Cadillac-LaSalle Automobiles Featured at 2014 CCCA Museum Experience

  • ccca1

    1936 Cadillac V-16 Fleetwood Aero-Dynamic Coupe owned by Bill Parfet

Cadillac-LaSalle automobiles will be featured at the Classic Car Club of America Museum’s 2014 “Experience,” scheduled for Sunday, June 1 on the campus of the Gilmore Car Museum – home of the CCCA Museum.

Both full classic and non-classic Cadillac automobiles built from 1903 to 1962 are welcome. Automobile owners need not be CCCA members to display their cars at the 2014 “Experience.” In addition to Cadillac-LaSalle automobiles, full classics owned by members may be displayed on the show field. Prior to the “Experience” on Sunday, a CCCA Grand Classic will be held on Saturday, May 31. Only full classics owned by members may be displayed at this event.

“For CCCA members—and Cadillac-LaSalle enthusiasts—who have not visited the CCCA Museum and Library recently, this is a great year to do so,” said Howard Freedman, Museum president. “There is really nothing else like it in the world. This is the only museum devoted solely to classic automobiles.”

  •             ccca2                              ccca4
  • A 1913 Cadillac Torpedo Touring Car and a 1932 LaSalle Phaeton, both unrestored originals owned by restorer Steve Babinsky will be on display

On Friday, there will be a driving tour and automotive art show. The art show will be held throughout the weekend and will include an introduction to automotive art by artist David Chapple. Sunday events, in addition to the classic automobiles on display, will include a silent auction of unique automobile-related items. A narrated awards-drive-by will take place on Sunday afternoon followed by a post-show farewell supper.

  • Glim10
  • A 1930 Cadillac V-16 Roadster on display at the Gilmore Car Museum

2014 “Experience” attendees can see the CCCA Museum, the Gilmore Car Museum, the H.H. Franklin Museum, the Pierce-Arrow Museum, the Ford Model A Museum and the Tucker Archives, as will all be open. The CCCA Library and the Gilmore Car Museum library are also available by appointment. The CCCA Museum contains not only a fine collection of full classic automobiles but a world class radiator mascot collection.

Applications for the 2014 Grand Experience are available from the CCCA Museum. Visit with the club at

Posted in Auto photos 1921 - 1942, Pre-War Contemporary Photos | Tagged , , , , , , |

The Amazing Edmond Rumpler Designed Tropfenwagen

  • Trof1
  • 1921 Rumpler Tropfenwagen at the German Museum of Urban Transport

Edmond Rumpler, a brilliant Austrian aircraft designer, introduced his unprecedented Tropfenwagen at the 1921 Berlin Auto Show. The teardrop-shaped body (tropfen translates to drop), with its curved glass greenhouse, produced a very low drag coefficient of only .28, which is on par with the aerodynamic cars of today. In addition to the shape of the body, the minimal horizontal fenders and the belly pan helped to achieve this figure.

  • trof2      trof3      Trof
  • Left and center: Rear views of the 1921 Rumpler Tropfenwagen. Right: 1923 Rumpler Tropfenwagen on exhibit at the German Museum of Technology

It appears that between 80 to 100 Rumpler Tropfenwagen’s were built in the four years that they were in production. Only two examples are known to have survived and both can be seen above: the German Museum of Urban Transport car built in 1921 has the earlier shorter style of passenger compartment; the 1923 German Museum of Technology Sedan features a longer cabin with the rear top-section of it used for storage.

The cars seated four or five passengers in the center of the body resulting in a very comfortable ride. A convertible version was also produced and can be seen in a line drawing below. That version with four passengers aboard weighed in at 3,000 lb. with the sedan at 3470 lb., both were capable of speeds above fifty mph.

The interesting video above shows a period film of a Rumpler Tropfenwagen being driven in several different scenes, possibly on the streets of London. Two things to note while watching it are: The fitted luggage and its compartment, and the trafficators Rumpler fitted for use as turn signals.

