Author Topic: Microcar and motorcycle dealer in Horsham Sussex, Gray & Rowsell  (Read 14865 times)

Nimrod Cabin

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Acquired the negative decades ago, it was from a professional photographer in Horsham, I also have some negs from him of a new Isetta as well, I should really get these printed too.

See 1959 image and then again in the seventies, all is now gone sad to say.

Richard, you did say more pictures.
7 x Bond Minicars ABCCDDF

marcus

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Re: Microcar and motorcycle dealer in Horsham Sussex, Gray & Rowsell
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2015, 09:54:42 PM »
i LOVE the top photo, so evocative!
Just remember: as one door closes behind you, another slams in your face

richard

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Re: Microcar and motorcycle dealer in Horsham Sussex, Gray & Rowsell
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2015, 10:52:57 PM »
Thanks nimrod but actually we have had that on the forum before and I can't recall who posted it , I used the search and can't find it . Whilst on that subject as you weren't a forum member in 2012 , were you an observer then ? , did you ever catch all the chat about Robbs of Wallasey a Bond dealer ? You can search for that and if you didn't then you would enjoy the topic - do you have anything on file about Robbs at Wallasey or Birkenhead ?
« Last Edit: January 27, 2015, 11:17:25 PM by richard »
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marcus

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Re: Microcar and motorcycle dealer in Horsham Sussex, Gray & Rowsell
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2015, 08:15:22 AM »
I thought it looked familiar! Quite happy to se it again though.
Just remember: as one door closes behind you, another slams in your face

richard

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Re: Microcar and motorcycle dealer in Horsham Sussex, Gray & Rowsell
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2015, 08:52:49 AM »
Oh absolutely ! I love to see these photos  thanks all  :)
outside of a dog a book is mans best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read .Groucho Marx 1895-1977

AndyL

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Re: Microcar and motorcycle dealer in Horsham Sussex, Gray & Rowsell
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2015, 01:25:27 PM »
Nice photo. Hope you don't mind, I shared it on the BMW Isetta page on facebook. I credited the RUM forum.

Interesting looking at the basic model Isetta on the far left of the picture, does it look to anyone else that it had a non standard wipe blade on it? I'm assuming it was a new car, can't see any plates on it.
1959 LHD 3-wheel Isetta.

DaveMiller

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Re: Microcar and motorcycle dealer in Horsham Sussex, Gray & Rowsell
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2015, 03:33:12 PM »
Yes, it does look longer than those on the other Isettas - but that may be an optical illusion, as our eyes include the other black background bits at each end?

plas man

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Re: Microcar and motorcycle dealer in Horsham Sussex, Gray & Rowsell
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2015, 04:11:41 PM »
our Isetta has tandem wipers , it says wipac on the blades and arms , but according to wipac they arn't theirs  , the coupling bar is slim chrome with miniature clevis/pin type joint .

AndyL

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Re: Microcar and motorcycle dealer in Horsham Sussex, Gray & Rowsell
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2015, 08:16:57 PM »
Never knew the make of the original wipers, although I was pretty sure the wipers were of German origin, as they're one of the few items of external trim that matches up with the German and U.S cars. I have a pair which I picked up at various points when sourcing the missing bits from my car. One has an original wiper blade, although my car being a left hooker only requires a single wiper fitted.

1959 LHD 3-wheel Isetta.

plas man

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Re: Microcar and motorcycle dealer in Horsham Sussex, Gray & Rowsell
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2015, 08:39:25 PM »
ours is a LHD ex showroom model , and been with us since the mid 1970's , regesterd 1st to the garage/agency that sold them , and on No1 reg , says brighton on the idiot plate , have managed to source a new tandem wiper arangement (new stock from ex dealer) but its horible grey spray paint , will keep it as running spares .
(that apart its not my idea of transport - not as reliable as the Bond)

AndyL

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Re: Microcar and motorcycle dealer in Horsham Sussex, Gray & Rowsell
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2015, 09:24:50 PM »
Takes all sorts. Never really been a fan of Bonds or any of the British micro car designs, although I've always been fond of Morgan aero style trikes and I like mini's, although neither can be categorized as a micro cars.
1959 LHD 3-wheel Isetta.

