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Looking for other owners of Cole Motor Company Cars


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I am new to the AACA and I am looking for other owners of Cole Motor Company cars.  In the Spring, I acquired a 1913 Series 9 touring car and would like to connect with other owners.  Fifteen to twenty years ago, there used to be a very active club led by Leroy Cole, however as people aged the club pretty much stopped.  I know Coles are not a very common car at all and  there are a few in museums such as Auburn and the Gilmore, but it would be great to connect with anyone else that owns and drives them.  My Cole was sitting in a museum for 12+ years and I am getting it back out on the road and touring.

 

Thanks,

 

Kevin

 

32762629_1875585629152233_989984902256525312_n.thumb.jpg.eafa4f36d9fa116058e90feda81aab11.jpg

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16 minutes ago, edinmass said:

Neat car, there is one in Western Massachutts that is a yellow touring car, 13 or 14. He is in the HCCA roster last I knew. 

Thanks Ed.  I will have to take a look at that roster.  

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Welcome, Kevin. Great car! I wish you good times and good luck in your old-car adventuring. It's been a great lifetime interest for me, and tens of thousands of other folks. 

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16 minutes ago, lump said:

Welcome, Kevin. Great car! I wish you good times and good luck in your old-car adventuring. It's been a great lifetime interest for me, and tens of thousands of other folks. 

Thanks!  It has been a great adventure in the short time I have been involved and I look forward to many more years of fun with the cars.

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2 hours ago, poci1957 said:

Hey Kevin, here is an ad from my hometown newspaper that you may find interesting

 

That ad is very cool and thanks for sharing!  I have several Cole ads and other documentation and I have not seen that one.  The baseball team analogy is a good one for what JJ Cole was trying to do.  Many people hear Standardized and they think Henry Ford, cost cutting, and standard parts, bolts etc.  What Cole was trying to do was to put together cars with the top automotive components that were the standard or would set the standard in the automotive industry.  Here is part of an ad that summarized the 'Standardized' Car components very well.

264422034_standardizedcar.thumb.JPG.1f24e113eb0694fa16c1dfd5e12a43f6.JPG

 

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A friend of mine, Bud Stanley (Now Deceased) restored a 1915 Cole Touring car in off white with red leather interior.  Awesome looking car that he used for Pan America Tours.   Sold it an got a 1912 American Fiat to be able to keep up with the other pre-1916 cars.  Bud had the Tony Curtis look in that Cole and the Cole looked as elegant as the great Leslie.  I miss them both.

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32 minutes ago, Paul Dobbin said:

.....Bud had the Tony Curtis look in that Cole and the Cole looked as elegant as the great Leslie.  I miss them both.

 

The Cole DOES have a cool look with that cowl and windshield.  In fact the whole style seems advanced for a medium priced 1913, I was not aware how nice they look, Todd C

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8 hours ago, poci1957 said:

Hey Kevin, here is an ad from my hometown newspaper that you may find interesting

1913Cole.jpg

 

I'd be interested to know how Shellabarger has "The Only Fire-Proof garage in Central Illinois." Brick building? Sprinklers?

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10 hours ago, 29 franklin said:

A buddy of mine in the Franklin club has a Cole. he lives in North Jersey. I will tell him about this 

Thanks, I appreciate it!

Kevin

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15 hours ago, poci1957 said:

 

The Cole DOES have a cool look with that cowl and windshield.  In fact the whole style seems advanced for a medium priced 1913, I was not aware how nice they look, Todd C

I am partial, but they are even nicer looking in person.  Not only the design of the car, but the attention to detail and quality throughout is superb.  They also had quite an early following in DC with Politicians as well.  These two pictures are from an original 1913 Bulletin from Cole.    VPElectcole.JPG.fb878697173d00ead54422780aa308b5.JPGColeRoadster.JPG.cd9808bf42f035d084087da0fc6a555f.JPG

Edited by kfle (see edit history)
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15 hours ago, Paul Dobbin said:

A friend of mine, Bud Stanley (Now Deceased) restored a 1915 Cole Touring car in off white with red leather interior.  Awesome looking car that he used for Pan America Tours.   Sold it an got a 1912 American Fiat to be able to keep up with the other pre-1916 cars.  Bud had the Tony Curtis look in that Cole and the Cole looked as elegant as the great Leslie.  I miss them both.

That sounds like a beautiful car!  I would like to see that sometime and I wonder where it is?  Thanks for sharing the story.

 

Kevin

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17 hours ago, Lebowski said:

 

I'd be interested to know how Shellabarger has "The Only Fire-Proof garage in Central Illinois." Brick building? Sprinklers?

 

Good question, it seems in 1910 they built the first large garage in town specifically designed for automobiles, as opposed to a converted livery stable or farm implement dealer.  The Shellabargers were a very prominent business family in the city and one of the family scions was an early car owner who saw opportunity in the business.  The Fireproof garage was said to be completely built of brick, concrete and steel with "no combustible materials" in it's construction.  It was a full slab with no basement to support the weight of the automobiles and the addition of extra stories if needed and with steel trusses to eliminate the need for posts in the work area. 

