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1915 - 1920 Vintage Auto owned by the Cincinnati Fire Dept. - Maybe a Buick?


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Hello Everyone,

 

I'm hoping someone can identify this beauty.  As always I'm clueless, but I have information on all autos purchased by the CFD during this time period so if someone can point me in the right direction I may be able to pin down which car this is.

 

As always, I appreciate the assistance.

 

Steve

CFD Chief-2.jpg

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Great photo. It sure looks like a purpose built Chief’s hose car. Interesting to ponder.......would a city throw down the money for a machine like that, or was it the property of a wealthy volunteer and honorary fire chief? Since there is no city name on the vehicle my guess is the private funded concept. I can’t make out the logo on the radiator, but it is a certain give away. Headlights look like they may be later then the car, but condition of the machine indicates otherwise........very interesting!

 

Marmon is a definite possibility........

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Hi,

 

Thank you all for your replies.  I'll list the cars purchased by Cincinnati from this era (I'll exclude the Model T's).

 

1915 Buick Runabout

1916 Steinway (It sure would be nice if it was this oddball)

1917 Chalmers

1918 Premier 7 Passenger (2 purchased - I have a photo of one of these, definitely not the same)

1918 Buick Roadster (2 purchased)

1919 Buick Model K-44 (2 purchased)

1921 Reo

1922 Sayers (5 purchased)

1922 Reo (4 purchased)

 

So, which will it be?

 

 

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From that list the only one with any chance would be the Steinway. It's not a 1915 Buick, and all the others are too new or simply not like the mystery car at all.

 I don't know enough about Steinway to say one way or another. 

 I like  95 Cardinal's suggestion of the Ahrens - Fox. Perhaps it was listed as a Fire Truck purchase rather then a car purchase.

No cars purchased prior to 1915 ? Your mystery vehicle looks like it could be a few years older.

 

 

Greg

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14 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

From that list the only one with any chance would be the Steinway. It's not a 1915 Buick, and all the others are too new or simply not like the mystery car at all.

 I don't know enough about Steinway to say one way or another. 

 I like  95 Cardinal's suggestion of the Ahrens - Fox. Perhaps it was listed as a Fire Truck purchase rather then a car purchase.

No cars purchased prior to 1915 ? Your mystery vehicle looks like it could be a few years older.

 

 

Greg

Hi Greg,

 

Thank you for your reply.  Prior to what I listed the only vehicles purchased by the CFD were a 1909 Packard, 4 1913 Nybergs and the 4 1913 Ahrens-Fox rigs.  I have photos of all of those vehicles (well only 3 out of 4 on the A-F's) and this is definitely not one of them.  The Ahrens-Fox units were much smaller than this car and were built on Republic automobile chassis.  I have a complete listing of all vehicles purchased by the department from 1909 - 1928.  The 1909 Packard was the first motor vehicle purchased by the CFD.  I've tried searching for images of a Steinway auto and I've never come up with one (lots of piano photos).  If anyone can provide a photo of a Steinway I would like to see it.  Anyone know where Steinways were built?

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Checking the Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942, edited by B.R. Kimes and H.A. Clark, 3rd Edition, no car was built or marketed under the Steinway nameplate in the United States.  William Steinway did found a manufacturing company that built the American Mercedes from 1905-'07.  

On the other hand, Ahrens-Fox is listed as having produced for 1913 only "its Model E-C Battalion Roadster.  The engine was a 44hp six, with transmission a selective four-speed."  Its noted some fire-fighting equipment was included onboard, that just six were built in 1913, all remaining in Cincinnati.

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11 hours ago, Steve Hagy said:

Hi,

 

Thank you all for your replies.  I'll list the cars purchased by Cincinnati from this era (I'll exclude the Model T's).

 

1915 Buick Runabout

1916 Steinway (It sure would be nice if it was this oddball)

1917 Chalmers

1918 Premier 7 Passenger (2 purchased - I have a photo of one of these, definitely not the same)

1918 Buick Roadster (2 purchased)

1919 Buick Model K-44 (2 purchased)

1921 Reo

1922 Sayers (5 purchased)

1922 Reo (4 purchased)

 

So, which will it be?

 

 

It sure looks like that 1913 Ahrens-Fox image.

Is it possible that it was never purchased by the Fire Department?

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Sometimes the answer is right in front of you....

 

Joe,

 

Thank you for replying again to this thread.  I was "certain" that the photo I posted couldn't be one of the Republic/Ahrens-Fox chiefs cars because of that unusual oval shaped gas tank.  I pulled up the one and only image I have of one of these that doesn't have a chemical tank and started messing around with the picture (which isn't a very good image and that I've had in my collection for 20 years) in Photoshop and much to my surprise you can see the curve on the top of the oval fuel tank!  I never realized that particular feature existed.  The other picture I have of one of these is from the driver's side but it is such a head on shot that the fuel tank isn't visible.

 

Thank you again.

 

Steve

1913 A-F-2.jpg

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You shouldn't expect that the cars were identical. They could have been but with only six built, and by a fire engine maker, all six could easily have been slightly different. The shape of the gas tank is probably irrelevant...

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/12/2020 at 2:48 AM, edinmass said:

Ironic he is parked in front of a hydrant. Great photo. I believe one of those special built cars still exists in Michigan.

Hi,

 

Do yo mean one of the Republic/Ahrens-Fox cars?  I would be interested in knowing the name of the owner so I could get in contact with them.  If you have any additional information I would like to hear from you.  Thanks.

 

Steve

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On 11/12/2020 at 7:49 AM, JV Puleo said:

You shouldn't expect that the cars were identical. They could have been but with only six built, and by a fire engine maker, all six could easily have been slightly different. The shape of the gas tank is probably irrelevant...

Ahrens-Fox didn't do much in the way of body work on the cars.  The cars were built by Republic and aside from mounting warning lights and a small amount of equipment on the running boards they were pretty much the same as what came out of the factory.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/10/2020 at 6:49 PM, 95Cardinal said:

I think that might be one of those "one year only" Ahrens-Fox fire cars.

Fenders, hood, headlights and running boards certainly look the same, but other details are different.

Hubs look the same.

Ahrens-Fox (United States) - All Car Index

 

 

 

If you look at the rear hub / wheel on this one, I think its the same style.  This is a 1916 Ahrens-Fox.

 

https://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/dealer/ahrens-fox/unspecified/1947110.html

 

 59364316-770-0@2X.jpg?rev=1

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