A unique 1913 Stevens-Duryea Model C-Six, with ties to Hemmings, heads to auction in Philadelphia

A unique 1913 Stevens-Duryea Model C-Six, with ties to Hemmings, heads to auction in Philadelphia

1913 Stevens-Duryea C-Six

By 1913, Stevens-Duryea had established itself as one of America’s finest automakers, selling touring cars and limousines at prices comparable to marques like Pierce-Arrow and Packard. Just 1,000 automobiles were built by Stevens-Duryea in 1913, and of these, less than 10 are said to remain. One, a Model C-Six five-passenger touring car featured in the November 2005 issue of Hemmings Classic Car, bears the distinction of never having been restored by past owners, and on October 2 this incredibly preserved specimen will cross the block in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, part of Bonhams Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum sale.

1913 Stevens-Duryea C-Six

In 1913, Stevens-Duryea significantly revised its product line, dropping its four-cylinder engine entirely and compressing the range of inline-six engines from two to one, a 460-cu.in. L-head unit rated at 44.6 horsepower. As in 1912, cars were built on both long- and short-wheelbase platforms, but for 1913 the smaller cars grew from 128-inches to 131-inches, while the larger cars shrank from 142-inches to 138-inches. The model lineup was simplified as well, with the C-Six replacing the Model AA, Model X, and Model Y.

1913 Stevens-Duryea C-Six

In short-wheelbase form, C-Six buyers could choose between five-passenger touring, roadster, coupelet, convertible phaeton, demi-berline, limousine and berline body styles, while those opting for the larger model could choose between seven-passenger touring, convertible phaeton, limousine, and berline bodies. George Vanderbilt owned a long-wheelbase 1913 Stevens-Duryea C-Six seven-passenger touring, and may have been one of the first to trade-in an older car (in his case, a 1912 Stevens-Duryea Model Y) on the purchase of a new one.

1913 Stevens-Duryea C-Six

Chassis 26392, the 1913 Stevens-Duryea C-Six five-passenger touring to be offered in Philadelphia, was delivered to its original owner in Rutland, Vermont, in 1913. That’s where the trail of the buyer grows cold, but in 1946 the car surfaced again in the nearby town of Barre, Vermont. Classic-car collector Roderick Rice had heard stories of a Stevens-Duryea in town, and upon investigation found not one but two examples, both belonging to a single owner who would only sell the luxury cars as a pair.

1913 Stevens-Duryea C-Six

As David Traver Adolphus explained in Hemmings Classic Car #14, Rice struggled to scrape together the $500 asking price, but was determined not to lose the cars. An aunt in Springfield, Massachusetts, knew of a local collector who might be interested in the second Stevens-Duryea, and a deal was struck for the larger seven-passenger touring car over the phone. The buyer was Jerry Duryea, son of automotive pioneer Charles Duryea and nephew of J. Frank Duryea, founder of what would later become Stevens-Duryea. The price? The same $500 that Rice had paid for both cars, meaning that the 1913 five-passenger touring had ultimately cost Rice nothing.

1913 Stevens-Duryea C-Six

Rice believed that cars were for driving, and over the decades the Stevens-Duryea remained in his collection, he added over 4,000 miles to the odometer, including a 1999 trip with the Horseless Carriage Club of America that added 600 miles itself. According to Bonhams, the car once climbed Vermont’s famed Smuggler’s Notch, a trip that can occasionally prove challenging for a contemporary automobile. Rice even had to postpone the originally scheduled 2005 Hemmings photoshoot, as he was driving the C-Six to a friend’s 85th birthday celebration. As a boy during the Great Deprression, Rice’s friend recalled playing in the barn-kept Stevens-Duryea.

1913 Stevens-Duryea C-Six

Rice maintained the car over the decades he owned it, but never restored it. By 2005, its unique compressed-air starting system wasn’t functioning quite as well as it once did (prompting a crank-start work-around), but overall the car remained in remarkably good mechanical condition. Prior to Rice’s ownership, someone had substituted a taller Stromberg carburetor for the original Stevens-Duryea unit, so for improved functionality Rice installed a fuel pump to assist the car’s original gravity feed system. Thanks to a body crafted from aluminum, not steel, rust was never an issue, and while the original paint had worn bare in spots, the Panasote top and leather upholstery (also original) remained impressively well-preserved.

1913 Stevens-Duryea C-Six

In 2005, Rice said of the car, “I’ve obviously had opportunities to get rid of it, but I’ve had it so long I haven’t thought about making any change. I’ve always been proud of it: It’s a fine, quality built car. It’s sort of hard to convey my feelings about it.”

