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Thread: Salmson

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Salmson

    Anyone who knows about Salmson? In the early sixties I owned (my 2nd car, upgrade from Goggomobil!) a 4 door (rear doors were suicide doors, there was no sill between front and rear doors), 4 cylinder sedan, built around 1950. Double overhead camshafts, which were driven by shafts and gears, not belts or chains. Gearbox was an early automatic - Cotal. You used the clutch to drive off only, after that changed with a tiny switch on a stalk off the steering column. For reverse a large knob under the dash changed direction (therefore also 4 gears in reverse).

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    In it's early days Salmson also made (fighter??) planes.

    The factory still exists, but only makes water pumps. (The Sydney opera house has Salmson pumps to keep the cellars dry (under sea level)

  2. #2
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    I knew of Salmson racing cars from the 1920s...

    There are a few about, Steen Pederson on the South Coast of NSW is the guru.

  3. #3
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Bell
    I knew of Salmson racing cars from the 1920s...

    There are a few about, Steen Pederson on the South Coast of NSW is the guru.
    Some of them quite special too. What happened to your car "wouter"?

  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Oh, well...........be prepared for a long story. Abreviated, went on holidays in France, toured around a lot, apart from the fuel pump membrane giving up (and a replacement found!) no problems. In fact enjoyed the car. Reasonably economical, fantastic road behaviour, comfort and unbelievably bad brakes (cable operated)
    Had the car serviced in a garage in Collioure (not too far from the Spanish border on the Mediterranian coast), left for Andorra and after about 60km, not going fast (mountainous roads) experienced a horrible sound, car stopped (just after a sharp corner). Looked underneath and saw lots and lots of oil on the road. Opened the bonnet (split in half lengthwise, you opened one side with hinges in the middle) all waterhoses were torn or disconnected and a mess of water and oil, then found that the motor block had fractured all around the base. End of holidays.

    The experience of ending a camping holiday a long way from home is something I try to forget. Fortunately found a local mechanic who was an admirer of Salmson. He towed the car to his garage and we packed all our gear in a big wooden box (used to contain tins of oil). He then carried us to the local railway station. We had just enough money to buy a train ticket back to Amsterdam and one beer each in Paris whilst waiting for the connection. (In those days the French tried to encourage tourism by offering cheap petrol coupons to foreigners; you'd buy enough for the holidays from your local motoring organisation before you left, thus we had enough coupons for the trip, but not all that much cash to live on.)

    In those days you had to return your car to the country where it was registered (Holland); if we had left it in France, we would have had to pay import duties in France based on the NEW value!! Holiday makers therefore carried an insurance with their motoring organisation for events like that.

    So after a few weeks the ANWB(dutch NRMA) travelled with a car and car trailer to the South of France and returned the Salmson to the wreckers. (the wreckers paid the equivalent of about $25.=)

    Ever since I've thought about getting another one, but prices keep going up and they're well and truly out of reach now.

  5. #5
    1000+ Posts Wildebeest's Avatar
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    Default Salmson

    Salmson was taken over by Renault in 1955. Their final model was a nice looking sports car with wire wheels.

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger!
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    here's some pictures
    Note the white knob directly under the dash? That's the forward/reverse knob. Look closely at the stalk from the steering column, at the end is a little round sphere (like a marble) that is the gear shift.
    Notice steering wheel on the right in a car made for the continent?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Salmson-salm_2300.jpg   Salmson-image11.jpg   Salmson-2300_85088_2.jpg  
    Last edited by wouter; 18th March 2005 at 01:40 PM. Reason: addition

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    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Excellent stuff... thanks for the pics...

  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger!
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    You're welcome, Ray. Recently a "Salon", exhibition was held in Reims for (mainly French) oldies. Have a look here:
    http://www.auto-collection.org/site/reims2005/index.htm

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    Member mbyok's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link.

    The Voisons were amazing. There actually is/was one at the St Leonards Sydney Shannons operation (where they have the auctions). Wasn't for sale but just gathering dust in the background.

    If you're really interested, I have an article in an old issue of Throughbread and Classic Sportscar magazine that features a pretty red Salmson like the one in your attachments. I can try and find & scan it for you (no promises - the wife has been grumbling about those old magazines and threatening to throw them out). However, I do think it is there.

    Regards

    Maurice
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Salmson-voison-resize.jpg  

  10. #10
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mbyok
    .....no promises - the wife has been grumbling about those old magazines and threatening to throw them out.....
    No, no... don't let her do it!

    Find something she treasures and threaten reprisals...

