Jump to content

Period RACE CAR Images to Relieve some of the Stress


Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, 1912Staver said:

 

The reality with race cars is that they become obsolete quickly. Particularly race cars that are not modified production cars. Parts rapidly become completely unavailable . And even if you could keep it running what would a person do with a 5 year old race car? No such thing as vintage racing up until the late 1970's.

A handful survived, and a further handful have been recreated either from a few fragments of a completely new construction. But 95% of them were crashed , engines blown up and never rebuilt, used up as spares, left derelict and ultimately scrapped, you name it. It is really only in the later 1970's and later that anything other than a few 

very significant early race cars were sought after. Once they were obsolete as a competitive race car they were just so much metal. And most ended up back in the furnace. 

It happens to this day. The real danger zone is when they are 5 - 20 years old. Non - competitive for what they were built for, and as likely to get parted out as to survive intact. Entry level class cars survive better, say Formula Ford. Because technology does not progress as quickly in the lower class ranks. And there are always new drivers wanting to get their feet wet in an older / cheaper car. But mid rank classes and higher the tech moves very quickly

and the costs are very high even for an older car. If you can afford racing at this level it only makes sense to use as up to date a car as possible. So a 5 year old car is a totally lost cause. Things were not any different 100 years ago. Salvage what you can from the 2 years ago car and put the money into this years car.

 

Greg in Canada

 

Probably the best known collector of pre-WWI race cars was George Waterman, a founding member of the VMCCA, whose collection included, I believe, the S74  FIAT currently owned by George Wingard. As previously mentioned, race cars did not remain competitive for long and were usually scrapped. As interesting as the Thomas Locomobile certainly was, there would be very little reason to have kept it since it did not win any major races and was eclipsed by a later factory race car. The case of Old 16 is different since it was the first American car driven by Americans to win a major international race. In addition, the car was used extensively by the company to promote Locomobiles. We are very fortunate that Joe Sessions and Peter Helck were able to not only save it but to preserve it in its original condition. The car appeared at many events such as a New York Automobile show in the 1940's with George Robertson at the wheel, a Glidden Tour, and another appearance at Hershey in the 1980's plus Lime Rock.

Edited by A. Ballard 35R (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A very poor copy of a copy of a picture taken in the yard of the Blake Brothers, Barry and Bob, of Arlington, Va. 
The white chain drive midget was said to be powered by a 4 cylinder Henderson motorcycle engine.  Note the model T front axle and the tow bar used for flat-MVC-012S.JPG.1fb92f06ae36c10578b18b119f2c83e0.JPGtowing to the track.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/25/2020 at 8:38 AM, AHa said:

I would love to hear the story of how the S74 Bragg car survived. I find it very curious why some cars are saved through time and others disappear completely. Sometimes the car is intentionally saved but other times the car gets saved because it is lost and forgotten and rediscovered. The Locomobile old 16 is an example of a car that was intentionally saved. On the other hand, the car Locomobile built one year earlier for Mr Harold Thomas, which placed third, remains lost. Both cars were huge works of mechanical engineering, and costing thousands of dollars to build. One would think after such a large outlay of cash to build the car, it would remain to this day.

 

Bragg kept the car until 1914 when he sold it to Vincent Astor who sold it to George Waterman in 1936. Around 1972 Mrs. Waterman gave my friend John Zangari and I a tour of the Waterman collection (the Watermans were neighbors of my aunt and uncle). I saw this FIAT then, displayed with the huge photo of it on it's side in a ditch. It was included in an exibition of the Waterman racing cars at the RI School of Design Museum titled "The Vingage Racing Machine" in 1970.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

 

Bragg kept the car until 1914 when he sold it to Vincent Astor who sold it to George Waterman in 1936. Around 1972 Mrs. Waterman gave my friend John Zangari and I a tour of the Waterman collection (the Watermans were neighbors of my aunt and uncle). I saw this FIAT then, displayed with the huge photo of it on it's side in a ditch. It was included in an exibition of the Waterman racing cars at the RI School of Design Museum titled "The Vingage Racing Machine" in 1970.

