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    Serpolettes Serpolettes Presentation Transcript

    • SERPOLETTE’STRICYCLE The Early Motor in Australasia Number 1, May 2012 Charles Mayman in the car he built himself during 1903 and 1904. Photograph by Darge, Featured in this issue courtesy State Library of Victoria Pre-1900 Peugeot cars in South Australia 3 Quirk’s Mona — All Australian Motorcycle 8 The Charles Mayman Story: Part 1 11 Serpolette’s Tricycle, May 2012
    • From the editor La deliceuse Mlle Serpolette was but a lass when she toured Australia inWelcome to the first edition of Serpolette’s fully Plugger did not confine himself to the 1898 with two Gladiator racing bicy-Tricycle, a publication dedicated to the major cities, but appeared with his motor cles and a Gladiator motor tricycle.early motor in Australasia. ‘Motor’ is used cycle in many smaller towns — from Nara- With demonstrations of motor tricy-here in its original sense, where it could coorte in South Australia’s south east to cling — and some particularly daringequally mean a private or commercial mo- Eaglehawk in central Victoria to Charters cycling fashion — in Fremantle,tor car, a motor cycle, a motor tricycle or Towers in far north Queensland. Later in Perth, Adelaide and Sydney, Ser-the power unit of one of these vehicles. the veteran period, Irish/American/ polette provided many AustraliansNot for us strict date ranges or geographi- Australian actor/producer/singer/film star with their first experience of pow-cal rigour; instead ‘early’ will be sufficient Alan Doone flamboyantly flounced around ered transport, and stimulated theto confine our content predominantly to Australia and New Zealand in his National fledgling local industry to produce itsthe generally-accepted ‘veteran’ period, racing car, a replica of the car that won the first motor vehicles.and ‘Australasia’ will focus our thoughts on 1912 500-mile race at Indianapolis.the motor in Australia and New Zealand, Doone’s inter-city record attempts arguablywithout restricting us unnecessarily. There brought him more grief than glory; he maywas much in the wider motoring world to have been the first motorist to crash a carinterest local motorists in the early years, in all states of Australia as well as in Newand this remains of interest today. Zealand!In deciding to cover both Australia and New Serpolette’s Tricycle will no doubt developZealand I was influenced by the motoring a character of its own, but if it is to succeedpioneers who travelled widely in the two it will require input from others who sharecountries. Two come to mind. Champion my interest in early motoring. By all meanscyclist ‘Plugger Bill’ Martin began his in- begin by reading and sharing with friends,volvement with pacing motor cycles in the but also consider making a contribution.late 1890s, and before his retirement Although designed to be read on thearound 1903 he toured all Australian states screen, please do print it out and pass it onand New Zealand both riding, and riding his to the non-computing friend.bicycle behind, his Orient motor tandem Leon Mitchelland his French Soncin motor cycle. Delight- Adelaide, May 2012Serpolette’s Tricycle, May 2012 2
    • A Peugeot in the garage “Ghosts are sometimes captured in photo- graphs; this is possible only when they mate- rialise.”Chasing Victorian-era Peugeot cars in South Australia The internet is alive with tips on the best way to capture a ghost in a photograph. If a grave yard of crumbling headstones is not available, any old building will suffice provided there is plenty of clutter in the shot. A ghost will never be captured in a photograph of an empty room. Our view of the Lewis Cycle and Motor Works garage in Molton Street, Adelaide, in late 1905 (left) ticks all the boxes – cars, motorcycles, benches and machinery pro- vide the clutter amongst which a ghost might appear – and yes, on cue, there is our sceptre, lurking eerily in the left back- ground. I first noticed the ghostly ‘visitor’ a couple of years ago, but despite circulating the photo quite widely no identification was forthcoming. Mostly obscured by workshop partitions, the main distinguishing features of what I’ve come to call ‘the town car’ are the ornate sleigh front to the coachwork and the Victoria-style hood well to the rear. Hours spent peering ever-deeper into the image have finally produced a name – Peugeot – and an approximate date of 1898 – 1900. First, let’s establish that the car is withoutSerpolette’s Tricycle, May 2012 3
