Dave Gr

Model identification - 1916 to 1918

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Dear list members, 

This is an introductory posting, in a way, to present myself. I have bought a Chalmers, brought it home and look forward to many hours of frustration and fun in putting it on the road. I have restored two vintage cars previously in Australia, but they were not as old or noble as this one. There will no doubt be questions to ask on the way, such as torque values for big end bolts and such, but I hope eventually to be able to contribute too, not just ask and ask. First question - the previous owner was unsure of its year of make - either 1916 or 1917 probably. I've looked around the web, and ordered some reproductions of original catalogues I hope will help. It is the town car or limousine style - with an enclosed rear section and more exposed driver's section, but with the roof extending over the driver too (no window for the driver, but looks to be clips for side-curtains). Did this style exist in 1916? It has wooden-spoked wheels, and I have seen photos of 1917 models with wire-spoked wheels, perhaps that helps. Another question - the Chalmers Registry. I tried to send emails to the addresses on the page but they bounced back. Is this registry still active? Thanks for your help, Dave.

chalmers.jpg

Edited by Dave Gr (see edit history)
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Hi Dave,

 

Welcome to Chalmers ownership,    from the various images on the web it looks like cars upto 1915 had parallel bonnet's, 1915 and onwards had a tapered bonnet, so your idea of 1916 is a good start.

 

Do you have any more photo's ?

 

I think the Chalmers website closed after the author passed away.

 

 

Andy

 

 

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Hi Andy,

Thanks very much for your prompt reply. Very helpful. I was sorry to hear about the Chalmers Registry. I won't have good photos until the car arrives, but am including three that have been sent to me. But one thing I did see on one of the photos was some details of the car: Model No 35-D, then number 110124. On another badge: New Haven Carriage Co. Coach Builders, New Haven, Conn. No: 18107 (I think). The previous owner always maintained that is was a 1916-car. All the best, Dave

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chalmers_2.jpg

Edited by Dave Gr (see edit history)

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Hi Dave,

I'm impressed with Your Chalmers Town Car Landaulet. According to Dave Hammonds book ," Hugh Chalmers , The Man And His Car" Dave indicated that both the "Town Car", and the "Town Car Landaulet", were produced from 1917 through 1919. It would require further investigation, using your serial number to establish the exact date.

With regard to your engine high temp paint match, that would require custom matching.

Best of luck with your restoration, and welcome to the Club.

Regards,

Bob

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Dave,

I'm including serial numbers for both the Chalmers Town Car, and the Town Car Landaulet, for the three years they were produced.

         Model        Year      Body Style                     Serial Number Range

        

          35-D          1917     Town Car                      110001---110007

           35-D          1917     Town Car Landaulet

 

 

           35-D           1918    Town Car                      110008---111000

           35-D            1918    Town Car Landaulet 

       

 

            35-D            1919   Town Car                      110008---111000

             35-D            1919   Town Car Landaulet 

 

Keep in touch.

Regards,

Bob

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Hello Bob and others, 

Thank-you so much for your support. I'm really thrilled with this car. My last car, a 1929 Chevrolet, I bought as a pyramid-shaped pile of rust and rotten wood. This car, a hundred years old, has little rust, good wood and good leather and cloth, and even good engine bearings. It looks like Dave Hammond's book is required bedside reading, although it's not readily available on eBay or amazon. It'll turn up though. I bought a reprint of the 1917 Chalmers catalogue by Regress Press (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Chalmers-1917-Quality-First-1917-Six-30-Roadster-Cabriolet-Six-30-Sedan-To-/322283960905?hash=item4b099efa49:g:WGoAAOSwbqpTySXr) in which they list the models, concluding with the town car and limousine. The town car landaulet is not mentioned - is this a synonym for the town car or limousine, but with a drop-down rear top? However, a limousine model was also mentioned in an advert in a newspaper in July, 1916, among reports of polio, pneumonia and other miseries (http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn83030430/1916-07-28/ed-1/seq-3.pdf). "Luxuriously upholstered Chalmers limousine, 1916 model, like new-----".  The number on my car, 110124, would indicate 1918 - 1919 according to the list above (if it on this list), although the previous owner maintains it is 1916. Time will tell. 

I previously asked about getting hold of motor paint from info Bob supplied, FS24201 and FS24087. It wasn't difficult thanks to google. There are places that will mix such colours for you in heat resistant paint and send them either as aerosol or liquid. 

