Cord Blomquist

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Everything posted by Cord Blomquist

  1. I've also posted this at the H.A.M.B. at the Jalopy Journal and there is a good conversation going on there: http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/hupmobile-that-raced-at-bonneville-alongside-ab-jenkins.1055247/
  2. History of the Hupmobile Bonneville Roadster The “Bonneville Hupp” was originally owned and built by Dr. Norbert Knoch, a physician from Denver, Colorado, who typifies the racing enthusiasm that took hold in America during the 1930s, despite the hardships of the Great Depression. Knock’s pursuit of speed was so relentless that he ended up working with executives and engineers at not only Hupmobile but also Ethyl Gasoline Company, Gambill Motor Company, Kendall Refining, Schwitzer Cummins, Ray Day Piston, and Firestone Tire. Knock also recruited future racing legends like Bill Kenz to his team, traded racing parts with Babe Stapp, and acted as race physician to David Abbott “Ab” Jenkins on his record-setting runs in 1937. Dr. Knoch bought his Hupmobile Model H right off the showroom floor at the Hupmobile dealership in Denver, Colorado. We’ve even been able to obtain the original title. Originally a four-door touring car, the Hupp was brought to the Niederhut Carriage Company, a carriage company local to Denver, for the construction of a custom boat-tailed body. The body was designed by Ernest H. “Ernie” Niederhut, son of Henry E. Niederhut, who founded the company (originally Niederhut Bros.), with his brother William G. Niederhut, in 1892. According to one document we received with the car, the fenders on the Bonneville Hupp inspired the fenders on the Mormon Meteor, as they cut air resistance and kept salt from spraying the driver. Once the body of the car was complete, Dr. Knoch set about trying to find a way to modify the engine of his Hupp to reach the fastest speeds possible. He started this by writing to Hupmobile about how he might raise the compression ratio of the engine to 7.5:1. These early letters from Dr. Knoch to the Hupmobile Motor Car Corporation seem to have been met with confusion, the executives seemingly unaware that Knoch was intending to race at Bonneville. They refer to the car’s performance “at Denver altitude,” referencing the doctor’s home town, and that Knoch’s questions about potentially using multiple carburetors made little sense for a “pleasure car.” Was Knoch being coy as to what he was hoping to do with his Model H? Perhaps that was the case, as it seems the Hupp executives assumed it was still being used as a touring car by a simple country doctor. Knoch eventually achieved his desired compression ratio through the installation of new pistons heads. This change required an adjustment to the depth of the spark plugs, which further required special aluminum gaskets. Dr. Knoch kept the cylinder bore reading information from October 10, 1934, and October 12, 1934, as well as correspondence from the Ray Day Piston Corporation. The next challenge was raising the octane of the fuel used in the Hupp, an especially difficult task in an era before modern gasoline. Dr. Knoch sought out fuel additives, such as Ethyl Fluid, developed by the Ethyl Gasoline Company. However, Ethyl executives steered Knoch toward the use of benzol, noting that a 20% benzol-to-gasoline ratio would achieve about 83 octane. Knoch proposed using 90% benzol. And so he did, and seemingly to great effect. Knoch and his team developed what one Ethyl Gasoline executive called “an ingenious method of operating your cars by bleeding benzol into the carburetor.” The benzol tank that fed this bleed is still part of the car today. Knoch also wrote to Hupmobile to inquire about twin carburetors, probably seeking to emulate the multi-carb approach of what was probably the world’s most famous Hubmobile, the “Hupp Comet.” The Comet was a racecar driven by the famous Russell Snowberger. Before driving the Comet, Snowberger entered his own car, a Studebaker, into the Indianapolis 500 and finished 5th in 1931. This impressive upstart performance caught the attention of executives at Hupmobile, who wanted to