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Vanderbilt Cup 1908 winner Old 16 information


DFeeney
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Hello Frank, What is the source of this data sheet? I just don't have a clear understanding of the CID of Old 16.  I realize that just because something has been printed for public consumption, it may not be accurate.  I can think of at least differing claims made as to the bore and stroke of Old 16.  I am currently reading the book put together by Peter Helck, "The Checkered Flag", regarding the history of early automobile racing.  This book was well researched and had many statistics, but I have not read of Old 16 engine spec's yet.  More clarity is desired, however, as has been stated, that correct information simply may be lost to time and history.  (At least until the time that will come that Old 16 is repaired and returned to operational condition).  At that time, no more guessing or conjecture on the subject of Old 16 engine CID.

Al

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18 hours ago, alsfarms said:

Hello Frank, What is the source of this data sheet? I just don't have a clear understanding of the CID of Old 16.  I realize that just because something has been printed for public consumption, it may not be accurate.  I can think of at least differing claims made as to the bore and stroke of Old 16.  I am currently reading the book put together by Peter Helck, "The Checkered Flag", regarding the history of early automobile racing.  This book was well researched and had many statistics, but I have not read of Old 16 engine spec's yet.  More clarity is desired, however, as has been stated, that correct information simply may be lost to time and history.  (At least until the time that will come that Old 16 is repaired and returned to operational condition).  At that time, no more guessing or conjecture on the subject of Old 16 engine CID.

Al

Al, I found that some time ago by coincidence when searching for Locomobile electric diagrams.

racer 5.jpg

racer 6.jpg

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On 3/12/2022 at 3:05 PM, edinmass said:

It’s sad to see a car that was part of the hobby get shunted onto a platform never to be driven again. I would argue that that museum is the worst possible place it could have ended up. And yup.....they do sell lots of great cars that were donated to them.........one of their “forever keeper” cars is now in our collection. We actually drive it and show it..........

 

 

I had a ride in Old 16 and it was a blast, to me it’s a car. Sitting on Jack stands it’s a dead artifact and now no longer part of living history.

What do you think this guy would say about how his museum is being run today?042DEF86-8EE4-4E08-B1A0-A25EE599F128.jpeg.576c4cf882d5efa4b61cb10d0a30e0dc.jpeg

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1 hour ago, George K said:

What do you think this guy would say about how his museum is being run today?042DEF86-8EE4-4E08-B1A0-A25EE599F128.jpeg.576c4cf882d5efa4b61cb10d0a30e0dc.jpeg


 

He would do his famous freak out.......shit can a few hundred people, and pull a bunch of people off the line and replace all the talking heads in current positions...........an line assembly man or woman have fifty times the common sense experience on how to make things work, and get things done instead of hiring fifty advisors for millions of dollars and have endless meetings to move a car across the isle in the museum. Fact is, a guy swabbing the floors at McDonalds full time has much more common sense than the people running the place currently.............has a better work ethic, and is someone I rather have dinner and drinks with over the current bunch of Bozo’s running the joint.

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I did considerable research into Locomobile's racing history in 2019 and published my findings in the post titled "What car is this?" According to Locomobile factory period articles found on the web, Old 16 has a 7.25 x 6" bore and stroke, F head motor, rated at 90 horses. Two cars were created in 1906 and raced together.

 

Andrew Riker, chief engineer at Locomobile, didn't want anything to detract from the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race win of old 16 so he had the second car dismantled. This second car passed to Sessions disassembled as spare parts for old 16 and then to Helck and several people commented on seeing its motor in Peter Helck's collection. When Old 16 passed to The Henry Ford Museum through the Dragones, It seems the second car may have gone into the Dragone's collection. According to one of the brothers, and I can't remember which one I talked to, they have since restored the car and it sits in their warehouse.

 

The Dragones were able to purchase Andrew Riker's memorabilia from Locomobile and out of respect for Andrew Riker and his wishes concerning Old 16, they have kept the second car, the #1 car in the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race, in obscurity. The brother I talked to said this is not a secret, just not published. The brother I talked to was very friendly and open, sharing this information freely.

