I discovered something you will LOVE to see and get to know more about! First of all sorry for my radio silence. Being an active petrol head has been a bit overwhelming lately – so much to do and so many visits including something very special, which will be revealed soon! It is just one big delight! : )
Let me start where I stopped after the previous article. I visited a small private workshop of a TRUE Salmsonist. Not just anybody, but a VERY special person, a REAL specialist! This Salmsonist has only recently restored his own Salmson to the finest details and has now embarked on the restoration of an Amilcar CGS, to the same finest details of course, to the ultimate perfection!
This visit, see my previous article, is related to the search for my own Cyclecar. To learn more about the marques in the world of cyclecars, my dad and I started doing our own orientation. What would be better than visiting some owners of marques like Salmson and Amilcar! We sent a request for more info to the Dutch Amilcar-Cyclecar club and this is how we came in contact with some very fascinating and knowledgeable owners!
After a lot of searching by ourselves and with the help of some friends we have seen quite a few Amilcars and Salmsons. One was a most interesting project, something that immediately caught my and my dad’s interest! However, after the aforementioned visit to the Salmsonist, things appeared not to be as straightforward as we had thought and so we said goodbye to this and all other projects and turned our focus to a fine restored and good running car, ideally an Amilcar as it seems to be easier to find one i.s.o. a twin cam Salmson.
A twin cam Salmson is not a very easy car to start with, as I want to learn tinkering myself and an Amilcar appears to be less of a challenge as I don’t really have much experience. We are very thankful to the perfect Salmsonist, because he pointed out to us what to look for and how to prevent big and expensive mistakes. An expensive ‘Samilcar’ might be, at the end of the day, more affordable than a project that needs a full restoration. Also time is an issue; a project will take so much time and you have to stay patient for such a LONG time! For a first car, not a good option it seems. First have some fun with a car with which you can hit the road. I am still young, so there is enough time later for a project! I planned to purchase a vintage moped or a Citroen 2CV engine, just to tinker with and to learn more about engines.
But more about that perfect Salmsonist who we visited. He has a gorgeous 1924 Salmon VAL3 sport with twin cam engine and it is probably the best restored Salmson around today! There is nothing you can criticize about this car… it is just perfect!
A special feature of this VAL3 are the wooden door cappings, made of special wood from Bali, normally used for the grip of a crease (kris). Also the very special steering wheel needs mentioning, because it can be pushed upward in its sliding rail to allow easier access for the driver, and then there was this wonderful illuminated St. Christopher… GREAT!
Our perfect Salmsonist had done all the work himself, with the help of his lovely wife, who became an expert herself too! : ) Our specialist even has an official certificate from Hoyts to cast babbit bearings, even for aircraft engines!
His place is not big, but the amount of special tooling is very impressive! Even a vintage machine to make a wafer pattern on pistons, a VERY special tool! This is the only such tool in the world and the patented technique of applying a waffle pattern to pistons is totally unknown in the world of engine builders!
More about this unique technique in the next article! ; )
Written by Rosemarijn Atalante Veenenbos