Author Topic: Car  (Read 19198 times)

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Offline Forum Admin

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Re: Car
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2005, 12:05:20 PM »
we just acquired a 1906 Russian magazine, for the archives, which low and behold contained a period photo of the first car Nicholas bought, the 1906 Delauney-Belleville, and you can clearly see Prince Orlov driving Nicholas and Alexandra at a military regimental Parade in late august or early september 1906 at Peterhof. I added it to the main Imperial Garage page, but thought it may be of interest here as well.

Offline Mike

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Re: Car
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2005, 12:57:56 PM »
A great photo! I've read so many times about Orlov driving N&A in that Delauney-Belleville but have never seen it before.

TheAce1918

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Re: Car
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2006, 06:24:47 PM »
I could have sworn that in the Alexander Palace/Tsars Garage page...there was an artilce near the middle or bottom that read: The Tsar picks a Ford :-?


Offline RogerV

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Imperial Motorcars
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2006, 03:46:21 AM »
I read the article about the Imperial garage(s) with great interest.  Like everything else, the Romanovs seem to have purchased only the most expensive models.  HIH might well have considered an American car or two (not necessarily a Ford though) for the simple reason that American cars were designed for very bad roads, and if anything, the roads in Russia were worse than those in North America.

The big, very expensive French and German cars that Nicholas seems to have preferred were designed to operate on the good roads of Western Europe, and Russian roads must have been extremely hard on them.

I wonder also, does anyone know if Nicholas ever learned to drive himself?

Offline Mike

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Re: Car
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2006, 07:09:43 AM »
The Romanovs never used cars for travel inside Russia, only for short rides in cities and around imperial residences - where roads, unlike in other parts of the country, were kept in an excellent order.

Nicholas II never learned driving. At that time everybody important was chauffered. In aristocratic circles, driving was considered a fashionable sport, not a mean of self-transportation. Some younger grand dukes - including Mikhail Alexandrovich, Gavriil Konstantinovich and Dmitriy Pavlovich - were known as ardent motorists.

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Re: Car
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2006, 09:19:49 AM »
Nicholas did purchase Ford cars and trucks for the Russian Army, specifically because of their durability, reliability and ease of repair, there used to be an excerpt from a period magazine on the website called "The Czar Picks a Fort" describing this. I'll have to see where it disappeared to.

Mike is, as always, totally correct, Nicholas never learned to drive himself, preferring his personal chauffeur, Adolph Kegress, to do so.  His preferred cars were loaded onto the Imperial Train along with the other "luggage" and taken with him wherever he went, except for Livadia, where there was a permanent garage including the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, as shown in the Garage article.


Offline Dominic_Albanese

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Re: Car
« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2006, 10:14:11 AM »
Mike is, as always, totally correct, Nicholas never learned to drive himself, preferring his personal chauffeur, Adolph Kegress, to do so.  His preferred cars were loaded onto the Imperial Train along with the other "luggage" and taken with him wherever he went, except for Livadia, where there was a permanent garage including the Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, as shown in the Garage article.


Rob - are you sure that Nicholas II didn't drive himself?  I have read about him driving around the mountains of Crimea scaring his passengers to death because of the break neck speed at which he drives at.  Also, I vaguely remember something about Nicholas racing (his brother) Michael when they were younger - again, they were both speed nuts.  I'd have to dig around in order to find where I read it and I suppose, that my aging memory may have failed on this one ???

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Re: Car
« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2006, 12:02:16 PM »
Dom,

I think you are thinking of GD Ernst Ludwig.  I know HE scared his passengers with his speed and reckless driving, especially at Darmstadt.  Nicholas did not even ride in a car before 1905, so I rather doubt he and Michael "raced"  when they were "younger". Now he did enjoy speed, that being the specific reason for buying the Mercedes 40hp cars for use in the field.
I have never seen a mention anywhere ever, not even in Spiridovitch (who I think would have mentioned it) if Nicholas ever drove himself.

Offline JD

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Re: Car
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2006, 01:33:06 AM »
I'd read that AP article before but failed to notice the Tsar had a Silver Ghost in his stable.  Very impressive.  This seems to be one area where Nicholas was not afraid to spend; I wonder if he was one of the first to 'collect' cars in this manner, or was this fairly typical behavior for the rich at the time?

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Re: Car
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2006, 08:56:18 AM »
Hi JD,

The very first draft of my article did not mention the Silver Ghost as I did not then have confirmation from Rolls Royce at that as to whether Nicholas actually owned any.  There was speculation on both sides.  The answer from RR was that Nicholas had ordered three in total, but only taken delivery of two, both of which were at Livadia. The third was being built in 1914, but the war broke out and prevented him from having the car delivered.

