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Old 18th August 2010, 20:01   #1
Ram
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Default What's this old black saloon in Hong Kong?

Can someone help me identify the substantial black right hand drive saloon?

Its steering wheel has plated steel wire spokes like the old British cars (even early Ambassadors) did.

Identifying the aircraft presented me a challenge in itself, but I have squared that away. I don't know what the car is.

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This photograph was taken on 3rd Jan 1954 by a U.S. Air Force lieutenant during the Korean War.

It was snapped with a Zeiss Ikon Contessa rangefinder camera with a folding Carl Zeiss Tessar 45mm/f2.8 lens, and shot on 35mm Kodachrome color slide film.

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The carefully preserved color slide from 1954 was scanned 55 years later to digital, on an industrial-strength scanner system by a franchise chain of stores in the USA called ScanCafe (why don't we have such businesses here in India?)

The venue of the photo is the the Kai Tak airport. Kai Tak used to be Hong-Kong's international airport from 1925 until 1998.

OT: When I first relocated out of India in Jan 1985, it was an Air-India flight Bombay -> Hong Kong -> Tokyo and changeover for Tokyo -> San Francisco.

When the air-hostess announced that we were about to land in Hong-Kong, I looked out of the window and could see only ocean and a few ships. The aircraft was low enough to convince me, it would land on the ocean surface. Suddenly the aircraft turned hard to the right while almost kissing the ocean. Skyscrapers and mountains loomed out of the fog, the sole runway suddenly materialized and the Boeing 747 touched down. Pilots reportedly always complained of the difficulties of landing there.


13 years later, China shut down Hong Kong's Kai Tak airport for good. The new airport has none of the romance and drama of landing at Kai Tak.


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Old 18th August 2010, 20:21   #2
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Ram sir, my bet is, it's an Austin A40 Devon. I could be wrong of course. Note the chrome insert in the rear fender, which is slightly visible in the black car.

More info here:
Curbside Classic: 1951 Austin A40 Devon | The Truth About Cars
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Last edited by sandeepmdas : 18th August 2010 at 20:25.
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Old 18th August 2010, 20:44   #3
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I would agree with Sandeep.
http://www.oldclassiccar.co.uk/class...big_devon3.jpg

Does look like the Devon, circa 1948.
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Old 18th August 2010, 21:03   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ram View Post
Identifying the aircraft presented me a challenge in itself, but I have squared that away.
Curtiss-Wright C-46 Commando ?
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Old 18th August 2010, 21:27   #5
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@Ram Sorry for going OT but sir, Kai Tak was one of my favourite airports and one of the most dangerous in the world!
Some pictures,i am sure you must have seen these scenes when you were landing!
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Old 19th August 2010, 02:13   #6
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@ Avishar, I think this airport made it to the top 10 most dangerous airports to land in, a show on Discovery Channel/ History channel that was aired 3 weeks ago.
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Old 20th August 2010, 12:46   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avishar View Post
...Kai Tak was one of my favourite airports...
avishar,
Thank you for the lovely pictures.
Please permit me to annotate your pictures.

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I hope you enjoy the narrative, of those hairy landings...

There was only one runway at Kai-Tak airport.

In one direction (North West) going towards mountains too tall for a straight line approach, it was called runway 31.

In the other direction (South East) going toward Victoria Bay, directly into extremely treacherous and gusty crosswinds, it was called runway 13.

What's this old black saloon in Hong Kong?-kaitak-instrapproachchart.jpg

Aircraft cleared to land on runway 13 would reach south of Hong Kong and fly due west, around the Lantau peak mountain and do a right about turn, between two ridges of mountains.

The aircraft would now fly due East at about 900 ft, between the 1900 ft Castle Peak on its left and the 2850 ft Sunset Peak on its right. Scary huh?

Today aircraft need fly no further. The new Chek Lap Kok airport is right there.



But coming back to the good old days...

The aircraft would tune in to the Instrument Guidance System(IGS).
This IGS would guide the plane, not to the airport, but to collide head on into Tiger Hill (a.k.a, Lok Fu). The pilot would visually aim the aircraft at a red and white checkerboard target painted on the Lok Fu hill.

All the while the plane would steadily lose altitude, even flying lower than some buildings on either side of it.

Then when the plane was just 500 ft above the ground and less than 3000 feet from slamming into the checkerboard target, the pilot would do a scary right banking turn, with the right wing tip nearly kissing the ground...
And align the aircraft to runway 13.

With a huge cross wind across Victoria bay blowing the aircraft eastward, the aircraft would slew right and touch down nearly sideways in a big plume of tire smoke.

And immediately the pilot would steer on the ground and align the aircraft to the runway with a roar of thrust reversers.

All the people in the aircraft, especially Chinese and Indians who had been holding their breath would start cheering loudly and clapping.
:-)

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Old 20th August 2010, 22:45   #8
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Agree with sandeepmdas.

My grandfather had one ... in black.

There are at least 2 of these that used to show up at the VCCCI parades in Mumbai some years back.

Cheers,

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Old 22nd August 2010, 09:44   #9
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Ram sir - IMHO, the saloon in the pic is a bit too large to be an A40 Devon. I think its a A70 Hereford. Similar in styling, but a larger car.

What's this old black saloon in Hong Kong?-austin_a70_hampshire_rear.jpg

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(Pic courtesy Wikipedia)
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Old 22nd August 2010, 11:32   #10
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The flow of the front fenders of that black sedan and your pic of the A70 don't match.

It appears to match the A40 picture though.

I agree teh car in Ram's picture has a much larger appearance that the A40 but it is not an A70
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Old 27th August 2010, 18:08   #11
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I also think that it could be an Austin, but not 100% sure.
What came to my mind immediately was Jupiter Javelin, picture taken fron forum.woodenboat.com found through google. I tried but could not find a Jupiter Javelin photo taken from a similar angle.

Cheers harit

P.S. my first posting on a thread from the old international section. I consider this change an upgrade

PPS, on closer examination definitely not a Jowett, though there are similarities.
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Last edited by harit : 27th August 2010 at 18:12.
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Old 27th August 2010, 21:08   #12
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[quote=Ram;2033032]Can someone help me identify the substantial black right hand drive saloon?

Its steering wheel has plated steel wire spokes like the old British cars (even early Ambassadors) did.

Identifying the aircraft presented me a challenge in itself, but I have squared that away. I don't know what the car is.




Well ,is it AUSTIN A70 HAMPSHIRE?, looks very similiar

Last edited by Technocrat : 27th August 2010 at 21:33. Reason: fixed quotes
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