promote their cars through involvement in the growing phenomenon of Indy Racing. Hupmobile coaxed Snowberger to pull the Studebaker motor out of his race car and install a Hupmobile H engine, of his design, to race at Indy for the Hupp Corporation. His car was then dubbed the “Hupp Comet.” But with the deepening of the Great Depression, Hupmobile’s Indianapolis racing endeavors were short lived. At the end of the 1932 season, Russell Snowberger decided to go his own way and returned the engine and all Hupmobile-related parts back to the company. But the executives at Hupmobile were not about to let a good engine go to waste. Instead, they could sell the engine to Dr. Knoch, this new sort of upstart in Colorado. It would allow them to recoup some of their investment in the Indy team, but more interestingly it would allows them to foster what was essentially an unofficial Hupp racing team at Bonneville. This was especially interesting for the cash-strapped Hupmobile Motor Car Corporation, as racing at Bonneville wasn’t as stressful as Indy, with its regular schedule of races and the pressure that goes with them. Racing on the Salt Flats was less about drivers racing against each other and more about racing against the bounds of what current engineering and technology made possible. By helping Knoch, the folks at Hupmobile had a race team that was self-financing and whose losses would go unnoticed, but whose potential wins would give them the headlines they needed to sell cars. This logic lead Hupmobile executives like F. J. Snyder to consistently entertain Dr. Knoch’s continuing stream of requests for special parts and engineering advice. In 1933 the Hupp Comet motor was sold to Dr. Knoch and installed in the Bonneville Hupp. Knoch put the motor to use, and of course, wrote more letters to Hupp. He now made requests for replacement gaskets from the Victor Gasket Company, who had supplied gaskets for Snowberger’s race team. Eventually he found them, care of the Gambill Motor Company, a Hupp distributor. Finally, 1935 saw the first run of the Bonneville Hupp at the Salt Flats. According to an extensive write-up in the August 1977 edition of Cars & Parts, later republished in the Hupp Herald, Dr. Knoch himself drove the car to a speed of 136 mph. Photographs taken that day show Augie Duesenberg’s dog sitting in the car, and it is believed that Augie himself timed the car. But Duesenberg wasn’t the only connection Knoch made with Bonneville royalty in 1935. The Bonneville Hupp was prepared for racing the Salt Flats by Bill Kenz, who was just beginning what would become one of the most illustrious careers in racing. Kenz went on to partner with Roy Leslie, and together the two established a career in drag racing and midget racing, with a dominating presence at Bonneville. Their “Odd Rod” ran at over 140 mph on the salt flats in 1949 and their later “777 Streamliner,” powered by three flathead eight engines, posted a speed of 261.81 mph in 1956. The excitement of the 1935 run and the association with the famed Duesenberg brothers pushed Knoch to go even faster. He was finally doing what he wanted to be doing—racing in big leagues. As he began rethinking the car’s design in 1936, Dr. Knoch sought out new gear ratios for the Bonneville Hupp. Knoch’s original request for a 3:1 ratio was rebuffed by the engineers at Hupmobile, who instead were able to drop his Model H from the standard 53:13 (nearly 4:1) to 3.25:1. This was settled in a slew of technical correspondence in 1937 with letters dating from January 12, January 22, February 11, another from February 11, February 18, and February 19. Gaskets were then upgraded, supplied by McCord Radiator Company, who produced copper-reinforced gaskets that would hold up better when exposed to high temperatures The car was run at Bonneville again in 1937. We have several photos from this trip to Bonneville. After this run, it seemed that the new axle ratio became a cause for concern. The 3.25:1 modified gears provided by Automotive Gear Works of Richmond, Indiana, were overheating when the Hupp ran at high speeds over long periods of time. In May of 1937, Knoch sought to resolve the overheating problem by