Motor Vehicle Era’s Veteran, Vintage or Classic

When reviewing or researching Motor Vehicles it is handy to have in mind the Motor Vehicle Era’s Veteran, Vintage or Classic.

Commonly these are understood as:

  • Veteran – manufactured prior to 1918
  • Vintage – manufactured between 1919 and 1930
  • Post Vintage – manufactured between 1931 and 1949
  • Classic – manufactured between 1950 and 1969
  • Modern Classic – manufactured between 1970 and 1989

      However, depending on which country you are in, and how pedantic you want to be we should also include:

      • UK Veteran – only pre-1905 vehicles. See the London-Brighton Car Run
      • UK Edwardian – manufactured between 1905 and 1918
      • UK Vintage – manufactured between 1919 and 1930
      • UK Post-Vintage – manufactured after 1930
      • UK Classic – no longer made, but desirable. Over 40 years old for no road tax.

      and others like:

      • Ireland Antique – pre-1905
      • Ireland Veteran – 1905 to 1918
      • USA Vintage 1919 to 1925 or 1919 to 1930
      • USA Antique 1930 to 1975
      • USA Classic 2000 or earlier
      • USA CCCA “Full Classic” – 1915 to 1948 within a specific list of vehicle models

      Basically it is a mine-field of opinions, so I will stick with the top list.

      R.A.A.F Crystal Unit Holder Y110X

      As a part of cleaning up the remnants of Max Howden Crystals, I have come across this R.A.A.F Crystal Unit Holder Y110X in its original box.

      RAAF Crystal Holder Y110X
      RAAF Crystal Holder Y110X

      The crystal unit is the holder only without an actual crystal or frequency assigned. I imagine that this was held in preparation for orders from the R.A.A.F for specific frequency crystals to be made and mounted.

      R.A.A.F Crystal Unit Holder Y110X War Memorial

      This is a similar crystal holder noted at the Australian War Memorial.

      The reference page is

      The text at the War Memorial Page includes estimated manufacture dates c.1939-1945 as a World War II technology.

      Walter Francis Maxwell Howden and Thomas Montagu Howden

      As I research on Trove a lot for cars and toys I also managed to find a number of articles relating to my grand-father, Max Howden (Walter Francis Maxwell Howden), and great grand-father Thomas Montagu Howden. I have linked these here for my reference.

      Max Howden The Bathurst Times (NSW: 1909 - 1925)
      Max Howden The Bathurst Times (NSW: 1909 – 1925)

      The Bathurst Times (NSW : 1909 – 1925) – Fri 6 Mar 1925 – Page 3 – MAX. HOWDEN’S PROPHECY.

      James Flood Motor Body Works Melbourne

      Chasing the provenance of a vehicle that has been in the family for many years, the body is by James Flood of City Road South Melbourne while the chassis is a 1912 Hotchkiss sedan.

      While researching both the body work and the car I have noted many references to James Flood in the early 1900’s and have noted them here for later recall. As usual the body of work at Trove is of immense help.

      This article also provided some additional information and a reminder that I should read at least the first James Flood Book of Early Motoring to help flesh out my timeline.

      This is the earliest advertisement I could locate for the business in 1909. It was apparently established in 1908, given that the Early Motoring book was issued for the 60th anniversary of the company in 1968.

      The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957)
      Sat 8 May 1909, Page 4, Advertising

      Later in 1909 this advertisement appears which claimed 10 years experience and that experience was in Essex England where James’ family were coachbuilders.

      The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957)
      Sat 17 Jul 1909, Page 3, Advertising

      In 1911 they were located in City Road. There are various advertisements and articles but none provide street numbers.

      Motoring incident in St.Kilda at an oyster saloon !

      The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954)
      Sat 3 Jun 1911, Page 16, MOTOR CAR PROSECUTIONS.

      Apparently James Flood was a very generous man as evidenced in this article.

      Kalgoorlie Western Argus (WA : 1896 – 1916)
      Tue 13 Jun 1911, Page 36, ROMANCE OF MODERN LIFE

      In this article James Flood was a witness in a court case in September 1911.

      The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 – 1954) Fri 22 Sep 1911, Page 10, A DANGEROUS PRACTICE.

      By 1915 the James Flood Motor Body Works was based in St. Kilda Road south of Coventry Street.

      In January 1919 the adjacent Hoadleys Chocolate factory was burnt to the ground with damage to cars in the building or yard of Flood’s premises.

      Singleton Argus (NSW : 1880 – 1954)
      Sat 18 Jan 1919, Page 2, BIG FIRE IN MELBOURNE

      In summary, it appears the business of James Flood Motor Body Works was initially located in West Melbourne, and then moved to City Road, and then to St.Kilda Road, and later to West Footscray.

