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Cars to hay wagons and other conversions


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I think they were quite common. I have a 1926 Cadillac hay wagon. Short Wheelbase ; of the two offered,  and I believe a Custom Series car. Factory leather spring gators.  Most likely a 

Custom Series roadster before the unfortunate conversion. There couldn't have been more than a small handful of them  sold locally and no known survivors. 

 

 

Greg

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This is going to be a great thread.


I’ve shared this elsewhere, but farmers never let anything go to waste. My great-grandfather traded his brand new car for an ‘old’ 1926 Chevy truck to escape depression Detroit in 1930 for obtainable farmable land farther north.

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(⬆️‘s the Truck in 1934 when just 8 years old. The wood body was already badly deteriorated. I’ve seen better pictures than this incidental, but can’t find them. I haven’t seen another with those exact well executed arched windows).

 

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(⬆️Same truck in 1944 - wood body completely deteriorated and removed. Not a haywagon, but used only on the farm. Here it’s being used to load and haul hay.)

 

Shortly after those 1944 photos the truck was converted into a ‘buzzsaw’ for wood. It was still in use through the 1960’s. That 1930 escape from Detroit was the last time it ever saw a road or was licensed. It lived on the farm exclusively after. I’m told it’s still up there somewhere but I’ve never knowingly seen it.

Farmers never throw anything away....

 

Edited by Ben P.
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2 hours ago, dustycrusty said:

odd they left the fenders on- they just take up load space...

 

Look at the second and third photos posted by Ben P., and I think that the reason the fenders were left on becomes clear. 

 

Cheers,

Grog

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Yeah, that Duesenberg is a freak. A Frankenstein. Glad it eventually got converted back into a car again - though with a different body of course (if I’ve got the story right).

The ‘Auld Lady’, a 1907 Rolls Royce who’s 1st owner had his authentic original shooting brake body transplanted from another of his cars is the only thing of that type I’d approve of. It was made famous by Melbourne Brindle’s ‘Twenty Silver Ghosts’. 
Fairly recently went up for auction and I cannot find those pictures - but see here that since then some hyena just couldn’t resist modifying it with ridiculous modifications including his idea of some sort of weather protection for the rear.

Different figures are thrown around, but there isn’t a great percentage of early Ghosts out there retaining their original bodies. This is the one and only I’d consider appropriate. Then again, I don’t have the $$$ to worry about such questions....


*ok I’m done polluting the thread and nearly taking it off topic*

Here are a few more decent pics - no I can’t translate. Cannot find the old auction listing...

http://www.automobileweb2.net/index.php?page=silverghostwagonettemaudsley

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Edited by Ben P.
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Is that what they call a shooting brake? A year or so ago I passed one of those on I40 in the pouring rain. What a sight to see!

 

That Duesenberg is awesome! I'd say its a shame somebody converted it back to original. I'd love to have one of those to work on my farm!

Edited by AHa (see edit history)
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Here's an early wrecker I've been meaning to post for Matt. Not much of a conversion. I expect the passenger car looked very similar.

 

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Here is another famous towing car. This is before they invented booms. Nice conversion. For some reason I really like these conversions. It shows great ingenuity.

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Edited by AHa (see edit history)
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That Ghost is lovely. I'm glad they restored it as its truck iteration rather than another ho-hum Roi des Belges touring.

 

This is the one that got me started on my Full Classic truck fascination:

 

P1010112.thumb.jpg.c46f91868a0ad1838d6d55f9a6a3f866.jpg  P1010113.thumb.jpg.55f44d654a02b15a4d227ebfc8ddf7f5.jpg  P1010114.thumb.jpg.c15d7799ac414fc43a9bc382d502327e.jpg

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1 hour ago, AHa said:

Here's an early wrecker I've been meaning to post for Matt. Not much of a conversion. I expect the passenger car looked very similar.

 

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I bet that was just advertising his profession, tearing down buildings and salvaging.

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In the mid 50s I was a teenager working on a farm owned by a woman. Husband died. The wagon on the farm was the  frame from a Buick with wooden  spoke wheels and the hubcaps were still on. I asked her where the rest of the car was and she said her husband took the body and drive train off and it was down in the woods somewhere. 

