Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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1897/8. Phaeton. Two-cylinder. Exhibit at the National Automobile Museum, Mulhouse.
April 1903.

Sold by the Auto-Carriage Co

1902 Description of the 12hp model.[1]

1901. Bardon Car (8hp).[2]

On Friday afternoon last week we were able to make a short trial trip in an eight horse-power tonneau body Bardon car, a sample of the vehicles which are shortly to be put upon the English market by a syndicate which has already taken premises and showrooms in Great Portland Street, W.

As our run was confined to a double circuit of Richmond Park, the trial was not made for endurance, but the car gave us a taste of its hill-climbing capabilities and its extreme conductability, steadiness, and freedom from vibration. She carried a full complement of passengers, including the Rector of Barnes, the Rev. Meredyth Kitson, M.A., who then made his first trip in an automobile. Many of our readers are doubtless acquainted with the hill on the Park road, connecting Robin Hood and Kingston Gate, which hill, for want of a better name, is known to the cycling world as the Test Hill, and which figured prominently in the thirty miles combustion tests held by the A.C.G.B. and I. on the 13th ult. The foot of the steepest portion of this hill is approached by a long telling rise, and on the most trying section is a gradient of 1 in 7 for about one hundred and twenty yards.

The Bardon made no trouble whatever in taking this hill, but to our surprise M. Ramasser, who was driving, selected the very crux of the climb upon which to stop the car. After being brought to a complete state of rest, the first speed was slipped in, and without any fuss whatever the engine picked up its work, and the vehicle travelled steadily to the top of the ascent.

During a portion of the run we drove the car ourselves, and can therefore testify to its ease of control, both as to speed changing and directability. A careful scrutiny of all the mechanism in view convinced us that the work and material put into the vehicle are of the best. The body is well finished, handsomely upholstered in leather, and extremely comfortable. It suffices only to say here that the engine is a single cylindered motor set horizontally below the footboard, and having two pistons, between which the explosion of the mixture takes place, driving them outwards, and rotating two crankshafts running longitudinally, one on each side of the frame. This double piston movement, together with the careful balancing of the parts, is accountable for the absence of vibration, even when the engine is running fast and light. But we do not propose to enter into detail of the Bardon car mechanism here, seeing that we are promised interesting drawings and photographs for reproduction, and these we shall accompany with a full description. A most ingenious and effective double clutch is employed, of which we shall give a detailed drawing.

In the Bardon car we have undoubtedly a thoroughly well turned out vehicle, which might reasonably be expected of a car favoured by the patronage of Mr. Henry Rothschild.

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