Lucas Test Cards

Lucas Test Cards

Lucas test card

Photos by Richard Lentinello.

Back in the 1960s, and possibly the early ’70s, Lucas Electric Limited of England issued these test cards to assist owners of British-built cars and trucks with any electrical problem they may encounter. Be it Lucas electrics, or Autolite, Delco, Bosch, and Magneti Marelli, all automotive electrical systems, regardless of where they are manufactured, do fail every now and then. Having these test cards on hand helped many car owners diagnose those problems.

Lucas test card

I recently received these four Lucas Test Cards in the mail from Jeffrey Miller, the son of the previous owner of my 1967 Triumph GT6, who’d found them while cleaning out his father’s garage. Each test card measures 6-inches wide by 4.25-inches, and opens to a full 16.5-inches. Printed on stock similar in thickness to a postcard, they are coated to protect against dirty fingers while in use.

Lucas test card

Each test card is numbered, and clearly states which part of the electric system it’s focusing on. When opened, there are a series of tests to conduct to fix that particular problem. The information is direct and to the point and easy to understand, while the insightful illustrations are equally comprehensible. The tests continue on the back side of the opened card; for the Ignition Test Card there are 13 tests in total to check.

Lucas test card

While they may have been created for vehicles equipped with Lucas electric systems, these test cards are not only invaluable in accessing and fixing problems in all cars’ electric systems but help owners better understand exactly how those systems work.

Lucas test card


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San Francisco, 1964

San Francisco, 1964

Date: August or September 1964

Location: San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, California

Source: Clint Sundholm photo, courtesy Gary Sundholm. “Taken while on a family trip from Australia to Canada. We had been living in Australia since 1962 and returned home to Canada to visit family in Saskatchewan. My father worked in the oil and gas drilling business back then, in Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines.”

What do you see here?


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Hemmings Find of the Day – 1966 Mercury Park Lane

Hemmings Find of the Day – 1966 Mercury Park Lane

1966 Mercury Park Lane fastback

1966 Mercury Park Lane two-door hardtop for sale. From the seller’s description:

This beautifully optioned classic is completely original, unrestored, rust free and remains in very good to excellent condition throughout. Single family ownership since new and comes with original Bill of Sale.

This vehicle has never been winter driven and has averaged under 1,000 miles per year! Current mileage reads 48,000 miles.

This car is turnkey and ready to be enjoyed; everything works.

428 CID Super 345 Horsepower V8 Engine Code Q
Dark Blue Metallic with White Top
White interior
Power Steering
Power Brakes
Power Windows
Tilt Steering
White Wall Tires
Remote Mirror Control

Selling price is $18,000 CAN or $14,105 USD

1966 Mercury Park Lane fastback 1966 Mercury Park Lane fastback 1966 Mercury Park Lane fastback 1966 Mercury Park Lane fastback

Pricetag

Price
$14,105

Location Marker

Location
SHERWOOD PARK,

Magnifying Glass

Availability
Available

Find more Mercurys for sale on Hemmings.com.


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Brooklands Racing Circuit declared “at risk,” preservation plan in the works

Brooklands Racing Circuit declared “at risk,” preservation plan in the works

Photo courtesy Historic England.

The Brooklands race track will, in all likelihood, never again host a competitive race. The ravages of time and the encroachments of development have ensured that fate. Keeping the remaining sections of the track from continuing to fall into disrepair, however, is the aim of a new effort kicked off this month to preserve the world’s oldest dedicated motor-racing venue.

Last officially used for an organized motorsports event in 1939, the track has far from lain dormant during the last 80 years. Vickers and Hawker aircraft rolled off production lines there during the war, and the former cut out a section of the track to lengthen its runway. German bombs damaged or destroyed parts of the track. Warehouses and hangars covered up portions of the track. Roads cut through it, housing developments and parking garages sprung up along it, and trees planted to camouflage the easily-identifiable-from-the-air high banks eventually tore up the surface.

Today about half of the original racing surface remains in non-contiguous chunks, and what surface remains has grown rippled and inconsistent due to the use of unreinforced concrete when constructing the 2.75-mile track. While the Brooklands Society has campaigned since the late 1960s to preserve the track and the Brooklands Museum Trust has maintained a short section of the track and the Finishing Straight adjacent to the museum itself, a host of different industrial, residential, and local governmental entities now control all the various slices of the track.

The current condition of the Brooklands track hasn’t gone unnoticed, however. Historic England, the organization charged with protecting the country’s monuments, historic buildings, and other places of importance, has included parts of the track on its Heritage At Risk Register and earlier this month convened a meeting of museum officials, property owners, and local governments to discuss how best to preserve the entire track.

