhowe
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