Walt G

Images of the era

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Since my contributions last year of period photographs inspired a fair number of comments and even more so inspired a number of you to take the time to search your own archives to also share some interesting images that have either not been seen before, or if they were published, were done so in other clubs periodicals and many years ago. I thought I may start the new year here with further contributions. I have been informed by our great editor West Peterson that he has limited space in our fine club magazine so I will share some things in my archives here in the forum . Some of the photos have a lot more information known about the cars /vehicles shown, but that would be more appropriate in a printed format, so will remain dormant in hope some day it to can be shared. I will leave the information I have about the vehicles I am posting images of for another time to inspire you to try to decide what you see here and share your thoughts. Good wishes and God Speed to all for 2020.

Walt G. on long island.

 Griswoldbody002.jpg

191 MarmonHolbrooktowncarAA002.jpg

 willys77panel001.jpg

 witetruckradiatorshelbeing made001.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Going out on the limp of the thin knowledge tree, the first one is a 1929 Graham-Paige 621 or 827 convertible Victoria-sedan by Griswold.  I got the body-maker from your photo label.  I would have guessed maybe Briggs or Murray.   

The second image is a Marmon 34 with body by ?.  Willoughby supplied series-custom styles as did a variety of other coach- builders.

 

See below for the correct identification of Graham-Paige model and body specifics.

Edited by 58L-Y8
From 629 to 827. Added to reference correct ID below. (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

UPDATED;  It is a 1929 First Series Graham-Paige 615 semi-convertible sedan (window frames are fixed).  It is a one off, fabric body, designed by Robert Grimshaw, body built by Griswold. The hood is custom, as is the cowl (no 1929 G-P body lines), the hood side panels look original.  Notice the line on the cowl back is all fabric covered bodywork.  See the notation below.

 

820659463_1928614GPConvertibleSedan-Weymann.thumb.jpg.092565176b0c8f45b6947b957087cd15.jpg

 

The rest of the story....

 

The February 16, 1929 issue of Automotive Industries featured an item announcing Griswold’s “new semi-convertible" fabric body. Designed by Robert Grimshaw, Griswold’s chief designer and body engineer, the Zapon-covered body featured side windows that rode in their own stationary channels, a design that was used 20 years later by Nash in their 1950-53 Rambler convertibles. The design significantly reduced the rattling windows and leaky cabins that plagued early convertible owners. The prototype was built on the 6-cylinder Graham-Paige Model 619 119” chassis. A second prototype using a Graham-Paige Model 615 115” chassis was also produced (seen here), but no orders were forthcoming from Graham-Paige for either version. However the were given a small contract for 1929 Model 614 two-door convertible sedans and Model 614 and 619 phaetons. 
 
Edited by Graham Man (see edit history)
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There have always been those young 'uns who had to modify their cars. Even when the Model A Fords were nearly new they did things like this:

image.png.762aafc9550a9933762367e330302ab9.png

What was that boy thinking!

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From a publication of our local telephone company.

02C25E20-CC2C-4B89-BEC3-B977E0C1459C.jpeg

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2 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

There have always been those young 'uns who had to modify their cars. Even when the Model A Fords were nearly new they did things like this:

image.png.762aafc9550a9933762367e330302ab9.png

What was that boy thinking!

That was no ordinary boy's Ford Model A. it was Gordon Buehrig's car when he was designing Duesenbergs at Auburn.  The story behind it is in his autobiography Rolling Sculpture.

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Terry and 60flatop thanks for contributing the photos! great stuff. The fellow who was the author of the book Rolling Sculpture along with Gordon Buehrig was William S. "Bill" Jackson , a former editor of the AACA Antique Automobile magazine. I only met Gordon Buehrig once but knew Bill and Rosemary Jackson well, and think fondly of the party they hosted at their house every year during the Hershey car meet. Great people . This was many decades ago when I was Vice President ( John Conde was President)  and on the national board of the Society of Automotive Historians , whose Journal I also edited for 5 years. I recall Jim Bradley the head of the Detroit Public Library ( he and John Conde used to travel to Hershey together) walking with John and I into the annual SAH dinner in Hummelstown , Pa. and just before we walked through the door to enter he said looking at us "now boys , try and behave tonight". John and I both cracked a smile and John looked at me and remarked " well we should try Walt , but not to hard". And we didn't try to hard that evening. John Conde had a wicked sense of humor.

