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Simplex automobile registry


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Just a side story, my Great Uncle Sam Efford was a machinist at the Crane-Simplex plant. Later he went to Chrysler and was instrumental in the manufacture of the new, low priced, Plymouth Hotchkiss drive production.

He told me that, at Simplex, a machinist who damaged a flywheel was docked $50 from their pay on the first one. If it happened a second time you had no job.

Bernie

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Bernie - WOW docked $50 for damaging a part! That was well more then a weeks pay in that era. Long Island Simplex owners or former owners are far and few in between now, with almost no activity unfortunately

On another subject - love your 60 flattop ! I am a Buick owner as well but mine is a few decades older, I love taking it to the local Buick Club region events.

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6 hours ago, Walt G said:

Bernie - WOW docked $50 for damaging a part! That was well more then a weeks pay in that era.

 

He told me you lost that pay in booming, roaring '20's wages. Skilled trades have always done better than one would think. By the time the early '30's came around he was driving a new Chrysler Imperial with sidemounts. He remember putting the front wheels where the sidemounts went and the sidemounts up by the doors.

 

 He was with Simplex and Apperson in his early years. Finished up with Chrysler. When he told me the stories it was like me telling my nephews about things I did in the '70's and '80's. Good recall for both of us even if you deduct for the drinking.

 

Sam told me a lot of stories about his life when I first got interested in cars around 1960. He left Detroit just after the conversion of the plants for war machines. (Hmmm, think they'd build us tanks at the Hyundai plant if we needed some?).

 

He told me not to buy from the end of model runs, as well. When parts got short the production people would pull from the seconds bin of previously rejected parts to get a few more units out.

 

Bernie

 

 

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The old Simplex plant building in New Brunswick still stands (10 minutes from me).
There's of course no sign today it was ever such, other than the street running behind being named 'Simplex Ave'.
If I recall the history correctly, Crane-Simplex's plant was needed for wartime aircraft engine production and production stopped toward the end of '17. It never resumed in that building.

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Hi Glenn,

 

I was lucky enough to purchase a 1915 runabout /roadster a year and a half ago from a local collector.   Part of the inventory that came with the car was the last known owners list for the Simplex line of cars.   I have a copy of it in PDF and could email it to you if you like.  It was last compiled in 1991...

In researching the car and the owners list, I was able to track down the son of the fellow that compiled the directory.  His father, now deceased, was apparently very taken with the Simplex brand (sounded like almost an obsession) and he spent YEARS chasing down and maintaining a list of these cars and who was in possession of them.

 

Over the course of the last year, I've put a new radiator in my car... the core having been made in England and then a shop in P.A. having pulled out the old rad and installed the new core in the shell.  While VERY expensive, I am very happy with the work that was done and the 'ol gal is just purring down the highway.. !!!

 

My car is the earliest known 1915  in existence, Ser #2045.   

 

roger

1915 Simplex.jpg

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A. Ballard 35R hit the nail on the head. Bill Bell was a Simplex owner and spent the last 10 - 15 years of his life putting together a Simplex Registry. He was a Mechanical Engineer with a tremendous passion for detail and accuracy. Bill spent literally hundreds of hours scouring vehicle registration books, social registers and any and all other sources tracing the history of any chassis built by the Simplex factory. I don't remember the exact number but I know he had factual data for far better than 50% of the cars built. To answer Glenn Woods original question, Dave Staddt now has the registry in his possession since Bill Bells passing. There are several other copies out there as well. Hope this info helps.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've heard stories of one in the bottom of the old Slate Quarry off of Slate Quarry/Stanfordville road between Rhinebeck and Stanfordville, NY. It was used as a dump and land fill for many years. So I've been told that many of the higher end cars owned by the upper class were dumped when they were done with them. (Think Vanderbuilts, Astors, Mills. with estates along the Hudson River.) They would send the cars off with the Chauffeur and the cars would be driven off of the edge and sank to the bottom just to show that they had enough wealth to just toss the old one and get a new automobile without selling or trading the old one. 

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That isn't far-fetched at all. We have a limestone quarry in the neighborhood that was a popular dumping ground for unwanted cars. I've known men who pushed Model Ts in there. The quarry flooded around WWI and was never pumped out so it was available from the 20s on. My uncles would go swimming there but it was too deep to get down to the cars. A few years ago - like maybe 30 years ago, the state police pulled a few cars out looking for the recipient of a recent mob hit. A friend of mine, who lived across the street and had dumped cars there himself back in the 30s, walked over with his grandson and was promptly shooed away. The quarry is private property and still functions as a quarry but the mining is across the road now.

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