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#51 Ivan Saxton

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 12:17

Contemporary passenger road test of S76 FIAT

http://www.members.d.../ies/FIAT01.jpg

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#52 Ray Bell

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Posted 15 November 2007 - 12:31

Originally posted by john medley
Ivan Saxton
What an astonishing post. What astonishing first hand detail. What a bolt from the blue -- and after all this time. What a remarkable thing this Nostalgia Forum continues to be

As the person who started this thread, using the skimpy information then available to me, I was certainly interested in finding out more info and in the verification(or otherwise) of some of the claims made.I note that some of the claims have not yet been addressed, but your post certainly tidies up much of the puzzle

Can I thank you most sincerely for your fascinating post, welcome you to this Forum, and encourage you to keep contributing


Absolutely...

I'm glad that Ivan has used his own name, too, that he hasn't resorted to a nom de keyboard that might cheapen his evidence. And that evidence is clear and well stated. Thanks, Ivan.

#53 robert dick

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 09:08

Hispano drawings :
The French magazine "La Vie Automobile" published a description of the engine on 11 October 1913 (no. 628, page 647 - "Les nouveaux modèles Hispano Suiza").
As usual when Hispanos were concerned, it was written by Charles Faroux, the chief editor of La Vie Automobile - long article, many words, poetic style, little content, except the drawings.
The engines (15 HP = 80x130 mm, 18 HP = 90x150 mm, 30 HP = 100x180 mm) were mounted (in combination with a leather cone clutch and 4-speed gearbox) in chassis with wheelbases of 266, 300 and 325 cm, and were offered and sold between the autumn of 1913 and the summer of 1914. The exact number is unknown and in any case very small - between fifteen and twenty 15 HPs and around ten of both larger types.
Hispano continued to offer the Alfonso/Alphonso (80x180 mm, T-head) in 1914, with a leather cone replacing the multi-plate clutch.
By the end of 1914 the OHC-head with inclined valves was replaced by the "commande directe" head, with the valves placed in-line directly below the camshaft.

Hispano/ACF/Coupe de L'Auto 1912 :
Hispano entered four cars (late entry/double fees) - #5 for Pilleverdier, #35 for Derny, #53 for Ibert, #58 driver open.
The bore/stroke dimensions were quoted as 85x132 mm in La Vie Automobile, and 85,5x130 mm in The Motor. Wheelbase 266 cm, track 137 cm, tires 875x105.
According to Louis Massuger (Marc Birkigt's right-hand man), Hispano tested three types of engines (the Coupe de L'Auto cars were restricted to 3 liters) :
- 69x200 mm, T-head, crankshaft in three ball bearings, similar to the 1910 Coupe de L'Auto winner;
- 85,5x130 mm, T-head, crankshaft in three plain/white metal bearings, + piston type supercharger;
- 85x130 mm (not 85x132), OHC-head (similar to the 1913/14 production engine), crankshaft in four ball bearings, + piston type supercharger.
The supercharged OHC engine gave the best results (around 100 hp) but was unreliable (deformed cylinder head), and Hispano cancelled the entries.
In the summer of 1913, the cylinder block of one of these Coupe de L'Auto cars was replaced by a rebored 1913/14 production block (80x130 rebored to 85x130 mm), while the crankcase with its four ball bearings was retained.

#54 terry mcgrath

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Posted 16 November 2007 - 23:12

whilst being an SS and Jaguar enthusiat and history researcher having now written 2 books on the history of the marque, www.paulskilleter.com I have a great interest in Australian motoring and motor racing history and am obviously greatly interested in this thread.
I was interested to see Duncan Pittaway quoting some indepth background history but fails to provide the name of the actual person he got the chassis from ie the Fiat enthusiat the most current piece in the puzzle and maybe the Duncan Pittaway could post this information.
I also love the Simon Moore of Alfa fame expression he uses in the 2300 book for missing and lost cars about wanting to see "the before" photos!
But this will be a good mystery car to accurately put together its Australian history along with some of our other great cars ie 1908 Semmerling mercedes etc etc etc
terry mcgrath
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The bent, rusty and by now very incomplete remains stayed with Stuart Middlehurst until the early 1980's when it was acquired by a Fiat enthusiast sure of it's S76 identity and determined to undertake the mammoth task finding the missing bits to restore the car. After 15 years the enthusiasm had waned as the realisation of the size of the task had dawned and after a great deal of research but very little work had been done, I acquired what was still just a rusty bent rolling chassis.....albeit without wheels and hubs!
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#55 john medley

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Posted 17 November 2007 - 03:58

.......as well as the precise details and evidence of its Australian race and accident history

Terry, you and I have been looking at Australian motor sporting history for a long time now. I have no problem with the truck chassis story(if that is what it is) -- as long as it is made clear that this is what it is. What I have trouble with is at this stage is the race and accident history. I am not suggesting that my records are absolutely complete, but I think that they are reasonably close to complete. In those records I can find NOTHING that comes even close to the reported story of race record etc. Can you? What of the photographic record: you have a better chance than most of us in finding SOMETHING/ANYTHING. Can you? And what about the alleged road accident at Armadale(which Armadale I hear you cry)?

