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Then and now: where did these prewar cars go?


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This photo presents a double challenge, of sorts.  It would be great if someone identified this Packard 8 phaeton (owner then or now), but it would also be nice to know about the monogram panel or tonneau panel which was not on Packard 8's of this vintage as they left the factory. I think Packard started incorporating them in 1928 (5th series 6, and 443).

phaeton.jpg

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Pulling some cars from barns in the 30's and 40's.  The Stanley is alive and well.  The Rolls is pulling a Simplex but I don't know what the Cletrac is pulling.  Some mysteries remain unsolved.

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RR barn.jpg

Cletrac.JPG

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That Franklin barrel hood touring is either a model D or most likely the model H. The model H was the largest the model G the smallest engine wise, the G had 4 cylinder the H a 6 cylinder. look at the length of the hood - that is a good indication, I think it is a model H. I have no idea if the car still exists.

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Here's a twist on "Then and Now."  In this case, the car's home is known - the Tallahassee Automobile Museum.  It was owned by Ernie Davignon before that, and in 1955, it was owned by Ellis Robertson.  But - who are these people?  The photos are from the Rod Blood collection, and they appear to be from some time in the 1940s.  The older man in the front seat somewhat resembles a photo of Robertson in the car at the Lakeville steam meet of 1955.  But is it him?  The young woman appears to be the same in both photos, but not the young man.  Do these faces ring a bell?

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Not the shovel handle on the tiller - it's still on the car today.  I've never seen another Stanley with one.

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Interesting photo of the Stanley with the tiller steering. Ernie Davignon was my sisters Godfather and his collection is what got me intrested in cars. He had four Stanley’s over the years, and the first car I ever drove at age six was one of his steamers. The car in the photo didn’t get used much if at all back in the 60’s and 70’s. If I ever got out of his yard I can’t remember it.  He had an early single Knox of 1901, a 1913 Cadillac, and later on a 1907 Knox. There was also a bunch of other “lesser” stuff. He was certainly active in New England during the 1970’s as we often toured in the steamers all over the place. Some of my earliest memories are fetching water from roadside streams and brooks with a leather bucket to keep the water tank full. After the accident when his later car was hit in his hometown with his family in the car he seemed to drive the Stanley’s less and the gas cars more. In the fall he would keep the fire burning on the car overnight and it would keep the garage warm............I’m greatful having experiences that are virtually non exsistant today. He also worked on quite a few other steamers for other owners. I remember a mountain wagon of 1910? And a handful of others. The hobby sure was diffrent back then.........no one ever used the term show car or trailer queen, and the early thirties big CCCA Classics were just “used cars”. I remember some of the prices he paid for them......the numbers were very low. It’s also interesting that a guy with more than twenty cars didn’t have a truck and trailer to move them. Every car ran under its own power to wherever the show was................my sister is with me this weekend in southern Florida for a car show at Mar-A-Lago, we are still at it more than fifty years later! Thanks for the photos and a flashback in time. Ed

 

PS- in general, without going into too much detail, how many Stanley’s are still around? I know they make them from almost nothing, but just a round number for all the car weather factory built or assembled cars. Thanks!

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Thanks a lot for those recollections, Ed.  I'm the roster keeper for Stanleys, located at http://www.StanleyRegister.net .  Right now the site is several years in arrears, but I'm back in the process of updating it.  There are no doubt some duplications still remaining, but I'm sure there are cars that I haven't discovered yet, too.  It does include cars that have been recently built.  At the moment, there are 800 listings.  Probably no more than 200 of them are driven with any regularity.

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2 hours ago, A. Ballard 35R said:

Of those 800, how many do you think were built in Newton, Ma. versus those made in Chambersburg, Pa. ?

One of my best finds ever was a 30HP Stanley rear axle. I was the first guy to spot the small hand written sign at the Bennington, VT. Swap Meet, back when it was held at the airport. I also had the hundred dollars and paid in full before even seeing it. Some contractor snagged it with a backhoe, rusty but all there hub cap to hub cap. I flipped it to a local Stanley guy who in turn flipped it to the fellow in Chambersburg. Who's Mountain Wagon is it now? We lost three major Stanley owners/restorers in the past 10 years, sure was fun seeing them driving around. 

 

Bob

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Hmm, is it on the roster?  Here are direct links to a special Mountain Wagon page, and the page with the Vanderbilt Cup racer recreations.  (Again, apologies for how far behind they are.)

