S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Automotive Page keywords = automotive history motor Chrysler Walter DaimlerChrysler SS Jaguar Standard ALCO auto car truck tank gas oil Long Island parkway Crown Imperial Majestic Highlander Royal Saratoga Windsor Newport Town & Country Thunderbolt turbine engine Willys Overland Jeep Dodge DeSoto Plymouth Valiant Tourismo Chalmers Maxwell Briscoe Fargo Aberdeen Proving Ground Gander Mercedes Benz Daimler Gottleib Otto Karl car auto S K L 300 500 540 770 Grösser Grosser Jaguar Standard Swallow Sidecar Coventry XK XJ Auburn Cord Duesenberg Duesie dual-cowl phaeton Rolls Royce Cyclops Dudgeon Amphicar brake break station shooting estate wagon

Updated:   09 Jul 2015; 12:30  ET
[Page created 25 Jan 2003; converted 01 Feb 2012;

    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/automot2.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/automot2.html"]

S. Berliner, III
Consultant in Ultrasonic Processing
"changing materials with high-intensity sound"

[consultation is on a fee basis]

Technical and Historical Writer, Oral Historian
Popularizer of Science and Technology
Rail, Auto, Air, Ordnance, and Model Enthusiast
Light-weight Linguist, Lay Minister, and Putative Philosopher

note - The vast bulk of my massive Web presence (over 485 pages) had been hosted by AT&T's WorldNet service since 30 May 1996; they dropped WorldNet effective 31 Mar 2010 and I have been scrambling to transfer everything.  Everything's saved but all the links have to be changed, mostly by hand.  See my sbiii.com Transfer Page for any updates on this tedious process.

S. Berliner, III's


Automotive Continuation Page 2


A second continuation page to tie in my
    Chrysler page, et seq.
(with the Walter P. Chrysler story).
    Mercedes page, et seq..
    SS and Jaguar Cars, et seq.
    Civil War era Dudgeon (really!) Steam Automobile - still operable!
    the Long Island Motor Parkway page, et seq.,
    and the L. I. Motor Parkway Panel
(convened to keep the LIMP alive in situ and in minds and museums).
    LIMP-Vanderbilt Cup Race page:
    Tractors page.
    Road/Highway Schnabels (giant road loads/heavy haulers).
and other related pages, plus a place to put more auto apocrypha
  including the CYCLOPS,
  the ALCO,
  and a HELP Section.

Moved (or new) to Automotive Continuation Page 1:
  Automotive Apocrypha - continued.
  An Odd NY City Street (moved again, to Odd Streets page on 16 May 02),
  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!, and
  Old 16 Locomobile

Moved (or new) to this Automotive Continuation Page 2:
  Gasoline Brands (moved from main page 25 Jan 2003 and to Cont. Page 4 on 23 May 2007),

(see also Old Gas Stations on Cont. Page 4.
  Automotive Slogans.
  Nomenclature - automotive terms (with British practice).
  Classic Cars.   Woodlites.

On Automotive Continuation Page 3:
  Hornthal's 1900s Hearse De Luxe
  Classic Cars Continued, with

Australian Phantom I with Mystery Body.
  Porsche Patricide

On Automotive Continuation Page 4:
  Gasoline Brands (moved from main page 25 Jan 2003 and to this Page 4 on 23 May 2007),
  Old Gas Stations

See also my Classic Cars and K-R-I-T Automobile pages.

Odd Streets - highways and byways.
    An Odd NY City Street
    Nassau Boulevard.

The Dudgeon is for real; it is an 1866 steam auto,
one of which survives in running condition!

Adtranz, formed Jan 1996, merging rail transportation activities of ABB Ltd. and Daimler-Benz AG took DaimlerChrysler into the railroad business and the sale of the venture to Bombardier, announced 04 Aug 2000, apparently takes them right out again!

FIRST I.C. LOCO! - Gottlieb Daimler built an internal-combustion- powered locomotive ca. 1890!  For more information, click HERE!

Also, Exxon and Mobil merged as of 01 Dec 98;
two of my most favo(u)rite gasolines (petrols)!*

There is also a lot of automotive material on my ORDNANCE and HISTORY pages.

Also, if you like automotive history, see the links on the Dudgeon page.