1913 Stevens-Duryea C-Six

True to his word, the Stevens-Duryea was part of Rice’s collection at the time of his death in September 2009. Even after this, it remained part of his estate, but next month the history-rich touring car will be offered for sale for the first time in over seven decades. Offered without reserve, Bonhams predicts a selling price between $150,000 and $225,000, in line with prices realized by other examples in recent years. In 2014, a restored C-Six five-passenger touring sold for $302,500 in Monterey, while another repainted-but-not-restored model sold for $126,500 at Hershey in 2015.

For additional details on the upcoming Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum sale, visit Bonhams.com.


Source: www.hemmings.com/blog

BMC Mini “Specials” research, a new service of Maximum Mini Heritage

BMC Mini “Specials” research, a new service of Maximum Mini Heritage

Images are courtesy of Jeroen Booij, and from the Hemmings library

Fans of the original BMC Mini have been educated, enlightened, and entertained by the excellent trio of “Maximum Mini” books created by author and historian Jeroen Booij. In tackling a subject few have previously highlighted – the coachbuilts and one-off “Specials” created using the million-selling Mini’s front wheel-drive platform and mechanicals — Jeroen uncovered hundreds of Mini-based variants in his years of research, enough that his first book could be followed by two more.

This Dutch automotive journalist has become a Mini specials archaeologist, as well, personally turning up fascinating vehicles like the Quasar Unipower (top photo, one of 3 located in a French barn), the sole Zagato Mini Gatto (found in a shed in Milan), the IGM Minibug created by F1 engineer and designer Gordon Murray, and, perhaps most famously, “La Puce Bleue,” or The Blue Flea — the Mini Marcos that captured the world’s attention during the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Jeroen, right, with the Zagato Mini Gatto

So, in addition to the vehicles themselves, Jeroen has amassed a huge collection of documentation about these fascinating Mini-based vehicles, and his files contain a vast photographic archive, original build specifications, sales literature, and historical correspondence. He’s formed Maximum-Mini Heritage to make this historic information available to owners and fans of these delightful little motors, even those some may deem too obscure.

Digital copies of each photograph can be purchased for £5 (approximately $6.75); a digital file on the make and model of any Mini-based car, including text and a selection of photos costs £35 ($47); and a full file on a specific car, which he notes includes “all the material and information available from the Maximum-Mini archives, presented in a Maximum-Mini Heritage folder, with updates up to 12 months from order,” costs £175 ($235.50).

Jeroen even goes so far as offering his personal help: “Last but not least, I am pleased to offer an elaborate Heritage search service. Do you want to find the car you have always wanted to find? Then I am your partner. In the past 10 years, Maximum Mini has proved even the unfindable can be found. From Quasar Unipowers to Mk1 Mini Marcoses, with or without Le Mans history. From Gordon Murray’s personal Mini-based car to the sole Zagato Mini Gatto. Now, how about your dream derivative? Feel free to contact me.

There must still be some intriguing Mini-based specials out there, waiting to be discovered…

 


Source: www.hemmings.com/blog

The Comet’s Competition: 1960 FoMoCo Comet brochure

The Comet’s Competition: 1960 FoMoCo Comet brochure

Brochure images from the collection of Terry Shea.

It’s little remembered today, but the original Comet — sold through Lincoln-Mercury dealerships as a standalone model for two model years — was intended from the start to be an Edsel; this explained its upmarket body design and trimmings, compared to the Ford Falcon upon which it was based.

The 1960 Comet four- and two-door sedans shared the Falcon’s internal body structure, cowl, and front doors, along with most of its mechanical components, and differed with new front and rear sheetmetal, a redesigned rear roof section, and a 4.5-inch-longer wheelbase.

The Comet station wagon (in both four- and two-door configurations) was more closely tied to the Falcon, and retained that compact Ford’s standard 109.5-inch wheelbase, while differing primarily in front-end styling.

Ford put a lot of thought into how they’d position this never-was Edsel near-intermediate against its domestic competition, evidenced by the small, 28-page brochure seen here. The Comet’s unique engineering attributes were highlighted, including that extra-long wheelbase and “Thrift-Minded” drivetrain, its atypical standard features listed, and the body styles were lined up against competing models from American Motors (Rambler Deluxe/Super), Chrysler (Valiant V-100/V-200), Studebaker (Lark Deluxe/Regal), Chevrolet (Corvair 500/700), and, shockingly, even the half-brother Falcon (all body styles). It was even compared to the full-sized Ford, Plymouth, and Chevrolet sedans and station wagons.

The take-away was that, considering the features and accommodations, the Comet’s cost ranged from $22 more, to $292 less ($182 and $2,415, respectively, in inflation-adjusted 2017 dollars), than all of the aforementioned cars.

