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The phone rang... and then the next car adventure starts


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4 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

16 valve inline-4. Nice! Probably has, what, a 6500 RPM redline?


6750..........that’s why it has a mag.........the old fashion timers of the era couldn’t keep up. 

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23 minutes ago, jeff_a said:

Here is a 1915 or 1916 White motorhome that used to be at Pioneer Auto Show and Museum in Murdo, South Dakota(it's not on the current inventory). Y'all ought to buy one to go with the other(if it were still there). I took the pic in 2012 and remember it had a four. It would be funny if it was the same engine. 

Good luck with the 1917..........it  does seem like it has a lot of potential!

image00000039.jpeg


If I’m not mistaken, that would have a 4-40 in it.............but just speculation. So it would be a traditional two valve.

 

 

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As I wracked (or racked depending upon your etymology instructor?) my brain, trying to guess (privately) what car this could be? White never crossed my mind. As I read through the past two pages (after the reveal had been done), I did notice and wonder about the "white" clock statement.

Some years back when I was still somewhat active in the clubs, the Bay Area Horseless Carriage Club (a HCCA Regional Group), there were two gasoline White automobiles. One was one of the earliest, a 1910 if I recall correctly. It was a beautiful restoration of a solid original touring car. About the size of a smaller four cylinder Buick, but a good runner and reliable tour car. They drove it on a lot of club tours. 

The other gasoline White was the big 1915 model touring car. It had been in a club family for almost forty years, then being driven by the son and his family. The son had been riding in that car as a small child thirty years before. It was a BIG car for a four cylinder, nearly the size of a Pierce 38, and nearly as fast. If I recall correctly, I "think" I remember being told it had the four speeds transmission with "fourth" being overdrive.

It was a very impressive automobile! And yours is bigger? (Yes I know it is!)

 

I should have thought about White, but I think I got stuck on the six cylinder notion.

 

I still maintain my membership in the BAHCC, hoping to get back to touring again.

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2 hours ago, F&J said:

Speaking of which, Bill had saved indoors, an early white painted T model Ford children's hearse.  :(

 

He was regularly badgered by hot rodders to sell them the white hearse and resolutely refused to do it. He told me it ought to be preserved but not as a hot rod. I've no idea what became of it after he died. Hanging from the rafters above that hearse were NOS Model T fenders. I was one of the few regular customers permitted to rummage around the inside storage any time I wished...I found a lot of stuff there but I only wish I knew then what I know now.

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2 hours ago, edinmass said:


 

Im curious as to it’s total performance.......with the four speed,  Is one a hill climber/stump puller? It says 3rd is direct.........I have never seen an over drive this early.......any ideas?

 

I had a 1912 White GA four-cylinder for awhile. Also a four speed with third being direct and fourth being overdrive. Considering it was a 30HP car, it would fly down the road once you got into fourth gear. A friend had a 1913/14 and it was the same.  White was one of a few pre-1915 cars that had overdrive. I am willing to bet your car might have overdrive. 

Edited by motoringicons (see edit history)
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I was thinking American Fiat but I don't know if that is a T head.

The pre-Silver Ghost RR cars had an overdrive 4th speed. They called it the "sprinting gear." So did the Silver Ghosts up to about 1913.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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4 minutes ago, motoringicons said:

 

I had a 1912 White four-cylinder for awhile. Also a four speed with third being direct and fourth being overdrive. A few pre-1915 cars did have overdrive. I am willing to bet your car might have overdrive. 


Sounds good to me......it’s definitely a oil bath disk clutch with a four speed, listed as direct in third. Wonder what the overdrive ratio is......sounds like it’s going to be a good driver.

 

My 1914 Cadillac with the dual speed rear was a great car, for a mid price category automobile. Most people don’t realize till Cadillac went to the V-8 It was still a mid level car. My Caddy was a 7k mile car.........nice and tight. This White looks like it will turn out the same. My Caddy still had the original coil, condensers, and points in it. The gasoline heater in the fuel bowl was still working.......as was the factory voltage regulator with the mercury thermometer inside. The glass jars were missing for the battery.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Whew, at least you didn’t ask for the Pierce!

