S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Automotive Continuation Page 1 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 history 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

Updated:   24 Jul 2012, 14:00  ET
[Page created 08 Jul 2001; converted 03 Oct 2011
{restored missing images 29 Dec 02}
    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]

URL:  http://sbiii.com/automot1.html
[was at "home.att.net/~Berliner-Ultrasonics/automot1.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


Continuation Page 1


A continuation of the cover 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 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 this Automotive Continuation Page 1:
  Automotive Apocrypha - continued.
  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!, and
  Old 16 Locomobile

Moved (or new) to 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 (moved from main page on 25 Jan 03),
  Nomenclature - automotive terms (moved from continuation page 1 on 25 Jan 03).
  Classic Cars.

On Automotive Continuation Page 3:
  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.

Cadillac and LaSalle fans, be sure to see Tony Blue's fabulous Dutch site, The Cadillac Story (the History of the Cadillac).

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 was scheduled to open in the old Saratoga Bottling Plant in historic Saratoga Springs, New York, the Saratoga Automobile Museum, which bids fair to be quite a winner!  Put it high on your agenda for May, 2002 and after; I have.

Automotive Apocrypha - continued/moved from the main Automotive page:

There was a farmer in Delaware in the '50s who had a whole barn full of crated Model T Fords, one for each year he had expected to live!  What a find for T fanatics!  Incidentally, I have (somewhere) an original blueprint for a T rear axle, courtesy of Ford (I have little interest in T's); want it?

Who remembers the college kids ca. 1960 who put a propellor on their VW bug fan shaft, removed the engine compartment lid, sealed the doors, and went for a cruise in the water, using the front wheels to steer the craft?

DAMN! - I saw that photo ~04 Sep 99 and forgot to note where!  AHA!  On 01 Jul 02, I ran across a similar one
(this one retained the deck lid - wonder what propelled it; the wheels, the exhaust?):

Sea Beetle
(photo from René Pohl's Schwimmauto pages)

Then, of course, there were the after-market kits for a huge wind-up key to install on the engine compartment (rear) deck lid of the old Bugs!

The keys were inspired (and v.v.) by this VW ad from 1960:   added (20 Nov 2011)


Not to mention the bumper stickers (which almost always ended up on those same rear deck lids):

"Made in der Voods by Elves!"

Speaking (on the main Auto page) of RPI, there was the memorable night in Troy ca. 1954 when I saw the bullet of a .38 cartridge from in FRONT of a snub-nosed Police Special!  A drunken young rookie police officer (Tim - I still remember his name) had stopped us at 03:00 for driving without windshield wipers and held us at wobbly gunpoint while his much-older buddy tried to calm him down.  He was not at all impressed with our argument that we did not need windshield wipers because, a.), it wasn't raining, and b.), we had no windshield!  In point of fact, we had no body at all (except for the cowl holding the instrument panel and steering column), no fenders, no proper seats (orange crates on the floor pan), and precious little else other than a full complement of lights and an engine and drive train and radiator (and wheels and tires, of course).

That was also when the 1939/40 World's Fair Lincoln Zephyr show car was tipped over and rolled side-for-side down Burdick Street (inconceivably steep) by some "townies" while the owner was away on vacation; that was the car with a pointed tail, the trunk lid of which presented the spare wheel on a linkage when the lid was raised.  That collector car ended up in downtown Troy as a light green sausage some 18' long and 4' in diameter.

Also "speaking of" and floating cars, who remembers the Amphicar?  They had a whole bunch of these little amphibian convertibles, built in Berlin, Germany, from 1961 to 1968 on an Austin A-60{?} chassis with a rear-mounted 43HP Triumph Herald engine, running in and out of the water on the eastern shore of Meadow Lake (at the boathouse ramp) in Flushing Meadow Park at the (so-called) World's Fair of 1962-63 in New York City.  I was reminded of this old oddity (they still run!) by running across a devotée's Amphicar Website and, from that, the Official Website of The International Amphicar Owners Club.  I rode several times (for a small fee).  These little gems had twin (NYLON) screws and steered with the front wheels on/in both media.  They had normal doors with double seals to maintain water-tight integrity and electric sump pumps and bilge blowers.

