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Help IDing a Rolls Royce and Fire Station Number ?


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#1 arttidesco

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 01:06

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Geoffrey Horton kindly sent me these snaps of a RHD Rolls he found in a California car park last week, he thinks it might have been built in 1928 which I guess might make it a UK built Phantom ?

I'm guessing the insignia comes from a fire station number 11 but does anyone recognise which area ?

Any help IDing the car, fire station insignia or registration plate would be much appreciated.

Relevant answers maybe credited and used in a forth coming blog.

Thanking you in anticipation of your answers.

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#2 Lola5000

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 07:51

IMO its an early Silver Ghost,by the look of the photo a 2 wheel brake,if so pre 1918?


#3 arttidesco

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:33

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Thanks Lola5000

Silver Ghost was my first thought but Geoffrey's mention of 1928 left me unsure, here is a slightly closer look at the inside of the front wheels which as you say appears to have no front brakes.

Does any one know if there is any where US/California registration (license) plates can be checked on line or US Fire Station insignia can be seen on line ?

Edited by arttidesco, 06 November 2012 - 20:38.


#4 Jonas

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:47

Any help IDing the car, fire station insignia or registration plate would be much appreciated.

For what it's worth, the license plate looks exactly like the old swedish plates in use until the early 1970's. 'C' would indicate the city of Uppsala with surroundings. No doubt there is a more likely explanation to be found than the car wearing a swedish license plate, though..

#5 arttidesco

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:50

For what it's worth, the license plate looks exactly like the old swedish plates in use until the early 1970's. 'C' would indicate the city of Uppsala with surroundings. No doubt there is a more likely explanation to be found than the car wearing a swedish license plate, though..


Thanks for that interesting observation Jonas :up:

#6 Allan Lupton

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:53

I agree it's a 40/50 Rolls-Royce (known as "Silver Ghost" to some) but late, not early. Front brakes were announced in 1923 and first fitted in 1924.
The dashboard is pretty unoriginal but otherwise I'd say it was a Brewster bodied Springfield car.
Sign-off line applies!

#7 Vitesse2

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 08:54

For what it's worth, the license plate looks exactly like the old swedish plates in use until the early 1970's. 'C' would indicate the city of Uppsala with surroundings. No doubt there is a more likely explanation to be found than the car wearing a swedish license plate, though..

Certainly doesn't look like a California plate of any date: even the earliest ones incorporate the state name.

http://www.worldlice...sa/US_CAXX.html

#8 Lola5000

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 09:03

I agree it's a 40/50 Rolls-Royce (known as "Silver Ghost" to some) but late, not early. Front brakes were announced in 1923 and first fitted in 1924.
The dashboard is pretty unoriginal but otherwise I'd say it was a Brewster bodied Springfield car.
Sign-off line applies!

be a nice project car,to me the body looks old perhaps orginal.Brother inlaw has a 1912 ,might email him the photos.


#9 arttidesco

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 09:51

be a nice project car,to me the body looks old perhaps orginal.Brother inlaw has a 1912 ,might email him the photos.


I 've just sent an e-mail to the local authorities in Uppsala to see if they can help.

So long as the car is legal and can roll in this condition I'd personally leave it well alone, the patina on it is absolutely priceless :love:

#10 arttidesco

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 10:08

I agree it's a 40/50 Rolls-Royce (known as "Silver Ghost" to some) but late, not early. Front brakes were announced in 1923 and first fitted in 1924.
The dashboard is pretty unoriginal but otherwise I'd say it was a Brewster bodied Springfield car.
Sign-off line applies!


Would Springfield cars have been built with Right Hand Drive ?

#11 Allan Lupton

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 11:34

Would Springfield cars have been built with Right Hand Drive ?

Yes.
Had they not been, would I have suggested it?

#12 arttidesco

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 11:47

Yes.
Had they not been, would I have suggested it?


