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About LCK81403

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  • Birthday 11/03/1944

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    Montrose, Colorado
  • Interests:
    Old cars, amateur radio, gold prospecting, history

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  1. At the 2018 pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance a 1921 Page Model 6-66 shows the mechanician / suicide seat in use, as the car drives off the stage. The lady in the mechanician seat would probably lose her hat over 10 miles an hours. See scroll bar time 17:30 of this URL:
  2. '37hd45 -- that really is a slick looking speedster. You are correct about the money. Back in 1972 my wife and I had finally managed to save $7,500 in the bank. And by chance my AACA old friends decided to sell their Kissel Gold Bug and a Rickenbacker roadster. Both were beautifully restored and I rode to a meet one time in the rumble seat of the Kissel. By chance their asking price was $7,500 for both cars. That would have made our bank account a flat $0.00 and the deal was a non-starter. It is a missed opportunity that I have never gotten over. Well, my wife just popped through here to see what I am working on, what trouble I might be getting into. She glanced at the first part of this text and laughed -- "Yeah, that's a sick looking car. Ha ha ha." No, no, no -- "slick" and "sick" are not the same word. Well -- whatever.
  3. I did a WWW search on George J. Mercer. According to an article on, Mr. Mercer was a talented body engineer in the Model Body Corporation in Detroit. Apparently design engineer Mercer was well known at the time the 1910 article was written, but these 110 years later, his surname is more well known as an automobile.
  4. Have recently read an article titled, "Permanent Wind Shield", in The Automobile, October 13, 1910, pages 626-627. A Google book at URL: The article was written by Mr. George J. Mercer, of Mercer automobiles. The gist of his article deals with a permanently mounted windshield, on a cowl that deflects the wind, on a torpedo style body. According to Mr. Mercer, the body is designed for and shown mounted on a 116-inch wheelbase Mercer chassis. Several photos copied from the article are attached to this topic. I have searched my photo files and can not find any Mercer automobile that looks like what is seen in the accompanying photos. Does anyone have photos or know anything about a 1911 Mercer that looks like this? At this time I am assuming that Mr. Mercer's 1911 torpedo with a permanent windshield may have been only a prototype that never actually made it into production. An interesting feature of this '11 (prototype ?) Mercer is the outboard seat, that is similar to what is seen on a '21 Stutz Bearcat and a '23 Kissel Gold Bug. In the case of the Kissel's outboard seat, it is sometimes jokingly referred to as a suicide seat. In his article Mr. Mercer coined a unique name for the outboard seat, one time in the text he called it a "mechanician" seat, and in the Figure 1 titling it is called "...a place for the mechanic." While this is perhaps not terribly interesting news to most "autoists" (a term in 1910), perhaps members of the Stutz and Kissel persuasion may appreciate the documented term "mechanician seat" in place of the suicide seat. The term does seem to have a more civilized appeal, like nice a drawing room, a fine cigar, and a well aged brandy. Attached are photos of a Stutz and Kissel with mechanician seats. The Kissel may be Ron's '23?
  5. Interesting topic. Back in 1965 I accompanied another AACA member to a farm outside of our home town. There was an interesting open car sitting in the farmer's grove of trees (called a "woods" there), and obviously the car was going to eventually become part of the earth if it were not rescued. Old open cars exposed to rain and snow will not last very long. It is simply a rule of thumb observation that somehow escapes some people. Well, it's a concept. My friend had restored several basket cases and was willing to rescue and restore the derelict car. Negotiations were short; the derelict in the woods and weeds was "the family car"; no way were they going to sell it. And like at grave side services where we hear, "... dust to dust..." the treasured family car transformed back into iron ore and became one with the earth. Some treasures are just to valuable to save.
  6. Well, Mike, since a number of people have sent in their guesses, I'll do the same with the attached photo suggestions. #1 is a '15 Scripps-Booth Rocket; the radiator is a good comparison. #2 is a '21 AGA Type A touring. #3 is a '18 Biddle roadster, and #4 is a '20 Biddle Rosemont Model 121 touring. #5, for what it is worth, is an ad for a Pathfinder touring that probably dates from 1916.
  7. Hmmm. Interesting photos. The google website with the car photos shows what is apparently a 1908 Rossel. The crashed Rossel in 1910 apparently is not the same car. The 1908 Rossel (right side up) and the 1910 Rossel (that I turned upside down to approximate the '08 car) have different cowl dimensions. The 1910 car has the race number 30 painted on a much longer cowl. I may have gotten hung up on the odd name "Rossel", with Mr. Rossel Drisko at the Bay State factory.
