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Stearns Knight


alsancle
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When I searched my archive for a photo of a 1925 Stearns-Knight sedan, I located some magazine ads for Stearns in 1925. One caught my attention because of our earlier discussion on L.A. outlets. The ad, for Houdaille shocks in the "Touring Topics" publication, featured a letter from a Stearns Distributor by the name of "Lynn C. Buxton" located at Figueroa at Seventeenth Los Angeles. 

The Houdaille-Pacific Company located at 1616 South Hill Street in L.A. listed these brands as using their shocks as standard equipment: Pierce-Arrow, Lincoln, Mercer, McFarlan, Cunningham, Stearns, Cadillac Busses and Stewart Busses.   In large type at the bottom of the ad was their name spelled out as it was to be pronounced: HOO DYE.  The scanned file is too large to post here.

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30 minutes ago, Mark66A said:

When I searched my archive for a photo of a 1925 Stearns-Knight sedan, I located some magazine ads for Stearns in 1925. One caught my attention because of our earlier discussion on L.A. outlets. The ad, for Houdaille shocks in the "Touring Topics" publication, featured a letter from a Stearns Distributor by the name of "Lynn C. Buxton" located at Figueroa at Seventeenth Los Angeles. 

The Houdaille-Pacific Company located at 1616 South Hill Street in L.A. listed these brands as using their shocks as standard equipment: Pierce-Arrow, Lincoln, Mercer, McFarlan, Cunningham, Stearns, Cadillac Busses and Stewart Busses.   In large type at the bottom of the ad was their name spelled out as it was to be pronounced: HOO DYE.  The scanned file is too large to post here.

 

Mark,  if you email me a link I'll resize it for you.

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Houdaille became Monroe.............the pronunciation given is correct. 

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Edinmass and Mark, 

Thank you both so far. Broke away from chores this afternoon to confirm and answer questions and take additional photos.

Engine number is 32658 and is listed on the title as the VIN number.

Engine is a straight 6.

Wheel base 121”.

Mark, 

The first photo you posted shows what appears to be cowl lights, there is no indication my car had them. Also that photo shows the door handles being vertical, mine are horizontal. Second photo advertisement of the shocks appears to be closer to my car, no cowl lights and horizontal handles.

 

 

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Ned......any sleeve valve car is a handful for an experienced collector.......your jumping in with two feet! Mark probably knows more about Stearns cars than anyone else.........there are just so few people familiar with them. Most importantly, take you time, look things over, and figure out what could go wrong ahead of time.........prevention is free.....and ten times easier than a repair. Best, Ed

 

 

 

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Looks like it will clean up well as is............trust me on this........get it running and driving just the way it is before you make any major commitments to cosmetic improvements. Get a good base line on what you have before you start to improve. See my 1917 White thread after pulling it out of a barn.

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That funky early coil is often a problem..........keep it in mind when you check for spark. 

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Lynn C. Buxton also sold Stutz and Franklin automobiles. I have a 1926 Stutz sales brochure stamped with his name and dealership info and a 1929 Franklin with a plate saying sold by Lynn C. Buxton.

 

Mark,

I was looking at the photos that Ned posted and am wondering if the hotspot cross-over tube is the same on has car as would be on my 1927 Model F? It looks the same but is it the same size?

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Great thread, we are all learning a lot! Ned's car chassis number and engine number are the same which is correct for that year. Later they differed. The photo I posted that is similar to Neds car came from a leather bound dealer album. I has a variety of body styles for the 1924-25 model years for the "B" (Big Four) 4 cyl and the "C" 6 cyl. The photo I posted was the fanciest of the bunch. Others show the same door handles as Ned's car and no cowl lights. Three door handle styles are shown in that album. To date, I have not seen two Stearns cars of the same model and year that were identical. They had running changes all the time. As an example my H-8-90 is different from one side to the other. Right side spare tire side mount bracket is cast iron, left side is cast bronze. Peter and I found difference in the pin-stripe from one side to the other. These cars were hand built, with different people on each side of the car, doing their job their way with their talent and interpretation. That's OK, can't see both sides at once anyway. Steve, the six cylinder engines from the 1925 thru 1928 -models C, S, D & F are very similar but not identical. One example: Water cover castings differ. Perhaps Ned can measure the diameter of his pipe for a comparison to yours.

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10 hours ago, pughs said:

Lynn C. Buxton also sold Stutz and Franklin automobiles. I have a 1926 Stutz sales brochure stamped with his name and dealership info and a 1929 Franklin with a plate saying sold by Lynn C. Buxton.