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The Willys 77 photo was found in a place that makes keys in New Hyde Park, NY the current owner had the photo pinned to the wall and I asked for a copy of it so he did the photo copy you see here. He didn't seem to know what it was. I flipped out when I saw it because it is so unusual to see any period images, especially the commercial Willys 77 vehicles,

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7 hours ago, 58L-Y8 said:

That was no ordinary boy's Ford Model A. it was Gordon Buehrig's car when he was designing Duesenbergs at Auburn.  The story behind it is in his autobiography Rolling Sculpture.

 

 

Yeah, Buehrig wasn't some "young'un" chopping up his Model A.  Following is an excerpt from his interview by the Automotive Design Oral History Project in which he describes building the car.  He calls it a Ford Victoria but it was a Cabriolet.

 

Quote

But, anyway, it was always fun to be able to drive a Duesenberg, and I had no idea that I would ever be able to afford one, but I wanted a custom-body car, and when the Model A Ford came out in 1929--well, it was 1930 model that I bought--I visualized redesigning that body and making it into a custom car, so I traded my Buick Roadster in and bought a Ford Victoria (I think that's what they called it--the two passenger convertible). Before I got delivery of it, I had made a full-size body draft of it--what I wanted to do--and made arrangements with Augie Duesenberg at his race car shop to build the body for me. I drove the car from the dealership out to Augie's place, and first thing we did was take the body off the chassis. Then, we cut the body back of the body B post, which is the back of the door, and that rumble seat (all that area), we threw that away and kept the body frame sills, and we mounted the body back on the chassis 4# inches aft of its normal location. Then, we built a dummy cowling, or extended cowling, so that the fire wall was moved forward into its normal location in relation to the engine. Then I had to build a new engine hood which was 41 inches longer than the regular engine hood. Then the back of the body was all new, framed in wood, and paneled in aluminum, and it extended just a little bit beyond the rear axle, and then I had a large trunk on the back, and on the inside I had a single seat facing the center. The passenger seat was built so it would fold forward so that you could get into that rear, one-passenger, enclosed rumble seat. It was a blind quarter convertible--beautiful thing. I lowered the--cut the windshield down to the top of the upper hinge on the door, and that I think was 31 inches. So, the body was 31 lower than the regular Ford. At that time the Weyman Body Company was going out of business, and I bought some of their hides of leather for $5 a hide, and when Augie was through with it, we moved it across the street to the Duesenberg plant where they allowed me to have it painted and trimmed by the head trimmer and the head painter at Duesenberg. We did have a good paint and trim shop. So, the quality of the car was equal to the Duesenberg, and I had drove that car almost 100,000 miles, and I finally sold it in Auburn later on when Mr. Ames told me he thought I should drive a company car. I regretted that all my life, and I tried many times to find it. It was written up in the Ford Times magazine, and about three or four years ago a friend of mine by the name of Bob Ahmanson in California --I made some drawings for him. I had enough information that I could reconstruct a body draft from it, and I originally did this for Bill Harrah. Bill wanted to build one, and he bought a car, but he never got around to it­-never got around to scheduling it through his shop, but Bob Almondson did build one. It was written up in a magazine not too long ago as the most beautiful Model A ever built and so forth. But, I think it's kind of significant in that as far I know this is the first time a designer took a stock car of that sort and modified it and made it into a dif­ ferent type of automobile. There had been a lot of speedsters built, you know, in the old days off of Model T's and so forth, but the process that I used, I think, was probably the first time that had ever been done.

 

The full interview is here: http://www.autolife.umd.umich.edu/Design/Buehrig.htm

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15 hours ago, 58L-Y8 said:

The story behind it is in his autobiography Rolling Sculpture.

 

I bought my copy in 1975 when I was trying to figure how to get the $9,995 together for an Elegant Motors  Auburn Speedster kit car.

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Let’s not forget the Abernathy brothers, age 9 and 6 that drove a Brush automobile from NY to Oklahoma in 1910.  Quite an adventure for two young lads when roads barely existed.

 

 

FBBF99B3-1516-4A04-9414-DD4FC01D5AA8.jpeg

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Here are two more for your viewing pleasure, if I do this it keeps me out of trouble and no one gets annoyed at me🤐

191 RollsRoyceSilverGhostconvpolishedAA003.jpg

 tuckerralp[hoconBaldwin001.jpg

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Thanks, Walt,

Seeing your historic photos adds to the enjoyment of an otherwise dreary- weather day

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Thanks Marty appreciate your comment. I was serious about getting people annoyed today! Two in fact! Better to keep my comments and what I know quiet - easier to show pictures , they don't show opinions !

