1912 Flanders 20 Spruce Up - Any Interest?
I purchased the 1912 Flanders 20 from Dragone Motors and have been working on it for a month now. If there's interest, I will post photos here occasionally to document the process. My intent is to leave the paint and body alone, install the correct components and accessories, and get the car running on its original Splitdorf low tension magneto and coil box setup. The engine turns freely, has good compression, and the clutch seems to work. I have not tried to run the car yet (it was set up to run with a 6V storage battery and modern coil when I got it). Here are some photos of its arrival from the shipper. The windshield and associated brackets came with the car, it is currently boxed up, along with a tail light and Prestolite tank.
Always interested,fire away cheers pete
Thanks, here are a few more pics. Thanks to a few helpful members, I was able to obtain a set of correct E&J sidelights and tail light. I also obtained an E&J acetylene generator for the headlights. I personally prefer the look of a generator vs. the Prestolite tank. The top on the car is original and in acceptable shape. The upholstery looks presentable for display, but is too brittle for use, so I've removed it and sent it off to Elizabeth at Class-it-Up as patterns to have new covers made in mildly "distressed" looking vinyl.
Looks a very nice automobile from which to improve and make run as was original. Show us some under the hood pictures and also what you intend to do for ignition. Do you have all the pieces, mag. switch and etc.? Do you know history on the car or even the extent and when restoration took place?
I was told that the car had been in storage for 40 years prior to being acquired by Dragone. The number on the engine says it was built in June 1912. It has a Rayfield carburetor with an intake adapter on it instead of the original Flanders carburetor.
The car has its original Splitdorf Model D low tension magneto and a (possibly later) Splitdorf Model TS high tension transformer/switch combination in the dash. The TS transformer must not have been working, because it was only being used as a switch to send battery voltage to the primary side of a modern 6V coil. The primary circuit was being interrupted by the magneto points and the high tension current from the modern coil was being sent back to the magneto distributor for distribution to the spark plugs. This makes me think that I might be able to get the magneto working with a good transformer box and a magnet recharge.
I have obtained an original Splitdorf box type transformer/switch unit and sent it off to R.V. Anderson to have it rebuilt. My intent is to wire the magneto and transformer box per the factory diagram, with the 6V storage battery connected to the transformer box battery terminals. I'll start it on battery, then switch to magneto and see if it will stay running. If it dies on magneto with the rebuilt transformer box, then perhaps the magneto magnets will need to be recharged. I could just run the car on the storage battery, but I would really like to get the magneto side of the dual ignition working.
How long did you say this automobile was laid up and not running? I think you have a great approach to this Flanders. How does this automobile relate and compare to an EMF?
The folks at Dragone told me it had been in storage for 40 years before they got it.
The Flanders 20 car was manufactured by EMF, it was intended to be a low price direct competitor to the Model T Ford. The car was named after a former Ford employee, Walter Flanders, the "F" in EMF. The other two founders were Barney Everitt and William Metzger. The other EMF product at the time was a well regarded mid price car, the EMF 30.
EMF did not have an established dealer network, so they made an arrangement with Studebaker to market half of their cars through Studebaker dealerships. The remainder were sold through local independent dealers. The relationship between EMF and Studebaker was tempestuous, Studebaker eventually buying EMF using borrowed money, putting Studebaker deeply in debt. By 1913 all cars manufactured by EMF were rebadged as Studebakers.
There is an interesting book that covers the story of EMF and its founders:
There is a website for EMF and Flanders enthusiasts:
Right how I have the floor boards and upholstery out of the car. The current floor boards are all broken and chopped up, so I'll be making new floor boards. The original upholstery looked OK for museum display, but was too brittle to withstand any use. I have sent the old upholstery to Elizabeth at Class-it-Up for use as patterns to make new upholstery out of mildly "distressed" vinyl so that it better matches the patina on the rest of the car.
I really like the cast aluminum brackets that the top's rear curtain attaches to. They allow the top to be removed from the car as an assembly, without having to remove any welting or tacks. The top is in good condition, so it is safely folded and in storage while the rest of the work proceeds on the car. The swatches of blue tape on the body mark where side curtain "common sense" fasteners were placed.
With the upholstery out, I decided to work on making new floor boards. The old boards were split in several places and chopped up, so I decided to make new ones out of premium 5/8 plywood. I also found the correct mount for the Jones speedometer and mounted it to the dash.
Nice work, Will your new seat upholstering be black also? I am anxious to see how that all comes together. Did you do the rubber floor mats? That is a nice job! I am curious to see how your top mounts to the brackets you have referred to. If you get a chance, please take a few pictures and share how the top is affixed to the brackets. At this rate you will be driving your automobile soon!
I have asked Classtique to make the new upholstery out of black "mildly distressed" looking leather so that it harmonizes with the patina on the rest of the car. The floormats came with the car, I didn't have to make them. If anybody has a picture of an original Flanders 20 floor mat, I'd love to see it.
The corners of the top's rear curtain of top have sockets that slip over the "ears" of the cast aluminum brackets on the rear of the body tub. The rear window section rolls up and is attached to the tub and corners of the rear curtain with "common sense" fasteners.
The Flanders is looking great. Looks like my carbide generator cleaned up nicely. Glad it found a good home! Keep up the good work and keep posting more photos. GZ/Motoringicons
Have you run this automobile yet? I am curious about the fuel system.
It will be a while before I try to run the car. The engine does turn freely with good compression. I squirted a little Marvel Mystery oil into each cylinder and spun it over with the crank to keep thing freed up. I want to wire up the ignition per the original design, with the Splitdorf Model D low tension magneto and wood transformer/switch box on the dash. The box is currently getting rebuilt by R.V. Anderson. The magneto appears to be complete, but I won't know how well it works until I start the car on battery and then switch to magneto with it running.
Regarding the fuel system, it is gravity feed from the stock torpedo-style tank in the rear. The tank and sediment bulb appear to be in good shape, but the tank is empty and the fuel line is all mangled. The car is missing its original carburetor and now has a Rayfield carb with an adapter on the original intake manifold. The first two pics show the sediment bulb and the current Rayfield carb, the rest of the pics show what an original Flanders carb should look like (I found these pics on the HCCA forum). If anyone has an original carb they would be willing to part with, I would love to buy it.
How many Flanders 20's did they build in 1912 and then the surrounding years? That would give you an idea of how easy it will be to locate and purchase a correct carb.