Den (dewhitton) wrote,

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Vintage Things

It wasn't all steam at the Vintage Fair; they also had a large selection of old cars, stationary engines, pumps, a 2-stand shearing set, an early cow milker, graders, tractors and plows, vintage and veteran cars, and motorbikes. Everything was working, even the milker.

There were three steam traction engines doing the rounds of the ambulance track at the Racecourse. They towed trailers with seats, and for a modest fee you got to run around the track at 5kph. The Stste Emergency Service people were manning the pedestrian crossing, and as an engine approached the driver would blow the whistle, the SES people would close the crossing and re-open it when the way was clear. This way the paths of a thousand people and 10 tons of heavy machinery crossed, and no one was killed. The stationary motors were powered by either steam, petrol, kerosine, diesel and fuel oil. The fuel-oil engine was bloody brilliant. It had a burner under the cylinder to heat it up to operating temperature, then the bloke gave the flywheel a spin. It went "sup sup sup...sup......sup............ sup" So he waited a few minutes and gave it another spin. "Sup sup sup...sup.....pop sup sup sup...pop sup sup pop sup BANGsupsupsupopsupsuppopsuppopsupBANG BANG pop pop sup pop BANG pop BANG" and so on. 1 ton in weight, 1HP at 500rpm. Wonderful!

Cars! MG TCs, MG TDs, MG As, MG Bs, Mini minors and a Mini Cooper S (a real one, with a Cooper motor in it) E-type Jaguars, Mustangs, Ford Zephyres, Ford Populars, a Ford Anglia, FJ Holdens, an Austin Healy Sprite, 61 model Valiants, Austin 7, and so on.

Tractors! Old grey Massey-Fergusons, Fordsons, Case, others I've never heard of, some of them had spiked metal wheels instead of rubber.

The fair was host to The World's Largest Gathering Of Steam Powered Cars. There were 8 cars. Four were Stanley Steamers of various models, there was a Dobel, two cars I can't remember the names of but looked a lot like the standard petrol burners of the time (Think "The Anthill Mob" from Whackey Racers) and a 1901 model Locomobile. This was the vehicle after the "horseless carriage" but before you had "automobiles." Steering was done with a boat-like tiller affair that the driver pushed or pulled on. The brakes were the standard hand operated ratchet-lever affair, and speed was controlled by turning valves. Actually, the only foot control was a pedal that rang the warning bell.

The owner of the Locomobile had a bumber sticker on her trailer: "My other car is a Stanley Seamer."

I wish I could say that.

MS won the F1. Blagh. Boring.

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