Friday, October 28, 2022

Ye Ole Carriage Shop – It’s not all about Autos!

This is my final post about our interesting…actually mind boggling…visit to Ye Ole Carriage Shop in Spring Arbor Michigan.  Although there are a couple of automobiles shown below, my overall objective with this posting was to show some additional representative items from the impressive variety of antiques and collectibles on display in this small town museum.  Judi and Lloyd Ganton have created a great museum and, as you’ll learn at the end of this posting, they’re planning to preserve the history they’ve saved so that future generations can understand and appreciate the past.   

What an attractive Sinclair Aircraft fuel sign!  Copies can be purchased by anyone for less than $50.00 but the rare porcelain double-sided signs like this one are another story altogether.  I found a record of one like this that sold in 2021 for $19,800.  

Sinclair Oil is over 100 years old and despite mergers, buyouts, etc. there still are over 1,400 independent Sinclair gas stations across 30 states.  Sinclair anticipated the need for 100-octane gasoline as early as 1937 and, when WWII began, the company was able to quickly expand production of aviation fuel.  Based in Sinclair Wyoming, the company does produce aviation fuel, but nowadays its for jet aircraft. 

In this photo there is a Corvair and I’m not sure what the red sports car is…but take note of the plethora of original signs and those fantastical gas pumps.  I especially love the ‘Mobilgas’ pump with the built-in display case for other automotive products.  That Mobilgas Pegasus flying horse is worth noting as well.  I found one that sold back in 2014 for over $6,000 but I’m not sure how big it was.

Note: I was surprised to learn that Pegasus was originally a symbol used by the Standard Oil Company of New York.

These Burger Chef signs bring back a lot of memories!  When I was attending Michigan State University, I drove a taxi in Jackson Michigan whenever we had a break from school…Christmas, spring break and in the summer.  In those days, I basically rented the cab and had to make a certain amount to pay the ‘rent’ and buy gas.  Everything else was mine to keep…

The Burger Chef in Jackson was located next to the Greyhound Bus Depot and one of the quickest ways to make enough to pay rent and gas was to pick up a couple of fares from the bus station and run them out to the Southern Michigan Prison so they could visit their family members or significant others.  That prison run was a flat amount per passenger in each direction…

In any case, I’d arrive at the bus station a bit before the bus was due and I’d pick up lunch from Burger Chef…usually 2 flame broiled double cheeseburgers and a vanilla shake.  I loved those burgers!  The company was founded in 1954 and at one point Burger Chef operated 1,200 locations.  The last Burger Chef closed in 1996.

This room features motorcycles, toy trucks and cars, an old outboard motor, including more oil/gas company products and, of course signs.  The Motorcycles include a 1949 2-cylinder Harley-Davidson and a 1947 Indian as well as one from Sears.  The Sears model looks like it dates back to 1913 or 1914.  The top of the line model in 1914 sold for $197.00.   

Moving on we came to this room full of bicycles, toy fire apparatus and more trucks…from floor to ceiling. (Keep in mind that this series of photos only shows one end of the rooms) The bicycles include a classic Schwinn and an equally classic Columbia.  I noted that one of the older units had belonged to a local Spring Arbor resident.  Locals have continued to donate items to Ye Ole Carriage Shop over the years.

Schwinn was in business from 1895 until 1992 when it went into bankruptcy.  It is now owned by Pacific Cycle, a Dutch Company.

Columbia made bicycles from 1877 until the recession of 1991.  The company has started making bicycles again…the Superb 5-Star Cruiser Bike…old style with balloon tires.  A new men’s “Cruiser” can be purchased at Dunham’s Sports for $194.97.

The primary focus in this photo is the 1932 “High Boy” hot rod.  But, looking beyond the High Boy, one can see hundreds of toy autos as well as showcase after showcase full of model aircraft.

The Ford High Boy Hot Rod is called a ‘high boy’ because the body is mounted on top of the chassis and another feature is the lack of fenders.  These 1932 Ford Hot Rods are considered to be the very first of the hot rods.  Prices for a 1932 High Boy in excellent condition range from $65,000 up to $700,000…quite a range.  

