Tuesday 10 January 2012

Vintage Adventure; Around Europe in 1920s Delage DI Series 5

Two stories here from before Christmas that I kept back until now (good thing too, as there's not a lot else in the way of newsworthy vintage happening out there so far, it seems).  They're so similar in spirit that I reckon they can both be covered in one post, involving as they do two vintage cars undertaking long-distance tours with their owners.

Vintage adventure

The first story begins all the way over in Australia where a vintage car enthusiast and sometime "adventurer" has already driven his 1913 Ford Model T clear across the country (a total of over 2,000 miles) before having it shipped to South Africa to continue right through to Moscow.  This epic road trip is designed to commemorate two similar long-distance drives that took place 100 years ago, and what a way it is to do so!

It just goes to prove what sturdy vehicles these early motor cars are, and reinforces my (and many others') view that these machines need to be used and can withstand great mileages and prolonged use.  The Model T was designed to travel on dirt roads, and be easy to fix, so Melbourne to Moscow shouldn't be beyond it(!).  In 1907, five years before the journeys mentioned in the article, a fleet of cars undertook to travel from Peking (Beijing) to Paris in the famous Peking-Paris road race (and if you can get hold of a copy of the account of the winning team, which included journalist Luigi Barzini Sr., do so).  These cars thrive on use, and there is nothing worse in my eyes than these wonderful vehicles sitting motionless behind a museum tape.  The reactions this Australian fellow has seen so far on his travels prove that vintage cars can engender a sense of camaraderie the world over.

I wish this Aussie adventurer the best of luck and hope he and his Tin Lizzie successfully make it to Moscow.

Around Europe in 1920s Delage DI Series 5

The second story is confined only to Great Britain and Europe but is still a marvellous tale of travel and history.  French car-maker Delage produced some of the most beautiful cars of the interwar years, including the now ultra-rare D1 S5 featured in this article.  This particular car has such an amazing history, yet another reason why it needs to be driven and displayed widely.  I'm glad to see that the current owner restored it and does just that, having travelled all over Europe in it in his quest to find out as much about its past as possible. It's also heartwarming to see that a new generation get so much enjoyment out of the vehicle, I hope they continue to have fun with it while enriching the lives of everyone it comes into contact with.


  1. Such a shame when these beautiful cars just sit in 'micro-museums' aka someones garage, they need to be let free!!! Great post! X

  2. They do need to be used, but as my husband's aunt and uncle could tell you, it's not much fun if your vintage car breaks down and you need to get hold of a part at short notice. They do drive theirs, but it does take plenty of preparation to make sure the cars are as 'healthy' as possible before setting out.

  3. Lovely post, we're vintage car enthusiasts too and definitely believe they should be ot out and used!! You story took me back to when I visted Australia 20 years ago, whilst staying with my uncle my dad visited the neighbouring farm to go out for a ride in the owners Model T Ford. I cant help wonder if it is the same one, or if not, how many more are hidden down under!!
    Maxine x

  4. ha, very cute post, the car in China, would be called "father car"
    Tranditional history


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