seeking advice from Automotive Gear Works, the same company who produced the axle gearing. They recommended using castor oil, rather than using a lead-based lubricant. Knoch also sought advice from Kendall Refining, who was happy to recommend several of its own products. In September of the same year, Knoch became part of Bonneville history, but perhaps not in the way he imagined. It was at that time that David Abbot “Ab” Jenkins set at 24-hour world speed record of 157.27 mph. Dr. Knoch tended to Jenkins, who was injured partway through the run, having a piece of metal embedded in his arm, which Knoch is quoted as saying barely missed one of Ab’s major blood vessels. Brownie Carslake of Firestone Tire would later thank Dr. Knoch for his assistance, writing, “None of us will ever forget how readily you stepped in and the timely assistance you gave when assistance was really needed.” After 24-hour record run, Dr. Knoch became friends with Babe Stapp, Ab’s backup driver, who sent not only advice but also parts to Dr. Knoch, including a steering gear and possibly a flexible wheel. Throughout 1938 and 1939, Dr. Knoch appears to have continued his pursuit for speed. He wrote to Schwitzer Cummins about superchargers and was met with some of the skepticism that he was met with in his early letters to Hupp. Lee Oldfiend, a Consulting Engineer at Cummins, reacted to Dr. Knoch’s proposed configuration of a supercharger by writing “such a combination could not be very useful except at speeds close to the peak” and “we should like to discourage you with this project.” Mr. Oldfield also didn’t contact “Mr. Duesenberg” about the proposed configuration, as Dr. Knoch had suggested. Oldfield didn’t realize he was writing to the man who quite possibly saved Ab Jenkins life! The letter writing went on, and Dr. Knoch received replies from American Bosch regarding a magneto and to Air Associates regarding their Anilol fuel additive. Interestingly, Milton Chapel of Air Associates claimed that hundreds of racecar drivers had adopted Anilol from its introduction to the racing community in October of 1938 to the time of his writing to Dr. Knoch, which was only seven months later. We don’t know if the supercharger was ever added to the Bonneville Hupp or if Dr. Knoch ran the car with alternate fuels or additives after 1938. Our records drop off after those dates, aside from the documented chain of ownership. We know the car was eventually sold to Don Crites, also of Denver. From there is was sold to Frank Kleptz of Terre Haute, Indiana. The Bonneville Hupp stayed in Frank’s possession until recently when John Snowberger, Russell Snowberger’s son, purchased the racer in order to turn back the hands of time and restore his father’s 1932 Hupp Comet. White Glove Collection acquired the body and chassis of the 1930 Hupmobile Bonneville from John Snowberger and is currently restoring it to its 1932 racing configuration, including an original Model H engine. You can see the restoration process and learn more, the Bonneville Hupp, visit White Glove Collection or call Cord Blomquist at 202-615-0600.
  3. I'm hoping people on the forum might know where I can find more information about where Augie Duesenberg was spending his days in 1935 to 1937.
  4. @alsancle I've posted the new history I've written for the car at the H.A.M.B.: http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/hupmobile-that-raced-at-bonneville-alongside-ab-jenkins.1055247/#post-11970540 Let me know if you can think of anything else I should include on the thread.
  5. @alsancle Where would you recommend I post this on the H.A.M.B. message boards?
  6. @alsancle thank your for taking an interest in all of this stuff. I'd like to share this with more folks interested in the Bonneville Salt Flats, early stock car racing, or just vintage custom race cars in general. Where else do you think I should post this stuff or who should I be contacting?
  7. Here's a cool note on timing. Or at lest I think that's what this is getting to.
  8. Here's a list of mechanical changes. I have several blue prints of fabricated parts that go along with this, but I have been unable to scan those oversized items yet.