Variety is evident with this photo.  At the right there is a 2-man ‘cutter’ or sleigh built by the Jackson Vehicle Company in 1900.  I’ve never had the experience of riding in a horse drawn sleigh…

Just to the left of the sleigh/cutter sits a 1959 Cushman 1-cylinder Trail Master.  Cushman, originally based in Lincoln Nebraska, began making “Auto-Glide” scooters in 1936 as a way to increase the company’s sales of Husky engines during the Great Depression.  Cushman scooters were widely utilized by the United States military during WWII.  After the war, they served as an alternative to automobiles.  Cushman produced 15,000 scooters in 1958.  The company stopped building scooters in 1965.

Yet another horse drawn conveyance from the early part of the 1900s.  This one man buggy was built in 1905 in Jackson Michigan by the Ames-Dean Carriage Company.  Prior to the dominance of the newfangled automobiles, Jackson buggy and carriage business produced thousands of vehicles every year.  Major players in this ‘horse before the cart’ business included the Fuller Buggy Company, the Jackson Carriage Company and of course, the Ames-Dean Carriage Company.  Many of these carriage/buggy companies morphed into auto makers...

So you’re not into automobiles, toy cars and trucks, buggies, motorcycles, model airplanes or automotive related items… How about genuine Coca- Cola products, signage and souvenirs?  One of our last stops was a room that was loaded from floor to ceiling with Coca-Cola antiques and collectibles.  There are 6.5 oz. Coke bottles and cans from everywhere, advertising posters, promotional items such as thermometers and clocks, old time Coke signs, coolers, Coke machines, toys, trays and much more.

Of course there just has to be a soda counter available to go with all that Coca-Cola memorabilia!  Of course, the Coke collection continued here as well.  This room is used for parties and meetings.  Of note, the Board of Directors for Ye Ole Carriage Shop holds their meetings in this room with its soda counter and the amazing collection of Coca Cola items…

If you’re old enough to remember what kitchens looked like in the late 1940s and at least the first part of the 1950s, this kitchen may look very familiar to you.  My better half thought that it looked just like her family kitchen when she was young.  In any case, this essentially was Judi Ganton’s family kitchen.  She’s ‘recreated’ the space here in the museum.  I wouldn’t be surprised if that General Electric refrigerator still works.  They built them to last back in the day…

Ah, this gathering of memorabilia represents yet another family memory for yours truly.  Jacobson’s was an upscale American regional department store chain.  It was based in Jackson Michigan and it primarily operated in Michigan and Florida.  They also had stores in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Kansas.  This was my mother’s favorite store for both clothing selection and service.  Even after she stopped going out shopping, they would shop for her and deliver what she wanted.  Jacobson’s entered bankruptcy in 2002 after 164 years of service to its customers.

Even I don’t remember having an old Philco television.  To be honest, I don’t remember our family’s first TV.  My early memories are more radio related.  We listened to “The Shadow”, Red Skelton, Burns and Allen, Lassie, Dragnet…and of course Detroit Tiger Baseball. 

I do know that I was about the last person in our neighborhood to hold onto my black and white console TV, finally giving it up in the early 1970s.  As for that Philco television, I believe that it is a Philco Predicta, a black and white TV chassis style.  This iconic design had the picture tube (CRT) separated from the rest of the cabinet.

Another trip down memory lane…a 1958 – 1959 Montgomery Ward catalog.  My last position in retailing per se was with Montgomery Ward.  It all came to a crashing halt when the company closed all of its stores in 2001.  Although the catalog operations had closed down when I joined the company, I loved wandering through the cavernous former Chicago catalog warehouse.  I do have a number of Montgomery Ward collectibles but I haven’t decided what to do with them yet…

Why did I include this photo of a toy/tin airplane?  Because if you look again you’ll see that it’s really an unusual and rare child’s pedal car.

Yes…Ye Ole Carriage Shop has the largest collection of children’s pedal cars that I’ve ever seen.  The walls of yet another room are covered with these once popular outdoor toys.  These days, pedal cars are still being built but they aren’t as popular as they used to be.  Many kids with child-size vehicles today, ‘drive’ battery powered versions.  The second photo shows an assortment of the oldest pedal cars owned by Ye Ole Carriage Shop.

Child-size pedal cars became very popular toys in the 1920s and 1930s.  They were mostly toys form wealthy families as they were expensive.  First on the marketplace in the 1890’s, early pedal cars were made of wood.  It wasn’t too long though before manufacturers began rolling metal pedal cars off the assembly lines.  Many were as well equipped as were their full size ‘adult’ counterparts.  In addition to pedal automobiles and airplanes, there was a wide assortment of trucks, buses, trains, boats, earth moving equipment and tractors for the discerning young pedal car enthusiast. 

