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1000 ci Speedster Build


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48 minutes ago, mike6024 said:

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 I don't think I see a trailing arm. Can see the rod that actuates the brake. And there appears to be something like a rod above that, besides the chain of course. But it doesn't look like that would be a trailing arm.

 

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Chase:  You may only have one bearing cone, but it looks like you have the cup still in place for the other bearing.  You should be able to gently tap out both the inner and outer cups with a brass drift, say a piece of 1/2" diameter brass rod.  There should be a couple of half-moon cutouts 180 degrees apart behind the cups where you can drive the cups out from the inside of the hub.  With a little luck, you will find the part number for the cups on the o.d.  Then use a micrometer on the spindle sections where the bearing cone seats to get the i.d of the bearing cone =that fits the cup.  There are only a few combinations of cup and cone that go together.  

 

As for the scored spindle, a machine shop may be able to clean it up enough to use.  The inner race of the cone isn't supposed to turn on the spindle, so a little scoring can be lived with.  If the inner race would turn too easily or wobble on the spindle, that's a different problem.  The spindle may need to be welded and reground or fitted with a Speedi-sleeve.

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Hello Chase,

 

I can offer no help on the chassis but I did see your post on an oil sight glass and can suggest another option.

Rather than a traditional side mounted glass you could fairly easily go with an indicator rod.

 

This is a copy of an original made from hex brass and was fairly simple to fabricate. On my engine the gauge glass screws

into the top of the block. A rod extends down through a hole in the baffle plate and has a cork float attached.

The end of the rod (you could add a brass bead) projecting into the sight glass indicates the oil level. There are two marks on the gauge indicating full  and low.

 

The only concern I would have is that my engine (Wisconsin PT) relays 100% on forced lubrication. a full length baffle plate runs just below the

crank with no provision for splash lubrication so there is nothing splashing around in the oil so the float is always in calm waters if you will.

If the Seagrave engine is setup different this system might not work for you.

 

Best regards,

 

Terry

 

 

 

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Hello Terry,

 

      My Seagrave F6 has a similar provision for checking the oil level in the crankcase... I've attached a picture. The indicator rod is missing (or broken off) but you can see the small hole where it is supposed to go. I hope the rest is in the bottom of the oil pan. I've got some steel to build a huge engine stand, which will be my first big project after the holiday season. I want to remove the oil pan (temporarily) to inspect the bottom end of the engine and to survey how bad the damage is to my oil pan :unsure:.

 

The gauge I'm currently on the hunt for is for the dash... these engines have pressurized feed to the mains only, everything else is splash lubed via troughs that are filled by the oil pump. The drip "gauge" on the dash will show oil when there is sufficient oil in the crankcase to be pumped into the troughs, and the pump is working. Low-tech but effective. 

 

The indicator rod on the crankcase isn't ideally placed for checking the level when the engine is running if you have open exhaust stubs belching fire :D

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They have very little info on what they did to the engine. Cleaned it, unstuck some valves and lapped them, stuff like that.

 

http://www.livermorehistory.com/Project - Seagrave Truck/Seagrave - Photos.html

 

Is that the oil indicator at 3:55 in this video? - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaM2iVzFmEo

 

Here's another - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KojcIlTwneQ

 

1927 Seagrave - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUwz4VT6RKA

 

 

 

Edited by mike6024
add a video link (see edit history)
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24 minutes ago, mike6024 said:

They have very little info on what they did to the engine. Cleaned it, unstuck some valves and lapped them, stuff like that.

 

http://www.livermorehistory.com/Project - Seagrave Truck/Seagrave - Photos.html

 

Is that the oil indicator at 3:55 in this video? - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaM2iVzFmEo

 

Here's another - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KojcIlTwneQ

 

 

 

Yeah my valves are stuck fast.... not sure about the best way to un-stick them. I've just been soaking them for now. All but one of my caps are free.

 

In the videos, yes that is the indicator. It is in a completely different location on the older engines. In fact, my oil pan and timing cover and distributor are very different as well. The very early engines even used bronze crankcases.

 

The indicator on the later engines in on the left side of the crankcase behind the bracket for the generator. 

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Hello Chase,

 

Do you think you will need to replace the valves? On the Wisconsin almost every valve stem was bent from when the

bronze lifter guides were savagely removed with what was probably a hammer and chisel decades ago.:angry: I had to cut the valve stems

with a disk grinder to remove them! In fact they were bent so bad that the valve springs had taken on a permanent bend and I had

to replace them.

