Restored May 2015
A very unusual sight 3 Black in one place!
To see it running click here: 1908 Black demo video
Touring the USA, last year my friend Rob Duffy and I participated in the 2014 Grizzly Bear Tour in California before moving to Bakersfield for the one day tour and swap it was our first experience in driving a Veteran (horseless carriage) on US roads and whilst we did have some troubles and learned a lot the fellowship and assistance our friends and Horseless Carriage members provided was nothing short of wonderful. We had the 1915 production 1916 Model Cole V8 Coupe for the rally and that was really great!
We had such a great time we decided to do it all again this time with our families. So I purchased the 1909 Cadillac that was an older restoration an had some work completed on it with the assistance of Alan Kelos in Pennsylvania and we shipped it to Long Beach for the tour. The Caddy did not do as well as the Cole did but was still a great car and we are again looking forward to doing more tours in the US.
I did have the pleasure of driving Alan Travis's 1904 Mitchell, Mitchell's were produced by the Lewis & Mitchell Company (later the Mitchell Motor Co) Alan's is the oldest Mitchell know to exist which Alan purcheaed for the Lewis family after they had seen what he had done with the fine racing Mitchell he restored and that fact that he uses his cars which they appreciated. Alan kindly offered for me to drive the Mitchell to a HCCA display & lecture day at the Porterville collage, which was a real joy
My US friends are trying to convince us we should participate in the 2016 great race coast to coast, something we are heavily considering. Stay tuned for more up date or email me to anticipate on a tour?
Up Coming Tours and Swaps
We enjoy driving our cars and Chris tells me I love the challenger of finding these missing or rare parts equally as much, so we spend quite some time both in Australia and the US on tour and at swaps and visiting private collects, both in search of cars and parts and exchanging stories and knowledge with those we share our passion with.
Bellingham Marathon Tour, Washington State, USA, 13 - 17th September 2015
Hershey Swap, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA, 7 - 10th October 2015
National High Wheeler Rally, Hahndorf, SA, 19th - 23rd October 2015
Bendigo Swap 12, 13 14th Bendigo ,Vic, November 2015
National Veteran Tour, Goulburn, NSW, 1st - 6th November 2015
National 1 & 2 cylinder Tour, Latrobe Valley, Vic, 3 - 9th April 2016
Bakersfield Swap, Bakersfield California 14 - 15th April 2016
If you are interested in any of the cars or parts that we have for sale be sure to look at he E Trade page under Brass & Stuff.
New acquisitions and restoration progress
For all these who are regular visitors and ask what's new - On our recent trip to the US I purchased a few great cars, a 1913 Cadillac Project which will be semi restored and then up for sale (this car has now found a new home and a very happy owner who is looking forward to finalising this project. Also a good little 1906 Cadillac runabout (also now in a new home). I also have a lead on a 1909/10 De Tamble - these were a independant make that only survived for a few years, great little 2 cylinder horizontally opposed twin with plantery trans, in need of a total restoration but a great little project. Our latest trip to Chickasha swap in Oklahoma and Bakersfield California saw lots of new purchases and our last trip to Hershey and around the US I purchased a wonderful 1926 Cadillac Custom Coupe semi restored, with great body, see our E Trade page for more details and a rare 1918 Cadillac aluminium bodied factory sedan that is very complete. I also purchased both a 1903 Ford model A and a early Maxwell and a Brush for customers and we are working on another early Buick for another. On a personal note we are chasing early 4 cylinder Cadillac cars and information so if you know of anything please drop us a email or call.
1946 Chevrolet Holden bodied ute.
After a lot of request to do a restoration for other people I have finally agreed to do a restoration for a customer on a complete car. We have made guards (fenders) & cowl etc before, but always kept to the complete job for our own projects. This ute (short for utility) is an unusual vehicle as it is a November 1945 production, series 13 (3/4 ton), produced in the Canadian factory and shipped to Australia as a rolling chassis with firewall and fenders. General Motor Holden then place the utility body on the rolling frame connecting the Canadian firewall to the Australian body. It was sold to a farmer in outback New South Wales. It has to be remember than cars full stop were very scares straight after the war and there was a 3 year queue for vehicles, so to get one was a real feat!
The ute stayed in the outback until it was laid to rest under a tree and finally purchased by a fellow who wanted a complete professional restoration on the car. It had complete over 250,000 miles and had been inflicted with many a "bush repairs" along the way, so was in a very sad state.
We have now nearly complete the mechanical side of the restoration and the fender, bonnet (hood) running boards, door and tail gate have had all their major repair complete and are nearly ready for paint. The rust and fatigue in the body was incredible and have taken considerably longer to repair than was ever imaginable. It is impossible to quote on these type of project accurately but once the work is done the results are fantastic. We look forward to have the ute in as new condition in the next year or so and will keep up date the progress so you can see what is happening.
