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1927 Chandler Six, 5600 miles, incredible barn find stored 50+ years


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My pictures are too big to load here, please visit the following link for 200+ pic of the car and a short video:

 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/HeaGEt1M6RRYSKLh8

 

The original owner bought this car to drive his wife to church a half mile away.  He would stay in the parking lot and polish the car while his wife went in to church.  The seller’s grandfather would help out the original owner with odd jobs around the house.  The original owner eventually gave the seller’s grandfather the car to thank him for his help.  In the early 1970s, the seller was given the car by his grandfather.  The last time it was driven was in Ashley Borough’s Bicentennial Parade in 1970.  Due to the stress of driving in a parade, the car started to overheat, when it was driven to the garage you see here, and parked ever since.  This is the first time the car has left the garage since 1970.  This car has remained titled, registered and insured ever since, despite never being driven.  The car has accumulated an amazing 5,650 miles in its’ life.

The seller (Skip) is a close family friend of mine.  I remember when I was a toddler climbing around on the Chandler. I am helping Skip sell the car, because he’s not much of a car guy and really didn’t know where to begin.  He’s getting on in years and has come to the conclusion that neither he nor his kids will be doing anything with the car, so it’s time to let it move on to a new owner.

After much research I believe the car to be either a Big Six or a Special Six.  It’s quite a bit different and more nicely appointed than a Standard Six.  However, I cannot find a data plate on the car to confirm this.  There is a brass plate under the hood on the front crossmember but that is just a list of patents.  I have taken photos of all of the casting numbers and plates (basically, anything with a number) on the car in an effort to present as much honest information as possible, but after an exhaustive search I could not find anything resembling an actual data plate with a model or serial number.  The S/N listed on the title is “179576”, however I could not find a reference to that number on the car.

The car does have external mechanical brakes on all four wheels, and they do still work.  Front brakes were an option, which this car has.  The emergency brake works and the clutch is not seized.  The transmission will shift through all gears.

We briefly managed to get the car running on starting fluid.  Due to the condition of the pulleys we removed the belt, and therefore did not want to run the car more than a few seconds.  Also, it was about 22 degrees when we were trying to start it, which it wasn’t happy about after its’ 52-year sleep.  A video is included of our efforts.

The original 6-volt battery is included, however it is not usable.  We started the car on a 12-volt battery, however due to the lack of a 6-volt system the only electrical devices we were able to verify as working are the rear interior lights and the horn. 

There is a wrinkle in the driver’s side rear door, and there are several parts that are cast pot metal that have not held up, most notably the pulleys and the two switches on the dash for the ignition and lights.  The ignition switch still works fine, the light switch was too hard to turn in its’ condition and I didn’t want to risk prying on it with pliers, so I couldn’t verify the working condition of the lights.  I have tried to take detailed pictures of all the “flaws”.  The central chassis lubrication block is also deteriorated pot metal, and one of the cowl lights has broken off at its’ base.

In the trunk are a jack and a lug wrench, I can’t verify that they are original to the car but they probably are.  One of the shock absorbers is removed from the car and is in the trunk.

The front of the car has rubber flooring, the rear has carpet – perhaps it was intended to be chauffeur driven?  The rear window shades actually seem intact and work – they still spring back after nearly 100 years.  The footrest and pull cords on the back of the seat and the pillars are intact and beautiful. The wood is in such nice condition that I am suspicious it’s not real wood, but painted woodgrain or something, maybe like a Facel-Vega?  The rear seat is appointed with an ashtray on the driver’s side for the Duke, and a compact mirror for the Duchess to fix her makeup on the opposite side.  The steering wheel has controls for timing advance and throttle, although the throttle control is not connected.  The timing advance does work, however it’s not labeled, so I think this may be part of the difficulty we had starting the car – we really just weren’t able to figure out the right combination of choke and timing retard.  That, and the fact that it was 22 degrees out. 

Anyone trying to pin down a value on one of these cars is going to have a very hard time.  I can only find one record of a sale, where a Standard sold at auction.  This car is obviously quite different from that one, in that it’s not restored, and also not a Standard – it’s much more nicely appointed.  I do not think the value of this car can be appraised from that one sale.

The seller has appraisals dated 1979 and 1981 for $8000 and $12000.  Pictures of these documents, as well as the title and all of the other documentation the seller has for the car are included.

There is no key for this car, and nowhere to even put one.  The ignition switch is just that, a rotary switch.  I guess car theft just wasn’t a big thing in 1927.

I have about 200+ pictures of the car in detail and a short video of our attempts to start it.  Please contact me and I can put you in touch with Skip.  

 

At this time we do not have a good assessment of the value of this car.  We have only been able to find one Chandler sold anytime in recent memory, and it was a full restoration and quite a bit different than this car.  The one that sold (which you will undoubtedly find on Google) was a Standard, and still significantly different than this car.  Serious buyers are asked to contact me and between Skip, myself and the buyer hopefully we can come up with a value that's agreeable to everyone.

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Good luck with the sale.  The Chandler was a well built car.
 

 The best thing I read in the write up is that it only ran for seconds.  Without dropping the oil pan and cleaning out sludge and such, one can destroy an engine quickly when it’s been sitting for fifty years.

 

While a neat and unusual car, in current state and not drivable, probably within the appraisal numbers you mention.  Great car for someone, though, hope it finds a good home.

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Skip would be thrilled if the final sale lands around the appraisal numbers he mentions.

 

There is no sludge in this oilpan.  The oil was clean and clear and we debated the condition of it, but with only 5600 miles on the car we felt it was fine for cranking and brief starting.  While the design of the oil pump precludes us from priming it individually (i.e. without turning the whole engine), the oil was clean and the engine did build a small amount of pressure immediately even during cranking.  I am confident no damage was done to the engine.  