Among other things it just bothers me that it may appear that liberties may be being taken with Australian motor racing history -- and at least here on this forum we have some sort of obligation to get at the truth

Dont get me wrong: I would LOVE to see and hear The Beast of Turin in action, and I believe we should all admire Duncan Pittaway and his efforts to resuscitate The Beast in close to original form. At the same time I would like to see the evidence which he says supports his claims, and I would like to see accurate statements made about Australian motor sporting history

Postscript for Terry only: do you still have that info re the Sauers brothers' Alvis you were going to ring me about?

#56 Ivan Saxton

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Posted 17 November 2007 - 12:04

Reading the quotation in Terry McGrath's post, I know exactly the hardware in question. What Stuart brought home was a fairly sad chassis frame, a roughly horesshoe shaped firewall outline, and the cylinder block. I was not party to the conversations, but Stuart was given the location of remains of an early Peugeot on a property in the rough country somewhere in a line between Armadale and the coast. I am fairly sure that it was Lyndon Hardman from Armadale who told him. As I recall whoever it was had been there; but a), there wasn't enough there, and b) it was not going to be easy to get out. Stuart's interest was that he drove a diesel Peugeot 504, and we jointly oned a fair bit of 1923 6 cyl, 6 litre cuff valve Peugeot, which I now have enough to work from. According to the people it came fromit was definitely Peugeot, and everything including the odd single cylinder of the engine seemed to confrom with Lion Peugeot. Stuart sold it a good many years ago to someone from Castlemaine who he was persuaded had special interest and ability to somehow resurrect the car as it was originally built. I met the couple at the time and I recall the gist of some remarks they made about a friend I know in the same district. I do not know their name, but I am sure Rick Furlong will know exactly who it is.
Now, I know better than most people from long experience, that if you can get a chassis frame it is usually possible to eventually gather enough to rebuild a car. But this only applies to cars of which a reasonable number were made. If you can make a car useable with the wrong components, you stand a good chance of finding someone who has or knows what you need. (I was given a Mercer sales brochure by the man who sold me the Roamer Duesenberg, And by looking for anything Mercer I have gathered enough to rebuild four cars.)
That chassis as "a rolling chassis without hubs or wheels" I cannot visualise from what Stuart had here.
Now at that time we had here the 9 litre side valve Tipo 5 FIAT engine, and we never dreamed of shoehorning that into that light chassis. The occupants would have no difficulty with forward vision over that horseshoe firewall. I have digital photo of an S76 with driver and mechanic seated over the rear axle; and also under-bonnet shots of both sides of the engine which filled all the space. It must have been close to 5 ft high from top to bottom. All the really big expensive cars like Lee Falkiner's 90hp Napier went out to the wool-wealthy flat country like the Riverina. Nobody could be mad enough to own an S76 in billy goat country. It would not have enough gears. (Read the Road Impressions for which my son posted you the directions.) I hope I am not being unjustifyably skeptical. When people create provenance they tend to (be or) create pajeros. (detemine the Spanish meaning).
Ivan Saxton

#57 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 November 2007 - 12:30

Originally posted by Ivan Saxton
.....Stuart was given the location of remains of an early Peugeot on a property in the rough country somewhere in a line between Armadale and the coast. I am fairly sure that it was Lyndon Hardman from Armadale who told him.....


Aha! There's an anomoly here...

Ivan, Lyndon Hardman, to whom I was speaking just two days ago, lives in Armidale NSW. This puts a different complexion on things, doesn't it? A NSW 'race to the coast' story emerging, not that it alters the amount of bovine excrement that appears to be extant.

I'm happy to phone Lyndon again and probe him further on this matter if anyone wants.

#58 Patrick Fletcher

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Posted 17 November 2007 - 13:18

What a superb sense of timing Ivan - pajeros = [w.... ] so is that why they called them a different name in the US.
Now back to Armidale

#59 Ivan Saxton

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Posted 17 November 2007 - 22:31

You will find S76 pictures of car and both sides of engine in the Antique Car Club of America discussion forum. You should get it with http://forums.acca.org Open "General Discussion" section, and at this date the thread titled "S76 300hp" is on page 19. Post numbers 416468, -69,-70 have links to the images. Quality is not great, but you can see what the gentleman should have.
Ivan Saxton

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#60 robert dick

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 17:27

- In "The Australian Motorist", T. Alberione wrote: "... Transmission is by chains, and, as you may imagine, for such a power there are not many gear-speed changes; there are only two, and reverse. ...";

- Tito Anselmi quotes four speeds in his "Automobili Fiat" book;

- in Fiat's "Rivista Illustrata Mensile"/no. 9/1914, Arthur Duray wrote: "... To engage first, second or third gear is relatively easy, but when it comes to engage fourth whilst travelling at 190 km/h, that is a different story. ..."