My advertisement for a unusual 2 cylinder car lead me to the Haynes Apperson purchase a few years ago and after a lots of discussion with the previous owners of that wonderful car, I managed to convince them to let us purchase and finish the restoration of a very unusual and rare1905 Glide. The was produced in Peoria Illinois by the Bartholomew Company, the Glide name came about because of the independently spring 2nd frame that the motor and transmission rides in meaning that the occupants of the car did not feel the motion of the motor and the car "glided" down the road. There are only a few Glides know to exist, there are only 6 listed in the latest Horseless Carriage Club of America roster (ranging from 1905 to 1913)and whilst ours makes the 7th (as it was not listed) assuming there is 1 or 2 more out there, there would most probably be less than 10 in total. Ours is the Model D 2 cylinder with planetary transmission and is currently about 60% restored, I look forward to keeping you up dated on it progress.
July 2015 update.
The restoration of the Glide got underway in earnest
after our return firm Bakersfield Swap in April, interrupted by some medical issues
which hopefully we are over! The motor which I understood to have been fully
restored has caused some problems with major issues with the crankshaft and the
main bearings, so it is now with a friend in his shop in Bundaberg Queensland
and will hopefully be back here soon.
In the meantime we have progressed with the body,
the firewall and body section that supports the gas tank, bonnet and radiator
are in final paint and assembled, the coil box and Warner speedo are mounted, as
is the correct clock for the "Coke Bottle" speedo, the speedo drive
is also mounted on the front wheel awaiting the cable. The Atwood brass and
copper headlights have been mounted on new yolks and the brass trim and side
lights polished and assembled, the copper bonnet supports & horn are
finally in place, so it really has some bling!
The rear seat and one of the front buckets are in
final paint and the main body and other seat are in primer waiting for warmer
days to be painted. I've also made the mounting brackets & rest for a self
locking top, the fact that the front seats fold forward did give so concern,
however I worked a way to get around that problem, so the top should be able to
stay up if you need to get under one seat as long as you only fold one seat at
Some for the mechanical components will prove to be
difficult, but we'll tackle these (once the motor is back in the car!) as and
when they arrive. I think I've got my head around most of it but you never know
till you actually put it all together.
We are still hopeful of making the February 2016 deadline
for completion. We are planning to take it to the National 1 & 2 cylinder
Rally in Victoria in April 2016 and have friends coming over from the USA to
enjoy the rally with us, so it will be nice if it is completed.
I'll update the thread as things move along.
1899 Haynes Apperson.
The last news is the best (if you have a big heart!) I purchased the very sad remains of a 1899 Haynes Apperson, 2 cylinder auto, wooden frame, leather fender & wooden body. Haynes was credited for a long time as America's first pratical Auto, something which has now been dispelled, however having said that they were definitely one of the first 3 and till the end of their days in the 20's all the cars wore badges saying "America First Car". Ours is being delivered in pumpkin boxes, so I will have my work cut out for me getting it back together however apart from the body and frame which have rotted away everything else seems to be there so I'll up date the site with photos as I progress!
Up - date. After visiting the Auburn Cord Duesenburg, the Elwood Haynes and Kokomo Museum's in Indiana (where the Haynes was produced and coincidently so was the Black) and a very nice 1904 Haynes in the Don Bolton collect in Oklahoma I have pretty well dated the Haynes Apperson to 1899 / 1900. It is a good early veteran with 2 cylinder 3 speed gearbox. Haynes and Apperson when their separate ways in about 1904 to each developed their own cars Haynes went on to make high end vehicles introducing a V8 in 1916 (hot on the heals of Cadillac) and Apperson to make the famous "Apperson Jack Rabbit".
Having had the opportunity to take hundreds of photos and measurements of Haynes Appersons from 1897 through to 1904 I now have a real grasp of what is required. Mechanically what I have is very complete the only really difficult things is that I only has parts for the exposed 3 speed sliding selective gear box (I'm plagued by missing gear boxes!!). The car was a Surry and I'm currently organising a full size mock up of the body and producing a correct wooden frame so we can get a real look at the project. Once I have everything together I'll post some photos so you can see the project in some prospective.
April 2014 further up date. After again visiting the Don Bolton collection in Oklahoma City this year, I was lucky enough to procure the spares Don had that came with his beautiful 1904 touring, Alan Schmitt of Restoration Supply in California has also uncover a very worn but templatable transmission, this and a spare rear end purchased in Phoenix Az. will assist with spares for the restoration of this big early car.