 

Some of the earlier White cars were 18 volt electrical, wonder if this 17 is that way?

 

White Post restorations restored an earlier White, drove them crazy with the 18 volt system and lots of non-standard things on the car...

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Somehow I suspect the 5 3/4 inch stroke might reach 2500 ft/m a little sooner than 6k rpm. More like 2400 prm

 

The does lead to a thought: It apparently came with a special carb and now has a Zenith. The valve arrangement is to develop more HP which means more flow. Makes me wonder if it needs a larger than normal carb (for the time) to develop the intended power. Jon ?

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In my teen years I got loaned to a guy with a 13 or 14 white (so I could start it for him) on a tour. he had a lot of trouble shifting the car but once up to cruising speed he ran with the faster cars on the tour... and it was PATC tour with some very big cars. 

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15 minutes ago, trimacar said:

Whew, at least you didn’t ask for the Pierce!

 

Some of the earlier White cars were 18 volt electrical, wonder if this 17 is that way?

 

White Post restorations restored an earlier White, drove them crazy with the 18 volt system and lots of non-standard things on the car...


Now you tell me.........you only get it for 18 months as a penalty.......

 

I want the Cord.......have plenty of Pierce Arrows........

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No problem on the Cord, I’m starting to hide it....er, uh, CLEAN it up for you, darn autocorrect.....a four speed for a four speed, 

 

Whats the old story, guy walks into an auto parts store, asks the counter man “how about an oil filter for a Pinto”? ....counter man thinks for a minute, says yeah, that sounds like a fair trade....

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I knew White made some gas cars but not that they were 4 valve T head. This layout was used by a number of quality cars at the time. A lot of top engine men believed a big 4 cylinder was the ideal power plant. Six cylinders had been around for a few years, and while they excelled in smoothness were disappointing in efficiency, usually producing less power than a 4 of the same size. 4 valves per cylinder allowed the engine to breathe while avoiding the problems of very large valves, like the excess weight, and the danger of overheating, warping and burning the valve. As others have said, a big 4 that was well made and carefully balanced could offer plenty of performance in a large car while keeping the virtues of simplicity and efficiency.

One feature that rang a bell was the tower at the front of the engine for the fan. But I did not associate this with White. Did any other car use that engine or did White make their own engines?

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The entire thing was made by White........including the carburetor. Unconventional but high end............the four speed is just as cool as the dual valve set up. I’m starting to get excited.............

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You’re so excited, and you just can’t hide it....

 

I believe this car will turn out to be quite the oddball, unlike anything you’ve worked on before.
 

 I talked to a friend who worked on a White once.   He agrees that it equates with a comment from WC Fields, in the sense of “Ah, yes, women are kinda like elephants, ya know, like to look at them but wouldn’t want to own one....”.

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This is the first T-head that has a monobloc construction.  Is anyone aware of anyone else's engine that has this type of construction.  This post has been a real fine educational instruction.  You will have to keep us up with the details on restoration.

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7 hours ago, edinmass said:

1917 White Seven Passenger Touring Model GL

 

16 Valve Four

 

Ed - great car!  My friend has a 15 White that has been in his family a long time.  He has it running and knows quite a bit about them.  He has the same engine yours has.  If you are interested I can pass along contact info to you.   He had it up at the Gilmore Car Museum yesterday for a show.  I grabbed this photo off of Facebook from the show.  image.thumb.png.adc09a3f3597bdf8fe9ad6e237337e01.png

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That’s a very nice town car. If my understanding is correct, that car has a 4-40 single valve engine. Problem with White’s is very little published information on them. It’s all part of the adventure.........go from no clue to an expert as fast as possible. I reached out to one other 1915 owner yesterday. I will post what I learn here........plan to run it as a blog with some video of the recovery, and service work. Ed

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38 minutes ago, edinmass said:

That’s a very nice town car. If my understanding is correct, that car has a 4-40 single valve engine. Problem with White’s is very little published information on them. It’s all part of the adventure.........go from no clue to an expert as fast as possible. I reached out to one other 1915 owner yesterday. I will post what I learn here........plan to run it as a blog with some video of the recovery, and service work. Ed

 

Thanks as always, Ed, for the free education and entertainment!