Be equally impressed by the cost of the Delaunay-Belleville SIMs, each one cost the equivalent of about 150,000USD in today's money.

I think Nicholas was more "car crazy" than those few aristocrats of the era who had similar personal wealth, given the rapacity with which he built and filled garages.

Offline RogerV

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Re: Car
« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2006, 10:37:43 PM »
Keep in mind the fact that a Rolls Royce in 1910 or 1912 wasn't quite as impressive as it would be today.  At that time in history there was a fairly large number of expensive, luxurious, hand-built cars on the market, and it wasn't too long before that when ALL cars were hand-built and expensive.  As the Esteemed FA points out, the Delaunay-Bellvilles may well have been more expensive than the Rolls Royces, and at least in the pictures they appear to be more substantial cars.

Contrary to popular opinion, Henry Ford was not the first to mass-produce an inexpensive car; the 1902 "Curved-Dash" Oldsmobile is generally considered to be the first such vehicle.  However, I don't think the IF would have had a use for such a small car, unless it might have been for just driving around the park.

Offline Dominic_Albanese

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Re: Car
« Reply #26 on: November 12, 2006, 10:52:37 AM »
Dom,

I think you are thinking of GD Ernst Ludwig.  I know HE scared his passengers with his speed and reckless driving, especially at Darmstadt.  Nicholas did not even ride in a car before 1905, so I rather doubt he and Michael "raced"  when they were "younger". Now he did enjoy speed, that being the specific reason for buying the Mercedes 40hp cars for use in the field.
I have never seen a mention anywhere ever, not even in Spiridovitch (who I think would have mentioned it) if Nicholas ever drove himself.

Hi - you must be right.  I don't know where I got this - if I find it I'll PM it to you.  Spirdovitch would certainly have known...

best,
dca

Offline RogerV

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Re: Car
« Reply #27 on: December 22, 2006, 12:28:38 AM »
I unfortunately can't remember exactly where I saw it, but SOMEWHERE on the web is a picture of what I think are the Grand Duchesses sitting in the back seat of a Delaunay-Belville, and there are TWO tires and wheels on either end of the rear axle, rather like a truck, making a total of four altogether, excluding the tires and wheels on the front axle.

This was at first a bit confusing for me, as you almost never find this type of wheel arrangement on a regular car.  However, I did a little research, and discovered that the Delaunay-Belville limousines weighed four tons each (6329 Kg), and the extra wheels were probably necessary to accommodate the car's great weight.  They also would have provided addition traction if the car was ever driven in the snow.

Look carefully at the rear wheels of the cars belonging to the IF in photographs, and you can see this unusual wheel arrangement.

Offline Mike

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Re: Car
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2007, 02:34:46 AM »
I've just discovered an interesting Russian site on the Imperial garage in Tsarskoye Selo. It contains several photos of vehicles and buildings, as well as the lists of Nicholas II's personal cars and service vehicles as of 1910, with 1912 additions.

More current photos of the garage buildings may be seen at this Russian blog.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2007, 02:39:12 AM by Mike »

Offline hikaru

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Re: Car
« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2007, 12:21:14 PM »
I just want to give to you an information about an unique museum - I suppose - the better of the world museum of old cars - "Museo Nicolis" in Villafranca di Verona (Italy). It is real treasure - I never saw such q-ty of old cars , such beuatiful cars (for example - the Benz which was made for Maharajah). By the way, all of this cars could run and could be used.
According to the museum's book: "The "Nicolis Museum of Cars, Technology and Mechanics" in Villafranca near Verona,is a spectacular container of culture and ideas.
It was created by Luciano Nicolis, a Verona enterpreneur who tells the amazing development of our society oner the last 2 centuries. The collection includes hundreds of cars, motorbikes, bikes, cameras, typewriters, musical instruments, unfiindable items...The museum is the "hidden dream" that Luciano Nicolis made come true in 2000, opening the "Museum of Cars, Technology and Mechanics" with pricious items discovered all around the world: cars, motorbikes, bicycles, musical instruments, cameras, typewriters, works of human genius. The Museum is passion and entertainement. He introduces himself to visitors as " I am nutcase who did all this", however adding "we are not the owners of all this, just the safekeepers for the future...."
The web address of the museum is : www.museonicolis.com
Really, I was in shock when I visited this modern 5-th floor Museum.