I'm the novice, your the master on this one :lol:

Not sure I understand the logic of building RHD Ghosts in Springfield, unless the costs of production and shipping from the USA were way below those in the UK :confused:

#13 Allan Lupton

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 12:03

Not sure I understand the logic of building RHD Ghosts in Springfield, unless the costs of production and shipping from the USA were way below those in the UK :confused:

Not sure either, but possibly the same logic that saw early French cars built with RHD so that the chauffeur could get out quickly to open the rear door for the passenger who would want to alight on the nearside. Mind you French upmarket owner-driver Grand Touring cars had RHD well into the 1950s.
Don't forget either that many US originating cars were RHD until the mid teens of the 20th century - possibly for the same reason.

#14 arttidesco

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 12:17

Not sure either, but possibly the same logic that saw early French cars built with RHD so that the chauffeur could get out quickly to open the rear door for the passenger who would want to alight on the nearside. Mind you French upmarket owner-driver Grand Touring cars had RHD well into the 1950s.
Don't forget either that many US originating cars were RHD until the mid teens of the 20th century - possibly for the same reason.


I understand French Grand Touring cars being RHD, better handling on the clockwise circuit at Le Mans  ;)

#15 Jonas

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 13:45

No doubt there is a more likely explanation to be found than the car wearing a swedish license plate, though..

Hm, it seems that my initial proposal is not so unlikely after all! Take a look at this:
Wikipedia: Region of Uppland
The symbol on the side of the car is that of the region of Uppland, in which the city of Uppsala is situated.

#16 Vitesse2

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 13:59

Not sure either, but possibly the same logic that saw early French cars built with RHD so that the chauffeur could get out quickly to open the rear door for the passenger who would want to alight on the nearside. Mind you French upmarket owner-driver Grand Touring cars had RHD well into the 1950s.
Don't forget either that many US originating cars were RHD until the mid teens of the 20th century - possibly for the same reason.

Bugatti Royales (in fact all road-going Bugattis), big Delahayes like the 135 and top-of-the range Alfa Romeo limos were RHD too. As well as giving him a quick exit for the reason Allan mentions this also enabled the chauffeur to park tight to the kerb, avoiding puddles, mud etc. As a big limo would likely be low-geared and heavy, probably with very soft suspension, visibility for passing would be a secondary consideration until the advent of motorways. A limousine would more likely be at the front of any queue unless it got stuck behind a lorry!

Also very useful for twisty Alpine roads - European truck manufacturers built RHD versions specifically for that reason.

#17 kayemod

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 14:51

Bugatti Royales (in fact all road-going Bugattis), big Delahayes like the 135 and top-of-the range Alfa Romeo limos were RHD too.


Things were rather confused in Italy, and the practice of driving on the right didn't start to become standard throughout the country until about 1920. There was a period when traffic in the countryside drove on the right while major cities drove on the left, Rome and Milan only began to drive on the right in the mid-20s. All cars had remained right-hand drive until this time. I'm fairly sure that Alfa and Lancia did not even start producing LHD cars until the early 1950s. Driving in that country can be pretty fraught today, it must have been much worse back then. I found all this in a reprint of a pre WW2 Italian tourist guide, can anyone confirm any of it?


#18 Sebastian Tombs

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 14:55

It's a 40/50 (NOT 'Silver Ghost :rolleyes: ) just post WW1 around 1920. The dash is not particularly 'unoriginal', just a bit careworn.

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Edit to say 'That's a 1920 40/50 hp Coupe de Ville by Mulbacher, btw'

ST :wave:

Edited by Sebastian Tombs, 06 November 2012 - 14:58.


#19 D-Type

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 15:09

It's a 40/50 (NOT 'Silver Ghost :rolleyes: ) just post WW1 around 1920.
~
Edit to say 'That's a 1920 40/50 hp Coupe de Ville by Mulbacher, btw'

ST :wave:

As that bald statement is the answer to the basic question the original poster is asking, can you please give us all an idea of what the giveaway clues are?

And have you any idea how a car from Upsalla [Fire Brigade?] ends up in a Californian car park.

I am not doubting what you say at all, I just feel there is more you can tell us.

Edited by D-Type, 06 November 2012 - 15:12.


