wayne sheldon

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Posts posted by wayne sheldon

  1. License plates are a huge area of collectibles! Probably as difficult to know all the ins, outs, details, and values as 78 rpm records are!

    Way back in the days before states grabbed the booty of licensing automobiles, and long before the Feds ended up regulating a deal for states to honor the licensing from other states, many local municipalities and specialty governing bodies tried to grab pieces of that pie. In many places, major city parks even required special licenses to drive within their boundaries! A few years ago (on another antique automobile forum) there was quite a discussion of a famous (?) park in Boston Massachusetts (I personally am not familiar with the park having lived most of my life near the Left coast). Apparently they collected substantial sums from the well-to-do allowing them to show off themselves in their automobiles back around the turn of 1900. Some cities required licenses even before their states did. Cars often had three or four (sometimes even more!) license tags because of various "driver zones" requiring them. Many states required a license tag and annual fee to drive within their boundaries for even a day. This was sometimes overlooked for travelers passing through, but often only after a fine was paid. People that worked in the District of Columbia usually had to always have two plates (at least!) on their cars because DC and the neighboring state they lived in both required it!


    In Califunny, the Golden Gate Park required a license to drive within the park a couple years before the state began requiring fees and tags.


    I understand that quite a number of parks around the 45 states did so. Oklahoma, New Mexico,and Arizona were not yet states then. Territories become a whole other area to study!

  2. I hate Phillips screws! Inconsistent, difficult to hold straight and start,  Strip out as often as not. Screwdrivers don't fit, can't be sharpened. About thirty years ago, some security systems work we did used these odd square hole screws. Special drivers were supplied. I didn't know what they were called, but I decided I loved them! Better than anything else I had ever used, except for Torx. And they were cheaper than Torx. Besides, if I didn't have the driver handy? I could make a driver for those odd square hole screws on a bench grinder in about two minutes! I know, because I did so, and still have it in my old work tool box. Sure enough. I later found out those odd square hole screws were Robertson screws. Ain't politics grand? The USA should have gone with those as a new standard back before WWII.


    Torx may be better for certain high strength applications. However, I have so far not been able to strip any of the hundreds of Robertson screws I have used. And some of those were high strength applications.

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  3. Well, this looks like a good thread to mention this. I hope, I still have in good condition, a lamp from about that same time. It was packed away about thirty years ago, because the few Chevrolet collectors I knew weren't interested in it. The base of the lamp has a sort-of bronzed model of the 1912 Chevrolet touring car, and if I recall correctly, a small plaque awarding the lamp to a salesman. The rather cheesy but plain '60s looking shade had pictures of about a dozen Chevrolet models all around it. It was packed fairly well, but I haven't set eyes on it in many years, and don'e even know for sure where it is except that I hope I still have it and hopefully some unknown hazard hasn't found it.

    If I still have it (I know I didn't knowingly sell it or give it away), I would like to sell it to a collector that would be interested in such promotional collectibles from the '60s (it was and still is too new to really interest me).

    This thread may make me dig through some of my stored stuff?

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  4. I have over the years worked over and salvaged a lot of cheap parts for cars I have restored. I also have a 1919 Ford model T block that had three pistons stuck in it when I bought it (very cheap!) nearly fifty years ago. Over the years I have restored three model T Fords that I wanted to use that engine because it was the right year. I spent too many hours, too much various oils, mild acids,  moved it around and tripped over it. And still, today, it sits under one of my work benches, with three pistons stuck in it. I can fully imagine the effort it could take to get that thing apart without splitting a cylinder in the process!

  5. I am sure that Stewart had many patents for the vacuum tank fuel delivery system. It was a far cry better than the limited pressurized and gravity fed systems available for higher end cars in the early '10s. Some lower cost cars continued to use gravity fed systems well into the 1920s. Stewart's vacuum tank was a marvel of Rube Goldberg design,  and incredibly reliable when they were relatively new. Even today, taking the best parts from a couple hundred-year-old Stewart tanks can result in a relatively reliable working system. I have had a few antique cars over the years with them, and many miles and several years of trouble-free service once the old tank was dialed in and working right.

