S. Berliner, III's sbiii.com Automotive Continuation Page 5 keywords = automobile antique automotive history motor car 1912 AMC Pioneer Fill 'Er Up Filstrup trafficator turn signal indicator electric Andover Labourdette Peugeot Skiff

Updated:   03 Mar 2017; 19:50  ET
[Page created 28 Aug 2014;

    original AT&T Worldnet Website begun 30 May 1996.]
URL:  http://sbiii.com/automot5.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 5


A fifth continuation page to tie in new material with my existing coverage of Historic and Antique Automobiles, such as:

  The 1866 Dudgeon Steam Wagon
    one of which survives in running condition!
  the ALCO,
  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!
  Old 16 Locomobile
  Hornthal's 1900s Hearse De Luxe
  Australian Phantom I with Mystery Body.

On this Automotive Page 5:
  1912 AMC Pioneer Cyclecar (28 Aug 2014).
  "Fill 'Er Up, Filstrup" (22 May 2015).
  BREAK or BRAKE (09 Jul 2015).
  YIKE TRIKE!- Bat Trike? (21 Jul 2015).
  Early EVs (Electric Vehicles).
  Andover Electric Car (22 Jul 2016/23 Feb 2017).
  1913 Peugeot with Labourdette "Skiff" Body.   new (21 Feb 2017)
  SS Mercedes vs. '49 C-46 Chrysler 8 Hood Length.   new (03 Mar 2017)

(see also:
  LIMP-Vanderbilt Cup Race page and
  Old Gas Stations

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

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.

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 build 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]

1912 AMC Pioneer Cyclecar

Incredible as it may seem, a 1912 AMC Pioneer Cyclecar survives (the sole exemplar), magnificently restored and in running condition!  Better yet, if you're so inclined, it is FOR SALE! (28 Aug 2014)

Here's what she looked like "in the day" (half of two stereo pairs):

(picture courtesy of seller)
[thumbnail image; click on picture for larger image]

Here are some current photos:

1912AMCPioneer01 1912AMCPioneer02
(images courtesy of seller*)
[click on thumbnailed pictures for larger images]

(images courtesy of seller*)
[click on thumbnailed pictures for larger images]

1912AMCPioneer04 1912AMCPioneer05
(images courtesy of seller*)
[click on thumbnailed pictures for larger images]

[* - in spite of the Celebrity Cars watermark, the owner assures me these images are in the public domain.]

Nearly a hundred more images of this car are available on the Celebrity Cars website.

Contact me to get in touch with the seller.

"Fill 'Er Up, Filstrup" - does anyone out there know the origin/derivation of this old term?  I met a Chris Filstrup on Long Island who confirmed the validity of the term but I've long-since forgotten what he told me.   new.gif (22 May 2015)

BREAK or BRAKE - picking up from my list of automotive terms (NOMENCLATURE) on Automotive Page 2, a BREAK or BRAKE is a station wagon (an estate car in Britain).  The words "Break" or "Brake" seem now to be used interchangeably but "Break" is more commonly used in France and "Brake" in the English-speaking world.  The term derives from the old English open-bodied wagon used for breaking in dra(f)(augh)t horses.  When fitted out for carrying beaters and guns and game, it became a Shooting Break and, when fitted with seats for passengers to be picked up or dropped off at railway stations, it became a Station Break (and thus Station Wagon).   new (09 Jul 2015)

YIKE TRIKE! - Bat Trike? - I came home from church in the early afternoon on Sunday, 19 Jul 2015, to find what should surely have been decorated as the Batmobile Three-Wheeler (if there ever was any such) parked curbside out on the street (09 Jul 2015):

BattrikeA BattrikeB
(pictures cropped from 19 Jul 2015 photos by and © 2015 S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved

I don't know quite what it may be, and it certainly is NOT a very practical means of transportation, but it is definitely sTRIKEing!

FIRST TURN SIGNAL/INDICATOR - When was the first turn signal/indicator developed and when were they adopted as standard equipment? (09 Jul 2015)

According to Wikipedia, mechanical signals, known as Trafficators [also as Winkers in England], actuated mechanically or pneumatically, first appeared in the 1900s.  In 1908, Alfredo Barrachini in Rome added electric lights inside arms operated by a cable.  In 1918 the Naillik Motor Signal Company of Boston added electric motor drive.  French inventors, Gustave Deneef and Maurice Boisson used a linear solenoid in 1923 and Berlin-based Max Ruhl and Ernst Neuman combined internal illumination and solenoid operation in 1927.

(Norbert Schnitzler picture from Wikipedia)

This example is in the pillar of a 1954 3½L 6-cyl. Armstrong-Siddeley Sapphire.