The first American company to build these wheeled toys was the Garton Toy Company.  It was founded in 1887.  By the 1930s American National was the largest maker of kid’s vehicles.  American National exported pedal cars to about 30 countries.  With the onset of WWII, steel was needed for the war effort and production of pedal cars ceased.  In the 1950s and 1960s, the business restarted but plastic and safety standards brought an end to wide-spread metal car production. 

Collection of pedal cars isn’t for the faint-hearted.  An early Gendron Buick pedal car sold for $12,000 in the spring of 2018.  I found an ad on eBay for a rare 1926 Gendron pedal car airplane ($3,225.00).  To view a plethora of imaginative pedal cars…70 in all…that were sold in auction in 2015, just go to

And so ends our exploration of Ye Ole Carriage Shop in Spring Arbor Michigan.  Thanks to Judi Ganton for serving as informative tour-guide.  Ye Ole Carriage Shop is an amazing private collection!  The good news for future generations is that Judi and Lloyd have set up a trust to ensure that the collection is maintained and available for many years to come.  To learn more about Ye Ole Carriage Shop, you can just go to: 

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Upscale Small Town Museum – More Automobiles

Returning to our visit to “Ye Ole Carriage Shop” in Spring Arbor Michigan… Yes, here are even more photos of autos from Judi and Lloyd Ganton’s superb collection.  Even after 3 posts exclusively including automobiles, there are still more on display at this family owned private museum. 

I believe that this is a Buick Series 24-6 Touring.  As I’d mentioned before, Buicks were built in Jackson Michigan from 1902 through 1906 before production was shifted to Flint Michigan.  Production of Buick trucks continued in Jackson through 1912.

Notes: Buick is the oldest continuing automotive brand in the USA.  In 2017, 1,400,000 Buicks were sold world-wide, with 80% of sales in China. 

This is a rare 1951 4-door Frazer Convertible.  It was built in Jackson.  Frazer automobiles include the Standard, Deluxe and Manhattan sedans as well as the Vagabond hatchback.  The 1951 Frazer Manhattan convertible was the last 4-door American convertible until Lincoln introduced its 1961 Lincoln Continental. 

The Kaiser-Frazer Corporation was born in 1947 from a partnership between industrialist Henry J. Kaiser and automobile executive Joseph W. Frazer.  In 1947, the new company acquired the automotive assets of Graham-Paige, another American auto maker.  Kaiser-Frazer was one of just a few US automakers to realize success following World War II, if only for a few years. 

This is a 1954 Kaiser Darrin.  These rare sports cars were the last of the 24 different automobiles that were ever built in Jackson Michigan.  Only 435 “Darrins” were built.  The Darrin was a sports car designed by Howard “Dutch” Darrin and built by Kaiser Motors for the 1954 model year.  It was noted for being the second American car (behind the 1953 Corvette) with a fiberglass body.  As you can see in the photo, it also had doors that slid on tracks into the front fender walls.  The car was named for Kaiser and Darrin.

The prototype was eye-catching but a bit under powered when compared to European imports.  A prototype of the Darrin was actually introduced to the public in September of 1952, 2 months before General Motors introduced the Corvette.  Public and media response was quite positive with the roadster being called “the sports car that everyone has been waiting for”.  Waiting was the key word though… Because of the shaky finances of the Kaiser Corporation at this point as well as a number of production issues, the Darrin didn’t reach showrooms until January of 1954…after Corvette had entered the market.  Kaiser stopped production of the Darrin in August of 1954.

This beauty is a 12-cylinder 1948 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet (convertible).  Only 452 of these convertibles were built in 1948.  They were the last American V-12 powered automobile to be produced.

The Lincoln Continental debuted in 1940.  Edsel Ford wanted to build a high-class, stylish luxury model that could compete with the finest autos made in Europe.  Production halted in 1942 with the onset of WWII.  It resumed in 1946.  However, the death of Edsel Ford in 1943 led to a restructuring of the company’s management team and they felt that the design of these cars was “too pre-war” and their production ended in 1948.  The Continental name would not appear again until 1955 when the Continental Mark II was introduced.

