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Question for Steve M (Olds Ltd)


caf

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Hi Steve, I've been reading about the unrestored Ltd, it was here for Pebble Beach, They keep mentioning that it is only one of three. I count 4,(Olds GM, Belf, Lucas, & Grey. I believe these are all 11's isn't that correct?? I guess Nethercutt's doesn't count as it is a Limo.

All the best, Chuck

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I look forward to seeing it at the museum during Hershey Week.

How is this different from the car the late Mr. Neller (VMCCA Past Pres) drove on the Gliddens back in the '90s ? I'm not an Olds expert - thanks for any info.

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I remember Dick's car as being huge.

On the 1992 Glidden in Lexington, KY, my little '27 Chevy Roadster was behind Dick's Oldsmobile, waiting for a long freight train to clear a crossing on a country road. We could almost see completely under his car.

Dick was a tall man, especially when compared to me.

When the crossing gates opened, a School Bus passed in the opposite direction, and Dick was EYE-TO-EYE with the kids on that big yellow bus, and they absolutely loved seeing him and his car.

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Chuck, I hope to post a picture from Pebble but it is coyrighted so I am trying to get permission. The 3 came from an incorrect statement in the RM Catalog. Including the Limo I count 5 plus (there is a restoration project ongoing that could lead to more). The Olds took a second in the class at Pebble. Looks quite a bit different in the "new" tires and wheels plus the correct lamps (all made to look aged).

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What sort of auto are you talking about? Got any photos of the car that the school kids were eye to eye to the driver with?

Here's a link to a site that shows "Whitey", that Steve restored. Unfortunately there's no one in the picture to give you a sense of perspective... Whitey is a _big_ b@$+@rd! It's a magnificent automobile - Oldsmobile Limited. Rather than me garbling up the details of when they were built etc, I'll let somebody else provide that info!

1910 - 1912 Oldsmobile Limited Touring - Images, Specifications and Information

Also, if you google "setting the pace" under Google Images, you will see a thumbnail of a Limited racing a train - Setting the Pace is the name of the painting. (Is the original in the RE Olds Museum? Steve? There's some sort of story behind the painting and of course I've forgotten that also... seems to me that Oldsmobile gave copies of the painting to dealers at one point?)

Hope this doesn't add to the confusion! :)

Doug

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Ron, no that is the Michigan car. Owned by a wonderful family and was passed down by a dad who was a great brass car guy. Not sure they would want me to mention their names.

I have approval to post the picture of the car at Pebble but trying to re-size it has been a hassle. Sending it to West to post.

Doug, while I was given the responsibility to restore the Olds Limited dubbed 'Mighty Whitey" it was restored at Ohlendorf's restoration shop. I got my hands slightly dirty on the car and did my best to help Tim and his crew with this magnificent restoration. I took it all around the country to shows and felt honored to be a part of the car's history.

post-30866-143138104166_thumb.jpg

Edited by Steve Moskowitz (see edit history)
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Thanks for posting the site with the photo. Man, that thing is gargantuan!! A car that large back then would be like a Hummer today. I realize cars were large back then, but WOW!

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Keiser31,

You asked what kind of car -- Steve said that it was a 1909 Oldsmobile Model Z - I remember it as an open Touring body style, and Steve added that it had the big 42 inch tires.

Dick was a very tall gentleman.

He was eye-to-eye with the kids in the school bus, and I wish I had a photo of that encounter; heck, I wish I had pictures of so many of the drivers and their cars from the big National AACA and VMCCA and HCCA Tours from 20 - 25 years back.

It was those impressive cars and their so very generous caretaker/owners which encouraged Dale and me to be involved at the national level, especially on the Touring Committee, and to encourage folks at the local level to start participating at the Division and National Tours. Look around, and you will likely see a disproportionate number of Louisiana folks on the tours, especially Founders and Sentimental. I've been on all of the Founders Tours, and encourage everyone to get out and drive your car - let the rest of the country see what a ball we have with our rolling pieces of Americana.

