Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Yet More Veteran Cars at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu

Here’s the last of the pre-1915 vehicles I saw at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu. For more information on any of their vehicles, check out the vehicle list on the National Motor Museum Trustwebsite.

1903 Napier at National Motor Museum
by Kate Tompkins
1903 Napier: The “Gordon Bennett” Napier, according to the plaque in the museum, is the “oldest surviving complete British racing car.” It was driven in the 1903 and 1904 Gordon Bennett Cup as part of the British team, but failed to finish, crashing both times. It’s the oldest car to sport British racing green—the colour chosen because that’s the colour Napiers were painted.

1905 Matchless motorcycle at National Motor Museum
by Kate Tompkins
1905 Matchless motorcycle: An early British-manufactured motorcycle produced by H.A. Collier and Sons, a company known for its bicycles. The vehicle list notes that the sons in question were interested in racing, so it’s perhaps not surprising this motorbike could do 30 mph.

1910 Bugatti Type 15 at National Motor Museum
by Kate Tompkins

1910 Bugatti Type 15: I love Bugattis. This particular one is said to be the oldest in Britain, and the second oldest surviving anywhere. It started life as a saloon, but was changed to a two-seater some time after 1920. It belonged to Madame Bugatti and may have seen service in World War I, before being imported to Britain. It’s been used in races and hill climbs.

1913 Fiat Tipo Zero at National Motor Museum
by Kate Tompkins
1913 Fiat Tipo Zero: The first mass-produced Fiat, body by Farina, with more than 2,000 produced between 1912 and 1915. Kids were popped into the rumble seat. According to the vehicle list, a garage used this one as a tow vehicle well into the 1940s.

1914 Vauxhall Prince Henry at National Motor Museum
by Kate Tompkins

1914 Vauxhall Prince Henry: The plaque calls this one of the first true sports cars, and says it would do 75 mph, quite fast for the time. This particular model has only had one owner and has very few miles on it.

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