 

So the question is: Why did Bragg not scrap the car and why did Astor buy it when it was obsolete and worthless as a racer? I can understand why Waterman bought it. As I understand it, the S74 was a stripped down stock chassis, so other than being a spectacular car, there was nothing special about it. On the other hand, the Thomas commissioned Locomobile was a special built race car and an engineering marvel and cost $18,000 in 1905 to build. That's a current cost of around $800,000. It doesn't seem reasonable that such a large outlay of money would be scrapped after a couple of years. My suspicion is the car is still out there some where.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alan, I'm not sure of anything. I thought the S74 was a stock car. I'm thinking I googled it and found a picture of a touring car labeled S74. If I'm wrong I stand corrected. In the case of a special built race car, why would a complete example not be seen as having value and saved. Some were, but for what reason? I'm just trying to understand the thinking of the time.

 

Ok, I stand corrected. The S74 was not a stock model.

Edited by AHa (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

Just when did the Waterman collection start? When I got into the hobby there was a feature on the collection in Vol 1 #1 of Automobile Quarterly in 1961,and that FIAT was featured in a full page photo along with a half dozed other cars. Bob

 

In the 30s. I remember Mrs. Waterman telling me that they had been given some of the cars. I believe Waterman owned the Waterman Engineering Company in Providence, RI. He lived in East Greenwich (or North Kingston...it's right on the town line) and had a large house with several outbuildings. Those were full of cars when I saw them. He also rented a mill building nearby in which he stored unrestored or rough" cars although I don't think any would be considered rough today. There was no electricity in the building so that anyone who broke in after dark was taking their chances breaking their neck.

 

Waterman had a neighbor, Kirk Gibson, who also participated. I think that Gibson's son recently donated the big Renault racer his father owned (and was in the Vintage Racing Machine exhibit in 1970) to a museum. My cousin, Geoff, bought Gibson's fathers '26 Lincoln Dietrich-bodied coupe about 50 years ago and sold it back to the son about 10 years ago. These people all had money and traveled in the circles that had always bought exotic and expensive cars. They had places to store them and what was, at the time, thought of a mildly eccentric interest. There are plenty of people like that around today. The fact that the general public thinks something is worthless doesn't mean EVERYONE thinks the same way.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thankyou Joe, what you have said confirms my beliefs. That is, that these engineering marvels were viewed as valuable by some people and efforts were made to save them from the very beginning. Evidently, not everyone saw the value of the engineering of the time as it became obsolete almost as fast as it was created. Its two sides of the same coin really. Some hold on to what has been done and some embrace the future at the expense of the present and past. The key as I see it is to fall somewhere in the middle.

 

I am fascinated by the story of the one remaining 1911 S76 Fiat. The motor and chassis were separated early but the chassis was deemed so valuable, it was fitted with a Stutz motor and raced into the 20s or early 30s and then saved into a collection in Australia. The chassis was so far removed from its origin, it was not known to be the S76 chassis. A fellow in England bought the chassis and the second motor, the motor kept by the factory in Turin, Italy was located somewhere, and the two united. It's an amazing story.

 

Fiat S76 Record.jpgThe S76 Fiat Land Speed Record Runs At Saltburn and Ostend | The ...

 

It is said that the sister car of old 16, the one that was wrecked, was pushed off the end of the dock at the factory pier. It is interesting to note that one car was deemed valuable and kept while the other was deemed worthless, even for scrape. Two men with two different philosophies. I wonder that someone hasn't been down on the river bed searching for the lost car.

Edited by AHa (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's great to hear the story's of the lucky few that have survived. And yes there were some cars that still had some life left as starting points for updating or down classing. Eg. old Indy cars modified and then used as dirt trackers.

But I still subscribe to the theory that the biggest factor in why so few larger Brass Era cars survive ; racers and standard spec. cars alike, is the tire size restrictions enacted for WW1. The cars were already obsolete, but then

the death blow against their survival came when the majority of tires they used were not allowed to be made anymore. That must have made up the minds of thousands of owners who were sitting on the fence about weather to 

keep or scrap the old relic in the shed.

Can't buy parts, can't buy tires, and it's absurdly obsolete. Just put the money into a Marmon 32, Stutz KLDH, L head Mercer or similar "modern " practical car that you can actually drive and maintain.

It's no wonder that far sighted individuals like Waterman were seen as " eccentrics ".

 

Greg in Canada

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, AHa said:

Thankyou Joe, what you have said confirms my beliefs. That is, that these engineering marvels were viewed as valuable by some people and efforts were made to save them from the very beginning. Evidently, not everyone saw the value of the engineering of the time as it became obsolete almost as fast as it was created. Its two sides of the same coin really. Some hold on to what has been done and some embrace the future at the expense of the present and past. The key as I see it is to fall somewhere in the middle.