Two gearboxes - or two cars???

#61 Ray Bell

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 18:26

An interesting find, Robert...

Does it say anything about the car being in Australia?

#62 robert dick

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 10:21

Originally posted by Ray Bell
Does it say anything about the car being in Australia?

Based on the photos, I would say that Fiat assembled only one monster.
It was rectified and polished, and, some day, it received a modified gearbox.

I'm still waiting for a (contemporary) photo showing two monsters side by side. :cool:

#63 Ivan Saxton

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 13:28

I have spoken to several relevant people on the phone to double-check on my memory. It is good, much better than my typing which leaves a few spelling errors when I have been writing too long to correct thoroughly.
Barry Vinen was one of Stuart Middlehurst's friends for a very long time; but also was employed by him at the Laundry, so he saw the Lion Peugeot when it came. It was indeed as I said, except there is a possibility that Stuart may have got a couple of early RW wheels with it, the same centres as Alfonso Hispano. Tyere were no axles. Stuart gathered quite a lot of these wheels over the years, and I know where many came from. Arthur Lang and I picked up the chassis frame and axles of a 1911 Lancia from the Wilby football ground with only three wheels and hubs left on it. When that Lancia became mine I had to aquire my own wheel centres for it. Anyway, what axles are with the Peugeot chassis Lord alone knows: But it is reasonable to use what will fit unless you try to convince peole they are correct if they are not.
OK, if you look at the wheels on S76, and then at the size used on Alfonso, Lancia, and T-head Austins, it is obvious that the statement that S76 had same as the others, involves what my theoetical astrophysicist son would descrbe as "a gross anomoly of scale". (Arising from one of his obsessioal interests as a child, Curtis was contracted to author books on spacecraft in the final two in a series of films in a series that was very popular. Of course, when he identified anomolies of scale during production, they were able to correct them in the films because it only required computer graphics adjustment; but unfortunately you cannot do that with Rudge Whitworth wheel sizes.)
Those early RW wheels have two spline types. The Alfonso ones are the same size with the same fine splines as the vintage 62mm. The later 62's would fit if you could hold them on. There was also a similar type fine spline 80mm, which Wolsely sometimes used. The other type had six flat key-like splines. Napier used these consistently, but the very earliest as on Arthur Lang's 1907 6 cyl 40hp T20 were held on with brass nuts. They were quite different, and it is a very long time since I looked at them, but I fancy there was some ratchet lock to stop them falling off. Hub size and key size were constant. Very few really big cars had a larger version , which I believe were those on the S76. I bought the front axle from a huge 6 cyl sleeve valve Daimler from Hughes wrecking yard in Coburg. This must have been a wondrous place in earlier times. They even used the 6 1/2 litre Bentley that Jack Nelson later owned, for ages, as a tow truck. Now I was always welcome there, and allowed to wander round at look for vintage stuff; but a few people tried to pilfer stuff, and from then, most had a very brief journey in and out the front door. But they knew me from going with my father to war surplus auction sales. They had dealings, and there was a lot of mutual liking and respect. Harold told me the story of the Daimler, because he knew both the fellow who asked his friend to buy for him a good secondhand Rolls or Daimler for him while he was in England, and the friend who bought it for him. Well when the ship came in, as was the custom, the car was taxed separately on the chassis, (not much), the tyres (fair enough), and the body for protection of the local body-building industry. Now as we all know, beauty resides in the beholder, and this car was not exactly what he hoped his friend would find for him. The duty was as high as that body, which could be winched up to expose the chassis for service; so he pulled the pins and dropped the body of one of His Majesty's Daimlers from the edge of the warf into the Yarra, and took the rest home in disgust. Harold said that he later learned that all the body hardware was sterling silver. Eventually he had second thoughts and had a local body made for it.
Anyway, just look at the wheels of S76 in that picture. Those rims are probably 28-30" beaded edge (whatever the size in emus (Ethnic Measurement Units). The loading on their structural integrity must have been extreme at best, so an S76 would really not be an ideal vehicle for a crosscountry race with lots of hills and corners.
Move to the matter of a 90hp Stutz engine in 1924, and what it might have been if it was. Now the engine that would best fit that description would be a 4 cyl detacheable head T-head with 4 valves per cylinder. The detacheable head came out in 1921. They really performed quite well, but sometimes suffered destruction of the transaxle when two gears engaged simultaneously, typically splitting the housing, shearing all the woodruf keys in the gears of the layshaft, and possibly lifting a tooth off the pinion. So more engines have survived than cars. I brought my first Stutz 4 engine home from Moruya on NSW south coast in a light duty EK Holden ute in 1973, about the same time I got about enough to rebuild a tipo 8 Isotta. Very different engine designs,but same year, same displacement, and same power output. Which might be the best engine? I didn't know I had a load in the ute. Everything about the Stutz was short and rigid, and they were not prone to torsional vibration. And you could really make them run on a high compression ratio for high efficiency if you wanted. Just take a look at the engine cross-section of the Isotta Fraschini 1907 Tipo 1 Corsa in Anselmi's book. The piston crowns just about touch the combustion chamber roof. Minoia won the Coppa Florio in one covering 302 miles on 19.8 gallons of petrol!!!!! It is not widely recognised that what Cattaneo did was establish "prior art" of Sir Harry Rickardo's much later "turbulence" combustion chamber for L-heads, though double sided with a T head. Finley Robertson Porter did the same thing exactly with the T head Mercer Raceabouts. Ralph Buckley told me that the compression ratio was about 6 to 1 on the raceabouts, but typically low for a T-head for other types. Morris Burrows insisted I go to meet Ralph when I was over there in 1980. The T-head was in a friend's factory next door, and Ralph said he hadn't run it for 3 or 4 years, and it really needed restoring again. When it started, it was on about one and a half cylinders. "Sticking exhaust valves,we'll have to take them out and fix them". So Ralph gathered the tools required, and we had just started when he was called to the phone. I asked if I should wait till he returned. He said "No; you know what you are doing". I was wiping and tidying the tools when he returned. "Have you finished already?" I said "Yes; you said just to keep pottering along". Mercer started well the second time. Ralph drove it outside, then hung a set of plates from a registered car on it. After a couple of miles he pulled up, and directed me to get in the driving seat. I said "Ralph, when I was at boarding school one of the students had Ken Purdy's "Kings of the Road" and I read it. I never expected to ride in one of these. That is quite sufficient, and I prefer that you should drive". I lost that argument. Ralph gave instructions. "Dont use the footbrake on the driveshaft. If you have to stop, use the handbrake." Never lug the engine, or you can break off the cylinder hold-down flanges. If you slow down, change down. Dont double declutch. You don't need to. Nobody knows why it works: It just does."
Those Hispano Suiza engine drawings are very different to the cars Stuart had. They show four main bearings, inclined valves and rockers, and non-detacheable head. I double checked with Tom Henderson who rebuilt the engine for him. The camshaft was hollow with anti lash dampers, and it operated vertical valves directly. There was detacheable head and three main bearings.
Alan Morgan said he never knew Bob Chamberlain to have anything of an S76. He transferred to chamberlains as an aprentice in about 1940, and remained on Bob's payroll until they finished restoring the cars. One thing he once told me they had to do was very clever. During the war they had to make honeycomb radiators for aircraft. They mde a split die to cast the inside form of the cartridge tubes of Woods metal. They electroplated copper onto these to the required thickness, then melted out the Woods metal in hot water. We can make our own honeycomb radiators at home like that if we wish.
I apologise for any late night spelling errors. Ivan Saxton

