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Tom, Dick, and Harry’s Gow-Job – The Turlock, California Garage

Kingsburg, California is located fifty-or-so miles southeast of Fresno in the Central Valley of California, and was the location where today’s feature photo was taken. These three young men posed for a postcard image by an unknown photographer with their stripped down “special.”

Our guess is that this was built using about a 1910 30 h.p. or-so chassis the boys stripped of its body and retained the front seat and the square gas tank for their “speedster.” Your mission is to identify the maker of this chassis and the photo of the mystery car below when enlarged contains all the details to do just that.

Tom, Dick, and Harry's Gow-Job

The “Turlock Garage” pictured below circa 1913 was located in Turlock, California east of San Jose in the Central Valley of California. At the time was owned by the Brooks Auto Co. that in addition to being the Overland the sales agency, also handled the Kissel Kar and the Pope-Hartford.

The photos are courtesy of the Michael J. Semas Collection that consists of unique images of the California Central Valley along with some taken out of the region.

The Turlock Garage Circa 1913

19 responses to “Tom, Dick, and Harry’s Gow-Job – The Turlock, California Garage

  1. This is really very hard, most cars from that period looked the same, Studebaker, Hudson, Chalmers, REO, etc.
    With only minor differences to go by, hubcaps are usually very helpful.
    I think it’s a 1910/11 Moon Model 30.

  2. That structure is still standing (or at least was as of a year ago). What’s more interesting is that the Overland ad painted on the bricks was still there. There was a structure built next to the garage so there is now only a few inches between the buildings, making it impossible to paint over, thus protecting the sign. The garage is at 221 South Center Street, Turlock CA, 95380.

  3. What mystifies me is the cylinder on the running board with the tube going into the frame . Could it have air brakes ?

  4. Racing through the dirt fields in the area without a windscreen or fenders must have been a real treat! And then you have to add all the bugs present in an agricultural area. So, one could measure the happiness of a motorist by counting the bugs on his teeth!

  5. Of the three makes that the garage was agent for, Overland and Kissel had’ bucket fill’ radiator fillers, but Pope Hartford had a tall filler pipe like the one on the speedster. Of course they could have built it out of a mixture of parts from trade-ins.

    I can’t pick it exactly from the picture but the car looks to have had the rear spring mounts altered to lower it.

  6. I’m going to blurt out,”Thomas Detroit!” There was one for sale recently in Hemmings. Strap on the hood and not particularly well proportioned like our mystery car. These guys were practicing for the next NY to Paris. Honestly I have no idea but they do look like my Chalmer’s Solar lamps.

  7. It looks like it would be very uncomfortable to drive with the drivers knee up so high to operate the brake pedal that it almost hits the steering wheel. Also, the driver has to look through the steering wheel to see where he’s going. But if you’re a teenager and you put this piece of junk together and it actually runs, none of the above problems matter. You’re just out having a great time. That’s something today’s teenagers are missing out on with today’s cars.

  8. Note the bar connecting the tips of the frame horns. The “Overland Boys” on this sight has this feature too, qv.

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