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Locomobile

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  1. I worked in a gas station in Dearborn when I was a teenager, it was really a garage, gas was secondary. A lot of old timers would come hang around in the morning and drink coffee with us. By the front door we always kept a galvanized pitcher with a spout full of water, for a car that might come in overheating etc. One of the old guys that cut teeth on the model T told us they used one of those for their oil. In cold weather they'd drain their oil in it and take it in the house, at work the same thing. They said if they didn't, it would never start. They used to give us little trinkets they had laying around the house, old ''Ford'' oil cans which I still have. Another model T thing was the little magneto wrench set. They are made like a hinged feeler gage set, although one of the tools is a small open end wrench, then one leaf to set the mag and another to set the plugs, I've always assumed that is what each is for. They've been rolling around my machinists box for 40 years. One of them had a like new 1910? Ford Torpedo roadster. He would drive it up occasionally. Every morning there was a revolving group of them there, learned a lot from them. I'm rambling😁 Ron
  2. Exactly why I cancelled cable TV in 2007. The lady on the phone warned me ''You're gonna miss the Sopranos!" I laughed and replied ''Fahget about it''. Now when I hear cable TV playing it's like a file on my nerve endings. Those that are used to it do not realize how abrasive and void of content it is. And too there is the continual social engineering drive. Ron
  3. Around Detroit, with all the cars rivers lakes and people, these underwater finds are pretty common. One that always sticks with me and when I tell it now people look at me like I'm spinning one, however I did run in to one aged gent that remembered it a while back and even had the newspaper clipping from it. The very narrow mostly shallow Rouge river runs right past the Ford Rouge complex and out to the Detroit river. Around 1974 at the height of the environmental movement cleanup, the Rouge river was targeted by the Army Corp of Engineers. The Rouge was extremely dirty, it reportedly had a deep layer of toxic sludge at the bottom, and on the surface it always looked like black ink. The Corp came in and basically removed everything but dirt and lined the whole bottom with Concrete. It is much cleaner today with EPA control. Near one of the bridges they were dredging out and found a car. It was reportedly a 1936 Chevrolet, there were three bodies in it! There was an old missing persons case from the late 30's, a man and two women left a bar in Melvindale (Known as "Smellvindale" as it's a suburb just west of the Rouge) and vanished. Apparently they drove off the bridge in the middle of the night and plunged in and the sludge came in around the doors and they couldn't get out. The river was so filthy no one ever noticed any oil or gasoline on the surface. Under water for 40 years just below the surface and millions people went past within a few feet and never noticed. Ron
  4. My 1901 locomobile Style 3 was $900 Style 2 $750 Some I recall: 71 Cutlass $3800 71 Skylark $4350 Same year Pinto $1919 vega was around $2100 65 impala $1800
  5. Why don't we bring the matter full circle and in line with the status quo here. No steam cars were ever Presidents' vehicles and they did have a fleet of Pierce Arrows, but only drove the far superior Baker electric vehicle to virtue signal to their base 110 years later. 😁 That better? Here ya go and this is a very reliable source of information. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/william-howard-taft-car_n_4803119
  6. That quote didn't come from that page? They mention Wilson had a Pierce arrow ten years later? I've ran across the first Presidents first car subject several times, not once was a Pierce Arrow ever mentioned. Some web articles are not accurate. The White steamer was highly regarded then as it is now. They were very good reliable cars. Ron
  7. Taft, White steamer. The Whitehouse had a whole fleet. Some sources say Teddy Roosevelt but I'm pretty sure it was Taft He had a valve under his seat he could open and blow steam out under both running boards to repel borders. Ron Looked it up, Taft had the first official President's car, a model M White steamer. Roosevelt had ridden in one as President, but they don't count it as first Presidents car.
