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Weidely Motors Company Number Plate


TexRiv_63
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This is a pretty esoteric long shot but here goes. I found this brass plate from the Weidely Motors Company in Indianapolis, IN. It has a model number MW51589 hand stamped on it and measures 3 7/16" by 1 1/2". Online research told me Weidely was formed in 1915 and made engines for Premier, Chalmers, and Owen Magnetic cars but their crowning achievement was a V-12 engine used in the 1917 Pathfinder and 1920 Heine-Velox. What I am trying to find out is what engine or car maker does this specific plate belong to? Also, does anyone have any information on that V-12?

weid2236.JPG

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The H and W model Cletracs were the models that used them. My book says they used them from 1917-32, although I thought Cletrac made their own engines from some point in the early 20's - I could be wrong. There were still thousands of Cletracs built by the early 20's. This forum link references the MW Weidley being used in a W model Cletrac:

 

https://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?t=129254

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Don -

 

Weidely V12 engines were used in the ill-fated Kissel "Double-Six" cars of 1917 and 1918. Here are some pictures. Past historical writings say that these engines were unreliable as the outermost cylinders were starved for oil. Some reports say homegrown mechanics remedied this malady by piping additional oil externally to those cylinders. Kissel stopped using these engines after that short period of time.

 

The engine plate you have is nearly identical to the cast-silver engine plates that Kissel used. It is exactly the same size as those are in fact. I suspect that you may have a Kissel "Double-Six" Weidly engine plate, without the engine. Very rare or unique!

 

There is only one Kissel Double-Six car that survives, It is in the Fourney Museum in Colorado. I've seen that car but never inspected the engine. You could confirm what your plate is by getting a picture of that engine, 

 

Good luck.

 

Ron

 

car.jpg

 

 

kissel_kar_double_six_sedanlet.jpg

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On 11/12/2018 at 1:28 AM, ron hausmann said:

There is only one Kissel Double-Six car that survives, It is in the Fourney Museum in Colorado.

 

 

That explains a lot. When I visited the Fourney in fall of 2014, I was stunned by that vehicle, as I never knew Kissel had sold a V12 car.

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I'm pretty sure this is the engine plate off a W model Cletrac. Going by this factory serial number listing, they made 22,122 Weidley engined Cletracs. There are still a lot of them around and they aren't that rare, however, they are a very nice crawler and I would like to own one, one day. The engine number 51589 falls perfectly within the Weidley-Cletrac engine number listing.

R_H_W.jpg

Edited by Craig Gillingham (see edit history)
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  • 2 years later...

So if there's only one Kissel "Double-Six" known to exist, this distributor should be put in a museum I'd say.... 🙂

Besides on the Kissel V12 this distributor was also used on 1916-17 Pathfinders and 1917-20 Austins using Weidley C12 engines.

Does anyone know how many Pathfinders and Austins still exist today?

 

 

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13 hours ago, Peter R. said:

Does anyone know how many Pathfinders and Austins still exist today?

I believe there is a 12 cyl Austin that is in New Zealand now. Sold out of California 10-15 years ago

Ken

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I was with a customer several years ago and we looked at the remains of a Heine-Velox that he was considering to purchase.     It did indeed have a Weidely V12 engine which totally was impressive.   The engine still had the distributor tower that Peter posted a picture of.  As I understand from reading the info on the Heine, only 6 were built and maybe 4 remain in existence.

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Correct me if I'm wrong but I think the 1916-18 HAL Twelve automobiles also used Weidely V12 engines. HAL and Enger used Remy equipment but as far as I found out the last HAL Twelve's that left the factory also used this Delco distributor.

 

Tom, did you ever come across a Remy V12 distributor cap? It's a single 12 cyl. cap. 

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BTW here's a picture of the 12 cyl. Remy cap that was used on the H.A.L. Twelve. The distributor had a 6 lobe cam with two breaker points in parallel so all 12 plugs had been fired off one single coil.

I'm not sure but I think the Enger V12 used a different 12 cyl. Remy cap. I'll check....

 

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To round up, 1916-18 H.A.L. Twelve^s used Weidely V12 engines too. 1916-17 H.A.L. Twelve's were equipped with the above Remy distributor Model 215, while the 1918 model was equipped with Delco distributor 5156 that I posted pictures of. 

 

So Delco distributor 5156 was standard equipment on the following early V12 cars:

1917-19 Austin

1918 H.A.L.

1921-23 Heine-Velox

1917 Kissel

1916-17 Pathfinder

 

Delco made three more V12 distributors that looked very similar to 5156:

 

Delco 5136 (predecessor of 5156)

Delco 5155 - Haynes

Delco 5162 - National (Weidely Eng.)

 

5155 and 5162 carried the coils in the back of the distributor housing.

 

To make a long story short, Delco made a total of 9 different distributors for early V12 engined cars between 1915 and 1923 (including the early Twin Six Packards) and Remy made 2.

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Peter,  you forgot the one that they made for the V12 Buick that Walter Marr had made as a special project within the walls of Buick Motor Division.   There is only one of two made that is left in existence.   I had the opportunity to view this car and its motor several years ago in a Concours deElegance show.   

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There were five different Delco V12 distributor towers used on the 1915-23 Twin Six Packards. They're all interchangable.

 

I'm pretty confident that Delco 5128 was used on the V12 Buick. It is the 1915-16 Packard 1st Series Twin Six distributor with twist'n'lock caps. The other distributors used clip secured caps. 

 

IMG_1087.JPG

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