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The late Walt Seeley was a specialist in

American Underslungs, and had at least one

nicely restored example.  The one I saw was

light blue in color.

 

He passed on at least 10 years ago, but was

a member of the Chautauqua Lake Region of

the A.A.C.A. in southwestern New York.  I don't

know where his cars went.

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You can buy this one.  You just have to cast a new engine (if you care enough).   The price is commensurate with the engine swap.

 

https://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/cars-for-sale/american-underslung/traveler/2420107.html

 

Seller’s Description:

1910 American Underslung Traveler touring car. Powered by period correct Continental 50hp engine, but have several castings and molds to build a Teeter-Hartley. Diff also incorrect but runs and drives well.

Price: $250,000 Negotiable

 

 

73778204-770-0@2X.jpeg?rev=1

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My opinion of them is not very high......I have worked on them.  Others will bash me..... I thought the mechanical quality was lacking, and rather crude. Give me a Packard, Peerless, Pierce, Simplex, ect...........I'll pass on the underslung. More legend and myth than car........just my two cents. The fact the above car has a different engine in it, and needs new castings speaks volumes. I see them on and off trailers......very few are ever driven extensively from my experience. Ok....start shooting at me now......

 

And yes....they look very neat.......I get it.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

The late Walt Seeley was a specialist in

American Underslungs, and had at least one

nicely restored example.  The one I saw was

light blue in color.

 

He passed on at least 10 years ago, but was

a member of the Chautauqua Lake Region of

the A.A.C.A. in southwestern New York.  I don't

know where his cars went.


The saga of the American Underslung was published in two issues of the AACA Antique Automobile magazine back in ‘79-‘80. One of my favorite stories of one of my favorite cars. Great looking cars but as far as driving one.........no idea. This one sold for 1.6 million a few years ago. One of Walt Seeley’s restorations.

5369895D-2C4B-40F1-B1BB-EDF51AA23C6A.png

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That might be the one I worked on........1.6 sounds high to me....but I don't follow them. The one we were working on had clutch issues.....it seemed someone did their version of an upgrade........it wasn't a good idea. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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47 minutes ago, edinmass said:

My opinion of them is not very high......I have worked on them.  Others will bash me..... I thought the mechanical quality was lacking, and rather crude. Give me a Packard, Peerless, Pierce, Simplex, ect...........I'll pass on the underslung. More legend and myth than car........just my two cents. The fact the above car has a different engine in it, and needs new castings speaks volumes. I see them on and off trailers......very few are ever driven extensively from my experience. Ok....start shooting at me now......

 

And yes....they look very neat.......I get it.

 

Interesting...there is one on display at the Audrey Museum in Newport, RI. Several years ago it was at the Newport Motor Car Festival and I was looking at it with a friend - the owner of several very significant big HP brass cars and long-time participant in major tours. He said to me (his voice lowered so we couldn't be overheard) "I wouldn't trust it to go 100 yards down the road." I suspect he was referring to the six-figure restoration that had largely ignored it's mechanical aspects but it was an interesting observation on a car that had brought in excess of 1 million dollars.

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Well, thanks for all the comments! 
The look of an Underslung is obviously what has fascinated me. They’re way cool looking cars! 
I’ve never actually laid eyes on one and couldn’t say anything for how they actually perform. That’s what I find is really great about this forum, people that have actually been there done that. The price of them is prohibitive for me even at $250K so they’ll just remain something I appreciate from a distance. 
I would like to build a replica with modern driveline that a guy could actually get out and enjoy without busting a seven figure car!!! 
 

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Definitely great looking cars but I've yet to hear anyone who liked driving one. Unlike Simplex, Mercer, Lozier, Locomobile, Stutz, Thomas, National, Alco, and other early competition cars, I can't find a  single record of an American winning an event. Yes Ed, Simplexes are great cars, I'll stick to a T-Head Mercer as the early easy, fun to drive, amazing handling, American car ot the era.

Edited by A. Ballard 35R
wording corrected (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, A. Ballard 35R said:

Definitely great looking cars but I've yet to hear anyone who liked driving one. Unlike Simplex, Mercer, Lozier, Locomobile, Stutz, Thomas, National, Alco, and other early competition cars, I can't find a  single record of an American winning an event. Yes Ed, Simplexes are great cars, I'll stick to a T-Head Mercer as the early easy, fun to drive, amazing handling, American car ot the era.

 

 

I grew up around some fantastic Stutz cars.......so, nothing is  worser than a Mercer! 👍

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My son wants to build one.....1911 Reeves built on a 1910? Oakland car.  I bet the patent is available on line for the drivetrain?

 

image.thumb.png.cfcf2061125faa7314cbe191d4f6ea67.png

 

The claim to fame was "railroad suspension" so by definition the 4 wheels on each end would pivot on a third center axle....like to see a picture from the bottom.

image.png.6ba981921d46b1500bca0d7d0e4fd052.png

1910 Oakland (dash looks wrong), just buy a couple axles, add 4 wheels and extend the fenders...

 

Milton Reeves - Wikiwand

 

The Unusual 8-Wheel Reeves Octoauto (And The Sextoauto)

 

 

 

 

Edited by Graham Man (see edit history)
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The Octoauto still exists. Why not buy the car and restore it?

 

I was also advised not to buy an American Underslung when one was offered to me. I was also advised not to buy a Duesenberg. Told they steer like a truck.

Edited by AHa (see edit history)
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37 minutes ago, AHa said:

The Octoauto still exists. Why not buy the car and restore it?

 

I was also advised not to buy an American Underslung when one was offered to me. I was also advised not to buy a Duesenberg. Told they steer like a truck.

That still exists!? Where is it? 
 

Wish I could have either of the Duesenberg or Underslung. Cars that are beyond my reach but I enjoy learning about and seeing. That octoauto would be something to see for sure! 
 

 

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6 hours ago, BobinVirginia said:


I would like to build a replica with modern driveline that a guy could actually get out and enjoy without busting a seven figure car!!! 
 

 

If I were to undertake such a project, I'd buy some wreck of a brass car - something that is realistically beyond restoration – and either make a new frame or modify an existing one. I think that would actually be easier than trying to find miscellaneous parts that would work and far more interesting to own and drive than a fake brass car with a modern drive train.

Edited by JV Puleo
typo (see edit history)
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You'd have to start with something that had a flat frame. That limits your options. Then you've got to come up with some 40" wheels and tires. Might be cheaper to just buy the Traveler offered above. The regal underslung might be a better option. Some Ford, model Ts have been underslung, probably your best option, and I suspect plans to undersling a T model could be found. You could build a Chevy four and use chevy drive train and a model T frame. You might get away with 26" wheels. It would be doable.

 

Last I knew, the Octoauto was in private hands and disassembled. It was offered to me but the period literature said it was impractical. I passed.

Edited by AHa (see edit history)
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I have thought about projects like that - when I was younger and had a lot more years ahead of me. I often drove past an abandoned drive-in theater in my town. Near the entrance was an abandoned shovel-nose Mack truck, tipped on its side - all that was left was the chassis but that was more or less complete. I could have had it for the asking...in fact, my cousin did ask about another wrecked truck on the property and they gave it to him. That's the sort of thing I have in mind but I doubt it would be free today even though the cost of bringing it back to any degree of usefulness is much greater now.

 

Bob...since I know you are a machinist, give some thought to taking on one of these projects that will require a lot of clever machine work - something that is well beyond 99% of the old car enthusiasts and far too expensive to have someone else do. It's really the "ticket of entry" into the world of big, early cars for folks like us who are unlikely to ever have a six-figure disposable income.

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38 minutes ago, JV Puleo said:

 

If I were to undertake such a project, I'd buy some wreck of a brass car - something that is realistically beyond restoration – and either make a new frame or modify an existing one. I think that would actually be easier than trying to find miscellaneous parts that would work and far moeer interesting to own and drive than a fake brass car with a modern drive train.

That’s the hot rod guy in me! Would be interesting either way. The reason I would make one is I have a hard time with modifying such early cars. (Including a basket case car) I feel like they need to exist as they were. Or at least get parted to help other cars live on. 
It’s an idea I’ve had on a couple cars actually. First I need to get my Haynes going and perhaps one day maybe after I retire I’ll take on something like that. Hopefully I can make it a reality one day 
 

Edited by BobinVirginia (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, AHa said:

The Octoauto still exists.

 

I doubt that the Octoauto exists--according to an authoritative

article in Automobile Quarterly, years ago, only one Reeves

car exists today, a conventional 4-wheel earlier model.

 

Like you, I've heard testimony that Duesenberg Model J's

steer like a truck.  One of our local members, very knowledgeable

and experienced and involved in AACA nationally, bought a nice

original in the mid-1960's for $25,000.  His friends thought he was

crazy to spend so much for a 30-some-year-old car.  He

told me it wasn't all that fun to drive, and was like an

F-250 or F-350 truck.  He sold it after several years for a good

profit.

 

Edited by John_S_in_Penna (see edit history)
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23 minutes ago, JV Puleo said:

I have thought about projects like that - when I was younger and had a lot more years ahead of me. I often drove past an abandoned drive-in theater in my town. Near the entrance was an abandoned shovel-nose Mack truck, tipped on its side - all that was left was the chassis but that was more or less complete. I could have had it for the asking...in fact, my cousin did ask about another wrecked truck on the property and they gave it to him. That's the sort of thing I have in mind but I doubt it would be free today even though the cost of bringing it back to any degree of usefulness is much greater now.

 

Bob...since I know you are a machinist, give some thought to taking on one of these projects that will require a lot of clever machine work - something that is well beyond 99% of the old car enthusiasts and far too expensive to have someone else do. It's really the "ticket of entry" into the world of big, early cars for folks like us who are unlikely to ever have a six-figure disposable income.

Exactly! If I had to pay someone the project wouldn’t be affordable. 
I enjoy making things and it would likely be something based on a car like the Underslung. Big and bold but for now I’m soaking in ideas from people like yourself and thinking about what would best suit me. Thanks for your ideas and comments! 

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The Octoauto was offered to me by a well known literature dealer that used to set up at Hershey every year. I bought several pieces of literature from him through the years but I haven't been to Hershey for quite a while. I never saw the car so I can't say definitively it exist. Through the years though, several cars that were not supposed to exist have showed up. I can think of two right now. Though the sister car of old 16 was said to have been destroyed, it is restored in a private collection, or so I've been told. The story of the Zust, which is being discussed in a separate thread, was supposed to be lost, yet is restored.

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2 hours ago, AHa said:

The Octoauto still exists. Why not buy the car and restore it?

 

I was also advised not to buy an American Underslung when one was offered to me. I was also advised not to buy a Duesenberg. Told they steer like a truck.


 

The Duesenberg information is totally incorrect. They are easy to steer when properly set up......I have thousands of miles under my belt in a Duesenberg. Want to drive a truck......buy a V-16 Cadillac. And they really are not too bad.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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8 minutes ago, Jeff Perkins / Mn said:


Ed, I checked and the “Honeymoon Car” 1907 American Underslung sold for 1.43 million $ at Bonham’s auction 10/06/2014. Sorry for the misinformation!

Yep, that’s just a couple dollars over my budget!
I’ve figured out that I have million dollar taste on a Model T budget! 

Edited by BobinVirginia (see edit history)
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