Today's blinking light orignated almost at the same time as the mechanical traficator.  According to Jessica Gross in her 12 Jul 2013 article in the New York TIMES, "Who Made That Turn Signal?", actress Florence Lawrence, known as the "Biograph Girl", told a reporter in 1920 that she developed an early version of the turn signal in 1914.  "I have invented an ‘auto-signaling arm,’ which, when placed on the back of the fender, can be raised or lowered by electrical push buttons", she told The Green Book Magazine.  "The one indicating ‘stop’ works automatically whenever the foot brake is pressed".  Gross goes on to state that Lawrence, whose mother patented a 'cleaning device' for windshields in 1918, never patented her own invention".  Lawrence wasn’t the very first to come up with a turn signal; in 1909, Britisher Percy Douglas-Hamilton patented a set of hands, one attached to each side of the car, which could be illuminated to indicate a coming turn.  Gross continues that it would be "highly unlikely" that Lawrence knew about it and that more patents followed - in 1925, Edgar Walz, Jr., patented a light with two arrows and a brake light; in the late ’30s, Joseph Bell patented the first electrical device that flashed, and then {finally!} Buick introduced turn signals as a standard feature in 1939.

Now we know!  my personal points of reference, noted earlier on the main Auto page, are that SS cars (now Jaguar) had trafficators from their very first model in 1934 and that my own 1939 Chrysler did not come with integral indicators but my 1941 Chrysler did.

See also the 1922 Hisso, below, which sports these turn indicators front and rear:   new (22 Feb 2017)

22HissoTurnIndFront 22HissoTurnIndRear
1922 Hispano-Suiza Labourdette Skiff Indicators
front (l.) and rear (r.)

Early EVs (Electric Vehicles) - included (American):

Andover {see following}
Rauch & Lang
  which, in turn, became
Owens Magnetic (hybrid)

{to be continued and expanded}

Andover Electric Car   restored (23 Feb 2017)

It seems there once was an Andover Electric Car, made ca. WWI right near here, only some 35 miles due north, in or around Andover, Massachusetts.  Unfortunately, no information about such a vehicle appears on the Net.  My notes dated 22 Jul 2016 show a reference to the Electric Auto Association History page but there's no such mention there now (I've asked the EAA about it).

I would appreciate any further information about this elusive auto.

1913 Peugeot with Labourdette "Skiff" Body

The Seal Cove Auto Museum on Mount Desert Island, Maine, has a magnificent 1913 mahogany-bodied (by Henri Labourdette of Paris) Peugeot "Skiff".   new (21 Feb 2017) and rev (23 Feb 2017)

These photos show the car as it looked before restoration when it was in the Melton Auto Museum's collection and how it looks today:

1913PeugeotSkiffMelton 1913PeugeotSkiffSealCove
(courtesy of Seal Cove Museum Feb 2017 - all rights reserved

The museum is seeking the full provenance of this car which they acquired in 1965 from noted New York collector Dr. Samuel L. Scher who had, in turn, acquired the car from the famed tenor and car collector, James Melton.  In Melton's book, "Bright Wheels Rolling," he states, "This 1913 (Peugeot) was given to me by Mr. William Leeds of New York City, and is one of the finest cars in our collection."*  The coach builder was Henri Labourdette of Paris, France, and the Museum has records from Peugeot of the car being delivered to his workshop, but not who ordered it.  The car was constructed with the same basic methods used for a wooden boat.  Oak was selected for the framing, and the outer planking was of mahogany, fastened with copper rivets.  It is described as being a 1913 Type 150, No. 21273, delivered to Levallois (Henri Labourdette's 30/12/1913).

[* - Billy Leeds was the original owner of the giant 1925 New Phantom (Phantom I) now in Australia.]   new (22 Feb 2017)

HELP-rwb - If any reader has any information that could help the Museum connect their Peugeot with William B. Leeds, they would be most appreciative; please contact Curator@sealcoveautomuseum.org directly.

Restoration can accomplish miracles but those are a lot of significant changes in this car (IF it is one and the same car) - the restored car has no sidemounts (or fender wells) and the spare is mounted much lower with no rear bumper and there no tool box.  It also has "bullet-cum-teardrop" headlamps and a diagonal mo(u)lding across the cowl; the B&W picture doesn't show these and does show cowl lamps matching the drum headlamps.  Hmmm.   new (22 Feb 2017)

James Melton's daughter, Margo, lectures about her father at the Seal Cove Museum; here she is in front of the Peugeot:

(courtesy of Seal Cove Museum Feb 2017 - all rights reserved
Margo Melton and Peugeot Skiff

The "b" in "Labourdette is sometime shown captalized (as "LaBourdette") - WRONG; le maître should know how to spell his own name:

Labourdette Coachbuilder's Plate
(from 1922 Hispano-Suiza Labourdette Skiff shown below)

The Labourdette Rolls Skiff tourer shown below once belonged to Richard C. Paine, Jr., the founder of the Seal Cove Auto Museum.