Other good places for automotive history are Kevin Walsh's Forgotten NY site, Steve Anderson's excellent NYC Area Roads, Crossings, and Exits site [where you will also find info on, and links to, Web Rings (not my thing) for East Coast Roads, Interstate Highways, New York City, and Long Island], Mike Natale's The Road House, Dave Schul's North American Auto Trails, and Jeff Saltzman's Streetlight Site, each with all sorts of old highway information and more links.

A new automotive museum is just opening in the old Saratoga Bottling Plant in historic Saratoga Springs, New York, the Saratoga Automobile Museum, which bids fair to be quite a winner!  I said to put it high on your agenda for May, 2002 and after; I did (and forgot!).

Speaking of automotive history, how many of you even knew that Fred and Augie Duesenberg's chief engineer went to Arthur and Louis Chevrolet's Chevrolet Bros. Mfg. co. and helped Louis Chevrolet design and built the Frontenac 16-valve dual overhead cam head conversion for the Ford 4-cylinder Model T engines that won at Indy many times?  This little tidbit was sent to me by Dr. Mark Desantis, a Long Island Motor Parkway Panel associate who kindly also sent along this early ad for a SOHV head conversion for a side-cam "T"-engined "Fronty Ford":

Fronty Ford ad
(ad courtesy of M. Desantis)
[thumbnail image; click on picture for larger image]

* - Gasoline Brands - moved from main page on 25 Jan 2003 and to Cont. Page 4 on 23 May 2007)   rev.gif (23 May 07)
(see also Old Gas Stations on Cont. Page 4.   new.gif (23 May 07)

People interested in old oil companies should visit the Primarily Petroliana site.

Automotive Slogans

(Moved from main page 25 Jan 03)

While we're at it, how about automotive slogans?  Oh, my achin' memory!

Bentley (a saying - not a slogan) - the car for those who are diffident about owning a Rolls"
Buick - "When better automobiles are built, Buick will build them"

as well as "Wouldn't you really rather have a Buick?"*, later on.
Cadillac - "Standard of the World" (adopted after 1912 Dewar award).   new.gif (03 Feb 05)
Chrysler - "Chrysler Corporation Cars - Chrysler Corporation Cares."
Chevrolet - "Baseball, Hot Dogs {or something}, Apple Pie, and Chevrolet"
(a song or a slogan?).
Dodge - "Dependable Dodge."
Duesenberg - "Built to outclass, outrun, and outlast any car on the road!" (during the 1920's)
"The Worlds' Finest Motorcar!" during the 1930's)
Edsel - "Plymouth with an egg in its mouth!" (well, not REALLY a slogan).
Ford - "There's a Ford in your future."
Hudson - "The car you step down into." (CG*)
Jaguar - "The poor man's Bentley" (also not REALLY a slogan).
Jeep - "Jeep Tough".
La Salle - "the poor man's Cadillac" (hardly a slogan!}
Lincoln - "For the Connoiseur" {I'm not too sure of this one}.
MG - "Safety Fast".
Oldsmobile - "Your merry Oldsmobile."
and GM will kill Olds, the oldest U.S. make ca. 2001-03!
    (not to mention
"Come away with me, Lucille,
 in my merry Oldsmobile" (song).
Packard - "Ask the man who owns one."
Pontiac - "The wide-track Pontiac" (post-WWII).
Rolls Royce - "The World's Finest Motorcars" {I'm not too sure of this one, either}.
Studebaker - "first by far of the post war car" (post-WWII - CG*).

[* Sources noted:  CG = Cliff Gustafson. Seattle
Thanks to Robt. Vonheck of San Diego for Caddy and Duesy (03 Feb 05)]

Wasn't one of them, "Put a little fun in your life!"?

That's all I remember; O.K., folks, help me out, here!

NOMENCLATURE - automotive terms

(Moved from continuation page 1 on 25 Jan 03)

Many old classic car terms have long-since been perverted, subverted, and just plain bowdlerized!

Chief among(st) these are the definitions of body styles; here are a random few:

SEDAN - a passenger car with a front seat and a full back seat; sedans can have two or four doors.

COUPÉ (COUPE) - a two-door passenger car with a shortened passenger compartment with a front seat and a more-cramped back seat; coupés can have two or four doors.

