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Homepage. This page: A visitor to the site sends a photo he found in his father's papers.

Mystery car - Sizaire-Naudin 12hp?

Alan emailed the following early 20th century snapshot over, in the hope that the car might be identifiable. Clearly it dates to the Edwardian era, or shortly after it, but identifying cars of this era can be notoriously tricky. The more popular the car, usually the easier it is to pin a make to it, after which deciding on a particular model or engine specification can usually occur. This intriguing two-seater I wasn't at all sure about, so sought advice on it. The feedback that came back was that the car in question is most likely a French Sizaire-Naudin of 12hp (RAC) rating, dating to about 1909. Is this correct?
While I've yet to find a photograph of an identical car elsewhere online, I've seen a number of photos that show similarly-styled vehicles from that early vintage era. Obviously, if anyone has a picture of an identical car, I'd very much like to see it, to confirm the identification.
The photograph was found by Alan, while sorting through his father's papers. He adds:
"In his letters to his mother, between 1925 and 1932, my father mentions several cars that he or his parents owned, including a Wolseley (1928, shortly after Morris took them over), an Alois (1928), an Alvis "Speedwell" (Jan 1929), a Fiat in Malta (2 1/2 years old in Feb 1929), a Peach (1931), and a Stude(baker presumably)(1931). Before these cars, they had a car they referred to as "Ermyntrude", but I suspect that was a pet name rather than a make or model! Anyway, the car in the picture may not relate to any of these, bur it would be interesting to know what it is."
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size image.)
Sizaire-Naudin
"All I need to do now is work out why my father had a picture of it. He would have been 13 or 14 in 1912, and given there is a finger over the lens it is probably an amateur photo. The background looks to me like Dartmoor. It is possible that it is my grandfather in the car, smoking a pipe."
It's definitely an interesting car, perhaps its most distinctive feature being the single, large, and particularly vulnerable, headlamp. The lack of auxiliary lighting is also a little unusual too. The well-shod rear tyres were designed very much with traction in mind.
Other 12hp Sizaire-Naudins that I've seen from this era, have a very distinctive radiator shell which isn't in evidence on the car shown above. Your comments welcome!
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