 

http://www.stanleyregister.net/MW.html

http://www.stanleyregister.net/VCR.html

 

A lot of Carl's Mountain Wagons and his Vanderbilt cars used 20hp engines.

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Here's a photo of a 1922 Stanley that was taken at one of the Larz Anderson meets.  The quality is very good and belies what I suspect is the age of the photo.  Is there any info around on the attendees of those early meets?  I see a little marker on the ground that maybe indicates the car was in Class 8.

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That Lars Anderson photo is very early, looks like late 50’ or early 60’s. Just about all the old timers from that era are gone. Fred Roe would have photos and names with each car from back then, he had thousands of photos from thr 30’s to the 80’s that he took around Boston, his files are now in the hands of race maker press.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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It would be fun to have a stream car, I've always thought it was good luck leaving the church in the back of Bob Mead's 20HP 40 years ago. An early KRIT (Keep Right In Town) Stanley or Loco would be nice. I think I've a total of two later condensing models all the local steam guys thought of them an engine are rear axle donors, is there a good survival rate  on them, are they more complicated than the coffin nose versions? Bob

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4 hours ago, StanleyRegister said:

Hmm, is it on the roster?  Here are direct links to a special Mountain Wagon page, and the page with the Vanderbilt Cup racer recreations.  (Again, apologies for how far behind they are.)

 

http://www.stanleyregister.net/MW.html

http://www.stanleyregister.net/VCR.html

 

A lot of Carl's Mountain Wagons and his Vanderbilt cars used 20hp engines.

I wouldn’t be able to connect one to the roster, but sure as hell enjoyed taking a look at it!

 

The vehicle I saw may have sported a 20 horse engine. Was being built in the mid 90’s. I was a bit disgusted by the ripped apart mountain wagon to build a “speedster,” as I called it. The response I got was that the mountain wagon was fake and all wrong anyways!  I would have been in my teens at the time, my father was just getting into brass and I was all about steam, so I recall the build. Had to have been in the Midwest because we wouldn’t have traveled too far from Indiana for tours at that time. 

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There are lots of condensing Stanleys, and all factory cars, because nobody bothers to fake them.  They don't have the same snap as the non-condensers, and they don't sell for as much, either.  There's a bit more complexity, but not much.  They're still a fine drive when they're in good order.  I bet one earlier respondent spent plenty of time in the back seat of one.  🙂

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Looks like this 1913 Buick model 31 was at one of those 1950s meets. 

727778098_(KGrHqV!q8FIPVqrQtIBSIN43hCZw60_35.jpg.e303f52f0afba0ea3c7d92e29bf302c1.jpg This is the best resolution I have. 

It seems to have lived in Michigan for some years then to retirement in Florida that back north to Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania.

 

When I tried to buy it from the original restorer/owner's step son in 2015.

DSCF4707.thumb.JPG.5ff197e9071edd3f832d4e017d7e87de.JPG1176160467_52727742-700-01.jpg.c7489645d28dc51b8f7344f101b6cc1d.jpg  DSCF4705.thumb.JPG.fa585087565b3b9f0aa9135925f820ac.JPG        2011440892_52727739-700-01.jpg.4ad4b36f7aadbd04c2ba3a08f976f0e8.jpg

I later saw it at the flea market at Hershey 2016. The indication was that it was sold and going to England.

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Great film, I think some of the same swap meet parts on the table were at the Hershey Fall Meet this year! Lots of things change, while others remain the same. It's sad the steam cars are such a rare sight today, back in the 60's and 70's we expected to see a few at every decent local show. 

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Nice, sharp imagery in that film!

 

Its interesting to see the number of young families who appear to be the owners of these cars seen in the film.  I don't think the ratio of young families owning cars like that are nowhere near as high today.

 

Craig

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While certainly not anywhere near the quality or rarity of most of the cars on this thread, my 1932 Dodge Brothers DL sedan has a rather interesting story in the "where did they go" category.  In 1965, I bought this car while a sophomore at Syracuse University.  The picture below is the day I purchased it.  It was owned by one of the professors at the school and came out of Maryland.

