An Entertaining & Informative Vintage Automobile Internet Magazine

The Technical Details of the Larz Anderson 1907 Fiat Tipo 50/60

Work is progressing and all of the new tires have been mounted on the Larz Anderson 1907 Fiat Tipo 50/60. Many thanks to all of you who have contributed to the tire fund; they still need more funding, so please visit the museum here to find out how you can help. As promised we have many more photos to share with you along with more information and original Fiat drawings of the chassis.

The Andersons originally purchased this car while on a vacation in Europe. Afterward  it was shipped back to Hol-Tan, the U.S. Fiat distributor located in New York City. It appears that Hol-Tan may have arranged for the J. M. Quinby & Co. of Newark, N.J., high class body builders, to custom build the second body and fenders seen on the car above, after it had arrived back in the states.

This model was the first six-cylinder car built by Fiat, and it is one of only 116 that were produced and the only one know to have survived. Fiat at the time had joined in on the horsepower and cylinder race, along with the other manufacturers in the U.K., Europe and the U.S. It is a very large car on a 139″ w.b. chassis with double-chain drive. The engine is a 674 c.i. (11.04 litre) behemoth with a 4.921″ bore x 5.905″ stroke (125 x 150 mm) t-head, with a separate camshaft of each side for the two sets of valves. It measures a quite impressive 54″ long.

                      

The engine has a splash lubrication system that is supplemented a mech-anically-driven oiler on the dash board (left hand photo just above). This oiler is driven by an endless spring steel belt and pulleys from the back of the intake camshaft (see the center photo above). Inside of this unit is a worm gear-driven shaft with eight sprockets on it. These sprockets drive long chains which dip in oil contained in the bottom of the oiler. After this oil gets pulled up and over the sprockets, some of if is flung forward to where it lands into a small reservoir. It then drains from the there down into a fitting and tubing which routes it either to a cylinder or an engine bearing. It is topped off with a beautifully made cover with a beveled-glass panel so that its operation can be observed.

The engine is cooled by a huge 24″ flywheel which has the fan blades cast into it as the spokes. It is equipped with a snug-fitting sheet-metal belly pan and a hood without louvers which in combination, pulls the required air-flow need-ed through the radiator. The hub of the flywheel seen above and below in drawings, contains a multi-disc wet clutch with steel on steel discs.

A drive-shaft connects the clutch output back to the combination four-speed gearbox-differential. The final drive is by side chains. The foot brake pedal actuates two contracting band drums brakes, one mounted to the side of the gearbox and the other to the front. The hand brake lever operates internal expanding brakes on the rear wheels.

                      

The car was one of the Andersons’ favorites and was used often for years. At some point in the early-teens it was modernized, as was popular at the time with older cars. It was converted to a Vesta electric lighting system with a storage battery charged by a Vesta generator, added onto the exhaust side of the engine (see last colored photo above). The make and break ignition system was removed at the same time and it was converted to a Bosch D6 high tension magneto. The original air starter was also removed.

Possibly at the same point in time, the car was treated to a set of new and more modern skirted fenders, chain boxes and splash aprons along with new running boards and a refinishing. The side-mounted tires were also removed to be replaced by a single rear-mounted spare and a custom made larger single trunk was also installed. The front wheels were converted to take a smaller rim size as was on the rear, and all four wheels at that time were modified to carry Continental demountable clincher rims, that carry a 880 x 120 mm tire.

                     

The car was presumably used up until the late teens after its refurbishment, but after its ignition changes, it was known to have been very hard to crank start. It may have been eventually put aside because it became so difficult to start and as the Andersons bought newer cars.

After its showing at Pebble Beach we are committed to helping the museum come up with a long range program to help create an preservation fund for the core collection of cars.  As part of that effort, it is thought that we may work towards getting this car operational for use for the collection to help in further fund raising efforts to stabilize and preserve the balance of the collection. If you or someone you know can help, please send us a comment. Special thanks to Binney Beale for his help and assistance.