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Dave Mellor NJ

1911 Reeves Octoauto

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Can't find out if it still exists, but I remember reading once that one reason for the extra wheels was so that the tires would last twice as long. The fact that there are twice as many tires (thus cancelling out any tire savings) seems to have escaped Reeves.......

He also built a Sextoauto (an interesting name to be sure)after the Octoauto failed to generate any interest..... with only six wheels....

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It was thought to exist in Illinois, but the car in question was determined not to be. I don't know if the owner agrees or not.

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It was not an "all new" car to start with, so theoretically someone could make a clone. It was based on an Overland of the period, I believe.

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Then there was the 6 wheeled Pullman prototype. Unfortunately the center 2 wheels were the drive wheels and after the car hung up on a rut in the road on its maiden voyage they decided a redesign was in order.

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Oddly, the 1903 or so Pullman doesn't look as ungainly as the Reeves.....

post-31482-143138987191_thumb.jpg

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Pullman Auto was trying to trade on the Pullman Railroad Car reputation for smooth riding. Zero connection between Pullman Auto and Pullman Railroad Car.

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Forgive if this was discussed, I missed it if it was...

Is it 4 wheeeel steeeering? I would think it would have to be with the axels as they are setup

Are both rear axels driven?

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The front set of wheels steered in the direction that you wanted to go. The second set of front wheels steered a little bit in the OPPOSITE direction. The third set was the driving set of wheels, with the rearmost set the only passive set in the group.

Lots of stuff going on with that thing......

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I believe they call that "articulated" steering, like they use on Caterpillars (the loaders not the bug). I once had the pleasure of moving aroung 2 d-9 crawlers which were connected with a big ball (joint), thus enabling one operator to operate both machines for strictly pushing purposes. It steering by putting the track brake on opposite tracks of the two tractors, respectively. They called it a quad 9.

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The behaviour of the Pullman 6 wheeler would indeed have been interesting. It might most closely have been likened to steering a centipede with the scrub itch.

Milton Reeves did use two different cars. Stanley Yost featured the episode in one of his paperback books of the early 1960s, but I cannot readily lay hand on either. One was "They Dont Build Cars Like They Used To" , and the other was "Those Great Old Cars: Where are They Now?" I am fairly sure I have reliably read that a Stutz was used for the 6 wheeler. And the matter may have been covered in an issue of Antique Automobile 40-50 years ago.

Now in regard to this, you must remember something that Charles Kettering once said to Francis Davis, who had invented power steering and fitted it to his early 1920s T-head Pierce Arrow. This is close to the reported remark.

"When you look at a job, and you think that the fellow must be crazy, you aught to pay attention to that. One of you must be crazy, and you need to find out who it is. It makes a lot of difference." Now Reeves' crazy idea of triple and quad axles has been proved to be of lasting value when re-invented, probably by someone else, for heavy trucks. The usefulness of these for automobiles could be likened, if you will pardon the farming metaphor, to the usefulness of an udder on a bull. You must give him a tick each for the invention of the lazy axle and dual steering front axles. But his most useful and probably most used invention was probably the steplessly variable Reeves V-belt drive for machinery.

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"When you look at a job, and you think that the fellow must be crazy, you aught to pay attention to that. One of you must be crazy, and you need to find out who it is. It makes a lot of difference."

What a great quote!!! This applies to so many things in life..........thanks for including that!!

Now, I must say that the word "aught" caught my attention, as I was thinking it should be "ought". Mr. Google has something to say about that, and I'm posting what I found here as first, it's interesting reading, and second, we've heard the period of years (and cars) between 1900 and 1909 discussed as the "aughts".

"Here’s another homonym mix-up: Ought vs. Aught

Ought is an auxiliary verb derived from the Scottish word “to owe.” It means “should,” usually

indicating some obligation, advisability, expectation, or moral duty.

Examples:

He ought to finish writing his section of the report before he goes on vacation.