This exotic automobile is relatively young.  It’s a 1982 Excalibur. (40 years old this year) In actuality the Excalibur was a car styled after the 1928 Mercedes-Benz SSK…and it was designed for the Studebaker Corporation and initially Studebaker frames and engines were the basis for the special bodywork.  The Excalibur automobiles were all built in Milwaukee Wisconsin.  3,500 of them were built from 1963 until 1990.

Note: Comedian Phyllis Diller was a big fan of Excalibur automobiles.  She owned 4 of them!

This red and white classic 1957 Chevrolet convertible with a 283 HP Power Pack is Judi Ganton’s ‘dream machine’.  This is such a classic design!

Note: My first automobile was a used red and white 4-door 1956 Oldsmobile.  I used it in my sophomore year to commute from Jackson Michigan to Michigan State University in East Lansing.  Who knew that you actually had to change the oil in a car?  Just after the end of the school year, that engine block froze up like a big boulder…

While I really like 57 Chevys, I have to admit that I’d get a bigger kick out of being proud owner of a Chevy that is 17 years older…this light gray 1940 Chevrolet convertible.  Powered with a 6-cylinder engine, this beauty just has an elegance to her…

Would you prefer a more exotic automobile?  How about a gorgeous 1932 Pierce Arrow!  Even that strikingly handsome hood ornament reeks of class and high design… Pierce-Arrows’ 1932 model was powered by a straight-8 engine that produced 125 HP. 

The Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company was based in Buffalo New York.  The company built vehicles from 1901 until 1938.  Best known for its expensive luxury cars, the company also manufactured commercial trucks, fire trucks, boats, camp trailers, motorcycles and bicycles.  The first ‘official cars’ of the White House were ordered by President William Howard Taft.  Two Pierce-Arrows were used for state occasions.  Many Pierce-Arrows were owned by Hollywood stars and tycoons.  Most of the royalty around the world had at least one Pierce-Arrow in their collection.

As I’d mentioned before, the auto industry and its various early brands were often intertwined with one being absorbed by or spun off by another maker.  In 1928, the Studebaker Corporation of South Bend Indiana gained control of Pierce-Arrow.  The company’s operated separately but there were benefits realized by both division, mostly by the companies’ engineering departments.  It wasn’t enough to save Pierce-Arrow but the shared ownership did help the company for a bit longer, through the shared dealer network

Can you believe how big these Lincoln Continentals are!?  The first 4-door sedan is from 1958 and the second, a 2-door convertible with a retractable top, was built in 1960.  The cost of the 1960 Lincoln Continental Mark V convertible was $7,056, it weighed 5,179 lbs., had a wheel base of 131 inches and a total length of 227.2 inches…almost 19 feet long!  Only 2,044 of these 1960 convertibles were built.  

This is a 1963 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III.  This rare Rolls-Royce model sports a V-8 engine as well as a left-handed steering wheel.  The Silver Cloud III was first introduced to the public in October 1962 and it was discontinued in 1966.  Only 2,044 of these automobiles were built.  A top of the range Silver Cloud III cost $48,840 when they were introduced.

Rolls-Royce was a British luxury car manufacturer and subsequently an air plane engine builder as well.  The company was founded in 1904 and incorporated in 1906, through the partnership of Charles Rolls and Henry Royce.  The company quickly developed a reputation as the manufacturer of “the best car in the world”.

Note: Did you know that Rolls-Royce once operated a factory in Springfield Massachusetts”?  It was designed to meet a 3-year backlog in demand for their automobiles.  Rolls-Royce of America Inc. operated for 10 years and when the factory closed in 1931, 2,944 vehicles had been produced. 

This 1957 model was the last year of production for the first generation of Ford Thunderbirds with a new design being produced in 1958.  Exactly 21,380 1957 Thunderbirds were built in the model’s final year.

Inspired and marketed directly against Chevrolet’s Corvette, Ford marketed the Thunderbird as a ‘personal luxury car, thereby emphasizing the car’s comfort and convenience features rather then its built-in sportiness.

I just don’t remember this model even though some of them must have still been on the road when I was growing up.  This is a 6-cylinder 1947 Chevrolet Fleetline Fastback.  In 1947, Fleetline sales equaled over 71% of all Chevrolet sales.  From 1949 through 1952, the ‘Fastback’ was the only one offered, and the Fleetline was dropped for 1953.  Many of these 2-door “Fastback” models were transformed into ‘street rods’ over the years.