#64 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 18:46

Keep it coming, Ivan...

You've got to lose your 'New Member' status some time soon! As I'm sure John Medley will say, this is 'Astonishing stuff!'

#65 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 20:50

I understand you're trying to contact me, Ivan...

The PMs have been reduced so more can come, but they still don't make it through. Please use either the e.mail button on the top of this post, or e.mail me at: r@ybell.net

#66 Ivan Saxton

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 16:55

The only fresh information, but not from Neville Roberts himself yet, is that the Lion Peugeot went to France. I spoke last night to Graeme Quinn, who lives near Neville and owns a couple of Stuart's Hispanos. If the alledged FIAT chassis was indeed owned by Stuart, the Lion Peugeot is the only one it could be. Stuart always took many photos, and his son John will have all of them now; though they may not be easy to seach for what you are looking for. I'll also check Des Dillon for what he knows. He only lives about 15 minutes from here. If Stuart did own the chassis, then someone is concealing French letters. I shudder to think of a 28litre engine in that light chassis from a single cylinder car, unless it is part of an attempt to compete for a Darwin Award. I shall keep you posted as I learn more from people with the information.
Regards, Ivan Saxton.

#67 john medley

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 20:30

I will be talking to Keith Roberts(son of Neville Roberts) this weekend, and will raise this business with him(and, indirectly, with his father)

Ivan, tell us more about the Lion Peugeot.

And can you clarify for me please: are you suggesting that the Lion Peugeot remains were found 'between Armadale and the coast" and that this then attaches the story of this chassis to the story of the alleged S76 chassis?

