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Before and After Photos: Horseless Carriage Mystery Machine

It is a rare occasion to be able to view photos during the construction of the coachwork for a speed car in the mid-teens. In this instance, a cowl that looks much like that used on an early Lozier Briarcliff was fabricated and fits between what appears to be the original hood and a front seat from a roadster or touring car mounted on a riser.

Outback, an oversized gasoline and oil tank, are positioned on wooden or metal brackets, followed by a single spare tire mounted on an angle. All of these details can be viewed in the enlargeable photos below.

Below is an image of the machine the following summer after the fenders, splash aprons, and running boards were constructed and it was painted. The before picture above contains enough details of the radiator, hood, wheels, and chassis that will be helpful to identify which automaker constructed this machine. Hopefully, someone with access to New York State DMV records might be able to ID this machine and its owner?

Tell us what you find of interest in this set of photographs courtesy of Stacey Smith posted on the HCCA Facebook page.

17 responses to “Before and After Photos: Horseless Carriage Mystery Machine

  1. Don’t have a clue concerning the vehicle, but in the lead photograph, the man sitting beside the car, appears to be riding shot-gun in the 2nd picture.

  2. David, I checked the Official Directory, State of New York 1914, Who’s Who in the Automobile publidhed by J.R.Burton & Co., One Madison Avenue, New York. Unfortunately, there is a gap of registration numbers between 80554 and 97246. The race car’s license number is 96237. This publication covers registrations for the Albany (eastern) District which Fulton, NY in Oswego County would fall under. In addition, this publication only lists make of car.

    I checked another directory from 1914 called “Who’s Who in Autos, Vol II, No.4” published by Motor Register Company, Inc, 286 East Avenue, Rochester, New York that covers the first 10 months of 1914. The great feature of this publication is, it not only lists Make of Car, but also Body Style AND Serial Number/ Car No. as well! Unfortunately, the registrations are for the Buffalo (western) District of New York State which does not include Fulton in Oswego County.

    Lastly, I checked the Who’s Who in Autos for May, 1915, Vol III, No.2. Again, it only covers western New York in the Buffalo District. Maybe someone out there has another publications for New York State that lists these license plate registrations.

  3. See page 27 of the 1910 Official Handbook of Automobiles. Looks like a model J Chalmers Detroit 40 . I suggest they jettisoned the “Pony tonneau” and added the tanks. Note the 5 hub bolts on the 10 spoke front wheels. Might be a match.

  4. You mean to say this ‘monster’ survived the winter with those tires and only a modicum of brakes? I guess engine braking and good clutch use saved the day.

  5. July 18, 1915 weekly Automobile Digest and Register, covering “Greater New York,” is online, but its ranges don’t include either of these numbers.

  6. There appear to be several details which might help to identify this vehicle. It appears to be a six cylinder model and the side lamps are likely to be Solar #1033 or #1034 (or the corresponding size for a later year). The radiator core is not divided into individual segments, and the angle of the top half appears more pointed than is common to other cars of the era. The hood is not louvered, and there is a frame-strengthening trunnion? mounted on its underside. The front wheels have only ten spokes, which is suggestive that the engine size is less than 45 horsepower. The rear wheels have all “boss” spokes, and are finely-shaped. The hubcaps appear to have an uncommon contours and it is likely that the wheel hardware is either Continental or Stanweld. Again, it’s easier to tell what it isn’t rather than what it is! Good luck everyone.

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