The Joy of Collecting Old Cars

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Only way I can explain it is I love cars, love working on them love fixing them up so people set up and notice. Vanity I know, but it’s the pride in driving them and knowing exactly where and how each nut bolt cam crank carb was picked out for a specific purpose, and installed to my standards.
Not that I’m a nitpicker on anything it’s how I was raised and the environment I was placed in at birth. My grandfather owned a country grocery store, they sold gas, and he had a shop to work on peoples cars. I never left without kicking and screaming.   

Later on I met Martin Wimberley a very good friend of mine who loves cars too, he completely restored a 71 Cuda convertible with the 440 manual shift with air. They only made like 20 Cuda’s with those options, he went to a Mopar show up in Minnesota and was asked by the Dodge / Plymouth at the time the car was made if he would put his car in their booth at the SEMA show, he did, and ever since he’s been a pain in the you know where while he’s standing over my shoulder.

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Easter 2018

 Easter is a day to celebrate Resurrection and mark the arrival of spring --
the blooming of flowers and the emergence of interesting cars and trucks from winter hibernation.
 In St. Louis, Easter brings two of the best car shows in the region to Forest Park -- The Horseless Carriage Club of Missouri's "Concours d'Elegance" on the upper Muny parking lot and the St. Louis Street Rod Association's "Real Easter Show" on the
lower Muny lot. Antique and classic cars on the hill -- rods, customs and race cars in the valley.
 Spring weather always is iffy around here, and this Easter approached with cold winds and snow in the forecast. A bad forecast keeps many vehicles in hibernation and that was the case this year. However, both shows attracted plenty of beautiful and
unusual vehicles that made the visit worthwhile for all who bundled up to brave the cold.
 And the sleet storm held off until the end of the afternoon.
We have two sets of images to post, one from the Horseless Carriage Club and one from the St. Louis Street Rod Association. Below

Easter 2018 Horseless Carriage Club of Missouri presents:
Easter 2018:  St. Louis Street Rod Association presents:  

Back from Extinction:

Thousands of companies -- about 116 in St. Louis -- attempted to build horseless carriages early in the 20th Century. Some already built buggies and wagons. Many did not achieve an actual motorized sale or even build a prototype. Most left behind no proof of existence save for advertisements in motoring magazines.

Back from Extinction: Everybody's Motor Car Company of St. Louis  
Lone Survivor Discovered and Rejuvenated in Oregon 
 Thousands of companies -- about 116 in St. Louis -- attempted to build horseless carriages early in the 20th Century. Some already built buggies and wagons. Many did not achieve an actual motorized sale or even build a prototype. Most left behind no proof of existence save for advertisements in motoring magazines.
 Everybody's Motor Car Company was one of the St. Louis manufacturers remembered only in history books and magazine microfilms.
 Last year this four-wheeled dinosaur rumbled back to life. An Everybody's Motor Car, last driven in 1953, arrived at the restoration shop of the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum (WAAAM) in Hood River, Oregon.
 It was donated by a descendant of the original owner, who knew it was an Everybody's car but little else about it. The museum staff found little information and believed they might have the only Everybody's car in the world.
 Assistance was sought from St. Louis. Through a Vietnam Army buddy and friends of friends, news of this car arrived at the world headquarters of Mississippi Valley Motor Company Magazine. We immediately consulted Dr. Gerald Perschbacher, the region's preeminent automobile historian.

One of a kind
 Perschbacher confirmed that the museum has an automotive unicorn. "I don't know of any existing Everybody's cars," he said. He shared additional information with the museum staff and volunteers: 
 "1907 and 1908 were years of financial disaster nationally as a severe recession (some say mini-depression) hit society. Car companies that hoped to make good in sales folded as fast as they sprang up. I am a little familiar with the brand, which was among a handful of others that bloomed and waned around that time.
 "From what I can surmise, most of the parts were made in or around St. Louis, similar to other parts being supplied to different car makers. Henry Borbein and a small flock of other individuals were among local suppliers. Some of those made cars under their own names, others merely provided parts.
 "It was not unusual for car makers back then to ship cars in knock-down or kit form, buyers having to rely on blacksmiths to do the assembling. The word 'mechanic' was often used in relation to railroad work back then and gradually became an automotive term."