  • trof5
  • Chassis and drivetrain -”Automotive Industries” October 27, 1921

The car utlized a W6 Siemens & Halske-built, 157 ci. (2,580 cc) 36 hp. overhead valve engine. Three banks of paired cylinders were used, all working on a common crankshaft. Note one of the unique three connecting-rods units at number four in the image above.

The engine, clutch, three-speed transmission, and the final-drive were all together in a unit power plant. The rear swing-axles were suspended and located by angled cantilever leaf springs, while the beam front axle was suspended by a pair of parallel leaf springs of the same type.

  • trof6      trof7      trof8
  • Illustrations and a line-drawing -”Motor Age” November 10, 1921

The novel design of the car and the potential for a light-weight and excellent handling racing car attracted Benz chief engineer, Hans Nibel. The resulting Benz Tropfenwagen racer seen at the bottom used a Rumpler chassis with a 121.5 ci. – 80 hp. (1,991 cc) dohc straight-six. The cars that were built handled extremely well but were uncompetitive and were dropped after three years. The basic design was used later by Auto Union for its racing cars, VW and Porsche. Many other streamliners can be seen here on The Old Motor.

  • trof9     trof10     trof11
  • Construction details – “Automotive Industries” October 27, 1921


Posted in Auto photos 1885 - 1920, Pre-War Contemporary Photos, video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Mud Season is Upon Us at The Old Motor


So many of us take modern roads for granted that we forget about what driving was like on the unimproved roads back in the period. We have not, as The Old Motor has been situated on a scenic dirt road, much like the one above, for over twenty-five years in Vermont. Our Mud Season this spring has turned into a bit of a sport this year to even get up or down our steep hill. As this is being written, the road crew is pulling a stuck truck filled with fresh gravel out of the mud for the second day in a row.

In building a good road the topsoil first needs to be removed, and a base of fill material that can include gravel or small rocks for good drainage is laid down; without this preparation, a road is likely to turn into a sea of mud in the spring after thawing out, or after a period of heavy rain. This was the case with many of the roads across the nation at the time when the Lincoln Highway, the first improved coast-to-coast thoroughfare was promoted and built.

Charles H. Davis and the National Highways Association were also instrumental in working toward road improvements, but the Federal Highway Act of 1921 was one of the first on a national level to start the building of a good network of roads throughout the county. Secondary roads were the responsibility of towns and municipalities and were slowly brought up reasonable standards over a much longer period.

  •                    Mud2                             mud3

The enlargements above of the feature photo taken in 1920 show a Model “T” Ford Center-Door Sedan and an unidentified touring car on the road to Bothell, Washington, which is located Northeast of Seattle. We will leave it up to our readers to date the Ford, identify the touring car and tell us more about the Washington State license plates with a large white tag on the left hand side. The photo is courtesy of the Washington State Archives.


While looking for images of road building and equipment, a fascinating pair of photos were found that show three different internal-combustion engine-powered tractors being used for either road building or a railway bed in Washburn, North Dakota. Both images are large, detailed, and appear to be prints from glass-plate negatives so two enlargements of each one can be found below.

  •                     mud8                        mud9

The photos were taken in the mid-teens by William H. De Graff and the image above shows an unidentified brand of tractor that was likely kerosene-powered. It is pulling a Universal Road Finisher made by the Peoria Metal Culvert Co. that was operated by two men. This tractor and road grader appear to be finishing the center of the road and it is following the first two machines seen below, by using the three together each grading operation was completed in one pass.


The first tractor seen in the image above and possibly the second machine were Big Four Tractors made by the Emerson-Brantingham Co. that was located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was a huge 30-60 hp. four-cylinder unit featuring rear wheels that were eight feet in diameter. You can view a Big Four Tractor in action here. Photos of the two road building scenes are courtesy of

  •                     Mud5                       Mud6

Posted in Auto photos 1921 - 1942, Trucks, Buses and Equipment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |