Aviation Historian 14
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M.O'Leary - Magical Mystery Tourer
An extremely rare - and possibly unique - hand-coloured postcard of the Tourer, probably pictured at the lot near Allinio’s home in El Cerrito, California. Whether the aircraft was indeed green with yellow flying surfaces and gold engine is unknown, as is whether one of the gentlemen standing beside the machine is Allinio himself.
The open hinged cover of the first Bristol Coupe, H1460, on which the Tourer would be based. The “lid” provided a useful reduction in drag, giving the Coupe a maximum speed of 128 m.p.h. (205km/h). Although the Coupe was a two-seater, the Tourer’s rear cockpit would be enlarged to carry two passengers, in an open or enclosed configuration.
The first of the three-seat Coupe Tourers, c/n 5891, was photographed at Filton in August 1920, shortly before being despatched to New York. It is thought that nine Tourers, some open-cockpit and some coupe, were sent to the USA, but there is little information on what happened to them once there.
The Bristol Seely, named after the first Under­secretary of State for Air, Gen J.E.B. Seely, was a derivative of the Tourer with an enclosed cabin and redesigned tail, powered by the same Siddeley Puma engine. Only one was built, G-EAUE, for a 1920 civil aeroplane competition, which was ultimately won by the higher-powered Westland Limousine
A superb photograph of the Tourer on a vacant lot in Oakland circa 1928, showing its enclosed cockpit and cabin and Allinio’s arrow logo.
Pierre Allinio’s heavily modified Bristol Tourer fuelling up with Shell at Dexter’s, a classic American one-pump gas station, presumably in California.
It is often said that if an aircraft looks right, then it is right; in which case the Capelis XC-12 was utterly wrong from nose to tail. Rather than rivets, the airliner was put together with Parker-Kalon self-tapping metal screws, which in flight vibrated out by the bucketful. It was heavily modified before becoming a staple set prop in numerous Hollywood movies, including 1942’s Flying Tigers.