Jump to content


Photo

Carden Sport


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 arttidesco

arttidesco
  • Member

  • 6,313 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 22 October 2010 - 10:24

Posted Image

Research into Gerry Michelmore's 1921 707cc Carden Sports for my blog yesterday drew a complete blank.

All I know is that it was designed Sir John Carden, 6th Baronet who also designed the AV Monocar which appeared at Goodwood last year and that Sir John is well known as the designer of various tankettes which appear to have evolved into the Bren Carrier.

Can any one help me with any more info on this 'Sports' model in particular ?

Thanking you in anticipation.

Advertisement

#2 Tim Murray

Tim Murray
  • Moderator

  • 21,900 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 22 October 2010 - 11:57

Here are a few extracts from the entry on Carden in The World Guide to Automobiles - I doubt whether this will increase your knowledge very much, though:

John Valentine Carden was an incurable experimenter who dabbled with amphibious light tanks and ultra-light aircraft, as well as with cyclecars

In 1919 Carden opened new premises at Ascot, Berkshire, where he made a tandem two-seater, whose design he sold to Tamplin in November 1919. He then designed a side-by-side two-seater with rear-mounted 707 cc flat-twin engine driving the rear wheels by reduction gearing. This sold for £100, rising to £134 in 1921.

In 1922 Carden Engineering was taken over by Arnott and Harrison of Willesden, London, and an improved design was made under the name New Carden.


Carden was later connected with the Carden-Lloyd tracked vehicle, and died in an air crash in 1935.



#3 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Administrator

  • 34,199 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 22 October 2010 - 12:29

Not specifically on the sports model, but I've emailed you a copy of an article about Carden published in The Times in 1919 which expands on what Tim gave you above.

#4 markpde

markpde
  • Member

  • 522 posts
  • Joined: March 08

Posted 23 October 2010 - 10:34

There was reference to a Carden in an article in Motor Sport, September 1978, in the series 'Cars I Have Owned' by a fellow called R. Dallas Brett. It was his first car; he'd had motorcycles up until then - a 1914 TT Premier and a 500cc Rover. Here's his account of the Carden - not the sports model, I don't think, maybe even just an early prototype, but it's interesting nonetheless...

'After I was demobilised I wanted a car, and my parents made the acquaintance of a strange genius named Carden, who was about 6ft. 5in. tall and had been concerned in the invention of the first tanks. He was building an extraordinary cyclecar in an improvised factory at Ascot. This machine had a wooden framework covered in plywood. At the front was a pair of motorcycle wheels and there was a twin-cylinder engine attached to the back axle which incorporated a gearbox with two forward speeds, but no reverse gear. The controls were operated by wire cables which were led through sheaves on the side of the body in accordance with aircraft practice; in the centre of the cockpit was a large pedal which operated a kick-starter. I bought this vehicle new for £100 unpainted, and painted it myself, a bright emerald green with black mudguards, in a shed in the garden. I fitted a pair of small Dietz headlamps and the big acetylene generator off the old Humber which was still in our garage, and an enormous steering wheel about 2ft. in diameter, and painted the name “Scarab” on the bonnet, because I thought that the vehicle resembled an Egyptian beetle.

The car went well enough with one up for short distances, but on a long journey with two up and luggage strapped on the back, the two-stroke engine would run very hot. It was air-cooled, of course, and did not receive enough draught in its hole under the back of the body, so that the power would gradually evaporate, forcing one to stop for a quarter of an hour or so to let it cool down, and then start off again. One amusing feature was that the engine would run equally well, or badly, in either direction, and there was no means of knowing which way it would choose to revolve when one kicked the starting pedal. I remember showing it to a friend and his young nephew, who was standing behind the car. When I kicked the starter, engaged bottom gear, waved goodbye to my audience, and let in the clutch, it jumped smartly backwards and knocked the boy down. Fortunately he was unharmed, but this idiosyncrasy added to the interest of driving in traffic, because if the engine stopped in a traffic block, which it often did, one never knew which way one would go when one restarted.'
:D

R. Dallas Brett was a wonderful storyteller - I've got a transcript of the whole article, plus photos (although there were no photos of the Carden, sadly). He later had a Senechal previously owned by 'Scrap' Thistlethwayte (I think, although Brett refers to him as 'a racing driver called Thistlewaite'), then he purchased the famous racing Aston Martin, 'Bunny', from Bertie Marshall. If anyone wants a copy of the full transcript just let me know and I could email it as an attachment - trust me, it's well worth reading. Maybe I shouldn't have copied it (copyright issues, I suppose) but it's just marvellous from beginning to end, and it seemed a shame to let it languish in an old edition of Motor Sport (I printed out a copy, bound it and gave it to an old friend in his seventies when he retired).