Look at all the other 'collectables' almost encircling the Chevy Fastback in the preceding photo.  The museum is packed with original signs and objects of interest to serious collectors...

My next post will continue our exploration of the varied collection of items on display in Spring Arbor Michigan’s Ye Ole Carriage Shop.  No more automobiles…at least full size ones…will be included. 

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 

Friday, October 21, 2022

Big Museum – Small Town (Intermission)

After 2 posts in a row that were all about the fabulous collection of historic automobiles Ye Ole Carriage Shop in Spring Arbor Michigan, I thought it was time for an intermission and a change of pace.

So this short post is about a glimpse of fall in East Tennessee and a casual dining experience at a restaurant that we’ve never visited previously…

I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve posted photos of Bald River Falls but, for us at least, it never gets old.  In this case, thanks to our 2 week bout with Covid-19…now over with…we didn’t get to visit the falls at peak color.  However, Linda, one of our friends, did make the short trip and she took this pretty photo showing the colorful trees framing Bald River Falls.

We did note that the waterfall is just a shadow of its normal self… We have had very little rain in East Tennessee over the last 6 weeks and we’re in a semi-drought situation.  Still, the colors are very vibrant…

But hey…this photo of the area behind our house pops with a lot of color too.  Not as bright and varied as the trees adjacent to Bald River Falls in the Cherokee National Forest, but not too bad either!

We have experienced 3 very cold mornings in recent days…all at or below freezing, very unusual for this time of the year here in the Tennessee River Valley.  Our high on Tuesday was only 47F.  Temperatures will recover in time for the Tennessee Volunteer’s game this Saturday…should be in the low 70s.

I’d seen and heard ads for Craven Wings but I thought that it was close to an hour away from our house.  I was wrong and the drive is only about 35 minutes.  Better yet we were already in the vicinity after a medical appointment…

We’ve been looking for a new chicken wings place since our favorite, Wild Wing Café in Farragut Tennessee had suddenly gone out of business.  The only remaining location for Wild Wing Café in our area is about an hour from home…

These photos show a portion of the dining area as well as the bar.  There is a mix of booths, high tables, low tables and of course, bar stools.  The wood chairs, tables and the bar all help soften up the atmosphere in Craven Wings.  As you can see, like most venues of this type, the room is surrounded by televisions…

Laurie decided to try Craven Wings version of a Moscow Mule.  It’s made with Tennessee whisky instead of Vodka and it’s called a Tennessee Mule. ($9.00) Seemed a little pricy to me…

After perusing the appetizers, which include such items as soup, fried mushrooms, fried pickles, fried cheese sticks, spicy cheese curds and Craven rib tips, Laurie decided that she’d like her favorite, the Fried Pickle Chips. ($6.99) There were plenty of them and we both liked them…

Of course, the main reason we decided to dine at Craven Wings was to eat wings.  So we ordered 20 Traditional Wings, half with Sweet Chili Sauce and half with Hot Sauce. ($25.99) They came with blue cheese dressing on the side and we were very happy with our choices!  FYI...One weeknight each week, Craven Wings offers wings at 79 cents each...

If you’re not into wings or someone in your group doesn’t like them, other options include burgers (meat or plant based), a couple of chicken sandwiches, a Cajun quesadilla and a chicken wrap as well as a number of salads and sides.

Service was prompt and pleasant.  We’d arrived at about 5 PM and by the time we left Craven Wings was filling up with customers and take-out orders were flying out the door.  Craven Wings is now our new ‘go to’ source for chicken wings. 

This Craven Wings restaurant is located at 12350 South Northshore Drive in Knoxville.  Phone: 865-392-1221.  Two other locations in the area can be found in the Seymour community with another in Maryville.  Website: 

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Small Town Museum – Rare Automobiles

If you’re not into automobiles and their history, this posting may not be of much interest to you.  On the other hand, if you appreciate automobile design and the early history of the auto industry, you may learn something from this blog site posting.   Four of the autos shown below were built in Jackson Michigan and all of them are on display at the Ye Ole Carriage Shop in Spring Arbor Michigan.

This is a 1909 4-cylinder Jackson.  It is all original and it is in amazingly pristine condition.  How many 113 year olds can claim to be pristine and fully equipped with original parts!?  The original price tag was $950.00.

