kfle

A Family’s fascination revives story of the Cole Motor cars

Recommended Posts

It was on June 18th of 2018 that I joined the AACA and made one of my first posts on the forum titled “looking for owners of Cole Motor Cars.  At the time I had a 1913 Cole Series 9 Touring Car.  Since then, it has been a whirlwind 16 months for my 19 year old son and me!  Over that period of time we

 

1. Acquired two more Cole motor cars

2. Made lots of friends, connections, and relaunched the Cole registry at www.colemotorcarregistry.com

3. Organized a Cole owners meetup this spring with ten Coles in attendance

4, Helped the Gilmore Car Museum put together a special Cole exhibit of seven cars and lots of artifacts

5. Had the Coles at three Concours events and two CCCA events as well as several other events,tours, and shows

6. Tracked down two previously unknown Coles to Bring the total to 77 known surviving Coles today 

 

This week, classiccars.com did a great story on us and the Coles and you can read it at this link.

 

https://journal.classiccars.com/2019/10/03/familys-fascination-revives-story-of-the-cole-cars/

 

What an amazing amount of fun this has been!  The best thing has been sharing this journey with my son and we are attending our first Hershey event this week. We hope to see and meet some of you!

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Very well written article.  A friend of mine attended that Cole meet last summer at the Gilmore Museum.

 

While he was in Michigan, I was in Reno for the big truck show and attended the National Automobile Museum (formerly Harrah's), and saw the two door version of the 'Toursedan'.

 

Craig

Cole_8_HDTP.jpg

17_Cole_1.jpg

17_Cole_2.jpg

Edited by 8E45E
Added photos (see edit history)
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations, I've enjoyed all your Cole posts. Have a great time at Hershey, the first one is unforgettable. Bob 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, 8E45E said:

Very well written article.  A friend of mine attended that Cole meet last summer at the Gilmore Museum.

 

While he was in Michigan, I was in Reno for the big truck show and attended the National Automobile Museum (formerly Harrah's), and saw the two door version of the 'Toursedan'.

 

Craig

 

 

Craig,

 

Thanks and the Tourscoupe is a nice car.  I have not had a chance to get out there to see it myself yet, but will someday.  There is another car of that model that exists that is down in Australia now, but I have not been able to track down the current owner.  .

 

Kevin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

Congratulations, I've enjoyed all your Cole posts. Have a great time at Hershey, the first one is unforgettable. Bob 

 

Thanks!  We are hoping to run across some Cole parts at Hershey, but it is not going to be easy.

 

Kevin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first time I ever heard of Cole was a good 50 years ago in early grade school.

 

Scholastic Book Services, which sold books to schools published 'Tad Burness's "Auto Album"; a compilation of his syndicated line-drawings to various newspapers from 1966.  Included in the first volume was this 1920 Cole, although I have yet to see one with the octagon-shaped rear quarter windows.

1902_Cole.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, 8E45E said:

The first time I ever heard of Cole was a good 50 years ago in early grade school.

 

Scholastic Book Services, which sold books to schools published 'Tad Burness's "Auto Album"; a compilation of his syndicated line-drawings to various newspapers from 1966.  Included in the first volume was this 1920 Cole, although I have yet to see one with the octagon-shaped rear quarter windows.

 

 

Thanks for sharing that picture, I had not seen that one before!  There is one that we know of that survives which is a 1920.  About 10 years ago the guy that owns it was doing a restoration on it and then it went to the back burner.  I talked to him a few months ago and he is going to get back to the project and finish it up.  It really was a great looking model.  Below is a picture from ten years ago as it was all being taken apart.  Also a picture of the page from the dealer book about the model in 1920.  The car as optioned with the disc wheels in your picture would have cost almost $4000 new.  image.thumb.png.4880651fabafe35c08335d6961bdaee2.pngimage.thumb.png.9f571e743384e837f65fb4d7dcd20458.png

 

 

 

 

Edited by kfle (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great story Kevin. Wish we were closer to see the display at the Gilmore. Just as impressive is the dedication your son has. Sounds like the Cole legacy will be in good hands.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope that example gets its well-deserved restoration.  

 

I also like this sedan in the ACD Museum:

1919_Cole.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beautiful...... I have to ask, what are those vertical cylinders mounted on the front of the vehicle ?

 

 

Thanks,

 

 

Steve 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome article! I was at the pre-42 event with my daughter and enjoyed the Cole gathering- not only on display- but being driven around the grounds!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, STEVE POLLARD said:

Beautiful...... I have to ask, what are those vertical cylinders mounted on the front of the vehicle ?