Coupés often have shorter frames, as well.

CONVERTIBLE - any car with a top that folds or otherwise drops down.  Strictly speaking, a convertible has a padded top and wind-up glass side windows (vis-à-vis "roadster", q.v.).

Coupés, Sedans, and even Limousines can be convertibles.

ROADSTER - a coupé with a soft, disappearing top and demountable side curtains; in modern practice, roadsters have wind-up windows.

See the SS Jaguar page for a conundrum (the Jaguar XK-150 roadster with wind-up windows).

RUMBLE SEAT - an enclosed seat in place of (or over) the trunk in the rear of some roadsters and convertible coupés, unfolding from a rearward-opening deck lid and with outside step plates alongside (a very few models had sideward-opening doors).
The 1950's Triumph TR-1800/2000 had a windscreen built into a forward-opening secondary deck lid.

TOURING CAR - a four-door version of a roadster.

PHAETON - a more elegant term for a Touring Car.

DUAL-COWL PHAETON - a Phaeton with a cowl between the front and rear compartments.

Some Dual-Cowl Phaetons had a wind-up window in the intermediate cowl to serve as a windscreen for the rear seat.

LIMOUSINE - a sedan with a partition window between the driver's compartment (front seat) and the passenger compartment [rear seat(s)].

GOLF CLUB LOCKER - some elegant motorcars (usually roadsters or convertible coupés) had a small door on the side behind the passenger door opening into a tranverse compartment under and behind the front seat (often opening also into the rumble seat) which could hold a set of golf clubs.

LANDAU IRON - the shallow-S-shaped bars that locked the top in the "up" position on convertibles.

LANDAULET - a Limousine (or Sedan) with a convertible rear quarter.  Also, a position for a regular convertible top in which the rear is held up in place (often by Landau Irons) while the front is folded or rolled back (see my own old 1948 Jaguar drophead on the SS and Jaguar page and see Cant Rail).

CANT RAIL - logitudinal stiffeners that provided support over the side windows of Landaulet tops on convertible coupés when the top was fully closed; they were stowed separately on some cars and folded inward on others (as on my Jag)..

BREAK or BRAKE - a station wagon/estate car (but see Automotive Page 5 for far more on Break/Brake).   new (09 Jul 2015)

- - - * - - -

British Practice - the Brits have their own version of automotive English; here are just a few random variations:

petrol = gasoline (German = benzin)
parrafin = kerosene
head = top
bonnet = hood
boot = trunk
wing = fender
carburettor = carburetor
near side = kerb (curb) side in Britain (NOT necessarily driver's side) @
off side = away-from-kerb side in Britain (NOT necessarily passenger side) @
screen = windshield
tyre = tire
sparking plug = sparkplug
squab = seat
trafficator = those funny illuminated arrows that flew out of the body to signal a turn
spanner = wrench
kerb = curb
valve = radio vacuum tube (remember them?)
breakers = junkyard (wreckers)
estate car = station wagon   added (09 Jul 2015)

@ - I am advised (02 Sep 02), by a member of the Society of Automotive Historians, that the terms "near" and "far" side refer to the kerb (curb) side (left and right, respectively) in the U.K. and Japan and other areas on Right Hand rule; knock-off hub spinners were simply not relettered when exported.  O.K., but what about the Virgin Islands, where L.H. drive cars are driven under R.H. rules?

Classic Cars

I define "classic" elsewhere but basically reserve it for elegant cars of the late '20s and the '30s and early '40s.  Here are some old photos I turned up of what I consider unquestioned classics.  Let's start with a superb 1920s Rolls Royce Phantom I roadster I shot on 20 May 1956 at a car meet when the CCCA went to Macungie, Pennsylvania, with the AACA, to visit the old Wendling Brothers plant (as I recall):

Ph I Hrdtop
(20 May 56 photo by and © 1956/2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnail image - click on photo for larger image]

That car is technically a hardtop, NOT a roadster (whether original or not).