 

So looking at their ad in 1913 we can see they mention the fireproof garage to reassure customers of safety and also mention they offer storage and parking.  Their product line was carefully positioned to cover multiple price points, plus they had a cyclecar coming and two electrics so they really covered the market.  Three years later the town's most prominent new hotel opened nearby and they soon claimed to offer 24 hour service and quarters for chauffeurs who were apparently expected to stay near the car and not as guests in the hotel.  An interesting look at a car dealer from the teens, Todd C    

The_Decatur_Herald_Sun__Nov_9__1913_.jpg

Edited by poci1957 (see edit history)
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I think it was both fear of fire generally and especially in dealing with gasoline. The owners must have rightly seen the chance to use that to their advantage of being the first fireproof garage in town, Todd C

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Back in 2014 saw this 1916? Cole Coupe. It had just been imported into Australia from the US West Coast and was being released from a Bond Store in Western Sydney. Imported on behalf of the owner by Russell Holden, who posts on these pages.

 

EDIT - Here's a link to one of Russell's posts(For your info Russell is also into early Cadillacs) - http://forums.aaca.org/topic/305423-1915-cadillac-parts-wanted/?tab=comments#comment-1703316 You might be able to contact Russell by PM regarding the owner of the Cole.

he1916 Cole V8#1.JPG

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1916 Cole V8#11.JPG

1916 Cole V8#12.JPG

1916 Cole V8#13.JPG

1916 Cole V8#14.JPG

Edited by Ozstatman (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, Mark Shaw said:

There are ten Cole cars listed in the current HCCA roster...

Thanks, I joined HCCA recently and have not received the roster yet.

 

I will take a look.

 

Kevin

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For quite a few months, the antique-car dealer

"Significant Cars" has had FOUR Cole cars on

consignment:  a 1914, 1919, 1920, and 1925.

There must be a Cole collector who is reducing his

collection or who passed on.  I imagine that the

Cole specialists know about this grouping.

 

Here is the link:

http://www.significantcars.com/consignments.html

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Kevin,

 

I told you this was a 15, it's actually  Bud Stanley's14 Cole Touring. 

(The white one).  He used it on Millard Neuman's Pan Am Tours until

he was able to upgrade to a 12 American Fiat Touring. 

The black Roadster is also a 14 Cole.   Both had an odd driving

arrangement with the gas pedal between the brake & clutch pedals.

Pictures taken at Heritage Village, Largo FL during Pin-MAR's "Picnic

in the Park". (1988-2010) A Easter Saturday picnic for 1959 & older

vehicles with participants in period clothing.   It was the highlight of the 

year for central Florida old car folks.

 
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PD_0026.JPG
 
PD_0091.JPG
 
PD_0055.JPG
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14 hours ago, Paul Dobbin said:

Kevin,

 

I told you this was a 15, it's actually  Bud Stanley's14 Cole Touring. 

(The white one).  He used it on Millard Neuman's Pan Am Tours until

he was able to upgrade to a 12 American Fiat Touring. 

The black Roadster is also a 14 Cole.   Both had an odd driving

arrangement with the gas pedal between the brake & clutch pedals.

Pictures taken at Heritage Village, Largo FL during Pin-MAR's "Picnic

in the Park". (1988-2010) A Easter Saturday picnic for 1959 & older

vehicles with participants in period clothing.   It was the highlight of the 

year for central Florida old car folks.

 
getPart?uid=32133181&partId=2.2&saveAs=PD_0003-001.JPG&scope=DWEB
 
PD_0026.JPG
 
PD_0091.JPG
 
PD_0055.JPG

Paul, would love to see the pictures, but hey didn't come through.  

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8 hours ago, mike6024 said:

Some Cole pics. In the second, the Cole is labeled No 5 in the center. They are 1913's.

Thanks for sharing Mike.  The #5 pic in the center of that page is actually a 1912 Cole Model 30.  In late 1912/1913 Cole switched to complete Delco electric systems including lighting that has different cowl lights.  Given the limited information that is still out there today on Cole cars, I can just imagine how hard it was to truly identify a car in 1950 without the internet.  I was lucky enough to get a lot of documentation with my Cole, including the complete dealer bulletins and the original dealer advertising book from 1913.  

 

Also, JJ Cole was an aviator as well.  That balloon is what they did for the launch of the Cole Aero 8.  Here is a picture from the 1917 Cole dealer bulletin that was for the launch of the Aero-Eight model  

Coleaero8.jpg

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Talk to Jeff Keysor of Keysor Automobile Works in Bouckville, NY (successor to Steve Bono's M&S Auto Restorations).  Jeff's father has a '15 Cole 8 that had a minor issue on the BBC tour in May.  Jeff is fixing it.

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On 7/1/2018 at 4:47 PM, Paul Dobbin said:

 Both had an odd driving

arrangement with the gas pedal between the brake & clutch pedals.

yes, this was the driving arrangement for the old Coles.  Here is a picture of mine with the pedal arrangement.  The gas pedal is the silver one between the clutch and the brake.  

cole8.jpg

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I just looked at a 1920 Cole touring, that needs a full restoration, and is getting ready to have same in a well known restoration shop.

