The Mystery Car on the Cliff Railway

The attached image of the ‘mystery car’ is on the platform of the Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway c.1905. The car, registered A7047 was owned (we assume) by Sir George Newnes (who is sat in car next to his driver). Sir George Newnes was a key financier of the Cliff Railway and the then Chairman of the Lynton and Lynmouth Lift Company, but the model of the car is less certain.

Rob Shaddick, one of the company directors, and with an interest in Classic Cars, happened to show the photo to Practical Classics Magazine whilst attending a Classic Car show in Birmingham. The Mystery Car piqued their interest and the photo of the car gained a momentous passing from one club to another. We always thought the car to be a Renault, more recently it was considered to be a DeDion, but it appeared that it was neither of these and the mystery continued to deepen.

We have had many clubs and enthusiasts helping us to identify the car so we could carry out our intention to recreate the picture. We now know the car to be a 1903, 24hp, Georges Richard (-Brasier) limousine, thanks to Ariejan Bos who has worked tirelessly tracking down the identity of the vehicle.

But up until now we are sad to say we have not managed to locate the car (or a similar model) for this photo shoot. But we will keep looking for a Georges Richards as we are keen to recreate this iconic photo over 100 years later. We would be keen to hear from anybody who thinks they might be able to solve the mystery and helps us to recreate the photo.