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Vintage Car Identification Help!



  • The cabriolet is similar to the Austro Daimler, with various features that match Austro Daimlers between 1927 and 1933, but I cannot find an exact match. And it is also similar to the Mercedes Benz Kompressor Sports Cabriolet. The downsweep of the body directly below the bottom of the back of the convertible top is a defining feature that I thought would easily aid me in locating the car. The Austro Daimler does not seem to have this style, although the Mercedes does, to some extent.
    I do think the first car is probably a form of a Citroen, yet it also looks like a Praga Piccolo and Wolseley Hornet, which further underscores the difficulty in being able to make a definitive decision.
    I am working with some professors at Justus Liebig University in Giessen to bring the Kellner diary into print (which should occur by next year), and I will send them these photos and see if they can find an answer. I do want to thank you gentlemen for your efforts. I will continue to monitor this and the other websites. I most certainly have had an interesting education these past few days trying to ascertain the make and year of these two cars. I had no idea so many automobile manufacturers existed in the early days of automobile production. That was capitalism at its best, I think, for it ultimately led to the grand automobiles we now have, with 100,000 mile guarantees, etc. We own a VW Passat and a Mazda Miata, so as charming as the old car styles are, there are some wonderfully charming new cars, as well. Scott
  • fintailfintail Posts: 40,928
    The cabrio car is not a Mercedes, I can tell that much immediately. Those cars are the crux of whatever expertise I have ;)

    It's also not a large car, so probably not from any prestige maker. It's a typical upper middle class style from ca. 1930. I haven't seen any Austro-Daimlers of that size, but I am not an expert on that make.

    I have to believe the first car is French...I can't imagine it being British, anyway. Sadly, the depression and the war killed off countless little European makers, so Euro cars of this area are exponentially more difficult to identify than American cars of the period.

    If there are any updates at the AACA forum I will post them here.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,730
    There were at least 1500 to 2000 makes of cars made worldwide, and perhaps even substantially more than that, once all the research is in. Some were only one-offs, some just sketches and brochures, some so local and home-built that nothing survives but a mention in a newspaper article.

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  • I looked more closely at the 1928 photo, and I was wrong to say it had a narrow side roof post at the back. Actually, the back window section of the car is open and leaning away from the car (I guess for ventilation), and when that back window section is put back into place, the side posts would look every bit as wide as those in the 1932 Citroen C4 1X. So if I cannot get a more definite answer, I will say that the car in the 1928 photo is "very similar to the Citroen C4 1X, and possible made between 1929 and 1932." In any case, the photo will no longer be labeled with the year 1928.
    As for the cabriolet, I shall eliminate it being a Mercedes. Except for the engine vents, it looks like a 1931 Wanderer W14, including the two spare tires, of which only two dozen were made. So, if nothing else, I can make that statement, too, and assume my grandfather bought one used. Scott
  • I just came from the AACA website. A poster named Vintman suggested the cabriolet was a Steyr 30 (Austro Daimler influenced), so I found the following website with a photo of his suggestion.
    I do believe he is right. Do you both think so, too?
    You might have to cut and paste this URL
  • fintailfintail Posts: 40,928
    I think that might be on the right track. The wikimedia photo is of a completely different style, but I see enough similarity in the front section to give it credibility, I'd now wager the car has some ties to the Steyr/Austro-Daimler/Puch conglomeration. A very uncommon car.
  • Regarding the "1928" photo, the car with the Landaulette back, I received an email from Germany saying it was an Opel, rather than a Citroen. But there was no suggestion about the date or model of this so-called "Opel,", so I am waiting for further news from the Opel Company itself, because I then sent them the photo. I do not think it is an Opel, because I cannot find an Opel of this period with the double vertical side vents. Yet I have discovered that the 1927 Wanderer and the 1928 Auto Union DKW (which is part Wanderer) do have the double vertical side vents. So I am beginning to suspect this car may be one of those hybrids from Auto Union DKW? I will let you know what I hear from Opel and some other German correspondents. Scott
  • fintailfintail Posts: 40,928
    It could be an Opel, but as you mention, the hood (and to me, grille) doesn't resemble a period Opel. The 20s were a time of a lot of mergers and hybrid products with bits from one and bits from another. There's a chance the older car might not find positive ID unless a real expert sees it. Some German or French auto museum types would be the greatest asset.
  • I sent an email directly to Vintman on the AACA board, and he has now placed another message on that board and identified the car as a 1931-32 Hanomag cabriolet, and Lief on that board has added photos of the Hanomag, and given this website:
    Hanomag is the identity for sure. I also found another photo in my album of my grandfather's car, a top view, showing the cabriolet-type top, kind of a strange top. I have added that photo to my Edmunds Carspace album.
    In no way would I have found this information by myself, and so I am very grateful to the moderator here, Mr. Shiftright, who initially suggested I place the question on this forum, and then to Fintail, who so kindly took on this task and even expanded the search to the AACA board--and then of course the work of Vintman and Lief. It is all so very much appreciated. Thank you. Scott
  • fintailfintail Posts: 40,928
    Ah that's cool! Hanomag is a good old brand, which met an unfortunate and somewhat artificial demise. They had a few interesting cars, including the 1920s streamlined 'Kommisbrot' and a late 30s 'Autobahn' which resembled a VW.'' They were never a major player in passenger cars, so it was an oddity even then.