The body on Isquick's (re-creation) 1911 Mercedes 37/90 Skiff shown below was modeled, down to the last rivet, from the Museum's Peugeot by Dale Adams.

The Adams work postdates my recollections; I also seem to recall a long, late-20s{?} Skiff tourer, as well.

Sure wish I could nail down a Skiff I remember from early CCCA meets (ca. 1950-60?); it seems to me it was an early-'30s boat-tailed speedster (Packard?).

Labourdette put skiff-built bodies on quite a few diverse marques; a suprising number survive and a random sampling from the Net follows (in date order):

1911-12 Mercedes 37/90 hp Labourdette Skiff
This body was created by Dale Adams as a virtual duplicate of the
Leeds/Melton/Scher/SealCove Peugeot Skiff, above.

1912 Panhard & Levassor X19 Labourdette Skiff-Torpedo

1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Labourdette Skiff Roadster

1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Labourdette Skiff Tourer (the Shapiro car)

1922 Amilcar C4 Labourdette Torpedo-Skiff

1922 Hispano-Suiza Labourdette Skiff
(the one with turn indicators shown above)

Labourdette was also capable of inconceivably-awful work, such as this appalling 1947 rebodying of a 1939 Rolls-Royce Phantom III:


It looks like an oversized kiddie car; Rolls-Royce should have paid good money to have the car (or, at least, the body) destroyed!

Before we leave the Seal Cove Museum, however, it blew my mind to discover that they also hold what is almost certainly the only surviving FRP, a 1915 Brewster-bodied luxury car built by Finley Robertson Porter's eponymous Finley-Robertson-Porter Company of Port Jefferson, Long Island, New York!  Previous to this discovery, it was slightly-more-than a figment of my imagination noted under Long Island Automotive Manufacturing on my Long Island page 3; it is now there at FRP (thank you, Seal Cove!).

SS Mercedes vs. '49 C-46 Chrysler 8 Hood Length - I have always been amazed by the amount of hood preceding me when I drove the 7.020 liter (428.4 cu. in.), 6-cylinder 1928 Peck/MoMA/Boyer SS Mercedes Tourer and how far back I sat; on the other hand, I was also always pleased by the amount of hood preceding me when I drove the three 383 cu. in. (6.28 liter), 8-cylinder 1949 Chrysler C-46 New Yorker/Highlanders I (or my father) owned.   new (03 Mar 2017)

The hood fanned out to full cowl width on the Chryslers, somewhat spoiling the effect, but both types of vehicle were eminently satisfactory for visual effect (awe).  Updating some of my Chrysler pages, it came to me that I had never documented those hoods or the relative seating positions of the two models.  Not havng either car handy to measure, I decided to do a wee bit of calculating, but first let's look at some basic specs.:

Chrysler New Yorker C-46 Club Coupé:	Mercedes-Benz Modell SS:
Length:  5378 mm / 211.75 in            5200 mm / 204.72 in
Width:   1900 mm / 74.8 in              1700 mm / 66.9 in
Wh/base: 3340 mm / 131.5 in             3400 mm / 131.4 in
Curb wt.
 est.:   1950 kg / 4300 lbs             2100 kg / 4630 lbs
Tires:   7.00-20                        8.20-15
           (or 6.50-20 Balloon)
Displ.   7.020 l. / 428.4 cu. in.       6.28 l. / 383 cu. in.
Next, resorting to some photogrammetry:

(03 Mar 2017 collage and calculations by S. Berliner, III - all rights reserved
Click on thumbnail for larger image.)

SS Mercedes vs. '49 C-46 Chrysler 8 Hoods

That's my own '49 New Yorker sedan beyond the Boyer SS at top in early 1956; I tried drawing white lines across from the cowl and the rear bumper to the Chrysler but they aren't terribly exact.  I reversed Edward Mayer and his elegant SS Tourer (it's actuually right-hand drive) to match my Highlander.  The calculations are at lower right; a sharp New Yorker pic vs. a works photo of an SS chassis I'd already doctored.

Front seats are adjustable so I settled for the distance from the steering wheel hub to the nose of the hood/bonnet.  Not bad at all; the SS "only" beats the Chrysler by 10⅞" (277mm)!

Now we know - just what you always wanted to know, eh?

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 have their own Road Loads page, et seq.

Please visit the main Automotive page, et seq.

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S. Berliner, III

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