  11. #11
    Fellow Frogger! 604 tragic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wouter
    here's some pictures
    Notice steering wheel on the right in a car made for the continent?
    Yes - did you know all Bugattis were RHD !
    It was a sign of an ultra classy french car - RHD in a LHD country. Even the last real ones (types 57 & 101) were RHD

    My father had a theory that Australia got a lot of Bugattis & such becuse when young Aussie men, of the pre WW2 era, went to England they all yearned to bring back a Bentley. But if they couldnt find or afford a Bently, they bought a Bug or Delage/Delahaye or Amilcar instead as the French cars were cheaper then. I think all Hispanos were RHD too?
    My dad loved Hotchkiss (?sp?)
    So many projects - so little time.

  12. #12
    Tadpole
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    I am in the Amilcar/Salmson register which is based in the UK. I have all the news letters for about the last 15 years, however they largely deal with earlier sammys than the one you are talking about here. There are also some enthusiastic owners here in Melbourne and I can forward contact details if you like. Those photos are of a very handsome car and I was not aware they were still manufacturing post war. The power of Aussie frogs!!!

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    Member mbyok's Avatar
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    As far as right hand drive goes, I think that the same thing applied in Italy as well as in France Pre-WW2 - many upmarket cars were RHD.

    Does anyone know anything about the origins of the LHD-RHD divide? It looked like RHD had the upperhand prior to the emergence of the US post WWI and gradual predominance of LHD

  14. #14
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Originally posted by 604 tragic
    .....My father had a theory that Australia got a lot of Bugattis & such becuse when young Aussie men, of the pre WW2 era, went to England they all yearned to bring back a Bentley. But if they couldnt find or afford a Bentley, they bought a Bug or Delage/Delahaye or Amilcar instead as the French cars were cheaper then. I think all Hispanos were RHD too?
    I don't know how right or wrong this might be, but there was certainly a lot of Bugattis here by 1926 when racing at Maroubra Speedway was at its height. And, of course, there was the Australian Grand Prix that up till 1935 was for under-2-litre cars only.

    Of course, there were many road-going Bugs too, so that might not be the right path to think along, but I know that John Cummins went to England in the fifties with the specific thought that he would return with a Bugatti... and he bought an engineless one with a Ballamy (sp?) front suspension conversion to equip with a Holden engine.

    He tells a good story about how he caught the train in the snow to go inspect the car, the letters and phone calls to Australia for measurements of the Holden grey motor etc.

  15. #15
    Fellow Frogger! 604 tragic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbyok
    Does anyone know anything about the origins of the LHD-RHD divide? It looked like RHD had the upperhand prior to the emergence of the US post WWI and gradual predominance of LHD
    I recall reading a story of LHD-RHD origins that said when people walked down tracks & paths in forests (pre cars) you naturally walked on the left of a path (= RHD), in areas that you didnt know, so you could quickly use your right hand to pull your sword/knife whatever if you were attacked by 'footpads'. But in the early Americas you walked on the right as you cradled your musket so you could quicky swing it into action (= LHD); but perhaps this is an urban myth!
    At the start all european cars were RHD & US cars were LHD; europeans changed to LHD as a way of reducing the sale of english cars & promoting their own mass produced cars - but a small legacy of classy RHD cars persisted in europe (very luck for Australia!!!)
    So many projects - so little time.

  16. #16
    farmerdave
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbyok
    As far as right hand drive goes, I think that the same thing applied in Italy as well as in France Pre-WW2 - many upmarket cars were RHD.

    Does anyone know anything about the origins of the LHD-RHD divide? It looked like RHD had the upperhand prior to the emergence of the US post WWI and gradual predominance of LHD
    I understand it has a lot to do with the Ford and Dodge Bros. cars used in Europe by US forces in WW1. Blame Henry.
    Certainly RHD was used on early euro and american cars, if only to aid gear changes and braking with the right hand. Changing on a quadrant shift gearbox could be very interesting with the left hand ........not to mention using the handbrake as the service brake with the left hand .
    Delage had an interesting setup for adapting RHD to LHD, all components can be swapped right to left- steering box + column, servo brake cylinder, pedals, instruments, clutch shaft.

    Farmerdave

  17. #17
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    And Peter Manton used to change his racing Mini from LHD to RHD and back depending on which way the circuit mainly turned... Warwick Farm was RHD, Catalina Park LHD...

  18. #18
    Fellow Frogger!
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    ........There are also some enthusiastic owners here in Melbourne and I can forward contact details if you like....


    Would really like to see lesser known french cars at the French Car Festival in Melbourne, April 17 at Macleay Park Balwyn from 10am.

  19. #19
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Why not just get them on here?

    Some of the members would learn a lot from seeing this kind of stuff...

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