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Recently, ED Minnie posted this picture in the Period Images thread.

9B546E98-8ED2-48F5-9A5E-6E682D794273.png

 

I copied it into a What Is It post because I was curious as to the make of car. That long hood got me. It was identified as a Palmer Singer 6-60 40 horse, but that just produced more questions. Yea, I know, I'm a very curious fellow. There is very little information out there on the web, can anybody fill in any details concerning the running gear? Did they build their own motors? What style were they? It appears there is only one of the 6-60s in existence unless someone has one squirreled away somewhere.

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Palmer Singers are few and very far between. I believe the only existing Palmer Singer of this particular model is the former Harrah car which was photographed in all the Harrah books and postcards back in the day. Last time I saw the car is what flying up hills on a New England Gas and Brass tour many years ago when it was part of a west coast collection. 

Edited by motoringicons (see edit history)
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Palmer Singer also made this Mercer look-alike but there doesn't seem to be any pictures of running gear or any information about what kind. Just nothing.

810032af2f700848ed907350c7b882cc.png

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Ok, success. I found an article that says the cars were supplied with T head motors. The 6 was actually rated at 60 hp but produced 75 on the test stand. They were quite the car.

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6 hours ago, AHa said:

Recently, ED Minnie posted this picture in the Period Images thread.

9B546E98-8ED2-48F5-9A5E-6E682D794273.png

 

I copied it into a What Is It post because I was curious as to the make of car. That long hood got me. It was identified as a Palmer Singer 6-60 40 horse, but that just produced more questions. Yea, I know, I'm a very curious fellow. There is very little information out there on the web, can anybody fill in any details concerning the running gear? Did they build their own motors? What style were they? It appears there is only one of the 6-60s in existence unless someone has one squirreled away somewhere.

 

Any idea where this was taken? 

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2 hours ago, AHa said:

Palmer Singer also made this Mercer look-alike but there doesn't seem to be any pictures of running gear or any information about what kind. Just nothing.

810032af2f700848ed907350c7b882cc.png

 

 

I would actually call  it more of a Bearcat sized car than a  Mercer. And from little I know about Palmer Singer's I suspect it is probably even bigger than a Bearcat. Its hard to picture cars like this ever ending up in a junkyard somewhere but unfortunately they did , by the thousand.

Somewhere I have a photo of a similar body style on a 6 cyl Pope Hartford chassis. Such a grand car, and like sports body Palmer Singers no survivors as far as I know.

 

Greg

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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18 hours ago, AHa said:

Recently, ED Minnie posted this picture in the Period Images thread.

9B546E98-8ED2-48F5-9A5E-6E682D794273.png

 

I copied it into a What Is It post because I was curious as to the make of car. That long hood got me. It was identified as a Palmer Singer 6-60 40 horse, but that just produced more questions. Yea, I know, I'm a very curious fellow. There is very little information out there on the web, can anybody fill in any details concerning the running gear? Did they build their own motors? What style were they? It appears there is only one of the 6-60s in existence unless someone has one squirreled away somewhere.

This is the Fort Washington Monument. I don't know the location or if it still stands. Fort Washington, however, is in Alexandria, Va., according to google.

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Greg, I only meant that the car, to the untrained eye, looks exactly like a Mercer race about. The Bearcat has a flat dash with toe board, and does not have the gas tank and bustle behind the seat. The bearcat does not resemble this car very closely. If I had to guess, I'd say Palmer Singer copied a Mercer. There's no doubt it is a much longer car and it has 36" tires.

810032af2f700848ed907350c7b882cc.png

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Edited by AHa (see edit history)
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Yes, styling is definitely more Mercer like. If only people 100 years ago realized how significant cars of this type are and managed to save more of them rather than junking them for a couple of dollars worth of brass and aluminum.  But even if there were 10 times as many as exist today I suppose they would still be beyond most of us.

 

Greg

 

 

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Any time I hear Palmer Singer, I don't cringe, but I remember.  A friend of a good friend of mine owns one, and was restoring the car.  The owner had bought a few really, really, highly desirable early cars years ago, when they were sort of affordable.  Twenty or so years ago, the friend of a friend came to me, and asked if I'd trim the car out (upholstery and top).  Based on pictures only, and his description, I gave him a ballpark figure.  These are not little cars, nor simple, but I quoted what I thought was fair.  He was offended and expressed his displeasure with me, in essence saying I was trying to take advantage of him because he had a high end car.  No problem, move on.  We both did.  What an interesting hobby.

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I know that Alco well. It was the Automobile Quarterly article featuring it that set my heart on owning a Brass Era speedster.

 The Pope Hartford I mentioned is an original photo I have in my files. Bought off ebay several years ago. If I can find the correct album I will post it. Its like the sports body Palmer Singer, full road fenders and lighting . But very basic speedster bodywork. A remarkably elegant car . I doubt too many Pope Hartford 6's were built and far as I know only a small handful survive.

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14 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

All these wonderful cars from the past ! And many built in the hundreds if not thousands.  Where did they all go ? Unfortunately I know the answer to that question all too well.

 

Greg

 

Maybe some of those now highly regarded makes weren't actually built in great numbers?? I don't know. Did I read somewhere recently that Simplex only built about 250 of the big 50 hp models over a five year period. Of course they all became obsolete very quickly and the wealthy owners replaced their cars on a regular basis. I think it is only due to those who hung on to them for longer than most that a few have survived?

 

I have read stories of obsolete Rolls-Royces in England having an 'afterlife', repowered with Bedford truck engines and working as hire cars and hearses etc. But they  were from a later period of cars with electric starting and closed bodies.

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Many were indeed built in small numbers. But when you consider the number of individual North American makes involved in the upper middle class and up segment of the Brass Era market the actual number of cars built for this segment of the market is a rather large number. And perhaps less than five hundred exist today. Take away the 35 HP and smaller cars plus the 4 Cyl. Cadillacs from the Horseless Carriage Club roster and you can see how quickly the numbers dwindle. The roster probably only has one half or so of the overall survivors , but none the less not very many cars of this sort in existence.

 

Greg

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14 hours ago, 1912Staver said:

Here is the Pope. An amazing car and a golden era . Lucky dog!

My scanner is not working so this is just a photo of a photo.

DSC_0153 (2).JPG

There is a 1956/8?ish "bulbhorn" feature of a small auto museum in New England which had one of these in all original condition. I always wonder where that car ended up? I will dig it out and DM you a picture-it was gorgeous. 

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That would be great ! Far too many of these cars seem to end up buried in large collections for decades. The really wealthy collectors may be mostly involved with the big Classics but it seems many also have a significant Brass Car or two . But I get the feeling that when it comes to events the Brass Cars usually stay home, out of sight . Looking back through old club magazines I get the impression cars of this sort saw a lot more use in the 1940's and 1950's.

 

Greg

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I have to take issue with the idea that brass cars don't participate in events.  If the event is designed for brass cars, they participate in droves.  In a non-COVID year, the BBC tour draws 80 brass cars, and there's a waiting list.  The biennial New England Brass and Gas tour has often had 120 cars for a week of touring.  The New London to New Brighton in Minnesota is for any car through 1908, and 1-and 2-cylinder cars and steamers from 1909 through 1915; it's 125 miles one-way, and routinely draws 45-50 cars.  And there are plenty more.

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How about this one. 1907 Napier. It is not nearly as attractive as the others, but that hood, oh that hood. I'm sorry, I thought I was going to swoon there for a minute.
800px-1907_Napier_60HP_T21_S.F._Edge.JPG
 
It really does amaze me wealthy people bought these expensive cars only to walk away from them a year or so later. The truth is, even though they sold for less money, at least some of these cars were repurposed as trucks. Firetruck bodies, delivery bodies, hearses and flower cars, and tow trucks. The large car chassis were valuable as commercial vehicles and there were companies specializing in these conversions. Even after they served their usefulness in that jonre, the motors were pulled and found other uses. Many of the high quality motors ran oil jacks until they were completely worn out. The motor from an early well known race car is rumored to be running an oil well somewhere in Mexico to this day.
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11 minutes ago, oldcarfudd said:

I have to take issue with the idea that brass cars don't participate in events.  If the event is designed for brass cars, they participate in droves.  In a non-COVID year, the BBC tour draws 80 brass cars, and there's a waiting list.  The biennial New England Brass and Gas tour has often had 120 cars for a week of touring.  The New London to New Brighton in Minnesota is for any car through 1908, and 1-and 2-cylinder cars and steamers from 1909 through 1915; it's 125 miles one-way, and routinely draws 45-50 cars.  And there are plenty more.

Sir, Greg was not suggesting brass era cars are not toured, just that many of the large brass cars go into large collections and aren't toured. There are usually far more model Ts in any brass era tour than the other makes and of course you can still buy much of a brass era T even today new or used. It is much easier to tour with a brass T than any other make of car. The big 1910 6 cylinder cars are getting very pricey and I suspect it is hard to justify touring with them. Bravo to those who do!

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Yes, there are more brass Ts on tours than Pierce-Arrows or Locomobiles.  That's what people have.  Being able to "justify" touring in a big car - or any early car - is a function of why you have it in the first place.  If it's an investment, and stone dings depress the value, you probably don't take it out much.  If it's a car, you do.  Here are a few pictures I've taken of bigger pre-'16 cars on tours.  The man who owned the London-Edinburgh Silver Ghost - he died recently - drove it everywhere, in all weather.

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1 hour ago, oldcarfudd said:

I have to take issue with the idea that brass cars don't participate in events.  If the event is designed for brass cars, they participate in droves.  In a non-COVID year, the BBC tour draws 80 brass cars, and there's a waiting list.  The biennial New England Brass and Gas tour has often had 120 cars for a week of touring.  The New London to New Brighton in Minnesota is for any car through 1908, and 1-and 2-cylinder cars and steamers from 1909 through 1915; it's 125 miles one-way, and routinely draws 45-50 cars.  And there are plenty more.

 

 

Yes, I was making the point about the high end Brass Cars rather than Brass Cars in general . Certainly there are generally a few of the 40 HP and up cars on tours  but when I look back at my club magazines from the 1950's and earlier I get the impression the big cars were more commonly toured in that early era of the hobby.

I live in an area where there are only a relatively small number of 40 HP and up Brass Cars so most of my information comes from yellowing copy's of the Bulb Horn, HCCA Gazette , And Antique Automobile.

Also I believe the relative market value of the best 15% or so of the Brass Cars is significantly higher than was the case 60 or 70 years ago. They weren't cheap by the standards of the day but I don't they were anywhere near the sort of valuations { inflation adjusted } they can command today. Not just vintage cars anymore at the top end, rather more like investment instruments.

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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35th Anniversary
New London to New Brighton Antique Car Run
Wednesday August 11th through Saturday, August 14th, 2020

Eligibility requirements:  All vehicles up through 1908 and any 1- or 2-cylinder vehicles up through 1915 are eligible to participate.  This includes bikes, motorcycles, steam and electric cars as well.

 

http://www.antiquecarrun.org/

 

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That's a 6-cylinder, 40-horsepower, 1906 Model K Ford. Partly hidden in the rear is another one.  I've been on the New London to New Brighton, driving a single-cylinder car, when three of these (running in a pack!) breezed by me as if I had been tied to a tree.

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725246647_1910PalmerSinger.thumb.jpg.237f2af39f8f91e6451a0a854cd1fa33.jpg

  This 1910 Palmer Singer 6-60 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway finishing the 1984 Great American Race.

   Owned and driven by Walter E. Cunny of Gary IL, they loaded the whole support crew in the car for the final

   2 1/2  miles of the race.  The Six Cylinder car was a strong competitor all the way and seemed to battle the

   1906 Stoddard Dayton all the way.   We were impressed that the Stoddard Dayton, owned by Joel Naive ran

   with the back half of the touring body off the chassis.  When we got to Indy after 3000 miles, they put it back

   on and took the whole crew on the Indy 500 track.   The next day we all went back to see the Indy 500 mile

   race.  

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