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I'm wondering if anybody has a set of Hartford Shocks they'd be willing to part with. I've been adding period race car pictures to the period race car thread and noticed some cars used them and some did not. I don't see a need for them on today's modern roads but back in the day, as I understand it, a car would leave the roadway because of the slightest bump, I'm guessing because of the recoil from the spring. I do remember some years back at the Chickshea meet, a friend took me for a ride in a 1916 Liberty and we went through a mud puddle and I was almost thrown out of the car because of the spring recoil. I know reproduction Hartfords can be purchased through several outlets, but are there any originals out there for sale? Please respond by email, haywood96@hotmail.com, or post your comments here. Thanks. I find the dynamics of early racing fascinating.

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I've been looking for some for 6 or 8 years and everything I've seen is either flogged, not a set or grossly overpriced. I do think they work a lot better than people think if they are taken apart, cleaned, the friction discs replaced and adjusted properly. There is also the problem with the length of the arms. Those were different for different cars. when the time comes, I'll just buy the repros sold by The Complete Automobilist in the UK. I'll be able to specify the length of the arms and, although expensive, they appear to be cheaper than any of the originals I've seen offered. I've no problem with new parts IF they are well made and my impression is that they are.

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Joe,

Google Packard Twin Six. Their Hartford shocks are $300 ea., period correct, and like you say, probably cheaper than original and all new. The  English version is correct for English cars and not bad  but when you add on shipping, they are more expensive. Now Holden has them listed for 125 ea. but its $32 to ship to the states.

Edited by AHa (see edit history)
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On 9/7/2020 at 1:23 PM, AHa said:

Joe,

Google Packard Twin Six. Their Hartford shocks are $250 ea., period correct, and like you say, probably cheaper than original and all new. The  English version is correct for English cars and not bad  but when you add on shipping, they are more expensive. Now Holden has them listed for 125 ea. but its $32 to ship to the states.

 

When buying stuff in the UK, if the item is being shipped out of the country there is no VAT. In the past, I've found the shipping to be less than the VAT (which I think is 21% now). But, I haven't priced them and I would not need the heaviest version which is what I think a Packard Twin Six must use. I don't think there is any difference between the American and the English shocks although I've mostly seen them on English cars. I was going to order some and pick them up while in the UK but it's actually cheaper to have them shipped.

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Here is part of what I have. The box from the swap meet is playing hard to find. If it's out in my garage it may be some time until I find it. When my father downsized 2 years ago all his large workshop full of stuff ended up in my garage. 

 

These parts are mainly the ones for the rear of my Staver. But as you can see there are two arm lengths { 7 " and 8 1/2 "} and wide and narrow end bushing widths.

My best 2 arms { the shock that is still together } have narrow end bushings. I need the wide style. I would trade these arms for the correct wide bushing arms , but if nothing shows up I will turn up new bushings and braze as needed.

The one inner I have with the correct width bushing is quite rusty and the short 7" length.  The two already modified arms at the top could substitute  with further modifications

Notice the inner pivot bush with the small projections, it's the only one I have, but I expect I will have to make a full set of them.

Also notice my u bolts  only 1 of the 4 are anywhere near re- usable so new ones will also have to be made.

All in all I think I have the rear shocks in hand , the front are another story.

Like I say if anyone has decent condition , long {8 1/2 " } wide end bushing arms surplus I am willing to buy or trade. The U bolts are Staver only so I doubt anyone has them sitting on a shelf.  4 have the shock mounts , 4 are plain, without the mounts. Full elliptical  springs on the rear so 8 u bolts.

 

Greg

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Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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I have one of this style , and quite a nice one.  I have been looking for a mate to use on my front axle, but I am now thinking  this type was  introduced several years after my 1912  car was built. Anyone have a better idea  of the date ?

Most of the ads I see for these ones are around 1919 and later. It may eventually be for sale or trade.

 

Greg

s-l1600hartford.jpg

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Vintageandclassicshockabsorbers.co.uk also has the edwardian style shock absorbers for L250 ea. 7.5" and 8.5" length arms. Andrew Hartford-classic car parts sells them as well  but not the edwardian style. Their prices are not listed. And of course, Holden vintage classic of UK carries a full line of Hartford style shocks but none of the edwardian style. The Packard twin six shocks are the edwardian style and at $300 ea., the most expensive but they are American made. I might note, Packard Twin Six is a company name. The shocks are not made for a Packard Twin Six, the shocks are reproduction Hartford shocks. And, as Joe notes above, The Complete Automobilist in the UK carries a line of Andre Hartford shocks.

 

Edwardian style Hartford shocks have the brass accents and are correct for circa 1910 vehicles. The Andre Hartford shocks have the nickle plated accents and are correct for 1915 and later vehicles.

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So I guess the only remaining question is whether it is prudent to try find originals or simply invest in a new set. With a new set, you have all the parts and they match. When buying an original set, the discs are likely to be worn out and parts missing. If an original set is cheap enough, replacement parts can be purchased from any of the above manufacturers. I guess the answer is: it depends on how cheaply an original set can be purchased? Thoughts?

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The other question mark is time. I only had access to ebay  { not anymore,  until the virus restrictions are lifted }  I tried to buy a simple owners manual for one of my sports cars last week , the postage was going to be $29.00 U.S..  Barely bigger than a 

envelope with a letter.  The so - so condition , original  owners manual was going to end up costing twice as much  as a brand new , good quality re- print.

 And the Pacific North West swap meets.  Also not currently available .

What I now have took 20 years of looking. How many years do you have to put a set together ?

For someone with access to the major swap meets I am sure the time would be substantially reduced, but still probably at least a few years. 

I am sure there are people like myself with at least some spare parts, but it seems most people are looking for the same parts. Probably the re - pro's are the most practical as long as the quality is decent.

 

Greg

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That's a great photo and answers another question: "How were they mounted?" I've never seen the shocks for sale at Hershey, though I was not looking for them. I've conversed with another forum member who is also looking for a set. I guess that explains why there are four companies reproducing them now. I'm guessing you can still buy a new set. One of the companies above states they are built to order so there is at least a couple of weeks to deliver.

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Possibly a bit better. but you are still feeding the restriction to spring movement into the front spring U bolt. Some of the post 1915 Stutz's mount them on the outside, and no doubt others as well. If nothing else the outside mounting would prevent knocking your knuckles on them

when crank starting.

 

Greg

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