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.
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.
Later in 1909 this advertisement appears which claimed 10 years experience and that experience was in Essex England where James’ family were coachbuilders.
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 !
Apparently James Flood was a very generous man as evidenced in this article.
In this article James Flood was a witness in a court case in September 1911.
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.
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.
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
THIS YEAR’S RACING MOTOR CARS.
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.
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
A THIRTY-MILE RECORD.
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.
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
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.
Another article from the Sydney Daily Telegraph newspaper dated 20th December 1909.
Referenced from http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/238239139
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.
The following is from the Trove archive of the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper dated 19th February 1910. Ref: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/15144106
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
NEW MOTOR CAR.
TRIAL ON A 15-H.P. NAPIER
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 ?
I have an interest in a variety of Vintage, Veteran, 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 Vintage and Veteran 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.
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.
I have an interest in Hotchkiss motor vehicles from the period 1900 to 1920(ish).
This is only my first post on this topic but if you are reading this and have any information on Hotchkiss motor cars imported from the UK or the USA to Australia in the early 1900’s, I would be grateful if you would contact me.
I have an interest in Napier motor vehicles from the period 1900 to 1920(ish).
The company started making cars in the UK in 1900 and continued until sometime in the 1920’s.
This is only my first post on this topic but if you are reading this and have any information on Napier motor cars imported from the UK or the USA to Australia in the early 1900’s, I would be grateful if you would contact me.
I’ve started my research by reviewing, and listing, newspaper articles that refer to Napier motor vehicles and spending some time helping to clean up the text scanning on the National Library Trove website.