THE COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SHOW AT PARIS.
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General Aspects of the Exhibits. Features of Chassis Design. Many Striking Bodies. The Advance of the Diesel Engine. Municipal Motors.
riOMING direct from the Show at Berlin to that at '.e./Paris enables one to make some interesting comparisons, both as regards the actual exhibits and their general tendencies in chassis and body construction, and the popularity of the Shows amongst the public.
It is immediately obvious that there is nothing like the same public interest in France, if the number of visitors can be taken as a criterion, but it must be remembered that the French Show is purely commercial, whilst the German Show was general, thus many people flowed into the utility section who might not otherwise have attended.
Although most of the German exhibits were beautifully finished there is something massive about them which does not appear in many of those at Paris, where it may be said that art is combined with engineering. Cleanliness in design Is a prominent feature, corners are rounded off, and such parts as axle centres and tubes neatly curved. At the same dme, we do not consider that the advances made by the French are so rapid as those we found at Berlin. There are comparatively few novelties, alterations in new chassis taking the form more of detail improvements than radical changes. It may well be that this course is justified by the present condition of the commercial-vehicle market.
This time the French have excelled in the design of their bodies, there being many notable examples, chiefly passenger vehicles, although some of the light and heavy vans are beautifully shaped and well finished—the combination forming a valfiable publicity medium.
In our opinion the mistake is always made of crowding too many exhibits on each stand. However many types are made, there appears to be the hope that an example of each can be squeezed in; consequently, much of the effect which would otherwise have been given by outstanding examples is almost lost. One or two of the coaches labelled " sleeping ears" were really nothing of the kind, being merely, exceptionally luxurious vehicles with armchair seats, a buffet and a lavatory. Possibly the comfortable seats and the contents of the " celiarette" might induce sleep, but that is not the point. A huge Miesse body on a six-wheeler of the same make is stated to be suitable for the fitting of bunks, but it is shown in an unfinished state.
What particularly appealed to us was the general improvement in the luggage accommodation provided on many of the long-distance vehicles. In some there is space behind the last row of seats available from inside the body, and a huge boot built on in addition. Some have lockers extending under the body for the full length and a railed-off portion of the roof, whilst in one, a Faureau and Chauesentle body on a Bernard Six, a cubicle at the rear is reached by a separate door at the back; the rest of the specs at the side is taken up by a lavatory available from the interior only.
In a Cattin and Desg,outtes coach, also with a body of Faureau and Chaussende, the space opposite the lavatory is occupied by a tier of shelves to take suitcases.
The bodies Flown by Currus on Panhard and Levasseur chassis, and built for the Casablanca-Pea service present a curiously squat appearance from the front; this is enhanced by the low roof, width, and the windscreen, which is carried out 15 Ins, from the sides of the dash proper. We would mention at this point our dislike to the appearance of the huge starter motors projecting at the front in the place usually occupied by the starting handle.
One hotel bus for Menton, by Breteaux Freres, has a fixed coupe back, three hinged seats in front of this and another beside the driver. The • main feature, however, is the folding gate running on rollers, which extends along one side of the front to enable large quantities of luggage to be carried. This gate is reinforced by a hinged top •bar and can be locked shut.
Most of the coach seats are equipped with flush-fitting folding tables with glass tops, screws with large hand grips preventing rattle or undesired opening. The interiors of the bodies are usually finished in a most elaborate manner, some with moquette upholstery, panelling in beautifully grained woods, lincrusta roofs, etc. In one Rochet-Schneider the inner sides below the windows are covered with embossed leather to match the upholstery.
The back-to-backseating over the wheel-arches which we found on several German bodies is also to be found at Paris; one such is by Dantan, on a Rochet-Schneider. This body also has pearl-glass swinging " ventilators above the drop windows.
A handsome Lailly coach on view is the private conveyance of M. Alfred Theodor, the director of our French contemporary, Le Poids Laurd. The body is by Paquette, and the doors, when opened, release quarter-circle swing steps which open automatically, and remain locked in that Position until the doors are shut. Adjustable sun visors are mounted above the windscreen. Pertnanent seating is arranged across the back and half along one side ; in addition there are two movable armchairs and a table. Bookcases, wireless cabinet and loudspeaker, table lamp and corner lights add to the amenities. A fine Scemia bus by Chesnot has a clerestory roof, five oval windows at the rear, spring blinds and six doors. The seating is arranged with the front seats in pairs, one row for five and two facing rows arranged across.
An unusual body arrangement is that on a Scemia bus,
which allows standing space for half-a-dozen or more people between the driver's scat and the other pair seats. The driver is not isolated, there being only a pair of pillars with cross supports behind him, which would appear to be somewhat distracting.