 

In 1905, a Harold Thomas, from Chicago, Illinois, commissioned Locomobile to build him a race car. This car had a 7"x7" T head motor and placed second (?) in the Gordon Bennett race that year. Though the car looks very similar to old 16, the 1905 car has four exhaust pipes exiting the hood, while old 16 has two, and the gas tank hangs between the frame rails on the 1905 car while Old 16 has a round tank behind the seat. The 1905 car is routinely confused with the two cars Locomobile built in 1906 and is where the confusion is concerning the bore and stroke, as well as horsepower of old 16. The general consensus is the 1905 car was somehow dispensed by Andrew Riker in his attempts to keep Old 16 unrivaled.

 

As I understand it, racing was somewhat of a free for all in the early years, with each company attempting to build bigger and bigger motors to compete but a general racing commission was established around 1909 that limited engine sizes and made Old 16 obsolete as a race car. Locomobile pulled two 40hp model Is from inventory to race in 1909. To my knowledge, that was the end of Locomobile's racing venture. Locomobile's board of directors published a report in 1905 stating they had no interest in racing and would not be building a race car. They attempted to price Harold Thomas out of the market at $18,000 for the 1905 car but Harold Thomas wired the first installment  of $6,000 to the factory the next day. By contract, Locomobile had to enter the racing field. Andrew Riker, unlike the board of directors, was excited about the venture. He designed and built the 1905 car and attempted to take it racing. He registered the car in the Gordan Bennett race. When Harold Thomas learned of this, he exerted his ownership over the car, and Mr. Riker decided to build two for himself.

 

It is interesting to note Harold Thomas was using a Locomobile to race in sanctioned events in Chicago and was pleased with the performance of the car. This is what prompted him to commission the 1905 car.

 

I hope this helps dispel some of the misinformation concerning old 16. All of this information came from period literature or the brothers Dragone.

 

 

Edited by AHa (see edit history)
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In Googling Coburn and Locomobile race car, this is the only thing that came up. It obviously is not a Locomobile but is in  fact a Stanley Steamer. It is noted that Coburn had many very desirable cars at one time, including several race cars, but sold most of them when he moved from Boston to Maine. This is also when he became interested in the Stanley steam cars according to one article but others stated it was a life long passion.Stanley Steamer I never knew the man.

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You have seen the technical specification of the 1907 racer which I posted a few days ago (from the handbook of gasoline automobiles). My intension was to show the bore and stroke data. Now, after this very interesting discussion I looked a bit closer. I found a similar specification sheet from the 1906 handbook of gasoline automobiles:

racer 21.jpg

racer 22.jpg

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If you compare both cars, there are some differences which might fit to the differences mentioned by AHa: The fuel tank on the 1907 specs is clearly behind the driver, the 1906 car is not clear but definitely lower or even between the chassis frame. Another difference is the position of the passenger: 1906 side-by-side at the same hight, 1907 clearly lower than the driver. The 1907 car has one box beside the gear and brake lever which is not visible on the 1906 car. I believe I can also see a big difference on the engine: The 1907 car has this incredibly massive flywheel which was definately available on the 1906 and 1908 racecars. The 1906 specs (which is probably the 1905 car for Harold Thomas) seems to have a smaller flywheel.

 

 

 

racer 23.jpg

racer 7.jpg

racer 1906 dismanteled 1 (2).jpg

Edited by Ittenbacher Frank
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For your discussion about the displacement of the Loco racer, I like to show some contemporary newspapers: One from 1905 (comparing the engine sizes), one from 1906 (showing the Loco engine used in the 1906 Vanderbilt cup) and one from 1908 (showing the winning Loco). Have fun...

1905 2ABXYHP (2).jpg

1905 2ABXYHP (3).jpg

1905 2ABXYHP (4).jpg

1905 2ABXYHP (6).jpg

1905 2ABXYHP (7).jpg

1905 2ABXYHP (8).jpg

1906 2ABY12R (2).jpg

1906 2ABY12R (3).jpg

1906 2ABY12R (4).jpg

1908 2ABY42F (2).jpg

1908 2ABY42F (3).jpg

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The specs posted above by Frank are for the Harold Thomas car. It wore the number seven and was painted red for the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup.

 

The car immediately above is indeed the Harold Thomas car. Locomobile was forced to add a manifold and tail pipe to the cars to cut down on noise while test driving them. They were test driven on city streets. This car has thinner wheel spokes than old 16.

