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Seeking Info on engineers Roscoe "Rod" Hoffman & J. J. "Joe" Felts at Marmon and later...


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Hello...

I'm working up a detailed report about a 1935 rear-engine streamlined car, powered by an X-8 engine. The car was designed by Roscoe C. "Rod" Hoffman. I found that there was a connection between Mr. Hoffman and Marmon, for whom he may have designed a 1931 front-wheel drive prototype. During that project, he apparently became acquainted with J. J. Felts. Later, Felts seems to have contributed to the X-8 engine for the 1935 Hoffman project.

 

The text below is quoted from THE MARMON HERITAGE, by the late George Phillip Hanley and Stacey Pankiw Hanley. The book was published in 1985...
In 1931 Mr. Felts made layout drawings of a transfer case for a four-wheel-drive truck under the direction of Col. Herrington [at Marmon]. Again in July 1977, he recalled working with a Rod Hoffman (now deceased), who held patents on a front-wheel-drive configuration similar to that used on the 1929 Cord, and who was working on a front drive concept car for Marmon.
Joe was transferred to Howard Marmon's personal payroll on August 10, 1931, and remained until August 19, 1934. He then went to work for Auburn where he stayed through August 1935, when he joined Rod Hoffman in Detroit to work on an engine, reportedly for a Fisher Brothers car, which had four cylinders in an 'X' configuration. (The car is preserved in the Brooks Stevens Museum.) He [Felts] then worked at GMC, going to Reo in 1937 and to Ford Motor Co. in December 1938. 
By February 1952, he was Asst. Chief Engineer for Lincoln-Mercury.
Joe Felts retired from Ford in 1966, as Chief Engineer - Body and Electrical at Ford. According to the Hanley’s book, Felts passed away in 1982, just days after he was interviewed by the Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg Museum about his time at Auburn.
 
I'm wondering if the Hanleys’ research papers might have ended up with the Marmon Club, or a member, and if transcripts of either or both the interviews mentioned in the material quoted from their book might be in those papers.
 
It could potentially help me assemble a more complete and accurate telling of this story if I can locate more information about Mr. Felts work with Hoffman, on either the 1930-31 front-wheel drive prototype and/or the 1935 rear-engine streamlined car.
 
The image of the 1935 Hoffman is credited to the Historic Vehicle Association.
 
Thank you!
 

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