    I don't believe that patents were the driving force against the vacuum tank. For one thing, there were several other companies that did manufacture other designs. There were other technologies available, including the aforementioned pressurized gasoline tank. Both mechanically pressurized and the much cheaper exhaust pressurized systems were used on many cars. There were driven piston pumps, vane pumps, among other options. The Stewart tank became the known, the reliable, and easily serviced best system for most cars. Everything from Ford's low-price competition Chevrolet on up to the American assembled Rolls Royce used Stewart tanks. Even some Pierce Arrows of the '20s used them, including the series 80 I drove on so many tours years ago.

    And, there was nothing Earthshaking about the appearance of the mechanically driven diaphragm pump. It had been around for a fair number of years. The problem with it was that for an automobile, at the speeds, the long hours of hard running.  The uneven demands under different conditions. The heat, the cold, the chemical exposure, etc etc etc. They were NOT reliable! I read some years back (do not remember where?) that diaphragm pumps were being tried on automobiles around 1920. They worked well. But only for a short while. The Stewart by then had been giving several years of reliable service to many hundreds of thousands of automobiles!

    Stewart's vacuum tank appeared on numerous marques in 1914. In 1928, there were only a few years left on those original patents. So why did the diaphragm mechanical pump suddenly appear and quickly take over? Simple enough. Materials technology finally caught up with the need. A new form of partially synthetic rubber was available that could withstand the heat and the chemicals and the long hours and the abuse required for automotive use. And still,as late as 1932, a few makers still sold models using Stewart's tank. I suspect only because altering the existing patterns and molds for the engine would cost more than the less expensive diaphragm pump would save.

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  6. I suppose some of the chassis could be '29. But nothing else is. 1927 could be right for the fenders, body, as well as the engine. I think the price is a bit high considering the bad work that needs to be redone. But actually, the price isn't all that far off. Body and headlamps I suspect may be '26. Radiator shell of course should be nickel plated. Drop about 1500 off the price and it could be a decent project?

    I had a '25 two door coach many years ago. Was a great tour car. 

  7. How about on a motorcycle? Back in the '80s and '90s and beyond, I earned a living running service calls around much of Northern Califunny and taking care of various communication systems. I drove about 30,000 miles a year doing this.

    In the San Jose and Santa Clara area, I saw this myself three times! Two times up close, one time he passed me on the freeway and I was doing about 70 mph at the time! Riding a motorcycle at high speed, STANDING ON HIS HEAD on the motorcycle seat!

    Believe it, or not, this guy virtually terrorized the South Bay Area for about a year. One of the local television stations even got hold of a video showing him. I was glad for that, because I had seen him from a short distance in my rear view mirror a couple weeks before and wasn't sure I believed it myself. The video was captured from a distance and did not show him very well, but at least then I knew I wasn't crazy. I saw him another time from a short distance (this time ahead of me). It was a month or more later that he passed me.

    Highway patrol and local PDs put out many calls for help identifying the man, but I never heard that he was identified or caught.

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  8. 1 hour ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

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    This car (shown here and in the photo originally above this one) is the one and only 1925 Julian. This car is so special, so amazingly different from almost everything else in the era, one really must find and read a lengthy article about it to appreciate it! A few people have jokingly called it the "Tucker of the '20s". The inside is like a sitting parlor. The driver sits in the middle. A few safety features decades ahead of their time. And a rear mounted rotary engine (sound familiar?).


    It was also my younger brother's favorite of all automobiles ever. 

  9. 2 hours ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

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    The first picture is a Studebaker. I should know the year and model as it is very distinctive, but I am too lazy and late to look it up, and I don't wish to be wrong again. I "quoted" this forward to point out the display in the second photo. It is a comparison of the '23 Chevrolet air-cooled motor and one of Chevrolet's standard engines of the early/mid '20s.