    The new photo is a good help too, sure makes the car look small, but adds very important clues.

    Now to prove the identity of the elegant little cabrio. I do suspect it is somehow connected to the Steyr family.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 40,928
    SVVS has ID'd the car as a Steyr...which is part of the Austro-Daimler lineage, so that's pretty much right.
  • drbrokedrbroke Posts: 4
    Can anyone help me identify the make and model of this car? I purchased this house and as part of the restoration, this photo was found of this car with the owners.
    The house is in San Antonio, Texas. Home was built in 1907. Judging from some of the other photos that I have this could be 1915-1920? The round emblem near the driver appears to be an "H". Thanks

    sorry having trouble attaching image.. will soon
  • drbrokedrbroke Posts: 4
    here's a link to the photo of the vintage car I'm trying to id. msg#44
    [url=,9db217478adae5557a- 153ac4206763b3.jpg.html][img] dae5557a153ac4206763b3.jpg[/img][/url]
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,730
    Oops, that's not going to work.

    What you do is display your picture on the Hiboox site. Then highlight and copy the URL that appears in your location bar up top, then come here, click on "IMG" once, then paste in the URL, then click on "IMG" again.

    Or just past the URL in the box here.

    Also just post in ONE topic, this one. Don't duplicate your postings if you can avoid it. Thanks! Look forward to seeing the image.

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  • drbrokedrbroke Posts: 4
    I am trying to Id this old car from the photo. See if this link works.,9db217478adae5557- a153ac4206763b3.jpg.html
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,730
    Nope that link doesn't work.

    You can start your own Carspace page here at It will allow you to create a photo album and upload directly from your computer's hard drive. Then all you have to do is send us the link to your carspace page and we can view your photo album.

    Or e-mail me that photo and I'll post it for you.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 40,928
    You got it, it works like this:

    But I hate to say it, I have no idea what that old beast is, but something about it to me says Buick or Olds from maybe 1913-14. It appears to have electric headlights, which would make it after 1912, but the fenders suggest early teens.

    The people at this AACA forum will probably know it down to the year and model in no time
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,730
    It's a big car, a "phaeton" in the torpedo style, probably fairly expensive but not a luxury car. It has artillery wheels, old style tires and rims. I agree this is a World War I era car, 1914-1918, more toward the 1912-14 era. These people were no doubt prosperous in a middle class way.

    Don't think it's a GM car. Doesn't have the Packard louvers and tall radiator filler. Not a very graceful car, rather industrial from the photo at least.

    The problem with cars of this age is that they made so many makes of car back then---well over 1500 separate brands---and many of these were in fact "assembled" cars, that is, the automaker merely bought parts from suppliers and bolted together a car out of them. So the assembled cars rarely have distinctive body work.

    Another factor is that some cars were made only locally, say Ohio, and never went outside the state.

    I like to blow up the photos and try to read off the wheel hubs or hood ornament. It's a lot easier when you have a look at the front of the car.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 40,928
    I'm going to post it at AACA...they'll have an answer within a day I have no doubt.

    The painted radiator shell is the clue, I think.

    Those elaborate wheels are interesting, too.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 40,928
    I've posted it at the other forum.

    I now notice it has no hood louvers at all, so it's not a Buick or Olds, yeah. Weird.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 40,928
    I got a positive ID less than an hour after I posted it:

    1913 Hudson Model 54 - Hudson's first 6 - 421 cubes but only 54 hp
  • fintailfintail Posts: 40,928
    Now there is a conflicting claim that it is a 1912-13 Stoddard-Dayton. I sought some pics of that car, and it looks very much like the one posted here. I believe it very well may be a Stoddard-Dayton, a name that went under in 1913.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,730
    Well at least I got the year about right. I'm with you, I'm gonna go with Stoddard-Dayton.

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  • You've probably seen this linked in numerous blogs and boards; here's the site with the original posting of the 1940 limousine with the water faucet on the fender. Only thing it tells about it is that it is "Foreign."

    Can you name the make? We're dying to know.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 40,928
    Now that's a weirdo. I have no idea what it's very Italian or German to my eyes. The side windows are much like a period Wanderer or Adler, but the windshield and aero nose is a new one to me. Maybe it's a one-off? I know Adler liked to experiment with weird designs.
  • 5&lang=8859-13

    Looks like a match in a picture on this site with the one from the article for a 1939 Horch 930 S. This will be part of Auto Union.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 40,928
    That's it no doubt. Couldn't have been more than a few made.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 56,730
    When I first saw it, the first thing I looked at was the woman, and said 'German'. Then I looked at the headlights, and said "definitely German". Then I started thinking of German makes that were "obscure and capable of making a large car". Then I thought of Adler, searched that, and by that time someone else had an answer.

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