As Ray Bell has said, your contributions to this thread continue to astonish. Thank you so much for those contributions.

Mention of Graeme Quinn reminds me: I was at Phillip Island a few years ago, to be confronted by Ted Hider Smith who in his inimitable manner started straight in to tell me this story:one alcoholic evening Ted accused Graeme Q that he, Ted, was aware that Graeme had slept with a woman using the persuasive argument that he, Graeme , was Ted Hider Smith. At first Graeme denied all knowledge of this infamy, but then, under Ted's verbal onslaught, said that he had no knowledge or memory of such an event but if it could possibly have happened without his knowledge or memeory then he absolutely and unreservedly apologise to Ted. Ted told me his reply to Graeme was: " Nah, it's OK Graeme. She died last week and left me half a million dollars"

#68 john medley

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 21:31

I have just spoken to Keith Roberts and am about to ring his father Neville. Keith tells me
- he has photos at home somewhere of the alleged Fiat S76 chassis "cant remember what model number it was, but it was painted red and was in a big container"
-he went to Stuart Middlehurst's clearance sale, bought all sorts of bits and pieces, but noted that the alleged Fiat S76 was no longer there. No-one then seemed to know where it had gone
-his father Neville did own a Lion Peugeot "nearly a complete car",but sold it to France.Keith is adamant that the alleged Fiat S 76 chassis and the Lion Peugeot are two separate entities
- his father was asked several times by Stuart Middlehurst to do work on various of SM's cars
-" someone in now in Tasmania knows a lot about all this..."

#69 john medley

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 21:32

I have just spoken to Keith Roberts and am about to ring his father Neville. Keith tells me
- he has photos at home somewhere of the alleged Fiat S76 chassis "cant remember what model number it was, but it was painted red and was in a big container"
-he went to Stuart Middlehurst's clearance sale, bought all sorts of bits and pieces, but noted that the alleged Fiat S76 was no longer there. No-one then seemed to know where it had gone
-his father Neville did own a Lion Peugeot "nearly a complete car",but sold it to France.Keith is adamant that the alleged Fiat S 76 chassis and the Lion Peugeot are two separate entities
- his father was asked several times by Stuart Middlehurst to do work on various of SM's cars
-" someone now in Tasmania knows a lot about all this..."

#70 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 21:37

Originally posted by john medley
.....And can you clarify for me please: are you suggesting that the Lion Peugeot remains were found 'between Armadale and the coast" and that this then attaches the story of this chassis to the story of the alleged S76 chassis?


This is what he's saying, but he's also saying it was Armidale NSW, which any good teacher would know has an 'i' in the middle of it!

Ted told me his reply to Graeme was: "Nah, it's OK Graeme. She died last week and left me half a million dollars"


That was a very speedy will-reading, John...

How I long for the long nights over the post-race barbecues.

#71 Ivan Saxton

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 23:25

The Tipo 510 Fiat is red, and was stored in a container at Stuart's place at Camp Hill near Drouin. The colour was similar but brighter than was original on the car. Stuart bought it for 6 pounds from Frank Wild at Heath Hill near Lang Lang. You can probably still distinguish the original registration number painted on the radiator core. The original owner, Paddy Einsiedel, was a bookmaker and racehorse owner who had a property down near there, so Frank told me. I am sorry I can tell you neither registration, chassis, or engine numbers, because it was never important enough to commit them to memory. I can tell you that the third figure of the chassis number on the right front dumbiron spring hanger is "3", and so it is 1923. Michael Sedgwick told me that dating code. My 510S with short chassis and sharply pointed radiator is 1922. Stuart's son John still has the 510, as far as I am aware. Stuart bought the FIAT because it had good Rudge 62 895 x 135 wheels , because he was scratching for wheels for the first Alfonso. He later gave me the threaded bronze adapters he made to use these on the earlier type hubs, in case I needed to use them on the Lancia Delta. As far as I am concerned it is an unlockable flawed concept and I would never use them; but they would be free to anyone who needed them for an aero engined special with mixed system Rudge 62's.
(Wilds had wrecked a Lancia Theta on the property and I bought the steering box and gearbox, but I was never able to trace more of the car.)
510 FIAT was a very nicely made car, and in the same price range as Cadillac out here in the early 1920,s.
There was an internal Lanchester torsional vibration damper. The conrods were milled and drilled to be very light; more , perhaps than I consider really prudent. I have bent and broken examples here. My opinion is not that of a qualified engineer; as my qualification is in Agricultural Science.
I'll leave Ray Bell to follow up on the previous resting place of the Lion Peugeot chassis. Neville Roberts only can tell you what else he might have gathered for it before he disposed of it.

