A 1902 Toledo Steam Car Headed to Pebble Beach

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  • The 1902 Toledo before being shipped on the long journey to Pebble Beach

A special steam car class will be a feature of the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this year and one of the entries, this 1902 Toledo Steam Car, is coming all the way from England to attend. Nick Howell tells us more about this unique car and his plans to attend the Concours. Following it, will be a re-run of a January 1902 publicity trip that was made from Flagstaff, Arizona to the Grand Canyon with a Toledo.

By Nick Howell:

In 2004, I purchased a Toledo with a six-inch longer than standard wheelbase at a farm auction in Tawas City, Michigan. With the car came a short article about a similar car slated to drive through the Rocky Mountains. Over the last few years, I have managed to track down thirteen Toledo Steamer Cars around the world, and I have been in correspondence with most of the owners, and so far none of the other cars have the longer wheelbase chassis as this one does. Neither is this configuration listed in any of the contemporary catalogues.

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  • As found in Michigan – Original dash and wood – During restoration

After eight years of on and off research and restoration, Toledo No. 259 (it is the only car known that has serial numbers) has been finished, and it completed the 2013 London to Brighton Run last fall. The car was very original and complete and only three pieces of wood in the body needed to be replaced, two because they were split and one, which holds the engine, because it was scorched. Mechanically it has also been completely rebuilt. The leather upholstery is original and has been conserved rather than restored.

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  •  A 1902 Dos a Dos Toledo delivered to a doctor in Massachusetts

The Automobile late in 1901, told of a Toledo built for Mr. Oliver Lippincott, a Los Angeles photographer, who was to undertake a trip through the Rocky Mountains. This car differed from the regular stock model by having bigger water tank, which necessitated a six-inch longer wheelbase with a different chassis and the addition of extra chassis tubes. A trailer was also added to carry more fuel and water. My Toledo appears not to have been altered in any way after it was constructed and seems to match and could possibly be the Lippincott car.

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  • L to R: Story of the originally proposed journey – Photos of the trip as run from Flagstaff, Arizona to the Grand Canyon from the “Los Angeles Herald” 

After an invite to bring the car to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this year, my brother and I will both attend with the Toledo. We have also decided that this would also be a good opportunity to re-run the January 1902 trip of Lippincott. After the Concours, we have made plans to make the run on the 26th and 27th August. Thanks to the help of people who have kindly offered assistance, we hope to cover as much of the original route as possible.

In 1902, Lippincott forged a trail to the Grand Canyon from Flagstaff instead of the earlier proposed Rocky Mountain trip. Full details of that journey have been found in the Los Angeles Herald. The center photo above shows Lippincott and Al Doyle, the Flagstaff guide who accompanied him along with Winfield Hoggaboon and T.M. Chapman, both reporters from the Newspaper. The right hand photo shows Al Doyle gazing out at the canyon.

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Posted in Auto photos 1885 - 1920 | Tagged , , , |

The Three-Wheeled Bond Minicar – Low Cost Post-War Transportation

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  • A Bond Mark A Minicar in New Zealand in 1950

Three-wheeled mini cars are often built for economic reasons and low initial and operating costs. Because the pint-sized cars in many countries are often classified as motorcycles, this often results in lower registration and tax fees. The image above shows a Bond Mark A that was built between 1949 and 1951. The photograph was taken in 1950 and it appeared in the Evening Post newspaper that was based in Wellington, New Zealand. The photo is courtesy of the National Library of New Zealand.

Watch the video above as a French enthusiast Jean – Mare Navarro puts his 1960 Bond Mark F Minicar through its paces. Being a simple two-stroke without a reverse gear, at 2:15 he demonstrates how the engine is shut off and started up in the reverse direction for backing up; the early models were not equipped for reversing and had to be pushed or manhandled.

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  • Detail photos of a Mark C Bond Minicar courtesy of the Bond Owners Club

The first Bond Minicar was designed by Lawrence Bond, who had a background in aircraft design and component manufacture. The manufacturing of the new car started in 1949 and was handled by Sharp’s Commercials Limited in Preston, Lancashire, England. The inexpensive car soon became popular in the trying post-war economy and this model continued on until the Mark G ceased production in December 1966. More information can be found at the Bond Owners Club.