Bob Purton

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Re: Microcar and motorcycle dealer in Horsham Sussex, Gray & Rowsell
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2015, 11:41:41 PM »
I never would have described either of my Isetta's as unreliable though. The Bonds never let me down either. Two very different animals. I guess with any car reliability is often down to proper maintenance.
My current Isetta has a TEX wiper. Don't suppose its original though.

AndyL

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Re: Microcar and motorcycle dealer in Horsham Sussex, Gray & Rowsell
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2015, 10:15:46 AM »
Also I think depends a lot on how you drive them. Drive a car hard and you'll break it no matter how how well built it is.

A lot of micro cars were driven flat out, with engine speeds equivalent to a more conventional car being driven at ton-up speeds.
1959 LHD 3-wheel Isetta.

Big Al

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Re: Microcar and motorcycle dealer in Horsham Sussex, Gray & Rowsell
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2015, 12:03:11 PM »
Again this where the German mentality deviates from the British. The Brits made cars that were 'capable' of 80 miles an hour. The Germans would quote a top speed of 70 miles an hour. Take a classic Mini 850/1000, for instance, stick it on the Autobahn and do 80 and it will fall apart. It is actually designed to poddle about at 50 to 55 mph. Take the German NSU of 600cc and it will happily cruise at 70 plus mph all day, it was built to do this.
So a schmitt will drive near flat out for ages, where as most of the British stuff really only offers its top speed for overtaking. Delightfully, good owners are able to extract fuller performance, by their attention to detail. My Goggo 300 with its best spec engine and 400 gearing was only just able to stay in front of Andy Price's Bond twin. Great fun it was too. Without the change of gearing he would have been down the road. I was impressed. The challenge in use is to build the reliability into the car. The German's Autobahns made them put their money where their mouth is. Stuff that could not cope was of no use to most German buyers.
However any small engine working hard pays. Even today Smarts have a reputation for hitting 50K and trouble. So many Isetta, Trienkel and Schmitt speedos show 45k to 55k when found mothballed. I never paid so much attention to Bonds, Berks and the like. Certainly Bonds belied their construction. Well into the '70's a builder/plumber type guy ran an Estate round the Swindon area. It was rarely unloaded, yet manfully did its duty, till replaced by a Regal Van.
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AndyL

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Re: Microcar and motorcycle dealer in Horsham Sussex, Gray & Rowsell
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2015, 03:47:49 PM »
My Dad drove a lot of miles in bubbles, he owned a KR200 which he toured France in with Peter Green. Only issue was a broken carburettor spring, which was fixed with a large washer.

The following year they drove to Gibraltar in Peter's Heinkel. This turned out be a bit of a stretch, they covered the 3500 mile round trip in a fortnight. My Dad says they never seemed to stop driving which I think frayed tempers at times. No mechanical problems apart from a bent trackrod which wore a tyre out and battery acid burning holes through their tent when Peter turned it over into a ditch in Spain, almost decapitating my Dad in the process who was shooting cine film at the time out of the sunroof !

The cruising speed was always kept at about 40mph, and that sounds about right, especially where four strokes are concerned. Two strokes can handle more abuse I think, being very simple engine designs. Vic Locke and Brian Westoby, both Isetta high milers in their day said the same thing- 40mph, with maybe the occasional burst to 45mph.

My Mini 1000's were always happy at motorway speeds, especially if they have 3.1:1 final drive ratio as fitted to post '84 cars. A stage 1 kit is a cost effective investment and really opens up the engine and lets it breath. Mine certainly never fell apart- you must have been driving some pretty clapped out mini's if that was your experience. My main gripe was the quality of the seals on brakes and pot joints- always going home, and I bought the best available, not cheap pattern parts.
1959 LHD 3-wheel Isetta.