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Old 23rd February 2008, 20:44   #1
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Default Veteran and Edwardian cars in India (1903 Cottereau etc)

Veteran - Vehicles built up to and including Dec 1904
Edwardian - Vehicles built from Jan 1905 up to and including Dec 1918



Dated by the Vintage car club UK this is a 1903 Cottereau 7hp single cylinder.
from France. Terrible photos but all I have. Original good wooden wheels. Had to make the steering box which cost about Rs 5000. They did a good job too. I’m not sure about the French racing blue colour but it matches the Maharajah of Patiala’s monorail steam engine in the Railway museum in Chanakyapuri.



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A couple of pictures of how it was with completely wrong front mudguards. There is another picture of it here somewhere.

Here it is next to a 1905 Rover in which I did 5 or 6 rallys to Sohna.
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It does look similar to a De Dion Bouton but very definitely not. If you google Cottereau there some pictures of other cars.

Last edited by Rehaan : 14th September 2009 at 14:28. Reason: Larger images moved to Team-BHP server for safekeeping.
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Old 23rd February 2008, 21:45   #2
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1903 Cottereau (Patiala 0) engine showing the maker’s name

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One more awful picture of the car

Earliest Cars seen in India - Veteran and Edwardian-cotwg2.jpg

Last edited by Rehaan : 14th September 2009 at 14:30. Reason: Larger images moved to Team-BHP server.
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Old 26th February 2008, 15:31   #3
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Greetings Julian, what a treasure trove of pics you've got. Tell us more about your equation with these cars too.

Where is Patiala 0 today? I havent seen recent pictures of her anywhere.
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Old 26th February 2008, 15:40   #4
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Julian

I've started a thread where people's experiences in restoration get shared with pictures. Please share your rich experiences both for cars and bikes there.

The discussion on pictures that we have started elsewhere should also get finalised wrt classification
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Old 26th February 2008, 16:50   #5
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Tell us more about your equation with these cars too.

Where is Patiala 0 today? I havent seen recent pictures of her anywhere.
Patiala 0 is safe in a collection in Delhi.

As to the restorations, it was full time work and about relating the experiences I find it hard to know where to start. Heat, dust, cuts, burns, blood, sweat, euphoria, disappointment, joy, satisfaction. The trying to balance maintaining originality and quality against the sometimes unrealistic expectations and desires of the car's owners.
Having said that without the major car collectors so many wonderful cars would have been lost.
What I really love are untouched original cars retaining the patina of age, but when the condition has deteriorated too far and modifications over time are present then and only then should restoration be undertaken.
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Old 16th March 2008, 04:23   #6
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Default More Cottereau stuff

The 1903 Cottereau work undertaken for anyone interested.....

A 1930s magneto fitted instead of the original contact breaker and trembler coil. I fabricated a replica of the original contact breaker assembly and got a new trembler coil from U\k and installed it (as the original) in a wooden box within the engine bay.
The front mudguards were from a 20s/30s whatever car.
Replicas of the originals with beading matching the original rear mudguards were made and fitted.
The crankshaft crankpin and mainshafts and keyways were very worn and were remanufactured with modern materials and new bronze bushes made. I remember line reaming the main bearings together. The cylinder bore and piston were suprisingly unworn and new rings were made by a company in Okhla who specialised in individually cast rings, which is vastly superior to turning them out of a tube of cast iron. Grandley's Piston Rings, Okhla Ind estate, New Delhi. Very helpful company.
New valve were made with oversize stems and hardened tips and the original guides were reamed to suit and valve seats recut.
Steering box was absolutely unuseable. A replica was cast in steel and machined and new gears cut through a machinist (Harjeet Singh) in INA motor market. He helped with the acceptable manufacture of many parts for me along with a company in Kotla motor market called "Fine auto boring" They had a very competent team who if you presented them with new white metal ingots from Frys metals (I would always buy new correct grade from the makers, which IS available) would remetal crankshaft bearing liners and remetal direct on connecting rods and machine them accurately. The sardar whose (name I forget, probably Singh) was a very experienced engineer.
The cone clutch was trued and relined with leather.
The trans/gearbox gears were useable but the aluminium casing (it has a combined differential/gearbox as part of the rear axle) had many, many cracks, the machining and casting of a copy would have been a nightmare so as an alternative, external reinforcing was necessary which at least retained the original components, which above all was the most important priority.
Original wooden wheels were retained but soaked in water (to help tighten them due to the swelling of the wood) followed by sealing the surface with linseed oil (an old trick).
Worn wheel bearings reground and ***** replaced.
All the levers and fittings were steel covered with thin brass sheet soldered onto the surface. This known as "close plating". Where damaged or corroded I reshaped new brass and resoldered it to the necessary areas.
New rear axle bushes were machined and the half shafts ground true.
The chassis was straight and the tubes were rust treated and exterior blasted. Front axle was tweaked straight and jigged. The original linkage system for advance/retard was re established as the system had been altered in the past to accomodate the later Lucas magneto.
Body wood mostly original the odd completely rotten floor board renewed.
Any original components that were remotely restorable were retained in order to retain as much originality as possible.
I don't like the colour but I didn't choose it.
Time for a cup of tea.
I bet no one will read this anyway, but I had to write it somewhere
(Boring mechanical sh?t)
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Old 16th March 2008, 09:59   #7
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The 1903 Cottereau work undertaken for anyone interested.....
I bet no one will read this anyway, but I had to write it somewhere
(Boring mechanical sh?t)