#5 arttidesco

arttidesco
  • Member

  • 6,313 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 23 October 2010 - 11:54

Thanks for your time and trouble Tim, Richard and Mark :up:

Hope to have enough for my Carden blog on the next day or so :-)

#6 arttidesco

arttidesco
  • Member

  • 6,313 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 18 December 2010 - 22:29

There was reference to a Carden in an article in Motor Sport, September 1978, in the series 'Cars I Have Owned' by a fellow called R. Dallas Brett. It was his first car; he'd had motorcycles up until then - a 1914 TT Premier and a 500cc Rover. Here's his account of the Carden - not the sports model, I don't think, maybe even just an early prototype, but it's interesting nonetheless...

'After I was demobilised I wanted a car, and my parents made the acquaintance of a strange genius named Carden, who was about 6ft. 5in. tall and had been concerned in the invention of the first tanks. He was building an extraordinary cyclecar in an improvised factory at Ascot. This machine had a wooden framework covered in plywood. At the front was a pair of motorcycle wheels and there was a twin-cylinder engine attached to the back axle which incorporated a gearbox with two forward speeds, but no reverse gear. The controls were operated by wire cables which were led through sheaves on the side of the body in accordance with aircraft practice; in the centre of the cockpit was a large pedal which operated a kick-starter. I bought this vehicle new for £100 unpainted, and painted it myself, a bright emerald green with black mudguards, in a shed in the garden. I fitted a pair of small Dietz headlamps and the big acetylene generator off the old Humber which was still in our garage, and an enormous steering wheel about 2ft. in diameter, and painted the name “Scarab” on the bonnet, because I thought that the vehicle resembled an Egyptian beetle.

The car went well enough with one up for short distances, but on a long journey with two up and luggage strapped on the back, the two-stroke engine would run very hot. It was air-cooled, of course, and did not receive enough draught in its hole under the back of the body, so that the power would gradually evaporate, forcing one to stop for a quarter of an hour or so to let it cool down, and then start off again. One amusing feature was that the engine would run equally well, or badly, in either direction, and there was no means of knowing which way it would choose to revolve when one kicked the starting pedal. I remember showing it to a friend and his young nephew, who was standing behind the car. When I kicked the starter, engaged bottom gear, waved goodbye to my audience, and let in the clutch, it jumped smartly backwards and knocked the boy down. Fortunately he was unharmed, but this idiosyncrasy added to the interest of driving in traffic, because if the engine stopped in a traffic block, which it often did, one never knew which way one would go when one restarted.'
:D

R. Dallas Brett was a wonderful storyteller - I've got a transcript of the whole article, plus photos (although there were no photos of the Carden, sadly). He later had a Senechal previously owned by 'Scrap' Thistlethwayte (I think, although Brett refers to him as 'a racing driver called Thistlewaite'), then he purchased the famous racing Aston Martin, 'Bunny', from Bertie Marshall. If anyone wants a copy of the full transcript just let me know and I could email it as an attachment - trust me, it's well worth reading. Maybe I shouldn't have copied it (copyright issues, I suppose) but it's just marvellous from beginning to end, and it seemed a shame to let it languish in an old edition of Motor Sport (I printed out a copy, bound it and gave it to an old friend in his seventies when he retired).


After lots of searching Mark I can confirm that the car R Dallas Brett is talking about is similar to that in the picture, John Carden is only known, until TNF confirms otherwise of course, to have designed one model with two seats that is said to have been powered by a two stroke.

Seems the vehicle listed in VSCC programmes as Carden Sport is also known as the Carden Model 7 Cyclecar (RM Auctions) and New Carden when the design was sold on for manufacture to Arnott & Harrison in 1922. Thanks again for your help :-)

Edited by arttidesco, 18 December 2010 - 23:34.