For a good, if brief, history of the Amphicar, see The Car that Swims; for a really full history, see René Pohl's Schwimmauto pages.

Here are some representative old photos of Amphicars courtesy of Mark Schlemmer, President of The International Amphicar Owners Club, endless cars on the road and afloat at the 2001 convention in Celina, Ohio, plus those props (cropped from an old ad) and a crop from Paul's photo of massed Amphis at their 2000 Convention, also in Celina, Ohio:

Amphicar - 2a Amphicar - 3a Amphicar - 6a Amphicar - 8a
(old photos from M. Schlemmer - by kind permission - all rights reserved)

01 Amphicar Swim-In
(Celina 01 photo from M. Schlemmer - by kind permission - all rights reserved)

01 Amphicar Swim-In
(Celina 01 photo from M. Schlemmer - by kind permission - all rights reserved)

Amphicar Ad - Props Amphicars at Celina 00
[cropped from photos from M. Schlemmer (props in ad, left) and Paul (Celina, 00, right) - by kind permission - all rights reserved]

There are apparently some 1,300 cars left, many still on the road and afloat, especially in the U.S. and Canada, in Berlin, and all over the world.

During WWII Chrysler's Dodge Division built an amphibious 4x4 truck called the Cheetah:

Dodge Cheetah
(photo from René Pohl's Schwimmauto pages)

For more on amphibs, see the Seep (sea-going Jeep) on my Chrysler page 1 and René Pohl's Schwimmauto pages.

BIG NEWS! - a Manx firm in England, Alan Gibbs's Aquada Corporation Ltd., in Douglas, is offering a new HSA (High Speed Amphibian) vehicle, the 100mph Aquada, which relies on folding its wheels after entering the water to become a 30mph planing hull; this concept may lend itself admirably to towing water skiers but fails miserably on the convenience of just driving in and out of the water the way the Amphicar, Seep, and DUKW did; God help the hapless motorist who planes up onto the land!  Their Website features lots of flack but little substantive technical information and I have requested same.

The Aquada site offers a short, but interesting, video clip, showing a very odd entry and landing sequence - they never show the wheels retracting nor redeploying and the wheels do not appear to be turning in the landing (beware - the clip's "Close" button did not function)!

Odd New York City Street! (moved to Odd Streets page on 16 May 02).

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (the sound of the engine) is not merely the name of a movie and its subject super-car, which could also float and fly.  There was a series of children's books by none other than 007-author Ian Fleming, on which the movie was rather loosely based.  Even less known is that the name was NOT at all a nonsense name made up by the movie script writers nor by Fleming.  He based his car on a very-real series of race cars owned (and named) by Count Louis Zborowski  [See a photo of the first (and visually "hairiest") Chitty].

One of those gigantic racecars, powered by a WWI 27-litre, V12, 500bhp, Liberty aero engine, crashed in 1927 while trying to break the world's Land Speed Record on Britain's Pendine Sands, a huge tidal flat exposed at low tide and much favo(u)red for racing.  Its driver, J.G. Parry-Thomas, had broken the record the previous year with speeds of 168.074mph and 170.264mph, and was killed while trying to better Malcolm Campbell's speed of 174.223mph.  The car, known as "Babs", was buried in the sands by Parry-Thomas's mechanics and lay there until 1969, when Owen Wyn Owen, now a vice-president of British Ford, found it.

Photos of the wreck and Parry-Thomas and such are on the various Brooklands Archives pages.

After much effort, Owen persuaded the Ministry of Defence to allow him to dig up the car, carried out a painstaking restoration, and actually drives Babs at many motoring events.  Unfortunately, he had (as of 08 Jul 01) to replace a broken layshaft in the transmission*.

1921 Chitty II, with an 18.8-liter, 230HP, Benz aero engine, survives, and while legally belonging to the Western Reserve Historical Society/Crawford Museum in Cleveland Ohio, had, since 1992, been on loan to the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in England.  It was up on auction in NYC in 1999 at $1.1M but failed to sell (gee, if I'd only known, I could have picked it up for pocket change!).

There is a great deal more information about (and more pictures of) these cars (real and fictional - the cars, NOT the info., hopefully!) at Mark Berry's Chitty Chitty Bang Bang page.  The "official" Brooklands Chitty/Zborowski story (well worth reading) has it that the last, streamlined car, Babs, was the "Higham Special", not a Chitty.

Stuart Gough has excellent coverage of Babs and Pendine on his site.

There were books and a children's record, many, many toys, and games, dolls, and other Chitty paraphenalia.  I still have a pair of Husky Models 3" (76mm) long Chittys, still with their wings but now bereft of their removable (and eminently loseable) nose and tail planes; I dug one of them out, dusted it off, and here she is, serpent horn and all, with wings stowed and deployed (the bright golden-spoked wheels have lost their sheen):

Husky Chitty wings in Husky Chitty wings out
(09 Jul 01 photos by and © 2001 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

Do you remember this?

"Bang, bang, chitty, chitty, bang bang;
chitty, chitty, bang bang, we love you!  ending with:

"Bang, bang, chitty, chitty, bang bang;
our fine four-fendered friend!"

Mark shows this to be the Husky Extra #1406 (with gold spoke wheels) made from 1967 to 1970 by Corgi Toys [replaced by Corgi Junior #1006 - a renamed version of the Husky model, from 1970 on, and then a later Corgi Junior, which replaced the original wheels with flat "whizwheels" {sacrilege!}].

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has turned up again (Spring 2005) as a supposedly-smash-hit Broadway musical (based on the movie).

This photo of Chitty II at the Waldorf Astoria turned up on a NY auction site from 1999, when it was put up for $1.1 million by the Crawford Museum (formerly Thompson Products Museum) of Cleveland but did not sell; to my total amazement, I found a picture I had taken at the Thompson Products Museum years before (and forgotten) showing the other side, also with the hood open (I will digitize it and add it here shortly):

Chitty II at Waldorf '99

The accompanying text read "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang II, built in 1921 on a Mercedes chassis and powered by a 230-horsepower Benz 18.8-liter Aero engine, drew top bid of the day of $1.1 million, but it had a higher reserve set by its owner, the Crawford Museum.  It is the only one of three special production race cars built by Count Louis Vorow Zborowski still in existence."  Obviously, the writer didn't know about Babs!

* - Well, it seems that Babs was repaired; she is the star of a film about racing, Overland, and there is more information about her, Parry Thomas, and the film here, with lots of pictures.

Speaking of automotive toys bearing the Husky trademark, whether made by Corgi or no, here's another of the same size/series, slightly oversize for HO, the MONKEEMOBILE!  No model number appears on the underside, although the Monkees's guitar trademark does (I am truly insane or fanatic or both - I set up the camera again just for the second two pictures).  It appears, from the grille, to be a Pontiac, and there the foursome are, hidden under the roof:

Husky Monkeemobile 1 Husky Monkeemobile 2

Husky Monkeemobile 3 Husky Monkeemobile 4
(19 Aug 01 photos by and © 2001 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)

"Hey, hey, with the Monkees,
people say we monkey around;
but we're too busy singing - "
, etc.

1906 Locomobile Old 16

Anent extant monster cars like Chitty-cum-Babs, on my Long Island Motor Parkway History Page 2, I mention the Vanderbilt Cup races, which were re-created ca. early-June 1960; the 1906 Locomobile, Old 16, which had won in 1906 with George Robertson at the helm, was owned post-WWII by famed artist Peter Helck.  She was there and running (all 1,032 cu. in./16.9 liters of it on four unmuffled cylinders!), and I got out on the course, very briefly, in my XK-120M Jag drophead (after the race).  She blew her #2 combustion chamber gasket and Peter (or his son, Jerry) field-stripped her, replaced the gasket (which meant pulling a complete monobloc pair of heads/cylinders!), and kept on going!  I found the pix of that operation on 18 Sep 03;see below.  For the nonce, however, here are two pix from the Web:

Old 16 outdoors Old 16 HFM
(photos from D. A. David and unnamed Websites)

Notice the SE corner of the Long Island Motor Parkway Grandstand (with U. S. flag) in the background photo at the Henry Ford Museum (right).

