I need help identifying this vehicle please.

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BRENT in 10-uh-C
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:35 am
Location: Eastern Tennessee

I need help identifying this vehicle please.

Post by BRENT in 10-uh-C » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:30 pm

I am trying to date and identify this vehicle and here is what I know thus far.

The engine appears to be a Golden Belknap & Swartz.
Open valves & low-tension mag.
The flywheel is on the back of the engine and has cooling fan cast into flywheel.
It is Right Hand drive steering.
It is Friction Drive.
Rear axle is Chain Drive.
33 inch tires.

Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!!


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FullerMetz
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:39 am
Location: Grass Valley, CA

Post by FullerMetz » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:46 pm

Brent? Is that you from the MTFCA forum?
A few things I can tell you about that car. It was "restored" at one time. I cannot help but wonder why it has been left out to rot this way.
Several things tell me it was "restored". The tires. They are the common tread used in the 1960s and '70s for antique automobiles and still available today. The fact that they are white tells me that they are a little more recent ('70s/'80s?). The way the paint is fading and flaking would indicate a repaint sometime after 1950.
And the radiator. It may or may not belong to the chassis and/or engine originally. The core is a modern type used from the mid'30s up until still now. The hoses indicate it may not have fit the engine, but that is not conclusive. The water manifolds may have originally had bends that lined up with the radiator. More modern bent hoses could have been used to work around rotted off ends of those manifolds. It could still be original tanks etc.
The chassis is unusually heavy for a friction drive car. I can tell you absolutely that it is not a Metz. Metz is the most common friction drive (Horseless Carriage) car, and is somewhat smaller in all its construction. Also, I have most of a Metz, and there is not one piece in any of your photos that look anything like any Metz part I have ever seen.
CarterCar is the only larger friction drive car common enough that you are likely to see one. I am fairly sure it is not a CarterCar. The radiator and hood look nothing like any CarterCar I can find a picture of quickly. But we said the radiator may be wrong? However, the friction drive transmission does not look anything like the few I have seen. Carter had a better idea and left Jackson Automobiles because they would not try it. That is not his better idea.
Many "High Wheel" automobiles from about 1905 up until 1913 used friction drive. That was never one of them.
What little I can see of the body looks like it could have been a truck? Maybe what I see is not really part of the body. Besides, trucks were even less likely to use a friction drive. Their weakness was pulling weight.
It is difficult to say from here. But it looks to me like it could well have been a real car. It looks to fit together. It could be odd parts cobbled together to make something? Trucks used engines similar to that one well into the 1920s. But the axles were common only around 1905/'12.
There were several other mid-size automobiles built at that time that used friction drive. I have read of them in the Gazette over the years as well as in the Standard Catalog of Cars book. But I do not recall their names off hand to try looking them up.
That could be something really rare and possibly desirable. Or it could just be some good vintage parts. I wish I knew. I know that if it were close to me, and the price was reasonable, I would be interested.
Something else about that engine strikes me. The engine manifolds do not mount in the same plane. Usually that indicates an "F" head type engine. But there are no push rods for the upper valves to work from above. I would love to look at that engine all apart. I do not recognize that engine as any that I have seen. My guess would be that anyone familiar with it would recognize it quickly. (Duh?)

A couple suggestions. Work with the Horseless Carriage Foundation Library. They may be able to find some more leads on cars that used friction drive. They may be able to help identify the engine, and that may help identify the car.

http://www.hcfi.org/

Look over the chassis very carefully. Look for holes that may indicate whether or not the engine, transmission or axles are original to the frame or not. Look for anything odd or out of place, welds, cuts?

Whatever it is, it should not be sitting out like that. I see some good potential. Good luck!
Drive carefully, and enjoy the holidays! W2

BRENT in 10-uh-C
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:35 am
Location: Eastern Tennessee

Post by BRENT in 10-uh-C » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:09 am

Yes, I "lurk" on the MTFCA forum, and am presently serving as a Board of Director for the MTFCI. I also own a restoration shop here in Tennessee. Thanks for remembering.


