This is the third in a four part series highlighting my visit to the Tampa Bay Automobile Museum. You can read about and see lots of great car photos by visiting the prior posts; part 1 (Czech) by clicking here, and part 2 (German) by clicking here.
Today's post features the Museum's cars from the USA and UK. Much of the information herein is abstracted from the Museum's displays and website (which like the museum is worth exploring and the link to it found above). The cars included in the collection are far from exhaustive but nicely represent those produced in the 1920s and 1930s. These cars include:
Car 19: 1922 Milburn Electric (USA)
The Milburn was among the first electric (battery powered) cars, styled like a horse-drawn buggy. Travel distance was limited to 100 miles and maximum speed was 20 mph. It was a car designed with ladies of the day in mind. The Milburn was very well built but the cost (new) was three times the cost of a Ford model T.
Car 20: 1928 Willys Knight (Model 56) (USA)
1928 - 1929. 37,931 cars
2600cc. 6 cylinder sleeve engine
Car 21: 1920s Millmie the mystery racecar (USA)
Unknown year of production and quantity
"Mimille" is a mysterious race car from the 1920s with a front-wheel-drive chassis similar to a Miller, a Ford Model A engine with a Robert Roof special head. This was a prototype to the modern Indy 500 cars.
Car 22: 1929 Ruxton (USA)
1929-1930. 200 cars
A legendary American car, the Ruxton was designed by William J. Muller, an engineer for the Budd Corporation, famous for the manufacturing of welded, pressed steel bodies for automobiles, railway cars and aircraft. 200 front wheel drive Ruxtons were produced during the two year production period. A beautiful machine!
Car 23: 1929 Cord L29 (USA)
1929. 4400 cars
The Cord L29 and the Ruxton were the first front wheel drive cars offered to the American public. The L29 is powered by a 125 Horsepower inline 8 cylinder Lycoming engine with a top speed of 80 MPH. A lovely car that was said to handle well. This type of body is called a “Brougham”; only 8 Broughams are known to have survived.
Car 24: 1929 Ford Model A Gazogene (USA)
1927-1931. 4,849,340 cars
Because of fuel shortages in the second World War, gazogÈne technology offered an alternative to gas and diesel engines. In this system, charcoal or wood is burned and the hydrocarbon gas is then used for combustion inside the engine. The museum's car, a 1929 Ford Model A, received a gazogÈne system manufactured in Spain in 1939. This Ford was running in the island of Palma de Mallorca, in close proximity to Barcelona. It is one of very few survivors, and it still runs great with the charcoal.
Car 25: 1937 Cord 812 (USA)
1936-1937. 4000 cars
In 1937, a supercharger was available as an option on the 812 model, distinguished by the chrome plate and exhaust pipes mounted on each side of the hood. Actual horsepower of this V8 is rated between 186-195 @4200 rpm. A rear bustle trunk offers storage space. The car had a great and very distinctive design. A notable feature is the retractable headlamps on the front fenders. The Cord is also front wheel drive car; the transmission is in front of the engine.
Car 26: 1928 Alvis Model F D 12/75 (UK)
The first Alvis (AL for aluminum, vis for strength) was built in England in 1920. A front wheel drive Alvis first raced in 1925, two months before the first front wheel drive Miller appeared in the Indianapolis 500. Alvis built a total of 142 front wheel drive race and road cars up until 1930. This car is a 1928 model with a supercharged 1.5 liter engine with an aluminum body and frame.
Car 27: 1930 BSA Three Wheeler (UK)
1930-1935. 6500 cars
Birmingham Small Arms (BSA) was established to manufacture weapons for the British Government. At the end of the 19th century, they started making motorcycles and bicycles. BSA's front wheel drive car appeared in 1930, a three-wheeler that competed with and outsold the Morgan. To avoid the dirty chain between the front engine and the rear wheel (as found on the Morgan), BSA decided to adopt a front wheel drive layout. Unlike the Morgan, the BSA had a reverse gear and an electric starter.
Car 28: 1935 BSA Scout (UK)
1935-1939. 3000 cars
The transmission of this front wheel drive vehicle is the same as the one found on the BSA three wheelers, but the engine is more conventional water-cooled four cylinder and, of course, there is a fourth wheel!
Car 29: 1949 Allard P1 (UK)
1949-1951. 551 cars
Crafted by Sidney Allard, famous for his racing cars, the Allard P1 features a Ford V8 engine, a modified Ford chassis, an independent suspension, and a body made of aluminum and wood. The P1 was the first British car to win the Monte Carlo rally in 1952 after many years of participation in the race.
Car 30: 1953 Jensen 541 prototype (UK)
1954-1959. 226 cars
This prototype was exhibited in 1953, but the 541 did not enter production until 1954. A beautiful and highly aerodynamic car. The museum's car is the actual Jensen prototype that was built for the Earl’s Court Motor Show in London. Hand built at the Jensen factory, the body is made entirely out of aluminum, apart from the fiberglass boot lid.
Car 31: 1971 Jaguar E type 5.3 (UK)
1971-1974. 15,290 cars
The E-Type was initially designed and presented to the public as a rear-wheel drive grand touring car in both two-seater coupÉ form (FHC or Fixed Head Coup") as well as a two-seater convertible (OTS or Open Two Seater). The museum's car, a Series 3 "2+2" four-seater version of the coupÉ, with a lengthened wheelbase, was released several years later. The car has a 5.3L V12 engine capable of 240 km/hr and has independent front and rear wheel suspension.
Car 32: 1981 DeLorean (Northern Ireland)
1981-1982. 8000 cars
Built in Northern Ireland (UK Territory), the DeLorean's body is made of stainless steel. Colin Chapman (from Lotus) designed the car with John DeLorean. There was not enough time (or money) to ascertain or to improve the qualities of the DeLorean, the problem, and subsequent fate was the same as the Tucker.
Next post: The highlight of the Tampa Bay's automobile collection, it's French cars.