Category Archives: Technical Features
The more things change, the more they stay the same, as you will see in this Sunday’s feature video. There really are no drastic changes in the service business between the time this film was produced and today, but two do come to mind after watching it; in years past, more repair work of assemblies and individual parts was performed instead of just replacing them and electrical systems have become much more modern in recent times. We hope you enjoy the video as, in addition to it’s message, you can view a number of interesting cars and service scenes.
It has been a couple of months since we last reported on the magic that Pavel Malanik is performing in his efforts to build a replica of the North London Garage Record Holder, but rest assured he has been hard at work on the project. Pavel has already completed building the engine from scratch and now has turned to fabricating a Longuemare (an early French maker) carburetor for it. The photo above shows all of the parts of the unit, many of which he machined from solid brass stock.
Originally, in an assembly such as this, many of the pieces where first cast in brass or bronze and then later received machining operations, but in a one-off situation this route is often less time consuming. A project such as this takes weeks if not months of research, planning, drawing and then many more weeks of machining to finally accomplish. Follow along with the photos and captions below to see just how he machined many of the pieces. You can also take a look back on the previous parts of this series here. In Part VIII, coming soon we will show the start of the fabrication of the frame, stayed tuned….
- L to R: Brass round stock needed for all the parts to be machined – Turning operations in the lathe, including and offset grooving operation on the right.
- L to R: Milling the sides of the float bowl – Slotting the top of the mixing chamber – Hand smoothing and finishing the float bowl.
In 1898, French cyclist J.M.M. Truffault invented what appears to be the very first shock absorber to be used on a vehicle, after installing it on a bicycle. It consisted of a front fork with a suspension that used coil springs and a friction device that minimized vibrations.
The next year Edward V. Hartford, an American, witnessed a motor-tricycle race in France that was won by a Darracq ridden by Marcellin and powered by a 12 HP Buchet twin-cylinder engine. It was equipped with a La Fourche Truffault, a sprung-fork built by the Frenchman with his new invention.
The two soon became friends after Hartford had Truffault install a unit on his 2 1/4 HP de Dion tricycle with what he described as most gratifying results. In the fall of 1900 he purchased one of the new 1901 curved-dashed Oldsmobile’s and shipped it to France to have his friend experiment with and install a set of the devices on the little car. After the cars return to the States, the pair who were working together were unable to interest any American manufacturers in using the shocks, other than one offer from one to buy the patent. Negotiations back in France with Peugeot resulted in the automaker installing them on his own car and also selling a few sets.
The first real marketing success of the friction-dampers came when Leon Thery was able to see the merit of using them and equipped his Richard-Brasier racing car with a set. The units in turn helped him as he went on to win the 1904 Gordon Bennett Cup race.
Above is the earliest article we have been able to find covering the shock absorber and it’s development here in this county. Shock Absorbers, written by E.S. Foljambe and found in The Horseless Age October 26, 1906 issue, covers the full range of friction, pneumatic, hydraulic and spring action devices that were available and being applied at the time. It makes for an interesting read all about the use, testing and application of the subject at the dawn of early motoring here in this country. We will follow up on the history of the shock absorber soon. You can also find many more interesting posts here on The Old Motor in our Technical Features category.