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Trying to identify the remains of a horseless carriage

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Not new to cars or antique cars, but new to this forum.  It seemed like the most knowledgeable place around when it comes to very early vehicles.


I ran across an ad for this engine-less chassis not terribly far from me.  I've been looking around, and can't place this exact combination of features anywhere.  Judging by the looks of the steel and the even aging on it, if this was one of the early "homebrew" or "replica" horseless carriages built in the 1930s-50s, the parts have been together for a very long time.  I'm rather leaning towards it being an original vehicle, though modified and missing a number of parts.  It certainly appears that the tiller arm was welded to the remains of the earlier steering system, for instance.  Also, the original engine (or motor, if it was an electric) is gone, and a metal plate is stuck in place where something else was obviously mounted at one point.


This thing has an unusual combination of features that has defied my attempts to identify it.  For instance, the steering setup, with the central pivoting mechanism connected via a drag link to the right front wheel and a tie rod running across to the left wheel, is a crude version of a more modern design than most tiller-steering horseless carriages, especially those with center steering columns, which tended to have a more buggy-like setup.  The differential appears to have had a crude shield bolted over it, probably to keep dirt and debris out of the chain.  Most of them I've seen are either open with loops or bars connecting the halves, or have a semi-complete cast housing with an opening for the chain to pass through.  The outboard, inside-acting drum brakes on the rear axle are also unusually more modern than what is seen on a lot of very early automobiles.  Lastly, almost every angle iron and wood horseless carriage chassis that I've seen has the angle iron turned so that it forms an open box structure with the horizontal leg to the inside - this one having the angle iron turned around so the horizontal leg is to the outside on each side seems very odd.  The longitudinal springs aren't too unusual, though it does seem like a lot of 1890-1910 vehicles still used transverse springs.


I haven't tracked down the manufacturer, but I've found identical buggy-type steps on eBay with that embossed star that have "G.N.W." cast into the bottom surface.

Horseless Carriage 6.jpg

Horseless Carriage 5.jpg

Horseless Carriage 4.jpg

Horseless Carriage 3.jpg

Horseless Carriage 2.jpg

Horseless Carriage 1.jpg

Edited by Sam Cogley
Dyslexia (see edit history)
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A few other thoughts: while the shield on the differential (or at least drive sprocket) looks crude, it also appears to be very similar to the metal of the brake drums.


The rods connecting the front and rear axles lend some credence to the theory that at least a significant portion of this thing was designed to go together, IMHO.


There appears to be a short lever on the left hand side of the chassis opposite of the driver's position (which appears to have had new pedals grafted on to the earlier parts) connected to a bar which runs across the chassis.  I can't figure out what that was supposed to do.

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It’s a home made project that was probably done in the 60’s…………almost zero value………could it be a commercial project kit car or something of the sort? Possible but it’s so crude I don’t think so.  

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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