  10. 1 hour ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

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    Okay, I will stick my neck out a bit here. I am not certain, but I believe the top car is one of the last Maxwell cars. I would guess a '23, built after Walter P Chrysler took over the company. Anybody know for certain? I welcome corrections.


    Also sticking my neck out a bit, I am fairly sure the coupe best seen in this second photo is the one year only 1923 Chevrolet air-cooled car! Chevrolet thought they would cut into Franklin's territory a bit. They did not get Franklin's approval, nor did they pay royalties for Franklin's patents. They attempted to blitz into the market, had built some number of cars, and sold a fair number of them. When the cars hit the market, and the first advertisements were out, Franklin threatened Chevrolet. General Motors attempted to recall all the air-cooled cars, and converted them to standard water cooled type or simply replaced them. Only a couple of the cars escaped the recall. Harrah was able to acquire this one and restored it, along with an air-cooled motor. I have heard rumors that there may be another one, but I never heard anything about it for certain. I am recalling this from memory from a very good article published about these cars in one of the hobby magazines back around 1970. I probably still have it, if I could find it.

  11. To confuse issues even further, much like the term "speedster" has been used by numerous manufacturers in their sales literature to describe differing styles of cars over a few decades. Only then to become usually referring to a cut-down bodied car modified to resemble a racing car of the period. "Suburban" was not exclusive to station wagon type automobiles. It was also for a time used by several manufacturers for a type of limousine. Pierce Arrow, among others, used the term. A good friend of mine has such a 1915 Pierce.


    Linguistics in itself is a complicated and fascinating subject. Words must mean something. Yet, language must be fluid and change as needs arise. When we study history, it can be very confusing to keep the language straight.

  12. 18 minutes ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

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    Xander W has shown several Franklin automobiles. If were better with computers.I would "quote" all of them into a single post, but as I am?

    This one is one of my favorite Franklins.

    William Harrah had a fondness for Franklin automobiles also. Before he died, he had amassed the largest collection of Franklin automobiles in the world. At least one for every year they were manufactured.

    In the realm of the largest of the many early collectors of historic automobiles, he was a relative newcomer, beginning his collection about 1950. Barney Pollard, H A Clark, and James Melton among others had been collecting since before World War II. Thousands of antique automobiles were saved for future generations because of these early collectors. But Harrah surpassed them all. He not only amassed the largest collection, he did something even more important. While the earlier collectors may have saved more cars, Harrah began setting a higher standard for restoration. While the earlier collectors showed and drove survivor cars, and did in fact restore many cars, Bill Harrah presented cars nearly as close to how they were when they were new as his resources would allow. I never got to meet Bill Harrah, I had several friends that knew him, and had he lived a few years longer, it is likely I would have. It is a regret that I didn't make the effort early enough. But I was just a kid in those days.

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  13. 1 hour ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

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    The Duryea brothers are famous for being clearly one of the first, if not THE first, gasoline powered automobiles built in America. They also won one of the first true automobile races in the world, the 1895 Chicago race. Remember, this is before Henry Ford's first car was made to run. Shortly after these successes, Charles and Frank had a falling out over which of the two were most responsible for their success. Frank went on to engineer for a few automobiles for other companies. One company became known as one of the best automobiles of the era, The Stevens Duryea. Charles went on to work on mostly smaller and less grand automobiles, several under variations of the "Charles Duryea" name, where they made a number of unusual cars and even oddities. This tricycle was one such unusual car. These were also sold with a matching trailer to carry additional passengers.

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  14. 23 minutes ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

    If the lights went out...... and no one was looking.......:lol:

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    Ah, the wonderful Mercer Raceabout! Certainly a favorite for many if not most of the Horseless Carriage crowd. For me, a curious memory. When I was still in high school (I was a strange kid, loved antique automobiles from the time I began walking), I had heard about a big tour in a nearby town. The Santa Clara Horseless Carriage Club was hosting its annual "Blossom Tour". I talked my mom (best mom ever!) into taking a like-minded friend and I to where the tour's host hotel was just to look at the cars. While walking around, admiring the cars, a yellow flash went by, and stopped not thirty feet from where I stood! It was one of Harrahs crew, driving a Mercer Raceabout. When I went through the remaining collection a few years ago, and again now, I cannot help but wonder whether that could be the Mercer I saw, and heard, that day nearly fifty years ago?