    • doubt a Peugeot. One of the most prolific producers of cars in the 1890s, Peugeot offered an extensive model range, and our key features – the sleigh front and the rear hood – certainly feature in a number of these. Broadly speaking, the early Peugeots came in two styles, either driver-at-front Detail of the Victorian-era driver-at-front Peugeot in (with passengers seated to the rear), or driver-at-rear (with passengers in front in the vis-à-vis configuration in all but the the Lewis garage. smallest single-seat voiturettes). The driver-at-front cars feature all of the con- trols in front of the front axle: the vertical steering column with its steering handles, the gear change lever with its low quadrant forward of the driver’s feet, and the brake lever with its ratchet handle close by the driver’s seat. In our photo, all three con- trols are engaged in the task of supporting a half-inflated inner tube. Serious enthusi- asts will trace it out, draped over the steer- ing handles, around the gear lever, be- tween the brake lever and its ratchet han- dle then over the driver’s seat. That makes Armand Peugeot in a c1899 similarities with ‘our’ car. it a good-sized tube – perhaps too large for Type 28 Peugeot. Note a bicycle in which case it might come from the Peugeot itself, perhaps providing a rea- son for the car to be in the garage. After this brief tour of the controls, the Peugeot identification is hard to dispute. Identifying the exact Peugeot model is more difficult,Serpolette’s Tricycle, May 2012 4
    • but for comparison we reproduced the been found in the contemporary press, nor der’. If a Peugeot car did exist in South Aus-widely-published photo of Armand Peugeot in any account of South Australian motor- tralia prior to 1905, we have no record ofwith his friend M. Rossell in a c1899 Type ing history, in the years before 1905. In it.28. All the visible features of the Lewis car fact the appearance of the car in the Lewis And yet South Australia is home to thematch those of the Type 28, but similar photograph, undated but believed to be skeletal remains of not one but two Victo-features could be found in other models in from late 1905, coincides with the very first rian-era Peugeots, both recovered in thethe Peugeot range. mention of a Peugeot car found in the local country around 50 years ago.The earliest days of the motor car in South press. In June of that year, J. H. The National Motor Museum at BirdwoodAustralia are well documented. When the Weidenhӧfer & Co. announced an auction has on display the preserved chassis of carShearer steam carriage took to the streets of motor cars to be held at Allison’s Motor number 724, identified as a Type 17 voi-of Adelaide in 1900, as part of the Centen- Garage in Grenfell Street, with one of the turette of 1899, which was recovered byary Exhibition, it was a novelty feted by the offerings an ‘8 h.p. Peugeot Double Cylin- museum co-founder Len Vigar near Calootedaily press as the first four-wheel motorvehicle in the city. The internal combustionvehicles followed: first the Lewis car in No-vember 1900, then three more cars during1901. Such was the novelty of the motorcar in South Australia that through to theformation of the Automobile and MotorCycle Club of South Australia in late 1903any addition to the fleet was reported withenthusiasm. Retelling of the state’s auto- National Motor Museum, Birdwood. contemplate the surviving Type 17motive history began in 1905 and has con- Peugeot now preserved at thetinued since. During the teens and the Len Vigar and Jack Kainestwenties the ‘recollection’ genre was popu-lar, and the automotive pioneers were of-ten called on to reminisce about the earlydays.Despite a concerted search, no referenceto a pioneer Peugeot motor car (or indeedany ‘mystery’ Victorian-era car) has yetSerpolette’s Tricycle, May 2012 5
    • on the Murray River. Although no body- dors advertised for sale an 8 h.p. Peugeot the looks nor the mechanical sophisticationwork remains on the chassis, the presence motor car. Butler, Shannon, & Co. held an expected of a motor car in late 1906. Withof the gear change lever amidships con- auction on June 6 at which they offered no apparent overlap in ownership, it is pos-firms the car as one of the ‘driver at rear’ ‘For Mr. M. Weber – Peugeot Motor Car, 8 sible that all the 1906 advertisements, asmodels; clearly not the remains of our horsepower, double cylinder, seating for well as that in 1905, refer to the same vehi-driver-at-front car. five, with folding hood, in perfect order.’ cle.The other Peugeot chassis is of car number No better succinct description could be Coincidences are always welcome in re-806, believed to be a Type 15 of 1898. Re- made for our car, but it could equally apply search, and at this point an extraordinarycovered from the country just to the north to other vehicles in the Peugeot range, par- coincidence provides us with a secondof Adelaide, at Smithfield in one story or ticularly since Peugeot offered a choice of glimpse of our ghost, captured on filmOne Tree Hill in another, parts of this chas- motors for each model. Had Mr. Weber much as it was in the Lewis garage a yearsis were spread among members of the purchased the car from the Weidenhӧfer or so earlier. This time we find it lurking inVeteran Section of the Sporting Car Club of auction a year earlier? By the end of June, the Gard Bros. garage, in one of two inte-S.A. before being reunited by the present Merrington Mullins, proprietor of a motor rior shots that feature on an undated full-owner. Tantalisingly, a few other parts – garage in Wyatt St., had begun a series of page advertisement cut from an unknownincluding an original Peugeot carburettor advertisements for what sounds very much source. The Rex motorcycles that appear inand oiler box of the era – have also sur- like the same car: ‘A Bargain, superior Peu- the photographs can be dated to 1906,faced. A seat and body parts were sighted geot Motor, 8 horsepower, 2 cylinder, 5 consistent with a late 1906 date – perhapsat Greenock in 1964 but later vanished. sittings, hood: trial.’ Never shy of wheeling the September to November period whenThe Type 15 was one of the more popular and dealing, it is plausible that Mullins the Peugeot was being advertised. Al-Peugeot models with some 87 examples snapped up the car at the Butler, Shannon, though hampered by the small size andbuilt between 1897 and 1901. Crucially for & Co. auction, and after some freshening ‘screening’ of the printed photograph, weour story it was also one of the driver-at- up put it back on the market. The third can still make out the unmistakable sleighfront models, albeit shown in period Peu- vendor for 1906 was Gard Bros., whose front of the Peugeot, just protruding in thegeot illustrations without the elaborate Motor and Cycle Works and Garage was on right foreground of the photograph. Asleigh-front coachwork. Could a Type 15 be Gouger St. Their advertisements for glimpse of what seems to be the wire-supplied with a sleigh-front body? If so, ‘Peugeot Motor Car, 2 cylinder, 8 h.p.’ ran spoked front wheel of the car adds to ourthese remains may be those of our ghost; if from September into November, perhaps knowledge of its specification. Both surviv-not, we may have evidence of at least on account of the asking price of £140 ing Peugeot chassis were found with theirthree pioneer Peugeots in the state. which, although not prohibitive, must have original wire wheels.During 1906 three different Adelaide ven- been high for a car which featured neither Registration of motor vehicles becameSerpolette’s Tricycle, May 2012 6
    • Not much help, then, from the registration records. So this is as far as our Peugeot story goes. Our total knowledge amounts to two glimpses in period photographs, two sur- viving chassis, two mentions in the regis- tration records, and four vendors for what may or may not be one 8 h.p. car up until Detail from the c1906 Gard Bros. ad- vertisement: the sleigh front of the the end of 1906. Missing of course is the most interesting part of the story: just how Peugeot is visible at far right. and when did the Victorian-era Peugeots come to be in South Australia? The quest for the origins of the Peugeots continues. While there are one or two leads to follow, any additional information would be most welcome. Oh, there is just a little more to the story. Another 8 h.p. Peugeot was offered for salecompulsory in South Australia in Septem- geot car was on the road at that date, al- in July 1908 (had Mr. Lyons tired of his oldber 1906 and by mid-October ‘practically beit with its registration number and bus already?) at the optimistic price ofall motor vehicles’ had been registered, owner unknown. The first Peugeot to ap- £160, followed by one last, definitely inglo-amounting to 189 motor cars. Motoring pear on the Brooks list is in May 1908 rious, advertisement from Gard Bros. inhistorian the late George Brooks devoted when an 8 h.p. car owned by H. Lyons of July 1909 ‘Second-hand Peugeot Motorenormous effort to compiling registrations Adelaide was issued with number 462. In Car, 2 cylinder, water cooled engine, 8-10details of early motor vehicles in S.A., and the South Australian registration system, h.p.; £20 or offer.’ Cheaper than most sec-according to his list no Peugeot was among where owners were able to transfer their ond-hand motorcycles on offer, at a timethe first few hundred cars registered. An registration number to their new vehicle, when £350 was the price for a new Dar-article in the period press (Register, 13 Oc- Mr. Lyons’ car may have been either a racq, ‘The Low Priced Motor Car’. After tentober 1906) does, however, list ‘Peugeot’ ‘new’ car (or at least a car not previously or so years, the Peugeot’s transition fromamong the makes represented in the first registered in the state) or an older car that luxurious town car to ‘old crock’ was al-189 cars, suggesting that at least one Peu- had previously carried an earlier number. most complete.Serpolette’s Tricycle, May 2012 7
    • Quirk’s MonaThe all-Australian motor cycleWhen the Quirk’s Mona was announced inlate 1915 the fanfare included a uniqueboast: ‘The Only Motor Cycle Manufac-tured Entirely in Australia’.‘The only’, like ‘the first’ (see page 9), isone of those claims which is difficult toprove, but in this case it may well be trueas no other ‘entirely Australian made’ bikefrom that era comes easily to mind. Of the400+ brands of Australian-made motorcy- Australian Motor Cycle, April 1916cles sold prior to WW2, the majority wereassembled using at least some importedcomponents. In the vast majority the mo-tor, the front fork and the gearbox (wherefitted) were imports, and very often theframes were built locally but used importedlugs. While a number of pioneer Australianmanufacturers built their own motors, thispractice became almost unknown by about1905 when specialist motor manufacturersin Europe, the USA and the UK were offer- ily on the popular Douglas layout— paper. That said, the frame of the Mona hasing cheap, reliable power units, and their particularly that of the larger 3½ and 4 h.p. the motor suspended from the top, ratherAustralian distributors were busy supplying machines. Not copied, but ‘inspired’, to the than supported from underneath as in thethese to local motor houses. point where it would be surprising if the Douglas design.The over-all design of the Mona is interesting Quirk’s designers did not have a Douglas or In his 1996 book A-Z of Australian-made Mo-but not particularly innovative, drawing heav- two in the drawing office as pen was put to torcycles Rob Saward estimates Mona pro-Serpolette’s Tricycle, May 2012 8
    • bourne-based Firth Bros. from some time around 1914 into the early 1920s to the design of Australian Norm Maplestone. The fork was also made under license in the U.K. by H.C. Webb & Co. (presumably no relation to the auctioneers) and was the basis for the much-admired Webb fork of Photo courtesy Webb’s Auction House New Zealand auction house Webb’s at the later 1920s. It is possible that the Ma- Kit of Quirk’s Mona parts offered by their March 31 auction in Auckland. plestone fork was an original fitting on the Mona, although advertising showed the A.G. Healing-built ‘Peerless’ fork. This was a near copy of the popular Druid, but using round tubes front and rear rather than the oval-section tube used for the main blades of the Druid. The Peerless fork was branded on the four fork links. As an aside, Healing built a large number of Fafnir-, Precision- and JAP-engined bikes branded ‘Peerless’,duction at ‘over 100’ units before manufac- the resurrection of a second bike might test some of which wore the Peerless fork, oth-ture ceased in 1916. From this production run all but the most experienced restorer. ers the Druid. They also sold the Peerlesssurvivors are rare: I don’t know of a running The engine numbers of the two machines fork to other builders, such as Quirk’s. Soexample. Very pleasing then to see a wonder- are listed as 272 and 397, which at face Peerless fork does not imply Peerless bike,ful ‘kit’ of Mona parts on offer by New Zea- value seem hard to reconcile with a pro- nor does Peerless bike necessarily implyland auction house Webb’s at their recent duction run of 100 bikes. On the other Peerless fork. Confusing enough?sale in Auckland. How ironic to find ‘The Only hand 400+ (or 300+ if the factory began The Mona parts at Webb’s auction wereMotor Cycle Manufactured Entirely in Aus- numbering at 101, which was common) not sold on the day, so if you are a capabletralia’ on offer at an overseas sale! doesn’t seem plausible given the short pro- restorer an opportunity awaits — contactStudying the high resolution photograph of duction run and paucity of survivors. Webb’s for more information. What a de-the parts on the Webb’s web site Also of interest is the front fork shown in light it would be to see a Quirk’s Mona onwww.webbs.co.nz there are pretty good the ‘main’ bike which appears to be the the road again, if not in Australia then atprospects for a restorable bike, although rare Maplestone, manufactured by Mel- least ‘down under’.Serpolette’s Tricycle, May 2012 9