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First you find two Model A Fords, or to save time two Model A Ford frames. Get a hacksaw, maybe an extra blade and start cutting. Few holes drilled in the right spots and you can attach four casters, and have a cart to move heavy things around the shop. Bob 

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I've had a few:

 

1920 Reo T6 that was ordered with lots of accy's; Rex California top, bumpers, Hayes wire wheels, etc. Still had the never used-still wrapped, side curtains to use in summer after you took the winter door tops off.  They had a compartment built in the roof, and were still there.  Skip at French Lake Auto Parts bought it, but I think he sold it.  Hemmings did a feature on it when he got it, and when he used a pic of it in his monthly ads. Horrible ride quality on bumpy lots, I did not look into why.

2ajvxhd.jpg.da2336bf93bbf3fa532d017f005044dc.jpg 

 

 

1918 Studebaker was a wrecker,  It sat as Commercial yard art for decades and the home built roof dissolved, so I found a rare Rex roadster California top that sort of fit ok.  It's now back to a wrecker, I've heard.

rexstude2.jpg.db7b7da19b34e58623b086adb6ecb6ad.jpg

 

1925 Star that George Dragone spotted poking out of a Pennsylvania barn on a trip to Hershey.  He used it for rides with grandson on Sundays in the city, but the distributor drive broke and sold it to me.  It was lost in a huge tobacco barn fire in central Ct 2 years ago. Best reliable early car I ever had, and was an honest treat to drive.  Yes, I did put together some T-model spokes and rims for the back, that were part of the purchase..

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 I had more but that is enough for now..

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I purchased an assembly of front and rear axles with Rudge Whitworth wire wheels, still connected to the frame by the original springs of an early Model A Duesenberg.  The front right corner of the chassis frame was badly damaged by collision , and I used to tell people it had been converted to a one horsepower job.     Now ACD Duesenberg historian Ray Wolff had previously persuaded me to buy a 1922 Model A D, from one of his friends in Mexico City ; which had the chassis frame shortened by 3 ft for car racing.   Extra parts  included a late 1923 chassis frame, which had been also shortened, but with the rear of the frame inverted to undersling the rear axle. ( There was most of the 1923 engine and transmission also, and other useful parts).           I repaired the damaged front corner with new material;  then I made a jig from that 1923 frame to repair the 1923 chassis frame to the correct form.  I fitted the 1923 frame from Montana with the front crossmember from the left-over extra from Mexico; so that when the time comes to build a second car, the chassis number and engine number will remain a correct pair.

   In 1984 at Auburn while I was in conversation with Ray Wolff, Jim Gilmartin from the north of Manhattan also spoke to us.   He had most of an A Duesenberg project, but desperately needed a chassis frame.      I told him I would get new chassis quality plate , have it press-folded to correct channel size; and similarly a suitable piece of channel to make a cross-member for where the front mounts for the rear springs go.      When Jim saw all the material on the floor under the jig for building the chassis , he said he had wasted his time and money, and could not see how I could ever make a chassis for his Duesenberg.  But it was really quite a straightforward process.  Just like Henry Leland told the English when they asked how he was able those Cadillacs so they could be re-assembled with new replacement parts that needed no machining for proper fit.   He replied that it was really a very simple process:  First you had to decide what you wanted to do, and how you were going to do it.   Then you did it the way you decided.

 

I apologise that I can never post photos of anything people might like to see.   This is my fault. It is not Peter G's fault.  I am Asperger's syndrome, which is very useful in most respects; but unless I have complete and literal instructions, I cannot learn to do computer process.  If someone could be kind enough to send me instructions in English by PM,  that do not involve Chinglish or thought-waves,  I will use that method gratefully.

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18 hours ago, JFranklin said:

I bet that was just advertising his profession, tearing down buildings and salvaging.

 

Are you saying that car wouldn't be able to tow anything? Really? You haven't seen under the hood!

 

Oh, I'm sorry, it doesn't have a hood. Well, looks can be deceiving. Maybe this town only had flat streets and other high wheelers. It's possible.

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There have been lots of cars transformed into tow trucks. This is a nice example shown in all its glory. Can anybody determine the make and model of the donor vehicle.

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Here's one of many Model A's that had been cut down for farm use.

 

My own personal daily driver from 1980-1985 ,seen here at the purchase site preparatory to being readed to fired up to drive home after 16 year rest.

 

5 foot bed of  aftermarket  origin and wider then a stock Model A pickup made it extremely useful.

 

The extra seat room with original folding bucket seats were great.

It was slowly improved cosmetically.

 

Ran sweet ...35.000 miles I racked up on it with 2 valve jobs tossed in plus one set of tires.

