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Author Topic: Chelsea Rendezvous October 2011  (Read 3282 times)
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ColinMarr
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« on: 09 October, 2011, 03:43:55 PM »

The last of the Chelsea Rendezvous took place this morning. As usual it was a good gathering of an interesting range of fine cars. Lancia was well represented by the three cars seen in the photo below – by chance we arrived together and parked as if representing three generations – John Turner’s Lambda, Vernon Holdaway’s ex-Eddie Irvine Integrale and my Fulvia.

Other cars that took my eye included a very nice tiny Austin 7 and a huge Lagonda driven by Lambda owner Anthony Dady.

Colin


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DavidLaver
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« Reply #1 on: 10 October, 2011, 05:46:58 PM »


Whenever I've seen John's car I've always been looking at the car not the plate.  Where did such a number originate?  Is it as unusual as I think it is?

David
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David Laver, Lewisham.
johnturner
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« Reply #2 on: 10 October, 2011, 08:57:13 PM »

The car was Imported to Ireland by Clanwilliam Motors, the Dublin Agent, in 1927 and sold to a James Orr.  A Dublin friend tells me that the number 59 dates from some long time before 1927 so it looks like Mr Orr transferred it from an earlier car. 

John
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LanciAlan
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« Reply #3 on: 11 October, 2011, 12:03:28 PM »


Whenever I've seen John's car I've always been looking at the car not the plate.  Where did such a number originate?  Is it as unusual as I think it is?

David

I hadn't noticed either the registration number or the discussion of it until now. ZI 59 is an ordinary Dublin number from the earliest days of the Irish vehicle registration system - an alphanumeric system that probably pre-dated the Irish State (1922) and remained in use up to 1987 when the current year/county/number system was introduced.

Given that the former registration system (possibly including this number, as suggested) existed under British rule in Ireland prior to 1922, it would seem likely that it remains a valid number under the UK system today.

What interests me is the reference to Clanwilliam Motors as the suggested Dublin agent for Lancia - I have recently been doing some superficial research on Lancias in Ireland with a view to belatedly contributing something to "the Book" and this company's Lancia connection has not cropped up before. A registered company in Ireland until dissolved 20 years ago and having a low company registration number (7198), perhaps they were a general importer of cars from abroad (the only source for Irish motorists in those days!) rather than having a specific Lancia franchise or agency per se.

John, Would it be possible for you to have a look at the papers to clarify this i.e. do Clanwilliam claim to be Lancia agents and was their address Clanwilliam Place (or Northumberland Road or elsewhere)?

I have found another intriguing reference to Clanwilliam Motors on the internet which points to the private papers of Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington who, together with her husband Francis an innocent civilian murdered by British forces in 1916, were prominent scholars, writers, and political agitators of the pre- and post-revolutionary period in Ireland. One of her letters in 1924 is to Charles Pike of Clanwilliam Motors Ltd.

However I am sure that Mrs. Sheehy-Skeffington was less likely to have been ordering an expensive motor car than possibly writing to Clanwilliam Motors in connection with the fact that Clanwilliam House in Dublin (now demolished) was the setting for a particularly famous skirmish during the 1916 Irish rising:

http://www.nli.ie/1916/pdf/7.11.pdf - you can actually see another car with a similar Dublin registration number RI 298 in one of the pictures here - these pictures date from 1916.

In later years there was a garage called Huet Motors with a late art deco premises at a location immediately adjacent to Clanwilliam House - the same terrace of houses that appears in the first picture can be seen can be seen to the left of the Garage in the second picture. Huet Motors were importers/suppliers of high-end luxury cars, including Rolls and Bentley (so that would tally with Lancia connection too) and it could at some earlier stage have been Clanwilliam Motors.

http://dublin.iwai.ie/images/OldCanalPhotos/slides/94E_Clanwilliam_Place.html

Anyhow the Sheehy-Skeffington papers are in our National Library which is just across the road from my place of work so I shall take my Lancia speculation there .... maybe she was a Lancia fan.

« Last Edit: 11 October, 2011, 01:22:25 PM by LanciAlan » Logged

Alan Murphy

Lancias that begin with "F" ... and affordable variants beginning with "Z" and "P" ..... and now with added "Y"!
DavidLaver
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« Reply #4 on: 11 October, 2011, 12:14:02 PM »


Having thought 'do I ever see an "I" on a plate?' the Strada Abarth on my drive is OXI 2484...  My understanding (complete heresay) is that it was new in the ROI then exported to Northan Ireland where it got a new registration.  The other (ok ANother story with it...) is that it won the GpN tarmac rally championship when new.  Various tickets on the roll cage from the period.

David
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David Laver, Lewisham.
LanciAlan
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« Reply #5 on: 11 October, 2011, 12:55:32 PM »


Having thought 'do I ever see an "I" on a plate?' the Strada Abarth on my drive is OXI 2484...  My understanding (complete heresay) is that it was new in the ROI then exported to Northan Ireland where it got a new registration.  The other (ok ANother story with it...) is that it won the GpN tarmac rally championship when new.  Various tickets on the roll cage from the period.

David

Hi David

The "I" is not particularly significant in an Irish context! Dublin letters started at "ZA" and ran to "ZY", passing through "ZI" along the way. ZB was reserved for Cork, ZM Galway, ZW Kildare, etc. ZV was never used in its contemporary sense but is now available optionally for the owners of vintage/classic cars so they can have slightly age related plates as an alternative to the modern system. I think ZZ was used for diplomatic plates.

