George Albright

CONTEST! $50 PRIZE! ID this 1916-18 chassis with homemade speesdter body. Please share!

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OK Guys: Its contest time! $50 cash for who can first ID this circa 1916-18 chassis with a speedster body added in the 1920s or 1930s. I will solely decide the winner, but will post answers here, or you guys post your findings here. Always been in or near Akron, Ohio. See first two pages of info on the car below, written by the man who has owned it since 1964,when his dad gave it to him. It is not for sale, just helping him try to figure out this car he has owned all his life. Based upon the radiator shell it I believe is a circa 1916-18 chassis, if the radiator and shell are original to the car and the speedster body was built around it. Maybe the unusual shaped leaf springs make it earlier. He has lots of specs on the sheets below. He and I recently determined it is a Lycoming engine, with no water pump, but thermosyphen . I have studied the engine and also believe it is Lycoming. It has an L and a number cast on one of the photos below. He thinks it is 3 1/4 x 5 because he removed the head and pistons and measured. He is a lifelong heavy truck mechanic so he must be correct. It has a Detroit Gear and Machine Co. Company transmission.  That is written on the top of the trans inspection cover. See photos.  Gemmer steering column. Make of rear axle unknown. Standweld demountable wood wheel rims. Connecticut ignition, and unusual DISCO electric starter. It is 109 1/2 inch wheelbase, which means it may be listed as a 110 WB. When restoring it he found no additional holes on the chassis so the WB hopefully is original to the chassis and helps in IDing. Front track is 57 inches. Rear Track is 56 inches. Unusual springs on the car. Appears the radiator never had a radiator emblem which did occur on some cars then. Possible lead with other clues. The radiator is mounted on either side of the fame on a stud on a spring so the radiator assembly can give. Dixie Flyer did this but we determined it not to be one. Different trans,WB etc. I looked at the 1917 and 1918 Motor World Technical Specifications of Passenger Cars charts. Nothing nailed it. Close with Lycoming engines and close WB was Crow Elkart, Elcar, Dort, Partin-Palmer,and Commonwealth for 1917 and 1918. So far I haven't nailed it. that's what you experts are about to embark upon! THANKS! George Albright, Ocala, Fla.  email  gnalbright@gmail.com  cell weekdays 10-4 EST please 352 843 1624

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

the small step plates  on either side of the chassis are NOT original to the chassis. Owner added them to get into the speedster seats easier. Thanks,George

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Radiator shell looks a lot like Maxwell. Here is a 1916....

1916 Maxwell touring.jpg

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I JUST looked up 1917 Maxwell,and came to the same conclusion! Radiator shell appears the same and the springs on either side of the radiator bolting it to the frame are also there. However wheelbase is not where close and Maxwell used their own motors not Lycoming. They may have picked a Maxwell radiator when they built the speedster body due to its shape. GREAT GUESS!

maxwell1917.jpg

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Yeah, the rest of the car isn't much like a Maxwell.

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the fact that it has a Lycoming engine and a Detroit Gear and Machine Co. transmission should really narrow it down.

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I have looked in a couple of times. My first thought on the radiator/shell also was Maxwell, but I am not quite convinced. I do not recognize the engine, but such a motor could could have been adapted from any of many sources. I also notice the radiator connection doesn't line up very well. This would suggest either or both the engine and radiator were adapted from something else.

There are considerable similarities between this chassis and pre-14 Studebaker four cylinder cars. Of course there must be a dozen other cars with very similar chassis. There is no chance the rear end would be Studebaker (besides until 1918, they used transaxles!). Nothing about it looks like any Studebaker I have ever seen. Identifying the rear end might lead to identifying the rest of the chassis.

The front axle does look a lot like mid-'10s Studebaker (and about a hundred other cars!).

I suspect there are likely major pieces from a couple different sources. The frame, suspension, and front end all could be from about 1912 to 1918-ish. Engine? Rear end?

Neat car! I wonder what the title calls it? (If there is one?)

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thanks for studying the chassis and your thoughts. It is possible the engine is not original to the frame. However the owner said during the restoration he found no additional holes on the chassis. I think they titled it as a crow Elkhart even tho it didn’t have a transaxle. Title done long ago. I told the owner since the engine ID tag that was riviited to the engine was missing that maybe the chassis was stolen or merely given away before the late 1950s when they were given  it for hauling it off. Those were the days! 

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Appears NOT to be a 1916-18 Dort, Elcar,Dixie Flyer,Crow Elkhart   All those appear to have used the Lycoming Model K engine which we believe this car has. ID tag removed from engine. However different Wheelbase from this car at 109 1/2  inches. And those don’t have Detroit gear and machine transmissions like this car. Anyone got any info diagrams or a McCord head gasket #27 for a lycoming ? Anything appreciated!

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Posted (edited)

Interesting.......I met the owner of this car back three years ago while working on a Model J that failed to proceed in the parking lot of the Mount Washington Hotel in Breton Woods New Hampshire. I was under the J in the dark on a dirt lot when he came by to look at the car. I had a bad brake line........and between the mosquitos, coyotes, and the black bears, I decided to wait till morning to fix the J. While talking to him he told me about his speedster. I gave him my contact info, and two and a half years later in early January Of this year he sent me the package you have posted, along with a bunch of photos. I told him I was fairly certain I could ID the car quickly. Needless to say, It wasn’t as easy as a normal back yard build from the 30’s. While we struck out running it by my usual go to guys, I did give him an analysis of the  cars over all appeal and value. He is a true gentleman, and is the first to stump me in about 20 years. At the time, I agreed not to share the info per his request. While not a particularly valuable car, it’s an excellent example of one of the very early in the era speedsters built in a garage. My guess was the parts all came out of the scrap yard, using the best and cheapest component they could find. I also surmised that it was a rural build, as cars in a junkyard near a big city would have offered a more interesting power plant for the same money. Looking forward to see what’s turns up. Ed

 

PS- unless new information has surfaced, I determined at the time it was a pre war build......but I can’t remember why.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)

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Does anyone own or have info on a circa 1917-18 lycoming model k engine. ? That’s what we think the motor is. Thanks George gnalbrigjt@gmail.com 

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