tulip wood

Intriguing images for an Ian Fleming James Bond Novel Fan (i.e. me), since the finish on this car’s passenger compartment is what Fleming meant in “From Russia With Love” when he referred to Darko Kerim’s…

…gleaming aristocrat of a car - an old black basketwork Rolls Royce coupé-de-ville that Bond guessed must have been built for some millionaire of the ’20s.

Since it’s a 1926 Phantom 1 with a coupé-de-ville body (passengers inside, chauffeur outside) built for the Financial Director of Woolworths(!), this may be the very car Fleming had in mind.

Peter Sellers had a Mini with a luxurious customised interior, and a basketwork-finish exterior painted by a heraldic artist who also worked on royal coaches…

…but it’s just as likely that the pattern on the Rolls was real basketwork, either already mounted on a metal body panel or actually woven in place with tape…

…then sealed down with multiple coats of lacquer. The texture can still be clearly seen and felt, otherwise why go to all that trouble?

I’ve also seen some commentaries suggesting that this sort of bodywork was actual wicker basketweave all the way through. It wasn’t, but the notion isn’t as silly as it sounds and not a long step from a US Woodie…

or UK Morris Minor Traveller…

…though some wooden bodies looked much sleeker, like this 1924 Hispano-Suiza in tulip-wood.

There was a historical precedent for wicker vehicle bodies (which had a wind-and-waterproof lining, for obvious reasons!) They were just the thing for sidecars on early motorcycles, light and cheap, yet sturdy, resilient and shock-absorbing.

…including family size, since bikes and their road tax were (AFAIK still are) considerably cheaper than cars.

Wicker also appeared on cars, but given the difference in cost (these early runabouts were rich people’s toys) basketwork bodies tended to be more of a Statement than a Necessity…

Even when cars in general became much cheaper, some marques stayed pricey. The customer who could afford this 1929 Bugatti…

…or this 1932 Voisin…

…would have specified using basketwork for the look, not to save a few pence.

Of course there’s always room for some eccentricity. In the mid 1920s, German engineering company Hanomag made a tiny compact car, the 2/10PS (2 seat / 10 PferdStarke i.e. horsepower) which looked like an ambitious roller-skate:

They were fitted with other bodies such as delivery vans…

…or this passenger box, with the diced strip and meter that denoted a taxi…

…though occasionally taxis used the standard body and a lot more optimism.

The Hanomag was nicknamed “Kommisbrot” - Ration-Bread - since Army rye bread came out of its baking tins that shape, and as if trying to make them even more loaf-like, several were finished with super-light wicker racing shells like these…

(Like a Chianti bottle on wheels, says @dduane.)

The engine lived in the back, but to me all of these Hanomags, especially the wicker ones, look more like something a child would work with pedals.

Their basketwork may be unquestionably genuine, but they’re a long way from that OP Rolls Royce…  :->

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flickr

Bloomers by Lee Acaster
Via Flickr:

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Happy Selfy Wednesday! - Garden Love version


I’ve been busy visiting gardens & parks to see every different spring blossoms! It’s so hard to pick one place when I’m off from my work….ugh….Wish I could divide myself in 3 or 5!

Now beautiful double flowering cherries are almost over….but redbuds, crabapples, dog wood, tulips, spiraea, Lilac are still blooming so pretty. Lily-of-the-Valley is ready to show off their tiny bell shaped flowers within 3-5 days. Can’t wait to sniff the amazing scent!!!

Enjoy the spring beauty in your neck of the woods. Go outside, soak up the sun, and smile :D

Flower Love,

Hana.xoxoxo