A Rolls is a bit of a "sissy" car, though; for all-out sexy old sports car racing, few cars beat the Rolls's "baby sister", the "Blower Bentley" of the 20s and 30s.  Here's one shot at the nostalgia running of antique cars at the Vanderbilt Cup race at Roosevelt Raceway on 19 Jun 1960, a blown 4½-litre monster (note the huge Roots blower hung on the front of the engine, between the dumb irons):

4&frac;l Blower Bentley
(19 Jun 60 photo by and © 1960/2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Next, we come to the engine of a '33 Cadillac V-16 of some significance; it's the maroon Fleetwood-bodied Aerodynamic Coupé built for the Chicago World's Fair:

33 WF Cad 16
(20 May 56 photo by and © 1956/2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnail image - click on photo for larger image]

This shot is unfortunately light-struck; the car had red trim and a red engine and I also caught it at the Macungie meet that same 20 May 1956 (where's a photo of the whole car?).

This is NOT that car, but it is a Caddy V-16 convertible limousine, taken most likely at Skytop, Pennsylvania, ca. 1961, and apparently an earlier '31 or '32 (by the vertical grille and bumper):

Cad 16 Cnv Limo 1hought, that's no

Cad 16 Cnv Limo 2
(ca. 61 photos by and © 2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

[On second thought, that's no '31 or '32 at all!  It's far more likely to be a '33 or '34.  As a matter of fact, Concept Carz shows that very car as a
1933 Cadillac 452C V-16 Fleetwood All-Weather Phaeton.]
  new.gif (31 Oct 2014)

Max Obie was an early classic enthusiast who drove a Duesenberg and who rescued a remarkably-disastrous flat-head 1930 or '31 V-16 Caddy from a barn with my help; pictures of that will follow.  I think this might be his Duesie, pictured at speed (very, very high!) and at rest at a CCCA run out at the old Bridgehampton course ca. Aug '61:

Dues Brdg 1

Dues Brdg 2
(ca. 61 photos by and © 2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
{I can't quite read that spare-tire banner but it is definitely the CCCA "Car-a-Van" to Montauk (Point, Long Island, New York) in Aug 1961.}

Note also that that appears to be Austin Clark in his checked jacket just past the Duesy's windshield and there's Austie's old Long Island Automotive Museum Jeep truck!   added.gif (31 Oct 2014)

There is a"classic era" Padco auto trunk detailed on the next page.

Let us turn to a great classic sports car marque, the Lagonda, languishing at Bob Said's North Shore Sports Car lot (somewhere on Long Island - Flushing?) in the Fall of 1959:

Lagonda59a Lagonda59b

Lagonda59c Lagonda59d
(Fall 59 photo by and © 1959/2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

This roll is unfortunately light-struck; I have absolutely no more information on this grand car.

Another great "modern" marque was the Spanish Pegaso, suppposedly hand-made by engineering students at the university in Barcelona, but actually built by ENASA (Empresa Nacional de Autocamiones, S.A.), the direct successor to Hispano-Suiza; Wilfredo Ricart was Managing Director and Head of Projects.  A neighbor had one all taken apart in his garage and selective thieves broke in and stole it and all the parts strewn across the floor and workbench but NOTHING ELSE!  A knowledgeable police officer spotted the car in the basement garage of Washington's renowned Watergate complex and apprehended the "owner" (possesor of stolen goods), who cooly told them that if the real owner ever wanted to see the transmission again, he'd have to withdraw charges.  That was speedily done and the car, complete with tranny, was returned.  The allegèd poipetrator got off scot-free.

[I could have sworn this yarn was on these pages before.]

Classic Car Books - Donald E. Toms, a self-styled car nut since childhood and owner of some significant classics over the years (back when they were affordable) collects books on automobiles and the acquisition of many duplicates has led him into the sideline of dealing in same.  You will find many of his offerings, especially on Bugatti, listed on Amazon.  His business name is Donald E. Toms Booksellers and he is a retailer for Dalton-Watson, Simon & Schuster, Racemaker Press, Coachbuilt Press, Speed & Stance, and other publishers here as well as the major automotive publishers in Europe and the UK.  Don is also a member of The American Bugatti Club and The Cadillac-LaSalle Club.  In addition, he has been associated with The Sarasota Classic Car Museum and Vintage Motors of Sarasota for many years.  Contact Don at:   new.gif (31 Oct 2014)

Donald E. Toms Booksellers
7309 52nd Drive East
Bradenton, FL  34203

Tel.: 941-727-8667

dtoms47698@aol.com and don@bugattibooks.com

for a current catalog.