“We appreciate that many owners may not understand the importance of the site and will not have experience of managing a scheduled monument,” Historic England’s Clare Charlesworth said. “So we are providing general guidance on the simple steps needed to maintain the structure and more detailed help where needed. We hope that by bringing together all those who act as guardians or neighbours to this amazing piece of history, we will be able to foster new relationships and take practical steps to improve the condition and maintenance of the site.”

As part of the preservation effort, Historic England gave the museum £30,000 in funding to prepare a Conservation Management Plan, which the local Elmbridge Borough Council has put up for consultation. Largely intended to prevent future developments from further degrading the track, the plan does call for necessary maintenance and repairs of the track surface as well as oversight of all preservation efforts by either the museum or Historic England. The six-week consultation will remain open to public comment until August 18.

The museum, meanwhile, has been raising funds toward its own $10.8-million restoration of parts of the track. Funded in part by a £4.681-million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, that project — announced two years ago — has already resulted in a partial restoration of the Finishing Straight, long covered by an aircraft hangar. According to the museum, 97 percent of the funds have already been raised for the restoration, with about £250,000 left to go.

For more information on the Conservation Management Plan, visit HistoricEngland.org.uk or BrooklandsMuseum.com.


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After three-year delay, Library of Congress begins adding National Historic Vehicle Register information

After three-year delay, Library of Congress begins adding National Historic Vehicle Register information

Photo courtesy Library of Congress.

From the beginning, the architects of the National Historic Vehicle Register intended to not only document some of the country’s most important vehicles, but also place that documentation in the Library of Congress (LoC), making it publicly accessible. More than three years and nearly 20 vehicles later, the Library has posted the first of those documents to its website.

“The situation isn’t one that we like, but we’re just happy that the records are finally starting to appear,” said Richard O’Connor, the National Park Service’s chief of Heritage Documentation Program, which oversees the National Historic Vehicle Register’s entries into the public record.

According to O’Connor, the delay results directly from a backlog at the LoC. “It’s not just the HVA’s materials, but all of our materials,” he said, noting that while the Heritage Documentation Program has worked with the Library since the Thirties, the Library didn’t start digitizing any of the program’s materials until 1997. “And we’re producing archive materials all the time, so the backlog just keeps getting bigger. We work with a good crew of people over there, but these problems are definitely above their pay grade.”

Likewise, the Historic Vehicle Association has continued to add vehicles to the National Historic Vehicle Register regularly since kicking it off with a 1964 Shelby Cobra Daytona in January of 2014. Mark Gessler, president of the HVA, said his organization has taken the delay in publishing the records all in stride.

“Digitization has been an on-again off-again priority under the prior LoC leadership and, of course, a victim of scarce funding,” he said. “Each quarter we submit and then its in their mill.”

Records for four Register-listed vehicles — GM Futurliner No. 10, a World War I 1918 Cadillac Type 57, the 1964 Meyers Manx known as Old Red, and the Indianapolis 500-winning 1938 Maserati 8CTF known as the Boyle Special — recently went live on the LoC’s website. Included in those records are each vehicle’s ownership history, documented modifications or restorations, photographs, line drawings, and technical descriptions. The HVA has inducted or announced the induction of 15 other vehicles into the register.

Along with posting the records to its website, the LoC collects photo negatives and paper documents printed on materials designed for conservation and longevity. All physical materials are then stored in “state-of-the-art curatorial facilities” at Fort Meade in Maryland, according to O’Connor.

In addition to the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) — under which the National Historic Vehicle Register technically falls — the Heritage Documentation Program includes the Historic American Buildings Survey and the Historic American Landscapes Survey. The program also sets forth the guidelines for inclusion into all three. Under the terms of the partnership between the HAER and the HVA, the former prepares drawings of cars to be included on the register while the latter prepares the histories and photography and funds the documentation.

According to Gessler, a Senate bill introduced in April proposes to establish the National Historic Vehicle Register as its own separate entity out from under the jurisdiction of the HAER, though O’Connor said that wouldn’t likely speed up the rate at which the LoC adds records to its website.

“And at this rate, I don’t think it would be fair to guess when the rest of the (National Historic Vehicle Register’s) records will be up,” O’Connor said. “We still have one big backlog ahead of us — the Farm Security Administration’s photos from the 1930s, which the Library has wanted to digitize for years.”

Established in March of 2013, the National Historic Vehicle Register includes cars and trucks that meet at least one of four criteria: association with important American historic events, association with important American historic figures, its design or construction value, or its informational value. Inclusion on the Register does not restrict the owner of the vehicle from restoring, modifying, or using the vehicle however they wish.

For more information about the National Historic Vehicle Register, visit HistoricVehicle.org.


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