Newsletter January 2010 – Number 19
Museums around the world you may not have heard of: Malta Classic Car museum
Questions from our readers
A website brought to our attention by one of our “friends”
Context and Social History 1. Price Relativity
A few photo’s from the Schulmpf museum
Lotus books/(recommended reading)
Lotus books(one for the library).
Lotus interest on YouTube
All previous articles relating to these are held on the website.
1. The Quiz
Congratulations to our winners. Prizes are on their way out to you all.
All the answers are to be found here.
The AFN Story by Denis Jenkinson
Life at the Limit by Professor Sid Watkins
British Grand Prix Heroes by Tim Hill
A Special mention
Derek John Pelly
2. Museums around the world (you may not know about)
The Malta Classic Car Collection
The Malta Classic Car Museum is situated in Tourists Street , Qawra Malta. Besides being regarded as one among the best Classic Car Museum in Europe it is also becoming renowned worldwide too.
The idea of a museum was not always in the owner’s mind. From childhood, Carol Galea had a great passion for cars where he started collecting car models. In due time, the collection became a hobby enhancing the selection of different scales. When he reached his age to drive, he started building a car to his own design. Equipped with a Jaguar XK 140 engine, the car was ready for test drive. Carol, very enthusiast in hill climbs, started participating with the prototype, where he made a hit. The passion geared him to commence a real car collection with a Fiat 1200 paving its way which is still found in the museum. From there on his garage became more crowded and had to share with other garages to accommodate the impressive leisure pursuit. In all activities, Carol always carried the camera with him and managed to build a remarkable collection of the past epoch with many of photographs found on display at the museum. As time went by, he finished up with no other option other than opening a museum and sharing the anthology with others.
The lavish place is well presented and magnificently oriented. Every car on display can be reached from all angles, making the enthusiastic feel much more at ease to inspect thoroughly without being forbidden to take photographs.
The regal marble staircase leading to the museum gives the first impressions of a prosperous 3000 square meter museum with magnificent lightings allover. Apart from the over hundred items on display, one can find also a great variety of jukeboxes, slot machines, life size models, memorabilia and posters. Half way through the tour, one can also find a state of the art cinema, seating sixty-five with running documentaries. The collection is considered to be one amongst the best in Europe , a marvelous exhibition that one cannot miss.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: 09.00 – 18.00
Saturday & Public Holidays 09.00 – 13.30
3. Question (can you help?)…This time a request
We frequently get asked from around the world quite amazing questions , so far we have used a limited group to try and answer them, not always successfully. We now put them on our website and see if any “friends” know the answer.
Still many unanswered questions on our website can you help?
The following is a recent question.
Could I please place a request?
I need to buy or borrow a special engine tool. Where they can be obtained etc?
It’s called a VALVE SRING COTTER REPLACER [PART NO. A/E 6518 B]
They are a Ford tool for the 100 E side valve engine. There is an illustration on page 12 of the Ford Repair manual covering 1953-61 models including the Anglia, Prefect etc.
I am unable to complete the assembly of my engine and have been looking for years and now quite urgent.
Can anyone help?
4. A website brought to our attention by one of our “friends”
“ Hi there, congratulations on your excellent site. I found your site whilst I was researching building a westfield 11 and looking for original lotus picks. I was amazed to find out lotus started out in honsey! I was born in hornsey and my farther grew up there in the fifties and sixties on crouch hall road. I travel every day past the jewson building to work in finsbury park. Found another site that has a few pics of the hornsey works.”
5. Context and Social History
1. Price Relativit
The editors feel that it is important that history and events are seen in context of the era and in some relativity to the present.
For this reason we will include a number of articles that touch on Lotus development and communicate a wider cultural feel for the period.
One of the most important comparisons is with prices and hence affordability. Cost is also a measure of input and the craft skills required. Furthermore the achievements of Lotus can be seen to reflect their technological input, labour time and been seen in relative competition success against rivals.
The Allen brothers contributd a relatively vast amount in assisting the construction of the original MkVI. This may have been over a £1000.When this is seen relative to house prices and wages it is a more comprehensive analysis .Further more it illustrates the extent to which Colin was helped, the complexity of the cars he constructed and in turn why they proved so devastating against the opposition .Further more extended analysis might now also be drawn when Lotus were able to take on works cars like Porsche.
In 1956 David Scott-Moncrieff recorded in “Lotus Salad” [Motor Sport, September 1956].
“At that time it was believed that an Mk.VI could be built for an outlay of about £450 on bits and pieces. I did some costing, but gave up when the sum total exceeded £600; as we did not have that much money.”
Lotus advertisements of May 1953 [Motor Sport] quoted prices of:
Whilst articles of the period [Autosport of October 2nd 1953] suggested a car comprising a Ford 10 engine with hood and screen plus full weather equipment and all new materials could be built for £425.Autocar in mid 1953 suggested £400 including labour.
Wages and Salaries etc c1951
In order to ascertain the relative cost and indeed the value of the Mk.VI the editor has researched the census figures for the period
The percentages amongst the population were:
Lawyers and company directors 3.3%
Teachers and farmers 18.3%
Skilled foremen and electricians 49.5%
Partly skilled 16.4%
In 1952 a twenty year old apprecentice working in London might earn £5-3-2 for a forty four hour week pa. [Standard rates of pay in Traders Handbook 1952]
In 1953/54 a graduate teacher might earn £511-766 pa. Rents were about £4.00 per week and average house prices in 1954 might range from £1800-2500] see illustrative material.
The editor includes some new car prices so further comparison can be made. A Ford special of the era might have cost about £250 to construct and poses the question was the M.VI worth the extra cost in terms of performance? However once the Mk.VI had entered competition it possibly made other rivals obsolete and therefore other competitors were forced to this option to remain in contention. Lotus was commanding a premium.
It seems that the Mk.VI retained its value extremely well and second hand examples did not depreciate significantly through the 1950’s. See various advertisements particularly in Motor Sport for the Chequered Flag etc.
Cost adjustments 1952-2002
By the editors calculation the price of the Mk.VI [£450c 1952] would equate with £7,200 in 2002.These figures also indicate relative affordability to occupation .This would also be the retail price for a Caterham 7.
The rarity of an original Mk.VI restored might command from £12-20,000.An unrestored example may fetch £6-7,000.
Author.. John Scott-Davies
6. A few photos from the Schulmpf museum in Mulhouse
Thank you Carl Pereira for sending to these photos us.
7. Lotus books (recommended reading)
No new additions this month.
Some of these books on our list are out of print so autojumbles may help. More recommendations welcome. Please keep sending recommendations.
8. Lotus books one for the library.
Motor racing historian Ed Mcdonough has taken the original transcripts of Innes’ articles, with the co-operation of Jean Ireland, and edited them into this collection of tales, adding many photographs not previously published. They demonstrate the depth of Ireland’s passions and his skill as a writer and story teller.
9. Lotus Collectables
1/43 Lotus Eleven 1957
10. Lotus interest on YouTube
One item on Youtube maybe of interest our readers
Amazingly next months newsletter will be our 20th so we will try and make it special.
These newsletters could not be done without John’s research skills and love of writing about technical subjects and Jamie’s technical skills in glueing it all together
Thank you for your continued interest and support
Editors of the newsletter
Jamie Duncan (webmaster)