Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: What happened to them all???

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Louisville, KY

    What happened to them all???

    I don't have a car with a Continental motor but I was wondering about what became of them and why they are so scarce. There were many thousands made since the early 1900's installed in many car brands but you never see any come up for sale. Were they all melted down for the WW-II war effort?
    Bill Miller
    Louisville, KY

    1915 Dodge Brothers Touring
    1927 Rolls-Royce Springfield Phantom I
    1931 Packard 833 Convertible Coupe
    1937 Rolls-Royce 25/30 Gurney Nutting Saloon
    1941 Cadillac Series 63 Sedan
    1960 Bentley S-2
    1964 Corvette Roadster
    and a few others

  2. #2

    Re: What happened to them all???

    Not sure what you mean. There must be lots of cars left with Continental motors but they seldom are advertised as such. Graham, Kaiser and Frazer used Continental sixes but they tried to pretend they were of their own design and manufacture. In the case of Kaiser and Frazer this was not far wrong as they took over a war surplus Continental factory and made their own motors with Continental's permission. In the last couple of years I have seen fifties and sixties Jeeps in wrecking yards, that had Continental motors. I think Jeep was the last to use them, up to 1961.

    Years ago I saw a Continental advertisement listing the makes of cars and trucks that used their motors. There must have been over 100 of them. I doubt this type of ad was repeated, as I said, most buyers of their motors wanted to keep it dark, at least in the case of cars.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Bleach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    SW, WA

    Re: What happened to them all???

    My dad has or had, not sure anymore, a large high capacity forklift with a Continental flat head 6 cylinder engine. My guess it was from the 50's. I had to work on it many years ago so I could move it out of the way of something else.

    There's nothing like that old car smell.

    1956 Ford Fairlane Town Sedan 30K original miles

    Used to own:
    51 Cadillac Series 62 coupe
    63 Buick Riviera
    63 Dodge Dart 270 2dr sedan
    63 Ford F-100 Custom Cab
    67 Cadillac CDV Convert
    68 Cadillac SDV
    70 Ford Maverick
    72 Chevy Impala Sport Coupe
    72 Ford Courier
    73 Ford Gran Torino Hardtop Coupe
    74 Mazda RX-4 Coupe
    77 Plymouth Volare Premier Wagon
    77 GMC Sierra Grande 4X4
    + many more...

  4. #4

    Re: What happened to them all???

    While I'm not a Cont'l buff as such, I would guess that if there're not many whole engines usually available (I haven't Googled or checked EBay etc for whole motors) it's because they were heavily concentrated in the "orphan" cars and trucks, most of which went into the shredders and melters over the years, and that the engines are now carefully watched for and snapped up by collectors/restorers...
    As the orphan makes died off, most (all?) of the US m'f'r's left made their own engines; Cont'l remained in the industrial engine business (specialty vehicles, ag, comm'l and industrial eqpmt as the mentioned forklift etc, ag/ind'l power units, ad nauseum) as well as staying heavily in aircraft engines...
    The 226 in the Kaisers etc were an engine Cont'l designated as F6226 in their "automotive" version (actually trucks and all kinds of eqpmt) F226 in their "industrial" version which included ag, many uses of which overlapped the uses of the "automotive" version, and PF226 (and possibly other P-other letter-226 IDs) for the free-standing power unit version ( pump drivers, whatever). I would guess literally thousands are still in operation today.

  5. #5

    Re: What happened to them all???

    I dare say there are THOUSANDS of Continental motors still around in cars, trucks, and especially buses. Not to mention industrial engines.

    You wouldn't know it unless you happen to know which makes bought Continental engines. It is not something that was well known or advertised.

  6. #6
    Senior Member durant28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Oviedo, Florida

    Re: What happened to them all???

    There are hundreds of Continental motors around. Continental made engines for numerous cars and industrial use engines I think up until the 60's. All Durant products with the exception of the 1922 B-22 which used the Ansted Engine and the 1922 -1927 Locomobile which used their own engines had Continentals in them. Durant, Star, Flint all had Continentals. What he has listed here on this forum is for Continental Cars. When we think of Continental we think of Lincoln, but prior to Lincoln using the name it had been used before. Barry has a Continental car from the early 30's. After the demise of Durant Motors in 1932, many of the parts were left over and dies were used in other vehicles. Norman Devaux started his Devaux Motors using a Hall engine of their own design, but many Durant parts were used. When Devaux motors went bankrupt after just over a year in existence, Continental started production of their own car using many left over parts. It too did not last long and they stopped automobile production. This is the car that Barry has and it is very rare as not many survived probably due to the metal drives in World War II for the war effort. In Canada, Durant Motors of Canada closed it's doors but the production went on manufacturing the Frontenac. To see some of these cars, go to the Durant Motors Antique Automobile Club site at
    "A man is respected and honored not for his wealth, but for what he is, what he does, what he stands for." William C. Durant

    Mike L.
    Vice President Durant Motors Automobile Club
    1971 Triumph TR6
    1928 Durant Model 65 4 Dr Sedan

  7. #7

    Re: What happened to them all???

