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kfle last won the day on October 6

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About kfle

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    West Michigan
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    Classic and Antique Cars

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  1. In order to keep my three Coles as well as the many other Coles owned and tracked by the Cole Motor Car Registry, I am interested in any and all Cole parts and literature 1909-1925. The full list of needed items is at the link below, including pictures and measurements will be added soon. Please message me or send me an email at kfleck@outlook.com if you are have something Cole related and are interested in selling it. http://colemotorcarregistry.com/cole-parts-wanted/ Thanks!
  2. Steve, I will continue to document the history. Currently, the best place to get information is at the registry website www.colemotorcarregistry.com. I update that, have a blog with posts, and also we publish a periodic electronic newsletter. I post those to the site as well. I also make some videos here and there on youtube. Here is another Cole car walkthrough of a 1911 Cole Roadster.
  3. Good to see younger people getting publicity in the hobby! https://autoweek.com/article/classic-cars/welcome-club-young-air-cooled-franklin-owner-cars-are-just-beginning
  4. You should check out the AACA Facebook page with the thread with over 60 replies from last night about Hershey alienating the younger crowd. There are many younger people on there commenting that they can’t get off of work to come to Hershey and then all of the swap vendors leave Friday morning or early afternoon. My 19 year old son was there this week buying parts, however other younger people that he knows with interest couldn’t come due to work.
  5. You don’t display your handicapped card on the cart though that would be a better way. You have to go to the registration and they look at the handicapped placard and your license then put a colored strip bracelet on the cart. That way the security people can check the cart at the entrance to each area.
  6. This was my first year at Hershey with my son and from what I heard on the forums was that carts and vehicles were a problem and I didn't find it that way at all. It was actually a heck of a lot safer and more orderly than a city street with pedestrians and cars. There are a lot of aging attendees so you are going to see more mobility vehicles. One thing they could do is to make the passageways and lanes a bit wider. There is actually plenty of room to do this as there were plenty of gaps in the show field where people didn't show up or they don't have enough vendors to fill the spaces anymore. If someone has a state handicapped placard then they can use a mobility device. There is not a screening process that needs to be done, as it is pretty straight forward from the state. They checked at the entrances to the vendor fields and the car corral for the handicap placard. I actually saw some of the patrolling AACA people that were a bit over the top and it bordered on ADA violations. I saw one guy who had a prosthetic leg on a mobility device with his handicapped placard taped to the front and an AACA volunteer in a golf cart yelled at him because he didn't have his scooter registered. He then made the statement if you don't get that thing registered then we are going to have to park you and you will be walking back. Not a good way to treat people and not very welcoming at all. Sometimes I worry that people in this hobby want to keep things the way they always were and not wanting to adapt to the modern world. If we don't adapt with modern times and how things work in today's world, then we just chase people away and events like this continue to shrink. Another great example of this is 95% of vendors take cash only. I don't know many people under the age of 30 that actually carry any cash. I am in my 40's and don't carry cash and it was a pain in the ass to go get actual cash at the bank in preparation to attend Hershey. The other thing that was very absurd was that no vendor actually had a sign that said what aisle and space number they were at and the stickers on the pavement were all worn down by Wednesday. I wasted probably over 1 hour a day or more trying to find a booth based on the program book. For example I wanted to find a vendor who was selling door handles. It gives a code like C3H in the program but then there are no signs that mark the aisles or the vendor spaces. Yes you can try and use the big numbers on the light posts, but that gets you an approximation. This seems like such a simple thing to do and would make the experience so much simpler and effective. Overall our first Hershey event was great and very enjoyable, though I see lots of ways this event will need to adapt if it wants to get the younger crowd joining in.
  7. Thanks! I have never seen that car in person though I am familiar with it from the files. It is a great looking one! Here is a picture of it.
  8. Thank you for sharing, I will have to check those out!
