I Hadn’t Noticed…

… that The Great Collector had slipped another gem into his stable – I think I must have sneezed or blinked – but when I popped by the other week, there stood a 1914 Humber.

1914 Humber

Standing behind the Humber is a 1914 Darracq and the difference in quality is immediately apparent. The Darracq, built in Paris, is certainly a car of quality but the Humber takes it to the next level.

1914 Humber engine

I noticed also that the radiator for the Vulcan has emerged from hiding – the Vulcan currently sports a Straker-Squire component, put on to get the car running. The Vulcan radiator is a handsome piece of equipment – very Bentley in style and size. The plan is to rebuild the front of the car to accommodate it – the Straker-Squire is much lower and doesn’t help the body line. The original bonnet sides are in store so there’s plenty to get started with.

Vulcan radiator

I, meanwhile, remembered that two years ago I’d promised Very Learned Council a sign for his workshop. It was about time I delivered.


I mention this not because of the sign but because I remembered also (I’m doing a lot of remembering since I started eating more fresh fruit and vegetables) that 25 years ago a very clever and distinguished gentleman, the late John Derbyshire, gave me an invention of his to help me draw accurate ellipses. I was sandblasting wood and glass signs at the time (one of my fortune-making ideas that I have on occasion) so JD’s drawing aid was a real bonus when it came to elliptical boards and glass panels.

Elipse machine

It’s a simple idea and can be adjusted to draw in two segments, any size ellipse. I think JD took it round to the major stationery companies but computers and CAD were beginning to make their mark and nobody was interested. But, if you’ve got a sign board in front of you and you want to cut an ellipse, drawing the cut-line couldn’t be simpler.


At the last monthly meet, I was able to get a snap of The Great Collector’s Crossley – it had always been tucked in a garage and difficult to photograph. Another quality car that goes extremely well…

Crossley engine

.. with a 3.7 litre engine and reputed 60-65mph when new. The big surprise is that there are no brakes on the front wheels. The foot brake works on the transmission and the handbrake acts on the rear wheels. Careful application of the two systems is needed if you find yourself in a muddle.

Project X

The frequency of my posting has reduced in the last couple of months because I’m working on a couple of projects (holding up progress on the Riley racing car) Project X (above) and Project Y. The latter is commercially sensitive so all a bit hush-hush at the moment though I’ll be able to write about it when it’s done. Project X is less sensitive but I don’t want to give too much away just now – my fortune-making ideas don’t come as fast as they used to.

I hadn’t noticed, but there’s something of Sydney Nolan’s ‘Ned Kelly’ paintings about the scene; black and white squares, bits of thick plate….





2 comments on “I Hadn’t Noticed…

  1. RAJ Wilson says:

    Is Project X related to Miss X?

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