Category Archives: video
In total contrast to the twenty-two Ferrari Testarosta’s exhibited at Pebble Beach and the Ferrari Best of Show win there this year, there was a special class just for early steam cars. The well-known Stanley and White steam cars were both on display along with a couple of steamers rarely seen today that included: the 1892 Philion Road Carriage and a 1904 Turner-Miesse from England.
The Philion from the National Auto Museum was built by Achille Philion and has been reported to have run as early as 1890. It was steerable from either the front or the rear seat where the boiler operator sat while attending to its operation. Philion patented the design in 1892, and it was on exhibit at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. It was driven onto the field.
Several of the cars took part in the Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance including Nick Howell’s 1902 Toledo steam car that was featured here recently on The Old Motor. The reports we have received from attendees was that the class was well received, and many of the spectators were amazed by the cars all which were over 100-years old. The photos are courtesy of Steve Natale.
Like to learn a bit more about the steam car? Follow along in a short video below produced by CNNMoney as Peter Valdes-Dapena visits with Tom Marshall at the Marshall Steam Museum. The second-generation steam enthusiast goes through the 30-minute start-up procedure and then they both go out for a short ride. You can also learn more about steam cars at Stanley Steamers and The Steam Car Club of Great Britain.
You can follow along in the video below as Chief Curator Leslie Kendall and Collection Manager Dana Williamson show and tell us about the Museum’s 1929 Model C Ruxton Roadster and their efforts to prepare it for the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It is one of four cars that the Museum is bringing to the Concours, and the others are the Steve McQueen 1956 Jaguar XK-SS, a 1954 Plymouth Explorer Concept Car, and a 1947 Cisitalia 202 Coupe
Other news about the Concours is you can watch a live stream of coverage starting at 4:30 PM EST this Sunday at the Pebble Beach Concours website. Watch and listen live to the expert commentary during the several hour presentation and see many of the award winners as they cross the ramp. Last years version was well received, check it out.
Earlier in the year we did a feature article titled: Art Smith - The Life and Times of The Comet. That post tells the story of Smith building his first airplane at the age of fifteen, his career as a stunt pilot, and a trip to Japan in 1916 with his plane, crew and drivers of his baby racing cars to entertain Japanese officials.
Since that time, Marc Tudeau of France has found an album with some of the best photos to be found yet showing the Baby Cars in Japan. The photo above shows one of the two Fiat look-a-likes. This car was driven by Vic Bertrandias and was later wrecked in Nagoya, Japan.
Above left is the other Fiat that was driven by Kaiser Bill. The center photo shows the cars in front of the Crown Price’s stand in Tokyo before the first exposition race run there. It appears that there were at least two races run in the city at the time, and in at one of them Art Smith can be seen flying his Curtis Bi-Plane above the racers. The car on right above is wearing Peugeot style body work.
The cars were built with the help of Dudley Perkins of the Dudley Perkins Company, a San Francisco Harley-Davidson dealership. The left and center photos above show the workshop where the racers were assembled by Smith and his crew in a shop located at 220 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. The left photo is dated as being taken during February of 1916 and the center photo is captioned as showing the assembly of the first car in March of 1916. The right-hand photo with Smith in the car is captioned: First car runs! -Tokyo- April 1916.
The photo above gives us the most-detailed view of the type of construction used to build the cars yet. The frames were constructed of wood with steel fittings, and the front frame horns appear to be steel forgings. The cars were powered by Harley-Davidson V-twin engines, but it is not known what was used for a clutch and transmission. This may have been an earlier car, as some of them used larger-sized wheels and tires.
The photos are courtesy of the San Diego Air & Space museum where you can see more photos of the trip to Japan. There are also more photos and Smiths life’s story at: Art Smith - The Life and Times of The Comet. The short film clip below courtesy of British Pathe apparently shows the cars at a later date after returning to the U.S.