  9. Here are some later notes on the Hupp. Some have dates, some do not. I like Mrs. Lucille Knoch's note about "our friends the Duesenbergs" especially. What a thing to be able to say! 1975-10-28-don-crites.pdf 1985-04-11-don-crites.pdf 1985-04-11-lucille-knoch.pdf description-of-hupp.pdf
  10. Here are the documents from 1936 to 1937. These include some pictures of the Salt Flats and of course more letters. Companies included here are Automotive Gear Works Inc, Hupmobile, McCord Radiator, Kendall Refining, and Firestone Rubber. Here's a picture of Dr. Norbert & Lucille Knoch. I believe this is from later in the Hupp Salt Flats Racer's career, but I'm not sure. I'm working off of scans right now, so I can't examine the back of the originals for dates. 1938-12-9-schwitzer-cummins-company.pdf 1938-12-19-schwitzer-cummins-company.pdf 1939-04-07-pirrung-racing-babe-stapp.pdf 1939-04-08-babe-stapp.pdf 1939-04-11-american-bosch.pdf 1939-04-22-pirrung-racing-team.pdf 1939-04-23-babe-stapp.pdf 1939-05-29-air-associates-incorporated.pdf
  11. Here are the documents from 1936 to 1937. These include some pictures of the Salt Flats and of course more letters. Companies included here are Automotive Gear Works Inc, Hupmobile, McCord Radiator, Kendall Refining, and Firestone Rubber. 1936-12-16-automotive-gear-works-inc-e-h-vogel.pdf 1936-12-23-hupp-motor-car-corp-j-f-bowes.pdf 1936-12-30-hupp-motor-car-corp-j-f-bowes.pdf 1937-01-07-mccord-radiator-manufacturiung-co-e-o-bodkin.pdf 1937-01-12-hupp-motor-car-corp.pdf 1937-01-22-hupp-motor-car-corp-j-f-bowes.pdf 1937-02-11-hupp-motor-car-corp-j-f-bowes.pdf 1937-02-11-hupp-motor-car-corp-j-f-bowes-automotive-gear-works-inc.pdf 1937-02-18-automotive-gear-works.pdf 1937-02-19-hupp-motor-car-corp.pdf 1937-05-04-automotive-gear-works-inc-lester-m-wright-chief-engineer.pdf 1937-05-13-kendall-refining-company.pdf 1937-12-70-firestone-tire-rubber-company-brownie-carslake.pdf 1937-salt-flats-timing.pdf 1937-salt-flats-with-driver.pdf
  12. Here is 1933 through 1934. These include letters from the Ethyl Gasoline Corporation, more from Hupmobile itself, the Gambill Motor Company, and the Ray Day Piston Corporation. 1933-05-26-ethyl-gasoline-corporation-julian-j-frey.pdf 1933-06-21-ethyl-gasoline-corporation-engineering-laboratory-julian-j-frey.pdf 1934-01-11-hupp-motor-car-corp-f-j-snyder.pdf 1934-01-12-gambill-motor-company-inc-h-d-gordon.pdf 1934-01-19-hupp-motor-car-corp-f-j-snyder.pdf 1934-10-10-hupp-motor-car-corp-cylinder-bore-reading.pdf 1934-10-12-hupp-motor-car-corp-cylinder-bore-reading.pdf 1934-11-02-ray-day-piston-corporation-ray-e-day.pdf
  13. Here are the document I have dated 1930 through 1932. This includes the original title, and Dr. Knoch's early correspondence with the folks at Hupmobile. 1930-06-26-racing-ref-louis-vollmer-springfield-mass-united-auto-body-may-7h81024.pdf 1930-title-copy.pdf 1930-title-original.pdf 1932-06-23-E-S-mcpherson-assistant-chief-engineer.pdf 1932-06-24-hupp-motor-car-corp-f-j-snyder-.pdf 1932-07-11-hupp-motor-car-corp-f-j-snyder.pdf 1932-07-15-hupp-motor-car-corp-f-j-snyder.pdf 1932-aaa-championship-standing.pdf 1932-prize-money-to-top-drivers.pdf 1932-summary-of-6-major-races.pdf
  14. Would anyone be interested in looking at all the document I have associated with the car? I have 50+ pages of letters from Dr. Knoch to Huppmobile, gear manufactures, aviation fuel companies, etc. I also have letters from his wife discussing visits from the Duesenberg brothers and how she baked cookies for the boys at the Niederhut Company. I guess I promised to do this back in December, but I finally have the work done.
  15. @Imperial62 I'm looking for comps on this car. Do you know of any recent auctions featuring rare race cars, salt-flats cars, or anything related to Ab Jenkins?