 

Thanks!

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1. Ashley, PA (near Wilkes-Barre)

 

2. I can assure you nothing has been ruined by not having a 6-volt battery.

 

3. No one is placing any credence in 40-year-old appraisals.  They're only included in the photos to show some of the documentation of the car,

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Cool

 

I wonder if that crank pulley can be repaired. How did the damage happen?

I would imagine finding a good one would be difficult.

I know how anxious one can get wanting to see if a car that has sat for 50+ years will start. But just dropping a battery in it and cranking it without SOME type of damage-prevention steps can ruin a perfectly good engine.

Also, even though the car may only have 5600 miles, and the oil has sat for 50+ years, I think it would be in the best interest (of the car) to wait and not start it again. (Read below)

I would not try to start the car again, no matter how briefly it would run, without, at least, removing the plugs and spray some type of lubricant into the cylinders, etc.. That would at least coat the cylinder walls and help loosen any stuck rings, valves, etc.

Running the engine without taking any kind of pre-start-up measures can cause severe damage that can been avoided by taking a little time and doing a few things to prevent any damage.

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"I would not try to start the car again, no matter how briefly it would run, without, at least, removing the plugs and spray some type of lubricant into the cylinders, etc.. That would at least coat the cylinder walls and help loosen any stuck rings, valves, etc."

 

This was exactly what we did.  Misted the cylinders with oil, cleaned up the plugs and points.

 

The pulleys aren't damaged per se, the pot metal literally disintegrated.  It just cracked into a thousand tiny pieces.  I would think the pulleys would not be difficult to have a machine shop replicate.  My partner found matches at Tractor Supply that could also be re-drilled, however we never went down that road since we knew we weren't doing more than just cranking it over.

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Somehow I am always drawn to cars (especially orphans from the 20's) in this condition. A little ragged around the edges, in need of gentle TLC but with a story to tell. I really like it and hope it finds a loving home where it will be recommissioned in a way that leaves a joy to drive but unmolested.

 

The pulley would pose no problem - its a straight forward turning job or modify a close match. Since it overheated (we don't know how bad) I would be concerned about the rings, rod and crank bearings, etc. Another reason to drop the pan and see what lurks within. As for the overheating - at the very least your looking at cleaning and flushing the cooling system or worse case re-coring the radiator. With a properly maintained and refreshed cooling system this car should be able to idle all day with no issue. 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Matt Goist said:

I would be interested in coming to see in person and discussing a price. I am in Scranton.

Send me a PM.  I can't seem to send them yet.  I can give you the owners number.  

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Darel you have a 1927 Model 35 "Big Six" with an all steel body. For the sake of the next owner, who I hope will preserve this car and all of its original details as much as possible, do not do anything more to it.

 

On the down side there is a whole lot of pot metal to deal with, including the oil pump that is now probably broken. On the up side the you have the very rare Budd all steel body which means there is no wood to deal with. The wood finish you see on the interior is painted metal.

 

Good luck with the sale and best wishes to the new owner. I hope that you will share with us more details about this car so we can better document the original details from the factory.

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Yes the photos you have provided are a great help. Chandler cars are rare to begin with and low mileage cars even rarer. Keep in mind rarity on a car like this can have both a positive and negative effect on value. Being a rare model, Big Six, and the steel body, make it desirable as a collector car. But being so few around also makes it difficult to collect parts for to maintain.

 

Trust me I am not trying to be little the car. I am speaking from experience, aside from our all original 1929 Model 65 Standard Six we also have the oldest running Chandler. 1914 Chandler model 15 still with less than 17,000 miles on it. I hope you all are able to be realistic on the perceived value on this car. Given that there are so few similar cars coming up with a "market price" will be difficult. Maybe in $10-15k range? Maybe more, only you and the next buyer will know for sure. Good luck! 

 

Let me know if you have any more questions.

 

BTW the rubber mat in front and carpet in back was standard issue from the factory.

Edited by 29 Chandler (see edit history)
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Thank you!  Yes, we've discussed ad nauseum among us how nearly impossible it is to put a price on something like this.  Basically, it's worth whatever someone is willing to pay.  I appreciate all your information and insight.  Thanks again!

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I have just got back from seeing the Chandler in person. Skip is a great guy and very nice. I am hoping him and I can work out a deal. He is a man of his word and is going to show the car to a few others who have also expressed interest before making a decision. One of the coolest things about this car is the story behind it. If anyone makes their way to see the car Skip will give you the full history and even point out the church that Darel mentioned. The photos Darel posted are a great representation of the car. The pot metal is failing everywhere and that is probably the biggest knock against it. It is an otherwise very untouched car deserving of preservation. It would be a crime to restore this car. One of the side lights is broken, which Skip said happened recently from the blankets being pulled off the car. Thank you for posting this @Darel  hoping I can give it a good home. 

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Skip told me the story about how the day he came home from graduating college his grandfather met him at the back porch (at the house right in front of the garage) and handed him the registration with tears in his eyes. He had always promised Skip the car since he was the first grandchild.  He also said his grandfather used to go out the the garage and nap in the back seat of the car when his wife was angry at him! It really is a time capsule. These stories are too cool not to document and keep alive. 

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Skip called me after you left.  He was very excited to meet someone with your background, who took such a genuine interest in the car.  This has been very hard for him, but knowing whoever ends up with the car will give it the respect it deserves has made him feel better about it.  

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@Darel I can only imagine how hard it is, that car has been a part of his life since day one. It is definitely worthy of a proper mechanical sorting and preservation. Skip and I spoke that it would be neat to have the car in Ashley the parade again someday. 

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