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Category Archives: Pre-War Contemporary Photos

The James Scripps Booth BiAutogo – A “Motorcycle Car”


Over one hundred years ago the course of the automobile had been fairly well charted out, but this did not discourage free-thinking individuals like James Scripps Booth who would continue to design new variations of mobile transport. And he could well afford to do so as he was an heir to the Booth family fortune that had originated from publishing the Detroit Evening News. Born and raised in the Motor City, he was educated in private schools and also developed his artistic abilities.

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Booth also had a keen interest in mechanical engineering and automobile design, which led to him laying out the Biautogo sketches in Paris, France around 1910, while studying art there for a time. He did not intend to turn it into a production vehicle, but rather to use it as an engineering study and for promotional purposes at the 1912 New York Auto Show.


The project was not completed in time for the New York show, but it was soon finished and featured in an article in The Automobile, in 1913. And what a vehicle it was – the aluminum-bodied machine was powered by the first V-8 built in Detroit, a 332 ci. Scripps-Booth engine that produced 45 hp. A steering wheel and shaft actuated the springer type of front fork by the use of a chain and bevel gears. The chain-driven rear wheel was suspended by parallel semi-elliptic springs. It rode on large 37 x 5.5-inch tires and a long 140-inch wheelbase.


One would assume that a vehicle of this type would be stabilized at low speeds by a powered-gyroscope, but instead Booth fitted drop-down balance-wheels for that purpose. It has been reported that above twenty mph the front and rear wheels would keep it upright by the same principals used for the bicycle. Other features were: a four-speed transmission, an air starter, a very distinctive surface-mounted radiator of copper tubing, and seating for three passengers.

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Full details of this of this unusual vehicle are in a two-page article that can be seen above, which was featured in the August 28, 1913, issue of The Automobile. You can also learn about the JB Rocket Cyclecar produced by Booth and covered here earlier on The Old Motor and the later Scripps-Booth Car here.

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In person, the BiAutogo is a genuine delight to see, and you can do just that by visiting with the Owls Head Transportation Museum, in Owls Head, Maine. At the museum, you will find one of the most diverse collections (a small sampling is above) of primarily pre-1920 automobiles, aircraft, motorcycles, stationary engines and bicycles in the country. You can visit with them here at the Owls Head Transportation Museum.

Posted in Auto photos 1885 - 1920, Motorcycle photos, Pre-War Contemporary Photos | Tagged , , , , , , |

The Goodwood 72nd Members’ Meeting and the Grover-Williams Trophy Race


At the Goodwood circuit in Southern England, Lord March launched the latest event to be run on the famed racing track, the Members’ Meeting, which was held on the weekend of March 29th and the 30th, 2014. The racing action is open only to members of the Goodwood Road Racing Club and their guests. The event continues on from the 71 club meetings held earlier at Goodwood in the fifties and sixties for members of the British Automobile Racing Club. A full slate of twelve races was presented covering many vintage categories.

The photos shown here are of the Grover-Williams Trophy Race that was staged to celebrate the 90th anniversary of one of the most successful racing cars of all time, the Bugatti Type 35. The race is named in honor of William Charles Frederick Grover-Williams who was very successful behind the wheel of his British Racing Green Type 35. Photographer-filmmaker Stefan Marjoram was there to record the action and today we are featuring his photographs covering this race.

At the Goodwood 72nd Members’ Meeting  you can learn more about this new event. Be sure to view the exciting video below they have produced which will fill you in on all the action during this race along with the results. A visit with Stefan Marjoram will reward you with more of his fine work.

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Posted in Pre-War Contemporary Photos, video | Tagged , , , , , |

Cadillac-LaSalle Automobiles Featured at 2014 CCCA Museum Experience

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    1936 Cadillac V-16 Fleetwood Aero-Dynamic Coupe owned by Bill Parfet

Cadillac-LaSalle automobiles will be featured at the Classic Car Club of America Museum’s 2014 “Experience,” scheduled for Sunday, June 1 on the campus of the Gilmore Car Museum – home of the CCCA Museum.

Both full classic and non-classic Cadillac automobiles built from 1903 to 1962 are welcome. Automobile owners need not be CCCA members to display their cars at the 2014 “Experience.” In addition to Cadillac-LaSalle automobiles, full classics owned by members may be displayed on the show field. Prior to the “Experience” on Sunday, a CCCA Grand Classic will be held on Saturday, May 31. Only full classics owned by members may be displayed at this event.

“For CCCA members—and Cadillac-LaSalle enthusiasts—who have not visited the CCCA Museum and Library recently, this is a great year to do so,” said Howard Freedman, Museum president. “There is really nothing else like it in the world. This is the only museum devoted solely to classic automobiles.”

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  • A 1913 Cadillac Torpedo Touring Car and a 1932 LaSalle Phaeton, both unrestored originals owned by restorer Steve Babinsky will be on display

On Friday, there will be a driving tour and automotive art show. The art show will be held throughout the weekend and will include an introduction to automotive art by artist David Chapple. Sunday events, in addition to the classic automobiles on display, will include a silent auction of unique automobile-related items. A narrated awards-drive-by will take place on Sunday afternoon followed by a post-show farewell supper.

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  • A 1930 Cadillac V-16 Roadster on display at the Gilmore Car Museum

2014 “Experience” attendees can see the CCCA Museum, the Gilmore Car Museum, the H.H. Franklin Museum, the Pierce-Arrow Museum, the Ford Model A Museum and the Tucker Archives, as will all be open. The CCCA Library and the Gilmore Car Museum library are also available by appointment. The CCCA Museum contains not only a fine collection of full classic automobiles but a world class radiator mascot collection.

Applications for the 2014 Grand Experience are available from the CCCA Museum. Visit with the club at www.classiccarclub.org

Posted in Auto photos 1921 - 1942, Pre-War Contemporary Photos | Tagged , , , , , , |