It would be good that an S76 engine should have an authentic reconstruction of the car built around it; and it is highly likely that FIAT may have the drawings for that. That is just what Bob Chamberlain had to do for Samson, though he had to make engineering drawings from Rowledge' design notes. (Then Alan Morgan built the rest to those engineering drawings.) But it is just wrong to use names of esteemed people like Bob and Stuart to dignify something they had no connection with when they are no longer about to answer for themselves. I would like to see an "I am sorry that I have been misled and I have misled everyone, because some of the connections and the 'history' I have quoted are wrong."
Regards, Ivan Saxton

#72 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 23:38

Shall I budget two or three days visiting you when I come to Melbourne, Ivan?

Or maybe it should be several visits over some of my coming trips? Sounds like there's a lot there for me to look at and learn about...

#73 Ivan Saxton

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 11:15

"Two gear changes" means there are three forward speeds, not two. At least only three that he saw used in the circumstances.
You are most welcome, Ray, when and for what time you choose to come. The longer you are here, the more trouble you will have with the elasticity of your memory.

The lady mentioned by Ted must have really been in the grip of the grape if unable to distiguish between Ted Hider-Smith and Our Gracious Quinn.
Pardon my brevity. Regards, Ivan Saxton

#74 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 11:37

I would say the lady in question was totally unaware of the identity of either party and thus capable of believing whatever the dastardly liar wanted to tell her...

Of course, the grape might have been at fault there anyway.

John is pursuing other enquiries with Neville Roberts and will duly post his findings.

#75 robert dick

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 09:25

The New York Times wrote on 23 July 1911:
"Bob Burman is anxious to race P. Bordino, the celebrated Italian driver, for the world's championship, and has issued a challenge for a match with his 200 horse power Benz. Bordino recently at Saltburn-by-the-Sea, driving a 300 horse power Fiat, lowered the worlds's record for one hour when he traveled 116.13 miles in 60 minutes, or twenty-six miles less than Burman averaged when he dethroned Barney Oldfield.
The record of Bordino eclipses the best performance of any of the foreign pilots with a fast car since Burman took into camp the record of Camile Janatzy (= Camille Jenatzy), who drove his famous kilometer in 16 1-5 seconds at Ostend, and who lowered the record of Oldfield made at Florida. Burman's time was 15.88 seconds.
To bring about a contest between the European and the American, E. A. Moross, the promoter, has issued the following challenge to the F.I.A.T. Company with the hopes of securing a match, to take place in America, that will become the real classic for motoring contests, in fact, nothing less than a match between the world's fastest cars, cars which previous to this time have been confined almost exclusively to record work only. Until the recent Fourth of July meet at Brighton Beach, the Blitzen Benz has always been used for an exhibition car, but Burman, unlike Oldfield, has shown a willingness to use it in open competition. There are many, however, who consider the Blitzen Benz a short-distance car, but in order to get a match with the celebrated foreigner, Burman is willing that the distance of the match be between five miles and one hundred miles, whichever Bordino may elect.
Talking of the match, E. A. Moross who is backing Burman, said: "I desire that Fred J. Wagner be elected to start this event and I further prefer that the first deposit of $2,500 for each driver be paid into his hands. The balance of the wager up to $10,000 to be handled any way that may be suggested consistent with satisfaction to all parties. it will take but little time to negotiate the whole deal."
"If Brighton Beach is selected as the motordrome over which the race shall be run, and this seems the logical battle ground as both the Benz Auto Import Company and the F.I.A.T. Auto Import Company are located in New York City, I would like to see it run on this couse at the Labor Day meet, as Burman is entered with his Benz for that meet, and, further, as the world's record for a mile is held by Burman made at the Brighton Beach Motordrome, when he shattered the mark of De Palma and placed it at 48.72, this proves that the motordrome is as fast as nay track in the United States of the dirt track type, while I also believe that it would insure the largest purse to the winning driver to compete here."
"One clause, however, I insist upon is, that the winner take all, while the forfeit must be deposited the day that negotiations are opened.""

I couldn't find anything else concerning this match race so that I think that it did not take place and that the Fiat S76 was not shipped to the US in 1911.

#76 275 GTB-4

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 10:05

Sports Car World Febuary 1967

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#77 Tim Murray

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 10:11

Originally posted by robert dick
The New York Times wrote on 23 July 1911:
"Bob Burman is anxious to race P. Bordino, the celebrated Italian driver, for the world's championship, and has issued a challenge for a match with his 200 horse power Benz. Bordino recently at Saltburn-by-the-Sea, driving a 300 horse power Fiat, lowered the worlds's record for one hour when he traveled 116.13 miles in 60 minutes, or twenty-six miles less than Burman averaged when he dethroned Barney Oldfield.

This is incorrect, surely? Bordino's new record at Saltburn was for the flying mile. No-one put more than 100 miles into one hour until Percy Lambert in 1913.

