Those vintage cars (in colour) had been on my parents’ walls for years (ripped off a calendar, hush). My mother had them framed at the Parklands mall in Nairobi. I can still visualize the Sikh gentleman in charge of the shop. As we moved to the new house in Mexico, there clearly was no space to hang them, so I kept two, photographed the others and gave them away. The above is a De Dion-Bouton 1899. One of the very first French cars, at a time when the competition between the French and the Americans was ferocious to establish leadership in the emerging automobile industry. The marquis de Dion had partnered with engineer Bouton to develop charming cars. In 1907, Georges Cormier arrived third in the Peking-Paris raid on a de Dion-Bouton.
Egypt, Suez canal, 1934. Rina was a childhood friend of my father’s. I don’t know the make of the car. Sorry.
Scotte 1892. Despite the name, this is a French car. I assumed a steam engine based on the chimney. Kikipedia confirms: “Scotte dampfwagen”, (no other language availage), dampf appears to mean steam in German. Imagine: they basically took a horse-drawn carriage, walked the horses away and put a steam boiler in the front. 🙂
Egypt, 1934. My father, about 16, by the very same car as before. Cars were then so rare, that when a new one arrived, all the kids posed in or on the same car. 🙂
Unic 1910. Design is improving. Gasoline engine in lieu of steam. Looks more like a car than a horseless carriage. Unic was a French automobile manufacturer from 1905 to 1938.
Same car in the Egyptian desert, probably near Port-Saïd. Odette, another childhood friend of my father’s, posing with studied grace.
Brasier, 1908. Note that the chauffeur is outside, exposed to rain, sleet and snow. We will see another live example at the end.
Egypt, c.1936. My father, “in Maurice Ansermet’s Viva Grand-Sport”. That was a Renault car, 6 cylinders straight engine, 4085 cc, 249 cubic inches. (That is for connaisseurs, I haven’t a clue about what it means. I suspect strength) 🙂
A Rolland-Pillain 1909. Despite the early year, the line is already very sportsy. I’ve seen current prices. You don’t want to know… 🙂
Egypt, 1936. Same Viva Grand-Sport, with its rightful owner, Maurice Ansermet at the wheel, and my aunt Gaud striking a pose. Note her daring top for the time, with the map of Brittany, hand-painted.
Sizaire et Naudin, 1908. Note the leather seats. The tires are probably full rubber. No air chamber. The variety of manufacturers at that time is amazing. Dozens and dozens were building automobiles.
La Buire, 1907. Do remember that those cars reached breakneck speeds of 35kmh, 20-21 mph! I don’t see how the roof would’ve held at 30 mph.
Automobile contest, Port-Saïd, 1936. Suzanne, dressed to the nines. (I may have posted that one already…)
Back to 1904. A Corre. Definitely full rubber tires. Just note the small circles inside the wheels. Shock-absorbers probably. Love the headlights. Jean-Marie Corre, the founder, was a fellow Breton. 🙂 (The things you learn every day!) 😉
Port-Saïd, Egypt, 1935. My grandfather, Pierre Martin, was working for the Suez canal. Dressed with utter English elegance, colonial shorts and socks. “The heat in ‘those’ countries is unbearable my dear”.
A Léon Bollée 1912. The driver was inside the car, though with a separation screen.
My other grandfather, Louis Prodault, c.1919. After returning alive (no mean feat) from WWI, he got a job as a chauffeur for a Marquis, the latter running a rather “dissolute” life, according to my brother. (Or so my grandfather told my brother.) Note that on this unknown model, the chauffeur had no doors or windows. Not a sedan by any means. Also note the uniform cap and boots. The round thing on top is probably the luggage boot. The “trunk” in American.
Thank you for riding with Equinoxio Car Time Travel. Until next time, drive safely.