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About jrbartlett

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    Senior Member


  • Biography
    Grew up in the hobby working on father's Packard, DeSoto & LaSalle, driving on car tours in the 1960s

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  1. jrbartlett

    Crop touring

    Being a city boy, let me ask -- what are they doing, irrigating?
  2. jrbartlett

    Model 48 Locomobile

    I dug out the written history that accompanied my car (the blue-green Sportif pictured earlier in this thread) when Lee Davenport sold it around 1987 or so. It contains the answer on the "baggage car." It is not the green roadster, which really is a low-mileage car. "Alexander Stein of Byram Shore, Greenwich, Connecticut was the owner of a number of Model 48 Locomobiles and was considered the authority on the marque. His mother had purchased a seven-passenger touring immediately after World War I which Alex drove and maintained almost up to his death on Jan. 1, 1974. At that point the family car had racked up nearly 300,000 miles, hence his interest in buying lower-mileage Locomobiles. Alex had attended the Locomobile chauffeur school, giving him a head start as a Locomobile expert. For many years after World War II, he tracked most every known Locomobile in the eastern United States."
  3. jrbartlett

    Drilling and Tapping Holes in Chrome Plating

    There are some mirrors that attach to the door hinges, if the hinges are exposed and on the front edge of the door (not suicide doors).
  4. jrbartlett

    Correct spark plug for a 1921 Premier Touring Car??

    Was this car from Houston? If so I knew it in the 1960s.
  5. jrbartlett

    Model 48 Locomobile

    What are the chances of reviving that Ridgefield meet at a different location, since there are still so many great early cars in the area? I'd even consider bringing my Loco up from Texas.
  6. jrbartlett

    Who did ‘57 Better? Ford or Chevy?

    Being old enough to remember 1957, I recall hearing at the time that the '57 Ford had been named the year's most beautiful car. But almost immediately it seemed like the vibe over the Chevy started growing. Meanwhile, my father bought a '57 Desoto Firedome Sportsman 2-door hardtop. I remember cops pulling us over just so they could look at the car. It was like a flying saucer had landed; indeed a great-looking car, and with the Hemi engine it would really run. But it was a rotten car in terms of build quality.
  7. jrbartlett

    Model 48 Locomobile

    I have quite a collection of Loco literature that was accumulated through the years by Lee Davenport and possibly Alexander Stein. Would love to see your catalog. Of course you know that Emlen Hare later put together a manufacturing venture that included Locomobile.
  8. jrbartlett

    Painting Wire Wheels

    We painted the wire wheels on my Auburn back in the early 1990s with acrylic enamel with a hardener and anti-wrinkle agent, slowly rotating them. Really stacked the paint on in order to fill in the pits. They turned out very well, and remain nice all these years later. But now I need to paint the wire wheels on my Packard. They are much more complex -- 80 spokes -- and I am told that today's acrylic enamel is different than the old stuff. What paint and additives do you use today? How slick do the wheels turn out -- and for that matter, how well does powder coating of wire wheels turn out? I've seen some that look bad.
  9. jrbartlett

    Model 48 Locomobile

    The green Locomobile roadster we've been discussing had supposedly had the back of the body cut off and was then used as a truck in a shipyard in Boston. Ultimately the car was sold and the back half of the body was rebuilt into the present form by Merrimac. So though Alex Stein later owned the car, I don't know if this was actually the "baggage car." When Alex Stein died, Lee Davenport was the executor of his estate, which supposedly included a garage full of Locomobile spare parts. Lee was the owner of my Sportif, and I suspect that my wheel rims -- which are absolutely pristine, with perfect "Firestone" engraving visible -- were NOS from the Stein parts cache. Lee also commissioned a restoration of my car in the early 1970s.
  10. jrbartlett

    Painting Wire Wheels

    Is there anyone who specializes in painting wire wheels?
  11. jrbartlett

    Model 48 Locomobile

    Does anyone know if the roadster pictured was in fact Alexander Stein's "baggage car," or just one of the several Locomobiles that he owned? Thanks.
  12. jrbartlett

    1929 Compression

    What is the compression ratio or acceptable compression pressures for a '29 Super 8? Thanks.
  13. jrbartlett

    Model 48 Locomobile

    The linkage you asked about connects to the choke. It's controlled by a nickle-plated rotating collar on the steering column, just below the steering wheel. The temperature of the incoming air is regulated by a sliding plate attached to an aluminum heat stove that encircles the exhaust manifold. It's use is contra-indicated currently because of the far-more-volatile nature of today's gasoline. I disconnected the pipe that ties the carburetor to the heat stove. Otherwise the gasoline would boil in the carburetor -- certainly down here in Texas. It's interesting to see the lengths the early manufacturers had to go to in order to deliver gasoline to the combustion chamber and get it to fire. The Loco not only has priming cups, it also has a button on the dash that when pressed shoots a jet of pressurized gasoline directly into the back of the intake manifold. That's some of the other plumbing that you see.
  14. jrbartlett

    Model 48 Locomobile

    Couldn't resist -- here are a few more photos. Those tires are 35x5, and combined with the standard 3.2 to 1 rear end ratio, at 60 miles per hour the engine is turning only 1,769 RPM. Some of the cars even had numerically lower ratios. I don't drive that fast; nervous about wood wheels, Babbitt rod bearings and 2-wheel brakes. But those brakes are huge, and more effective than I expected. I have a new 3.07 to 1 ring and pinion gear set from Phil Hill, but have not bothered to put it in. He used to routinely drive his '25 Sportif at 70-plus. We had a friend in West Texas with a '25 Sportif who back in the 1960s toured the western U.S. at 60-70. That car is now in the Cussler Museum. The reason so many Locos have low mileage is that technology was advancing fast, and these cars were quickly outdated as too thirsty, and too heavy. So they were parked in carriage houses. That said, I do know of a fellow (Alexander Stein) who I was told put 300,000 miles on his Loco from the 1920s through the 1950s.
  15. jrbartlett

    Model 48 Locomobile

    There is an easy upgrade to ease the steering of a Locomobile. The front axle/kingpin setup has the weight of the car's front end resting on slotted washers; the slots retain grease. It's not hard to replace the washers with thin washer-like roller bearings. I did that to mine and it helps. As Ed says, steering while moving is the key. The steering ratio is one-and-a-half turns lock to lock for a car that probably has 3,000 pounds weight on the front end. No way you'll turn it sitting still. Just thinking ahead helps a lot. Bottom line is I no longer consider the car hard to steer. One drawback is that the engine and rear axle tend to be leaky, but that may have been addressed by 1924. Gas mileage is 5-6 MPG, but you really don't care in one of these cars. I drove my car on the Glidden Tour in Ohio a few years back -- covering about 500-600 miles, and I drove in the fast car group with cars from the '30s. No problems. A pic of the engine is below. The crankcase is manganese bronze, used because it is stronger than cast iron. Incidentally, you're looking at a restoration that was done in 1971-1972.