I do agree that the vehicle was restored at one time, and I know of the history and the circumstances within the past decade or so on the vehicle. Please do not be concerned with the condition now. While it is indeed sad and unfortunate for the vehicle, it was beyond their control and it "is what it is".

The body on this vehicle is/was an express-type body however I feel certain it was something added during the 1960's restoration. While it may indeed be "odd parts cobbled together to make something" however upon my initial inspection, if it was a 're-assembled' vehicle, someone went to a great amount of difficulty in doing so.

You are correct in that the engine is not a Metz or CarterCar --and as I stated above, the engine appears to be an early Golden, Belknap & Swartz as evidenced by the G. B.&S. cast into the crankcase covers, the open valves, the cast in pairs head design, low-tension mag, and the exposed flywheel. All the crossmembers, including the engine mounting crossmembers are riveted in with large-head rivets that are identical to others used throughout the entire frame.

One other thought on your comment regarding trucks used these type engines into the 20's. When you Google or search for information on this particular engine company, it appears they were fairly advanced in their designs of the times in both automotive & marine applications. While the engine fits the compartment fairly well, this engine appears to be a 20-25. For a truck manufactured in the late teen & twenties, it would appear to me that a chain drive, friction drive, low horsepower and marginal cooling system would not be appealing to any buyer.


(BTW, I apologize to all on the extremely large photos that make reading this thread difficult.)

FullerMetz
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:39 am
Location: Grass Valley, CA

Post by FullerMetz » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:25 pm

I would check that engine out closely through the HCFI or any other good research library. I have been a member of HCFI for several years (I have lots of pins!) and try to promote them when I can.
Whether the engine is proper for it or not is the key to its value.
I doubt that it was a truck originally. It could make a nice roadster!
Is it yours? A friends?
Drive carefully, and enjoy the holidays! W2

hwellens
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2006 4:18 pm
Location: Monrovia, Maryland

Post by hwellens » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:21 am

Some models of the Moore automobile used that engine and also had chain drive.

BRENT in 10-uh-C
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:35 am
Location: Eastern Tennessee

Post by BRENT in 10-uh-C » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:30 am

Thank you so much for the lead on the Moore automobile. Is this Moore (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore_Automobile_Company) the same one you are thinking of?

oldcarfudd
Posts: 156
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:15 pm
Location: Morristown, NJ

Post by oldcarfudd » Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:58 am

The Moore that used the GB&S engine, according to the Standard Catalog, was built from 1916 to 1920. No indication of chain drive, and later than I assume the car in Brent's pictures must be. Also, the StdCat pictures of that later Moore don't show a tie rod in front of the axle.

Gil Fitzhugh the Elder, Morristown, NJ

Max Burke
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 1:03 pm
Location: Nulkaba NSW Australia

Re: I need help identifying this vehicle please.

Post by Max Burke » Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:58 pm

G,day All. Although this topic is out of date and the Question may be resolved my thought is that the vehicle is perhaps a Beyster Detroit light truck from 1910/11. Historians tell us that the first Hupmobile engines were machined and assembled by GBS from component parts bought in or made by themselves. Hup were still buying in component parts for the engines in mid 1911 and probably later. Beyster are said to have built a light "truck" using Hupmobile engine parts. From the pictures I identify the cylinder blocks, the water outlet and the water inlet (same part) and the manifold clamps as Hup 20. The stumbling block here is the flywheel on the back and the friction drive. If Beyster stoped production in 1911, perhaps the surplus stock was obtained by Nichoalds, a liquidation company dealing in various surplus. The drawings in their sales list "Do you know me ,have you seen me?" show a bottom half derived from Hup 20 but with an improved oil supply and hand holes for conrod access ,also a larger breather and oil filler. Of course the engine of the Little and the Whiting show a strong Hup ancestory with many parts interchangeable as does the Hup engine seem to be influenced by Ford's N engine. Max Burke Nulkaba 2325 Australia
maxburke

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