  16. I have two pairs of REO headlights with depress beam lenses for sale. You can contact me via phone or text at 202-615-0600 or email cord.blomquist@gmail.com To order online, use the links below: REO Headlights with Depress Beam Lenses $1499 https://whiteglovecollection.com/product/reo-headlights-depress-beam-lenses/ REO Headlights with Curved Depress Beam Lenses $1599 https://whiteglovecollection.com/product/reo-headlights-curved-depress-beam-lenses/
  17. This Saxon has been completely rebuilt from the ground up. Each and every piece was taken carefully disassembled and painstakingly restored. The engine was completely disassembled and checked with plastic gauge—all standard. The wooden spokes of the wheels were each individually restored and reassembled with brass hubcaps. It is finished with 2-Stage paint with clear coat. This car is currently owned by my father, Rick Blomquist of White Glove Collection in La Crosse, Wisconsin. I am selling the car on behalf of my father and the family trust. Please call Cord Blomquist at 202-615-0600 to inquire about the purchase of this Saxon. More Photos and Details about this Saxon are available here: https://whiteglovecollection.com/vehicles-for-sale/1915-saxon/
  18. UPDATE: This car is now listed on eBay for only $44,900: http://www.ebay.com/itm/222427263125 My dad has been going through chemo therapy for the last year and I've been trying to help him sell his collection of classics. This 1934 Nash is something I've researched and I've written a description of the car's history, but I want to make sure everything I have said about the 1934 Nash is accurate. I also want to know everyone's thoughts on value for this car. It's an incredibly well-done restoration, I think it's fair to describe it as a 1, but I'm still not sure where to pin the value on this car. I've posted a few pictures here, but the full set of photos and the description are available at this link: https://whiteglovecollection.com/vehicles-for-sale/1934-nash-advanced-8/ Thank you in advance for your help and advice.
  19. Do you think anyone in the Nash club would be interested in the 1934 Advanced 8 my dad has for sale? I think this Nash is one of the finest looking cars I have ever seen--and I've been going to shows with my dad since I was 8 years old. I've seen great design on more expensive cars, like the L-29 above, Duesenbergs, Auburns, Cord, etc. But this Advanced 8 is the same brand of design excellence at a much lower price. If anyone knows someone who has the budget and loves great old classic American cars like this, please tell them to get in touch with me. I'm available at cord.blomquist@gmail.com or 202-615-0600.
  20. He also designed one of the best L-29 Cords ever made.
  21. We have lowered the price on this and are now offering it on eBay for $44,900: http://www.ebay.com/itm/222427263125
  22. Also, you can call me at 202-615-0600 if you are interested in buying this car.
  23. for sale

    Thanks Carl, I replied to Russel's original thread and sent him an email with more info about the car and working out the logistics for a sale + delivery to OKC.
  24. This 1915 Saxon is a world-class example of the automotive Brass Era, the first period of automotive manufacturing, named for the prominent brass fittings used during this time for components such as lights and radiators. Two years of work and a lifetime of expertise has gone into the complete, body-off restoration of this car. Each and every piece was taken carefully dissassembled and painstakingly restored. The engine was completely disassembled and checked with plastic gauge—all standard. The wooden spokes of the wheels were each individually restored and reassembled with brass hubcaps. It is finished with 2-Stage paint with clear coat. You can view a full picture gallery of the car here: https://whiteglovecollection.com/vehicles-for-sale/1915-saxon/ I've asked my dad to get some more photos of the car in the showroom as we don't really have a good 3/4 shot of the car. Please call me at 202-615-0600, reply to this post, or message me directly in the forums if you're interested in this car.
  25. Russel, I sent you an email regarding my father's 1915 Saxon, which you can see here: https://whiteglovecollection.com/vehicles-for-sale/1915-saxon/ I think we could have it road-ready and shipped in time for your HCCA event. Please let me know if you're interested. -- Cord Blomquist