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About AHa

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  • Birthday 01/21/1956

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    Antique cars of all years and shapes and sizes

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  1. AHa

    What car is this?

    Here is a picture of a 1907 Locomobile model E motor. When this motor is compared to the motor in the 1905 car, the design is the same. Apparently Locomobile enlarged a production motor design to build the 1905 motor. The 1906 motor was a complete departure in design but that departure was not carried over to production models. 960 × 639
  2. AHa

    What car is this?

    Ok, theory number two. There was never two cars built. The 1905 car was reconfigured to resemble the 1906 car and they were raced together. The two car build was propaganda to mask the fact that the 1905 car was now something new. We know the number 1 car was wrecked at the end of the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup and we know the 1905 car disappeared about the same time. What if they were the same car. Was there a reason all the photos are taken from the driver's side of the car? A photo from the other side would reveal the four exhaust stacks. What if the number 1 refers to Locomobile's 1st race car. This is all theory and supposition on my part. I'm looking for answers to anomalies.
  3. AHa

    What car is this?

    I have a new theory. Most of the period photos of the 1906 cars show a white car with baker style wheels and Joe Tracy as the driver. Old 16 was never painted white and has the heavy Kelsey style wheels. The story goes that Locomobile made two identical special race cars, one the primary and one as a back up. I now believe the #1 car was the primary car and it was assigned the number 1 for the race accordingly. It is always shown with Joe Tracy as the driver. What we see in the race appears to be a rivalry between the two drivers, Joe Tracy and George Robertson. Robertson, as driver of the backup car, was determined to beat the favored number 1 car and did. Of course, once this happened, the back up car became the primary. If you think about it, it is remarkable that Locomobile was allowed to enter two cars in the Vanderbilt cup and this may be the reason the 1905 car was reconfigured to resemble the two 1906 cars. The number one car may have been registered as Harold Thomas' car. This would allow Locomobile to have two cars in the race. Without any direct knowledge, I would think the rules would forbid any one entity from entering two cars.
  4. AHa

    What car is this?

    I now have some clarification. The white car above undoubtedly is the sister car to old 16. Old 16 was never painted white as evident by this period photo. It was said that Locomobile built two identical race cars in 1906 but that appears to be untrue. Old sixteen has Kelsey style wheels that are very beefy. The other car has Baker style thin spindly wheels. Old 16 was painted a grey color but the sister car is white. My suspicion now is the #1 car was the primary car. It is depicted as the white car in all the period photos. #16 was the back up car, the sister car and period photos of it are not easy to come by. George Robertson was determined to win the race and pulled out all the stops to do so. It was said that he drove like a madman and Riker didn't like it because he felt the car was being abused. This sounds an awful lot like a rivalry between the two drivers, also evidenced by the number 1 car coming in just behind old 16 to finish in 2nd place. The number 1 car was so numbered because it was expected to win. This is speculation on my part but seems reasonable.
  5. AHa

    What car is this?

    I didn't write this article. It came up on a search I did on the web. I only have the name Steve as the writer. It is a compilation of magazine articles from several the turn of the century automotive magazines. Andrew L. Riker - pioneer race car designer The Riker electric "Torpedo" racer (photo credit: Horseless Age, November 20, 1901) Andrew Lawrence Riker (1868 - 1930) was a pioneer of the automotive age and much has been written about him. I won't try and retell the entire story here, but simply to illuminate his racing career. I believe Riker to be a bit unique in that he designed electric, steam, and gas cars over his storied career - also serving as the first president of the Society of Automotive Engineers. Riker started out as proponent of electric power and founded the Riker Motor Wagon Company in Brooklyn, New York. The company's name was soon changed to the The Riker Electric Motor Company and his racing career was born with a win at the Narragansett Park Track (Providence, RI) in 1896. They soon moved to Elizabeth, NJ and took the name the Riker Electric Vehicle Company in 1898. Riker would often speak of the supremacy of electric power for city vehicles and the bulk of his business was making commercial vehicles (today the Smithsonian holds one of these vehicles in its collection). Regardless, it seems his passion was speed and he built (to my knowledge) the first purpose-built electric racer in 1900 - winning a 50-mile endurance race on the Merrick road course on Long Island. This car was reworked into the "Torpedo Racer" of 1901 which unofficially set the mile record at Coney Island, NY - breaking the mile-a-minute barrier. This car is now held in the collection of the Henry Ford Museum. Riker sold his company to Col. Pope's Electric Vehicle Corporation in 1901 (taking a position in the firm) and immediately set about designing a gasoline powered car. This attracted the attention of the Locomobile Company who was looking to transition out of its dated steam car into a new product offering. By 1902, Andrew Riker was a Vice President at Locomobile and the driving force behind the design of their cars for the next decade. It wasn't long before Riker had a chance to design another race car. Dr. H.E. Thomas of Chicago made a request of Locomobile (through the company's Chicago agent) for a race car suitable for running the 1905 Gordon-Bennett race - to be held in France that year. It's said that the company wasn't really interested and sent word back to Chicago that if Dr. Thomas really wanted a race car he'd have to pay $18,000 for it. An astronomical sum of money at the time, it was thought this would discourage Dr. Thomas. However, to everyone's surprise, Thomas said yes, and Riker got to work. Riker designed a car unlike anything the company had built previously - very much in the style of the competing European cars of the day. Riker must have poured himself into the job and the company seems to have championed the cause as well. Locomobile actually selected a driver and sent him to Europe to campaign Dr. Thomas' racer car. Joe Tracy (1873-1959) was just the man for the job, but unfortunately Tracy stripped two of the four forward gears and the car was retired with only a couple laps under it's belt. Not to be deterred, the car and Tracy came home and entered the Vanderbilt Cup race in the same year. The car was improved (learning from their experiences in France) and Tracy (with Al Poole as his riding mechanic) handled her beautifully - finishing second in the elimination trials and third in the Cup race. This car was the first American car to place in an international motor race (wearing #7). Dr. Thomas' Locomobile racer (photo credit: Horseless Age, May 10, 1905) Inspired, Riker went back to the drawing board and created a masterpiece for 1906 - actually two Locomobile team racing cars to be campaigned by Tracy & Poole once again. One of these cars would win the American elimination race and, although favored, would place 10th in 1906 (wearing #9). These team cars were upgraded over the next two years - there was no Vanderbilt Cup race in 1907. In 1908, one of these cars (wearing #16) driven by George Roberson, with Glen Ethridge as his mechanic because Joe Tracy had retired, won the Vanderbilt Cup. The car lives on in its current home - the Henry Ford collection - as one of the most important American built race cars of any generation. This car was the first American car to win an international motor race - a very fitting tribute to its designer, Andrew Riker. 1906 Locomobile racer (photo credit: Motor Way, 1906) The Locomobile team garage at the 1906 Vanderbilt races (photo credit: Motor Way, 1906) 1906 Locomobile racer that won the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup at the Henry Ford The 1906 American team for the Vanderbilt Cup race (photo credit: Motor, October 1906)
  6. J. Leslie C. Brand's Tioga Wolf 1913 model 48 Locomobile, converted to a truck by MorelandTtruck Co., now Peterbilt. The history of this car is known except for a short span of time in the middle and it exists today in much the same condition as in this picture. See below Picture taken on a 2012 HCCA tour of the Redwood Forest.
  7. Back in the early 2,000s there was a guy who brought 2 Autocar trucks to Hershey and drove them around. I don't know what he had done to them but they were fast.
  8. Bently made a car with a back end similar to this. It can be seen in the race scene of Downton Abbey.