Graham Clayton

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About Graham Clayton

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  • Birthday 12/23/1964

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    I have been married for 7 years and have a 4 year old son. I have been working for myself since being made redundant from my old job

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  1. Hi Greg, I have done some brief research and it seems that Lexingtons were being sold from 1923 onwards by Masters Motors in Adelaide and the Simpson Motor Co in Brisbane. AV Turner had imported Lexingtons around the end of WW1, but I don't think he was the agent by 1923.
  2. Craig, The Landau and Charger are excellent choices! I would like to nominate the 1984 Nissan Pulsar Turbo ET - the first turbocharged 4-door hatchback built in Australia. The Turbo ET combined the practicality of the Pulsar hatch with the performance of the 2-door EXA Coupe - 0-100 km/h in under 10 seconds and the standing 400 metres in 16.5 seconds, with a price of under $15,000 new. Most of the surviving examples have been modified with body kits and extras, so finding an original car would be very, very difficult.
  3. When my father-in-law paid me a visit a day or so ago, he told me that he had been invited to have a look at some vintage cars in a factory/warehouse. While he was able to identify most of them, he was stumped by one. He said that is was a "Lexicon". When I showed him the Standard Catalog of American Cars entry on Lexington, he confirmed that it was in fact a Lexington he was looking at, circa 1923. He e-mailed me photos that he took, and which I am enclosing below. The car looks very much like a Skylark roadster, but the rear bodywork has been extensively modified, with a cradle for an exposed fuel tank added, plus a home-built storage tray. I have also enclosed below a picture of a restored 1923 Skylark roadster for comparison. The Lexington was manufactured in Lexington, KY & Connersville, IN between 1909 and 1927. Production peaked in 1920 with 6,128 cars built, and by 1923 only 1,330 cars were built. If this is a 1923 car, then there must have been a very small number imported into Australia, of which this may be the only survivor. How many Lexingtons are known to exist in the United States? Is there a registry or website for the make?
  4. The Summit was one of the several attempts to manufacture an “Australian” car in the period between World War 1 and World War 2. Kelly’s Motors of the inner Sydney suburb of Alexandria were the firm behind the Summit. Production began in 1923, and Kellys ensured that details of the new car featured prominently in the press, such as this piece from the Burnie Advocate, dated the 7th of September 1923: “The Summit Car. Among the new cars on the market today a striking example of the progress made in design is the Summit. Not only is the engine rendered, almost vibrationless by a five bearing, forced lubrication, crankshaft, supported on the chassis by a four-point suspension, but the inevitable road shocks are eliminated, as far as possible by the special method of springing. The Acme springs employed carry the whole strain throughout the whole chassis instead of each axle, absorbing the shock individually. This not only increases comfort in driving, by giving a rolling motion, instead of jolting, but saves considerable wear on tires. The full benefit of these springs must be seen to be believed. The makers themselves show their faith in the design, material and workmanship, by giving a written guarantee for twelve months, with each new car. This car is fitted with a 1923 New Lycoming Motor with Lynite Pistons and 12-inch Connecting Rods, thus eliminating excessive side slap on thc cylinder walls. The clutch is a 10-inch Borg & Beck dry plate, as used hitherto only in high priced cars. The radiator is a Pedders Honeycomb, same as used in the Packard. The wheel base is 112 inches. The car as supplied by the makers is equipped to such an extent that the buyer finds it entirely unnecessary to dip further into his pocket for those additions which add so materially to the comfort of the private car.” This last sentence was a reference to some of the features that were fitted as standard to the Summit – clock, cigar lighter, sun shield, wind deflectors and nickel-plated bumpers. While the majority of the Summit’s mechanicals were relatively standard, the Acme springing system was an Australian designed system. In 1921 Christian Fredriksen and business partner William T Kelly travelled to the United Kingdom and the United States to demonstrate and sell Fredriksen's invention - the Acme Spring Suspension System. Using two sets of three cantilevered leaf