Here's a tattered jacket from Peter Helck's "The Checkered Flag", featuring (surprise!) Old 16, herself:

Checkered Flag
(reassembled from images on Adamstown Antique Gallery Website)

Also, there is now a LIMP-Vanderbilt Cup Race page, with far more about Old 16 and the races.

An unprovenanced photo of the engine for Old 16 at the factory (labelled as showing the "original make and break" ignition:

Old 16 Eng

Just look at all that stuff that had to be disconnected to pull off that front pair of cylinders (see above)!  The gasket sat between the bottom of the cylinder and the crankcase; the head-cum-cylinder pair must have weighed a ton!

I found (26 Dec 08) that photo I took of the field repair of the blown combustion chamber gasket (but see below@) on Old 16 at the nostalgia running of antique cars at the Vanderbilt Cup race at Roosevelt Raceway on 19 Jun 1960:

19 Jun 60 Old 16 Repair

(19 Jun 60 photo by and © 1960/2003 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved)
[Thumbnailed image - click on the picture for an even larger image.]

That's NEITHER Peter Helck NOR his son, Jerry; an' I mistake it not, that was almost certainly knowledgeable Austie (Henry Austin) Clark, Jr., doing the honors in a buttoned long-sleeved white shirt!

@ - Well, now; none other than Jerry Helck, himself, corrected me on several points on 09 Dec 2008; among many others which will be added shortly, the man in the white shirt (who might be cleaning up around an exhaust valve cover (where Jerry may have just replaced a gasket - but definitely NOT a combustion chamber gasket) is NOT Austie Clark, but another good friend of Jerry's, Dr. Bob Banks, who logged many pleasant hours assisting him maintaining and prepping the car for various outings, and accompanied Jerry and his father, Peter, on the 1957 Glidden and some of the LIOCC meets.

I'm sorry; the more I think about this matter, the more convinced I am that it was in fact Austie I saw working on Old 16 in his white dress shirt.  That may very well be Dr. Banks in the picture (although it sure LOOKS like Austie to me) but Austie was definitely there and working on the car - HELP!  Can anyone out there corroborate this for me?   added (24 Jul 2012)

NOMENCLATURE - automotive terms (moved to continuation page 2 on 25 Jan 03)

Also anent autos and Long Island, Smithtown resident Arthur R. Pardington, an early auto enthusiast who helped create the 1908 Long Island Motor Parkway, also helped create the Lincoln Highway (today's Route 30), the first coast-to-coast through route.  This is noted in a sidebar in NEWSDAY L.I. History - Pioneers in Motion (thanks to LIMP aficionado John Herling for this tip).  However, the main focus of that page is on Francis Maurice Richard, a Frenchman who invented the two-cycle engine and built a huge one-lunger auto in Port Jefferson in 1909 called the ONLY!  It was not a great success and was succeeded by his METROPOLE, not much more successful, and, when the firm folded, the plant was bought by Finley Robertson Porter who used it to build his F.R.P., which was so expensive that virtually no one bought it!  So much for Port Jeff's auto pioneering!

Speaking of A. R. Pardington, see the Long Island Motor Vehicle Co. on the Long island History continuation page 3.

Another Long Island vehicle manufacturer (or body builder), of which I was blissfully unaware, turned up in the Smithsonian Institution's "Research Reports" No. 101, for Summer 2000; it is a 1915 Gypsy Van "house-car", built in Huntington by the "bus factory" of Roland and Mary Conklin and is shown in the summer of 1915, when they set out to see America:

1915 Conklin Gypsy Van
(photo from Smithsonian Inst., courtesy of Huntington Historical Society - all rights reserved)
This looks to me for all the world like a stock Type B Fifth Avenue bus gone berserk -
more like an "apartment-house-car" - whadda monster!

I'm not much on post -WWII Caddys (pre-finned, finned, or post-finned) but THIS (Cadillac Ranch), in Amarillo, Texas, is sacrilege beyond even what I can handle; it smacks of the desecration perpetrated by another "artist" with a giant steam locomotive behind the Anhalter Bahnhof in Berlin!

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.


  What happens to all this when I DIE or (heaven forfend!) lose interest?  See LEGACY.


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