      My purpose with this is not the history of the business, but just to confirm that the footplates in the body of the Hotchkiss vehicle are accurate and consistent with the time-frame of the coach building. Circa 1912 Hotchkiss chassis and circa 1912 Floods’ were in City Road South Melbourne.

      This Years Racing Cars 1906

      An article from the Sydney Morning Herald comments on this years racing cars 1906 and notes the 6 cylinder Napier car.

      Sydney Morning Herald (NSW, Australia)
      19 April 1906
      Page 10


      According to the latest files to hand, this year’s
      racing motor cars will present fewer novelties than
      ever before. Transmission by propeller-shaft is gain-
      ing in favour every day over chain drive, and all the
      machines are being built with their centre of gravity
      placed very low. One peculiarity which the new regu-
      lations at home have engendered is that all cars will
      have a large fuel capacity, provision being made for
      as much as 45 gallons of petrol, and a proportionately
      large oil supply, in order to cover the six rounds of
      the circuit without stopping to fill tanks. Excepting
      the Mercedes, and of course the six-cylinder Napier, it
      is probable that all the starters will have four-cylinder
      engines. The Richard Brasier cars, with four cylinders
      of 165-m.m. bore, and 104 h.p., will have transmission
      by cardon shaft. The Mercedes six-cylinder have 150-
      m.m. bore, and 140-m.m. stroke, giving 135 h.p., four
      speeds, with direct drive on the high, and ball bear-
      ings throughout. Several of the French drivers have
      already made acquaintance with the circuit, Hemery
      visiting it on a 1905 racer immediately before his
      triumphal return from Florida.



      Napier Speed Record at Brooklands 1908

      Another Napier Speed Record at Brooklands is mentioned in this article from The Advertiser in August 1908.

      The Advertiser (Adelaide, S.A., Australia)
      5th August 1908
      Page 8


      LONDON, August 3.

      A 60-horsepower Napier motor car won
      the 30-mile race on the Brooklands track
      on Saturday at a speed of 101 miles an
      hour. A new record was created. A Mer-
      cedes car of 75 horsepower was beaten by
      only 60 yards. Although the speed of the
      Napier car is a record for 30 miles, it is
      not the highest yet produced, Nazzarro, the
      “Demon motorist,” having on June 8 on the
      same track covered three miles at 111 miles
      an hour. At times he travelled much
      faster. On other tracks even greater speeds
      have been attained.
      To judge from the speed of 121.6 miles an
      hour, reached by Mr. A. Lee Guinness dur-
      ing the recent, motor car trials on Salt-
      burn Sands, this course is little Iess speedy
      than the world-famous beach track on the
      east coast of Florida, on which so many
      sensational speed feats have been per-
      formed. It was on this course, which
      runs for 100 miles by the side of the sea
      and is almost as hard and smooth as a
      billiard table, that Mr. W. K. Vanderbilt.
      jun., covered, in January, 1904, a rale in
      39 sec. (over 92 miles an hour). Since
      this feat, which was considered phenomenal
      at the time, records have had a bad time
      in Florida. A year later, on January 30,
      1905, Mr. Arthur Macdonald travelled a
      mile in 34 2-5 sec., more than 104 miles
      an hour. In the following January Mr.
      Stanley, on a steam car, brought the time
      down to 31 4-5 sec.; and three days later,
      a speed of two miles a minute was exceeded
      for the first time, when Mr. Marriott, on
      a Darracq car, placed the record at the
      starting figure 28 1-5 sec., representing a
      speed of 127 2-3 miles an hour.




      Napier Car Touring Northern Queensland 1913

      Two articles in the Brisbane Courier dated 11th and 12th June 1913 referring to a Napier Car Touring Northern Queensland. The car being a Noiseless Napier 45 horse power 6 cylinder model.


      Brisbane Courier 12th June 1913
      Page 8
      Napier Motor Car’s Work.

      It is understood that the car mentioned
      in yesterday’s issue as having performed
      such splendid work with the Chief En-
      gineer and the Minister for Railways on
      their recent Northern trip, inspecting the
      new coastal railway, is a 45 h.p. 6 cylin-
      der noiseless Napier. This is the same
      car that took the Premier through from
      Longreach, Cloncurry, and across the
      Gulf country. It is understood that this
      Napier is the first motor car to perform
      the two noted trips above mentioned.

      The original article from the previous day was no more than a sentence in a column on page 4.


      WEDNESDAY. JUNE 11, 1913.

      The Minister for Railways returned to
      Brisbane yesterday after a visit to North
      Queensland occupying several weeks.

      Napier Road Test Dec 1909

      Another article from the Sydney Daily Telegraph newspaper dated 20th December 1909.