 

 

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I have posted these before but this is a 1913 Caddy touring car turned into a farm truck. It has been restored back to its original form.

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4 hours ago, Flivverking said:

My own personal daily driver from 1980-1985 ,seen here at the purchase site preparatory to being readed to fired up to drive home after 16 year rest.

They did a nice job on the conversion. 

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Is the Cadillac the one that was owned by frank stokes in calif for so many years,was later restored by Harold hoe in la puente calif,if it’s the same one it was beautiful when finished,     Dave

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During the winter of 1970-1971, while driving from home in Ft Wayne to visit family in NJ, we stopped in (I think) Port Matilda, PA to pick up an A/C for our Citroen DS-21 from Stan Smith. He gave my wife a ride in his 2-CV which convinced her that we "needed" one of our own. We became intrigued with a project he was working on, building a Mercer T-Head Raceabout. Stan and his father had been aware of the existence of the Mercer chassis, converted ages earlier to a hay wagon as I recall, for many years. The farmer refused all cash offers for many years and ultimately agreed to let it go in exchange for a new hay wagon. After loading the rolling chassis and preparing to leave, Stan was asked "don't you want the body?" He didn't know it still existed, and was of course pleased to have it. 

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I love the truck converted early cars when done with reasonable care and thought.

 Whether a Rolls Royce, old Nash or Plymouth..

They all have such distinct earthy personalities and if you look hard enough..there is some warmth in there that the regular stock cars ,no matter how nice and fancy jest don't seem to have...

For me anyway.

 

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16 hours ago, JustDave said:

Is the Cadillac the one that was owned by frank stokes in calif for so many years,was later restored by Harold hoe in la puente calif,if it’s the same one it was beautiful when finished,     Dave

No the Caddy is from Southern Ontario and is owned by Alfred Acres. I believe the car has recieved its AACA senior.

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Edited by coachJC (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, Mark Shaw said:

1924 Buick "cut down" roadster pickup.  These were relatively common in farming country. 

It's now my garage saling & fishin rig...

Very nice Mark. Love the looks of it!!!

Do you have anymore pictures?

Edited by Fossil (see edit history)
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How about a bridge ?

After parting out a 1926 Buick chassis, my dad noticed the wooden beams holding up a foot bridge over the creek in the back pasture were rotten and needed replacing.  The Buick frame was just the right length to span over the creek bed, and so a Buick was reborn as a bridge.

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6 hours ago, Mark Shaw said:

1924 Buick "cut down" roadster pickup.  These were relatively common in farming country. 

It's now my garage saling & fishin rig...

24 PU Canoe 3.jpg

 

Mark, I thought you had sold, or were selling that lovely rig, complete with canoe?

If only I had the space ...

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5 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

I just bought this funky little working-class hybrid and it's sitting in my driveway right now:

 

I give up, what is it.?

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5 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Not QUITE old enough to be an antique, but I just bought this funky little working-class hybrid and it's sitting in my driveway right now:

 

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Looks like you got an Elco from down under? Holden? 

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28 minutes ago, BobinVirginia said:

Looks like you got an Elco from down under? Holden? 

GM Holden stopped AU manufacture in 2017.   They never made a hybrid ute. Utes's were RHD, while some cars were made LHD

.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holden

 

From South America/Europe?

 

Edit

Looks like some one converted Holden Ute to LHD in USA

https://drivemag.com/news/you-can-drive-a-fully-legal-left-hand-drive-holden-ute-in-the-us

Edited by 1939_Buick (see edit history)
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9 minutes ago, 1939_Buick said:

GM Holden stopped AU manufacture in 2017.   They never made a hybrid ute. Utes's were RHD, while some cars were made LHD

.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holden

 

From South America?

Learn something everyday. Be curious to see what it is. 👍🏻

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5 minutes ago, BobinVirginia said:

Learn something everyday. Be curious to see what it is. 👍🏻

GM have withdrawn from the right hand drive market: UK, Japan, Thailand. Australia, New Zealand, and other countries

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11 minutes ago, 1939_Buick said:

GM have withdrawn from the right hand drive market: UK, Japan, Thailand. Australia, New Zealand, and other countries

Yep, that’s a bit outta my wheelhouse. Always cool to learn things. Holden was my best guess. Really haven’t studied American marks abroad. I do know they offer small cubic inch Diesel engines we can’t get in the states thanks to big oil lobbyists. 

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