 

 

Thanks,

 

 

Steve 

 Those are Westinghouse Air Shocks for an early type of air suspension.  Cole worked with Westinghouse a few years earlier on these and started offering them on cars at that time.  There is an air compressor under the front seat and you ran the hose to each cylinder and filled them up to between 45 and 90psi.  The car would raise up 3 to 4 inches and would provide a nice comfortable ride.  Two cylinders were on the front and two were on the back.  

Edited by kfle (see edit history)
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Fargoguy said:

Awesome article! I was at the pre-42 event with my daughter and enjoyed the Cole gathering- not only on display- but being driven around the grounds!

Glad you enjoyed and driving them around is the best part!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, 8E45E said:

I hope that example gets its well-deserved restoration.  

 

I also like this sedan in the ACD Museum:

1919_Cole.jpg

Yes, that is a great 1919 Toursedan.   You would really like the 1917 Cole Toursedan that is in the Gilmore exhibit.  It was advertised as the car that could go from a closed car to an open car in less than 10 minutes.  It was accomplished by a special body that was developed between Cole and Springfield.  The body was also sold to a few other makers in 1918 and 1919.  The Cole you shared from the national museum also has the same mechanism and the body was made by Springfield.  Here is a walk through video I made about the 1917 Cole Toursedan as you really don't get to see it how it works when it is just sitting there.  

 

Edited by kfle (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thanks for the tutorial on the operation of the side windows on that Cole Toursedan.

 

Auburn offered a hardtop-like steel-topped touring, and also Studebaker offered the Duplex Phaeton and Duplex Roadster steel-top tourings, but unlike the Cole, but they had roll-up side curtains.

 

Interestingly, in China, Shanghai Horse Bazaar and Automobile company made a hardtop coupe in 1924 with roll-up side windows similar to the Cole Toursedan/Tourcoupe.

 

Here is that Made in China 1924 Studebaker Light Six which is currenly in the Studebaker National Museum.

 

Craig

 

1924_Stude_Light_Six_China.jpg

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, kfle said:

 Those are Westinghouse Air Springs for an air suspension.  Cole worked with Westinghouse a few years earlier on these and started offering them on cars at that time.  There is an air compressor under the front seat and you ran the hose to each cylinder and filled them up to between 45 and 90psi.  The car would raise up 3 to 4 inches and would provide a nice comfortable ride.  Two cylinders were on the front and two were on the back.  

Those were offered on a number of the higher-end cars at one time.  Perhaps Cole was the first with them?

 

Here is a 1923 Locomobile with those Westinghouse air springs:  

 

1923_Locomobile-1.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, 8E45E said:

Those were offered on a number of the higher-end cars at one time.  Perhaps Cole was the first with them?

 

Here is a 1923 Locomobile with those Westinghouse air springs:  

 

1923_Locomobile-1.jpg

It’s hard to say any company was definitely first at anything in the early auto industry, but Cole was very early collaborator and user of them years earlier than the 1919 ACD Cole.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is there any detailed information on the Cole that ran in the first INDY 500 in 1911? Bob 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

Is there any detailed information on the Cole that ran in the first INDY 500 in 1911? Bob 

I don't have a lot of information, but did find this information in the Cole information that I have from an old Cole Bulletin.

 

“As for the teams and drivers, some of them spent their Sunday off as guests of “Farmer Bill” Endicott, the driver of the No. 42 Cole, who had many of the boys out to his farm in Crawfordsville, Indiana for a big, home-cooked country meal courtesy of his wife. Many of them drove out to the Endicott farm in the race cars they would pilot in the big race on Tuesday, May 30. (1911)                                       