Edited by Marty Roth
grammatical (see edit history)
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Marty, saying Dick was tall was saying the Limited had a big engine! Both were understatements! Dick had to be at least 6'6" I guess and was the perfect guy to own a car like that. He was scared to death in 1972 when he found out I was to be the speaker and master of ceremonies for Olds 75th Anniversary. He wondered how the 24 year old kid would do...thankfully I did not embarrass myself.

Dick had quite a few early Oldsmobiles from a Curved Dash to an Autocrat. A true Olds fan and someone who loved to drive his cars. He surely is missed by the car community.

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Doug, I forgot to answer the painting question. There are so many people who say they have the original I do not know the answer. Olds made two runs of the painting with a process that looks absolutely real to the average person. I have seen many of them sold as originals and the buyer totally clueless. In 1972 they offered them for sale to dealers...I still have mine. I sincerely doubt the museum has the original. There were also several versions that Foster did. Interestingly Ken Eberts did the same painting as a night scene. I bid on the original at meadowbrook but I think Bob Turnquist was the guy who outbid me. I do have a copy though.

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Guest JR Cars

Ok guys, here's the scoop on what is factual and what isn't. The top was originally on the car when new. The first owner, Mrs. Emily Mosser of Westover, Pa. did not like the look of tops on her cars. She had her chauffer remove it. The only remnants that remain of it are the body-mounted sockets, and two cotter pins with leather straps that I found in the dirt of the belly pan. The RM catalog also stated the first owner was someone different as well.

The three count did come from the catalog as well. Just proves you can't believe everything you read...

The highlight at Pebble was being able to hand crank the big 707 in front of a huge crowd! (Seeing as I didn't fit a starter, I really had no choice)

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Mark, thanks for jumping in here! A lot of us are envious of you at the moment and you looked great behind the wheel at Pebble. Great job as always, the hobby is fortunate to have guys like you.

On some of the early Oldsmobiles the top was extra. The car came through with the sockets for attachment so you could easily add one later but naturally the Limited had it standard.

Mark you point out how taking one source of material for documentation can sometimes bite you in the butt! There are so many stories, articles, research but well known people who innocently make a mistake.

Keep your fingers crosssed "Murphy" may just make it on the 12th and if you feel like cranking another car my shoulders will let you!:D

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Mark, Many years ago there was a picture of a unrestored Olds limited being pulled out of a barn, and loaded on a flat bed truck. I think it was in southern tier of western New York state or northern Pennslyvania.It was published in one of the old cars media. Does any of your extensive research show where the Swigert family actually got this wonderful piece of history? Also you are to be commended for the work you have done to bring this vehicle back into the public's view.Thanks--Bob

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Bob,

Is this the photo you are thinking of? I have the book at home and I can look at the caption tonight.

I don't think it is a Limited. I believe it is an Autocrat. The owner/purchaser at the time the photo was taken is Charles Boothby from Maine. He also owned my 1910 Ford at the same time. I'm still looking for any information on Mr Boothby, if anyone happens to have any.

Thanks,

Chris

post-30702-143138104527_thumb.jpg

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Guest JR Cars

Bob, I have several pictures of the car being loaded on a flatbed when the Swigarts transported it from one of their holding facilities to the museum. This is around 1960 or so. Mr. Swigart Sr. purchased the car in 1943 from the Heil family in Coalport, Pa. William Heil purchased the car from Mrs. Mosser around '14 or '15 for $500. Mrs. Mosser's chauffer could not get the car to run properly, so he sold it on her behalf. Mr. Heil's son had the same problem, parking it in the family's garage in '16 or '17. It sat there until being purchased in 1943. Oh, it also was under several feet of water in '36 when the Clearfield Creek overflowed its banks, putting the whole town (and the Olds) under water. The Heils were going to sell it for scrap after the family matriarch passed away. Mr. Swigart offered them $5 more than scrap, buying it for $25. Yes, you read that right! So if you're paying attention, the last time this car ran was around 1917!