Assembly required
 That was exactly how this Everybody's was shipped, to the disappointment of W.J. Seufert, who operated the Seufert Brothers Cannery at The Dalles, Oregon.
 "The family who bought it used it as a company car for the Seufert Cannery," said Stephanie Hatch, assistant director of WAAAM. "It was purchased from a catalog and delivered by train from St. Louis. When the original owner went to pick it up and drive it home he found it was shipped disassembled so he had to hire a mechanic to put it together.
 "This was the third car registered in The Dalles. As far as we can determine, this is the only one to exist but are constantly on the lookout for more information or other leads," she said.
"The owner we got if from is part of the original family although not the main 'branch,' as it were. He didn't have any other information to pass along and there isn't much out there on the internet, either."
 A clipping from the regional newspaper, then known as the St. Helen's Chronicle, indicates the car was last driven in 1953 by Mr. Seufert. The reporter related, "The ancient vehicle putted along on its flat two-cylinder motor on and off until three years ago when it was retired. Seufert said that if tires were available the trusty old car would still have a few tricks up its manifold."

Another river city
 The Dalles, like St. Louis, was founded due to its river location and named by its early French settlers, many of whom were fur traders. The Dalles was named for the rough waters and basalt columns on its section of the Columbia River -- a rough translation of a French word for "rapids."
 There are other connections. Both cities had been major Native American trading centers for decades. The Lewis & Clark Expedition, which left St. Louis in 1804, passed through the rapids on Oct. 25, 1805.
 According to the journal of Captain Meriwether Lewis, it was "the place the Indians pointed out as the worst place in passing through the gut, which we found difficult of passing without great danger. The Chanel is through a hard block rock, from 50-100 yards wide. Swelling and boiling in a most tremendous maner. Several places in which the Indians informed me they take the Salmon as fast as they wish."
 Those salmon would indirectly bring another visitor from St. Louis -- the Everybody's car -- in just over a century.
 When the Northern Pacific Railroad reached The Dalles in 1883 the salmon fishery became a living gold mine. The Seufert family entered the fishing industry in 1884 and by around 1907 easily could afford to order one of those horseless carriages from St. Louis.

Motor City on the River
 At the turn of the 20th Century St. Louis was a major manufacturing center and distribution center to the western United States. There were plenty of factories that could produce auto parts in the relatively low volumes that were needed then. There still may be another Everybody's Motor Car in a barn or shed somewhere -- possibly without recognizable markings.
 "Most cars from pre-1912 were assembled from a variety of parts makers and no identification of the car 'maker' was cast on those pieces," Perschbacher said. "As happened on occasion, identifying marks or nameplates sometimes were lost, removed, rusted away or chipped off.
 "I know of a Moon Brothers buggy made in St. Louis. Its sole identifying piece was a small metal tag held to the rear with two small nails. One nail had fallen out. The other still barely held the tag on, though the tag then dangled precariously. Checking several buggy catalogs circa 1906 brought an interesting revelation -- the same exact buggy and model appeared under the name of a different company!
"I suspect some car companies did likewise and offered their cars under the name of the company that placed the order. Otherwise the vehicles were identical or very nearly so. So who knows how many Everybody's cars might still be out there, nameless in identity and having potentially shared its crib with similar cars under different names. When the museum continues its work on the Everybody's car, they should check for parts numbers and any ID on major components that tell the name of the part maker. That may be a tip on the car's production provenance."

Technical review
 Perschbacher was able to provide the folks at WAAAM with a bit more information than they had found.
 "In my collection I have information on the Everybody's Motor Car Mfg. Co. being in production from 1907-1909. Evidently the location changed from the 1907 site at 401 North Broadway, St. Louis, to 'Second, Mound and Brooklyn Streets' as the 1908 models were released in November of 1907.
 "There was very little difference between the 1907 and 1908 models. The company said, 'We have found our 1907 Model so satisfactory and successful that we have made only a few minor changes for the 1908 Season and those add mainly to its style and beauty of appearance.'
 "Prices for the 1908 Type XX were $450 with 1 1/4- by 32-inch solid cushion tires or $500 with 2 1/2- by 28-inch pneumatic clincher tires. Hoods probably were different between the 1908 model and other years. I suspect the car pictures sent me (from WAAAM) are of a 1907."
 After dismantling the car and cleaning up the parts, the car crew at WAAAM has found few identifying marks, Hatch said.
 "The engine is a two-cylinder, horizontal, opposed, air-cooled engine with 10 to 12 horsepower. We've gotten a few details on Everybody’s car from a October 3, 1907, article about the vehicle found in a magazine called 'The Automobile.'
"The engine description in the article matches our engine. There is no tag or molded information on the engine. However the article illustration names it an air-cooled Westerner. We have not located any information on this engine manufacturer. We have found that the Reeves engine manufacturer had a similar engine and we appear to have a Reeves muffler attached to WAAAM's Everybody's car engine.
 "The hood and fenders we have differ from pictures we have found in ads and the article in 'The Automobile.' One thought is it might be an early model before they officially launched or that the original owner either wasn't a great driver (although the body itself only shows normal use wear) or thought himself a better automobile man and wanted a different style or look. It is really hard to say.
 The other item of distinction is the owner's description in the (1950s) article on converting the car from the friction drive to a planetary transmission, which is what the car currently has. It is an Upton Machine Co. #684 – US Patent May 8, 1900, November 19, 1901. Apparently the 'roads' in The Dalles were so silty and sandy the original system wasn't cutting it."
 The 1953 newspaper article contained a few additional details. 
"Drive to the wheels was transmitted by chains. As for bearings, the car got along without them. The wheels were like those on old wagons -- a spoke, a hub and plenty of axle grease. Anyone who thinks this method is inefficient should be informed that the first trouble with the wheels came when the right front one finally gave way three years ago.
 "Driving is not the same as it was in the past, the old-time motorist said. He recalled a trip from The Dalles to Shaniko when he was lucky enough to have only 10 blowouts. It was annoying but all cars had a vulcanizing kit as a part of the equipment and drivers grew to accept the trouble, he added.
 The Dalles and Shaniko are 76 miles apart -- so the economy average for the trip was 7.6 m.p.f. (miles per flat).