Hindsight would show that more than 116,000 model-year 1960 Comets left the production lines — a fraction of the contemporary Falcon’s 435,000-plus figure — but this was enough to establish the model’s reputation and to keep it in showrooms for the entire decade.

Have you ever cruised in a 1960 Comet?

Click on the brochure images below to enlarge.

 


Source: www.hemmings.com/blog

Dallas, 1960s

Dallas, 1960s

Date: circa 1960s

Location: Dallas, Texas

Source: vintage postcard via LDCFitzgerald.com

What do you see here?


Source: www.hemmings.com/blog

Hemmings Find of the Day – 1955 De Soto Fireflite Sportsman

Hemmings Find of the Day – 1955 De Soto Fireflite Sportsman

1955 De Soto Fireflite Sportsman

From the seller’s description:

This is a very original 1955 Desoto Fireflight Sportsman Two Door Hardtop. It is in excellent condition and can be driven anywhere. It has the original interior including the original carpets. The dash pad and instrument panel is like new. All of the chrome trim is in excellent condition. The paint is excelletnt and has no chips,scratches or dents. It is an 86,000 mile original 1955 Desoto Sportsman. The tires are almost new and the sparetire has never been on the road. This Desoto is close to “mint” condition. With very little work, it will be a “Number One” show car. The Desoto was purchased by an elderly couple who pased away and left the car in a dry storage garage for over 35 years. During the stoarge years, the car gathered dust, but was not touched by rain, snow, salt, or rodents. It was literally untouched for many years, until it was sold by the couple’s grandson. Once removed and cleaned up, the Desoto looked factory new and currently drives like a new Desoto. It starts easily, idles well, runs smoothly, and shifts and stop properly. It is an outstanding original 1955 Desoto Fireflight, Sports with power steering and power brakes.

1955 De Soto Fireflite Sportsman 1955 De Soto Fireflite Sportsman 1955 De Soto Fireflite Sportsman 1955 De Soto Fireflite Sportsman

Pricetag

Price
$24,900

Location Marker

Location
Willard, Utah

Magnifying Glass

Availability
Available

Find more De Sotos for sale on Hemmings.com.


Source: www.hemmings.com/blog

Joe Bailon, inventor of “candy apple red” and other paints, dies aged 94

Joe Bailon, inventor of “candy apple red” and other paints, dies aged 94

Photo from the Hemmings archives.

Lay down a coat of gold first, then red atop that, then follow that with a clear coat with some red mixed into it and you get deep, delicious glowing paint known the world over as “candy apple red.” Sounds simple, but it took Joe Bailon — the customizer credited with inventing the process, who died this week at the age of 94 — 10 years to perfect.

Bailon’s eye for color and shape well predates candy apple red, of course. He applied scallops to the first car he had a hand in customizing, a 1929 Ford Model A, in 1937, and he experimented with adding silver and metalflake to paint at his first job as a car painter. Nor did the Bay Area sunsets or the orchards across from his childhood home play no small part in influencing his palette, but the inspiration for the technique came shortly after he returned from a stint in the Army during World War II.

According to an American Hot Rod Foundation profile of Bailon, he grew entranced at the color of taillamps at night reflected in the rain-soaked streets. “It was so pretty,” he said. “I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to see the whole car the color of that taillight?”

While he worked to perfect the color, he began to customize his own cars and eventually take on commissions for customers. His 1936 Ford not only got him the aforementioned job, according to Kustomrama, but also earned him a tidy profit that he then put toward a wrecked 1941 Chevrolet that he proceeded to radically alter, starting with a chromed dashboard filled with every gauge Stewart-Warner made at the time. That Chevrolet, which came to be known as Miss Elegance, earned Bailon a number of awards and recognition enough to move his customizing business from his garage to a dedicated shop in Hayward, California (where he customized, among other cars, bandleader Freddy Martin’s Muntz Jet).

Around 1956, he finally perfected the candy paint process and proceeded to apply it to other colors beyond red. One of Bailon’s most famous custom cars beyond Miss Elegance, the 1958 Candy Bird prominently featured the technique paired with Tommy the Greek pinstriping and gold highlights. As Kustomrama pointed out, Bailon capitalized on his invention by selling the paints and instructions to other customizing shops, but the shops would then continue using the technique without buying paints directly from Bailon.

Regardless, Bailon’s status as the father of candy paints has never been disputed. In 1960, the National Roadster Show inducted Bailon — alongside Robert E. Petersen, Wally Parks, and George Barris — into the National Roadster Hall of Fame. Later in the Sixties, he followed Barris’ lead and moved his shop to Southern California specifically to customize cars for Hollywood stars and for films; his work collaborating on the Pink Panther Mobile and the Barber Shop roadster took place during this period.