springs, the system spread shocks along the length of the car for a smoother ride over rough surfaces. Already proven on the difficult Australian road conditions, in 1921 the system was offered as a factory fitted extra on the Australian assembled Lincoln Six. Despite many attempts to sell the international manufacturing rights to various motor car producers, better road conditions experienced in Britain and the United States meant that the benefits of the system were not as apparent. Convinced of the need for the Acme system, Kelly’s company decided to market the Summit to see if the system would be a success on Australian roads. Production commenced in late 1923, with the 5-seater tourer selling for approximately £495. Like the other attempts to sell a locally built car at this time, the Summit could not compete on price with imported cars, many of which were imported as chassis into Australia, avoiding import taxes, and fitted with Australian bodies. The Acme springing system was also prone to failure. Kelly’s Motors advertised the Summit as the “New Wonder Car” and “An Australian Triumph”, and also used testimonials from owners, such as this one from the Adelaide Chronicle, dated the 1st of March 1924: 'Summit' Cars. The following letter has been received by May's Motor Works who handle 'Summit' cars. The writer of the letter, Mr. H. C. Ward, is a well-known resident of Millicent:'It is with pleasure that I write to you with respect to my 'Summit' car. I journeyed from Auburn to Peterborough, and over bad roads the car averaged 26 miles to the gallon with a full load of passengers. From Auburn to Port Pirie, a distance of 190 miles, it averaged 25 miles per gallon of Plume motor spirit. The 'Summit' car has done good work for me on all roads, and on my return to Millicent, in the South-East, through the Coorong, with a full load, the car did the whole journey of 278 miles on 12 gallons of benzine, averaging 23 miles to the gallon over bad roads. I have never had to change a gear or to use a wrench on my Summit. The springs on the car make the Coorong long journey a pleasure trip, as it was a real treat to drive through in this car. I am satisfied that it is one of the best cars I have driven or ridden in. I have obtained 900 miles per gallon of oil.' Unfortunately the Summit did not last long in the marketplace, with the last cars being built in early 1926. Production figures are estimated between 300-500 cars. Five complete cars survive, along with approximately ten cars in various stages of completeness. The car featured at the bottom of this post is on display at the National Motor Museum in Birdwood, South Australia.
  5. The 1925 Case Jay-Eye-See and Model X both had a 6 cylinder 52 hp Continental engine on a 122 inch wheelbase - what were the major differences between the two models?
  6. There is a dealership in Brisbane, Australia called Mike Hunt's Wholesale Cars.
  7. At the 2015 All Holden day just down the road from where I live, I saw a 1963 EH Holden S4. The S4 was a racing version of the EH built specifically to compete in the Bathurst 500 mile touring car race. Only 126 were built, and there are only a handful of survivors.
  8. As someone who is interested in US "independent" makes of the inter-war period, I'd take the REO. The other advantage of the REO is when you display it at car shows, people will be interested because it is no longer being manufactured. You can tell onlookers not only about the REO, but also the role that Ransom E Olds played in the creation of Oldsmobile.
  9. Worldmobile - Lima, OH - 1928
  10. 89tc, Here is some more information on the Ranger from my personal blog:
  11. The Beaulieu Enyclopedia of the Automobile has a photo of a restored Ranger, so at least one car survives.
  12. OSI (Officine Stampaggi Industriali) built cars at Turin between 1963 and 1968. The company was originally founded in 1960 by Ghia, manufacturing bodies and components for the Innocenti S and Fiat 2300 coupe. The first original OSI was a spyder and coupe based on the Fiat 1200, followed by a coupe based on the Fiat 850 and a 4-door version of the Alfa Romeo 2600. After the Taunus, the 1966 Cross Country was a Jeep-style vehicle using Fiat 124 parts, followed by the similat Week-End, based on Fiat 850 parts. Here is a photo of the Fiat 1200:
  13. The car going from left to right at 1:10 looks like a 1919 Renault 10CV.
  14. The 1916 Paterson is a pretty rare car - only 983 were manufactured for that year. Is it a Model 4-32 or Model 6-42? According to the Standard Catalog, 1916 Patersons were valued at approximately $6,000-$7,000 for a car in "good" condition back in 1996, so have values increased since then? It would be interesting to see how much it actually sells for.