 

Mark,

I was looking at the photos that Ned posted and am wondering if the hotspot cross-over tube is the same on has car as would be on my 1927 Model F? It looks the same but is it the same size?

 

Pughs,

I'd be happy to measure the hotspot crossover tube for you, if I new what that was?

Ned

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Ned, Your photo of the ID plate on the side of the engine lists a License # and an engine #. The engine # was issued by Stearns as a record of the engine built for that particular car model (in your case "C"). The license # was issued by "The Knight American Patent Company" to "The F.B. Stearns Company". The license number is particular to the engine in your car, and was important as a record of the engines produced under the patent license contract.  Any manufacturer building Knight engines built them under license and had to pay The Knight American Patent Company an amount for each engine built. The amount of the payment varied by contract and by volume. I have a copy of a contract (safely stored in my piles-aka files) that started out at $100 for each engine built. I think a more average amount would have been in the $60 range. I have a collection of ID tags taken from junked engines by Art Aseltine. All the License numbers are different. The number you should use to register the car is the Chassis number.  Your car appears to have been previously owned by (initials only) E.G.G. and was listed in the WOKR roster from 1980 through 2013.

Edited by Mark66A
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Another photo from Mark showing a H8-90 with a coachbuilt body in what looks like Central Park.  Art thought Rollston and I agree - but we need Jason to confirm the door handles.

 

I don't think this is the car in the Salon photo?

1929 Stearns-Knight H-8-90 Sedan Body perhaps by Rollston. Photo in Central Park by John Adams Davis or Nathan Lazarnick.jpg

1929NewYorkAutoShow-Commodore-Hotel-Stearns-RollstonAnnotation.jpg

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Yes, I would say the same car and most likely both photos taken at the same general time with the town car going into the Commodore Hotel after the Central Park photo was taken by John Adams Davis or after the salon. Most likely before. The Central Park location was only about 10 minutes north of the Hotel Commodore.  I went to look to find the Central Park location on a cross street that ran through the park about 10 years ago and even then the location had over grown so much in 70+ years that it was hard to tell it was the exact spot. Need to check to see what other cars were at the Salon on that stand, most cars were displayed on the coach builders stand not by car make as they rarely if ever had their own exhibit space.   Another story to record who, what and where to make sense of it all , if I were still doing my Coachworklines column

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40 minutes ago, Walt G said:

Yes, I would say the same car and most likely both photos taken at the same general time with the town car going into the Commodore Hotel after the Central Park photo was taken by John Adams Davis or after the salon. Most likely before. The Central Park location was only about 10 minutes north of the Hotel Commodore.  I went to look to find the Central Park location on a cross street that ran through the park about 10 years ago and even then the location had over grown so much in 70+ years that it was hard to tell it was the exact spot. Need to check to see what other cars were at the Salon on that stand, most cars were displayed on the coach builders stand not by car make as they rarely if ever had their own exhibit space.   Another story to record who, what and where to make sense of it all , if I were still doing my Coachworklines column

 

The two cars to the left of the one we are talking about are both Stearns Knight J8-90s bodied by Brunn. 

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Had a great day today. Mark (AKA Mark66A) and Barb stopped by and gave me lessons in Stearns Knight evolution and history. He is the go to guy on Stearns. Enjoyed letting him drive a car he has been familiar with for decades. We also took the White out to lunch. A great day with true car people. I first met Mark at Hershey twenty or more years ago if my memory is correct. Here is a shot of him driving it past Mar-A-Lago , it’s probably the first time in fifty years anyone sat in the back seat.  Note: The car meet dash plaques on the car are from the 50’s and 60’s. All at least five years before I was born. 
 

 

 

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Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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19 minutes ago, K8096 said:

1929 Stearns-Knight H-8-90 Sedan Body perhaps by Rollston. Photo in Central Park by John Adams Davis or Nathan Lazarnick.jpg

 

Yes, those are definitely Rollston door handles  


 

I agree.......100 percent.