Walt

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Was that body on the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost 'locomotive' all polished aluminum?    The hood looks unusually long as well, not a car for an introvert...

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Yes, the Silver Ghost R-R had an entirely polished alloy body - hard to tell if the fenders were polished or a very light tan/cream color.

the Tucker photo was given to me to copy by a friend 40 years ago, who was a teenager when it was taken and he is sitting in the front

passenger seat, that photo was taken near the Tucker sales office in Baldwin, N.Y.

He told me he was impressed with the car but even more impressed with the driver who was the wife of the salesman who is standing next to the car.

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Thanks Walt, I thought that looked like polished metal of some type.  Makes a bold statement, but then again, so does driving a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost in general.

 

The Tucker image struck me as being of that time period shortly after the enterprise had collapsed and the remaining cars in private hands became a curiosity, an attraction car dealers would use to entice people to visit their lots to see "A Tucker '48 for real".    It still amazes how fascinated people seem to be with them all these decades later, suppose its the romantic 'legend' surrounding them.

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Posted (edited)

Here’s a Porter Thayer picture of my grandpa Webster Thayer, as you can see they started them young back then...

 

(This is one of the family pictures that made me a car nut.)

 

Please respect that these images are still copyrighted by the Porter Thayer family and you can find many more great photos of life in rural Vermont at http://www.porterthayer.com or the Digital collection at the University Of Vermont Libraries at http://cdi.uvm.edu/collection/brooks-brooksthayer?page=26&display=grid

 

Yes, it’s a Maxwell car.

 

73660868-B37F-43CF-9CAE-8A9ED5DDA568.jpeg

Edited by Mark Wetherbee
Adding car make (see edit history)
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OK I have given all of you some time to view the Images of the Era - GREAT and KNOWLEDGEABLE comments . Thank you.

SO The Graham Paige conv victoria/conv sedan was properly identified and the body is by Griswold, the Willys 77 panel truck and R-R Silver Ghost was talked about as well, I am not sure who was responsible for the coachwork on that car.

The town car as stated is a Marmon 34 chassis and body builder was Holbrook. The one photo not mentioned but you can sort of read what is going on is the one with all the fellows in the shop with the cast Aluminum radiator shells for White Trucks. The company was Fedders Mfg. Company Inc. of Buffalo , NY. the radiator shells were cast, machined and ground in the plant. Just look at all the pleased workers who have absolutely no protection for any thing that they were inhaling and breathing while making these cast alloy shells. That is the way things in that era were made. I have one of those shells minus the rounded bottom edge area that was removed at some point. a pair of ears are cast into the sides to allow it to be fastened to the chassis of the truck. Really neat piece that I want to polish up and display when the weather gets dry and warmer in about 3 months. A bit damp here on long island.

If/when I find the time I hope to post some more images , what you see here isn't even the tip of the ice berg so to speak of what I have in my archives. There are some amazing photographs in European and American magazines as well that were printed on coated stock paper so if scanned and then posted will be clear and sharp. SO much stuff that has not been seen since the subjects at hand were new - that is 70+ year ago , mostly on the plus side. Hard to choose what to take the time to scan, usually resize perhaps crop etc so that I can share some things that can cover a wide range of interests, makes, years and models both cars and trucks. Happy to do so as time allows especially at this time of the year when many of you, like me ,are seeking something interesting to look at.

Hummmm maybe the period photo of the V12 Franklin prototype at the NY City Franklin dealers convention in 1932 with the hood up - or the Peerless exhibit at the Paris auto show /salon of 1930 .

WG

 

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19 hours ago, Walt G said:

Yes, the Silver Ghost R-R had an entirely polished alloy body - hard to tell if the fenders were polished or a very light tan/cream color.

the Tucker photo was given to me to copy by a friend 40 years ago, who was a teenager when it was taken and he is sitting in the front

passenger seat, that photo was taken near the Tucker sales office in Baldwin, N.Y.

He told me he was impressed with the car but even more impressed with the driver who was the wife of the salesman who is standing next to the car.

 

Notice the very unusual 3 rd. headlight mounted above the radiator on the R-R. It must have created a bit of a blind spot when driving.  The owner must have needed frequent  night time transportation.  An upper class practice Doctor ?

 

Greg in Canada

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, 1912Staver said:

The owner must have needed frequent  night time transportation.

 

I always think that the owner was afraid of the dark.

I think there are a bunch of 4WD guys that way these days.

Edited by JACK M (see edit history)
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I know what you mean about the 4WD crowd. They all seem to think they are in a night stage on the Paris - Dakar rally.

 

Greg

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