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Fred B. Collins’ Impressive Chadwick Model 19

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Fred B. Collins, the owner of this spectacular Chadwick, could afford most anything on wheels in the ‘teens as he was a partner in the successful Collins & Fairbanks Co. That outfit sold fine imported silk top hats, designed and manufactured their own line of hats and also sold furs at 383 Washington St. in Boston, Massachusetts. He was on the Who’s Who list in the city, was a member of the Chamber of Commerce and belonged to the prestigious Boston Yacht Club.

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Collins may have custom-ordered his Model 19 Great Chadwick Six Speed Car to use just for his trips to the Club. The Boston to Marblehead journey is only about 18 miles up the coast from Bean Town, but at the time the trip probably took an hour or more. And oh, what a car to roll into the Club with while the butterfly valves on the stub exhaust pipes were wide open, spitting flames and signaling that he had arrived. Note some of the other interesting details of the car including the Rushmore headlamps, outside exhaust, belly pans, chain cases and the oil tank installed in front of the approximately thirty gallon gasoline tank.

The top photo is courtesy of Doug Marin whose very own Chadwick Model 16 you can see and hear, after being readied for testing last spring following a long restoration. You can also watch as a friend’s Chadwick Model 19 engine is being test run. Full specifications, photos and period press coverage of the impressive power plant can be found here along with other factory photos showing the Model 19 touring car and details of the engine here.

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  • L to R: Chadwick specifications in the December, 1914 issues of “Motor” and “The Automobile” – The Chadwick demonstrating an electric brake, May 21, 1914. 

Lee Chadwick left the company in 1911 following a disagreement with his backers over his continued changes and engineering updates to the car in his pursuit of perfection. Before his departure though, he was able to enjoy a major racing win in the hard fought battle in the 1910 running of the Fairmont Park Race at Philadelphia. The clever engineer is also credited with building what may have been one of the first superchargers to be installed on a car in 1909. By late in 1915, the story of the legendary automobile was about to come to an end when the company entered into bankruptcy. After that, only a few more cars were built before 1916. This final year for the automaker concluded a relatively brief 10 year run.

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The 1906 Chadwick Type II

This fine early car was the product of Lee Chadwick, a brilliant engineer and inventor who first worked for the Searchmont Company in Philadelphia. While there he was able to work with the famous driver Henri Fournier, who also was associated with Search-mont in some way and study and drive his Mors Racing car,  seen below with which he set a speed record of  51.8 seconds for a mile during 1901 in NYC. This enabled Chadwick to see, study and experience the French car that was one of the fastest and most developed of early automobiles at the time.

What he had learned, combined with his engineering skills enabled him to build one of the best regarded early cars and this Type II 40 h.p. machine, which was built in his third year of production and was one very fine car. It featured a 5″ bore x 6″ stoke t-head with Chadwick’s unique copper water jackets, the construction of which  covered in the text from The Horseless Age Magazine, just below, dated Dec. 27, 1905.

Also covered in the text is Chadwick’s unique carburetor design and his dual ring and pinion transmission-differential. One other very interesting fact which we found, was that both the front and rear axles which are different, were forged in halves and then welded together in the middle. Perhaps this was a way of getting the time consuming and expensive axle dies made for roughly half the cost, or it could possibly have been dictated by the maximum length the forging facilities available. The text just below is filled with many other very interesting details.

                        

Oddly the Chadwick which appears in the photo at the top, carries an engine which can be seen in the just below and it is clearly an l-head design, with what appear to be cast iron cylinder blocks without copper jackets.  This engine is unlike any other Chadwick engine that we have heard of or seen before, so it may have been an experimental unit. Photos courtesy of Brian Poor, a grand nephew of Lee Chadwick.

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A Postcard Sent by Lee S. Chadwick

The power and reach of the internet is an incredible thing to witness first hand. We get contacted by people often, that are related to or have connections with famous automotive figures of the past. They are willing and want to freely share their treasures with the rest of the world, so that everyone can learn about people that they somehow con-nected to or are possibly their relatives, who they are rightfully proud of.

Just the other day, a grand nephew of Lee S. Chadwick, Brian Poor drove four hours round trip to visit us so that we could record his collection. Chadwick who bought the remains of the Searchmont (and later built the Chadwick automobile) had quite a few relatives in New England and sent them postcards, photos and brochures about his auto pursuits. The postcard at the top has his wife Ethylene handwriting on it which states that “The new car – It’s a dandy all’s well with-love”, Ethylene. Doug Marin a Chadwick owner and enthusiast believes the card is sent by Lee Chadwick’s wife, Ethylene.

The second illustration shows artwork from the cover of the 1908 “Chadwick Great Six” catalog. From the catalog we have featured some of the interesting subjects found inside. Left to right below; The double ring and pinion transmission – differential, which drives by chains to the rear wheels; A mechanical drawing of the connecting rod with unusually large 1/2″ diameter connecting-rod bolts; A photo showing the enclosed drive – chain cases and last, a drawing of the right-hand side of the engine.

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