Updates I & II – Over five and a half years ago Ivan Pozega posted the photo below courtesy of the Cliff House Project of a mystery racing car and a motorcycle identified as a 1914 Harley Davidson Model 10F on Ocean Beach in San Francisco, near the site of the old Cliff House. Since that time no one has been able to positively identify this racing car.
Recently the H-D rider has been reported to be nonother than Dudley “Dud” Perkins, who founded the famed Dudley Perkins Harley-Davidson in the “City by the Bay.” He also had a hand in helping to create the Art Smith Baby Cars that later on traveled to Japan.
Just the other day while cataloging some of The Old Motor photo archives, the postcard in the lead image came to light and was followed by the thought that it might be the mystery racing car. After studying both photos, it appears to be an updated or sister version of the number Seven car as the details and shape of the frame, radiator and body match including the location of a cap for an oil tank on the cowl.
If was the number Seven car the changes when it was updated include: Rudge Whitworth wire wheels, larger cutouts in the hood and a different exhaust pipe, flared cowl in front of the driver, a different radiator cap with a Moto Meter added to its side, a rock screen on the front, and double Hartford friction racing shocks.
The frame appears to be from a Stutz; the front axle is a similar Timken unit, but with a slightly deeper center dip for clearance for the starting crank than that used on a Stutz production car. The front view of the rear axle also matches the details of the Stutz combined transmission and axle.
Update I – Thanks to Ace Zenek, who found that the racing car just above was registered by Jack Graham in 1917. His address is listed as 151 Powell Street in San Francisco, California. He appears to have named the car after himself as the make is listed as a “Graham” and the body type as a roadster. Now that we know that all thee of the cars pictured in this post originate or visited the City, it seems safe to say that Graham built both of the above cars or updated the number Seven car into the number Three car. He may have been involved in the Hercules car below?
Update II – Racing Historian, Robert Rampton believes that the radiator for the number Seven and Three cars came from one of the three 1914 Maxwell Team racing cars. View his comment to learn more details.
- One of the three 1914 Maxwell Team racing cars – The Automobile July 1914.
A detailed search of races in California of the period resulted in finding a photo below of the number Thirty-Three Hercules driven by Harold Hall in the 1915 Vanderbilt Cup Race held in San Francisco courtesy of Vanderbilt Cup Races. The wire wheels and the shape of the front of the frame, radiator, and crank handle support are identical to those used on the number Three car, which seems to support the theory that the DNA of all three of these cars are somehow connected.
Car any of our readers add more to this story or find who the license plate on the number three car is registered to, which may result in more information being found about all of these cars?