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Thread: What happened to them all???

  1. #1
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    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

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    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
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    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.
    ~DJ~

    There's nothing like that old car smell.

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    + 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
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    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 www.durantmotors.com.
    "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.
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    Vice President Durant Motors Automobile Club
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  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

    http://grahampaige.blogspot.com/

  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 10:44.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Barry Wolk's Avatar
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    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.

    [img]1001759_10200837321189415_1197218859_n.jpg[/img]
    Last edited by Barry Wolk; July 7th, 2013 at 23:08.

  10. #10

    Re: What happened to them all???

    You haven't set things straight at all just muddied the waters even more, I think you best read more than one or two articles on De Vaux and Continental, I'm glad to see you added facts as you know them, but only some is fact but most is fiction. Not trying to be rude but I prefer facts over fiction. Also the reason you couldn't find one is because they didn't make one, and there is more than one other running Flyer out there, they just don't talk about them or publish them on every car site known to man.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Barry Wolk's Avatar
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    Re: What happened to them all???

    Enlighten me, oh wise one.

    You may have missed the "as I know them" part.

  12. #12

    Cool Re: What happened to them all???

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Wolk View Post
    Enlighten me, oh wise one.

    You may have missed the "as I know them" part.
    I see you didn't read all of my reply carefully or you would have seen the part where I mention (facts as you know them), kind of the same way you read the Red Book National Used Car Market Report when it came to 1933 Continental Flyer or Beacon if you had followed the line across to the far right hand side you would have seen no weights given for Roadsters, that's because they didn't make any. The closest your going to get to having one is trying to buy that De Vaux 1932 Convertible Custom Coupe sitting in the museum. You also need to do more reading on the Count, Continental didn't hire him at all nor did they buy Divco or had anything to do with it. Not trying to get into a pissing contest here just trying to point out misinformation that others read and pass along as gospel, about the same as what Wikipedia is were anyone can put out anything.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Barry Wolk's Avatar
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    Re: What happened to them all???

    Thanks for the education. Hope you have a better day tomorrow.

  14. #14
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    Re: What happened to them all???

    Right on 34Fronty. The Count was long gone and his body's were not used for De Vaux or Continental's.
    http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/h/hayes/hayes.htm
    In 1930 Hayes signed a three-­year contract to build bodies for the American Austin/Bantam that were designed by deSakhnoffsky, and later made a deal to supply bodies for the 1931-32 DeVaux. Although DeVaux advertisements stated that deSakhnoffsky had designed the cars coachwork, in reality the bodies he designed werenít actually used. Instead, leftover Hayes-built Durant bodies were supplied to DeVaux with deSakhnoffsky-designed fenders, hood and grill to update them. By the time the DeVaux appeared, deSakhnoffsky had been hired away by Packardís Edward Macauley, and was in no position to complain.
    In fact the DeVaux was built in a leased portion of Hayes huge Grand Rapids plant, and the bodies were transported across a second floor bridge that ran over the street that separated the two buildings. DeVauxís successor, Continental, continued to utilize various leftover Hayes-built bodies.

    Sad people don't do research before publishing things as gospel. Yes there are Beacon's, Flyers, Ace's, Red Seal, Frontenac C-400, C-600 and Ace's out there.

  15. #15

    Re: What happened to them all???

    Not the kind of reply one would normally expect from a Senior Member of a world renowned organization dealing with automobile history, and your welcome for the education on only a small portion of insight into the inaccuracies you posted here and God knows how many other sites. As for tomorrow it will be better as will all my other tomorrows in knowing that I have made a small contribution in letting others know that accurate researched facts will always stand the test of time and that stories are just that, concocted to impress others.

  16. #16
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    Re: What happened to them all???

    Why does a discussion have to turn into a pissing contest? Do we have some personality disorders running rampant or what?

    Can't we let the facts speak for themselves? Personal condemnation achieves nothing except inflating the ego of the one dishing it out.

    (OOPS! My judgemental personality just ran amuck!) Can't spell either.
    Last edited by TexasJohn55; April 27th, 2014 at 22:17.
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  17. #17

    Re: What happened to them all???

    55 you see that I mentioned that in my reply, I'm a researcher into the various Durant connected vehicles and dislike inaccurate information being posted here or anywhere else, and if that means taking the odd black eye by people who think they know it all then so be it.

  18. #18
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    Re: What happened to them all???

    We spend a lot of time and money researching Durant's empire of cars 1921 - 1934 and offshoots. There is so much mis info and fables published 60 / 70's and even in the period errors jump off the pages. Wiki is bad as anyone can put anything there and do. We attempt to supply correct info from back up we have, but some keep blinders on.

  19. #19
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    Re: What happened to them all???

    Fronty and Durant................Copy that. Misinformation is worse than NO information. You see it all the time on forums, articles quoted with no regard to the veracity and source.
    TexasJohn: "Wasn't born here but got here quick as I could"

    Evil is: Marketing Immorality under the banners of Tolerance, Equality and Civil Liberties.
    A Perversion of those once Honorable ideologies.





    '55 Special, 4dr sedan,
    Body Model 55-21, Style 55-4469, Body # G5521
    Trim 81, paint LLL

    1969 Pontiac LeMans 2dr HT, buckets,console, and 8 track!
    Currently in restoration, frame off.

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