An Entertaining & Informative Vintage Automobile Internet Magazine

The Longest Car in the World Designed and Built by H.F. Dixon

The Longest Car in the World Designed and Built by H.F. Dixon

Updated – This image of H.F. Dixon was posted over four years ago and at that time we were unable to find any other information about Dixon, the car or the unusual “Roadmaster” tires. Since that time we have posted an article about Vogue tires on two L29 Cords with what appears to be the same sidewall pattern (possibly as early as 1929). You can also view an image of bandleader Paul Whiteman and his L29 Cord with the same Vogue tires here. 

Researcher Ace Zenek took on the task to try to learn more about Dixion, the car, and the tires. After a long search, he found the newspaper photo (below) of him and the car with a bevy of beauties.

By Ace Zenek:  From the angle of the Standard Union photo (below) it appears that Dixon’s car was built on a Packard chassis, and its trademark radiator shape is visible. It is likely the car with a stretched chassis and a custom built body was based on a late-1920s or 1930-’31 chassis from the automaker. In the original photo, note that the spare tire has lettering on the sidewall, but, unfortunately, it is not legible. The spare tires and rims are held by brackets and you can view the body and hood (above) behind the right side assembly.

dixon2

  •                               This photo is from the Standard Union (Brooklyn, NY), August 30, 1930.

The Standard Union caption mentions the car was built by H. F. Dixon and called him a “noted racing car designer,” but no evidence of this was found in any of my searches. An H. F. Dixon received patents for a wheel assembly, a hub brake, and a brake mechanism, but has been found as of yet to connect his work (intended for aircraft use) and the car in the photos. The full name on the patents is Howard F. Dixon, who was working for the Kelsey-Hayes Wheel Corporation at that time.

The “Roadmaster” (Road Master) tire was made by The Falls Rubber Company, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, which merged with Cooper Corporation (Cooper Tires) in 1930.

vogue

                     A Falls tire on a L29 Cord at the MacDonald-Dodson Tire Co. in Los Angeles, CA.

Editors note: It appears that both of these tires were introduced at about the same time. This leaves us wondering, which tire company used this pattern first, and could one of the tire makers have purchased rebranded tires made by the other company? Could this “Roadmaster” tire have been sold by an independent in Los Angeles, CA?  Both the “Roadmaster” tires and the Vogue tires were being promoted in Los Angeles, CA, at the same time.

4 responses to “The Longest Car in the World Designed and Built by H.F. Dixon

  1. NO doubt that this cigar car IS long, but it is ALSO a “One -Off” — hand-made custom vehicle. In Alhambra, Los Angeles County , California, was “Checker California Sales”: Direct from the Kalamzoo Checker Factory, — in Michigan, one could order a VARIETY of standard manufactured Checker products, one of which was a VERY LONG Automobile for multiple passenger service, Known as: “The AEROBUS”, which was a STATION WAGON on STEROIDS, and available in different lengths as required by CUSTOMER’s needs. These vehicles were able to travel CROSS COUNTRY, utilized by Popular Music Bands “On Tour” or similar large organizational requirements. Typical applications were for Airline CREW Airport transport and Touring /Sightseeing activity. Wiil SOMEONE please show me a vehicle that is longer than the Aerobus, with its extended ROBUST frame. Different lengths could be ordered, with FRAME engineering to match! Edwin , former Assistant Shop Foreman , Checker California Sales , Circa: late ’60’s early ’70’s

  2. I’m surprised that this pattern didn’t catch on. I can see Kelsey-Hayes fingerprints with their elegant future wide hub / short spoke design.

  3. Stageway Coaches of Fort Smith, Arkansas built extended wheelbase versions of the International Travelall which were longer than the Checker Aerobus.

    The shorter Stageway Travelall version was on a 188 inch wheelbase, it had eight doors, five rows of seats, could carry 15 passengers, and was 22 feet 8 inches long (272 inches). The last row of seats was removable to allow additional luggage to be carried. So it was bigger than the long wheelbase Checker Aerobus (269.75 inches long) which only carried 12 people. The Checker 9 passenger version was merely 232.25 inches long.

    The longer version of the Stageway Travelall was on a 221 inch wheelbase, had 10 doors, six rows of seats with the last removable, could carry 18 passengers, and was 25 feet 5 inches long (305 inches).

    Both Stageway models had full length luggage racks on the roof, and heavy duty suspension and axles were available. Figures given are for 1970-1971 models, but they were made from at least 1968 to 1972 and were possibly available in other years.

    Photos of the Stageway Travelall limos are easily found by searching for them on Google.

    Many other extended wheelbase limos can be found at the following link: my dot net-link dot net/~dcline/limoair1.htm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *