ARTISTRY IN VAN DECORATION.
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Details of a Handsome Buick Traveller's Van with Elkington Body, Built for Parfumerie Delafine, Ltd.
IT 18 rapidly being recognized that the motor vehicle can be made to act as a most valuable advertising medium for its user and the wares in which he is interested, and really artistic examples of publicity in this form are not wanting. We have always taken an intense interest in this development and have on many occasions emphasized its value, pointing out that many users do not take the fullest advantage of it.
We cannot, however, accuse Parfumerie Delafine, Ltd., the well-known scent distillers. of London and Paris, of neglecting their latest motor vehicle as
publicity medium, for as an example of bodies especially designed and equipped for carrying travellers' samples the one shown in the accompanying illustrations is of outstanding merit, as it is not only an excellent specimen of the coachbuilder's art, the body being graceful and having symmetrical lines, but the decorating of the panels shows a high degree of artistic taste ; in fact, we were informed by m Delafine himself that during a recent tour in the Mid" lands the vehicle attracted the notice of hundreds of people and on several occasions had to be moved on by the police because of the crowds which collected.
The chassis is a 27 h.p. six-cylintiered Buick, with four-wheel brakes. The interior of the vehicle is elaborately fitted up with polished mahogany nests of drawers along each side. These are constructed to carry samples of different sizes, each article fitting into a separate recess, or cradle, lined with velvet in order to prevent rattle when the car is in motion. The upper portion of each cabinet above the waistline is glassfronted and fitted with sliding doors, which are made to pass each other, the Inside of each being provided with three
rows of ,shelves. Special provision is made on each shelf to carry samples so held in position by spring .clips that they can be easily removed for inspection. The articles carried consist of sample bottles of perfume, jars of cream, cut crystal bowls, etc., the products of the company.
A clerestory roof not only provides light, but also gives excellent headroom, which allows a person to walk comfortably up and down the vehicle in order to conduct business and to display the wares. The windows in the roof are made to open and are operated by quad
rants, the whole of the roof being covered with moleskin, well painted, and protected round the edges by water moulding.
For the convenience of the traveller and clients, the vehicle carries a specially constructed table and folding seat. The whole of the interior of the body is finished in mahogany, electric illumination is provided, and the lighting during the day is assisted by the large glass window in the upper part of the wide rear door. There is also a window in the solid partition behind the driver, spring roller blinds being provided both in the body and for the doors of the driver's cab. Entry and exit at the rear are facilitated by a folding step.
The body was built by the Elkington Carriage Co., Ltd., of Lacland Place, King's Road, London, S.W.10.
The framing is of ash, the exterior bottom portion being of metal and the flat side panels of Sundeala. The driver's cab is upholstered in Duratex and is made particularly comfortable, so that long journeys can be undertaken without fatigue, whilst ample provision is made for carrying the tools.
The cab can be entirely enclosed when desired, and, as the canopy is built with a slope, the drop windows in the doors have curved tops.
The beauty of the exterior finish can only inadequately be conveyed by our illustrations. Actually, the rich red, painted panels form a background for a landscape showing a Chinese garden, which is carried out in old gold lacquer, giving a striking and original effect, this .decoration also being carried out at the works of the builders of the body, the services of an artist being obtained for the purpose.
The vehicle has now been in service for about two months, has visited almost all the principal towns in the North of England -and is at present carrying out a tour of the South Coast. It has proved of great value in bringing the entire range of the products of the company to the notice of customers.
It is the firm conviction of M. Delafine that this method of mobile publicity is of the utmost importance and ,represents quite a large sum of money per annum, although it is almost impossible to compute this to even an approximate degree of accuracy. It is sufficient to point out, however, that other vehicles, of an even more striking type, are in process of building, and we hope to have an early opportunity of describing these.
For ordinary rough transport work such a high finish as is used on this van would be almost impossible, but for the luxury trades it is excellent.