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Chauffeur Peter Christian Wick and the Wiggin Family Fiat

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  • Chauffeur Peter Christian Wick posing with an early FIAT.

This set of photos is part of a series of images showing cars that were driven by Peter Christian Wick, during his carreer as a professional chauffeur. His Grandson Peter Wick, has determined that he worked for four different men in the New York City area and in Ridgefield, Connecticut, where at least one of them had a home.

He first worked for Richard P. Hart from March 1, 1903, to September 1, 1906, and drove a White Steam car for him. Wick next piloted two other White Steam cars for George Howe for one year and three months until January 3, 1908. It appears that he may have begun his work early in 1908 for Mr. Wiggin, who was the chairman of the Chase Bank. Earlier we looked at a photo of Wick posing with a circa 1906 Rainer.

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  • Wiggins family members and Peter Christian Wick posing with the FIAT.

While working for Mr. Wiggins, one of the two or more cars that he drove was this circa 1906 or later roadster with a mother-in-law seat. We have been able to identify it as being a Fiat, and possibly as a 24/40 h.p. model. The left-hand photo above shows L to R: Muriel Wiggin, the youngest daughter, her sister Marjorie and Mrs. Wiggins probably in front of the house in Ridgefield, Connecticut.

The center image above shows Wick behind the wheel and the FIAT plaque can be clearly seen on the right-hand top corner of the dashboard; we are hoping a reader can date the license plate and possibly the car with state registry information. The right-hand photo may again show Marjorie and Mrs. Wiggin; this photo is in front of the carriage house.

The Scott & Lewis Garage seen below was on Main Street in Ridgefield, and we see the Fiat with Wick and a group of gentleman. On the left, can be seen a formal-looking town car with a collapsible top. Some of these men may have worked for the garage or may have been chauffeurs for other families in the well-to-do town sixty miles to the Northeast of New York City. We will return with more of the Wiggin’s cars in the near future.

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6 responses to “Chauffeur Peter Christian Wick and the Wiggin Family Fiat

  1. This is a really beautiful set of photos! It is however not easy to identify and date the early Fiats. In this case it is my impression that the car has a rather short wheel base. The Hol-Tan Co. offered in 1906 as well as 1907 a 20 hp car with a 111″ chassis, which is shorter than the wheel base of the common chassis in these years (115″ as given by the Catalogo Bolaffi). There is some similarity with a 1907 Fiat roadster, pictured on a 1907 Hol-Tan ad. This car however has a rounded, torpedo-like dash, unlike the Wiggin-Fiat.

  2. This FIAT looks like a 4 cylinder based on the legnth of the hood, 6 cylinder would be longer. In the second picture (wick2), there looks to be another FIAT behind the first car. The car in the background of picture 5 may be this same car. It is also a chain drive car.

    • Ray, No doubt about it being a four.
      Thanks for spotting it. After taking another look at the second photo it does in fact appear to be another FIAT. Maybe a touring car or a town car?

  3. This car despite it’s various alterations appears to be a 1906 35 hp
    Fiat very similar to my grandfather’s car pictured in THE OLD MOTOR as alluded to in the ‘a Fiat, and possibly a 24-40 hp model’. The frontal quarter view shows the car without Firestone type rims but with a pin stripe throughout whereas two of the three smaller shots picture it as repainted and reshod to more modern rims. American imported 35 hp Fiats in 1906 had three wheelbase lenghts from 114 to 131 inches
    The car behind the subject is definately a Fiat and the chain drive closed car could well be a Fiat as the beltline around the back of the body is similar to ones pictured in the 1906 catalogue. What a great addition to early Fiat lore in the USA.

  4. That photo of the Scott & Lewis Ridgefield Garage is fantastic! I’ve never seen a photo of it but have had a gas gauge stick they would hand out back in the Model T Ford days. I have to do some research to confirm it but I believe they had a Ford dealership at one time. Bob

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