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Can anyone identify the pictured vehicle?


buzzflood
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The front frames seems to be Buick Master 1924-1927 becuse of the tube between the frames,first year with front brakes is 1924,but I can`t belive that the rear end belongs to the front frames.All 6cyl.Buicks at that time had canti lever springs,exept for 4cyl.last models in 1924.To me it looks like two different frames welded together.It would be nice to see the "wheelbase"on this monster.

Leif in Sweden.

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Looks like they were trying to build a car that would run on compressed air. The chain drive units look like charging pumps, The front unit looks like the air motor. Did not work as there is too much friction in making air, and not enough air to purpetually keep it going. Dandy Dave!

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Perhaps it is a problem of identifying the purpose rather than the vehicle, Buzz. It appears to be a pull-along mobile ultra high pressure air compressor, as propulsion for an air-powered multi- slug machine gun. I have an elderly friend who made such a "machine gun" "to see how it would work". Ben, who is 90 now, did this using a 2000psi oxy bottle in the 40's, perhaps in case Tojo had arrived.

Try some more lateral thinking, and you might get closer.

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Buzz,

Thanks for the aditional pics !!!

Okay... I'm pretty convinced that the rear pumps are air-compressors (judging by the "atmospheric" poppet valves on the heads): they look like two-stage compressors, sharing a common air-intake between the larger low-pressure cylinders.

Still not sure about the front-mounted "pump"... that flywheel makes me wonder if it is a marine steam-engine, but there's a strange absence of valve-gear, steam-chests, etc.

As for the rear-axle, is that a two-speed rear ? Looks like some sort of shift-lever on the in-put side of the "punkin"... ???

I really don't understand the plumbing up front... and the rubber hosing makes me think away from steam....

Some one should be able to ID the rear-axle and the steering-gear... possibly the rear wheels (great pics, but I could find any lettering or emblem on that six-sided hub-cap... )

Looks like someone spent a fair amount of time on it, whatever it was...

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Another prompt for the minds of those more knowledgable than I.

There may be two independant or semi-independant systems here. The front cylinders can be driven at much higher speed thand the mid-mounted, compound compressor. (And choice of ratios). And they appear to have a much longer stroke. Could be intended that the air supply is for continual use, because there is no sign of a vast reservoir. Because the whole thing is built on the chassis and axles of a defunct car of the mid/late 1920's, (four wheel contracting band brakes), it probably dates from the 30,s. Could it possibly have been the base of a parade mechanical organ? I cannot ask the great expert on mechanical music here, Frank Pitt; because he is now nearing his century and has retreated to a retirement home. You would still use the main air supply to operate the code bar for the valves, but maybe higher pressure supply would be necessary for higher frequency notes.

(Frank used to take his little hand powered organ to weekend markets for years, raising a large amount of money for the Melbourne Childrens' Hospital. He used cash register tapes for his control, and the holes were punched in the tape by a little machine he had designed himself. From memory he only used about 16 notes, and made and tuned his own pipes. The music was superb, be it Mozart or the Gendarmes' Duet or whatever.)

(Did you get that DVD I sent a while back, Buzz? I apologise I still have not found mental space to learn posting photos as you encouraged me. No-one can be good at everything. We all have gaps).

Tongue-in-cheek, perhaps the designer was either Heath Robinson of Punch magazine, or someone from a back-country farming area that Gerry Gebby referred to as "Rube Goldburg".

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Ivan,

I apologize for not getting back to you. I did receive the DVD and I loved it. If you locked me in your garage, I could live there the rest of my life and die a happy man. I especially liked the rack after rack after rack of car parts in the background. I didn't see any tags on anything, but I'm sure you know what everything is, even if you put it there decades ago. If I don't tag things, there's a good chance I'll forget which car I took it off. Thanks again for a great video!

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I agree that the two chain drive units are compound air compressors. The front is a compressed air motor to drive the unit, if it was not, why would you bother to connect it to the rear end. Without open it up to study the way it is put together, It would only be a guess as to how it works. It looks like it would be a double acting type that recycles the air. It woud be interesting to see where it exausts, and if it is hooked up to an automotive type 4 cylinder crank shaft, or a two cylinder crank shaft. Maybe it was brain stormed on princpals of refrigeration as there appears the be an accumulating tank along the drivers side frame. One thing that I am sure of is that it is an experment that did not work well, or we all would be driving these today and the oil companys would be in tears. Dandy Dave!

Edited by Dandy Dave
Never did get an A fur spellin... (see edit history)
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I agree that the two chain drive units are compound air compressors. The front is a compressed air motor to drive the unit, if it was not, why would you bother to connect it to the rear end. Without open it up to study the way it is put together, It would only be a guess as to how it works. It looks like it would be a double acting type that recycles the air. It woud be interesting to see where it exausts, and if it is hooked up to an automotive type 4 cylinder crank shaft, or a two cylinder crank shaft. Maybe it was brain stormed on princpals of refrigeration as there appears the be an accumulating tank along the drivers side frame. One thing that I am sure of is that it is an experment that did not work well, or we all would be driving these today and the oil companys would be in tears. Dandy Dave!

The accumulator branches off a line that appears to be insulated, in some areas, with asbestos. Wouldn't that point towards steam as opposed to air? That partially-insulated line connects to the starboard side of the base of the twin cylinders up front. After passing by (and connecting to) the accumulator, that line connects to the two compressors/pumps mounted amidships. What does that tell us?

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When a compressor compresses air it builds up heat. Maybe they were also trying to retain the heat with the compressed air. This may point to it being a partial Sterling cycle engine? Or in the case of refrigeration, when the freon is compressed it builds heat on the high pressure side. When it is released to the low pressure side, it cools. Could be trying to retain the heat or cooling effect of the air. If it were steam, where is the fire box and boiler? Clearly I do not see water, or fuel storage on the unit. One must think outside of the box on this grand old creation. Dandy Dave!

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If it were steam, where is the fire box and boiler? Clearly I do not see water, or fuel storage on the unit.

Something was hacked off the rear of the vehicle. That plate in the rear is heavy, so it must have been supporting something substantial.

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The metal plate between the frame rails at the rear looks to me like a typical fuel-tank apron, made heavy enough to also serve as a rear cross-member.

This would make sense if this chassis was appropriated from a gasoline car.

If someone shelled out $2k for this, either they know exactly what it is, or they are sorely mistaken... ;)

It's been fun to look at and puzzle-over...

:cool:

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Something was hacked off the rear of the vehicle. That plate in the rear is heavy, so it must have been supporting something substantial.

If it was a boiler, it would weigh enough to pop a wheelie, break the wheels, or both. How much more weight would the poor old chassies stand. I bet Opec bought it just to keep us from building more... He he heee. :D Dandy Dave!

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  • 4 months later...

Guys: I think we are looking at the remains of a REAL STEAM auto here !

The boiler & burner is now long gone from the front...

But the twin two stage compound steam cylinders and chain drive equipment is still here !

I have poked under a few steam cars over 50+ years.

Several makers used compound two stage twin cyinder engines.

Most of us are really not used to seeing a steam car from the underside.

They are very simple indeed !

We need to hear from Kelso or Jay Leno etc to ID this one !

Sorry to dredge up this old thread~

But it is interesting indeed !

$2000. would be very cheap indeed for a real rare old steamer like this !

The rest can be fabricated !

Most early steam cars had an all wood body.

Edited by Silverghost (see edit history)
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