The addition of a three-bar buffer to the Saurer vehicles is very effective from the point of view of appearance. One coach of this make has two rows of seats for five, then a division with sliding windows making a four-door saloon with gangway. Another Sourer for the P.L.M. Paris-Nice service has a door at the end leading to a small anteroom from which a second door opens on to the lavatory.
Vehicles with opening roofs are not common, but there are a few; for instance, the eight-seater De Dion and a Bernard Six of large-seating capacity. In the latter the roof is opened by a handle mounted on the forward portion of the -.roof, which is fixed, and wires pass along channels in the body sides. We noted only one open ceach in the whole display !
Features of Chassis Design.
The most interesting vehicle in the Whole Show is undoubtedly the Berliet,military six-wheeler, driving by all wheels and steering by four. It is shown equipped with a body upon which is mounted a Hotchkiss anti-aircraft gun.
To describe the chassis in a little space is difficult, but the scheme can easily be followed if the main factor he grasped; this factor is that whereas the worms drive the wormwheels of the first and second axles, it is the wormwheels which drive the worms in the third, or end, axle.
From the engine-gearbox unit a shaft takes the drive to a short shaft passing through a torque ball mounted at the front of a two-speed auxiliary gearbox, the ball being supported by a cross-member. The torque tube continues from the auxiliary gear and the propeller shaft drives a differential in the centre of a very wide rear axle, thence differential shafts ending in spur gears drive the two wormwheels enclosed in this axle casing. From the worms, shafts with fabric joints pass forward to the worms of the middle axle and from these a further pair of shafts extend to the worms of the front axle. . Thus the differential acts equally through each set of three wheels ; incidentally, it can be locked. .
Two radius rods at each side of the middle axle end in brackets secured to the frame side members. The front axle has a rectangular radius member permitted to swivel in a ball and socket joint on the main gearbox.
A transmission brake is mounted at the rear of the gearbox; the only other brake drums are on the middle wheels, but, of course, take effect on all six wheels through the four worms gears.
A series of rods and cross-shafts connects the steering gear with a vertical spindle on the forward part of the
'ear-axle casing; from this separate rods connect with the rear-wheel steering arms. The front-wheel steering arms are joined by a cross-rod and also connected to the steeringgear drop arm. The wheels on the front and rear axles are, of course, driven through universal joints encloses in the axle casings.
The suspension is by two inverted semi-elliptic springs at each side; the first spring slides at the front end on the front axle and is shackled at the rear to the centre axle, whilst the second spring is shackled at its front end to the middle axle and slides on the rear axle.
One of the few really new chassis is the De Dion L.C. model of which the example staged is No. 1. A similar chassis was, however, exhibited in Scotland. It is intended for medium-capacity coaches or buses and will carry a 3-ton useful load. The engine, which has four cylinders, is governed and exhausts to the front so that undue heating of the body does not occur. A centrifugal pump circulates the water and the magneto is provided -with a Simms coupling and an impulse starter. Pan and dynamo are driven as a unit by an endless belt.
Unit construction with the engine is utilized for the singleplate clutch and four-speed gearbox, behind which is an internally expanding foot brake.
As is usual on De Dion chassis, the front of the torque member is supported on a ball bearing, whilst a roller bearing on a swivel yoke suspended from a cross-member forms the support for the propeller shaft. There used to be a thrust bearing at the forward end of the propeller shaft, but this has been moved to the casing of the Gleason gear. Au unusual feature is that the meshing of the bevel pinion can be controlled internally.
There are single brakes in the rear wheels and the front shoe-operating cams are adjustable by means of a special worm-threaded bolt. The hand brake works on the rear wheels only, but when a Westinghouse servo is used the first depression puts brakes on all four wheels, and if the foot is pressed down slightly more the transmission brake is also applied.
A drive to the speedometer is taken from the ,forward end of the torque tube.
As compared with the previous model the new one has been strengthened considerably. The brakes are now 80 mm. wide instead of 45 rem., 'the springs are underslung and wider, and the gears have been altered. The frame is 9 ins. at its deepest, inswept at the front and with a 8-in, upsweep over the axle. At 2,200 r.p.m. the 85 mm. bore by 140 mm. stroke engine develops 70-72 h.h.p. It has overhead valves operated by rockers. In the La Licorne the sides of the axle easing are carried right through to the brake anchorages, the springs being bolted below them. Snap-over butterfly nuts are used on the brake rods and a very long torque tube extends from brackets on the axle centre to a cross-member.
Engine and gearbox are separate units mounted on a sub frame and worm and wheel adjustment is provided for the cam of the transmission brake. It is somewhat unusual to find that the engine has a fixed head.