  8. The Bay State and Rossel automobiles. I have been reading through issues of “The Automobile” of year 1910, on Google books. In the September 1910 issue, on pages 398-399 there is an article titled, “Mont Ventoux Hill Climb”. Datelined August 29th of 1910, at Avignon, France, the article is about European cars and one American car undertaking timed races up an elevation from 970 feet to 6,216 feet. The American automobile was named “Rossel” three times in print, and there is a photograph of the car where it crashed off the course at 60 MPH. The reproduced photo, Fig. 4 from the article, is attached. The caption for the photo identifies the crashed car as a “Six-cylinder Rossel car….” I had never known of a Rossel make of automobile, and therefore some research was needed. The history that I have found is very limited and incomplete. However, regarding the Rossel I found on the web site a reproduced ad for the Bay State Forty car, manufactured by the Bay State Auto Company, Boston. The ad shows that a Rossel Drisko was the manager of the company, and the year category is 1906-1908. The ad further says the engine of the Bay State car was a four cylinder. Ref: A second posting for the Bay State and R. H. Long Company shows a year category of 1922-1924. While this year category is well after the 1910 article about the Rossel automobile, it does show the Bay State automobile was equipped with a powerful six cylinder Continental engine. There is a good deal of history of the Bay State automobile that I have not yet uncovered. I am curious about the car named a Rossel. It seems that Mr. Rossel Drisko named a car after himself, and since he was the plant manager of the Bay State Automobile Company, the “Rossel” car must have been a Bay State car. It seems curious that a legally named automobile, Bay State, would be raced under the name of the production plant’s manager. This seems to be especially so given that the hill climb race was in a foreign country where the automobile brand and manufacturer is competing for name recognition and sales. One last analytical conclusion. If the information is correct in the article about the 1906-08 Bay State, by 1910 the company had a six cylinder engine in the “Rossel” car raced and crashed in France. The Google book article is found at this URL, September 8, 1910, pages 398-399.
  9. Ben, I came across the Lorraine info on this web site: It is a sad story of David Dunbar Buick starting Buick Mfg. Co in 1902 and then left the company in 1908, then died broke in 1929. Anyway, I was wondering what happened to the one-off Lorraine car because it is a unique piece of history. Thank you for following up on this. One day I would like to take a look at that Lorraine.
  10. Does anyone know what happened to the 1921 Lorraine that was built by David Dunbar Buick after he left Buick autos? I understand that only one '21 Lorraine was built, hence I am wondering what happened to the car. I have compared the '21 Lorraine with a '21 Buick and notice that the fenders are generally similar, and the overall appearance of the Lorraine was generally similar to comparable cars at that time. It doesn't appear that the Lorraine broke any new design boundaries. But it is a unique on-off car based on David Buick.
  11. Wow, that is a smart fire chief's vehicle. The brass bell is a really cool feature. What is the make and year of it? It resembles about a 1910 Kissel and also a '10 Alco.
  12. The bezel measures 10 1/8 inches diameter. There is an "eye" on the can, shown in the photo I just posted. I also posted a pix of the bottom of the can where it has a bracket that must attached to the fender and to a support arm inside the fender. This headlight can is different than my 1920 headlights. My '20 lights do not have an "eye", and the mounting bracket is part of the cross-bar.
  13. A friend has a pair of '26 Buick headlights for sale. Just the metal cans and removable surrounds, no glass. They are in pretty good shape. One can has a dent in it that could be worked out. They need to be stripped and painted, and chromed. Anyone have an idea of a ballpark price for them?
  14. There are practical solutions to the battery problem with electric cars. I don't necessarily agree that the "future is stupid", as the captioned photo shows, but there are some teething problems with the electrics. Turn the clock back to the days before gasoline stations, when gasoline was purchased from a drug store. Gas stations weren't everywhere for a good long time in early automobile days. Not to mention the gasoline that was available was pretty bad stuff. There are a lot of articles in various publications from the 1907-1910 era discussing various additives in gasoline as attempts to increase the oxygen content. It is interesting to read about the learning curves of automobile manufacturers, engineers, and interested citizens in working to, trying to improve automotive technology and performance. In those days of the many electric brands of cars and trucks in service, basically they (in 1908) achieved the same mileage per battery loads that are achieved by today's "high tech" electric cars. That in spite of today's vastly superior tire, suspension, and streamlined body designs. Basically electric vehicles are no better mileage performers in year 2020 than the electrics were in 1908. While there are major mechanical differences between gasoline powered vehicles in 1908 and 2020, unfortunately the mileage-per-gallon difference is not all that great. The early 2 cylinder and 4 cylinder cars turned in acceptable mileage figures even by today's standard. My 1950 Plymouth turned in a solid 11 miles per gallon, my 1965 Mustang, inline 6 cylinder and 3-speed manual would consistently turn in 29 miles per gallon, while a VW bug at that time would turn in 30 or 32 mpg. Even from the days of 1965 our modern economy cars have not made really major improvements in mileage performance. My 1982 Subaru (4-speed manual) generally turned in a solid 25 or 26 mpg. By comparison my buddies '24 Model T Ford would turn in 24 mpg. Today's top mileage leaders are turning in mpg's in the high 30s, even 45 and pushing 50. And they are doing that with smaller and lighter cars, smaller engines and turbo chargers. Not sure where I am rambling to with this, but I think the electrics need to be given at least an atta boy for trying. While a gas buggy is dependent on oil pumped out of the ground, an electric is also dependent on some form of energy. It is all about energy conversion from one form into another to make it useful to propel a conveyance.
  15. Here is a good piece of history for the Buick Wildcat people. The story of Belmont 86, the SR-71 spy plane that made an emergency landing in Norway after spying over Murmansk. Excerpts from the URL posted below: “… A spare “engine start cart,” a machine containing 2 Buick Wildcat engines in tandem and specifically designed to mechanically rotate the SR-71 engines for start…” “… our first engine-start attempt failed. … On the second attempt … the connecting rod glowed red-hot just before the aircraft engine reached the start rpm.” Buick Wildcat saved the day for the U.S. Air Force.