 

I am fascinated by the story of the one remaining 1911 S76 Fiat. The motor and chassis were separated early but the chassis was deemed so valuable, it was fitted with a Stutz motor and raced into the 20s or early 30s and then saved into a collection in Australia. The chassis was so far removed from its origin, it was not known to be the S76 chassis. A fellow in England bought the chassis and the second motor, the motor kept by the factory in Turin, Italy was located somewhere, and the two united. It's an amazing story.

 

Fiat S76 Record.jpg

 

It is said that the sister car of old 16, the one that was wrecked, was pushed off the end of the dock at the factory pier. It is interesting to note that one car was deemed valuable and kept while the other was deemed worthless, even for scrape. Two men with two different philosophies. I wonder that someone hasn't been down on the river bed searching for the lost car.

 

AHa, could you elaborate on the story of the Locomobile wreck and dock story? Never heard that before and I'm sure I'm not alone. 

Howard Dennis

Edited by hddennis (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, hddennis said:

 

AHa, could you elaborate the story on the Locomobile Wreck and dock story? Never heard that before and I'm sure I'm not alone. 

Howard Dennis

If true, the engine was removed, I've seen it. I like the lack of proper size tires theory, here is a photo to back it up. Is this the Waterman FIAT?Bob 

c4xa23kdxcc0.jpg

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So Bob, I don't belong to your world. I have only done extensive research online. Where did you see the motor? The story goes that old 16s sister car was stored in a small shed out back of the factory on the pier along with some other parts and pieces and one day one of the factory supers was cleaning up and he instructed the workers to dump that stuff off the end of the pier. There is a second story that says Andrew Riker removed the motor and placed it in a sail boat he owned. There is a third story that says Locomobile made enough spare parts when they made the two 1906 cars to assemble two more cars. These parts were kept with old 16 and were given to Peter Helk when he acquired old 16 and stored separately in a building on the estate. When the Helk family sold old 16 to the Dragones, the parts went with the car but as I understand it, the Dragones did not pass the parts along to the Henry Ford and some attempt to put the parts together was undertook by the Dragones. There was a published report saying the parts were the remnants of the #1 car. I have not been able to find any other information. As I told Alan a minute ago, I don't know anything for sure. There are newspaper and magazine articles online but who knows what the truth is.

 

It is clear that some cars are still coming to light and some parts that were previously misidentified are being properly identified. The motor you saw, was it the one the Dragones are putting together, or did it come out of Riker's sailing ship?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Howard, I'm sorry, I left out the wreck story. In 1906 Locomobile made two special race cars at a total cost of $40,000. The second car was made as a back up car to the first. Both cars were entered into the Vanderbilt Cup Race and were designated #1 and number 16. Earlier in this thread I posted a picture of the two cars together at a racing camp. At the end of the Vanderbilt Cup, #16 won the race. The second car was #1 but back far enough that once #16 crossed the finish line, a crowd of people had gathered to surround the car and the driver of the #1 car tried to swerve to miss the crowd and ran into another car that was pulled out onto the track and was wrecked. It was saved but later disposed of. Whether the motor Bob saw was the motor from the #1 car or an assembled motor from the extra parts is left for someone else to judge. I would like to see it to confirm it is an F head motor.

 

In 1946, Peter Helk's neighbor made Peter a model but not of old 16. The model is of the 1905 car, the one commissioned by Harold Thomas. The two cars are confused through history so it is possible the neighbor was confused as to which car Peter had but it is also possible Peter also had parts of the 1905 car. The 1905 car had a T head motor.

 

Update: 12-24-20

I have since learned the sister car to old 16, the #1 car, was also in Peter Helck's collection. It was not badly damaged in the wreck at the end of the Vanderbilt cup and was kept for spare parts for #16. It was later sold to Dragone Classic Cars with #16. Of course, #16 was sold on to The Henry Ford Museum but #1 was restored by Dragone Classic Cars and is in private hands. There was a lot of mis-information published concerning Locomobile's race history in an attempt to confuse the public. The story of the 1905 car is still unknown at this writing.