However, while the "I" is not significant, the "X" in your Ritmo is significant to the extent that it seems to be a particular characteristic feature of Northern Ireland registration system (still part of the wider UK system afaik) in the way that "Z" was characteristic of the Southern Irish system. I guess when things were simpler the British authorities assigned X and Z to North and South and things developed from there.

I have asked an Irish authority on the matter for advice about the age and provenance of ZI 59 - his on-line identity is "Carchaeologist"!

Alan
« Last Edit: 11 October, 2011, 12:59:19 PM by LanciAlan » Logged

Alan Murphy

Lancias that begin with "F" ... and affordable variants beginning with "Z" and "P" ..... and now with added "Y"!
johnturner
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« Reply #6 on: 17 October, 2011, 10:03:10 AM »

Alan

Clanwilliam Motors Ltd of Lower Mount Street, Dublin was listed in the catalogue for the 7th series Lambda as the sole agent for Ireland. Whether they were agents for earlier cars I don't know, but Roland Grazebrook may have earlier catalogues and I will have a word with him.  (My Lambda arrived with a small brass 'Clanwilliam Motors' plate screwed to the dashboard which I removed, but it is probably still in the bottom of a kitchen drawer somewhere and I should really put it back).
Your point about the number being issued before 1922 explains why (to my surprise) I have had no problem licensing the car, either with my local tax office when I first got it or with DVLA in 1972. If the car had been issued with a contemporary 1927 number I would presumably have had to re-register it.
James Orr lived at 38, Villiers Road, Rathgar and I would be curious to see any information about him, or the number, that might turn up.

John
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Roland
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« Reply #7 on: 17 October, 2011, 05:32:26 PM »

All the Sales leaflets and catalogues for the pre 1st war period which I have for the English market have the name W L Stewart on them.  These cats/leaflets appear to cover "UK and the Colonies" as well as England. No idea if they were used for publicity in Scotland, Wales and Ireland also but I don't recall seeing any separate publications for these.  Pretty sure Shields in Aust issued their own - perhaps Aus could enlighten us if this was so pre 1st war?
I have a series of adverts from 'The Motor News' which I think is an Irish publication (?).  They are dated 1914, Jan 10th., Jan 31st., April 4th., and Feb 21st.  They are all full page and rather attractive: the prominent name in very large letters is "LANCIA CARS" and  in slightly smaller letters "W L STEWART & CO ALBEMARLE ST London" and each of these adverts bears a small line or two saying "Applications respecting Lancia Cars may be addressed to Mr. G. A. Brittain, Earlsfoot Grarage, Hatch Street, Dublin."
In addition to these I have another photocopy of an advert in the same 31st Jan 1914 issue of "The Motor News" which is half page with no picture and promisies early delivery of 20/30 Exmouth Phaeton, absolutely complete £670.  This is in the name of G. A. Brittain, Earlsfoot Garage, Hatch Street, Dublin and makes no mention of W L Stewart.  Can let you have copies of all these if they would help your research.
A good place for more info on agents etc could well be magazine adverts if you can find copies which have still got them attached - so often they were bound without the adverts.  Lot of work trawling through them, I'm afraid.  No idea where I got these copies from but I was exploring both Vet Car Club and Montagu Motor Museum Libraries in the '60s and '70s.
Roland
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DavidLaver
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« Reply #8 on: 17 October, 2011, 10:39:27 PM »


That would be £60,300 in today's money. (I'm addicted!!)
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David Laver, Lewisham.
LanciAlan
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« Reply #9 on: 01 November, 2011, 03:39:34 PM »

John and Roland

Thanks for your detailed responses. It has taken me some time to reply so I hope you will pick up on this.

To answer your enquiries first, I have been able to find little on the James Orr recorded as previous Irish owner of John's car or anything linking him to the address on Villiers Road which is in my area. However there were certainly a few of that name and several living not too far away from there at the time of the 1911 census:

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/search/results.jsp?census_year=1911&surname=orr&firstname=james&county=Dublin&townland=&ded=&age=&sex=M&search=Search&relationToHead=&religion=&education=&occupation=&marriageStatus=&birthplace=&language=&deafdumb=&marriageYears=&childrenBorn=&childrenLiving=

Three of these James Orrs in particular were aged in their early to mid 20s in 1911 and would likely have matured into new Lambda and house ownership by 1927!

As Roland suggests, The Motor News (previously "The Irish Motor News") was a monthly publication edited by RJ Macredy a luminary in the Irish motoring and cycling scene. The information you have given me about Clanwilliam Motors and Brittans is probably sufficent for my purposes at this stage but I am most grateful for the pointers to these and to the Motor News which I shall also have a look at while in the National Library.

Many thanks again

Alan
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Alan Murphy

Lancias that begin with "F" ... and affordable variants beginning with "Z" and "P" ..... and now with added "Y"!
johnturner
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« Reply #10 on: 01 November, 2011, 07:58:45 PM »

Alan

Thanks for chasing this.  I wonder if our manager could shift this to a new heading 'Lancia in Ireland' or somesuch, to catch future posts on the subject (I don't know how).  There is more to be discovered about Gratton Norman who was heavily involved with Lancia in Dublin before and after the war, and memebers of his family are still around.

John


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