      Referenced from

      THE 15-H.P. “NAPIER.”
      The motoring representative of “The Daily Telegraph”
      was taken out on Saturday by Mr. Peter M’lntosh, of
      Alick M’Neil and M’lntosh, Ltd. (agents for the “Na-
      pier” cars), for a trial run in a new 15-h.p. 4-cylinder
      noiseless “Napier.” The car was only landed on Thurs-
      day afternoon. The run was through the congested
      traffic of the city, thence along Oxford-street, to the
      Centennial Park and out to Coogee. Through the traf-
      fic the flexibility of the engine was demonstrated. After
      leaving Coogee, the long hill towards Long Bay was
      taken in good style with, four passengers aboard. The
      hill, with its two turns, was negotiated in 1min.
      40sec. on top speed, to within 50 yards of the summit.
      After negotiating the hills to La Perouse a return
      was made to the city, via Bunnerong-road, where a
      turn of speed up to 45 miles an hour was shown. The
      easiness of control was very marked. The car has a
      splendid lock, allowing it to be turned in a very short
      space (a necessary point in our narrow streets). It
      has an excellent clearance, and is well tyred, also
      fitted with an English touring body to seat five people.
      Yesterday’s run in every way demonstrated the reputa-
      tion of the car as the noiseless “Napier.” Messrs,
      Alick M’Neil and M’lntosh, Ltd., have several 15-h.p.
      cars to arrive shortly, .and also have in stock a 30-h.p.
      6-cylinder “Napier” car.



      Napier Road Test February 1910

      The following is from the Trove archive of the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper dated 19th February 1910. Ref:

      The small article was presented in a column titled “New Motor Car – Trial on a 15-H.P. Napier”

      The content has been copied here after I corrected the scanned text. I have retained the column format with the hyphenation as it originally appeared.

      Sat 19 Feb 1910
      Page 19

      Now that there is talk of 300 new taxis arriving in
      Sydney and corresponding numbers to be landed shortly
      in the principal Australian cities, it is interesting to
      note that the coming vehicles are of British manufac-
      ture. The Napier Company, the maker, is one of the
      oldest English firms, and its cars have, owing to the
      enterprise of a Sydney man, Mr S T Edge, who is
      the managing director, attained world-wide reputa-
      tion. Although the Napier taxis will not reach Syd-
      ney until April, several chassis for touring cars have
      been landed. At the invitation of Messrs. Alick McNeil
      and Mcintosh, Ltd., of Market and Castlereagh streets,
      the local agents for this make, the “Herald” repre-
      sentatlve had an opportunity of testing the latest
      15- h.p. Colonial Noiseless Napier. The recent importa-
      tion has many noteworthy features. The large radiat-
      ing surfaces and water capacity, the svstem of forced
      lubrication to ensure equal flow to all bearing sur-
      faces, the good road clearance, almost complete sil-
      ence of engine, powerful brakes, great flexibility and
      ease of control-all will appeal to anyone wanting a
      reliable and up to date motor. The chassis itself is of
      special deep channel steel, and the axles are excep-
      tionally strong. The springing is almost perfect, and
      there is a complete absence of jarring or jolting even
      over fairly rough roads.
      On Wednesday aftemoon, with Mr. J. McNeil at the
      wheel a party of four made a delightful trip of about
      30 miles, the route being via Kensington, turning off
      to Cook’s River-road, then to Rockdale, down to
      Brighton, along a beautiful run to Sandringham and
      home by Tom Ugly’s Point. Throughout the trip the
      car behaved in an exemplary manner. Its silence, speed
      on the level and up hills, and great power over stiff
      pinches were most apparent. Even in the densest traf-
      fic the flexibility of the engine was wonderful.

      The interesting point for me are that this article suggests that many of the Napiers were imported as taxi’s. I also note the reference to Mr. S.T. Edge when Mr. S.F. Edge is more commonly associated with Napier. Possibly a typo from the author, or was there a relative linked to the agency in Australia ?


      Vintage, Veteran, and Classic Cars

      I have an interest in a variety of Veteran, Vintage, and Classic cars for various reasons but mostly going back within my family and the vehicles I grew up with which are mostly classics today.

      The Veteran and Vintage vehicles were obviously way before my time, but back in the distant past family have mentioned various models and makes and I am interested in these as well.

      Of course, my main passion is die-cast toys and you can see my collection at Tonys Toys and my sites at RecoverToy and Antique Toy World.

      In terms of real cars (or 1:1 scale) I drove many Holdens, a Morris Minor, various Mini Minors, and via my wife’s preference for Ford, we have had numerous models including an Escort (~1970 Mk II), Falcons, and my current Courier utility.

      The pages and posts within these categories relate to my research on a wide variety of ‘real’ cars, while my ‘toy’ cars are documented in my web sites dedicated to toys.