 

The number 12 car above is the second 1906 racer, sister to Old 16. You can see there are only two exhaust ports, one per pair of cylinders, and there is an oil tank in the cowling just behind the motor, indicated by the cap.

 

Again, Old 16 is an F head with overhead intake valves while the Harold Thomas car is a T head. To my knowledge, Old 16 and the sister car are the only two Locomobiles ever built with F head motors.

 

For comparison, here is a side view of Old 16's motor

 

1906 Locomobile Old 16 Image. Photo 21 of 28

 

And this is the motor in the Harold Thomas car.

 

What car is this? - Locomobile - Antique Automobile Club of ...

You can see the four exhaust pipes, one per cylinder, while Old 16 has two.

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On 3/26/2022 at 11:18 PM, George K said:

There a sister engine. Not a sister car. 

George, I'm not sure what you are talking about. What I have said is that in 1906 Locomobile made two racers that were ostensibly identical. The two cars were both placed in the 1908 Vanderbilt Cup Race and the one car, numbered 16, won the race with the second car, numbered 1, coming in second. Andrew Riker had the second car dismantled and used the number 16 car for promotions. The two cars passed to Sessions, and Helck. The number 16 car, now known as Old 16, passed on to The Henry Ford Museum.

 

If you know something more, please share.

 

I did extensive research into Locomobile's racing history in 2019 but there is so much disinformation and misdirection from multiple sources in the archival history and today, not much of anything can be empirically known. Some or all of the information I have shared may be incorrect.

Edited by AHa (see edit history)
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Whether this car is authentic or an authentic recreation, I cannot say. In studying the pictures of the two cars in period, even though they were called sisters, there were subtle differences. In one period photo, the Thomas car was mocked up to resemble the 06 cars. Locomobile seemed to be spreading misinformation deliberately. Then, every  newspaper or magazine article got facts wrong. It was like nobody cared what the truth was, they were just printing stories.

 

I am happy to see this car out. Thanks for sharing George.

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The black Stanley Vanderbilt Cup racer reproduction was built by Robert Boudeman, and owned and driven by Coburn Benson up until his passing.  "Ben" also owned the remains of the sister car to Old 16.  When I bought my steamer from Ben in 2007, he talked to me about the Locomobile and the work he was having done.   A Nov. 11, 2020 post in this Facebook group - (20+) Stanley Steamer Automobile | Facebook - talks about Benson and the sister car, and includes a 2014 photo of it partially completed.

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I reviewed the Nov. 11, 2020 Facebook post before my previous posting.  Some time between 4:00 and now, the post was apparently erased by someone - it is now not visible on Facebook.  If anyone has the 2014 photo that was in that post I'd appreciate a PM.

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4 hours ago, StanleyRegister said:

As a matter of public record. the most recent federal case involving Benson's estate reached an initial settlement state about 7 weeks ago.

https://www.pacermonitor.com/public/case/40848010/Williams_v_Dragone_Classic_Motorcars_Inc

 

What was the "jist" of the lawsuit...........short and sweet is fine.........first I have heard about it.

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It wouldn't be appropriate for me to paraphrase someone's court case.  In fact I haven't seen the details of the one that was just settled - the documents are available behind a paywall on the previously-cited web page.

 

There are details on a federal case that preceded this one, in a document publicly available on this US government web page -

https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/USCOURTS-med-2_20-cv-00115/context

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Understand..........one can read between the lines........but it would be mostly conjecture at best. 

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This morning I received a mass posting from Dragons motors regarding an event they are sponsoring in June of this year.  For those of you close in that area, you likely will have a chance to see and hear run the Locomobile Old 16 sister car Locomobile 1.  I hope that some of you can attend and post photos and maybe a video clip of Number 1 running and driving.  I will attach a copy of the information I received.

Al

Come and join us for our 3rd annual swap meet, cars, coffee, food, and friends on Sunday, June 12th! Last year was an amazing event with such a great turnout and we would like to do it again this year. Really like a mini old Hershey. Our 66,000 square foot showroom and restoration facility full of great cars, motorcycles, and more will be open for everyone to enjoy! We have a large property for parts and automobilia vendors and cars to gather and we will have food trucks on site to provide hot coffee and food and music from D.J. Seth Carley. We have a lot of vendors coming from all over with some great parts, automobilia, and possibly some cars to sell and everyone to enjoy! In fact, there is so much interest from last year and there are so many great people bringing some really great parts and automobilia that this Swap Meet is truly living up to its name as the "The Iron Range," a name reference that some may remember from car collecting history. We may even run a couple of our big brass cars including our 1906 120HP Locomobile 'Number 1" that came in 3rd at the 1908 Vanderbilt cup race and is the sister car to the famous "Old 16". Come and join us, get some driving time in your car, and enjoy some old cars, motorcycles, parts, and of course automobilia with friends just like the old days of car collecting. Contact Alex to RSVP if you have a trailer or just drive your car over. Brass cars to modern supercars are welcome! You will not want to miss this! We hope to see you!
 

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Hello Locoman,

I make no judgement, one way or the other, regarding the race car suggested by Dragone to be a sister car to Old 16.  I just posted information presented, by Dragone, on an activity sponsored by Dragone Auto Sales that includes the Locomobile reference per above.

Al

Edited by alsfarms
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It appears my history of the two cars was wrong in this regard. The court record states Coburn Benson bought a 1906 Locomobile race car in 2001. It does not state from whom. It further states Coburn contracted with Dragone Motor Cars to restore the car in that year.

 

When Old 16 passed from Sessions to Peter Helck, there was more than just a motor. A letter from Joseph Tracy to Peter Helck, written in 1947, mentions extra parts.

 

Now again, I am gleaning bits and pieces of information from all over and putting them together to come up with some semblance of a history. Anything I have said is subject to correction. I believe Andrew Riker built the two cars and that they were different from the one car built for Harold Thomas, of Chicago, Illinois. I believe the number 1 car was dismantled but kept for extra parts for Old 16, which was then used for promotions of the Locomobile name. Both cars were sold to Sessions. The two cars were in Sessions possession when he passed and Joseph Tracy was instrumental in Peter Helck purchasing Old 16 and the extra parts from Session's estate. From Peter, the two cars passed to His son, Jerry, who either sold the #16 car to the Dragones or used the Dragones to broker a deal with The Henry Ford Museum. Either way, Old 16 is now part of the Museum collection. The condition of the parts is unknown but by 2001, a car had been assembled.

 

If anyone has any other information they can share that will help fill in the details of this history, please share. Now that the number 1 car has come to light, it is time for the history of these two iconic cars to also come to light.

 

A logical conclusion would be that the parts passed to Dragone at the sale of Old 16 and was assembled. You understand of course, there is no proof.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/19/2022 at 3:36 AM, Ittenbacher Frank said:

I found a data sheet of the 90HP racer, dated 1907, this shows a bore of 7 1/4 and a stroke of 6 inch, equals 1024.4 cdi. Any comments?

racer 3.jpg

racer 4.jpg

Hi Frank, my calculator says 990.78 ci. This is what was called the short stroke engine.B09351D0-B170-4436-87C0-8FF6429AFF83.jpeg.6440d692c9385f090da7c2f5daba8979.jpeg

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3 hours ago, George K said:

Hi Frank, my calculator says 990.78 ci. This is what was called the short stroke engine.B09351D0-B170-4436-87C0-8FF6429AFF83.jpeg.6440d692c9385f090da7c2f5daba8979.jpeg

George, I don't want to hijack this thread, but the bottom of this page mentions Porter and FRP.  Can you go back and see what is mentioned further down the page about those two and post it to the Porter Thread that AJ started and is ongoing?

 

John

 

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B09351D0-B170-4436-87C0-8FF6429AFF83.jpeg.6440d692c9385f090da7c2f5daba8979.jpeg

 

There are several interesting distinctions brought out in this article, that is if it can be trusted. First, the two 1906 cars were produced at a total cost of $15,000. The one car, called the 1905 Harold Thomas car's price tag was $18,000. Of course, Locomobile made the two 1906 cars for themselves while the 1905 car was made for a customer. Second, Old 16 is said to be a 90 horse car of 7.25x6 b&s while the 1905 car is said to be a 120 horse long stroke motor. The 1905 car had a bore and stroke of 7x7.

 

I had always assumed the 120hp number applied to the 1905 car but could never find any proof in period literature. Maybe one of you guys could figure the displacement of the two cars and figure a HP number taking into account the 1905 car was a T head and the two 1906 cars had overhead intake valves. I have always understood the overhead valves makes for greater HP from the same displacement. Am I wrong?

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