 

It needs a lot of parts, missing carb, top irons and bows, seats, and a lot of other stuff.

 

If anyone knows of a parts stash out there, please let me know.  Also, any literature, or copies of literature, for a 1920 would be appreciated.  I've been asked to help in the research and restoration of the car.

 

I could not find a body or serial tag anywhere, is there a specific place that a number might be stamped? 

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Quote trimacar "I just looked at a 1920 Cole touring, that needs a full restoration, and is getting ready to have same in a well known restoration shop.

 

It needs a lot of parts, missing carb, top irons and bows, seats, and a lot of other stuff.

 

If anyone knows of a parts stash out there, please let me know.  Also, any literature, or copies of literature, for a 1920 would be appreciated.  I've been asked to help in the research and restoration of the car." End quote

 

Showing the 1920 870 used a Johnson, of which I have no knowledge.

 

Showing the 1919 870 used a Stromberg. I can furnish one of these to you. 573-392-7378 (9-4 Mon-Tues central time).

 

Jon.

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Paul, I'll try to post them.  BTW, I believe Bud's Fiat was a 1914.  He used to hold a brass polishing party before leaving on one of Millard's tours.  Funny how he never polished any brass but the car was shining when the beer cooler was empty.  The Cole being blocked by the peacock has always been my favorite.  He sold the Cole to Tom Lester.

PD_0025.JPG

PD_0026.JPG

PD_0055.JPG

PD_0091.JPG

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7 hours ago, trimacar said:

I just looked at a 1920 Cole touring, that needs a full restoration, and is getting ready to have same in a well known restoration shop.

 

It needs a lot of parts, missing carb, top irons and bows, seats, and a lot of other stuff.

 

If anyone knows of a parts stash out there, please let me know.  Also, any literature, or copies of literature, for a 1920 would be appreciated.  I've been asked to help in the research and restoration of the car.

 

I could not find a body or serial tag anywhere, is there a specific place that a number might be stamped? 

 

Parts are going to be tough as you already know.  I am not sure on the 20 but the serial numbers until 15 were on a plate at the base of the driver seat.  There also was an engine tag on the front right of the engine compartment.  A gentelman by the name of Leroy Cole ran the Cole club for 20 years before it stopped in 2009.  He just donated a huge library of Cole documentation to the Gilmore car museum recently.  So the Gilmore should have lots of documentation on the 1920.  I know there were also original blue prints and such but not sure if there was some from the 20. 

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

Just adding this content to this thread for archive history purposes.  If someone does a search and finds the thread, I want them to be able to find the registry website.  

 

I wanted to let others know that my son and I have taken over the known Cole Motor Company Car registry from the now defunct Cole Motor Car Club of America and are in the process of updating the known car information and seeing if we can find more survivors.  My son and I own two Cole cars.  One is a 1913 Series 9 touring car and one is a one of one 1923 2 person coupe that was a test car that JJ Cole built for his son.  Both cars were Cole family cars and we have picked up quite a passion for the car brand and history.  We built a friendship with Leroy Cole who was the leader of the Cole Motor Club and registry until it dissolved in 2010.  He transferred to us all known information about the cars as well as lots of Cole history and documentation.  He also passed on the bulk of his extensive Cole library to the Gilmore Car Museum research library.  

 

Our goal is to update the registry as well as to share and expand the knowledge and history about the brand.  We have created a website that we will continue to update and add to.  I have posted the known car registry on the site minus any personal information and will make updates to it as we obtain it.  I also will be adding more pictures and other information about the cars as time goes on.  The link to the new registry website is http://colemotorcarregistry.com/.

 

If you own a Cole or know someone that owns a Cole, I would love to hear from you as another goal is to create a network for Cole car owners.  

 

Thanks,

 

Kevin

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  • 1 year later...
8 hours ago, PFindlay said:

Was Cole the first American auto maker to have "foredoors" and was that in 1910?

Yes according to the information I have seen as well as Cole was advertising it as such, including even an ad in 1923.  Here is the Cole and it actually came out in late 1909 though many considered it a '1910 model year' even though Cole didn't use model years.  Also the motor age add mentioning some of their firsts.   Cole was also the first auto company to use Firestone demountable rims.  JJ Cole and Harvey Firestone were friends and Cole used Firestone demountable rims on their first autos and in return Harvey purchased the first 25 Cole's to infuse some capital into Cole's auto manufacturing.  As there are so few surviving Coles, many of these accomplishments are unknown today.  

 

  image.thumb.png.92357fe54e81c097199a1199f128478d.png

 

scan0006.thumb.jpg.5a2ea69ef3f28ccc388a1b1f9e03bf59.jpg

Edited by kfle (see edit history)
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Thanks, that's a very modern looking car for 1910.   It's interesting to see that the front door and panel could easily be removed - just in case I guess.

 

In Canada, CCM also had foredoor models in their Russell-Knight for 1910.  So I guess we'll have to share the "first in North America" bragging rights. 

 

Peter

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