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6 minutes ago, 1935Packard said:

 

Thanks as always, Ed, for the free education and entertainment!


 

Your not getting away that cheap! Your buying drinks at Pebble next year........for all the “young guns”. 👍

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6 hours ago, nickelroadster said:

This is the first T-head that has a monobloc construction.  Is anyone aware of anyone else's engine that has this type of construction.  This post has been a real fine educational instruction.  You will have to keep us up with the details on restoration.


 

Nickel- that’s why I wanted the car......a off the wall T Head........that basically no one has ever seen. Monobloc construction, four valves per cylinder, four speed, oil bath clutch, mag only ignition. It’s a very interesting way to build a car at that point in time.Toss in its a company that had engineering that was seconded to none just a few years earlier, it was mechanically too interesting to pass up. Also, I like ridiculously big cars.......this car also fits the bill. While I’m patient to get it running, I am chomping at the bit to understand it’s over all condition and if any unexpected major problems pop up. I hate making wheels, or trying to fabricate missing parts........making replacement parts that I already have a pattern for doesn’t bother me at all. Fortunately, I have some retired friends who think this strange junk I find fascinating is neat also. So I will have help to get it going down the road. One of them had a family dealership with Sterling , White, Brockway, and other similar brands of truck being serviced. He’s familiar with trucks and equipment from the 30’s to the 80’s. With a bit of luck we won’t hit any major hurdles. The only unfortunate part of the entire plan is it isn’t HCCA eligible. Such is life. Maybe the CCCA will take it under please apply. It certainly makes the cut on price, engineering, and size. We shall see. Always wanted to break new ground in the please apply category!

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First, I should admit that I personally am not entirely in favor of this? However, the HCCA does have a "Nickel Era Touring Registry" as an extension of the HCCA. The Nickel Age Touring Club that I was a part of for quite a number of years changed "umbrella" club to the HCCA a few years ago, so HCCA membership is now required to be a NATC (our old name) active member (should not be a problem for you, and isn't for me). Grimy (George, you know him) on this forum is one of the club's chief officers. The "Nickel Era Touring Registry" is trying to get more people interested in the nickel era cars, and hold tours in different parts of the country. Our subgroup tries to hold three good tours and one evening dinner meeting per year. Of course, this year was basically washed out. The National Registry tries to hold a major tour somewhere every year. There was also a nickel era group in the mid-West a few years ago. I think I read a tour report from them maybe two years ago. VMCCA holds a Nickel Tour almost every year (I went on one of those fifteen years ago). So there is some growing activity for the nickel cars!

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Ed, you forgot to mention another oddity about this car.....it uses ball bearings everywhere to reduce friction, including the mains in the engine.  I believe it was somewhere in their advertising that it was the “frictionless” car....

 

Its going to be fascinating to see what you find condition wise when you start tearing into it.....

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Ed  sent me a picture of the Zenith carburetor.

 

I have yet to see any White documentation of White carburetors, but have seen a number of Zenith carburetors over the years with a bowl cover that had cast "Manufactured for White".

 

Until someone posted a picture some time ago of the White, I was under the impression the White carburetor may have been made by Zenith.

 

An early Zenith book lists Zenith number 216 for the 16 valve White four cylinder.

 

Zenith number 216 is a type L6L brass carburetor, which would be an S.A.E. flange size 3 (2 15/16 inch center to center on the mounting bolts).

 

The book was published in January 1922.

 

Jon

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Just some quick looks says that is a 408 cid engine. Figuring 2500 rpm max, and a ve of .35 says you need a 105cfm carb (basing some of that on the manufacturing blurb but probably a 4 bbl fudge factor. Jon can you estimate the CFM of the Zenith 216 ? Is there a better way to figure ? Am more used to FI.

