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What Chassis is that ?

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I have been looking everywhere to find ID, casting numbers, .... Nothing... It seems to be a very mofidied chassis.


The engine and gear box are Sudebaker as well as all in coherence with the engine suroundings. All that firt very well the chassis and no traces of special adaptation for it.


Any idea of what the base of the chassis can be ? Years ?


Don't pay attention the the recreational tentative to make the car look like a Mercer ...  all that will go away as I rebuild the car.


Thanks very much.


Jean Marc














15390772_10202377280629661_902073712868407175_n - Copie.jpg

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The shock absorber looks like Hartford--‐Truffaut style. Though compressed to its lowest setting,


i.e., riding low, based upon the chassis--‐ these were the type mounted on Mercer's.  As said this car was a recreational tentative of Mercer look and feel.


Any idea on the base of the frame ?


All the best



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With closer detail in your pictures, I can tell that the Houdaille 2-way dampers are much later than any Mercer had;  and unlike those that were used on many but not all war-time 4x4 Blitz light trucks. Yours have a squared-off section at the top where the filler plug is, to provide for extra volume of oil.  They are good quality devices; and I guess they are of the same source as the engine/gearbox, and the front and back axles and wheels.  It is likely that the makers were frustrated that after around  15 years on the market, a lot of American people just could not pronounce the French name;  so on yours it is spelled phonetically; that is,  "HOO   DYE",  (with the filler plug as punctuation.)

  The frame is not Mercer,  And the wheelbase is possibly 5 to 10 inches longer than that of all the Raceabouts from 1915-16 to the last Series 6 Raceabout in 1925.

It is likely that the rear axle is Studebaker, because the style is the same  exactly as 1929 Pierce Arrow.  The rear cover of the differential, with nuts and washers sealing ( and securing it in addition to the ring around the periphery), are probably onto double-ended bolts that hold the bearing caps.  Pierce were owned by Studebaker for a few years,  and some Studebaker engineering staff had transferred to Pierce; and Carl Wise remained with Pierce probably until they folded.

  With the fuel tank mounting and "lunch box" removed, you can see at a glance that the seats are definitely not Mercer.  Two soft vertical folder bends on each seat bucket are a dead giveaway that they are copy,  not original.  The rest of the front body may also copy to suit.

   The parts that are definitely Mercer are the radiator mounts,  the T-head Mercer radiator badge,  the fuel tank which ha similarities to T-head,  ( but Fred Hoch could tell you for sure)  The separate rear body section that mounts the tank is likely Mercer; and I believe the spare wheel mounting arrangement definitely is.

   I have always made replacement steering wheel rims for myself and friends out of Blackwood which is one of our nice Australian Acacia timbers very like walnut.  The 8 segments for the top and 8 for the bottom, all of identical length and finger-jointed ends at 22.5 degrees from right angle  are clamped and glued together.  The mating faces are dressed flat on a big sanding disc, and the joints are offset when you glue them together  with the ends of the wheel centre.  There is a lot of patience needed, if you do it yourself.

Your restoration of what you might probably call a "Studebaker Raceabout" will undoubtedly  be of better craftsmanship than whoever built it originally;  and you will have a lot of fun driving it.  You have one bid advantage, too.  Nearly all Mercers have only rear brakes; and if you want to stop in a hurry, they will always stop in their own time.

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What about the motor mounts and drive shaft, do they look factory original? If so it is probably the same Studebaker chassis the engine came in. If they have a home made look it could be they adapted the engine to a different frame, or just moved it back.

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Possibly could be a Studebaker Indy car. Studebaker had a racing team of this era. 

I recall an article on Studebaker Indy race cars of the 20's to 30's but unable to locate it.  Check with Studebaker Club.


I found picture of cars at Indy, but not a good match to yours. The article may be interesting: http://www.studegarage.com/indycar1.htm


Here is picture.



Edited by stakeside
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This chassis has what appears to be Bendix Steeldraulic cable brakes.  That being the case, it is later than 1929 as Studebaker was still making its own brake system using rods and bell cranks at that time.


If it helps, go to the Antique Studebaker Club website, select member projects and Rick Peterson's 1930 Commander.  There are several pictures of the chassis.



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I thought "Steeldraulic" was Midland.   I don't see any Bendix brakes in any of my literature with the reference steeldraulic.  Of course I am only looking in about 75 books.  I am sure there are many more out there that I am not aware of.

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3 minutes ago, Tinindian said:

I thought "Steeldraulic" was Midland. 

Correct you are....  Steeldraulic was a trade name of Midland Steel Co.


There were steel cable brakes made by others, but did not use that trade name.


A Midland brake should be a single circular band shaped internal "shoe".  There would also be a window coved by a plate, to get at the single adjuster wheel on each backing plate.  There would also be a smaller window and cover plate, on the outside of the drum, to be able to measure the shoe-to-drum clearance, while doing an adjustment.



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I guess that once the paint is stripped from the chassis you will able to see the welds where the modifications have been done. I still think that the basic rails are stock Studebaker but the ends have been altered. The outboard mounted springs are what has lowered the whole thing. Somebody has put a lot of thought and work into it.

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