I have no idea about the prices of cars – I look in the newspaper at modern advertisements and reel back in horror at the tags. Of course in the car game these stated prices are just the starting point of an argument between the buyer and the seller and the final figure will be arrived at after a great deal of opera and theatre. Some of it will be tragic and some of it will be comic, but all of it will be the result of greed on the part of both parties.
I should imagine it is the same in the vintage and veteran game, though the opportunity for vehicles the change hands is rarer – and the deals may be done on a more esoteric level than the regular car-lot stuff. Or maybe two old guys just slug it out on the side of the road until they get too exhausted to argue any more. Well whatever the going price for this 1910 Fuller Buggy is these days, and I’ll bet it is over $ 200, and the price of that license plate will be far more. I am not sure if the Western Australian motor vehicle people ever re-issue numbers and letters or whether they retire them after one exposure. I know you can transfer a personal plate from one car to another. This one will be zealously guarded indeed.
The engine compartment shot is another example of the sort of design that the dawn of automobiles brought forth. As the makers did not know what the convenions should be – because there were no conventions – they made their own. If some of them looked like a Shriner’s conventions after the fourth day, well there was always next year’s model. This Fuller seems to have a horizontal engine with two big old cylinders and a fearsome oil distribution system. Pretty straightforward water cooling connections, plenty of access to the magneto, and what very little electrics are needed there on the firewall. I see no sign of a catalytic converter, flux capacitor, air conditioner, computer analysis centre, or toasted sandwich maker anywhere in the engine compartment. They may just have left these at home for the day in the park…
Close observers will also note from the rear view that the car has been fitted with brakes. This is good, as there don’t seem to be any in the front. There are lights in the front but none in the back. Turn signals are effected by the driver semaphoring to the other road users. It pays to know your road code book for these as otherwise you will be trailing the gentleman down the freeway at 40 KPH and trying to second guess him.
Finally, you may be wondering at the tyres on the Fuller. These look to be pretty solid affairs. If they have air in them, it is hard to see where the valve stems are -in any case it would be very old air. I tend to think of them as racing slicks. Certainly the attire of the driver suggests it – the cap is an invitation to street drags if ever I saw one. I shouldn’t wonder if this chap isn’t responsible for a great deal of the late-night roaring and screeching on the nearby streets. He has police chase written all over him.
I wonder if those are stolen plates…?