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19 hours ago, edinmass said:

4C4FE7FB-034F-47D8-95E3-FF8524F54557.jpeg

 

Ed - That White Town Car I shared does have the 16 valve from what I know.  Here is a picture of the engine in the 15 Town Car.  looks to me to be darn close to what you have in your new car.  It also has two plugs per cylinder.

  image.thumb.png.d36de665e681ccf5bf46dbd2f7fc7809.png

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I have read the town car is a series 45.........mine is a GL. Who knows? The 45 had the dual plug..........the GL did not. Also different displacement.  From what I read.

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Nobody has mentioned if they knew of any other monobloc T-heads with four valves per cyl.  I am also unaware of any other cars that used ball or roller bearings this late.  I always wondered how well engines lasted with this kind of bearings.  Ed, you might need to hire someone just to take pictures of all the special features on this car and post them.  I am looking forward to seeing all the good stuff on this car.

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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

I have read the town car is a series 45.........mine is a GL. Who knows? The 45 had the dual plug..........the GL did not. Also different displacement.  From what I read.

I see what you are saying about the difference in the White 'models'.   Here is the other side of the engine in the town car.  I will talk to the owner as I know there is some special history on the car and the engine.  I remember he told me about his conversations with a descendent of the original founder.  I see your model GL was a specific model with a body by Rubay I believe.  110322860_179385610225928_8494427282858094253_n.jpg?_nc_cat=107&_nc_sid=8bfeb9&_nc_ohc=O39RYZtf3KwAX-BPCUk&_nc_ht=scontent-ort2-1.xx&oh=7c7c5638dc095cae8e1de502c96c6a45&oe=5F4DE835

 

I also found a picture online of a White model 45 engine and it is smaller and different.  

1916 White Model Forty-Five

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6 hours ago, padgett said:

Just some quick looks says that is a 408 cid engine. Figuring 2500 rpm max, and a ve of .35 says you need a 105cfm carb (basing some of that on the manufacturing blurb but probably a 4 bbl fudge factor. Jon can you estimate the CFM of the Zenith 216 ? Is there a better way to figure ? Am more used to FI.

Probably, if I can find a print with the internal venturi size; but why bother.

 

The Zenith engineers specifically calibrated the carb for this engine only. I don't claim to be as smart as they were.

 

One of the reasons I have been as successful as I have, is to listen to the engineers.

 

Jon.

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Cool photos........there are differences between the town car and my motor...........I have a magnito and a different air pump, and exhaust manifold looks different. Probably a situation of very few cars manufactured, and an evolving upgrade as they saw fit in the era. Interestingly the car has roller main bearings, and supposedly also for the dual camshafts. I sent a few email out to other owners to get some feedback. The guy who sold me the car was a very well known HCCA touring participant with 60 thousand miles on his Model T, and he had a bunch of other cool early brass stuff. He also owned a 1910 White gas car. When I finally get my head around what White was building from 1913 to the end, I will post it. They did build a six in 14 & 15, but dropped it........saying the dual valve big four was a better engine............

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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

Cool photos........there are differences between the town car and my motor...........I have a magnito and a different air pump, and exhaust manifold looks different. Probably a situation of very few cars manufactured, and an evolving upgrade as they saw fit in the era. Interestingly the car has roller main bearings, and supposedly also for the dual camshafts. I sent a few email out to other owners to get some feedback. The guy who sold me the car was a very well known HCCA touring participant with 60 thousand miles on his Model T, and he had a bunch of other cool early brass stuff. He also owned a 1910 White gas car. When I finally get my head around what White was building from 1913 to the end, I will post it. They did build a six in 14 & 15, but dropped it........saying the dual valve big four was a better engine............

I will let you know what I find out when I talk to the owner as well so it can help you piece together the White story.  The owner is very active with the early cars and his Grandpa put together the collection of big powered cars like this White, a 17 twin six Packard, etc.  

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Ok it’s been over a day. I though you would have posted a video driving down the road by now. There’s a bunch of kids waiting for a ride plus a whole bunch of us characters on the forum that really want to see this running. So let’s go! 
dave s 

 

sorry just couldn’t resist. 

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