nzcarnerd

Make of speedster?

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Closer, but not a match that I can see, unless the car in question has been extensively modified from stock.

 

Mark Hyman has/had a gorgeous Model K for sale and here's a pic to compare.

modk.jpg

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I think that Stude17 has nailed it; the unknown car is a Stoddard-Dayton.  Stoddard-Daytons of the period have two sectors for the spark and throttle controls.  However, I was unable to find a photo that shows the hand brake detent bar mounted on the outside of the lever with the teeth facing up.

 

I think what is shown in the available photos of Stoddard-Daytons is a series of "running" design changes in the hand brake construction.  The first design is shown on the unknown car (outside detent bar with the teeth facing up).  The second design also has the teeth facing up, but with the brake lever designed such that it straddles the detent bar.  The last design has a brake lever which straddles the detent bar, but with the teeth facing down (the post by gwells).  Evidently, the designers realized that a design with the teeth facing up was a poor choice, since road dirt and stones would be more likely to cause a jam in the operation of the brake.

 

The photo of the car with a yellow body / red frame shows the second design and the other photo shows the last design and the two sectors for the park and throttle controls.

 

1911 Stoddard-Dayton 8.jpg

1911 Stoddard-Dayton 13.jpg

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Shown is a Stoddard-Dayton (photo taken mid-1930s) which shows that the gas tank behind the seats and a long chassis with space for spare tires stacked horizontally behind the gas tank.

 

1911 Stoddard-Dayton 3.jpg

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Allen,

Respectfully, I am so far not fully convinced.

On the Hyman car, notice these differences...

The gate for the shifter is situated inside the body/frame rail.
The sectors for the throttle and spark levels on the steering column are the same diameter; not so on the OP's pic. Plus these are atop the wheel on the OP's pic and beneath the wheel on the Hyman car.

Much weaker-looking handle atop the brake lever on the Hyman car.
Steering wheel seems smaller in diameter and the spokes have a very different cross-section.

Seats on the Hyman car sit on a platform, whereas on the OP's pic they're mounted much lower.

Visible edge of the seat differs greatly between the two cars.

Rear edge of hood on Hyman car does not follow the cowl's form very closely.

Hood on Hyman car doesn't have riveted outer hinge and has embossed ribs.

It was very common during the timeframe we suppose for the unknown car to 'strip down' (remove fenders, lower seats, etc.) street vehicles to make them into track cars but it would be unusual (IMO) for a hood to be changed, seats to be changed (rather than just lowered), a steering column to be changed, etc.
 

Not saying the unknown car isn't a Stoddard-Dayton, but I am seeing too many detail differences to feel it is based on a Model K Stoddard.

 

sd.jpg

 

sdcowl.jpg

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Having fun with this, as I hope everyone is...

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I have my doubts this is an out and out race car, more likely a road car following the race car style. It was reasonably common for the sporting set young men of this era to build, or commission a racing style car based on a slightly second hand "better" quality car.

 

Real race cars were generally a lot more "used" looking. Often had grippy steering wheel wraps, and would never have cowl lamps or brackets.

 

Greg in Canada

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I would agree with you except for one thing: that "aero" oil tank with what looks like a hand pump. There's no reason for that sort of thing on a street car IMO.

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Many of the speedsters of the day had hand pumps for gas tank pressurization, less common on oil tanks but definitely, some were. Look at photos of cars with behind the seat cylindrical tanks. If there are two fillers the tank is divided into a fuel and oil compartment. Often there are two small tubes as well leading to two hand pumps. 

 

Greg in Canada

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After a bit of net surfing for Stoddard-Dayton images, I found a photo that shows the first design hand brake detent bar and a gated shifter than looks very similar to the unknown car.  Evidently, the unknown car is an earlier race car than most of the images available online.

 

1911 Stoddard-Dayton 15.jpg

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OP Mark,

Is there any other info you can glean from where that photo was originally posted? Did the poster of the pic indicate where he or she acquired it?

And you hinted that the image was not in NZ. Can you explain why you say so?

 

Just scratching for some more clues...

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31 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

Real race cars were generally a lot more "used" looking. Often had grippy steering wheel wraps, and would never have cowl lamps or brackets.

 

 

Agree 100% with these.

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I say 'not NZ' for several reasons.

 

First we didn't get those big expensive US cars here.

 

The guy who posted it on a Facebook page has posted quite a few photos that are not NZ.

 

Sorry, no more info on the source of the photo.

 

I just feel sure it was taken in the US. 

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Joan Newton Cuneo maybe? She drove and raced lots of cars in this era, including Locomobile, White, Knox, Rainier, Pope-Hartford, and Stearns.

 

CuneoIV-600x330.jpg

 

from The Old Motor "Mad For Speed" story, Dec. 3, 2012

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Bravo, Jeff. I think you've nailed it.

Here's what I have found.

