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Vanderbilt-like racer needs to be identified


West Peterson

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I printed this in the September/October issue, thinking our general membership would have guessed it right away. I received one reply, which was obviously incorrect (or so I think). They guessed Cadillac. Do not be fooled by the number on the side of the hood. The photo was taken in Niles, Ohio around 1916, and the owner/driver is John Clingan.

It "looks like" a lot of cars, so before answering, do your research. I've got two nickels for the first correct response.

post-33613-143139315756_thumb.jpg

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It looks somewhat like a Thomas 60hp, however the body isn't quite the same although the chassis design seems similiar. The hoodsides on a 60hp Thomas were louvered where these are flat. The front coil springs seem to be an afterthought and probably aren't factory original. The steering column seems to be at too much of an angle for a Thomas, but nonetheless what an interesting photo!

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West...This is a comment that came in because of The Old Motor post from Offset .... Might be from the same family?? Below are some cleaned up and enhanced photos that may help.

T-Head this is a long shot but I suppose that trying to discover the history of some of these cars is always a long shot. There is a Rich Clingan who races in the Modified class at Sandusky Speedway in Sandusky, Ohio. Clingan is listed as living in Eaton Township, Ohio which is close to the location of your photograph. I wonder if he may be related to John Clingan and perhaps may have some knowledge of this car.

Again, a long shot but you never know.

UnknownI.jpg

UnknownII.jpg

UnknownIII.jpg

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I doubt its a REO, though the radiator shape is very similar. I had two of them at one point and I seem to remember that the shell was painted steel (that one looks to be polished) and the radiator itself was a finned, vertical round tube type. I think the front axle was straight also. The REO had a similar cast aluminum steering wheel but from at least 1910 it was a LH drive car, so unless this photo is flopped, it can't be a REO. The 12 REO had the shifter in the center (which I think we would see)... the 10 and 11 had them on the outside of the frame. REOs also had cast aluminum hub caps of a peculiar shape, which those aren't. Generally, this car also looks too big ... I'd guess around 40HP or more and the REO was a small ""30".

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Ariejan Bos who is quite knowledgeable about brass cars has commented at The Old Motor and suggests possibly a 1909-10 Interstate or a 1908 Staver. Both he mentions are based on the radiator front axle and frame horn and spring shapes.

Both might be worthy of investigating. The more I look at the photo it appears to be circa 1910 based on the style of painting and striping on the car.

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Not Staver, there are some similar features but lots of differences as well. General top shape of rad. close, but cap wrong [many Stavers used a flip up cap with a release tab, similar to Overland} That bottom flair over the mounting for the rad is totally unlike Staver {Staver used hidden studs down from the bottom tank , no side mount at all}. Looks like a very interesting car, probably much modified by builder. {rad. set back, addition of coil springs, etc} Has anyone seen coil springs like these on a car from this time period before. They are not something I can recall seeing on anything else. Greg in Canada

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