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#20 Allan Lupton

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 15:17

I was pretty certainly wrong in suggesting a Springfield car as it has been pointed out to me that the wheels are on RAF hubs which only a very few early Springfield cars had.
What with that and the Uppsala connection it must be a Derby-built 40/50 that has found its way to California in more recent times - so not Springfield body either.
That makes the discussion on RHD a total OT digression!

ETA the photo in ST's post is the Coupe de Ville by Mulbacher - all he has done otherwise is agree that it's a late 40/50 and show that my comment anent the dashboard was a little harsh.

Edited by Allan Lupton, 06 November 2012 - 15:20.


#21 Sebastian Tombs

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 15:20

As that bald statement is the answer to the basic question the original poster is asking, can you please give us all an idea of what the giveaway clues are?

And have you any idea how a car from Upsalla [Fire Brigade?] ends up in a Californian car park.

I am not doubting what you say at all, I just feel there is more you can tell us.


No, No! I was merely saying that the car is obviously a rear-wheel brake 40/50 around 1920 (2WB, early steering wheel and controls etc) and the pic was only to illustrate this point by showing a similar car! I'm as intrigued as all are to solve the Upsalla/CA mystery :)

ST :wave:


#22 Tim Murray

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 15:29

Things were rather confused in Italy, and the practice of driving on the right didn't start to become standard throughout the country until about 1920. There was a period when traffic in the countryside drove on the right while major cities drove on the left, Rome and Milan only began to drive on the right in the mid-20s. All cars had remained right-hand drive until this time. I'm fairly sure that Alfa and Lancia did not even start producing LHD cars until the early 1950s. Driving in that country can be pretty fraught today, it must have been much worse back then. I found all this in a reprint of a pre WW2 Italian tourist guide, can anyone confirm any of it?

Google throws up this page, which seems to be fairly well researched:

http://users.telenet.....0the left.htm

It confirms that Rome and Milan didn't change to driving on the right until the mid-twenties:

By the mid-1920s, right-hand driving became finally standard throughout the country. Rome made the change on the 1 of March 1925 and Milan on the 3rd of August 1926


It also confirms that all Lancias were RHD until the 1960s.

#23 Allan Lupton

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 17:37

My friend that knows about Rolls Royce has sent the following:
Now confirmed, 1921 British chassis no. 19LE Hooper tourer. It's owned in Sweden by a Mr Tragardh.

He suggests that if it is/was in the US it would be on tour with the Silver Ghost Association as they go everywhere - I can vouch for that having shared a cross-channel ferry with a large number of them some decades ago.

#24 arttidesco

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 18:04

My friend that knows about Rolls Royce has sent the following:
Now confirmed, 1921 British chassis no. 19LE Hooper tourer. It's owned in Sweden by a Mr Tragardh.

He suggests that if it is/was in the US it would be on tour with the Silver Ghost Association as they go everywhere - I can vouch for that having shared a cross-channel ferry with a large number of them some decades ago.


Excellent news Allan :up: One riddle down now all I have to do is find out about it's adventures with the Uppsalla Fire Brigade :up:

Thanks to everyone else who has chipped in this afternoon, my paragraph of thanks will be longer than the rest of the blog at this rate :clap:

One thing I never understood in Italy is the RHD trucks that were running well into the 1980's when I hitched hicked through even on mountain passes I would have thought having an RHD truck is only an advantage if one has a passenger other wise what you gain must be the same as what you loose ?

#25 Vitesse2

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 18:11

One thing I never understood in Italy is the RHD trucks that were running well into the 1980's when I hitched hicked through even on mountain passes I would have thought having an RHD truck is only an advantage if one has a passenger other wise what you gain must be the same as what you loose ?

RHD means you can get very tight to a rockface if necessary. You can also see exactly how close the wheels are to the edge of a precipice! :eek:

#26 Allan Lupton

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 18:19

RHD means you can get very tight to a rockface if necessary. You can also see exactly how close the wheels are to the edge of a precipice! :eek:

Quite so and in fact, until you need to overtake, wrong-hand drive is quite useful in all sorts of cases! I write as one who has driven his RHD cars over many miles of all sorts of conditions in continental Europe and ex-French North Africa.