    • ‘The first’! cannot be disproved, the person who made the claim. OK let’s play. Was Mr. Aunger correct? If you know of a four-cylinder car imported into Australia (or New Zealand) before June 1904 please letAn easy game to play… us know.Motoring historians love a challenge, and ‘The first’! No. 1: Also if you have a ‘the first’ claim that younone appears more frequently than when Motoring pioneer Murray Aunger would like to test, please send it in, pref-the phrase ‘the first’ is used to describe an claimed in the Mail on Dec. 10, 1927 erably with a couple of explanatory para-event. Similar phrases (‘arguably the first’, that ‘...a Gladiator for Mr. Bertie Barr graphs and a photograph if available.‘likely the first’, etc.) will escape close scru- Smith… was the first four-cylinderedtiny but unqualified ‘the first’ is like a red car imported into Australia.’ All correspondence to the editor:rag to a bull. The 12-h.p. Gladiator was in Ade- serpolette@earlymotor.comTo prove this or that was ‘the first’ is at laide by June 1904.best difficult and at worst impossible: it re-quires certain knowledge that the eventhas not occurred earlier — not even in thedead of night, behind locked doors, hiddenfrom prying eyes by a master of secrecy.To prove an event was not the first is fareasier, as it requires only a documenteddescription of an earlier occurrence.The rules for our game are simple: Bertie (Robert Jnr.) Barr Smith and his father seated in the 12-h.p. Gladiator.1. State the claim. If the claim was made Cycle and Motor Works chats with Tom O’Grady (left) from the Lewis by someone other than yourself we need the name of the claimant, the date when the claim was made, and, most importantly, the date when ‘the first’ occurred.2. Challenge the claim. The winner will be the person who provides credible evidence of the earliest date for the event, or, in the case that the claimSerpolette’s Tricycle, May 2012 10
    • A death in EaglehawkThe Charles Mayman Story, Part 1By the 1890s the central Victorian gold riders, manufacturers, retailers, puntersrush had subsided, leaving a legacy of pros- and promoters there was surprising ex-perous, well populated towns. Prosperous change of international talent, with foreigncommunities seek entertainment, and for ‘cracks’, usually sponsored by manufactur-the town of Eaglehawk, a satellite linked to ers and promoted by talented spruikers,golden Bendigo by a steam tram, this came making well-publicised tours of Australianin the form of bicycle racing at their cycling velodromes. The major cities – Sydney,track in Canterbury Park. Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane – allThe advent of the pneumatic-tyred ‘safety’ featured electrically-lit velodromes withbicycle – with two wheels of equal size, a banked corners. The better tracks werecomfortable ride, and the rider seated concrete and could attract crowds ofwithin safe falling distance of the road – 20,000 or more if the headline riders war-and the introduction of mass-production ranted.techniques to the bicycle industry, with the Bicycle racing in Bendigo began in earnestattendant drop in purchase price, conspired in 1893, when a new asphalt track was H. B. (Harry) James in the cycling events isto produce a boom in cycling both as a completed. The first event – a combined of interest to our story, where Harry willsport and a means of personal transport. ‘citizens’ sports’ meeting held on Boxing reappear as a central character.The boom was brief, but between 1895 and Day 1893 – featured a mix of cycling and Only a five-mile tram ride away from the1900 cycle racing was a sport that captured athletics. The event was deemed successful centre of Bendigo, the people of Eaglehawkthe public imagination, attracting huge in all important ways, being ‘largely at- had excellent access to the cycling eventscrowds to see the ‘cracks’ in action. With tended’, profitable with £200 taken at the held at the Bendigo track. Obviously notthe crowds came money: appearance gate, and the winning time for the Two- content with this, construction began inmoney for the crowd-pullers and prize mile Cycling Race (4min. 48 2/5sec.) 1898 on a new cycling track in Eaglehawkmoney to ensure spirited completion. deemed ‘the fastest time ever done in Aus- which was described as ‘very nearly per-The cycling boom was a world-wide phe- tralia’. Although probably not significant at fect’. Located in picturesque Canterburynomenon, and with money to be made by the time, the presence of Melbourne cyclist Park adjacent to the town square, the trackSerpolette’s Tricycle, May 2012 11
    • featured asphalt paving and banked cor- outing was at the St. Kilda Cricket Ground to the track, with W. Lewis as steersmanners, and promised to be ‘one of the fastest track at the end of November, so it must and O.S. ‘Ossie’ Prowse controlling the mo-and safest in Victoria’. have been quite a coup for the organisers tor from the back saddle, endeavouring toOn Boxing Day 1899 the Eaglehawk branch to secure one of the machines for the establish a record for half a mile. Disasterof the A.N.A. began a tradition of post- Eaglehawk carnival. Better still was the suc- struck when ‘the tire on the back wheelChristmas ‘cycling sports’ carnivals at the cessful first outing: tucked in behind the burst, causing the machine to get out ofnew track. These carnivals were run over noisy monster on a wet track, ageing control’. Both riders were thrown heavily,one or two days, typically encompassing American crack William ‘Plugger Bill’ Mar- Lewis hitting the fence but ‘beyond a shak-either Boxing Day (26 December) or Com- tin (another key player in our story) rode ing appeared all right’. Prowse was not somonwealth Day (January 1), and included the mile in a track record 1 minute 49 4/5 lucky, and ‘was picked up unconscious, wasathletic and novelty events in addition to seconds, corresponding to nearly 33 m.p.h. much rubbed and cut about the body, be-cycling. But what better way to see out the (53 k.p.h.). sides having the muscles of the right legold century than with a taste of the new – Perhaps because of the successful first out- badly strained’. Although Prowse recov-the highlight of the 1899 carnival was to be ing, the Dunlop tandem returned to the ered, the accident may have caused the or-appearance on the track of a Dunlop motor Eaglehawk track for the next annual sports ganisers to reconsider the future of motorscycle. Most present would get their first day. On January 1, 1901 – the true Com- on the Eaglehawk track: none were presentclose-up view of a motor vehicle. monwealth Day – the motor tandem took at the sports at the end of 1901 or 1902.The French-built De Dion Bou- Motor cycles returned to Eaglehawk onton-powered ‘Jallu’ motor pac- Boxing Day 1903, this time with a fully-ing tandems were imported by fledged Motor Cycle Race over 5 miles. Thethe Dunlop Rubber Company, event was a handicap, as was usual at theno doubt to generate publicity time, and our man Charley Mayman rode aand to try to revive the waning Beauchamp machine, sometimes referredinterest in cycle racing. The to as a ‘Speed King’, made entirely by himBritish Dunlop company ac- at Edward Beauchamp’s cycle works in thequired two machines, and Arcade at Prahran. Mayman rode off 50tested them on the famous yards to the win, having given second-Crystal Palace track before place-getter A.E. Loveland 270 yards’ start.shipping them to Melbourne, His time for the 5 miles was 7 min. 22 2-5where they arrived in late Sep- sec., an average of nearly 41 m.p.h. (66tember 1899. Their first public k.p.h.).Serpolette’s Tricycle, May 2012 12
    • No doubt Charley’s 1903 success was in his while Sutton was in front, Mayman suc- Before his death at age 23 at the end ofmind as he motored the 100-odd mile up to ceeded in overcoming the trouble, and what many consider the ‘true’ veteran era,Eaglehawk from his home in Prahran for his machine acquired a speed of nearly Charley Mayman built, from the ground up,the 1904 sports. His travelling companion 40 miles an hour. While travelling at this at least ten motor cycles and a motor car. pace it is thought that one of his tireswas friend and fellow racing motor cyclist His motor cycles proved themselves with exploded, for the rider lost control,Arthur Sutton, son of motoring pioneer and remarkable feats of endurance and speed. throwing the unfortunate man onto hismaster inventor Henry Sutton. The two head, inflicting such terrible injuries that He won numerous motor cycle races andfriends had sent their Beauchamp racing he succumbed very shortly after. was chosen by legendary crack cyclistmotor cycles ahead by train, and drove up Charles Mayman, notwithstanding his ‘Plugger Bill’ Martin to ride his buckingin the car, pictured of the front cover of comparative youth (he was in his 24th 6 h.p. Soncin pacing motor cycle in record-this issue, that Charley had recently com- year) was considered to be one of the breaking attempts. Perhaps above all hepleted