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  15. 1 hour ago, Xander Wildeisen said:

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    The French built such wonderful cars in the early days! These De Dion Bouton cars were, and still are amazing. Quite popular still for early Veteran era (English and European pre 1905) runs (like the London to Brighton). They are quite small. Consider that is a Curved Dash Oldsmobile it is sitting next to. The CDO is nearly twice the size of the De Dion Bouton, yet the CDO is about a third the size of a model T Ford! That several of these little cars run the sixty plus miles in the L to B nearly every year and nearly all of them finish, nearly every year, is incredible!


    It should also be remembered that De Dion also sold many hundreds of engines around the world to other small beginning automobile manufacturers. Many American cars from 1898 to 1902 used De Dion engines, including Crestmobile, and if I recall correctly, the few first Pierce automobiles. De Dion engines were also manufactured under license in this country.

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  16. So many photos to comment upon, and I type so slow (and computers have a nasty way of losing things halfway through!!!!)


    The silly looking contraption with the small steel wheels is the Philion Steam Carriage built in 1902. Predating the earliest gasoline powered automobiles built in America, it is one of the earliest "automobiles" built in America to still exist. Side note about it, it was used in a couple of movies while Bill Harrah was still alive. If I recall correctly, it was shown in the Red Skelton movie "Excuse My Dust".

  17. Wonderful photos! Thank you for posting all these.

    I see the Dymaxion behind the '07 Thomas Flyer is coming along nicely. I had a chance to spend a couple hours going through the collection a few years ago. The Dymaxion had just been brought in for restoration by the staff. At the time I saw it, work had not yet begun on the Dymaxion. I do wonder what the Thomas was in the shop for? It has its own spot on special display elsewhere in the museum.

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  18. Whether the rim is detachable, or demountable, clincher, or straight side? Tires of that era were high pressure. The high pressure is more critical with clinchers with the lack of wire or strong cord running around inside the bead. The clincher is made to be stretched over the side of the rim and then "clinch" under the rolled over side of the rim to hold it on. But even straight sides, with wire or cord inside the bead on these early wheels need to have high pressure to hold the tire firm. It is in part, the 50 to 75 psi that keeps the tire from spinning on the rim. A model T, with 30X3.5 clincher tires, needs about 65 psi in the rears, otherwise the tire will slip due to driving and braking forces until the valve stem shears of the tube. Straight sides, with slightly more ridged sidewalls, can get by with only maybe 10  psi less.

  19. Interesting! I am trying to remember, wasn't that the first year for Chevrolet's Suburban? I didn't think very many of those still survived.  Although they were in fact a continuation of many makes and models of what we now call crossover personal/commercial cars, they were an important step forward with a body built more durable than the woody wagons. The wood framework covered in steel as most bodies had been for nearly thirty years at that time, was more resistant to the weather, and vibration loosening the framework joints. Woody station wagons may be more popular today (and for good reasons), but the Suburban lead the way to the many similar heavy duty family workhorse vehicles used to this day. Chevy's Suburban has, except for the break during WWII, been produced continuously for more than eighty years!


    As for the needed wood? Any good (GOOD!) wood shop with an understanding of antique automobile body construction should be able to duplicate what you have. The most difficult part of rewooding most era bodies is having a pattern to follow. Very careful fitting and squaring of the framework will be required!

    There is a regular on the Model T Ford Club of America forum that has rewooded several model T sedans. Over the years he has posted lengthy threads with lots of good information about the process of doing wood framed bodies. Try searching for "rewooding a four door sedan" on their forum.If you can't find it, letme know and I will try to find some links for you.