 

In addition the valve guides were long past their goodness date. The original valves were 2-5/8" OD with an overall length of nearly 9" and a stem

dia. of 1/2". Since finding NOS valves, or any valve for that matter that matched the specs, proved nearly impossible I ended up buying a set of valve

blanks from Carl M. Cummings Manufacturing in Pomona, CA. - they manufacture valves and other components for heavy diesel applications.

 

I ended up with a set of blanks (at very reasonable cost) originally intended for a EMD locomotive. They are bi-metal stainless alloy and were wonderful

to work with. I had to turn the heads to size and cut to length and turn the keeper slots. They were larger at the stem (.557" v .50") but since I had

to fabricate new cast iron guides it was easy enough to allow for the extra diameter. All of this was simple lathe work though I did use a tool post grinder

to finish up the seat on the valve and the end of the valve stem. The valves are heavier than the originals but given the low RPM I don't think there will be an issue.

 

Once the new valve guides were pressed in I fabricated a pilot for the valve seat grinder (to ensure that everything was in alignment and that the seat was perpendicular

to the guide bore) and re-cut the seats in the blocks than lapped the valves in.

 

Anyway - not sure if you need to go this route but there is the information!

 

Best regards,

 

Terry

 

 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Terry Harper said:

 

Do you think you will need to replace the valves?

 

 

At this point I'm not sure.... they have some fine pitting on the faces from years of sitting.... not sure what the seats look like. If they are two piece valves I plan to replace them for sure. I'm not sure how to break them free without doing damage....

 

I don't expect to get the engine running with just a tear-down and cleaning but I want try to keep costs in check. I'm already made peace with the fact I will likely pay dearly to have the oil pan repaired.... I don't have much choice. Screw it up and its unlikely I'd find a spare not attached to another engine. And there are at least 3 different F6 oil pans... maybe more.

 

The engine also has cast iron pistons.... So a new set is likely in the future.... time will tell. 

 

I don't know of any machine shops in Houston I would trust with parts for my engine.... but I'm also not thrilled with the idea of sending the crank or jugs out of state for machine work.

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Hello Chase,

 

I know what you mean - the thought of shipping my bronze crankcase cross country to have the bearings done is a scary thought!

 

The oil pan on my engine is broken as well put it was repaired back in the day. Since the repair works and since I am not about to

risk having that big aluminum casting warp or worse I am going to leave it alone.

 

They had the local blacksmith bend up a steel plate which covers the damaged area and is attached with screws into the casting.

A sheet of rubber serves as a gasket. I am going to leave it alone - it tells a story.

 

Unless they are bronze your valve guides will be grey cast iron. I would soak it with penetrating oil than apply heat to the guides.

If the lifter guides and lifters are removed as well as the springs a few taps on the valve stem should....key word... should work

just make sure to use a wood block between the hammer and bottom of the stem. and use light blows as square on as possible.

 

Are the valve guides pressed into the blocks or were they cast as part of the blocks and bored (non-replaceable)? If they are separate pieces

that are pressed in fabricating new ones is fairly easy. If they are non-replaceable once the valves are removed you have two options.

 

If the valve stems are good (not pitted or necked down from wear) you can bore out the guides oversize and have bronze sleeves pressed in

that will renew them back to proper spec. The trick is making sure they are bored straight and that they are centered with the seats.

This is milling machine work that is fairly straight forward.

 

If the valve stems are worn you can have them ground and again bore and sleeve the guides. If you go this route you may have to

adjust the keepers etc. for the decreased diameter.

 

No matter what I would plan on dressing up the seats both in the blocks and on the valves than lapping them (lightly).

 

I understand the need to hold a budget in check! That's what has driven me to learn to do as much stuff as I can - i.e. I bought an old

Southbend lathe ($1,000.00) and taught myself how to use it. Same with the milling machine and pattern work.

 

Note in the photo of the oil pan you can see the starter motor bracket - If anyone happens to have a big Leece-Neville 405-M or equal

let me know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hello Chase,  I have been involved with family and Christmas for the last couple of weeks and just now read through your posts here.  I noticed that your rear axle has the logo "made in Cal"  (probably California).  If it matters to you what it is, I do know that Fageol trucks were built in California and they did build big heavy trucks.  I have not studied them enough to know if they used chain drive but it is possible.  Fageol evolved into what we now know as Peterbuilt trucks.  Have you made up your mind as to what wheel treatment you are going to use on your speedster?  Your oil pan problem is rather discomforting and is an issue that you will need to resolve....early on..... as you head for rebuild.  Good luck with that!

Regards,

Alan

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4 hours ago, Terry Harper said:

Hello Chase,

 

Are the valve guides pressed into the blocks or were they cast as part of the blocks and bored (non-replaceable)? If they are separate pieces

that are pressed in fabricating new ones is fairly easy. If they are non-replaceable once the valves are removed you have two options.