Bailon closed his Hollywood shop in 1984 to return to his roots. Rather than work on high-profile commissions for celebrities and studios, he returned to the radical customs of his youth. He also began a long-term re-creation of Miss Elegance, which he sold in the early Fifties (it was crushed in the Seventies).

According to Kustomrama, Bailon suffered a stroke on Saturday, leading to his death on Monday.


Source: www.hemmings.com/blog

Land Rover Experience Center Heritage Program comes to the U.S.

Land Rover Experience Center Heritage Program comes to the U.S.

Land Rover Defender 90

Land Rover Defender 90. Images courtesy Jaguar Land Rover.

In 2015, Land Rover introduced its Heritage Driving Experience at the brand’s test center in Fen End, in England’s West Midlands. There, customers could pick from a variety of vintage Land Rovers to test, ranging from a 101 Forward Control to a Series III to a Classic Range Rover. Beginning this month, U.S. fans can enjoy a similar experience in California, Vermont, or North Carolina, with one catch: The only non-contemporary vehicle available is a Land Rover Defender 90.

Essentially the continuation of the Land Rover Series models, the Defender was introduced by Land Rover in 1983, and remained in production until January 2016. Its timeline in the United States, however, was decidedly different, with the capable off-roader going on sale here in 1993 and remaining on the market through 1997. New DOT regulations for 1998 required the fitment of driver and passenger airbags, along with strengthened doors, making it economically unattractive for Land Rover to continue selling the Defender in the United States.

Land Rover Defender 90

Despite this, demand for the Defender on these shores never really waned, driving up prices for both officially imported Defender 90 and 110 models and those imported in compliance of the 25-year rule. The demand for restored (and customized) examples has given rise to companies like Arkonik, which specializes in finding, restoring, and equipping Defenders according the specifications and expectations of its customers.

A new Defender is set to hit the market in the next two years or so, and chances are very good it will be sold in the North American market. Launching the Heritage Program Defender Driving Experience at Land Rover Experience Centers across the United States makes perfect marketing sense, and will likely help to build brand awareness prior to the new model’s launch. Beginning this month, customers can take a Defender 90 off-roading in Carmel, California (at Quail Lodge); Manchester, Vermont (at the Equinox Resort); and Asheville, North Carolina (at the Biltmore Estate).

Programs include expert coaching from Land Rover Experience instructors, and students will learn proper techniques for navigating mud, ruts, standing water, and other challenging terrain. Prices start at $1,200 for a half-day school, with the full-day program priced at $1,500. Those interested in driving more current products from Land Rover can choose from a variety of additional programs, including Advanced Off-Road Techniques and Winch and Recovery Techniques.

For more information, visit LandRoverUSA.com/Experiences.


Source: www.hemmings.com/blog

Recommended Reading: Volvo P1800 – From idea to prototype and production

Recommended Reading: Volvo P1800 – From idea to prototype and production

Photos by author.

Pointblank: If you own a Volvo P1800 or are a longstanding admirer of this fascinating sports car, then you must own this book. Without question, this is the definitive P1800 book — no other books on the P1800 can compare.

Laid out in a landscape format of 9 x 11¾ inches in size, this hardcover book, which totals 280 pages of a quality coated stock, was published in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2011. Written by two serious Volvo P1800 enthusiasts, Kenneth Collander and Mats Eriksson, their goal was a simple one: “This book is dedicated to all those people who in one way or the other were engaged in the creation and development of the Volvo P1800 and all the enthusiasts around the world who take good care of these cars, their heritage and history.”

With the foreword written by the man who penned the P1800’s shape, Pelle Petterson, the book is divided into 11 distinct chapters, each focusing on one particular aspect of the P1800’s design and development. There are numerous photographs, mostly black-and-white images, showing the creation of the Volvo Sport prototype, as well as many fascinating photos taken at Carrozzeria Frua of the construction of the first P1800 prototype.

Throughout the book there are endless details about the P1800’s construction, insight as to how and why it was designed and built the way it was, and all sorts of noteworthy information and minute details about the parts and trim pieces used in its construction. And the many side stories about specific P1800s and their owners, as well as the many world markets where the P1800 was sold, adds greatly to the P1800s’ — and this book’s — appeal. It’s a captivating and highly enjoyable read, but be prepared for a tough search in finding a copy as they are very hard to come by, although the effort is certainly worth it.


Source: www.hemmings.com/blog

California, 1960s

California, 1960s

Date: circa 1960s

Location: somewhere in California (maybe?)

Source: via limegum on Tumblr

What do you see here?


Source: www.hemmings.com/blog