Our late Veteran Cadillac is now very close to the end of its re-restoration (this is the yellow Cadillac at the top of the page). This is the only 1918 Cadillac in Australia and is an Australian bodied car, built by a somewhat obscure body builder AA Egate of Summer Hill (a suburb of Sydney). The little history I can obtain indicates that AA Egate were customer commerical body builders and our Cadillac certainly had a custom 11 passenger body installed by them. After service in the tourist trade ferrying passengers into and out of Jenolan Caves it was sold to a wrecker in the NSW Southern Highlands where it was purchased and the body trimmed back to a 7 passenger configeration. It was then sold to John Corby who owned it for over 50 years before I purchased it over 5 years ago. After a few disastrous short runs we decided to do a total re-restoration of the car and apart from the top it is now complete and ready to rally.
1908 Black, High Wheeler Delivery Van.
I've not up-dated the web site as often as I should however if you look below you will see the progress of our 1908 Black High Wheeler Delivery Van. The original aim was to have this car restored in just 12 months, but time & money got in the way and it will now not be finished till March but it is well under way! as you can see the body is nearly complete and will be painted and pinstriped shortly.
Mechanically it is well under way with the pistons & bearings fitted and the crankcase installed in the frame. New wheels were percured from Lancaster Pennsylvania and are on their way across the "big pond" & should be completed and on the car by the end of January. The biggest stumbling block was the lack of a gear box. Thankfully I was able to borrow a gear box and I have been diligently replicating it (see picture below). The gears are now all made, the plantery casings are done, the clutch engagement system should be completed by the end of December. Once this and a little work on the timer and oiler are complete there is no reason why it should not run and drive!
Up - Date July 2013
Having only fired up the Black motor the once prior to getting serious about going to Bundaberg Queensland for the 11th Bi Annual (yes, we have been running High Wheeler Rallies in Australia for over 22 years!) and on that occasion it was without the yet to be constructed gearbox, it was with mixed feeling that we started the bare chassis on the Saturday before departing for the rally.
My first drive was sitting on a pillow on the petrol tank and running it through the gears to ensure it would actually go! After that we placed the body on the running gear and prepared to for a trip to the inspection station the next day for a registration check. My first obstacle was our drive way which is very steep and most single cylinder and many 2’s cannot accomplish the climb, my concern was not going up it, it was how the brakes would go going down. down! Luckily the brakes and a tickle of reverse helped me navigated the drive and then it was off onto the wide black tarmac, and I made our way tentatively to the local Service Station.
I quickly learned that the oval windows in the side & back of the Van body gave me very little info on what was happening around either side of the cat or behind me. I made a mental note to find 2 nice brass rear vision mirrors to assist with this. After completing the rego inspection we ventured home, having complete a fully 6 kms, I was not game to try our hill as I need the car in one piece for the long trip north, so Chris towed me up and we put the Black back in the shed. After a great many adjustment we loaded the car onto the trailer in preparation for the drive to the rally.
Once in Bundaberg we actually got to really get a feel for the car, I remember well driving our Curved Dash Olds Delivery Van and driving the Black certainly brought back many memories. Having a steering wheel is a good thing compared to the Olds tiller and the Black is as slow as the Olds was too, but a High Wheeler has a different feel to drive with the solid rubber tyres making sure you can give an accurate commentary on the local road maintenance program and the gentle roll you get on a good road with the sight of the spokes turning over in front of you. No need for speed just a casual drive in the country. Most of our other cars “get up and go”, so driving a car that is meant to go slow is a real time turner, particularly when you get out on a good country road you really could be back in 1908 just going out to do a delivery or visit relatives!
Having looked for a high wheeler for some time, I am really pleased we have restored our car and look forward to many adventures in it in the future.
The first start up once the gearbox and other components were installed, so it was mechanically complete. I had started the motor once before to ensure it ran before finishing everything else. 1908 Black Model 30 first start
The second my first drive of the car sitting on a pillow on the gas tank, 2 minutes long 1908 Black model 30, first drive
The third was or first road run which was down to have the car inspected before departing on the Bundaberg rally 2013, you will not that I had to get use to the fairly direct steering and the sway of the top heavy body and I've now fitted it with some nice brass mirrors as I could not see a thing to the side or behind! 4.00 min 1908 Black High wheeler 1st road trip
1915 Chev Baby Grand
We have been on the hunt for a while for a Veteran Chev both so we can do some veteran touring and to do the Chev 4 tours run by the C.H.E.V.s Club which we were founding members of, so I was lucky enough to pick up this very low milage Baby Grand touring with 5060 original miles, left in a barn that obviously had plenty of moisture so it did not assist the paint much but no rodents so the upholstery is really great. The plan is to drop the sump and top end check everything out, new fluids, lubricate everything new tyres and see if she will go!
To view a video of the Baby Grand running for the first time click this link Baby Grand Running for first time