Veteran Motor Cars (1894-1904)

Published in 1966 by © Hugh Evelyn Limited, London; drawn by George A. Oliver.

The oldest motor car in this group was built in 1894. Yet this was 9 years after Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler had each produced their own vehicles in Mannheim and Stuttgart respectively. Although the motor car was born in Germany it was in France that its early potential was first realised. ‘La systeme Panhard’ rationalised the layout of the main mechanical components of the motor-car and was followed by most of the manufacturers from the mid-nineties. The ‘Mercedes pattern’ was based on ‘la systeme Panhard’, but its own importance is due to its long-lasting influence on the appearance of the motor-car. Italy was a later starter (F.I.A.T. was founded in 1899) but for the succeeding 120 years has been a major influence, not least in the way cars manufactured in all countries look. The United States was also a comparatively late starter but once the manufacture of motor-cars got going there nothing could hold back its expansion and progress. (As early as 1909 trouble threatened when a sudden shortage of skilled brush-painters caused delays in delivery of cars but it was the timely discovery of the spray-gun that gave finishing-shops the ability to keep up with chassis production). To cope with the great variety of road conditions and climate American cars had to combine lightness with strength, clear the ground by a generous margin, possess flexible, comfortable suspension, and have an adequate reserve of power. These features made them suitable for use in other countries where operational conditions were difficult. From the earliest days there was valuable interchange of ideas and information in the nascent industry. The 1894 Peugeot was assembled near Milan under licence with a rear-mounted engine supplied by Panhard et Levassor who made the Daimler designed engine under licence in France. The De Dietrich was built to a design by Turcat-Mery, and even the Rolls-Royce was to some extent French inspired. The only original designs were those of the Benz and the Lanchester, simplicity being the principal feature of the former (along with a high level of reliability) and advanced thinking that of the latter.

The prints measure 47.5 cm wide x 34.5 cm high (18 ½ ″ x 13 ½ ″). Minor variation is possible based on the actual guillotine cut made by the printer over 50 years ago.

The images you will see on this site are photographs of the prints. Magnifying them by hovering over them or viewing enlarged images may show some slight distortion of line, fill, colour or text. The prints themselves have no such distortions.

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