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Vintage Car Identification Help!

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Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,854
    I'll take a flyer (no pun intended) and say it looks something like a Thomas.

    Pre WW 1 cars are tough---not only did America produce literally hundreds of different makes, but some of them were only produced locally (state-wide), and some only lasted 2-3 years at most. They also would often change radically year to year. You gotta be a real pro to identify cars like this unless it's a common make.

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  • oldphotooldphoto Posts: 4
    edited January 2012
    thanks for your response...especially the part about how hard it is to identify autos from this era. I'm a "beginner" and was not aware of the sheer difficulty of it. I guessn I should have know something was up, when, I gazed at inteernet images by the hundreds for 2 hours and was unable to positively identify the auto.

    here's a closer look at that very interesting windshield

    http://img.auctiva.com/imgdata/1/6/0/4/5/4/4/webimg/535701411_o.jpg">link title

    thanks again!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,854
    That's ANOTHER aspect of very old cars I forgot to mention. People often modified them, and then there were also HUNDREDS of aftermarket catalogs that made things for cars. That windshield does look jury-rigged, but then again, back then cars were built in very peculiar ways.

    These folks are obviously out in the boonies, back when the boonies could get you killed. In the mid-teens, there were hardly any roads west of the Mississippi--these were not much more than stagecoach dirt roads with ruts.

    One reason why old American cars are built so high off the ground, compared to similar year European cars, is that in America you absolutely had to have at least 1 foot of road clearance, whereas in Europe they had centuries of good roads.

    Still another issue---many cars of this period were "assembled"--meaning that the automaker did not actually create the car---he just bought parts from suppliers and bolted them together---he might create the basic body and perhaps the grille, (or modify someone else's body shell with a screen or a custom nameplate) but the fender, radiator, wheels, tires, lights, engine, transmission--these were all 'store-bought" from someone else. Hence many assembled cars look alike.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,713
    Have you tried the AACA or SVVS links I posted? I'll wager a lot you'll get some kind of ID there - that car is pretty unique, and there are some people on those sites who have knowledge which astounds me.

    That windshield and the fender shapes are key, I think - along with the radiator shell. I suspect the wire wheels are an aftermarket item.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,854
    Good point. If they are out in the boonies, last thing you want is wooden artillery wheels.

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  • I am on AACA with the same images....but found the SVVS site to be difficult to navigate.

    so far this is all I have received from AACA: "It looks like a mid teens Benz. It's difficult to nail down the exact year without better photos."

    thanks!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,854
    er....I don't think that's right at all. The Benz grill is instantly identifiable and that's not it.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,713
    edited January 2012
    It might take a few days, but I bet you'll get a positive ID sooner or later - the holidays probably slow people down. Try the SVVS site too, they have a more worldwide membership base. I could post it there if you are unable.

    I also don't think it is a Benz - they mostly had a pointed radiator at that time which would mimic that windshield. I also don't believe many if any were exported to the US then.

    Edit - although looking at the SVVS site, I find this 1914 Benz with similar wheels...
  • rhusakerrhusaker Posts: 2
    edited January 2012
    Can anyone identify the type of car in this old photo?
    Old Car Picture
    I hope the link works. Thanks.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,713
    It's an Essex / Terraplane, 1933 I am pretty sure.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,854
    Yep, I think so.

    Essex was Hudson's cheaper line. As sales declined during the Depression, the Essex was called Essex-Terraplane. Terraplane is a play on "terra" (the earth) and plane, as in aero-plane! :P

    The Essex is often cited by historians as the "first affordable closed car"--1924 I believe. In 1919 or so, 90%+ of all cars were open; by 1930, it was about the other way 'round. So the humble Essex is a significant automobile in history....but not a 1933 model so much.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,713
    That was the 1922 Essex IIRC, and yes, probably the most boring car of historical significance. My grandparents had an Essex around 1930 - it was pretty much all right angles, kind of funny looking for that.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,854
    yes might very well have been 1922.