A large •Berliet six-wheeler, built for 16-bunk sleeper coaches, has a somewhat unusual bogie-axle arrangement, a single propeller shaft takes the drive to the forward overhead worm in a horizontal-banjo axle casing, a universally jointed shaft joining this worm to that on the other bogie axle. Spur-gear reductions are also provided close to the wheels. Tubular parallel-motion links join the top and bottom of the brake anchorages and these prevent axle twist.
There is a separate-unit gearbox controlled by long selector rods from a a ctor box carried by the dutch housing..
Miesse shows an •vertype six-wheeled chassis with an eight-cylinder-in-line ngine, which permits speeds up to .80 Moms.per hour. This chassis weighs 3,800 kilos. and will carry 7 tons to tons of useful load. This chassis left Brussels at 2 p.m. on my and arrived in Paris at 10.30 p.m. the same day.
As usual we saw the huge Scenaia-Renault overtype-bus chassis and its large six-cylindered engine in two blocks with a twin Renault carburetter. The gearbox is mounted at the forward end' of a propeller-shaft tube which is supported by a cross-member. The second part of the propeller shaft
is also enclosed and takes the drive to. a Renault dropped . centre axle with offset spur-reduction gearing. There is a radiator arranged at each side of the driver's seat and facing to the side,
A French-Wit chassis closely resembling an American is the A.S. constructed by Paul Lavigne. It has a four-cylinder monobloe engine with fan-dynamo, four-speed gearbox built up to engine, central change, and Su adjustable-rake steering column. A neat feature is the thermostat-controlled radiator shutters. A special catch-block on the brake cross-rod permits the hand brake to be applied alone, although all wheels can be brake4 by the pedal.
Of particular interest are the two Diesel-engined Sauter chassis, one with four cylinders and the other with six. Both engines closely resembled their petrol prototypes, and have Bosch fuel pumps. The overhead valves are rocker-operated and, in the ease of the six-cylinder only, the fan is driven direct from the timing gears.
One Delahaye chassis is shown with its rear axle opened up to display the special form of drive, utilized in this make, to permit the halves of the axle to be set so that the twin
wheels conform to the camber of the road. The first reduction is by spur gears, which drive a differential, then fronx this one bevel pinion .drives the near-side crown-wheel and a second the off-side crown-wheel.
Some Interesting Vehicles: A particularly well fitted travelling "epicene" or general shop is 'shown on a Citron chassis of the.10 c.v._type, the price. complete being 31,000 francs. 'The sides open to form shelter roofs and tables, bottle racks and. a host of other fittings are provided inside, Whilst the lifting of the back panel and the opening of the rear' doors expose -,(1Oietis of separate lockers with glazed doors. A price sheet is -carried behind the glass panel of one. of the doors..
E. Bernard shows a six-cylinder long-distance fast van of large size witha bunk for the driver, this -being reached through a large sliding, panel in the back of:the cab.
On the Latil stand we found a huge passenger trailer
which is used chiefly for the transport of works persomiel, the body being built by P.'BOtirgine. 'It is constructed as a 'bus, With a capaciaus rearplatfofin 'and four. rows of seats arranged longitudinally;those' in the 'middle being back to baek. This trailer-tan • carry 80' persons in Comfort; or 100 with a certain aniount of ,congestion. It is
used in Conjunction with a Leta tractor. ' .
We moted One-Weymann bus' on a Renault for the North Africa::services, but most of the ' bodie.s are ,Panelled. in metal. We nodded only one battery-electric _vehicle, this
Panhard and Levassor, with a huge motor arranger behind .
the rear axle. •
The Ford 30-cwt. truck is Shown cOmpfete with its twospeed auxiliary gearbox, giving a totalof six speeds forward and'tivo •in the 'reVerse.: Much intereet was diaplayed in a Citroan Kegresse-lainstin combined -Machine for tackling roads or Snow. The' tracks are built up of wide steel plates•with rubber inserts, whilst the front wheels can be -supported in runners, through which they project slightly to facilitate steering. At the front, below the dumb-irons and curving upwards, is a wide steel shield, which protects radiator and front wings. This vehicle seats four persons, and four pairs of skis are shown securely strapped to the body. Such a vehicle as this should prove of the utmost value to Polar explorers or users in very cold countries.
There are no striking departures from usual custom in the municipal appliances exhibited. There is an almost lavish disPlay of fire-engines and escapes of various designs, but these do not leave the conventional modes of French construction. So far as other municipal motors are concerned, there are surprisingly few; there is not in the Whole show, for instance, an example of a cesspool emptier, the use of which is so general in the environs of Paris, on account of the lack of drainage in many buildings.
Fire-engines and Escapes.
The Somua concern exhibits two fire-engines. One is a chassis and pump, type M.P. The pump is of Somua manufacture, having six cylinders. The tank holds 400 litres of water, and there are two auxiliary reservoirs for chemicals, for ejection either Concentrated or diluted. The maximum output of the pump is 130,000 litres per hour.