  9. Steve, The real killer for Cole was Northway. Northway made engines for both Cole and Cadillac going back to 1910, though typically the engines were completely different. For example Cadillac released their V8 in October of 1914 and it was a 60 degree solid head design with 270 or so cubic inches. Cole released their V8 in January of 1915 and it was the first 90 degree flathead V8's with detachable cylinder heads and was a larger 346 cubic inches. Both engines were made by Northway, though Cole's Chief Engineer spent 6 months at Northway in Detroit during 1914 working on Cole's specific design. Cadillac ended up adopting Coles V8 design in 17/18 due to it running much better and Cole standardized on the v8 for all engines in 1916 going forward. Northway stopped letting Cole change engine designs in 1922/23 due to competitive issues and Durant. On the topic of an updated history, the head of the Gilmore Car Museum research library and myself were just talking a week ago about authoring a book. He has also been talking to the Society of Automotive Historians about publishing it. We have an interesting angle and just may do it. The Gilmore library had over 70,000 Cole documents and information donated to them a year ago by an avid collector and historian who created the original registry and ran a Cole club for three decades. A great deal of history sites and books have wrong info on Cole. For example if you go to the Cole Motor Car Company page on Wikipedia, it states that JJ Cole tried to build a car with his son in 1903 as a first attempt and that never happened! The thing is that his son was 4 years old in 1903 🙂 When I have some time i will update Wikipedia and put some cited information on the site. Time to do the work is the limiting factor now, but we will see what happens. Here is a great Cole family photo of JJ Cole pulling his only son, JJ Cole Jr. on a sled in a 1910 Cole 30 Flyer. Kevin
  10. Thank you for sharing this. There are several Coles that used these, though it was not consistent for all body styles during a given model or Series. I wonder who the supplier was for the handles.
  11. Thanks for sharing. The top picture is me and the 1925 Cole and the bottom is my son and his 1923 Cole 2person Coupe. Both pictures were taken at the CCCA Michigan Grand Classic. It was a fun event and I doubt that many Coles have shown in the CCCA even though they are Full Classics.
  12. Cole used several different body makers over the years but hardly ever publicized who the maker was. Some bodies were general makers, some were small contract runs, and some were completely custom. Confirmed body makers for Cole were Springfield, Fisher, Rubay, Willoughby, Racine, Robbins, Rex, and a few others. Springfield did make bodies for Rolls Royce, however it is not the in house builder by the same name. Now, on to the demise of Cole. The Cole Motor Car Company actually ceased operations in the Fall of 1924. The board voted to liquidate in April of 1924 and then Cole was invited to pace the Indy 500 with their new balloon tires. The race created demand, so Cole did one more run of about 700 cars in the late summer of 1924 that many people call the 1925 Coles. After that run was done, they liquidated and paid off all shareholders and a small profit for the year. Jj Cole passed away of heart disease about five months later. in 1921/1922, the post war depression did impact Coles profit and sales, however that is not the reason Cole decided to liquidate. The primary reason was that Cole’s suppliers would not let him engineer the components to Coles specifications and design. Cole was big on innovation and this would not allow him to innovate any longer. The trend in the industry was towards high volume and low cost and JJ Cole had no interest in that. Based on that trend and due to the change in suppliers approaches, JJ Cole was not having fun any longer didn’t want to waste resources or his family fortune and decided to liquidate the company. Billy Durant tried to buy Cole three times, including towards the end of the company, however JJ Cole refused him every time. Cole thought that Durant sucked the soul out of the companies he purchased and didn’t want his name associated with that. He was a man of principle and didn’t think Durant would manufacture up to Coles standards and engineering. Also, in 1922 Cole had worked out an agreement and plan for ten Indiana automakers to merge and form a competitor to Durant’s GM. They had all agreements in place and a good plan forward, however when it went to the Wall Street banks to finalize the deal, they slow walked it and never finalized it, There was speculation that the big Detroit automakers had a hand in getting the bankers to kill the deal. Cole really was a great American success story and is quite fascinating, the issue is that the real information about Cole is not easily accessible. Most of the auto history books have some inaccuracies about the Company and it is not surprising. We have and have access to a collection of all of the ads, manuals, dealer books, documents, original news articles, and a very rare copy of a book that was written in 1954 about Cole. The book was written by a doctoral student at Indiana University and a very small run was produced as it was really a doctoral dissertation. The author had access to the complete company archives, former surviving Cole employees, and the Cole family. The company archives were destroyed in the 60’s in a flood and the family did not share them to many prior to that. Hopefully this his answers your question.
  13. Some great questions and I will answer this a bit later when I have some more time. The fortune and money was the smallest factor and Billy Durant tried to buy Cole 3 times! Ill explain more today.
  14. For races in 1910 and 1911, Cole always just used stock Cole 30 speedsters and maybe just removed a bit more of the body and did some tuning. Here are a few pictures of Endicott and the typical cars that would have been in the two races that you mentioned.