Edited by AHa (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, 1937hd45 said:

If true, the engine was removed, I've seen it. I like the lack of proper size tires theory, here is a photo to back it up. Is this the Waterman FIAT?Bob 

c4xa23kdxcc0.jpg

 

That is the ex-Waterman car. In the introduction to the booklet published with the exhibition in 1970, Smith Hempstone Oliver (who was curator of the Smithsonian cars at the time) remembers the car from the 40s and that it had been fitted with balloon tires. Apparently this was simply a case of the right tires not being available because the wheels were saved and when tires became available, Waterman put the correct wheels back on the car.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, AHa said:

Thank you Joe, what you have said confirms my beliefs. That is, that these engineering marvels were viewed as valuable by some people and efforts were made to save them from the very beginning. Evidently, not everyone saw the value of the engineering of the time as it became obsolete almost as fast as it was created. Its two sides of the same coin really.

 

As an aside to this thought...I like antique machines. Anyone who has been following my thread on the Mitchell will see that all the machines I use are old, several are older than the car and the newest of them is close to 80 years old now. There aren't a lot of early machine enthusiasts, the machines themselves commonly sell for scrap value, but, that doesn't mean there are none. I know several others and there is even an "Antique Machinery" sub-forum on the Practical Machinist - which, by the way, is where I met Mr. "Luv2wrench". To my mind, the antique machinery collectors are much like car collectors were in the 30s and 40s...there is more available than we'll ever be able to save and its all cheap. Will it ever take off like car collecting did? I doubt it, but that does not mean there is no interest or that everyone thinks all this stuff in junk. There are some machines (metal planers come to mind) which continue to sell for substantial amounts of money simply because they are no longer being made and there are things they can do that no modern machine can. I know one fellow who has three of them running nearly all the time.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Thanks for mentioning your Mitchel! I stop by now and then to check progress and never until just now noticed your name and put your posts here and on the restorations section together. I have to pay closer attention to things. I walked away from a pile of 1907 AUTOCAR parts years ago that someone saved with the proper machine shop. Bob 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From what Austin Clark told me George Waterman saw his family fortune come from the sale of Waterman fountain pens. Austin would comment about George Waterman and his cars, I believe they knew each other from the VMCCA as far back as the pre WWII era and the VMCCA meetings held then. I can't recall the conversations exactly as they all took place in 1972-74 era when I worked for Austin in his library at his house in Meadow Spring , Glen Cove, Long Island, NY.   His collection /library of material is now at The Henry Ford, but the 47 steel 4 drawer filing cabinets of glass plate negatives of the Mack Truck Co. that Austin rescued when they were about to be trashed in the early 1950s ( Mack was located in Brooklyn, NY from day one then eventually moved to Allentown, Pa.) were given back to Mack for their archives/heritage sometime in the 1970s.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, was looking for something else in my library to continue work on a history I am writing on a coach builder and got distracted ( AGAIN!) by a album of photos I haven't looked at in over a decade and quite frankly forgot about. Here is one image ( there are over a dozen more)  - 1910 Vanderbilt Cup Race here on long island in Nassau County. car show is a Pope-Hartford. Bert Dingley at the wheel. he finished 10th in the race.

I borrowed these photos of that race from the fellow who was the appointed Historian for the incorporated village of Floral Park, Hayden Allen. Hayden was the son of the fellow who took the photos in 1910 and was at the Vanderbilt Cup race. When Hayden retired as village historian I was appointed to take his place and have been ever since , this was well over 20 years ago. SO the poor village has had to cope with the current historian who drives around in cars with running boards and uses hand signals to inform people what direction he will be turning.

POPEhartford1910Vanderbilt001.jpg

Edited by Walt G
typo (see edit history)
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1910 Vanderbilt Cup Race, long island. Lozier automobile driven by Ralph Mulford. Car finished 5th. Mulford won the Vanderbilt Cup Race in 1911.

engine displacement for this car was 554.5!!!!  Keep in mind everyone that these cars had two wheel brakes and more then likely the hand brake was much more effective then the foot brake.

LOZIER1910Vanderbilt001.jpg

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was going to wait until tomorrow but these are too cool.  Tacoma,Washington July 3, 1914 100 Mile race:  #2 Bill Barnes, Chevrolet #1 Crustch, Mercer #5 Joe Thomas, Lozier 26 Clyde Latta and #7 Frantz (Stutz) Jim Parsons.  July 4, 1914  250 Mile race #12 Alco William Taylor, #3 Maxwell-Terry Teddy Tetzlaff, #7 Frantz (Stutz) Jim Parsons, #4 Mercer Eddie Pullen, 325 Maxwell Billy Carlson and #32 Maxwell Hughie Hughes.

20200428154730847_0001.jpg

20200428154730847_0002.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to comment
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
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...