for himself. Tragically, at about 11.30 leading experts in auto-mobilism [sic], was loved and respected by his friends,AM on Boxing Day 1904, Charles Mayman both as driver and mechanician. He was who banded together to erect the monu-lost his life on the track at Eaglehawk. The employed by Mr. E. Beauchamp, of Prah- ment that still stands over his grave instory was carried by newspapers around ran, as a motor expert, who has time and Boroondara cemetery in Melbourne. An again praised the cleverness of his youngAustralia and New Zealand, with many and extra-ordinary life well lived by an extra- engineer. Many years ago I can remem-varied causes of the accident proposed. ordinary young man. ber Mr. Beauchamp telling me of “thatPerhaps the best summary can be found in boy, Charlie.” “Look,” he said, “I have To be continued...the Australasian for 31 December 1904: learnt many things from him, although I “A most unfortunate fatal accident oc- have been in the business for years. He is curred on the Eaglehawk track last Mon- a genius in motor mechanics, and has day morning, the victim being Charles improved on many of the best imported Mayman, a well-known figure in motor- engines.” As a matter of fact, Mayman ing circles. He, among others, had en- designed and built many motor cycles, tered for a motor-cycle race, to be con- and only recently completed a very tested at the meeting on the same day, beautiful little car, in which he and Sut- and with a fellow entrant was testing his ton journeyed up to Bendigo and Eagle- machine. It seems, according to A. E. Sut- hawk, having sent their racing cycles on ton, who was on the track at the time, by rail. His death was a shock to his that at first Mayman could not get his many friends, and is also a distinct loss engine to work satisfactorily, but later, to local automobilism.”Serpolette’s Tricycle, May 2012 13
    • EaglehawktodayTake time out from the BendigoSwap Meet to listen for echoesof early motorsClockwise from top left:• Entrance to the gardens from Brassey Square, the town centre of Eaglehawk• From the gardens, the Canterbury Oval Grandstand (date unknown) comes into view• Although the surface inside the fence is grassed, the banked cycling track remains• Even the straights are slightly banked• From the grandstand, patrons can view the entire track, including the northern or lake end where Charles Mayman collided with the picket fence on Boxing Day 1904• Locals say Charley’s ghost is sometimes seen in the grandstand (in reality, locals have no knowledge of cycling at Eaglehawk and refer to the track as ‘the dog track’, a more re- cent use)Serpolette’s Tricycle, May 2012 14
    • Mystery Alan, ‘The name presents a handwriting challenge but the last word seems to be trio, no doubt a reference to the threesome solid rear axle is conventional enough, but the centre-pivot steering (surely that’s not a block of wood to take the pivot pin?) withWe know less than you… in the photo.’ ‘over and under’ half elliptics, apparently op- The car itself has all the very best features of erated by bobbin and cable, must be a seri-Our mystery photo, printed on a postcard the cycle car — tandem seating, twin belt ous clue.sent at Christmas 1913, comes to us from drive, motorcycle-style carbide lamp and gen- We have no ideas — over to you.Alan Meredith, who believes it was taken in erator, and entirely dodgy steering and sus- Suggestions to the editor:the Dunedin area of New Zealand. Says pension arrangements. The half elliptics and serpolette@earlymotor.comSerpolette’s Tricycle, May 2012 15
    • Antipodean coachwork Lonsdale St, Melbourne, and is carrying a body built by one of Australia’s best-known body builders James Flood and Co. De-James Flood and Co. dress the 1910 Itala scribed as a ‘torpedo’ body it is hardly that,The earliest cars to come down under only’ and to be fitted with bodies built by owing much to the previous decade at abrought with them their own coachwork. local coachbuilders. The 16-20 h.p. Lancia time when the more streamlined shapesBy about 1906, however, it had become shown here was brought in during 1910 by were becoming popular with some buyers.common for vehicles to arrive as ‘chassis the Acme Motor and Engineering Co. of Others, no doubt, preferred ‘the old style’. gear-box — see For Sale advert page 17. 16-20 Itala with Flood body. 4 cylinders, 90 x 120 cast in pairs, T head, 4 speed Australian Motorist, November 1910 Photograph by Darge, from TheSerpolette’s Tricycle, May 2012 16