I have the picture you are remembering. If I can figure out how to post it, I will. In the meantime, for a more detailed history, you can click here: JWR Automobile Museum | 2 Eleanor Ave. Frackville, PA 17931 | Phone: 570-874-2822 | Fax: 570-874-2026

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Yes! Chris that is the image I remember,you being the historian that you are would better know the details. In my mind I recall being told that it was a Limited. Can you find through the book you have the location or is it generally known to be in Maine, as Mr.Boothby was in residence there.I'm also curious as to the year of the photo and what book the photo was in. Many thanks for the help in getting me back on page one. --Bob

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Great and very interesting info on the Limiteds. Thanks for sharing it all.

Bob, the photo is from the book titled "Buy an Antique Car" by Scott and Margaret Bailey, published in 1958. The caption just states "Charles Boothby of Emery Mills, Maine, discovers a 1912 Hudson Torpedo Roadster and a 1911 Oldsmobile-Autocrat. These cars were stored prior to 1917 and first saw the light of day again in 1954. The barn had once beenn used as an automobile repair garage and this clue led to the discovery of the cars." The Oldsmobile is now owned by a collector in California.

I don't know any more than that.

Chris

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Guest Ray Belf

The Autocrat pictured being extracted from the barn looks like the car currently owned by Duane Miller. I only know of two seven passenger Autocrats.

The 1909 Z of Nellers and the 1910 Olds Limited of Harrahs are almost identical cars, engine size 505 cid, tire size 42x4.5, wheel base 130inches only a few minor differances between the cars. The 1911 and 1912 limiteds are very similar. The engine cid was increased to 707, the wheelbase was increased to 138 inches tire size was increased to 43x5.

Ray

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Ray, great to see you on our forum. If there was a post about Limiteds I expected it might find its way to you! (the green is in honor of a certain car).

For those of you who do not know the Miller car, it is a dark Turquoise. The car was restored by Ohlendorf's Restoration Shop. Duane sent the painted undercarriage to them. When I saw it I thought it was the ugliest color I had every seen on a brass car. However, when the black and gold stripping went down and the interior in a brown color the car came together beautifully. Ken Eberts used it in one of his winter scene paintings. It is a gorgeous car and I believe he has toured with it extensively in the past.

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Steve,

Do you know if any progress is being made in restoring another Limited? I am referring to the one I supplied an engine to several years ago. All I had was the engine. It originally came from a barn in Maine where it had been stored since the 30s. The man I sold the engine to had another Limited and enough parts to complete another using that engine. I spoke to him at Hershey a few years back and he was working on it, but hadn't finished it.

Does he still have it? How close to being done is it?

As you notice I am not using his name due to privacy concerns.

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Well, I helped him get a transmission as well. His restorations are still moving forward. I spoke to him several weeks ago in regards to another part he needs. This was no small project he got into so I am not sure exactly where he stands but I know he is plugging away.

If he would only part with a certain speedster he has I would be real happy...homeless but happy!:D

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If it's the one I'm thinking of, and not using names either, I recently saw a picture of the completed engine, absolutely beautiful piece of work. I remember visiting his place a few years ago, and he discussed getting the transmission. I, in my ignorance of values of such, mentioned a figure of what I thought such a thing would be worth, and he laughed. Obviously I was very low. David Coco Winchester Va.

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Doug, while I was given the responsibility to restore the Olds Limited dubbed 'Mighty Whitey" it was restored at Ohlendorf's restoration shop. I got my hands slightly dirty on the car and did my best to help Tim and his crew with this magnificent restoration. I took it all around the country to shows and felt honored to be a part of the car's history.

Hi Steve, well, you had more to do with it than I did! :) And if you had the responsibility, ya done good! Also, thanks for the info on the "Setting the Pace" painting... sorry to have been away and not answered up before this, have been fighting a crisis at work and one at home (my Mom has been in the hospital but was released today, all's settling down now!) I'm heading for the beach in a couple of days to decompress.

Regards,

Doug

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  • 4 years later...

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