You ought to have a doctor take a look at that sore on your arm.

I really ought to go to the funeral, because we were close friends.

Aught is a pronoun that means “anything” or “all.”

Examples:

Do you know aught about geomechanics? (anything)

For aught I care, you can schedule the meeting on my day off, for I shall not be attending. (all)

Aught is also a noun that means nothing or zero.

Examples:

The gun he used to shoot the deer was a .30-06 (thirty aught six) Springfield.

Her baby was born in ’08 (aught eight).

In fact, in the Nineties (1990s) people were talking about what they would call the next

decade; some suggested calling them the Aughties. Now that we’re in the Tens (or is this decade called the Teens?), what exactly did we decide to call the last decade? "

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By the way, Ivan, excellent points on the design morphing into the truck category.......

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Well Hudsy Wudsy (reminds me so much of that rhyme when I was a kid, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, about Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair, Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn't Fuzzy, Wuzzy?) you've asked me about nothing.

Naught is nothing of course, or zero, as in the absence of, not the number. "it's all come to naught" ..... funny how that's the base word to naughty, which is something, not nothing...

Hmmmm....are you implying I should have said naught about aught nor ought? I meant no insult to Ivan, he has some of the most intereresting posts on this forum, and if my comments on aught were for naught and taken as criticism, I apologize to him.

Back to the Octoauto, my understanding is that the Octoauto was based on an Overland, the Sextoauto was based on a Stutz.

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I am certainly not in any way offended, David: Heaven forbid. The Pocket Oxford Dictionary which I mostly use for quick check and reference because I like it and because I have had it since primary school is not much help definitively. The very much larger Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, which is two large volumes and much more comprehensive, rather suggests that "naught" and "nought", and "aught" and "ought", are rather variations of each other. However "nought" is more frequent in arithmetical meaning. Two things are generally understood and accepted. First, language is not static, but changes according to useage. New words develope, and become more frequently used, particularly if they are elegant and precise in meaning; just as some words gradually vanish from the language through lack of use. Second, changes are frequently territorial, which makes sense. In My Fair Lady, Professor Higgins, typical of his self-centred, inflexible, tactless and abrasive character, possibly reflecting also that of author George Bernard Shaw (who himself was a work of art), declared that Americans had not spoken English for years!!! Black's Law Dictionary is no help. But taking the trouble to check the original source, Kettering used "ought". So you are probably more right than I am David, though neither is completely right or wrong. You are always likely to find typographical errors in things I write late at night when I am weary.

It is significant that by far the greatest two contributing readers and correspondants in the 72 year compilation and publication of the original New, (or Oxford) Dictionary were two Americans. Dr Fitzedward Hall abandonned his acedemic job and became a strict and elective recluse after and acrimonius disagreement over a matter of language with a colleague. Dr William Chester Minor was tragic wreckage of humanity from the Civil War. As an Assistant in the Union army, he was unhinged by the horror of being commanded and forced to firebrand an Irish deserter on the forehead. The rest of his life he was schizophrenic, mostly confined to an institution for the criminally insane after the senseless murder of a complete stranger.

The making of that Dictionary was very much the obsession of a lot of rather odd people. One of the main initiators of the project, barrister Francis Furnival, was much more pashionatly occupied with the recruitment and training of young ladies from his favourite Tea Rooms in a club for rowing (skulling) on the Thames. He was the inspiration for Kenneth Grahame's character, Rat, in Wind in the Willows.

( Would not Rat and Furnival have delighted in the forthcoming ladies rowing competition at the London Olympics?) (The book on all this is Simon Winchester's The Surgeon of Crowthorne.)

We had better stop this nonsense, David, because it is all off-topic, even if perhaps eductaional.

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Eye will knot again debate spelling nor usage, as Eye no that there are thymes that words can bee quite confusing, and as mentioned, wee surely can sea that American usage of English can bee knot the "Queen's English".

Back two the Reeves, Eye agree........

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