#27 D-Type

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 18:22

The same principle applies in reverse to the rarely seen [around here anyway!] street-sweeping vehicles where the LHD allows thedriver to see exactly where the kerb is so he can sweep the leaves etc out of the gutter.

#28 kayemod

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 18:37

Quite so and in fact, until you need to overtake, wrong-hand drive is quite useful in all sorts of cases!


Not always. In recent years I've driven more miles in mainland Europe than in the UK, all in RHD cars, and while overtaking can sometimes be problematical, just as often I'm able to pass when I wouldn't have had as clear a view if I hadn't been sitting on the 'wrong' side. An Austrian friend was once impressed by my parallel parking skills. Enjoying the adulation, I didn't bother to point out how much easier it was when you're sitting on the right and parking on the right side of the road.


#29 arttidesco

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 20:17

I now see the advantages of RHD on when driving in Europe, when two vehicles meet each other on a goat track up in the mountains :up:

#30 David Birchall

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 21:20

I have plastered the l/h side of my (RHD) DB2 with mirrors in an effort to see if somebody is coming before making lane changes. Since I seldom drive along the edge of precipices I would actually prefer LHD! Older cars with small rear windows can be difficult when one is on the "wrong" side :eek:

#31 arttidesco

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 21:25

I have plastered the l/h side of my (RHD) DB2 with mirrors in an effort to see if somebody is coming before making lane changes. Since I seldom drive along the edge of precipices I would actually prefer LHD! Older cars with small rear windows can be difficult when one is on the "wrong" side :eek:


Maybe it's time to try a periscope mirror a la 917 ? ;)

#32 Sebastian Tombs

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 21:30

What happened to the identification of the 40/50? Doesn't your correspondent have any more info about the pics arttidesco?

ST :wave:

#33 arttidesco

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 21:44

What happened to the identification of the 40/50? Doesn't your correspondent have any more info about the pics arttidesco?

ST :wave:


Sebastian the only info Geoffrey had was the erroneous belief the unattended vehicle he took photo's of was built in 1928. He left the rest to me, I suspect Geoffrey is too busy tending the needs of his beloved XK 140 to have time to participate in forums or chasing leads with the Uppsala local authorities and Silver Ghost Association as I have been enjoying today :-)

To summarise today's progress we are talking about an Uppsala Sweden registered 1921 Hooper bodied 40/50 tourer chassis number 19LE belonging to a Mr Tragardh who may be on tour with the SGA in California. Not bad going for what I believe is a Motor Racing enthusiasts thread.

If there are any more details forthcoming from Mr Tragardh or Uppsala Authorities I shall keep you posted, thanks to everyone who has contributed you will all be named on the blog as and when.

Any one familiar with Swedish geography know if there are any motor racing circuits near Uppsala ?

#34 Michael Ferner

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 22:19

Am I the only one thinking of the eighties Formula 3 driver, Bengt Trägårdh?

#35 LittleChris

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 22:32

Any one familiar with Swedish geography know if there are any motor racing circuits near Uppsala ?


Nearest I believe, at least according to Google Earth, is Viking Motor Park,around 20 miles away. A bit further afield ( approx 60 miles ) is the old road circuit at Hedemora

Edited by LittleChris, 06 November 2012 - 22:35.


#36 275 GTB-4

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 22:47

Nearest I believe, at least according to Google Earth, is Viking Motor Park,around 20 miles away. A bit further afield ( approx 60 miles ) is the old road circuit at Hedemora


Great engines!!

http://www.drivetrai...-diesel-engines

[at least this is keeping the thread alive...I tried LAFD etc and there are a number of Station 11s...so no help really]

Edited by 275 GTB-4, 06 November 2012 - 22:47.