 

 

I understand the need to hold a budget in check! That's what has driven me to learn to do as much stuff as I can - i.e. I bought an old

Southbend lathe ($1,000.00) and taught myself how to use it. Same with the milling machine and pattern work.

 

Note in the photo of the oil pan you can see the starter motor bracket - If anyone happens to have a big Leece-Neville 405-M or equal

let me know!

 

 

Hello Terry,

 

      I believe my valve guides are cast as part of the cylinder jugs.... they quite high in the ports and with all of the carbon and crud (and now PB Blaster) it is difficult to get a good look at them. None of my valves appear to be bent but a couple are in a slight bind because the engine has been turned over several degrees from when it was put up after WW2. I don't know if I have loosening the lash caps will give me enough to room to wiggle out the lifters and their retainers. I fear my only course of action my be to loosen the lash caps and tap on the faces of the valves with a large wooden dowel.

 

When I bought my new project my father jokingly told me "You're gonna need bigger tools", and it turns out he was right. I've long wanted a large lathe and mill but I just don't have the space in my garage. I have no idea how he and I worked on vehicles in a single car garage when I was a child, or how we worked on cars in a two-car garage when I was a teenager. Now we both have 3 car garages at our homes and still no space.... lol. To that end he is currently building a very large shop.... and I've already staked out a corner for some heavy duty machine tools.

 

With regards to your starter, have you looked into adapting a starter from another large T-head (at least until you find the correct one)? I can provide pics and dimensions of the starter on my Seagrave if it would help.

 

 

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2 hours ago, alsfarms said:

Hello Chase,  I have been involved with family and Christmas for the last couple of weeks and just now read through your posts here.  I noticed that your rear axle has the logo "made in Cal"  (probably California).  If it matters to you what it is, I do know that Fageol trucks were built in California and they did build big heavy trucks.  I have not studied them enough to know if they used chain drive but it is possible.  Fageol evolved into what we now know as Peterbuilt trucks.  Have you made up your mind as to what wheel treatment you are going to use on your speedster?  Your oil pan problem is rather discomforting and is an issue that you will need to resolve....early on..... as you head for rebuild.  Good luck with that!

Regards,

Alan

 

Hello Alan,

 

        I hope the holidays went well for you :). I've had little time to do much besides take pictures myself that last few weeks. I will definitely do some reseach on Fageol trucks and see if I can find my driven axle. If it did come a truck I don't believe it was a very large one... the brakes are too small. They are, IIRC, 12" drums. Not tiny but the pics you sent me of an ALF driven axle and couple pics I've been able to find of Seagraves.... they appear to have larger brakes.

 

I'm still unsure how to tackle the wheels.... other than I don't want wooden wheels.... it may be my ignorance and inexperience showing but the thought of a wheel failure terrifies me. I worry about hitting an imperfection in the road at speed (always a possibility in Houston), having a wheel collapse.... they'd be picking my carcass out of pile of splinters with a T-head on top of it.

 

I'm still torn on Rudge vs. Buffalo wheels.... I really need to figure out what bearings fit my spindles and driven axle. Then I can find out if Rudge hubs are available or if # 6 Buffalo hubs will even fit. At this point I'm not even sure if the same hubs will fit front and rear. All of the European race cars and LSR cars have Rudge wheels, so of course I'm fond of them... but at the same time Buffalo wheels are American and would certainly work for a build that could best be described as a European land speed car inspired build with American components.

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Hello Chase,  You are at the point in wheel determination that I have crossed already.  I was ready to go for the wire wheel look also, but was terrified of the wheel failure you speak about, only in my case I feared that a wire wheel would be the one collapsing, under speed and on a turn.  I reverted back to going with wood wheels on my speedster.  I am well familiar with Rudge style (spline drive) wire wheels.  I have an Alvis with those type wheels and my brother has several smaller Brit. cars, all with Rudge (spline drive) wire wheels on them.  They are very Brit/Euro style for sure.  I just have a heartburn putting big money into having a custom set built then fully understand that they start to wear out the first time you drive them.  EBAY is loaded with plenty of "restorable" wire wheels for MG, Triumph, A-H, Jag.  The reason why is they are taken off due to excessive wear and pawned off on someone else if they can find a taker.  The good thing about Buffalo is they are dental drive, which if seated properly, do not have the spline wear issue.  Even the American built Springfield R-R used Buffalo #6's.  Now back to reality, none of us will probably drive these speedsters enough to wear out a set of Rudge wheels and hubs.  So the main thing is, make sure your wheel will be robust enough to carry the weight of the car and be safe, then go for it.