The postcard photo below is via Retronaut and shows a Mark C that was built at some point between October of 1952 and May of 1956. This model featured a steerable tubular mounting for the 197cc engine and three-speed transmission, which drove the swing-arm mounted front wheel by a roller chain.

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Posted in Auto photos 1946 - 1965, Out Of The Box, video | Tagged , , , , |

A Guide to Enjoying Vintage Car Week on the Monterey Peninsula

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In a little less than a month, the Monterey Peninsula with be teeming with action as enthusiasts and their automobiles from around the globe will gather for the smorgasbord of vintage car events held there yearly. The map above courtesy of Monterey Car Week shows the location of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the satellite events that have sprung up around it over the years. We have put together this report with our readers in mind so that you will know where to go and what to see for a pleasurable experience.

All serious old car enthusiasts need to attend the happening least once in their lifetime to experience what it is all about, and it’s not to late too think about going this year. We have put together a guide to the events that are sure to please. Plan on getting there by Monday and settle in, which will give you plenty of time on Tuesday to see the sights and find your way around the area.

Plan on spending everyday Wednesday through Sunday to see the most important events. And bring some warm clothes – light layers and a jacket, as if it is foggy it can be quite cool. Check with Monterey Car Week for a calendar.

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On Wednesday plan on taking in Automobilia Monterey in the ballroom of The Embassy Suites. It is billed as the largest automobilia show in America with forty-five top dealers from around the world. There you will find an amazing assortment of the best vintage posters, photographs, signs, original art, scale models, literature and books to be found anywhere.

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For Thursday plan on taking in The Pebble Beach Tour d’Elegance. The area is known for its scenic beauty and roads that wind for miles through pine and cypress forests. The tour takes in parts of 17-Mile Drive, explores inland sights and the spectacular coastline. This year the Tour will once again take a lap around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The tour usually wraps up for lunch in the center of Carmel-by-the-Sea where all of the cars are displayed in the middle of the town.

The cars that will be on display in the Concours d’Elegance on Sunday are not required to complete the tour, but if two vehicles tie in class at the competition, the vehicle that has completed the Tour gets the nod.

Plan on getting there very early and visit the start (seen above) between Collins Field where all the transporters park and the Gooding and Company Auction tents. Find out exactly where the tour is going (the Concours office is very helpful) and after the start, find scenic a place where you can watch the entrants pass by. 17-Mile Drive or Route one if the tour goes down the coast are spectacular vantage points.

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On Friday you should plan on attending, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. In time it has become a must see experience for motorsports enthusiasts and collectors. At the Quail, you will be treated to a wide assortment of sporting and racing  automobiles and motorcycles on the greens of the Quail Lodge & Golf Club. After you leave the event plan on taking a drive over the scenic Laureles Grade, which ends very near the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

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On both Friday and Saturday one of the cornerstone events to take in is the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Over five-hundred racing cars attend from all over the world at this premier vintage racing event. A car is accepted to participate only after its authenticity, race provenance and period correctness has been determined. This year Maserati is the featured marque which should bring out many rare examples.

Practice and qualifying races are held on Thursday and Friday. The main race days are on both Saturday and Sunday with seven races run-off before the lunch break, and eight in the afternoon, each is about 20-minutes long. Get a pit pass which will allow you to full access to inspect the cars. You can find the full Rolex Monterey schedule here.

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Of course, the most important event for most is the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance held on Sunday. Plan on getting there before day-break to partake in what is called – The Dawn Patrol, were if a spot can be found you can watch as the entrants drive on to the field. General admission to the field opens at 10:30 and the awards presentation starts at 1:30 and continues until the Best of Show winner is announced later in the afternoon. You can find the schedule here.

Full details of all of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance events are here. Other facets of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance are: The Pebble Beach Auction by Gooding and Company, the Automotive Fine Arts Society (AFAS) Exhibition and the Pebble Beach RetroAuto.

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Posted in Post-War Contemporary Photos, Pre-War Contemporary Photos | Tagged , , , , , , , , |