Woodlites on Ruxton
(image cropped from Bill Vance photo - full credit below;
© 1999-2003 Bill Vance and CanadianDriver - all rights reserved]

Many classic cars were retrofitted with strange-looking teardrop-shaped headlights known as Woodlights; a few were even fitted with them as standard equipment.  The only make that had them on nearly all models, and there were few enough of those, was (apparently) the Ruxton, an underslung front-wheel-drive jobbie not unlike the Cord L-29.  At least one model of the Jordan, the 1930 Speedway series was so equipped.  One Cadillac, William (Hopalong Cassidy) Boyd's car, was a Series 353 Cadillac "Fleetway" All Weather Phaeton by Fleetwood, customized by the addition of a pair of distinctive Woodlite headlights.  Tony Blue's fabulous Dutch site, The Cadillac Story (the History of the Cadillac) has a picture of this car and he was kind enough to allow me to post it; because it is of such low resolution, rather than blow the whole picture up, I also made an enlargement of the headlight area:

Woodlites Cad Woodlites
(image courtesy "A. Blue" - all rights reserved)

Perhaps the most luxurious of cars often equipped with Woodlites was the duPont manufactured oh-so-briefly by E. I. duPont de Nemours.  I am hoping that the Hagley Museum can provide photos.

It is possible that some L-29 Cords had matching Woodlite tailights, as well; I don't remember any such and would welcome any input (especially with photos, please).

Woodlites were "supposed" to concentrate the light cast on the road but I always thought them woefully inadequate.

I have asked several people for permission to post pictures from the Web, all of which are covered by copyright (as are the ones in my old classic car magazines).

CanadianDriver.com - Canada's Online Auto Magazine responded magnificently with specific, written permission to reproduce for you this fabulous picture of a 1930 Ruxton from Bill Vance's article on the Ruxton, in Motoring Memories from the 28 Sep 2003 edition:

Woodlites on 30 Ruxton
[image (cropped) reproduced from Bill Vance photo from 28Sep03 CanadianDriver by specific written permission;
© 1999-2003 Bill Vance and CanadianDriver - all rights reserved]
[Thumbnail image - click on photo for larger image]

As you can clearly see from the thumbnail, the full image, or the closeup above, both the headlights AND the wing (side) lights are Woods; the tailights are not.

Bill Vance has written a book, Reflections on Automotive History, Vols. I, II, and III, available from Eramosa Valley Publishing, Box 370, Rockwood, ON, Canada, N0B 2K0.  My sincere thanks to Bill and CanadianDriver!

For pure automotive fun, it's hard to beat the double-ended Plymouth ('40 or '41? - I just can't place those ribbed fender skirts) I spotted out on Commack Road (on Long Island, NY) ca. Aug '61 (Plymouth, NOT Dodge as originally noted):

(Fall 59 photo by and © 1959/2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

That gem was a real eye-catcher, parked out in front of a service station on the east side of the road about a mile south of Northern State Parkway, and had two of everything mounted properly.  As I recall, there were two sets of headlights and tailights and two steering wheels and the only way to really tell which end was which was by the steering gear, differential, and other details underneath.

We were finishing up for the day gutting the old Long Island RR station in Oyster Bay when who should drive up but my RRing buddy and famous and prolific LIRR author and publisher (Weekend Chief), John Scala, in, of all things, his beautifully-restored 1969 GMC TDH3301A bus; now that's a classic:

(Oct 02 photo by J. J. Scala - all rights reserved)

The picture was taken at Cantiague Rock Park in Hicksville in Oct 2002.  The bus seats 33 and sports a 8.2L Detroit Diesel 8 cylinder 4-stroke "fuel pincher" engine.   It bears serial number 048, meaning it was the 48th bus built of this model (that usually trails the TDH designation); GM's designations tell it all: T-transit, D-diesel, H-Hydramatic transmission, 33-passengers, 01- series and A for air conditioned (thanks, John).

Gigantic rail cars for carrying enormous loads like nuclear reactor vessels and transformers (800 tons worth!) are covered on my Schnabel page, et seq.; roadable versions of these monsters now have their own Road Loads page, et seq.

Please visit the main Automotive page.

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S. Berliner, III

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