#78 onelung

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 10:11

275 GTB-4 ... Oh YES! :clap:

#79 robert dick

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 19:42

Originally posted by Tim Murray

This is incorrect, surely?...

Ernie Moross was a - good - promoter. :rolleyes:

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#80 Tim Murray

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 22:02

:lol: :lol: :up:

#81 scags

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 12:45

Never believe ANYTHING in a press release, I know, I write them!

#82 whatisart

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 16:35

I stumbled across this board searching for information on airship engines (more on that later). Anyway, just wanted to say "it's a small world". I now live back in the UK but for the 1990s I lived in Melbourne and was lucky enough to get to know Brendan Dillon who was mentioned earlier. One of his big projects was a stunning Minerva, which I had the good fortune to be taken for a drive in a few times around the streets of Melbourne – now that always caused a stir! His other project was a Hispano - as mentioned by Ivan. It was all in bits but I'm sure he mentioned it had an aero engine. Maybe I'll drop him a line to see how it's going.

Anyway, my real reason for visiting was to see if anyone could help me establish exactly what FIAT engine would have been used on the North Sea class airships of the Royal Naval Air Service during WW1. All I know is that the would have been 240hp and replaced the Rolls Royce Eagle engines originally fitted to the first airships of this class. I am currently working on a website that focuses on the loss of NS11 in 1919. If you're interested visit: http://web.mac.com/w.../NS11/NS11.html

Once we establish the engine – it would be great to know what cars used it too. Now that would be an interesting article on the site.

There's a shot of the engine on an NS-class airship below.

http://www.flickr.co...@N00/2271849024

Well, hope someone can help.

Thanks

Art


#83 Ivan Saxton

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 22:20

Your airship engine appears to be a V12, with six outlets to a sweeping exhaust pipe, and one matching from the other side of the engine. I have not got much reference to FIAT aircraft engines.
Brendan has the 30hp Minerva and the second of Stuart's 3litre 4cyl Barcelona Hispano Suizas. His Brother Des has the V8 aero-engined Alfonso chassis, which will do half an hour in twenty minutes. He also has and regularly drives a t35 Bugatti and what was Stuart's third Alfonso project, for which he had to make new crankshaft, conrods, and cylinder block. Ivan Saxton

#84 whatisart

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 23:36

Ivan – thanks for that info. That gives me a little more to go on - every little helps. One extra accessory on one of the engines on each NS-class airship was a hotplate mounted on one of the exhausts – that was the 'galley'.

#85 antonvrs

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 02:31

Originally posted by Ivan Saxton
Your airship engine appears to be a V12, with six outlets to a sweeping exhaust pipe, and one matching from the other side of the engine. I have not got much reference to FIAT aircraft engines.
Brendan has the 30hp Minerva and the second of Stuart's 3litre 4cyl Barcelona Hispano Suizas. His Brother Des has the V8 aero-engined Alfonso chassis, which will do half an hour in twenty minutes. He also has and regularly drives a t35 Bugatti and what was Stuart's third Alfonso project, for which he had to make new crankshaft, conrods, and cylinder block. Ivan Saxton

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Actually, it would appear to have 2 sets of three cylinder headers and 2 sweeping exhaust pipes per side.
I love old Fiats!
Anton

#86 robert dick

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 18:38

Originally posted by whatisart
There's a shot of the engine on an NS-class airship below.

http://www.flickr.co...@N00/2271849024


The engine on the photo looks like a Fiat A14 - although the Rolls-Royce Eagle was much smaller (Series VIII: V-12, bore/stroke = 114,29/165,09 mm, 359 hp at 1800 rpm, dry weight 926 lbs).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_A.14

The Fiat A14 appeared in experimental form in June 1917. "The Automobile Engineer"/London, October 1918, published a description:
60-degree V12, steel cylinders, bore/stroke = 170/210 mm, SOHC 4-valve head(s), camshafts driven via vertical shaft(s), 2 x 66,5 mm intake valves + 2 x 66,5 mm exhaust valves per cylinder arranged at 25 degree to the cylinder axis, H-section fork type connecting rods, 600 hp at 1500 rpm, 720 hp at 1700 rpm, dry weight 1740 lbs.