The Jackson was produced by the Jackson Motor Car/Automotive Company in Jackson Michigan.  As I mentioned in my previous post, the first automobile produced by this company was the steam powered Jaxon.  When the company switched from Steam to internal combustion engines, the name of the cars being produced were changed to “Jackson”.

This was a dependable automobile and the Company had dealers across the USA.  The promotional motto for the Jackson was “No Hill Too Steep, No Sand too Deep.”  The Jackson Motor Car Company produced 10,000 vehicles before it closed in 1922.  The company’s failure was at least partially blamed on its inability to efficiently change back to auto manufacturing after building airplane and shells during World War I.

I love this red 1912 Oakland Roadster with its brass accents/accessories and the black leather seats!  Beginning 1910, Oakland was exclusively offering 4-cylinder flathead engines with 5 different wheelbases.  Their big advertising slogan was “The Car with a Conscience”.  This particular model was powered with a 30 HP motor. 

Oakland automobiles were not built in Jackson Michigan.  The company was founded in Pontiac Michigan in 1907 by the owner of the Pontiac Buggy Company and a former executive of the Cadillac Motor Company.  It was named after for Oakland County Michigan where it was based. 

The Oakland Motor Car Company was purchased by General Motors in 1909.  As an operating manufacturing division of General Motors, Oakland continued to build modestly priced automobiles until 1931.  At that point, the brand was dropped in favor of the division’s Pontiac brand.  It was quite a popular brand of automobile in the late 1920s with 60,121 cars produced in 1928.

This is a 1913 Carter-Car.  Byron Carter built several cars in Jackson beginning in 1903.  He was instrumental in the formation of the Jackson Automobile Company…and after a disagreement with his partners, he formed the Motorcar Company of Jackson.  As his financing came from Detroit, the company relocated there and, just a year later it moved to Pontiac.  The Company was purchased by General Motors in 1916. 

Mostly due to its friction drive transmission, the Cartercar was warmly received by the press as it offered an infinite number of engine speeds.  At 4,000 miles, the paper fiber rim that were part of this system, could be replaced for about $5.00…less than half the price that it would cost to repack the grease in a regular geared transmission.  However sales of the Cartercar never approached its goals at GM and their production never approached the 1,000 – 2,000 that had been projected.  So the Cartercar factory was converted to produce Oakland autos…

Note: Carter-Car founder Bryon Carter died in 1908 when he was trying to start a stalled car.  The crank kicked back and hit him in the jaw.  The resulting infection led to his death.  However, Carter was a personal friend of Cadillac founder Henry Leland.  Carter’s death led to Leland pressuring Charles Kettering to develop a motor vehicle electric starting system…aka a self-starter, something that we take for granted today.

This is a 1914 Imperial.  Only 2 of these cars exist today.  Although the Imperial name was later usurped by the Chrysler Corporation, the first Imperial was produced by the Imperial Motor Car Company in Jackson Michigan.  The company was formed by T.A. and George N. Campbell who also ran the Jackson Carriage Company.  The Imperial Motor Car Company had a 350,000 square foot factory where it made both a touring car and a roadster.  Only 1,062 of these cars were built.

Imperial’s mid-size cars had 4-cylinder engines.  Their bodywork and mechanical parts were primarily off-the-shelf rather than made by the company.  For example, coachwork was done by the Beaudette Company, which also did work for Buick and Ford.

In 1915, Imperial merged with Marion from Indianapolis Indiana, thereby forming Mutual Motors Company.  The following year, the new company stopped making Imperials, instead producing Marion-Handley cars.  In 1916, the company was again renamed… The ‘new’Marion-Handley Company went out of business in 1918.

This is a rare 1914 Twombley.  This cyclecar was manufactured in the New York by Driggs-Seabury between 1913 and 1915.  These small 2-seater cars had water-cooled, 4-cylinder engines and an underslung body.  The designer was Willard Irving Twombley (1873 – 1953), an inventor, entrepreneur and aviator.

Other than the Twombley cyclecar, a lawsuit for loans and interest owed and a nasty divorce case…with accusations of bigamy and misconduct, I couldn’t find any information pertaining to William Twombley.  I did note that he’d convinced a company named Driggs-Seabury to build the autos for him.  Driggs-Seabury originally produced ordinance/weapons for the US Army and Navy.

