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Mystery Touring Cars: Auto Parts Manufacturing Co.

To wrap up the Auto Parts Manufacturing Co. series, images of a pair of unique touring cars and the engine and transmission assembly rooms are featured here in Part III.

The rear portion of the coachwork of the used touring car in the lead image apparently was modified by the Company to fold down and transform into a utility body. By comparing the photo with the picture below it is apparent that long panels are added on the sides to fill in the door opening. Next, the top of the rear seat section above the belt line and the upholstery are removed, and it is then lowered down and rearward to line up with the inserted side panels.

The vehicle appears to be a well-worn thirty-h.p. touring car that an automaker may have sent to the Auto Parts Manufacturing Co. to engineer and construct this prototype rear section. If that is the case, we are left to wonder if our readers can identify the maker of this circa 1910 automobile?

The second mystery touring car above, which has an appearance similar to a period Renault, features front-wheel drive and appears to be a prototype. A driveshaft is visible under the car that connects a transmission and transfer case to a front-mounted differential and axle. The wheels have large-sized hubs which apparently contain some type of a u-joint like assembly that allows for steering and the transfer power to the wheels.

A corner of the chassis and engine assembly room above, also shown in the first part of the series contains parts for two different-sized four cylinder engines. The blocks and pistons on the right side of the bench are for a medium-sized motor. The smaller L-head cylinder castings on the left-hand-side and the piston and connecting rods on the top of the shelf on the left appear to fit the crankcase assembly leaning against the work bench.

The image below of another room shows gearing, shafts, and sprockets for chain final drive transmission and differential assemblies. The adjoining room behind the window appears to contain a part of the Company’s offices. The clock on the wall is an electric model, manufactured by the Self Winding Clock Co.

Tell us what you find of interest in this set of Spooner and Wells images courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection. View all three parts of the Auto Parts Manufacturing Co. series here.

6 responses to “Mystery Touring Cars: Auto Parts Manufacturing Co.

  1. I’m guessing here but, that crankcase appears to be aluminum, Also up on the bench, in the corner, looks like the oil pan. To the left of that we can see some fans leaning against the wall. I’m thinking they could have larger blades.
    In the second photo I see an exception to a rule that my generation was taught in school. The clock has Roman numerals, old style. In school we were told that four was represented with V preceded by an I. Older clocks I have seen show four to be IIII. One other such example can be found on the clock tower of Independence Hall (across from Liberty Bell square in Philadelphia).

  2. Is it my old eyes or does the auto in the second image appear pre-airbrush artistically modified? Rear fender has vestigal lines and the body and doors seem oddly outlined.

    • No its not your eyes, just your interpretation of the image.
      Upon close examination I see lighting ( bright, not strong ) from behind clouds, after a morning rain. This gives the fender varied light and the surface itself is worn , beat. Thanks for asking, because I looked, I can see (as can you, start at the left rear seat back ) that the sheen or lack of, on the leather seats tell’s us that there was no care given. The dull part of the tufts is worn to that soft fuzzy texture. Other signs of wear are seen under front seat kick panel, the seat beneath the left front passenger’s knee, next to the box on the splash apron, the fender.
      I believe the door moulding may be missing or the lighting angle blanks the reflection of moulding (wood yes? )
      Gee I need to go find a job.

  3. Just like I do not enjoy riding with and open face helmet on a two-wheeler, I am not sure I would enjoy a ride in a windshield-less ‘Tourer’ in Winter or in the rain. Maybe my bones are getting a bit old!

  4. Looks like Kingston, Wilkes-Barre in the background……….if you know where that is, my guess is a Matheson. I have a pic of my buddyJoe Parkin racing a Marheson up giants despair hill climb. I think I sent the pic to you Dave. Parkin raced Packards but he must of got an offer to race the car in Wilkes-Barre as a promo.

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