Then there is body colour. For the extra cash of a town car or limousine you could get meteor blue, coupe green, Chalmers grey and purple lake. That last one sounds a bit dodgy, but the others - if anyone can help with a colour patch or number for them I am very grateful. Meteor blue sounds like fun. Thanks again, Dave

 

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chalmers 14.jpg

chalmers 13.jpg

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Hi Dave and all,

 

Dave, you have found a great car that is so original, have you considered preserving the body condition as it is ?  it would be unique.

 

 

Andy

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I would keep that as a preservation vehicle.

It is a difficult line to draw. But I have always believed that cars in poor condition should be restored. Cars that still look pretty decent, should be preserved. Repair what needs to be repaired. Do what must be done to the mechanics to make or keep them reasonably reliable and safe. Clean them up, and try to make them look a little bit nice (the dirt is not factory original!). But preserve for all to see, a car that still presents itself how it was built originally.

 

I have restored several cars over the years. Most of them barely resembled a car when I began. A few other cars I have had had major original features that I helped to preserve. But, that is me. And it is your car. A beautiful one at that. Especially that interior (at least what I can see of it).

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Marvelous find , Dave ! 

             That great original centenarian limo' is aging well. Every aspect of this car exudes history and gives an irreplaceable richness to its existence. Once restored , all gone. Yes , I love restored cars , who doesn't ? But I have always (almost 70 years of fascination) , preferred original cars. The universe of ancient cars is turning ever more towards preservation of relics , some rare vehicles of your era are being preserved in lesser shape than this. The pursuit of meticulous preservation has evolved to a well supported art. I agree with Andy and Wayne. I strongly suggest that you examine this alternative prior to painting or changing anything. Find knowledgeable help to resurrect , as much as possible , the remaining paint under the filth on a rear door. Take what you learn , and continue until the entire body is all it can be. Clean and preserve. Do not paint.Get experienced help with cleaning the interior. Use liberal amounts of leather conditioner like Lexol over a good period of time. Do not sand and refinish any wood. Something like refinishing and destroying the patina on antique furniture. Cuts the market value down substantially. It is conceivable that you could invest massive time and funds , and reduce the value of this remarkable survivor. Plus , if you merely invest you time in putting the car in perfect running order , you can drive it ! With modern synthetic lubricants and gentle driving, the car could be made more reliable than new. Current originality judging prefers mechanical components which , after dismantling for service , are re-assembled without painting , plating or polishing. Just clean things. Should look as an old machine aging gracefully. If you are dead set on painting and little by little erasing the cars history and soul , just put it off for a couple of years or so. The current admonition is "they are only original once". You can't go back , and you might enjoy loving her as she is. (Peace on the home front is nurtured with this attitude towards the ladies also , but we already know that). Original cars like this one attract far more attention at shows than the trailer queens. Show it around , and live with it for a while. What do you think about this ?  - Original old relic , Carl

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Another original limo. A Cadillac of your vintage. Probably drew more interested spectators than any other Cad at the meet.  - CC

 

image.jpeg

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Hello all, 

Thanks for the sentiments; in fact we think alike. While I want to find out everything about these cars, including original colours, I intend to keep the car original and just go over the electrical wiring and mechanicals/brakes and get it back in the road. And replace the wheel bearings - a friend of mine once had a Chevrolet that he kept original. One day on driving to a rally one of the front wheels seized and his car entered the oncoming lane and he was terribly injured - moral of story = wheels got to keep turning. The previous owner of my Chalmers was driving the car around up to the day he put it away about 50 years ago, so it may not require so very much attention. 

Thank-you to hwellens for the information on models and years. The 35-D model designation seems to place this car firmly in 1918, although as mentioned earlier the owner maintained it was 1916. Had this car been 100 years (1916) it could have been imported as an antiquity, duty free, but as a spritely 98-year-old I have to pay a heap of import duty on it - but that's life. 

That Cadillac is amazing - what a car. That model has as I remember a big V-8 engine and cost around $4000 against $3000 for the Chalmers limousine. The door handle looks identical to the one on my Chalmers. Thanks again for all your thoughts, Dave. 

dent in back and paint.jpg

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Hi everyone, I'm currently trying to piece together the various models and styles of Chalmers cars by year. From the little I've been able to find so far once the 6 cylinder models were introduced the style seemed to remain fairly constant until the end of production. I'm trying to find a copy of the book by Dave Hammonds but with no success so far, does anyone know of one out there that's for sale.

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