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Interesting & Wild Car & Motorcycle Accesories


midman
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OK, somewhere on here I'm sure this was done before, but part of the fun of this hobby are the strange and wonderful accessories for our antique vehicles. I am always on the lookout for this stuff and I have some unique items I'll share as we go, but I'd like to see what else is being collected out there.

I'll start with my newest item. The Testophone. An early 1900's aftermarket horn that I believe came in 4 and 8 trumpet versions. Each time you press the bulb the horn toots and then changes to the next horn for the next toot using a ratcheting barrel in the middle of the body activated by the air pressure of the bulb. I picked this one up at an estate auction. The horns were loaded with ancient bugs so you know it was used, and the last person to tinker with it went crazy with threadlocker binding up the mechanism and every thread on the thing. After lots of penetrant, heat, and unfortunately some modifications to disassemble it, it now works as designed. 

I'll add some more of my crazy accessories later but I'd like to see what else is out there.

 

 

 

Chuck

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I had one in the mid 80s.  My boss back then, was into pop engines and whatnot and always went to the belly-up farm auctions.  A day after the auction he went back to ask the farmer a question about something he bought, and one thing was never bid on was the Testophone so the farmer gave it to him, then I ended up with it. 

 

No internet to know about it, so all I saw were French words like Arret, which later I learned was Stop.  I forget if I sold it or gave it away.  Before I got it, one guy at the shop took all the horns off and never marked where they went, so it could not play the tune correctly.

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1 minute ago, padgett said:

Hit'n'Miss ?

Yes, that is one "type" of the loosely defined "pop engine"

 

Hit/Miss is where the ignition only fires when RPM drops to a preset point.  That is to conserve fuel.  It hits more often as a load is placed on the engine, when the "machine it powers" starts working harder.

 

One other type is "throttle governed", much the same principle as your simple push lawn mower....the grass is thicker, placing more load, then the "air flow governor" makes the throttle open more.

 

.. 

 

 

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I'm also interested in vintage, unusual turn signal lights and mechanisms. There were dozens of different ways that were come up with to signal 

Here is an aftermarket light cluster I liked because of the spelling and colors. This will probably go on the center of the rear bumper of my Buick even though it sort of looks like a motorcycle set up.

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Joe in Canada said:

Here is an over the top horn or it may be a musical instrument however you look at it. I seen this at Hershey 2015

 

 

Now that is cool. I would have liked to heard it. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled at Hershey this year.

Edited by midman (see edit history)
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This topic crosses over into a lot of areas - i also have a collection of accessories, turn signals, lamps and lighting related stuff, IMG_3301.thumb.JPG.ecf722e1115571b94213871a4b72f968.JPG radiator caps, spark plugs, gadgets and gizmos of all kinds. I even collect early catalogs that show the early accessories. I've got a lot of different stop lights too and have a few mounted in this display that actually lights up.  That's a great Testophone horn by the way.  They made them with multiple  trumpets and i've seen six and eight trumpet versions.  The more the horns, the higher the price.  My accessory collection(s) are exhibited in my recreated 1915 era auto parts store on the second floor of my car barn.  It's a great place to hang out!  I'm going to enjoy this thread and will post a few more pictures later.

Terry

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Terry,

 

That is a heck of a collection. Isn't that hand signal a Naillik? I am still hunting for one of those. They also wrote a booklet, The Story of the Hand which I am gonna find one of these days. 

Thanks for sharing the pictures.

 

Chuck

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The hand signal is by Bri-Glo and it's made in the UK.  The hand lights up as it swings out to signal.   I collect too many things - but, it's a lot of fun and I'm glad I started when I did.   Love all the crazy things made for Model T Fords.

Terry

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Terry, I'm really enjoying seeing these photos. What a great collection.  Your auto parts display must be an incredibly awesome thing to see in person.  These are the types of things that a guy like me can marvel at the craftsmanship and creativity of them for hours.  Truly items of another time which show just how far we have fallen with regards to quality made items and our current acceptance of cheaply made products.  Most new items we buy today are essentially garbage when compared to the stuff built in the era of your collection.