    • Hard parts Wanted Early gearbox, offset drive (also referred to as indirect drive) - suitable for pre-1904 motor car. Wrigley, MAB, W&P or EventsSale and wanted Australia and New Zealand Lacoste & Battmann would be suitable in my proprietary built car - possibly a Jack- National Veteran Rally, AustraliaSale Itala transmission, 4 speed + reverse, son. Any help or leads to find one would be 2012— Sept 12-19, Ipswich, Queenslandgate change, 18 3/4” between chassis rails, very gratefully received. Refer Drawing be- www.vccaq.orgbrake lever. Also pair Itala T head camshafts low. Contact Graeme Jarrett 0422 413 575and timing gears; set of 4 Itala con rods graemejarrett@gmail.com 2013— Sept 15-20, Shepparton, VictoriaContact Leon Mitchell (08) 8278 5120 www.veterancarclub.org.aumitchell@senet.com.au 2014— Oct 19-24, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, W.A. National 1 & 2 Cylinder Rally, Australia 2013— March 10-15, Canberra, A.C.T. 2014— T.B.A., South Australia National Veteran Motorcycle Rally, Austra- lia 2013— T.B.A. Parkes, N.S.W. Sale New JAP half time pinions, suit vet-Sale Rotax Model 314 brass oil sidelamps eran and early vintage single cam motors Othersas used on 12/16 Sunbeams and similar. (770 and 1000 twins, 3 1/2 h.p. singles) 2012— Oct 19-22, Arrowtown, N.Z.Matched complete pair in mint restored 9/16-26 left hand thread. $110 each. Con- 1&2 Cylinder Centenary Weekend, contactcondition. Sell or swap. Contact: Alan tact David Radloff (08) 8264 0090 Alan Meredith alan.meredith@bigpond.comMeredith alan.meredith@bigpond.com radloff@chariot.net.au 2013— June, Bundaburg, QueenslandWanted Articles, photographs, snippets of Auction At least two veteran bikes— 11th Highwheeler RallyAustralian and New Zealand motoring his- Henderson and Indian—in this up-comingtory for use in Serpolette’s Tricycle Contact auction in Toowoomba, Queenslandserpolette@earlymotor.com http://gdlauctions.com.au/index.php?cID=98Serpolette’s Tricycle, May 2012 17
    • Technicalities Serpolette’s Tricycle is published monthly. To subscribe or downloadReading and printing Serpolette’s Tricycle back issues visit our websiteTechnically we could describe Serpolette’s • To switch to ‘full screen mode’ go to the www.earlymotor.comTricycle as an ‘e-zine’ — a magazine de- ‘view’ menu on the top menu bar and se- All materials are copyright, andsigned to be distributed and read electroni- lect ‘full screen mode’ (or use the short should not be reproduced withoutcally. cut: press and hold the CTRL key and express permission from the copy-It is produced in a format called PDF press L). The magazine page should oc- right holder. Views expressed by con-(Portable Document Format) which can be cupy the whole screen. tributors are not necessarily those ofread on any computer or portable elec- • Use the right and left arrows on the key- the editor. Contributions relating totronic device using the free Adobe Reader board to turn the pages. Clicking the the early motor in Australia and Newprogram. Make sure you have the latest, or mouse buttons will also work, depending Zealand are welcomed and can beat least a recent, version of Adobe Reader on your setup. submitted to the editor by email toinstalled on your computer or device. • Return to normal view with the ESC key. serpolette@earlymotor.comYou will notice that the format of the Of course if you would like a paper copy, Serpolette’s Tricycle is intended asmagazine differs from most in that the the magazine can be printed out from entertainment. Although all care ispages are in landscape format. The size of within the Adobe Reader program using taken in the preparation of this edi-the text and images has been chosen for ‘print’ from the top menu bar. To save pa- tion, you should not rely on any con-comfortable reading if a full page is dis- per, double sided printing is great: just se- tent that may effect your physical,played on the screen, and the pages are lect ‘print odd pages’, then return the mental or financial well-being.‘turned’ one by one rather than scrolled. To pages to the paper tray (usually printedtake best advantage of your screen, the face up) and select ‘print even pages’ inpages should be viewed in ‘full screen ‘reverse order’.mode’, that is without the border and Whether reading or printing, some experi-menus that often surround the document menting may be required to get a resultin Adobe Reader. Changing to ‘full screen that suits your device and setup, but pleasemode’ will vary from device to device, but do persevere until you achieve an enjoy-for a normal PC or laptop, the procedure is able reading experience.as follows: Leon Mitchell• Open the PDF file by double clicking on it. www.earlymotor.comSerpolette’s Tricycle, May 2012 18