  8. The big stationary hit and miss engines, they roll them around once on the cylinder prime, then back the engine up to a few degrees past top dead center, then hit the spark. A guy I know outside Detroit has a whole collection in several buildings, some of them are enormous. Ron
  9. My buddy had a 68 Firebird with a Pontiac 400 jn it. Car was a dog, one day we set out to figure out why and found out. We knew it had high rearend in it, but we figured out It had a throttle restrictor on it from the factory, the back barrels were barely opening . We got rid of that and she'd run a hole in the wind. That was a great time to play with cars, late 60's thru the 70's From what I remember about mostly stock cars and street racing was Mopar pretty much dominated that whole thing along with very few from the others, 68-9 Z28, the Mach1 429 Boss Cobra jet, were some of the fastest that I recall. 1970..it was pretty much over with. Ron
  10. Digging back in my memory here. didn't they use the special 302cid displacement engine in those, had like 16:1 comp ratio? That 68Z was a very desirable car amongst us teenagers, rare to see one, most were just stock Camaro's. I had a 67 Firebird with a 326, fun car, but a dog off the line with that two-speed. Ghetto cruiser. Ron
  11. That information apparently exists somewhere, but authority or ability to motivate the state to access it may be nearly impossible. Very often, FBI link very old crime suspects to particular vehicles if they still exist and even collect forensic evidence. The states in my experience, keep everything, the key is finding it. A 68 Camaro in Ohio, probably rusted away and scrapped. Even if you could get the state to help, I'd put the chance at finding it in the 5% range. Your might try writing an article for the Cleveland paper, a nice human interest story. That would most likely get the right parties looking into it if they are willing. Ron
  12. I agree fully. I've been in the retail tooling business for 20 years, nothing is shipped, released or delivered, and sometimes even built until its paid for. I bent the rules once for a very well known and respected college on a seven thousand dollar order, it took me six months to get paid. Never again. If they want credit, go to the bank, that's their business. Ron
  13. I'm not sure about that, I've been attending steamboat meets for many years, twice in upstate New York at Waterford and Whitehall, been in countless museums, I know of most of the steamboats and steamboaters in the country and even abroad mostly in the UK. I know Rainer Radow in Hanover Germany who keeps a global steamboat register and check it periodically. I know of one at the Henry Ford which hasn't been on display in many years, now two with your accounting. My understanding is they were first developed in the UK by Yarrow and then here in the states by Ofeldt, the father of the steam jenny. They were a short lived venture due to the many accidents. Coincidentally, my Locomobile has an Ofeldt boiler. Boils water. Ron
  14. Poor demographic study and prediction on their part, it turns out there was not an abundant share of the market that was compliant with enduring explosion and instantaneous incineration simultaneously. Ron
  15. To add to this subject and address the notion that because some company built something, it must have been safe. Around 1900 there was a company that built "Naptha launches". These were basically a small steamboat. Instead of water in the boiler they used gasoline or alcohol, because it boils faster and expands more than water vapor. I cannot imagine sitting next to this "boiler" filled with gasoline and a raging fire going underneath it. The gasoline in the "boiler" also fueled the burner. There were reports of many fires. Just a good footnote on early manufacturing to keep in mind. The Henry Ford museum has one of these very rare launches in their archive, Hopefully. Ron
  16. I've made about 2000 freight shipments, I use Globaltranz, I think they are the best all around freight broker. Fastenal really isn't a carrier, it's sort of a sideline thing they do, I've dealt with them a few times, had issues, wasn't impressed with their response, not sure what would happen if they lost an item. The fact they only shipped used stuff is a good indicator of what their response would be. Uship works pretty good too. Freight center is OK but high priced. Keep in mind, if the item is lumber crated in a nice cubical shape with a flat top, it's going right on the bottom. A trick I learned is build the crate with dog house pitch roof on it, they'll always put it on top, if its an engine etc, secure it to a pallet, band it etc then simply pull plastic sheeting over it staple it around the edge, irregular top, goes on top every time. Don't waste your money buying insurance against damage, if it gets damaged, they'll simply say it wasn't packaged properly, that's every carrier I've dealt with, UPS, FedEx, all of them. Ron
  17. That's a good point, the difference here is we're injecting air into the tank. Most likely what I wrote above does not apply once I seen the pressure was in the 2 psi range, that is barely over atmospheric. Some of our steam car fuel tanks run as high as 160 psi, so it is quite a bit different situation and different contingency. After wrestling many different steam car burners on gasoline, kerosene and white fuel, flammability range is narrow. For my own practice with the fuel systems I work with, I will continue to adhere to what I wrote above. Ron
  18. In my case, I always factor in my historic luck: "If it can happen, it will happen'' 😃 Ron
  19. The safety contingency of venting pressure from the fuel tank in the event of a fire is a bad idea. What is above the liquid in a pressurized fuel tank is fuel/air mixture - flammable gas, if vented to atmosphere and there is source of ignition - and there is, it's going to ignite. It would be luck if that's all that happened, if the fuel/air mixture is proper inside the tank, the tank is going to explode. A pressurized fuel tank is essentially a bomb and it needs to be treated as such. Simply shutting off/isolating the source of fuel is the best plan. Ron
  20. Or shut the valve on the tank manually. Our steam cars use pressurized fuel tanks as well. A couple of points: Always have a manual fuel shut off easily accessible. Always be aware to close it in case of a fire Never open that valve more than necessary Install metering jets beyond a screen in the valve to limit the flow Do not use copper fuel lines, they are illegal per the DOT. instead use cunifer or stainless braided If the car has an electric system, hide an electric fuel lock underneath that operates with the ignition system on and off. He could have simply shut the car off and the fire would have been out. -Ron
  21. It's like putting a ''fragile'' sticker on a package, you're just asking to get it drop kicked. Ebay will always side with the buyer no matter what. -Ron
  22. Thats why furniture foam should not used, it's very poor quality. I only use high density marine grade about four times as expensive and I'll gonorreah ya it'll last longer than ten years. I've seen fifty year old cushions in boats that were still in good shape. Have a look at this one. I have another original horsehair seat in worse shape than this. Horsehair and cotton rots, falls apart and falls down under the leather, very well known issue. If the seat is used a lot it gets all out of shape. You're probably looking at seats that were redone recently.
  23. I use an electric meat carving knife, works great, mine gets hot if used for a long time, cuts very straight as long as its not pushed, let it float in.. If you want to form boughts or any shaping, put a new 36 grit sanding disc on the Makita, be careful, she's hungry. I use high density foam which probably helps shaping. Do it outside very messy. -Ron
  24. Totally different car. The early ones were unstoppable.
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