#7 markpde

markpde
  • Member

  • 522 posts
  • Joined: March 08

Posted 21 December 2010 - 15:17

After lots of searching Mark I can confirm that the car R Dallas Brett is talking about is similar to that in the picture, John Carden is only known, until TNF confirms otherwise of course, to have designed one model with two seats that is said to have been powered by a two stroke.

Seems the vehicle listed in VSCC programmes as Carden Sport is also known as the Carden Model 7 Cyclecar (RM Auctions) and New Carden when the design was sold on for manufacture to Arnott & Harrison in 1922. Thanks again for your help :-)

Thanks Ralph - I'll send you the full copy of R. Dallas Brett's article for your Christmas! :) There's no further mention of the Carden in it but, like I said, it's just a wonderful piece of writing. :wave:


#8 Marticelli

Marticelli
  • Member

  • 283 posts
  • Joined: January 10

Posted 21 December 2010 - 19:02

The World Guide on Automobiles quoted above refers to Carden having a flat twin engine, which is rather misleading. As you can see from the 1920 Light Car and Cyclecar sectional drawing below (apologies to Tony Matthews for the poor quality!!) the engine in a twin cylinder two stroke - in effect two separate 250cc two stroke engines mounted side by side and with rear facing air-cooled cylinders.

My understanding of a flat twin engine is the boxer arrangement found on 2CV Citroens etc, but the Carden (and indeed the later New Carden) were as per the attached drawing in all but a few minor details. There were two examples in the Sharp collection sale from the Rochester Motor Museum a few years ago, and both are now in the hands of enthusiasts who are having a lot of fun running them.

Well done for preserving them rather than over-restoring them too...
Posted Image
Marticelli

Edited by Marticelli, 21 December 2010 - 23:37.


#9 arttidesco

arttidesco
  • Member

  • 6,313 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 22 December 2010 - 22:31

The World Guide on Automobiles quoted above refers to Carden having a flat twin engine, which is rather misleading. As you can see from the 1920 Light Car and Cyclecar sectional drawing below (apologies to Tony Matthews for the poor quality!!) the engine in a twin cylinder two stroke - in effect two separate 250cc two stroke engines mounted side by side and with rear facing air-cooled cylinders.

My understanding of a flat twin engine is the boxer arrangement found on 2CV Citroens etc, but the Carden (and indeed the later New Carden) were as per the attached drawing in all but a few minor details. There were two examples in the Sharp collection sale from the Rochester Motor Museum a few years ago, and both are now in the hands of enthusiasts who are having a lot of fun running them.

Well done for preserving them rather than over-restoring them too...
Posted Image
Marticelli


Nice find Marticelli I had not realised the possible confusion about the flat twin description.

I have seen a photo somewhere of the Carden Sport twin and I am not entirely sure the two cylinders are actualy joined by anything other than the 'transmission' since not only does each cylinder lie horizontal but also one either side of the transmission unit ?

#10 onelung

onelung
  • Member

  • 546 posts
  • Joined: November 07

Posted 23 December 2010 - 04:59

Posted Image

Posted Image
Acknowledgments to Michael Worthington-Williams' excellent "From Cyclecar to Microcar" ISBN 0901564540 (1981)

Edited by onelung, 23 December 2010 - 05:10.


#11 arttidesco

arttidesco
  • Member

  • 6,313 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 23 December 2010 - 10:49

Posted Image

Posted Image
Acknowledgments to Michael Worthington-Williams' excellent "From Cyclecar to Microcar" ISBN 0901564540 (1981)


Lovely pics of the original Carden model that eventually became the AV Monocar I wonder if anyone has a pic of tandem seat Carden ?

#12 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Administrator

  • 34,199 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 01 March 2011 - 01:26

What appears to be a pretty original and unrestored New Carden is coming up for auction in Hereford next week. According to Prewar Car the current owner is finding the kick-start somewhat onerous!

#13 arttidesco

arttidesco
  • Member

  • 6,313 posts
  • Joined: April 10

Posted 01 March 2011 - 08:28

Thanks Vitesse visiting the preview might make an interesting day out :up: