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1912 Liberty Brush Update


in2antiques
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A few of you have asked for picture of my 1912 Liberty.  First of all, I need to say that I never intended to do any restoration whatsoever. I have (or had) few mechanical or other necessary skills. I simply became infatuated with 1 cylinder cars and was on the prowl and came across this incredible vehicle. I purchased her in late 2013 and received assistance in identifying the model through this website. 

It had been titled as a 1907 which was clearly wrong.  Many folks offered comments on the "incorrect" seat, lights, radiator, and rear tail light, but with a 100 year history, I didn't care. 

 

She'd had a complete lack of attention for many years but shined up nicely, as seen in the below pictures in front a nearby barn.  A letter that accompanied the vehicle explained some of the incorrect details, noting the Liberty was a last ditch effort to compete against 2 and 4 cylinder models and they were grabbing parts from where ever they could to complete them. Whether true or not, it mattered not. Once I had her correctly licensed and titled, she was ready for the road. The transmission wouldn't pull the car, so a friend machined shims and we were on our way.  I enjoyed few dozen drives, totaling about 40 miles in the old gal. When the 60 year old tires went flat and the the original wheels came apart, she had to sit for a while. New wheels came from Stutsman's Wheel Shop, and I purchase new tires.  During the down time, I made a fateful error of wiping the body down with linseed oil. I expected it to soak in, but it took forever to dry and thickened into the consistency of sap. The car sat for the next 4-5 years while I decided next steps. Other factors also delayed my actions.  The car had been rebodied in the 1950's with no access to the top of the transmission or differential. The fenders may or may not be original but I decided to keep it as purchase. 

 

I finally decided "it's time".  Please note that this is and will be a completely amateur "cosmetic" restoration.  I tore the body down and sanded to bare wood.  The hood and fenders were extremely rough.  The prior owner said he didn't care for bondo he'd found in the hood and took a hammer and beat the devil out of it and painted it yellow. I have dozens (perhaps hundreds) of hours straightening each. We decided on a Red, White, and Blue finish. The wheels are now red, the inside of the body is natural wood (stained and varnished) and the outside will be a deep blue, as well as the seat back, fenders and hood.  We haven't figured in the "white" areas.  Perhaps pinstriping.  I made a few modifications to the body to allow access to the undercarriage, so I can properly service these areas. I also found the original oiler, re-corked it, and it's ready to install.  This has all been a learning experience.  

 

Here are a few pictures, starting with the original purchase (which looked great, but wasn't very drivable). Pictures taken in front a bard were from one of my last drives.  The tires and wheels came apart on the way home.  She's ready for paint, so next pictures will show some dramatic changes, or so I hope. 

 

Dave 

 

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Dave     

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