Absolutely marvellous stuff, hope you can find time to post some more pictures.

Edited by Modeleh (see edit history)
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On 5/26/2017 at 6:22 PM, midman said:

OK, somewhere on here I'm sure this was done before, but part of the fun of this hobby are the strange and wonderful accessories for our antique vehicles. I am always on the lookout for this stuff and I have some unique items I'll share as we go, but I'd like to see what else is being collected out there.

I'll start with my newest item. The Testophone. An early 1900's aftermarket horn that I believe came in 4 and 8 trumpet versions. Each time you press the bulb the horn toots and then changes to the next horn for the next toot using a ratcheting barrel in the middle of the body activated by the air pressure of the bulb. I picked this one up at an estate auction. The horns were loaded with ancient bugs so you know it was used, and the last person to tinker with it went crazy with threadlocker binding up the mechanism and every thread on the thing. After lots of penetrant, heat, and unfortunately some modifications to disassemble it, it now works as designed. 

I'll add some more of my crazy accessories later but I'd like to see what else is out there.

 

 

 

Chuck

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 How about a video so we can hear it?

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Agree a video clip on the horn would be great.  I really enjoy seeing stuff in its original packaging with all the advertising and outrageous claims -"guaranteed forever" is something we see even to this day!!!

Here is a pic of a testophone with original instruction sheet. Looks like there were different replacement cylinders available that would play different tunes.   Wish it was in my collection.   I've added a couple of additional pics showing some model T accessories and some misc lighting stuff.   Enjoy.

Terry

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Wow, that's some set of trumpets!  Love those horns and would like to add a nice one to my horn collection.  Hershey is coming!  Somewhere in my collection of automotive sheet music I have a song about these horns.  I'll have to dig it out and take a photo.

Terry

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  • 4 months later...

OK , I've been on another kick. I did not realize there were so many unusual inkwells and ash trays related to antique cars. Now I'm starting to collect some of them. I just bought this one and I have a couple more couple more coming(sorry had to sell the horn to help pay for my new must haves).

 

Not sure of the age or what it is made from but it is about a foot long. The hood opens to reveal an inkwell.

 

What do you have out there that are inkwells or ashtrays?

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On ‎2017‎-‎05‎-‎27 at 5:51 PM, midman said:

I'm also interested in vintage, unusual turn signal lights and mechanisms. There were dozens of different ways that were come up with to signal 

Here is an aftermarket light cluster I liked because of the spelling and colors. This will probably go on the center of the rear bumper of my Buick even though it sort of looks like a motorcycle set up.

 

 

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This 1914 Galt has a similar signal light setup:  http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?47115-Orphan-of-the-Day-12-20-1914-Galt-Gas-Electric&styleid=1

 

Craig

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Crazy cool stuff! We happen across lots of early and odd auto accessories as part of our antiques business, but most get sold on to new owners and so I don’t mind the ethereal aspect of being a temporary curator.

@Terry Bond Jason Torchinsky over at Jalopnik posted an entire article about the lighted hand signal you’ve got. I may need to let him know about the info you guys provided on this thread. 

https://jalopnik.com/im-pretty-sure-this-mysterious-mechanical-hand-is-the-h-1819008715

 

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Great info. I know there were a lot of different signal hands produced over the years.  I've got a collection of early auto accessory catalogs and there are several different types shown in them.  I wish people still knew what the hand signals meant.  I use hand signals when driving the Model T and most people just wave back at me.

 

Here are few more trays from my collection as promised earlier.  Some were calling card trays.  Long before text messages, email or even answering machines and voice messaging, when you called on someone and they were too busy to see you, you left your calling card behind, and for lovers of early motorcars, the tray often depicted an early motorcar or motoring scene.  Any others out there?

