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The 1906 Chadwick Type II

This fine early car was the product of Lee Chadwick, a brilliant engineer and inventor who first worked for the Searchmont Company in Philadelphia. While there he was able to work with the famous driver Henri Fournier, who also was associated with Search-mont in some way and study and drive his Mors Racing car,  seen below with which he set a speed record of  51.8 seconds for a mile during 1901 in NYC. This enabled Chadwick to see, study and experience the French car that was one of the fastest and most developed of early automobiles at the time.

What he had learned, combined with his engineering skills enabled him to build one of the best regarded early cars and this Type II 40 h.p. machine, which was built in his third year of production and was one very fine car. It featured a 5″ bore x 6″ stoke t-head with Chadwick’s unique copper water jackets, the construction of which  covered in the text from The Horseless Age Magazine, just below, dated Dec. 27, 1905.

Also covered in the text is Chadwick’s unique carburetor design and his dual ring and pinion transmission-differential. One other very interesting fact which we found, was that both the front and rear axles which are different, were forged in halves and then welded together in the middle. Perhaps this was a way of getting the time consuming and expensive axle dies made for roughly half the cost, or it could possibly have been dictated by the maximum length the forging facilities available. The text just below is filled with many other very interesting details.


Oddly the Chadwick which appears in the photo at the top, carries an engine which can be seen in the just below and it is clearly an l-head design, with what appear to be cast iron cylinder blocks without copper jackets.  This engine is unlike any other Chadwick engine that we have heard of or seen before, so it may have been an experimental unit. Photos courtesy of Brian Poor, a grand nephew of Lee Chadwick.

2 responses to “The 1906 Chadwick Type II

  1. David,

    Perhaps that engine is from a different make ? It is interesting that the Horseless Ages touts the same size, interchangeable valves of the Chadwick and the Buick as a “good thing”, when we know that is not the case today. Apparently, Lee Chadwick learned this by 1907 and the six has larger intake valves. I don’t know what he copied from the Mors, but “inventing” the supercharged car is a nice credit by his name. The siamesed intake ports of the Chadwick six gave little benefit when he tried triple carbs, so the blower was an external way around this internal problem. I like the barrel valve carb and wonder if Harry Miller got his idea from this design.


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