Printed Matter.

Electricity & The Motor Car. 4/6 Net. This early 1920’s volume has been sitting on my shelves for a while and, whilst doing something completely different, it just crossed my mind that I might have some information on the Smiths electrical system we were struggling with on The Great Collector’s Vulcan.

Smiths Wiring Diagram

Well, it couldn’t get any clearer than that! The actual instrument, switch gear and dynamo is illustrated both as a wiring diagram and a photo to make sure we’re all on the same page – so to speak.

3 speed gear train 1

Not quite so much luck with the 3-speed gearbox reassembly. I photographed the gear train in one of the boxes I was using to make one good one and when I came to put it all back together again, something wasn’t right. The 1st gear selector arm wouldn’t engage in its slot on the first gear wheel and the gearbox lid wouldn’t go down. Hmm. The only way I could get it to seat properly was if I reversed the 1st gear wheel (at the bottom of the picture) so that the recess for the arm was next to the rear bearing. Rather than mess the whole thing up, I sought advice and a very kind gentleman on the Pre-War Minor Network Forum, posted a picture of how it should be.

3 speed gear train

Thank you. Naturally, someone asked why I didn’t take a picture before I took it all apart… I did, but of the one that someone had, unbeknown to me, thrown together incorrectly.

Morris Engine

I did though have an alternative source of information in another book – although a bit flea-bitten – that showed the Morris Eight engine and gearbox and I reckoned that the arrangement of the 1st gear wheel was going to be much the same as in the Minor box.


Books – you can’t do without them. Not far from where Miss Whizzlong and I lived in Muswell Hill was a second-hand book shop where on almost a weekly basis we would buy and haul back home bags of Victorian and Edwardian books with handsomely decorated covers – all for practically nonepence.


Once our make-shift shelves were full, negotiating the resulting ziggurats that formed on the floors of our two rooms could be tricky but it was all very arty and colourful and as a bonus, the books lining the walls served as insulation. Some years later when we’d carted the books what felt like half way round the world, I called a local charity and a chap came along and filled an old Volvo estate with so many books that he could see only the road immediately ahead. I think there’s another four Volvo’s worth in the house but they’re staying put.

Rooms without books, like walls without pictures, are dead spaces in my book – so to speak.




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