#37 arttidesco

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 22:51

Great engines!!

http://www.drivetrai...-diesel-engines

[at least this is keeping the thread alive...I tried LAFD etc and there are a number of Station 11s...so no help really]


Thanks Chris :up:

275GTB we have moved on from looking for Fire Station 11 in the LA or California area to somewhere in Uppsala Sweden ;)

#38 arttidesco

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 22:52

Am I the only one thinking of the eighties Formula 3 driver, Bengt Trägårdh?


Should Mr Tragardh decide to get in touch I'll be sure to ask Michael :cool:

#39 275 GTB-4

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 23:24

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Geoffrey Horton kindly sent me these snaps of a RHD Rolls he found in a California car park last week, he thinks it might have been built in 1928 which I guess might make it a UK built Phantom ?

I'm guessing the insignia comes from a fire station number 11 but does anyone recognise which area ?

Any help IDing the car, fire station insignia or registration plate would be much appreciated.

Relevant answers maybe credited and used in a forth coming blog.

Thanking you in anticipation of your answers.


Try Sonora, Sonora Knolls :)

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#40 arttidesco

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 23:29

Try Sonora, Sonora Knolls :)


Thanks 275GTB, the license plates turned out to be Swedish and we have refined the search for Fire Station 11 to Uppsala County Sweden which has a similar coat of arms, see posts 15 and 37 above :up:

#41 Sebastian Tombs

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 23:39

Sebastian the only info Geoffrey had was the erroneous belief the unattended vehicle he took photo's of was built in 1928......
...To summarise today's progress we are talking about an Uppsala Sweden registered 1921 Hooper bodied 40/50 tourer chassis number 19LE belonging to a Mr Tragardh who may be on tour with the SGA in California. Not bad going for what I believe is a Motor Racing enthusiasts thread.
If there are any more details forthcoming from Mr Tragardh or Uppsala Authorities I shall keep you posted, thanks to everyone who has contributed you will all be named on the blog as and when.


That's phenomenal progress Ralph, great work :up: I'll stay tuned!

ST :wave:


#42 275 GTB-4

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 00:09

Thanks 275GTB, the license plates turned out to be Swedish and we have refined the search for Fire Station 11 to Uppsala County Sweden which has a similar coat of arms, see posts 15 and 37 above :up:


Tack! There may also be Swedes growing in Sonoma near SFO :wave:

#43 arttidesco

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 00:31

Tack! There may also be Swedes growing in Sonoma near SFO :wave:


I am sure there are  ;)

If I draw a blank with Uppsala Sweden, I'll try Upsala MN and Sonoma CA :cool:

#44 David McKinney

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 05:13

Am I the only one thinking of the eighties Formula 3 driver, Bengt Trägårdh?

No, I did too, but couldn't remember his first name so kept my mouth shut...

#45 Lola5000

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:01

No, I did too, but couldn't remember his first name so kept my mouth shut...

David,any books in the pipe- line?

#46 Catalina Park

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:17

Apart from it being red and carrying a fire extinguisher on a dodgy looking bracket what else makes it look like it belongs to a fire station?


#47 arttidesco

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 08:45

Apart from it being red and carrying a fire extinguisher on a dodgy looking bracket what else makes it look like it belongs to a fire station?


The insignia with the #11 was the first clue, on the other side there is a siren which is also a bit of a clue :cat:

Edited by arttidesco, 07 November 2012 - 08:45.


#48 Allan Lupton

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 09:54

The insignia with the #11 was the first clue, on the other side there is a siren which is also a bit of a clue :cat:

A Swedish region emblem with a number might mean anything and a small fire extinguisher is carried in/on most older cars these days.
We have not been shown the righthand side of the car here so I share the puzzlement that there is supposed to be a fire service involvement.

#49 arttidesco

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 10:59

Apologies for the delay in getting these posted

Posted Image

Mention has been made of the wheel hub and dating the car,

Posted Image

And here is the siren that suggests fire department use if the insignia was not enough.

No further news from Mr Tragardh or Uppsala Municiple offices yet.

#50 David McKinney

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 13:23

David,any books in the pipe- line?

Maybe...

It's not always a good idea to discuss commercial ideas in public - I'll PM you

Thanks for asking (even if it is slightly OT)