Category Archives: Garages and Dealerships
Ernest O. Thompson was a pioneer north Texas agent for Overland and this photo was taken in front of his Amarillo garage. We believe that the handsome little touring cars seen in our top photo today are 1910 models, of which four different models were produced. We invite our readers to venture their opinions on the year of manufacture.
It had been just seven years since the Terre Haute, Indiana based Standard Wheel Company financed Claude E. Cox to design and build the first primitive Overland in 1903. The Model 13 was a 4-5 horsepower single cylinder, tiller steered runabout on a 66 inch wheelbase. The product had obviously come a long way in the short time that had passed between 1903 and the year of our featured photo.
A plan view of the Model 38 chassis from The Automobile Magazine.
It was John North Willys who saved the fledgling company from financial difficulties in 1907 and lent his expertise to building a successful car company. He would stay at the helm for the next 22 years and lay the groundwork that enabled the company that bore his name and that of Overland to continue producing a wide variety of motor vehicles for decades to come.
You can find much more information about Overland cars and the company here on The Old Motor (scroll down). You can also visit the Willys Overland Knight Registry for full company history and more information. Top photo courtesy of The University of North Texas Libraries.
L to R (below); An ad with specifications for the Model 38, 40, 41 and the 42
*Update* As we mentioned previously this mystery was not going to be easy, but Ariejan Bos was up to the task and has correctly identified the tow truck as a 1917 Chandler. The 1915 – 17 models all shared this appearance and had slanted hood louvers. He also believes that the touring car is also a Chandler and it does in fact have the look of one of the earlier four cylinder models. Perhaps there might have been have been a Chandler dealer in Knoxville?
We are back at it again with another Tuesday morning mystery which might be a bit tougher this time. This photo was taken at Red Seal Auto & Sales in Knoxville, Tennessee on March 13, 1923 and shows the shop wrecker and a touring car posed for a photo out in front of the shop. Take note of the very interesting signage covering both.
The wrecker appears to have been made from a good sized circa 1915 – 1920 six cylinder car of some sort, with both the frame and wheelbase extended. It may have had smaller diameter rear wheels fitted which were then fitted with thin sectioned hard rubber tires. The wrecker boom is a real Rube Goldberg like contraption. Both the uprights and boom appear to have been constructed of wood.
The heart of the mechanism is some form of a gear driven winch which was mounted on the frame. Between the hinged boom and the uprights is a set of chain falls of the type normally used in a shop for lifting engines, which presumably were operated by the winch. A cable and hook hanging from the boom were attached to the car to be lifted.
The mystery touring car seems to be of the same general vintage as the wrecker and may be a four cylinder model. We will wait 24 hours before posting any reader’s answers and as this is a tough one. Please send in any observations you may have about this pair. The photo was by the Thompson Brothers and is courtesy of the Knox County Public Library of Knoxville, Tennessee.
Not to be missed and added just for a little fun (below) , is the neatest contemporary video of a “Rube Goldberg” type machine that we were able to find. In it you will see many quite interesting ways to take photos completely automatically.
With the advent of transistorized electrics and computer controlled systems in our modern cars, service stations like Lee D. Perkins’, located at 1360 Speer Boulevard in Denver, Colorado have become a rarity. Operations like this often did on site starter and generator rebuilding, as well as electrical diagnosis and repair. The Colorado State Capitol dome can be see in the distance, as the shop was roughly half a dozen blocks north of it.
In our lower photo we can see the well worn 1926-27 Model “T” Ford roadster pickup the shop used in its work. We invite you, our readers, to identify as many of these cars as you can. The images were originally made by the Rocky Mountain Photo Company and come to us courtesy of the Denver Public Library.