On the road again
 Everybody's car arrived at the museum shop last summer just as it had come to The Dalles -- in a wooden crate. The car has made rapid progress, Hatch said:
 "We fully intend to get the Everybody's car up and running but have used a gentle hand in the restoration process to keep it as original as possible but able to run. For any part or piece that needed to be replaced/reproduced we have heavily documented what was done and kept the original or used period pieces or installation techniques. We have already done our first test run with her and are now making adjustments and moving to final assembly with plans to be operational by May. We plan to drive the Everybody’s in a local parade this summer. "The Everybody's car has become the oldest car or truck in the 130-vehicle WAAAM collection, which includes such rarities as a 1914 Detroit Electric, 1917 Federal Truck, 1917 King Eight, 1919 Republic Truck, 1919 Scripps Booth, 1923 Locomobile, 1925 Autocar Truck, 1935 Chrysler Airstream and 1936 Cord 810.
The pride of the museum's aviation collection is an operational 1917 Curtiss JN-4D "Jenny." More than 9,000 Jennys were built during World War I. Many of them launched American civilian aviation after the war. They were the airplanes of choice for 1920s barnstormers, including Charles Lindbergh.
 If you have more information about Everybody's Motor Car Co. or know of another surviving car, please let us know! or

Continued from Page 1
The Eclipse furnished "the most beatific enjoyment."

The Eclipse furnished "the most beatific enjoyment."

The new-car review has always been the foundation of automotive publications. This review from 1878 may not technically qualify as a "Motoring" story but it may have been the first "new carriage" review written about a St. Louis-built vehicle.

 Eugene Papin & Co. was one of several major manufacturers of wagons and carriages that thrived in St. Louis from the middle of the 19th Century through the beginning of the horseless carriage era early in the 20th Century. During those decades many fortunes were earned here by entrepreneurs who outfitted residents, rural farmers and pioneers heading west. St. Louis businesses also served the wholesaling needs of the new western cities that were founded. Thousands of carriages and wagons were part of that lucrative trade.
             Papin & Co. was one of the successful manufacturers. Its factory was located in the 900 block of Clark Avenue, a couple of blocks west of the current Busch Stadium. Its vehicles were proudly displayed at annual expositions held in St. Louis during September, as noted in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
            At its peak following the Civil War, the wagon and carriage industry supported about 80,000 manufacturers. By the end of the 19th Century their ranks had been reduced by half.
            In 1877 the Post-Dispatch noted a wagon built for a local retailer. "Mr. Gibson has had lately manufactured for him by Eugene Papin & Co. a splendid wagon, now at the Exposition, which is a beautiful specimen of work. This wagon, with others, will be used for delivery purposes. Mr. Gibson is not content with keeping the finest groceries but is determined to give them to the public at a small margin above cost. This is enterprise and liberality indeed, and we take pleasure in commending him to the ladies as prompt, courteous, attentive and reliable."
 In 1878 the Post-Dispatch again lauded the company's exposition effort. "Eugene Papin & Co. have a most elegant and tasty display of road wagons in the carriage annex. The celebrated "Eclipse" is known everywhere, and noted for its lightness, elegance and durability. The workmanship and artistic execution shown in the manufacture of their wagons and buggies have already acquired for Eugene Papin & Co. an enviable reputation. As an evidence of what this enterprising firm can do one has only to examine their present exhibit."

A note about the company also appeared in a national trade publication, The Hub, in 1877. "Eugene Papin & Co., of St. Louis, are working full force and orders ahead for 15 jobs, part of them going to Georgia and Texas. Mr. Bolmes (the Co. of the firm) has an extensive Southern and Western acquaintance, and proposes in the spring to push matters vigorously."

