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when/what was the last car with a hand crank?


TAKerry
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I was watching 'Nancy Drew Mystery' on TCM the other evening. I think it was from 1935. The car she was driving looked new, I am assuming a '35 Ford Cabriolet (good looking auto). There was a scene in which the 'starter died', So she grabbed the crank from the rumble seat area and proceeded to crank the motor over. Made me wonder when/what was the last car with a hand crank? I would have thought by 1935 that would have been a thing of the past.

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1 hour ago, rocketraider said:

Would that crank clockwise or anticlockwise?🧐

Nearside or offside?

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3 hours ago, zipdang said:

My 1958 Citroen 2cv van has a crank hole and crank. I WOULD NOT want to try to start it that way. It would take stamina...

My dad and uncle had a hay baler with a hand cranked Wisconsin V-2 engine. You needed a whole lot of stamina to get that thing started.

 

Neither my dad or uncle was much given to swearing but when they were trying to start that Wisconsin the swearing got inventive.

 

They finally rigged up a flat belt pulley to its flywheel and used the PTO on a Super A Farmall to crank it. And they still spent more time trying to crank that ornery thing than they did baling hay. I think it influenced their decision to quit fooling with livestock.

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Even by 1922 the manual for Cadillac told you not to attempt to hand crank it and it was only there for maintenance, which I suspect is the case with a lot of the later vehicles as well 

 

You'd have to be stronger than me to hand crank it, it requires a lot of effort if you don't release the compression cocks

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10 hours ago, Alex D. said:

Has a multi cylinder classic ever been successfully started with a hand crank? 

Dad was friends with a local Packard collector. I was around 17 or 18, and we stopped by for a visit. He had a running display motor (no idea of the configuration) and the fellow challenged me to hand crank it and get it running.  I couldnt get that thing to budge!! I was not weak, but not Arnold either. Would there have been a compression release? On this motor or others?

 

Interesting answers, I guess after reading through the responses I am not surprised that so many European models continued with them for as long as they did. Ford Pass car into 1941, how about the other big names, Chevy, Chryslers, etc.?

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Using the left hand is recommended.  And ALWAYS pull up!!! NEVER push down or try to :spin" the engine.  Make sure the spark is fully retarded too.  There have been many broken arms and wrists for those who don't Remember this.

Ask the Model T guys. 

Terry

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17 hours ago, zipdang said:

My 1958 Citroen 2cv van has a crank hole and crank. I WOULD NOT want to try to start it that way. It would take stamina...

My 1971 Citroen D-21 Station wagons (both of them-

My 1964 Citroen 2-CV

My 1968 Citroen Ami-6

all were able to start with their (included in tool kit) crank

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8 hours ago, Terry Bond said:

Using the left hand is recommended.  And ALWAYS pull up!!! NEVER push down or try to :spin" the engine.  Make sure the spark is fully retarded too.  There have been many broken arms and wrists for those who don't Remember this.

Ask the Model T guys. 

Terry

Apparently, Siegfried Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small didn't get it as he ends up in a pile of manure while hand cranking his Rover.

Around 42:18 in the episode A Dogs Life.

 All Creatures Great And Small S02E13 A Dog's Life - video ...

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I've never broken anything but I did get hit with the crank once. I was holding it the correct way so all it got me was the most colorful bruise I've ever seen. My right arm that looked like a purple Popeye.

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6 hours ago, Akstraw said:

I have read that the Russian LADA automobile had a hand crank feature well into the nineties.

 

They've apprarently been restarting some of the production lines for the old soviet era cars because they can't get parts due to sanctions, so I wonder if they'll have the handcrank on them 

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On 6/29/2022 at 8:47 PM, Alex D. said:

Has a multi cylinder classic ever been successfully started with a hand crank? 

 

By 1910 almost all vehicles were multi cylinder cars and were started with a crank. The one and two cylinder vehicles were by then were a thing of the past.

 

Cadillac had an electric starter in 1912 and Buick in 1914 for cars.  Model T's I believe did not get a starter option until I think 1919.  During this time most of the vehicles were 4 cylinder vehicles with the growing number of 6 cylinder vehicles. 

 

Vehicles with electric starters began to proliferate in the teens and eventually became standard equipment by the manufacturers to remain competitive in the car business.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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Going the opposite way, the first car WITHOUT a provision for a hand crank was the 1932 Terraplane. Not sure of the reasoning (high compression maybe?) Soon, buyers must have complained because the factory offered a pull start using a rope and pulley that attached to the square shaft of the starter end! The following year the crank hole reappeared. 

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Back in the 1960s, my father routinely entered our '29 Packard Super 8 (384.5 cubic inches) into antique car cranking contests vs. Model T's and A's and a few others, and was competitive, though the T's were generally the winners. I also crank started it myself a number of times, but never from cold. 

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2 hours ago, JACK M said:

I saw a video not so long ago where a guy jacked up one front wheel and wrapped a rope around the circumference of the tire and started the engine.

What kind of car was that??? Front wheel drive???

Terry

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  • Peter Gariepy changed the title to when/what was the last car with a hand crank?
On 6/29/2022 at 8:47 PM, Alex D. said:

Has a multi cylinder classic ever been successfully started with a hand crank? 

I saw a 1907 Ford Model K being started by hand crank once.  405 cid 6 cylinder.  Don't know what the compression ratio is, but it can't be much.  Still, that's a lot of piston and crank mass to turn by hand.

 

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On 6/30/2022 at 7:44 AM, TAKerry said:

Dad was friends with a local Packard collector. I was around 17 or 18, and we stopped by for a visit. He had a running display motor (no idea of the configuration) and the fellow challenged me to hand crank it and get it running.  I couldnt get that thing to budge!! I was not weak, but not Arnold either. Would there have been a compression release? On this motor or others?

 

Interesting answers, I guess after reading through the responses I am not surprised that so many European models continued with them for as long as they did. Ford Pass car into 1941, how about the other big names, Chevy, Chryslers, etc.?

Both my 1940 and 1941 Dodge cars have crank holes with snap in covers. I have never seen an actual crank handle for these cars. 

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