The other Somua exhibit is an interesting departure from the usual design of fire-engine coachwork, although it was first brought out some time ago in a rather different form. It is arranged as a cabriolet on a standard chassis, with a short escape carried on the roof of the all-weather coach. The Somua pump and hose are carried at the rear, and in this year's model the pump has been fitted more compactly and the cabriolet made larger. Other equipment is carried under the footboards. It strikes 119, however, that a certain amount of delay might be entailed through the firemen having to file through the rather small door.
On the Scemia and Renault stands is displayed the 10 h.p. R.G.-type of fire-engine, built by Scemia, with a 10 h.p. Renault engine and three speeds. The centrifugal pump delivers 60,000 litres per hour to a height of about 60 metres. The emergency tank contains 400 litres of water, and there is accommodation for two firemen on each side of the vehicle • and one with the driver. A small escape is carried Another type exhibited by Scemia, the N.G., has a 20 h.p. Renault fonr-cylindered engine, giving a speed of 50 kiloms. per hour. The pump gives 130,000 litres an hour, a large fire-escape is fitted above, and there is accommodation for 13 firemen sitting, in addition to the driver.
Rochet and Schneider displays a compact and powerful fire-engine fitted with a Drouville pump, capable of ejecting 120,000 litres per hour. The vehicle has very pleasing lines, which are perhaps made more agreeable to the eye by the absence of any overhead gear ; but, after all, the obvious test of a fire-engine is its utility in coping with fire.
There are three fire-engines on the Delahaye stand, none of which presents any new feature. One is a small, fast machine, with seating accommodation inside and a pump at the rear, with a capacity of 60,000 litres hourly. Then there is a larger model provided with a pump ejecting 120,000 litres an hour, a tank containing 600 litres and an intersecting escape capable of reaching a height of 30 metres. The third exhibit is similar to the latter type, but has more seating accommodation and carries a smaller escape.
Induco has a chassis fitted with a small pump controlled by the engine ; De Dion-Bouton a fire-engine fitted with an extra large tank, built on an L.C.-type chassis with a 15 h.p. engine and four speeds ; Latil an engine carrying a large water-supply reservoir, and Lally shows a swift vehicle with one of its powerful rotary pumps with eight pistons, capable of dealing with 120,000 litres per hour.
There are several very interesting small trailer fire-pumps In this year's show. Most of them are on two wheels, with pneumatic tyres, and are extremely practical and efficient. Renault shows one with a four-cylindered engine developing about 28 b.h.p. at an engine speed of 2,400 r.p.m. and ejecting 45 cubic metres to 63 cubic metres per hour. The model exhibited by Lailly is also of 10 h.p., and delivers 30,000 litres an hour. De Dion-Bouton allows this type of pump, as does Delahaye, in addition to a smaller one fitted to employ three lengths of hose dealing with 15,000 litres per hour.
Refuse Collectors and Street Washers.
The most striking feature of the new design of French refuse collector is the advance made from a hygienic point of view, while London's dust carts are usually open to any wind that blows. Each of the models shown at the Paris show is completely covered with a roof that slides open in sections. That shown by Latil will hold two cubic metres of refuse, and is mounted on a type B chassis with a fourcylindered 14 h.p. engine and four gears.
De Dion-Bouton shows a larger model, and Delahaye smaller vehicle capable of carrying a load of 2 cubic metres. Somna and Lally also display large vehicles of this type.
There are one or two striking exhibits of street-cleansing vehicles on the Laflly stand. The ordinary watering cart serves a double purpose for, in addition to its intended function of cleaning, it allows for the fitting of two lengths of hose for fire-fighting. The large tank, built on a standard chassis, holds 3,000 litres of water, which is ejected through four nozzles from the sides of the vehicle. Another exhibit is a vehicle identical with the latter but for the addition of a large brush, fitted diagonally under the chassis, for street sweeping. Then there is a smaller vehicle with a 10 h.p. engine and a large brush for sweeping. A small tank, containing 300 litres, of water provides the brush with moisture.
There are only a few ambulances in the show, and that which attracts the mast attention is on the Citron stand, where a large limousine, with the standard six-cylindered 14 h.p. Citroen engine, is converted into a most comfortable and practical private ambulance, carrying one bed. The door is at the rear, but otherwise there is little difference in design from that of a standard limousine. Citron also shows a large municipal ambulance, fitted with two detachable stretchers.
Some beautiful coachwork has been put into the ambulance on the Unto stand, built on the new type of Type L.7 chassis with an 11 h.p. four-cylindered engine. The windows are large and the interior roomy, there being only one detachable stretcher, which, when in position, is well-sprung. There is nothing new in other ambulances.
(To be concluded.)