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Mystery Roadster at Tom’s Burlington Garage

Today’s feature image contains a view of Tom’s Burlington Garage located near Linton Park, which is northwest and across the Willamette river from Portland, Oregon. The signage indicates that Tom ran a general service garage and sold Union Gasoline. Apparently, he is posing for the photo with a full-sized roadster which is the subject of interest in this post.

The mystery automobile is circa 1925 to ’27 and appears to be a couple of years old at the time. The milk can in the rumble seat compartment may indicate that the car was owned by a local farmer. If you can identify the vehicle let us know the make, model and year of this mystery car. If there are any readers who are vintage gas pump enthusiasts let us know the manufacturers that produced the manually operated glass cylinder fuel pumps highlighted below in the second photo.

The photograph courtesy of Vintage Portland was found via Vintage Service Station History.


26 responses to “Mystery Roadster at Tom’s Burlington Garage

    • I had a 1925 Special Six roadster nearly identical to this for many years. Same colour but no bumpers, and no dicky, just a front-hinged boot lid. The hood (top in US?) was fabric but fixed. Of course it had 5 stud Budd wheels instead of the 6 stud of the Advanced Six. The colours were black mudguards (fenders?) ivory side panels and tan on the top surfaces. Terribly smart! I increased the performance of the engine considerably with invar-strutted aluminium pistons with a greater height above the gudgeon pin and a hollow in the top giving a cheap hemi-head in this odd engine where the ohv cylinder head is flat and the combustion chamber is cylindrical, just the top part of the bore. Those pistons were Rambler c1960 from memory. CR about 8 to 1. Boy did that Nash fly! The chassis was outstanding too. The car regularly frightened Bentleys in hillclimbs and rallies.
      Harold Kidd, Auckland

  1. Great photo. The spare-tire cover advertises Fred Christensen, a business that did “excavating and hauling” in Portland, Oregon.

  2. Somehow, a rumble seat roadster seems an unlikely car for a farmer. The decorated spare tire cover (too elaborate to be an advertising giveaway like license frames are today) makes me think the car belongs to perhaps the owner of the excavating company. It would be a tough job to hoist a full can of milk up and over into that rumble seat so maybe this one has been brought in to have a leak repaired or loose handle reattached? As with some other old photos, you wonder “Why was this picture taken?”

        • WADR, that milk can holds ten gallons – about 80 lbs of milk plus the weight of the can. So, thinking about hoisting roughly 100 lbs. up three or four feet and then stretching over into that rumble seat. Not saying it ain’t possible, but it makes my back hurt just thinking about it.

  3. I drive through this area every day. This building may still stand. I’ll look on my way home tomorrow and update with a pic if I’m able.

  4. Like Jay, I’ve been thinking about what’s going on with the man in the photo. And the more I think about it, the more I like him.

    I don’t think the car is very old. It’s dirty, but the paint has a shine under the dirt — it hasn’t oxidized badly. No dents or rust that I can see, and the top isn’t sagging. So this wasn’t an old beater that was turned to farm use. Also, if a farmer were looking for a utility vehicle, I would think a Model T pickup would be a cheaper, more sensible choice. It is possible to hoist a full milk can into a rumble seat, but it couldn’t be easy.

    And given the jaunty pose he’s striking with it, I think that roadster was his pride and joy. It was worth the extra effort of using it just for the pleasure of driving it.

    As I say, I like this guy.

    Another great picture, David, thanks.

  5. The FULL milk can rode up front, inside to the creamery to better control temperature. This is the return trip, the can is now empty. No need for it up front in the passenger compartment. Easy to sling the now empty can in to the rumble seat. Also, now have time to stop at the garage, fill the fuel tank, have that ticking sound under the hood checked out, and maybe grab a Pepsi.

  6. its a 1925 Nash according to the rear deck trim design. the steps to get in the rumble seat are only on the right fender and bumper, steps were absent from the left side.

  7. The dark colored visible gas pump in the back ground is a Boyle-Dayton #74, I have two of them, I’ve heard they had been called the widow makers because the lid on top was cast iron and if you tip the pump down to move it the lid could slide off and wack you.

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