.......................................... Strix the harbinger
...........................................guards OakWood's gate, ever asking,
.............. . ......................................"Whooo passes this night?"

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Another Delahaye 135

George A said he thought the Delahaye 135 Shooting Brake would handle like a his 1950 Buick. I think not. This is more or less what they started with.


7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why the term "Shooting Brake" for these cars?? (as opposed to shooting star, shooting comet, etc.) "Shooting Brake" sounds like a malfunction in the system designed to keep you from hitting something!!! -Tony

Gunnar Berg said...

Quote:
"A brake, also spelled break, was a type of horse-drawn carriage used in the nineteenth and early 20th centuries. It was a large or small, open-topped, straight-bodied pleasure vehicle with four wheels, designed for country use. The commonest form, the shooting brake, was designed to carry the driver and a footman or gamekeeper at the front facing forward, and up to six sportsmen on longitudinal benches, with their dogs, guns and game borne along the sides in slatted racks."

George A said...

Gunnar: Lovely custom coachwork, perhaps by Figoni et Falaschi, and I admire the two-tone green paint but I'm willing to stick my neck out and say that this car, much like other super cars of the 1930s, is probably best appreciated while at rest rather than when actually being driven. Sadly, I'll never have the opportunity to disprove my hypothesis! What a pity--I'd look good in a type 35 Bugatti!

As for the origin of the term "shooting brake" once again Wiki comes to the rescue: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting-brake

Gunnar Berg said...

The Brake was a '46, this a '48 maybe? Handling? George, do you really remember how your 1950 Buick handled?

George A said...

My '50 Buick? Do I remember?! You bet I remember--she steered like a proverbial tank! I've owned trucks with lighter and more communicative steering! My Buick also was equipped with a primitive 2-speed automatic transmission which I referred to as the "slush-o-Matic. In winter, I lived in rural Pennsylvania at the time,it was all the poor old dear could do to stagger up the hill out of our drive in lo-gear when the gearbox was cold from standing overnight. To be fair, once warmed, it shifted ok.

The best feature of that car was the amazingly long straight-8 engine. On Buicks of those years one could completely remove the hood (bonnet for the overseas reader of this blog spot)by pulling both release knots at once (the hood lifted from either side rather than from the front). With the hood removed one could easily work on most aspects of the engine. Gazing at that long, long "mill" I often wondered just how much fuel managed to get out to the extreme ends of the cylinder bank from the single barrel Carter carburetor which was insinuated in the middle of the equally long intake manifold...

Gunnar Berg said...

Sounds like you're getting misty. I had a '52 Chevy with Power=Glide. It took a mile or two before the wheels caught up with the engine.

George A said...

"Misty"? Oh, I think not. "Whacko", "flaky", or "aberrant" might be adequate descriptors for your old diarist, but "misty" suggests that I'm wallowing hip-deep in slob-sentimentality. Nothing could be further from the truth. A case in point: I'm very fond of Little British Cars from the '50s and '60s. I like LBCs not because they are better than current cars--they simply are not, but more because they are, for the most part, easier to work on and tend to have more personality than the bland offerings of today which must obey a long list of safety and environmental edicts as well as the unceasing corporate demands for profit. (cars are for the most part no longer built by people who actually like cars)

A modern sports car like a Mazda Miata does everything we wished that a Lotus Elan could have done back when it was new--the Miata will run with ease at highway speeds whereas the Elan is buzzing its head off at 70mph. The lighting and other electrical components actually work on the Miata. Finally the Miata doesn't leak oil all over the driveway like my Bugeye Sprite or the a fore mentioned Lotus.

But for every advance there seems to be a step back, and with it's electronic "brains" and other complex black boxes the Miata is not a joy to tinker with. Car ownership is partly about driving pleasure but also partly about tinkering and the satisfaction of fixing stuff or modifying various components to make yours a tad faster than his.

Open the bonnet on an older car, be it an old MG or a model A Ford, and you can discern the various important parts. Open the bonnet of a modern car and you're confronted with a owl's nest of hoses, wires, pipes, plastic shielding, etc. And unlike a Bugatti, the manufacturer of the modern didn't care enough about craftsmanship or esthetics to spend the extra 50 cents per unit to neatly route all those hoses, wires, pipes, etc.--something that would have vastly improved the appeal of the engine room.

I suppose if I'm guilty of being sentimental it's a longing for that sublime era when one could use the words automotive and craftsmanship in the same sentence and not have one's listener snicker. So, to sum up, modern cars are a PITA to tinker with and are also, in my opinion, bland and lack that certain touch of "whimsy" or perhaps "personality" seen in cars like my Sprite.

Hey, come to think of it: tinkerability (might be a word) is part of why I like bicycles as well...