    You, too, could have one of your very own!

    image

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,713
    And that was considered to be fairly luxurious.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,854
    Can't imagine running around the NE in open cars in winter but people did it all the time. Of course, in the countryside they just put their cars away and got out the horses.

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  • Thanks everyone!!!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,713
    Or even had special clothing for motoring. About 20 years ago when my parents were actively dealing in antiques, they had a scarf from around 1910 that was made for driving - still in box. I think it brought around $100 then.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,854
    In open cars, you often needed a "duster", a hat, gloves, goggles and a lap robe. The combination of dust, oil from the engine, and horse manure was pretty challenging for early motorists.

    Closed cars were mostly custom-built and quite expensive until...well..cars like the '22 Essex. You could buy a Ford Model T "Doctor's Coupe" but it was pretty primitive.

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  • tamangeltamangel Posts: 4
    edited February 2012
    photo featured in POST magazine in 1947 so unknown if new at that time or even American make..

    ">link title
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,713
    It's an Opel Olympia (German), I am pretty sure they didn't get that chromey front end until 1950.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,854
    good catch! The 50s Olympia had more of a gap mouth grill insert and the very early ones had I think different hub caps, so I'm guessing about 1948-49 here. The '47 was produced in such low numbers I don't think anyone ever noticed!

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  • tamangeltamangel Posts: 4
    edited February 2012
    thanks guys..would have never figured this one out..any recommendations on a Euro car book like the American car Spotter?

    a little more info:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opel_Olympia

    Mike
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,713
    The chromey style might have came around in 1949, but no earlier - it was prewar style before then. The car remained in production with a basic prewar shape until 1953 or so, when the Germans experienced their first jump towards modern cars.

    And about the "Spotters Guide" book for old European cars - no such book that I know of. Most cars did not undergo yearly changes unlike American cars, such a book might not have enough demand. There is this website which is not at all inclusive and is kind of odd, but it spans many years in the pull down menu.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,854
    Very neat site! I bookmarked it. Thanks.

    I need to study up on early Opels more. I don't think I yet have all the grill changes straight in my mind.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,713
    It's not a great site, but the only thing in a yearly format I have found.

    Here's a very good site for cars and trucks, focus is on prewar material

    Most German cars aren't hard, everything is prewar until the early 50s with slightly updated details added around 1950. British cars are even better with some prewar style living until about 1960.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,854
    I've got an excellent British car encyclopedia, and a bunch of those little charming Sports Cars books they used to publish in the UK, with color plates. Not a lot of info but sturdy hardback books with plenty of obscure makes in there, including rare race cars.

    Do you know this site?

    http://www.carfolio.com/specifications/

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,713
    Vaguely but now I will bookmark it, thanks.

    Funny I sometimes have a hard time with people faces, but car faces are usually easy for me
  • I need help identifying this auto. The photo is my dad probably in 1942 - 1947 in his Sunday-church best living where he grew up in South Carolina? My brother thinks it was a Ford. I searched many sites, and the only auto that I found that had this distinctive grill: wide at the top and just a bit of sheet metal above was simply labeled: "Ford Saloon 1939." The year makes sense in terms of the year, but when I researched further, I found that the '39 Saloon was a Ford UK automobile, and my dad lived in South Carolina.???? Thanks if anyone can help.image
  • I need help identifying this auto. The photo is my dad probably in 1942 - 1947 in his Sunday-church best living where he grew up in South Carolina? My brother thinks it was a Ford. I searched many sites, and the only auto that I found that had this distinctive grill: wide at the top and just a bit of sheet metal above was simply labeled: "Ford Saloon 1939." The year makes sense in terms of the year, but when I researched further, I found that the '39 Saloon was a Ford UK automobile, and my dad lived in South Carolina.???? Thanks if anyone can help.image
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,577
    edited February 2012
    They must have used similar styling to US Fords, here's a (US) '37 Ford coupe (the '38 and '39 look different):
    image
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