hmmm... I've just read the whole thing...very very interesting Julian... Thanks for sharing.
Is there more like this you have for us????
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Old 16th March 2008, 13:45   #8
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Quote:
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I bet no one will read this anyway, but I had to write it somewhere
(Boring mechanical sh?t)
Perish the thought! Please keem them coming, I certainly am enjoying it
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Old 16th March 2008, 15:42   #9
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The trans/gearbox gears were useable but the aluminium casing (it has a combined differential/gearbox as part of the rear axle)
My memory is failing me, its not a combined differential/gearbox it has an inline gearbox with two bevel gears which turn the drive 90 degrees and it has an exterior sprocket/chain drive to a differential on the rear axle.
Heres a crystal clear photo of the blue chassis showing the rear axle with offset differential but with the sprocket removed.
(Behind the tiny Minerva engine) Its the only photo I have.
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Old 17th March 2008, 09:49   #10
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Here it is next to a 1905 Rover in which I did 5 or 6 rallys to Sohna.
Any pictures of the Rover? A friend has a 1906ish Rover with his family from new, in a very very sorry state though apparently the essentials are intact. He would like to restore it some day.
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Old 17th March 2008, 10:29   #11
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I bet no one will read this anyway, but I had to write it somewhere
(Boring mechanical sh?t)
Far from it Sir, this is the kind of stuff I deeply enjoy reading and am sure many others at TBHP would too. Please don't hesitate to share your experiences, it only adds to the whole experience of making a visit to this site both enjoyable and a learning experience

In fact I have requested another gentleman Mr. Manvendra Singh who has had a most spectacular history of exposure to some of the finest automobiles India has seen to visit TBHP and possibly add to the site. He has already come out with an exhaustive account of The Automobiles of the Maharajahs by way of a book and I have no doubt, should he desire too, will be of immense help in identifying cars and relating lovely stories on his experiences. It has always been a deep pleasure for me personally to meet him and spend whatever little time I could and I hope through this forum he will be able to inspire many others like me to carry on in this wonderful passion for automobiles of yesteryear.

Chances are many a wonderful story has already gone into a grave untold and its such a pity that a lot in India has remained unrecorded. Documenting history is one thing I always appreciated the British for and hopefully we can do our little bit toward the same

Thanks once again for sharing
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Old 18th March 2008, 16:34   #12
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Any pictures of the Rover? A friend has a 1906ish Rover with his family from new, in a very very sorry state though apparently the essentials are intact. He would like to restore it some day.
These are the only pictures I have. The clearest one unfortunately has the awful mudguards the car came with, the first 2 pictures show the car mothballed. If the tyres are protected from UV they last a lot longer.
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DKG spot the Packard in the background
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This one was after the Delhi-Sohna rally in 1989, the car completed about 6 rallies without breakdown. Soon after the mudguards were changed for replicas of the original ones.
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I always remember at the start of these rallies one had to prevent the rally chaps from covering your radiator with the official rally number sign oblivious to the effects on the cooling system then attempting to stick their advertising stickers onto the paintwork.
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Old 18th March 2008, 16:43   #13
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Fascinating to see the covers on the tyres. You learn something new everyday on Team BHP.

Can you tell me anything about the curious registration MN 4? Being only 2 alphabets I mean. Ive seen Chandigarh with CH and Andaman and Nicobar AN, but thats it.
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Old 18th March 2008, 18:24   #14
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Fascinating to see the covers on the tyres. You learn something new everyday on Team BHP.

Can you tell me anything about the curious registration MN 4? Being only 2 alphabets I mean. Ive seen Chandigarh with CH and Andaman and Nicobar AN, but thats it.
If I remember the car came from Madras. The chassis wood was rotten and had to be changed, the fitch plates were ok. The dash board was also rotten (the vertical board behind the engine, this term originally came from horse drawn vehicles for protection against stones thrown up from the horse's hooves and later became the dash board we all know of today. It needed new mainshafts/crankpin and bearing re-metalling and half of the gearbox shaft bearings were also re-metalled. The day before it's first rally its differential pinion exploded and a new one was machined and heat treated and arrived for me to fit in the night ready for the morning. I think I finished the work about 5 in the morning and its done about 6 or more rallies since. Sturdy little car. Unfortunately it has a teens zenith carburettor fitted as the original leather bellows original was missing and they didn't work to well apparently. The king pins and differential bushes were replaced. Again, like the Cottereau, very little bore wear so onlythe rings and gudgeon pin and bushes were replaced. The engine, clutch and gearbox share a common aluminium chamber and the flywheel picks up oil and throws it into a weir system which passes the oil to the main bearings. It had a magneto fitted and this was replaced with the original trembler coil and contact breaker system with a battery in a wooden box, a total loss system no means of charging.
Trembler coils give an incredibly strong spark which will jump an inch gap and it is unadvisable to test for a spark by hand.

Last edited by Julian UK : 18th March 2008 at 18:27.
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Old 18th March 2008, 18:31   #15
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MN must have stood for Madras Niligris ! May be
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