Terry

 

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Card tray chain drive Mercedes image.jpg

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Ash tray with very early motoring scene.jpg

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Edited by Terry Bond (see edit history)
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Terry, the second photo in post #10 of your mounted and framed stop light collection, I have two of the ones that you have, and I have had the one for going on 40 years.  The very top center light with SLO molded in the glass is almost identical to the one that I have.  There is a slight difference between yours and mine.  Mine has an Amber colored glass lens with the Buick script molded into it.  I have this on my 1922 Model 48 Buick Coupe.  The other one (have had almost 40 years) is the vertical RIGHT LEFT STOP

tail lamp that will be going on my HPOF 1920 Buick Coupe.  Yours is the only other one of these aftermarket accessory tail light units that I have ever seen.  I thought I had the market cornered on them.  I looked for a long time trying to find a period correct mounting bracket that would allow the placement of this lamp housing to the license plate cross bar in the middle of the spare tire carrier.  I really like the way you showcased your collection.  It is very cool to say the least.

As an additional bit of information about the SLO lens lamp that you and I have - this was a period aftermarket automobile accessory produced by the Culver-Stearns Manufacturing Company in the early 1920's.  The Henry Ford Museum has an original advertising brochure about this tail lamp.  They made a photocopy of it for me for a very nominal fee and I was quite surprised at the cost back in the 1920's.  This light was approaching $10.00 at the time.  

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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Thanks for the info. Have not seen several of these before but I know it's become a popular thing to collect over the past several years. I used to pick them up for around $25, most in NOS condition.   Now you see them priced at ten times that.  Glad I started collecting them when I did.  I still manage o find a few here and there.  This is a fairly recent acquisition courtesy of a trade with a good friend.  I was glad to be able to add it to my collection.   It's made by Victor and has red lens on one side, white on the other.  Neat piece.  I have seen another that has a figure of a policeman on it holding his hand up.  Looking for one of those for sure.

Terry

Stop Hand 1.jpg

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Here is a photo of my 'BUICK' lensed, Culver-Stearns tail light bezel and glass.  I have also enclosed another photo of an aftermarket BUICK tail light lens that you may or may not have seen.  I am into all things early Buick and these things are fun to collect.

 

Terry Wiegand

South Hutchinson, Kansas

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

I am selling off most of my antique car accessories I've collected for almost 50 years.I have a few items listed on eBay now and will be listing more until spring. My ebay seller's moniker is:   fej25

Below is a link to the items on eBay now & in the future. Thanks, and Good Luck

 

http://stores.ebay.com/Classic-Car-Parts-and-Accessories?_trksid=p2047675.l2563

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Neat turn signals.  There are hundreds of different varieties of these things and they sure have become popular collectibles in the past few years.   Lets talk motometers for a minute.  We've all got a few, and my collection is rather eclectic.  I've got a few NOS in the original boxes on display in a showcase in my recreated auto parts store but once that cabinet filled up I essentially stopped collecting, except for the occasional chance discovery.  I recently snagged a nice Junior Boyce (no car name) in an antique store in NC for $20.  I see them all the time on ebay with prices ranging from $50-$500.  There are several listed on ebay right now with buy-it-now prices at $350 and above.  There is nothing special about them and even those with car names on the faceplates are common (Buick, Chevrolet, etc).  I'd imagine some of these sellers are just fishing and have no true idea of what they are worth. I've always enjoyed the offerings at Hershey and still see them for what I consider reasonable money.  I did buy a nice one last year mounted on a good flip-top dog-bone cap for $125 and thought that was fair and warranted by the very nice condition.  I believe the high prices being asked on ebay are not representative of their true worth, but look what it's possibly doing for the casual flea market vendor or antique shop owner who doesn't have a clue and uses ebay to guide in setting asking prices!   What are your thoughts on the price of motometers?  I know it's always been a "poor man's mascot" but are we facing a surge of "values"?   Should we be "investing" in them or buying them now before the prices get so far out of reach we need to turn to collecting other things?  

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