“You get used to it,” Robert says with a smile. Shifting gears is an event. The three speed transmission has no synchromesh so matching engine speed to gear selection timing is a practiced art. Robert makes it all happen smoothly and effectively. The 201 cubic inch (3.3 litres) four cylinder engine produces 40HP (30Kw). Maximum torque (128lbs/f) comes on at just 1000 revs, so Robert is able to remain in top gear at low speeds and still pick up the pace coming out of a roundabout. And speaking of roundabouts, the Phaeton’s manual steering gives Robert a real workout. The front leaf spring, basic suspension and steering geometry, narrow tyres and large diameter wheels all combine Image above left: Plenty of room to work on engines, back in the day. Image left: A real “trunk”. Image top: Just the basics in the 1928 Phaeton. Image above: Robert Brown’s Model A lines up with other NSW club cars. 29