Alan

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9 hours ago, Restorer32 said:

 

Notice the original wood wheels on this 7000 # Alf.  I would put these wheels up against wires any day as far as safety goes.

 

Restorer32,

 

     I do remember you saying that the gentleman you built that Speedster for did drive it quite a bit.... and that it was quite fast. As I said before... it may just be my ignorance of wooden wheels. Please don't mistake my quest for a vehicle with some ability to travel at speed as some misguided thrill seeking. Its a requirement in my area, the closest regular car show would require me to drive on what I would term a secondary highway with 50 mph speed limit. Roads in Houston are for the most part poor and don't seem to be improving.

 

That being said... even one of the Blitzen's has wooden wheels.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Haven't had much time get anything accomplished the last couple weeks,

 

        But I did manage to scrounge up a few more parts for the speedster. I've been searching for a vintage 12-volt horn, which is no easy feat as the vast majority are 6-volt, but I did locate a 12-volt Klaxon horn. It is poor shape but hopefully it can be restored. Its rather large so hopefully it will be loud since the brakes will be lousy....

 

I found another vintage brass pump which I will use for one of my pressure pumps for the fuel system. This will be the auxiliary pump on my side of the car. My wife is none too enthused about being my "riding mechanic" so I will likely be pressurizing the fuel tank myself most of the time :lol:

 

Lastly I found a nice, matching set of oilers that I am thinking about using for the drive chains. I've read about lots of different methods for lubing the chains, boiling them in tallow, plumbing the crankcase vent to vent on the chains, one of my books even has a reprinted add for special "chain grease" which had sawdust mixed in to cushion the sprocket teeth. Figured a little more oil dripping on them couldn't hurt.

 

Tomorrow I hope to tackle my front spindles and hubs.... 

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I managed to make into the garage today.... but the Speedster largely thwarted my attempts to be productive.

 

      Took a close look at my front hub that still has one remaining bearing... after much soaking, a little heat and some colorful language I got the 3 set screws out of the rear dust seal retainer without destroying them. It was at that moment I realized the retainer is also threaded into the hub and I will have to build a spanner to get it out. This piece is also missing on the other hub so I would need to fabricate a replacement. I did find a number cast onto the hub but it is hard to read.

 

It also looks like somebody was driving around with bolts that retain the spokes loose... as the square holes on the front flange are wallowed out... some of them are nearly round.

 

These hubs are also 10.5" in diameter.... even larger than a # 6 Buffalo wheel center. I think they would make a 24" or 25" rim look silly, I'd say I would need at least 27" rims to use them.

 

So that is strike one against wooden wheels....

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While the hub was soaking a grabbed my rough looking spindle and cleaned it up.

 

     The areas that the inner bearing races ride on cleaned up pretty well. Most of the damage at the rear appears to have been caused by a dirty, rock hard felt seal.

 

The spindle has the number "5" stamped in it and is also marked LT, the retaining nut on the end is LT hand thread as well.

 

The area that the outer bearing rides on is 1.58"... give or take a few .001s. The area that the inner bearing rides on is 1.97" varying a couple .001s over its length.

 

All was looking well until I turned the piece over and inspected the rear. The spindle has a huge flaw in the casting or a crack behind the socket for the steering arm. My camera flash washes it out a bit...

 

Not sure I want to risk my life on these spindles.... I'd say that is strike two for wooden wheels.

 

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Nice update on your "starting progress" on the speedster and also your parts.  Sounds like you are going to use 12 volt electrics on the car?  I think your hand pump, in the picture, may be a bilge pump, may not work the best for pushing air into a vessel....but not sure on your pump.  Please correct me if needed.  As per the front wheel hubs, my American-LaFrance front hubs have too large of an OD to look right as you suggested your were.  I will be turning down the OD then re-drilling the holes to a smaller bolt hole diameter that is more fitting for a smaller hub/wheel.  Should I choose to use #6 Buffalo wheels and hubs, they can be made to fit my American-LaFrance spindles.  I  am still set on using 27" Firestone rims and modified American-LaFrance wheel hubs for wooden wheels.  My need for changing bearing fits and dealing with changing spindles goes away.  I am currently working on my ignition system for my speedster.  Do you have thoughts yet for your ignition?

Al

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17 minutes ago, alsfarms said:

 Sounds like you are going to use 12 volt electrics on the car? Do you have thoughts yet for your ignition?