The Eclipse
 The aforementioned Eclipse was described glowingly in the 1878 book "Tour of St. Louis: The Inside Life of a Great City." It was one of several "who's who" publications produced here late in the 19th Century and early in the 20th Century. The notable citizens and businesses who were fawningly described likely paid for their placement in history. Other notable carriage and wagon makers of the era did not appear in this book. The story was accompanied by a woodcut illustration of the glorious Eclipse -- which likely cost Papin & Co. a premium in addition to the cost of the placement.

The 1878 book and news clippings refer to Papin's partner as Mr. Bolmes or Mr. Holmes.

Herewith is the story:
Eugene Papin & Co. -- Carriages and Buggies
        There is no article made by human hands conducive of more genuine enjoyment, or more healthful and exhilarating pleasure than a perfectly made carriage or buggy. Skimming over the gentle undulations of the road, with every nerve in repose for the keen appreciation of the effects, is only a step removed from flying; while the swift luxurious motion is far more pleasurable than a siesta on the thick and lazy clouds. The great difference between the several kinds of spring vehicles made must necessarily qualify the simile: the best, like the "Eclipse," furnishing the most beatific enjoyment, while the poor buggy produces a corresponding inverse result. The representative manufacturers of top and open buggies in the Mississippi Valley is Eugene Papin & Co., whose factory is at Nos. 900 to 908 Clark Avenue.
            Among the finest buggies made by the firm, in which the latest improved springs are used, are the "Dexter," "Saladee," "Eclipse," the last one named being, in every respect, the easiest, cheapest and best buggy ever made by any factory. Its vast superiority consists in its simplicity, lightness, strength, durability and ease of motion, representing, in short, the improvement of all others in combination, which makes the "Eclipse" superior in every feature. In addition to the points of superiority named, the "Eclipse" is the most elegant in appearance; it has no rigid perch to throw the hind wheels out of track; there can be no side motion to the buggy body when the weight is unevenly distributed on the springs; it is less liable to get out of repair; the springs are made of the best English steel, and the spring-heads provided with Saladee's improved anti-friction spools; and lastly, there is positive safety from accident in case of a broken spring, as the springs are so combined and rigidly united at the cross-centers that either of the springs may be broken without letting the body fall below the cross-stays.
             Eugene Papin & Co. also manufactures all the latest styles of buggies, and keep in stock a large number of handsome vehicles, all of which are sold as low as the superior workmanship and extra quality of the material used will admit.
             The individual members of the firm are Eugene Papin and Edward A. Bolmes. Mr. Papin is a descendant of one of the oldest St. Louis families, and the name is connected with many of the most important enterprises which have propelled our city so rapidly into the realm of metropolitan greatness.

Mr. Bolmes, the junior member, is also an old citizen, but for the last several years he has spent a greater portion of his time traveling through the South in the interest of the firm. He has a most extensive and popular acquaintance with the trade, and by his business talents he has succeeded in drawing an immense portion of the trade of that section to St. Louis which formerly went to the East. The firm is now making strenuous exertions to secure the patronage of Mexico, and already their efforts are realizing excellent returns. The enterprise and exceptional character of the carriages made by Eugene Papin & Co., entitle them to the highest consideration of the public, and their present success is an indication of a proper appreciation of their worthy efforts.

Continued from Page 1
Spit and Polished! 
Spit and polished!
 Polished, vintage metals gleamed under the autumn sun when about three dozen historic vehicles assembled for the annual Brass and Nickel Show on October 1 at the National Museum of Transport in Kirkwood.
 The assemblage, sponsored by the Horseless Carriage Club of Missouri, included a Ford Model A or two and a few Ford Model Ts, including a spiffy red 1914 Model T Touring owned by Don Spaeth.   Also on hand were a highly representative sample of the gems assembled in St. Louis before the Great Depression.
 A 1916 Chevrolet, a rare model built in St. Louis by the Gardner Motor Co., is owned by Andy Henry.

 A pair of Moons and a Gardner were displayed by Wayne and Melba Nolan. One of the Moons is undergoing restoration and showed the fine woodwork that supported automotive bodies in the 1920s.
 The Moons and Gardner were parked back-to-back with the 1909 Dorris displayed by George P. Dorris III, grandson of the Dorris Motor Car Company founder.
 A pair of heavy-duty haulers, competitors nationally and locally a century ago, were parked side by side. The red and green 1920 Dorris K4 Truck is owned by another member of the family, Andrew. The huge white 1920 Traffic Truck is owned by Wayne Nolan.

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Updated June 27, 2018