      The forty-second and forty-third entries were both Cole cars manufactured by the Cole Motor Car Company, which had been founded in Indianapolis a few years previously by carriage-maker Joseph J. Cole. The drivers entered were William “Bill” Endicott in the No. 42, and John K. Jenkins in the No. 43. Louis Edmunds was listed to serve as relief driver for both. Endicott was a tall thirty-one-year-old Indiana farm boy, who was born near Indianapolis (his brother was Harry Endicott, the driver of the No. 3 Inter-State in the big race). Bill Endicott went from the farm to being a tester and the first race driver for the Cole factory, and was known for his short but illustrious career in which he captured several victories in the 1910 season, including the Massapequa Sweepstakes, and then retired. Using his earnings from this season (around $10,000), he then bought a farm and moved to Crawfordsville, Indiana. “Farmer Bill” Endicott, as he was then called, was a family man with a wife and four children. His teammate John “Johnny” Jenkins was an equally colorful figure. Jenkins had started out as a lightweight prizefighter. His last fight had been against Jimmy Britt in Oakland, California, the result being a draw. Left with two broken hands from his career in prizefighting, Jenkins then became a race car driver. His debut event in the United States was at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a 1910 100-mile event, in which he drove and American car. He also distinguished himself in a twenty-four-hour race at Los Angeles, California, where he finished third in a Cole after a remarkable comeback from an altercation with the race-winning Fiat. Jenkins was thirty-two years ole at the time of the 1911 Indianapolis 500, and resided at Springfield, Ohio. The two Cole cars entered in the race were of considerable difference in engine size, with Endicott’s No. 42 Cole “Wizard” having a 471 cubic inch four-cylinder engine, to Jenkins’ much smaller 286 cubic inch four-cylinder No. 43 machine. Both were painted green, and used Firestone tires and rims, A.C. spark plugs, Schebler carburetors, and Monogram oil. The team uniform color was green. The smaller engine in the No. 43 Cole may have proven too much of a handicap, however, for this car failed to pass the seventy-five mile per hour qualification test in the days preceding the race, and was therefore disqualified from the 1911 Indianapolis 500. Johnny Jenkins did get to participate iin the race however, but as a relief driver for his teammate Bill Endicott in the No. 42 Cole.” Stats report that Endicott did not win this race, but the Cole was still running when the race ended."

 

 

Here is a picture of the car and the only Cole ever I believe to have used chain drive.  There are no records as to whatever happened to this car after the race. 

image.thumb.png.9f4dd0cf7e19ad8cc4aabcb864e2221a.png

 

 

Edited by kfle (see edit history)
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello! I approached you about a week ago at the Gilmore Museum while taking their Model T driving school. It was a pleasure meeting you and I certainly enjoyed seeing the display with the Cole cars. Oh, and yes, driving those Model T's was worth the drive to get there! Looking forward to more of you posts.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, zipdang said:

Hello! I approached you about a week ago at the Gilmore Museum while taking their Model T driving school. It was a pleasure meeting you and I certainly enjoyed seeing the display with the Cole cars. Oh, and yes, driving those Model T's was worth the drive to get there! Looking forward to more of you posts.

I remember and glad you got to see the Coles!  The Model T class is always fun.  Yesterday was the last one for the year at the museum.  It was nice meeting you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what body companies did Cole source their bodies? 

Was the Springfield Body Company cited above as the source of TourSedan bodies the same one that became the in-house coachbuilder for Rolls-Royce of America?

Your insights as to why Cole expired as an automaker by 1926.  Its been attributed to being financially wounded by the postwar recession and J.J. Cole's decision to wind down operations before his personal fortune was depleted.  Were any efforts made to sell the company to or merge with another automaker?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

Is there any detailed information on the Cole that ran in the first INDY 500 in 1911? Bob 

 

Bob, once again you come up with the good questions. Your mention of Coles racing jarred my memory about the Fairmount Park races in Philadelphia. There were two Coles entered in the 1910 race driven by the Endicott brothers referred to in a previous post. Both cars had 201 cubic inch engines, were in the 161 to 230 cubic inch class, and neither finished. In the 1911 race there was one 286 cubic inch Cole driven by Basle and it was also a DNF in the 231 to 300 cubic inch class.

 

Several years ago I was fortunate enough to visit the late Dick Ringfelt and his charming wife and had a great ride in his wonderful 1913 Cole 6-60 roadster. These are fine cars and I am very impressed with Kevin Fleck for all the work he has done to preserve the cars along with his outstanding research. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, A. Ballard 35R said:

 

 

 

Several years ago I was fortunate enough to visit the late Dick Ringfelt and his charming wife and had a great ride in his wonderful 1913 Cole 6-60 roadster. These are fine cars and I am very impressed with Kevin Fleck for all the work he has done to preserve the cars along with his outstanding research. 

Is that the nice unrestored car with a gray body? If so I sold the owner a Peter Helck sketch about 18 years ago at Hershey. Bob 

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

Is that the nice unrestored car with a gray body? If so I sold the owner a Peter Helck sketch about 18 years ago at Hershey. Bob 

This is the Cole that Ringfelt owned, a 1913 Cole Series 8 Roadster 6 cylinder.   It now resides in the Palmetto Collection in Florida.  https://collectiononpalmetto.com/automobiles

 

The grey unrestored 6-60 Cole that you refer to now is in a large private collection in Indiana.

 

BF2D8C90-8A7F-4EF9-9B12-7A29E55B1C76.jpeg

Edited by kfle (see edit history)
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now