    I would agree thousands, just worked on a old John Deere skid steer with a Continental engine. The "last word" was Graham-Paige bought rough block castings from Continental, and did their own machining of the blocks. The story is it was a Graham-Paige design... I am guessing the later engines 1936 and on was Continental design, just lack of development money.
    1928 Graham-Paige 610 Sedan
    1929 Graham-Paige 827 Sedan
    1933 Graham 64 Sedan

  8. #8

    Re: What happened to them all???

    Checker Marathon used Continental engines in the early sixties. According to wikipedia, Checker switched to Chevy engines in the 1965 model year. Divco started switching away from the Continental engines in the 1964 model year.
    Last edited by wws944; July 2nd, 2013 at 09:44.
    1986 Porsche 944 NA
    1990 Buick Reatta convertible
    1996 Chevrolet K1500 Suburban
    2002 Buick Rendezvous CXL
    2004 Olds Alero GLS
    2006 MB C230 Sport
    BCA #45320, RDIV #1066

  9. #9
    Senior Member Barry Wolk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Farmington Hills, MI

    Re: What happened to them all???

    Continental Motors owned DIVCO at one point.

    Just to set things straight, as I know them.

    DeVaux went under owning $500,000 to Continental. They settled for half the money owed and they purchased the DeVaux factory for $40,000, right across the alley from Hayes Body. The private-labeled Hall motors they were owed for had already been used but there were a bunch of Devaux bodies and chassis left over. Those were built out as Continental-DeVaux for the balance of the model year. According to a parts book there were 1,428 made in 1932. In 1933 there were 4,092 beacons, 1,745 Flyers and 650 Aces made. In 1934 they made a freshened Beacon called the "Red Seal". Then the got out of the car business until buying DIVCO. When they got out of industrial engines they specialized in aircraft engines. They were bought by Teledyne and then Ryan. They continue to make and rebuild light aircraft engines. I believe they were recently sold to a Chinese concern.

    For 1933 Continental hired Hayes Body staff designer, Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky to create three models for production. There was a 101" wb Beacon 4-cylinder, available in 4 body styles, a 107"wb Flyer 6-cylinder, utilizing the exact same bodies, making room for the I-6 under a longer hood and front fenders. The rest of the parts were interchangeable. The luxury car was the Ace. At 114" wb it was their largest offering. You got a bigger six with 20 more horsepower. Like so many other boutique manufacturers their components are right out of the parts bins of the major suppliers of the big boys. It used Briggs, Timkin, Delco and Steeldraulic brakes. Many of these parts were common to others of the period.

    It was an innovative car for the period. It was all-steel, except for the floorboards. It had a rear suspension like those used on Bugatti race cars. The quarter elliptical springs located and sprung the rear axle. The front transverse spring had only one shackle, effectively creating a 3-point suspension eliminating the buggy sway so common for cars of the era. The engine mounts were unusual as they had a solid block of rubber inside powerful springs. The trans had only a single center mount again using a three point stability system. The engine passes virtually no vibration through to the car. It has the first crancase recycling system I've been on a car. It has no draft tube. I just recently learned that it was also the first car to have the wiper below the windshield. I need to check that out further.

    My car is a 50,000 mile car that was painted some time in the '60s I believe. I am the third owner. I did a mechanical restoration on it two winter ago and then drove it across Michigan on the old stage coach route. It was very well-behaved and reliable. I got the advertised 25 mpg. There is only one other running Flyer and that's a restored RHD New Zealand export. It appears that a number of cars went to Australia without bodies to be fitted by the Richard's Body Company in AU. Since Australia had no real car production there were enormous import taxes on complete vehicles so the cars were sent in bodyless or as TKDs, again to be assembled by Richards to avoid the steep tariffs.

    I couldn't find one so I had a Flyer Roadster made.

    Last edited by Barry Wolk; July 7th, 2013 at 22:08.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. What happened to...
    By Richard D in forum Buick Reatta
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: June 28th, 2009, 19:28
  2. What happened??
    By CL_Reatta in forum Buick Reatta
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: June 28th, 2009, 01:01
  3. What happened?
    By 63viking in forum Buick Reatta
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: June 29th, 2007, 16:53
  4. there wouldn't happened to be...
    By WillBilly53 in forum Buick - General
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: July 28th, 2003, 15:29
  5. What happened to R & R?
    By in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 36
    Last Post: November 25th, 2002, 10:11

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts