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 of 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.


The Mercedes seen above with the unusual applied design work on its coachwork and wheels appears to be 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 , , , , , , , , |

A New Website Design at The Old Motor and Server Changes


The Old Motor has been online now for three and a half years and the time has come for some needed maintenance and changes. Starting at about 8:45 Saturday morning our files are being moved at our server. Parts of the process have been going on this week and hopefully it will all go smoothly and the site will stay online through it all. If there are any problems, all the data and photos have been backed up, but it may take us sometime to get everything back online as there are over 3000 posts and more than 10,000 photos.

After the transfer has been accomplished, early next week we will be rolling out a new version of The Old Motor. There will not be any big charges, but some of the site is being reconfigured as necessary due in part to our traffic having quadrupled since the start in 2011, and changes needed because of increased use of cell phones and tablets to access websites. So hang in there with us during the charge over and hopefully it will all go smoothy, if not we will be back online as soon as possible.

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Russell Lee Photos – American Life in Waco, Texas


This is our second post in a series with photos taken during November of 1939, by photographer Russell Lee when he visited Waco, Texas, for the Farm Security Administration. The photographs above and below show Frank Sharp’s Tire shop that operated from his storefront and on both the sidewalk and street. Even late in the 1930s when these photos were taken, the Great Depression was still lingering, and the used tires seen below were in demand.


Gardner’s Cut Rate Package House below sold liquor, wine and gasoline. The store’s gas pump that is visible appears to be either a Gilbarco or a Wayne unit. Compared with today gasoline was more reasonably priced at the time still but not cheap, adjusted for inflation it sold for between $1.80 to $2.74 a gallon. You can look back at our earlier Russell Lee photos here. You also can see well over one hundred more vintage gasoline station photos here. 


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Posted in Garages and Dealerships, Gasoline stations | Tagged , , , , , , , , |