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On 1/27/2021 at 12:11 PM, Mark66A said:

Ned, Your photo of the ID plate on the side of the engine lists a License # and an engine #. The engine # was issued by Stearns as a record of the engine built for that particular car model (in your case "C"). The license # was issued by "The Knight American Patent Company" to "The F.B. Stearns Company". The license number is particular to the engine in your car, and was important as a record of the engines produced under the patent license contract.  Any manufacturer building Knight engines built them under license and had to pay The Knight American Patent Company an amount for each engine built. The amount of the payment varied by contract and by volume. I have a copy of a contract (safely stored in my piles-aka files) that started out at $100 for each engine built. I think a more average amount would have been in the $60 range. I have a collection of ID tags taken from junked engines by Art Aseltine. All the License numbers are different. The number you should use to register the car is the Chassis number.  Your car appears to have been previously owned by (initials only) E.G.G. and was listed in the WOKR roster from 1980 through 2013.

E.G.G. was the owner of this car prior to the person I purchased it from, registration was still in the car from him. Trying to track down through the local club that knew E.G.G. who he may have purchased it through. I have only had time to blow the car down with air and vacuum the inside, move it into the shop, and put ATF down the cylinders. Do not have a manual for this car, where can one be purchased? Thanks

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On 1/31/2021 at 9:11 PM, edinmass said:

Had a great day today. Mark (AKA Mark66A) and Barb stopped by and gave me lessons in Stearns Knight evolution and history. He is the go to guy on Stearns. Enjoyed letting him drive a car he has been familiar with for decades. We also took the White out to lunch. A great day with true car people. I first met Mark at Hershey twenty or more years ago if my memory is correct. Here is a shot of him driving it past Mar-A-Lago , it’s probably the first time in fifty years anyone sat in the back seat.  Note: The car meet dash plaques on the car are from the 50’s and 60’s. All at least five years before I was born. 
 

 

 

54DA553C-C29D-4EAB-ACC7-695291D691E0.jpeg

 

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Just to puff my chest,  I was laying in bed on my phone when I did that ID.   This morning on my computer I can see Jay in the rear view mirror so it is pretty easy then.    I figured Jay because I don't know of any other turbines that run?

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5 hours ago, alsancle said:

Just to puff my chest,  I was laying in bed on my phone when I did that ID.   This morning on my computer I can see Jay in the rear view mirror so it is pretty easy then.    I figured Jay because I don't know of any other turbines that run?

Plus a Denim Shirt driving

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UPDATE:

 

It's time to take the Brunn Stearns Knight off the back burner and start pounding on it to get it sorted out. We have a new set of hoops coming, along with tubes and rim strips, and hopefully they will all arrive at the same time. We are going to try and get the car back to how it looked in the photos in 1929 on the auto show floor........so paint and chrome will be addressed on the wheels. We will be doing some under hood upgrades.....correcting wrong hoses and clamps, doing the entire ignition system over, and a bunch of minor under hood details. We learned a bunch of new and interesting details when Mark drove the car last week. Details the owner of the car wasn't even aware of........thats the fun thing about great cars....they just keep getting better and better. Did you know you can check the engine oil level from the drivers seat on a late series Stearns Knight? I didn't..........and we also found a handful of one off items that we will cover as we get to them. With luck, we are going to hit this car hard..........seems there is a CCCA caravan I want to attend.......and I think driving the car on the tour would be a lot of fun.................AJ ..............pay attention, I'm borrowing your car for a week and 2k miles!  I sure hope your gonna pick up the tab for the gas while I'm "sorting it" in Colorado and Utah.

 

We will update the thread as things start to move along in the next two weeks....best, Ed

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, John_Mereness said:

Wheels will be HUGE improvement 


 

I agree, and they will be a HUGE headache for the poor, good looking, highly skilled mechanic that has to straighten them all out.

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16 minutes ago, edinmass said:


 

I agree, and they will be a HUGE headache for the poor, good looking, highly skilled mechanic that has to straighten them all out.


Awesome! You were able to find someone.

 

btw, it is impossible to buy tubes right now for 19-21 inch rims.  Impossible.

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I dropped the pan over the weekend also needing to remove the aluminum casting under the flywheel to access the two hidden nuts. Oil pump and gears look good, are these different than the ones I’m seeing others posting about being pop metal? Looks like a cast iron body and steel gears with a pressed in brass bushing. Am I good to reassemble? 

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Small oil pump, looks fine. They get plenty of lubrication, clean, check the pressure relief, clean the pan. Drive it.👍

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As I recall, the models F,G and H engines used the same oil pump. I'm not sure which model was the last to use the pump in your C model. Note that H and J models were mechanically identical but with different wheelbases.

Following model C were models S ('25 thru Aug 26) and D (Sept '26 to ??). I have never understood the sequence. All shared the same bore, stroke and wheelbase.

Edited by Mark66A (see edit history)
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