Fiat also produced a 240-300 hp engine: the A12, a straight-six with SOHC 4-valve head, 160/180 mm.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat_A.12
http://arizonamodels...an/Fiat_A12.jpg

Ernest Eldridge used a Fiat A12 engine in his Fiat Mephisto:
http://cache.viewima...55A1E4F32AD3138

#87 Ivan Saxton

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 19:08

In LJK Setright's book "The Power to Fly", Appendix 6 is a table of FIAT aero engines from 1908 to 1945. The ones you might also look at are 1918 A15R 325hp V12, and A19 350hp V12 of 1923. These would seem to be in the same range as RR Eagle. It does seem that a lot of technical records have been preserved in Italy, so it may be worth the effort to ask FIAT, if you can find the exact person who knows where to look. Angelo Tito Anselmi has a published book on FIAT which is likely very comprehensive if his book on Isotta Fraschini is any indication. It may also be worth asking Duncan Pittaway for advice on channels of research if you can find him.
Ivan Saxton

#88 whatisart

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 19:34

This is amazing stuff! Thanks so much Ivan, Robert and Anton. The change-over from RR to Fiat engines would have taken place in 1917/18. All the research I have found says the engine was 240hp too.

Looks like another rich seam of research for me to mine. By the way, what do you think of the site so far?

Peter.

#89 blitzen

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 01:18

Hello,
I'm new to this forum.
I own two Grand Prix F.I.A.T's a 1910 tipo S-61 (ex. Indy 500 Museum basement) and a 1911 S-74 ( ex. Tetzlaff Santa Monica 1912) and have searched for years for the S-76 that was supposedly sent to Mexico, consequently I have spent a lot of time researching the car. I friend of mine told me of Duncan’s project and I was floored when I saw the photos.
I do not know him, have never met him and have only had 1 telephone call with him. I have no dog in this fight but I do know early F.I.A.T. racecars and can tell you the engine is real and the chassis looks right. Little things that do not show on blueprints look exactly like details on both my cars. I have not viewed the project with my own eyes but if it is a fake it is to a whole new level, think faked moon landing. I am full of lust over the car.

Bill Evans
San Diego, California
wevans@evanshotels.com
619-890-2900

#90 Steve L

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 07:10

Hi Bill,

Welcome to the forum.

It sounds like you own a couple of the most fantastic racing cars!

It would be great if you could post some pictures of them and also any that you have of Duncan's S76 too, please?

#91 Ralf Pickel

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 11:58

I was asked to post the following by John Hearne via the VSCC Forum - he had problem to sign on to TNF :

"I have something to contribute to the F1 bulletin forum but, have made several attempts to sign on and each time have failed. On the FIAT S76 thread they quote John Tennant's book "Motor Racing the Golden Age" which shows two different S76 FIATS. I have images of both on my workshop wall. They also mention the FIAT tipo 5. I know of an excellent complete gearbox in N.Z. Would you mind posting this information on the S76 thread on my behalf please "

An addition, I have got from John:

"I also meant to mention that there is also a FIAT A12 aero engine in N.Z. . It is the later type as used in "Mephistopheles" "

#92 john hearne

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 13:49

Just wanting to check that I am now signed up :)

#93 David McKinney

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 13:53

Well done - and welcome :wave:

#94 Ralf Pickel

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 14:08

Welcome here , too, John.
I am glad, it works now. :clap:

#95 Ivan Saxton

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 02:52

I am still surprised that Duncan Pittaway hasn't responded to my explanation, so by way of further clarification I have this picture of three different sizes of Rudge Whitworth wheels/hubs. The smallest, measuring just over 4" is the exact size used on Hispano Suiza. Rudge 62mm. (Wheel and hub shown are of and for my 1911 Lancia Delta).

The green wheel is for my 1911 Napier, it's approximately Rudge 80mm size. The larger hub, over 5" on the outside, is from my cuff-vavle Peugeot, it's Rudge 100mm. Even this might not be as large as the hubs on the big Fiat. Stuart Middlehurst simply had no car with anything as large as might have been used on the Fiat S76. As the joint owner with him of various cars over a period of over thirty years, as one who worked and played with these cars with Stuart for all of that time, I can assure everyone that these facts are correct.

I am also sure he had any bent chassis that could be from a big Fiat racing car.

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#96 leestohr

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 04:14

I don't know if this is relevant, but I stumbled across this odd photo of something called the FIAT Submarine, 290hp, in the Des Moines News. This is a newspaper from Aug 28, 1918, state of Iowa, USA. This picture is from an advert for the Iowa State Fair. To be driven by Henderson. Sorry the original picture quality is no better.
Apparently this is a rebodied FIAT used in the IMCA racing circut of the times.

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#97 fines

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 09:09

It's the Jay-Eye-See, a TNF search will probably bring up several threads.

#98 leestohr

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 09:37

You are correct. I had never seen the Jay Eye See described as the FIAT Submarine, momentarily confused me.
Here is a link- http://forums.autosp...ght=jay eye see

#99 Steve L

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 12:50

There is a great period picture of the Fiat S76 here: -

http://www.motoringp...ge=8&fleID=8519

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#100 rijdema

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 13:32

this is all very exciting!

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the F.I.A.T. S-47
what racing was all about
George Wingard drove one of these at the Goodwood festival.