She may not be wearing a Red Triangle but our Fourteens can trace their heritage back to before the American revolution.
Whilst Karl Benz took out a patent on the first Motor Car, many years before, the world’s first self propelled vehicle was produced.
In about 1770 Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot demonstrated his steam powered self propelled ‘Fardier’ (large cart) in France and pulled a 5 ton artillery cannon. The original is housed in the Collection of the Conservatoire de Arts et Metiers, Paris and a faithful Museum quality replica lives in the Tampa Classic Car Museum, Florida.
Staying with American Car Museums the Sarasota Museum currently has a very interesting car that may look rather familiar!
Claiming to be the first true American Sportscar the 1947 Kurtis Omohundro Comet looks remarkably similar to the prototype TB 14 that was demonstrated at the 1948 London Motor Show.
The TB 14 has, of necessity, a seriously large rear as the body had to fit the TA 14 chassis. Looking at the photos the link between the 2 cars is very strong even down to the Aluminium spats.
The latest brochure from Red Triangle makes for some very interesting reading.
Options available for Alvis Cars are varied and increasing. Benefitting from their stock of original drawings, new cylinder heads, blocks, crankshafts etc. Could be a godsend if ever needed. Worthwhile going on the Red Triangle mailing list if not already on.
The TA 14 AOC Technical Advisor in Norfolk is steadily reducing his large quantity of mainly second hand spares but there is still a considerable quantity to go.
Should that be a daunting prospect consider going to the closed scrap yard in Georgia, USA owned by Dean Lewis. Thousands of cars are quietly rusting away in the woods and it is becoming a tourist attraction. Some of the cars have not been touched in sixty or seventy years. Wonder if any Fourteens for spares. Clip of the site on the BBC news website.
Some spares he could not source and a Carbodies Owner in Houston, Texas is looking to purchase a wheel brace, nave plate (hub cap) and the little chrome plated lever that operates the dip and switch fro the steering wheel horn boss. I can put you in direct touch, full p & p would be paid.
To facilitate the purchase of spare parts and access to specialised services the American Company, Classic Parts for U aims to expand its service supplying classic car parts and services. They have been selling on EBay since 2000 and have now signed a partnership deal with FIVA, Federation International Vehicules International. Use a search engine to find their site, classicparts4U. They aim to provide ‘virtual assembly support using modern voice and video communication’, welcome to the 21st century
Several TA/ TB 14s are currently for sale at present. The Mulliners Saloon advertised in the Alvis Owner Club Calendar used to be a familiar sight at Alvis Days in the past. Whilst Barn stored for some years, chassis 22947 represents a good opportunity to acquire a formerly cherished car. At offers in the region of £5000, well worth considering. There is a photo on Gallery 2.
For those considering the option of a drop head, the Carbodies owned by the late Peter Madge is another well known and cherished car now available. Chassis 22231 is also advertised in the AOC Calendar and there is a photo of the car on Gallery 2.
A rare 1948 Richard Mead Tickford bodied Fourteen, chassis 21852 will be auctioned at Bicester on April 11th by Brightwells. There is a lot of information on the Brightwells site and a guide price of £18000-£22000. The only reason for the sale of this cherished car is the advancing years of her owner. Considerable expense and care has been lavished on her. Several photos are on Gallery 1.
Anyone considering the need for more power and speed should consider the 3 litre TA 21 prototype 3L3. It is a modified TA 14 Mulliners Saloon with a 3 litre engine and various other modifications. Developed in the 1940s for the successor model to the TA 14 it is one of 3 prototypes and the only one we know to have survived. The car is now back fro the USA and is for sale in Oslo, contact details can be advised.
Quite frequently people search for a Fourteen that was in the family in the 1950s and sixties and almost as frequently the advice given is that the car has been lost or no longer exists. So it was lovely to receive an enquiry as to the whereabouts of Tickford chassis 22001and be able to put the current owner in touch with the enquirer. A lovely period photo was sent in and will go on The Gallery next week.
Some very good news is that Duckhams 20/50 is back. An oil that gave excellent performance and was for many the oil of choice for Classic Cars back in the day.
Not such good news is that DVLA will no longer provide the history of a vehicle in response to a V888 request.
Finally, next time you go to grab a beer from the fridge, give a thought to those who do the same at the Eldorado Gold mine, Southern Nevada. Somehow the dip and cheeseburgers seem less appealing!