Quintessentially classic

2011-07-16 13:30

1918 is a fine vintage not only for an elder statesmen, but also for automobiles. Even when Nelson Mandela was born 93 years ago, there were already updated versions of cars built in the early 20th century. We look at a few cars that share the same age as our former president.

1919 Hispano-Suiza
Hispano-Suiza means Spanish-Swiss, and was the creation of a Spanish automotive and engineering company best known for its luxury cars and aviation engines before World War II.

The H6 earned the company a reputation bigger than Rolls-Royce’s in Britain, so much so that the latter actually had many Hispano-Suiza patented features.

An example of this is how Rolls-Royce used the same braking system as Hispano-Suiza, which was known as the best in the world at the time.

These brakes used the torque generated by a drum brake mounted on the gearbox shaft to send power to the wheels.

The H6 was a two-seater, 6.6-litre, six-cylinder engine with aluminium housing and pistons.
» Sources: Car-nection.com;­ Jaylenosgarage.com; and Sportscarmarket.com

1918 Stutz Bearcat
Jay Leno is best known for being an American talk-show host, but in the US he is also famous for his huge car ­collection.

One of those is the 1918 Stutz Bearcat, which he restored after it stood in a shed for 65 years.

The Bearcat was a roadster that became a status symbol in its time.

In 1911, Harry Stutz set up his own company, and had two-seat roadsters and touring cars made in limited numbers to keep the cars exclusive.

Late in 1917, Stutz introduced a ­16-valve, twin-spark engine in all his models.

The T-head engine delivered lots of torque via a three-speed ­transaxle.

Bearcats could be driven from a walking pace to as fast as 60km/h.

Stutz cars were rather successful when they were first used for ­racing.

1917 Cadillac Type 57

This car was first introduced in ­August 1917, but its sales rocketed only in 1918.

With square instead of rounded doors, it had a tall radiator with an equally long bonnet that sloped into a modified hood.

The Type 57 also had black-enamelled headlights with a distinctive nickel trim. According to ­Car-nection.com, the 57 was a ­“Gypsy-type” vehicle which was for one person and had an open roof.

Some of its standard features ­included 75% transparent side curtains, mounted brackets to swing open with the doors, a dust envelope for the roof, tilt-beam headlights and an illuminated clock.

There was also a speedometer with large figures, a trip reset odometer and an ­electric hooter.

Other features included a foot rest, a clothes hanger and a tool kit.

The material used on seats was ­hand-buffed black leather laid in plaits. 

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.