So what is defined as a cyclecar?  It was a small, lightweight and inexpensive type of car manufactured in the USA and Europe from 1910 and into the early 1920s.  Their purpose was to fill a gap in the market between the motorcycle and a car.  They could only accommodate 2 passengers…either side by side or with a passenger seated behind the driver.  These cars primarily utilized a single cylinder or V-twin configuration which were often air cooled.  Sometimes even motorcycle were used.

Note: From what I could determine, there were more than 60 companies that built cyclecars here in the USA.

As I’d stated in my previous blog post about Ye Ole Carriage Shop, there are quite a variety of automobiles on display and they weren’t all built in Jackson Michigan.  However, the Buick Model F was built in Jackson for a period before the operation was moved to Flint Michigan.  This 1915 Buick Roadster was built in Flint.

The 1915 Buick Roadster had new rounded front ends that matched the larger Buick models.  The previously exposed door hinges were eliminated and that provided a clean and more appealing look.  The C-36 Roadster was the first Buick to carry a concealed spare tire in the trunk.

While the updates seemed minimal to some, when they were coupled with a new lower price structure in order to compete with Ford Motor Company, sales were spurred to a new Buick record of 43,946 units, of which 2,849 were the 2-passenger roadsters.

This is a 1916 Marion-Handley 6-cylinder automobile that was built in Jackson Michigan… These cars were built in Jackson by the Mutual Motors Company.  Much like the Imperial that had preceded it, they were built primarily from stock parts and ranged in price to about mid-range for standard autos of their time. 

Two models were available, a touring car and a 4-seater roadster.  The roadster “6-40” had a 120” wheelbase and 4” tires.  The touring car “6-60” had a wheelbase that measured 125” and 4.5” wheels and with its Continental 6 cylinder engine, it was advertised at “The-Six Pre-Eminent”.  In 1917 the “6-40”s factory price was $1,575. Mutual Motors ended production in 1918 after 2,081 cars had been built.

The 1923 Dodge Touring automobile is not among the most valuable cars in American motor history.  It was equipped with a 4-cylinder engine which produced just 25 HP.  That canopy top provided some modicum of shelter from the elements and its tires, with their many thin spokes, only measured 32” by 4”.

The Dodge brothers had grown their company into one of the most popular automobile companies in the USA by 1920…but they both passed away that same year.  However, the early history of the Dodge Brothers story is closely entangled with the Ford Motor Company.  Horace and John Dodge owned a big factory in Hamtramck Michigan where they built most of the components for Ford’s early cars.  In return, Henry Ford gave the brothers a 10% stake in his new company.  When the brothers realized that Ford was going to move all production in-house, and they’d be out of a job, they sold their stock back to Ford for $25 million, enough to capitalize their start-up car company.  The first Dodge Brothers automobile was sold in November of 1914 and by 1915, they were the #3 automaker in the USA.  By 1920, they were producing 1,000 cars each day and they employed 20,000 employees.

This is a 1926 Studebaker 4-cylinder.  I was a bit confused as regarded this car.  The Studebaker 4-cylinder is fairly rare… Supposedly, Studebaker stopped making 4-cylinder autos in 1920, coming out with the “Light Six” in 1918.  Later, Studebaker rebranded their cars, adding a “Standard Six” and a “Special Six”.  The Light Six seated 5 and it had a 27 HP engine. 

Note: There will be much more information regarding Studebaker, its history and its vehicles, in an upcoming blog post or two.  Why more about automobiles?  It’s because we shopped to visit the Studebaker Museum in South Bend Indiana on our way home from this particular road trip.

I’ll end this post with this photo of a very eye-catching 1929 Ford Model A Cabriolet.  While there were several old Fords on exhibit at Ye Ole Carriage House, this one really appealed to me.  I like that little bit of ‘dash’ with those landau irons on the sides of its roof and the colors are striking.  The Model A’s engine was rated by the manufacturer at 40 HP.

The 1929 – 1931 Ford Model A Convertible Cabriolets were premium Model A body styles.  These autos had a passenger compartment with a bench seat that oud accommodate 3 adults comfortably and a standard ‘rumble seat’ which could accommodate 2 additional passengers if the weather allowed for it.  The Cabriolet had a folding top and glass side windows which could be rolled up and down as needed.  All Cabriolets were equipped with a single rear-mounted spare wheel, a split rear bumper, a single left-side tail, rumble seat, cowl lamps, black wheels and back wall tires as standard equipment.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave