A Fine-Looking and Sporty Six-Cylinder Mystery Car

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  • Joe Ricketts the”builder”and crew with a fine early circa 1906 to 1910 car.

Reader Bill Petticrew sent in this photo that he found at a flea market, and hopefully our car sleuth readers that enjoy solving a mystery will be able to identify it. On the back of the image, it says: Joe Ricketts – Mr. Milnes Uncle in derby. The man in the back seat of the car is his father. Joe Ricketts went to Coral Gables with the builder and became a millionaire. 

So if we read this right, the gent in the derby hat is Joe Rickets, and the man in the mother-in-law seat is his father. One would think the builder may have assembled this car and he and Joe Ricketts, who made a lot of money ended up in Coral Gables, Florida. We wonder if Ricketts might have been related to this Joe Ricketts, who the big money he made might have helped.

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  • Very clear details of this car in the enlargements.

Aside from the caption telling us about the people in this image we have no clues other than visual to go on to identify this car. So the following is what has been observed by looking at a large scan of the image here at The Old Motor:

The car has a long wheelbase of roughly 120-inches plus; the radiator is set back; it is equipped with a small six-cylinder engine that appears to have overhead valves actuated by rocker arms; it has some very nice lamps, brass work and non-demountable wheels; it wearing an acetylene tank which probably post-dates the car. So there you have it, go to work, and we will give you until Friday morning to solve this mystery.  

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

Sunday Edition No. XI – Late for Work – Main Line Motors – A Laguna Seca Race – Tragedy at Lime Rock Park

Today’s video is from Marc Hendrix of Brussels, Belgium, who along with his brother made this video, Late for Work using their Father’s cars as a gift to him for his 60th birthday. It was made using a cheap digital camera and a windows movie maker which both add to its old time silent film look.

Follow the fun in the slapstick production where they use two British cars: A 1927 Austin Seven and a 1935 SS1. The SS cars originated from the Super Swallow Sidecar Company that first built motorcycle sidecars and then added automobile bodies to the mix. The SS1 was followed by the well-know SS-100; SS Cars Ltd. was later renamed Jaguar in 1945.

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  • Main Line Motors Ford dealership in Ardmore, Pennsylvania

Reader Peter Robbins sent in this photo from his collection showing the Main Line Motors Ford dealership in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, at some point during the 1963 model year. The sales lot on the right-hand side of the building can be seen filled with a number of Falcons.

Hanging on the left-hand side of the showroom window, is a large 63 sales banner. On the right-hand side of the window is a large poster boosting, Falcon Wins that seems to apply to Ford’s statement that it won the 1963 Manufacturer’s World Rally Championship. Bo Ljungfeldt drove a Ford Falcon in the 1963 Monte Carlo Rally and managed to finish 42nd overall in a field of 307 entrants while apparently winning all six special speed stages in that year’s rally.

On the far-right hand window is a poster boasting of Ford’s World’s Most Contagious Roofline that can clearly be seen modeled on the Falcon Two-Door Hardtop at the curb.

  • IvanIvan Zaremba in his 1935 Hudson-powered Railton at Laguna Seca.

Reader Ivan Zaremba of Phil Reilly & Company wrote us about his experience in the Pre-War Race at Laguna Seca:

“I had a good weekend and the best race of some years and a great tussle with Brian Mullin in the 1938 Talbot T26SS and Jamie Cleary in the 1932 Studebaker Indy car. They were both a little faster, but the Railton kept them behind until the brakes did their usual late race fade. There were multiple passes and repasses all the way around, and those in the paddock tell me the big video screens showed little else. In the end, both the cars got around me and youth triumphed!” The photo is courtesy of Dennis Gray.


Sad news today from The Historic Festival 32 at Lime Rock Park. Vintage racing enthusiast Lee Duran, 73, of Lyme, Conn. died yesterday after a crash in his 1934 MG PA Special in a Pre-War race after something went wrong on the steep downhill turn leading onto the front straight, no other cars were involved. He was a great guy who did much of his own restoration work on his cars and in addition to the MG he also owned the 1935 Wetteroth Schoof Offy. 

He was a regular entrant at the Lime Rock Historic Festival and also ran the Scoof Offy at the New Hampshire International vintage circle track event and also participated in a number of concours here in the Northeast and at Amelia Island. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

The Sunday Edition is for reader contributions, please join in and help us share interesting discoveries with other vintage car enthusiasts. If you have a great photo, know of an excellent video, a mystery or story, contact us here (we will send you an email address for photos) and include your full name so we can credit your submission.

Posted in Auto photos 1921 - 1942, Auto photos 1946 - 1965, Garages and Dealerships, video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

A Few Automotive Oddities to Ponder


Thanks to a number friends that we have made in Europe, today we present you with three automobiles that are a bit off the beaten track. Little is known about any of them so if you can fill in any of the details about these vehicles please send us a comment.

The propellor-driven car above is thought to be a late French Helica that may have been made after the manufacture of the cars had been transferred from Marcel Leyat to some other entity. Learn much more about the interesting cars referred to as The Plane Without Wings and see a video of a Helica in action here.


The Mercedes seen above with the unusual applied design work on its coachwork and wheels appears to have been on display at an automotive salon of some sort in the teens’. We are hoping that with such a distinctive appearance it will not have been forgotten and one of our readers will be able to tell us more about it. You can view a number of exquisite 37/90 Mercedes cars here.

The Royal Ediswan product mobile below appears to have been built on a Model TT Ford Truck chassis. The Edison Swan Electric Co. Ltd. was located in Ponders End, Middlesex, England and manufactured and sold a full line of all types of electrical devices in addition to Fullolite Lamps. All photos are courtesy of our friends at Yacht club des Avions de la Route.


Posted in Auto photos 1885 - 1920, Auto photos 1921 - 1942 | Tagged , , , , , , , , |