1907 Alldays & Onions

Onions, established in 1625, was one of the foremost manufacturers of manufacturing machinery in Birmingham, England when it merged with William Allday & Co in 1885 to form Alldays & Onions Pneumatic Engineering Co. Ltd. Manufacture of automobiles followed a few years later and over the following two decades several models were built, including this 1907 20hp. Its history is fascinating. It is believed to have been acquired after the First World War by Randall Topless, inventor of the beer tap system used in British pubs, and exported to New Zealand. There it was eventually disassembled and the pieces sold for various uses. Remarkably, it was reassembled with nearly all its original mechanical components in the 1960s, including the frame, which had seen service as a farm wagon, and the dual ignition 3,261 four-cylinder engine (found at a chicken farm) which was updated with an externally-mounted period oil pump for pressure lubrication of the crankshaft. It fascinated an American touring New Zealand at the 1972 Veteran and Vintage Car Rally where it won Best of Show. He traded his brand new Mustang for it, and it remained in his collection in Florida for nearly 20 years. It is brightly presented in green with wood accents around the doors and an abundance of brass including Frankonia headlights, Howes & Burley cowl lamps, radiator shell, cowl, running board, tool box and fuel tank trim, Boyce motometer and a bulb horn with hose. A platform between the seats and the rear-mounted cylinder fuel tank has a brass rail to secure luggage. Its restoration is now over forty years old and showing wear, age and use but the Alldays & Onions itself is still well worth showing because of its unusual appearance, rarity and, frankly, its bizarre name which never fails to attract attention and amazement.

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