 

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Back then it was just an old car, 33 years old, but even then, prewar cars were a bit unusual and it always attracted a certain amount of attention around the campus.  I always thought it was a particularly nice looking car, even though the Dodge Brothers eights had a slightly longer hood.  Sadly, in 1967 I was forced to sell my beloved old heap and a fellow fraternity brother, Phil Kennedy, took possession of my car.  Here's a photo Phil (now Editor of the Dodge Brothers Club Magazine) took soon after he acquired it.  Not bad for a mid-priced car.

 

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After college, I lost track of Phil and my old car, often wondering if it had survived, who now owned it and where it was.  I bought and restored other cars, but the Dodge was always in the back of my mind.  Then, while reconnecting with another fraternity brother a few years ago, Phil's name came up and the discussion came around to the old Dodge.  He said Phil still owned the car!  I was stunned.  In, fact, it could be seen in his driveway in the then current Goggle Earth photo of Phil's house.  I managed to contact Phil and discovered the car had been slumbering in his grandmother's (now his) garage since 1970.  He had since purchased another very original DL and told me he wasn't up for restoring my/his car - would I be interested in buying it back!  I flew to Connecticut and laid eyes on my first car after 44 years.  There it was, in the garage, just waiting for me.

 

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I'm almost done restoring her and hope to have her back on the road this summer.

 

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Great provenance...

Thought you would enjoy seeing these photos of the three owners of the 1917 Crane-Simplex at the Seal Cove Auto Museum.

1. The car parked in the portico of Tor Court, the home of its original owner Evaline Kimball Salisbury.

2. The car with its second owner Pauline Snook, on tour in Springfield, Massachusetts. 

3. The car as it looks today since its acquisition by its third owner *Richard C. Paine Jr., for his Seal Cove Auto Museum.

* Richard C. Paine Jr. Automobile Charitable Trust.

 

The Crane-Simplex is in original, unrestored, condition with the initials E.K.S. (Evaline Kimball Salisbury) still visible on the back doors.

Crane Model 5, serial number 2308, 46 HP. Coachwork by C.P. Kimball.

Crane at Tor Court.jpg

Snook on tour in Springfield, MA.JPG

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On 1/29/2019 at 11:54 AM, Taylormade said:

While certainly not anywhere near the quality or rarity of most of the cars on this thread, my 1932 Dodge Brothers DL sedan has a rather interesting story in the "where did they go" category. 

 

Thank you for sharing this.  While I can't speak for others, the value of the story transcends the value of the car.  Especially when the span of time in the "then and now" is decades and there's a happy ending.  The make of car isn't necessarily what makes the story interesting, so I hope others will share some of theirs.  I doubt anyone will identify this humble T, but I'd venture a guess the current owner would not turn down this snapshot if someone could identify the car as theirs.  It's a part of that car's history.

T.JPG

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Here's a snapshot I received in the mail a couple weeks ago, from the fellow who took the photo in 1959 in Nebraska.  A Dietrich bodied Packard 645 (1929), with headlamps and fender lamps from the 7th series that were added for the original owner as an upgrade.  A phone call to a friend who is a contemporary of his halfway across the country confirmed that my friend bought it for $50 near Boston in 1953.  It has since been restored, and in the process the upgrade was removed.  I'm omitting a "now" photo (the car is overseas), and instead letting the snapshot of a then 30 year old car speak for itself.

645.jpg

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I was reading the great article on Packard Speedsters in the latest "Antique Automobile" and I was reminded of a car that used to tour with us. I don't recall all the details or the owner (I was only 12), but it was roughly a 1925-6 Packard 5-passenger touring, eight cylinders, long wheelbase, dark gray, red pinstripe, black top, black interior, dual rear spares, disc wheels. Long and low and sleek, not your average touring car. Flat-out gorgeous. I don't have any photos, but these were the VMCCA "Michigan Tours" in the early '80s so I'm hoping someone here might remember that car. It was the best-looking '20s car I've ever seen. Hopefully it's still around.

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17 hours ago, edinmass said:

Neat, if the car came out of Boston then there is probably a photo of it in Fred Roe’s photo albums from before it went west.

Probably not.  I once spoke with Fred about his photos, and when I let him know my interest was in Packards (roster work in particular) he welcomed me to come to his house and look through them all, but hastened to add he never had an interest in photographing Packards and said I'd be wasting my time!  He was able to pass along some great recollections from his youth, of some brass era Packards, and that information was quite helpful.  I still should have taken him up on his kind offer.

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