 

Seagrave went to 12-volt systems very early.... although it makes batteries and bulbs easy to source now.... its has made searching for period correct electric accessories much more difficult. I'd been hunting for a 12-volt horn for six months before I snagged my 12-volt Klaxon (which I hope is rebuild-able) and even it is probably a bit too new to be "correct", although I doubt few will notice. The 12-volt system wasn't all that popular at the time either, since nearly every other vehicle was 6-volt. I've read a story about crews running down the batteries in the firetrucks while letting them idle with the headlights on... and being forced to hand-crank or push start the beasts after putting out a fire.

 

I'm planning on keep the ignition arrangement pretty much stock Seagrave. Distributor ignition for starting (and as a backup if the mag fails), with primary engine ignition being the 12-plug magneto. Since the generators on these engines are pretty weak at low RPMs, I want to reserve battery power for the headlights and starting.

 

Pretty much everything else is mechanical.

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32 minutes ago, alsfarms said:

  I think your hand pump, in the picture, may be a bilge pump, may not work the best for pushing air into a vessel....but not sure on your pump.  Please correct me if needed. 

 

I'm really not sure about the pump. The picture doesn't give a good idea of scale.... its just over 12" long overall. It only has 1 fitting on it, which is a hose barb on the bottom. I have second, slightly smaller pump which I purchased a while back that has two fittings on the bottom... I believe this one is a bilge or transfer pump. I plan to use it to pump oil from a reserve tank. Both pumps need to be re-built as all the seals are shot.

 

I plan to get a large bicycle pump for the riding mechanic position (this is what the ALCO Black Beast used) and I also need one more small pump to pressurize an on-board water tank. At least one of the Blitzen's used water jets to cool the inboard trans brakes and I've been trying to dig up more information on this system. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

No time to hit the garage last weekend,

 

    But I did score one more pump.... which I intend to use as my main fuel tank pressure pump. Its from a Burns dental casting machine from the late 'teens. Somebody converted it into a tire pump, now its going to be a fuel pump. I like it because it has a nice flange on the bottom for mounting on the floor. Its about 17" tall.

 

 

 

 

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Snagged a tail light too....

 

      Its just about the only Model T part I can use without fear engine induced breakage. I plan to convert it from kerosene to electric. Still trying to snag some headlights... got E-sniped on a set of early Cadillac electrics a couple weeks ago.

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  • 2 weeks later...
5 hours ago, Lozierman said:

I think the gas pedal is actually a pedal for an exhaust cut-out.  Might work though.

 

I might be able to use it if I flip it around in the bracket... right now it has very little travel.

 

I won't be running an exhaust cut-out as I won't be running exhaust :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I finally snagged a set of headlamps that I find aesthetically pleasing... that were also reasonably priced.

 

     I've been watching eBay for months and between sticker shock for damaged lights or mismatched pairs or getting sniped at the last second... I'm glad the search is over.

 

I found a set of 12" Vesta Accumulators that are complete minus the lenses. They definitely need restoration as one trim ring is cracked and the other lamp has a crack in the body. But they are brass, fork mount electrics. I hope I can find someone who can straighten and repair them without doing a mirror polish as I want the car to have some patina.

 

I also snagged a smaller Vesta lamp that may be a tail lamp or cowl lamp. Its missing the lenses but for $15 I couldn't resist re-uniting it with other Vestas. 

 

I was worried 12" lights would be too big but once you put them near the engine they don't seem as large.

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3 hours ago, r1lark said:

Chase, have been following this thread, very interesting. Definitely not your run of the mill old car restoration.

 

Are the lenses for the Vestas readily available?

 

I have no idea if the lenses are readily available.... I did a little searching before I bid on them and didn't find anything. The lenses are held in with little tabs that screw into the backside of the rings. I read that only large, expensive cars (and firetrucks) used 12" lights. So I imagine there is a market for large lenses... I just have to compete with guys with much deeper pockets than me :lol:

 

At this point I'm just happy I have a matched set of headlamps.

Edited by Chase392 (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, mike6024 said:

 

I've actually considered just making new lenses out of flat glass.... but I had always figured the pattern cut into lenses were to focus the beam instead of cutting down on glare. 

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Got curious about lens availability, so did a Google search:

http://www.oldcarlenses.com/

http://www.vapinc.com/lenses/main.html

Also found a reference to reproduction Vesta headlight lenses being available from The V12 Shop, but couldn't get the website to work. But as late as a year ago there was this reference in an article dealing with antique fire apparatus:  The V12 Shop (www.Thev12shop.com) is located in Garland, TX and specializes in fixing ALF Model “E,” “F,” “G,” and “J” V12 engines. It provides parts, sales and service, as well as the restoration of antique fire apparatus.

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