 

cuneo.1.jpg

 

"In 1911, the Knox factory built her a new Giant, which was christened the ‘Giantess’ in her honour. It was used in demonstrations and record runs, and was also raced by Lou Disbrow.” - http://speedqueens.blogspot.com/2014/05/joan-newton-cuneo.html

I see that distinctively large steering wheel (to make for easier steering for her, one would assume), with the T-shaped spokes. Cowl and hood look right. The seat is directly atop the frame. Shifter, handbrake location looks right. Sidelamps, where present, seem to all be the same as in the OP's pic. None of the other photos show that aero oil tank but now the location makes sense because of the chain drive.

And maybe that last initial on the side of the seat is actually a 'C.'

cuneo.2.jpg

Pretty clearly the same car.

 

cuneo.3.jpg

Again, same car.

 

cueno.5.jpg

Note Knox on top of hood. Sidelights missing. But same cowl, same wheel. It's obvious from this series of photos that the Knox did undergo some modifications, but the basic form and equipment are there.

cuneo.4.jpg

Best pic I could find of Joan. Hard to be sure, but comparing the OP's pic, the eyebrows and nose look very similar. And in several of these pics, note that Cuneo was obviously very fond of big hats.

I'm convinced. Anyone else?

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I have some doubts that the unknown car is a Knox.  Note that the Knox has a "bump out" on the right side of the hood for steering column clearance.  This feature does not seem to be present on the unknown car.

 

1911 Speedster 6a.jpg

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I found this photo of a 1911 Knox that doesn't have the "bump out" on the right side of the hood.  Perhaps the Knox driven by Joan had a modified hood.  From looking at online Knox photos, the "bump out" wasn't for steering column clearance.  Perhaps the "bump out" was made to keep the ignition wiring away from the hot (and perhaps oily) engine.

 

1911 Knox 1a.jpg

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Good eye.

 

I admit that the width of the cowl in the OP's pic looks to be greater than the Knox Giantess images. The cowl width does seem very much like the image in Jeff's pic in his post above my last.

 

It also seems that there's not enough room for that oil tank nor for a stack of four tires behind the fuel tank.

 

But too many of the features seem very close if not exact. Perhaps the car was modified with a longer chassis?

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As for the "bump out" on the right side of the hood - - -  The photo, below, shows the routing of the ignition wiring in a stock (non-racer) 1911 Knox.  The "bump out" could be to locate (and shield) the wiring from a hot engine.  At 111 mph (Joan Newton's record setting speed), the Knox engine would be really hot.

 

1911 Knox 2.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Joan Newton Cuneo is a definite possibility. The car does not like the Knox Giantess however. The front chain drive sprocket would be visible in the original photo if the car was the Giantess and it is not.  Also the shifter while similar in construction looks different to me. Shifter gate on the Giantess is tilted forward, LH. gate is different length than RH. Original photo shows "standard" upright shifter mounting , same as general practice on many production cars of the era. And the front surface of the gate section is even with a bolt running along the extreme top, front , quite unlike the Giantess.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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The photo that was posted of the unknown car shows a woman and a young girl. From checking Wikipedia, Joan Newton had two children with her husband Andrew Cuneo. The oldest child was Maddalena (Dolly) Cuneo born in 1901. Thus, the girl shown in the unknown car photo is very likely Dolly at an age of about 12 years old (about 1913). This date is in agreement with the vintage of the hat (circa 1912) on the driver. The photo of Joan (alone, below) appears to be at the wheel of a Knox. 

 

Therefore, the unknown car photo is very likely that of Joan Newton Cuneo, and her daughter Dolly, in a Knox. Dolly looks a lot like her mother.

 

1911 Speedster 7a.jpg

 

1911 Speedster 1a.jpg

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I surfed the web for more photos of Joan Newton Cuneo. There are a couple of images that I would like to share. The car marked as #15 is a Rainier, circa 1911, with Joan behind the wheel. In my prior post, the car which has spare tires on Joan's right may be a Rainier (rather than a Knox).

 

The other car, with the passengers, is Joan with her family.  This car is likely chain drive, note the shape of the rear fender; perhaps a Knox.

 

1911 Speedster 8.jpg

 

1911 Speedster 15 Joan Family 2.jpg

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Forum member, 1912Stav, pointed out that there are differences between the unknown car and the Knox speed record racer that driven by Joan Newton Cuneo.  One notable difference is that the unknown car does not have the rear wheel chain drive sprocket visible in the photo.  It turns out that Knox also built six cylinder with a conventional rear axle.  Pictured is a circa 1910 Knox six cylinder race car driven by Fred Belcher.

 

Since the unknown car appears to be in excellent condition when photographed circa 1913 (dated due to the age of the passenger, Dolly Cuneo), I would like to suggest that the unknown car could be a circa 1912 to 1913 Knox six cylinder race car.  Since Joan was attracted to fast cars, a six cylinder Knox would appeal to her.  Unfortunately, women were banned from organized racing about the time the photo was taken of the unknown car.  Thus, there is a possibility that the unknown car is a Knox six cylinder race car that was never raced in organized events.

 

1911 Speedster 17 Knox 6 Cyl. 1911.jpg

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1 hour ago, Grandpa said:

Pictured is a circa 1910 Knox six cylinder race car driven by Fred Belcher.

 

With a very tense and uncertain, maybe frightened passenger – look at her hanging on!  Fred looks pretty relaxed though.

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