This is the beginning of it, anyway. I gave John Steele this Essex chassis I bought at an auction up near the Canadian border last summer. It is probably mid 20's, fine rust free condition and was preserved for us by a farmer that needed a bundle wagon for harvest. It should be plenty strong for two engines, long enough for them and a T Ford rear end, all that stuff it will need. Zoom Zoom
It was hard to get a very good picture of it with all that wood bolted to it. By the way, that is John's Chevy trying to pull his trailer across the creek.
oops. Got the same pic twice.
So far it looks like a racing hog pen, or chicken coop?
A lot of them start out looking like something else. As I said, this one was a bundle wagon. To the speedster guys, this is the ultimate find, the ne plus ultra, the holy grail, the best of the best, what your dreams are made of when you quit dreaming about girls, the one you unload in the back yard close to the house so you can keep and eye on it and get up in the middle of the night and look out the window and see it, the Christmas present you never got when you were a kid --- -- it is the Essex frame with the factory reinforcement under the main frame, the cantilevered rear springs, the light and super strong Hudson/Essex quality. I have never seen another real un-restored one, they were only made for one or possibly two years and probably a fourth of the early race cars used this frame because it adapts to the Model T engine but is far stronger and bigger. This one came off a farm at Shelby where I had an auction last June.
For those of you that are city boys, a bundle wagon is what was pulled through the field to pick up the tied sheaves of grain that were dropped to the ground by the Binder during harvest. As a team of horses pulled it down the row, one or two men on each side stabbed the bundle with a pitchfork and pitched the bundle into the bundle wagon to be hauled in for threshing. In crops that were shocked and left to dry before threshing, like Oats, the bundle wagon was pulled up to the shock and the bundle spikers loaded the shocks onto the bundle wagon to be hauled in. The reason the sides are fairly low is so the spiker could lift an entire shock (those pointy things you see in old pictures) with one fork load instead of tearing the shock apart -- which caused the now dried grain heads to shell out some of the grain and drop it to the ground. The reason it had wire sides instead of boards was so you could see the shocks that had already been loaded and you could lay your shock in the right place with the heads facing the right way to make it easier to feed them to the threshing machine head first.
During threshing days, every farmer would have had several of these and a spiker crew that came in to load shocks and haul them in during harvest. If there was not a full bundle wagon waiting the threshing machine had to shut down and wait for the bundle wagon to come in and there would be hell to pay for the bundle spikers that weren't keeping up. It was a point of pride with the spiker crew that the machine never had to wait for a load when they were working. It was hot, dirty, hard work. A lot of shocks would be hauled in and unloaded before threshing so that they were ready for the threshing crew when they started to thresh. They would be stacked in a bundle stack close to where the threshing machine would be set up. That way, during threshing if a bundle wagon was late the bundle feeders could load a wagon from the stack and bring it to the machine to keep it going. (In Herman & Freida, Yolanda and Yondola were loading a bundle wagon to haul in to a bundle stack when Einar stopped to sell them a Bible. As you recall, they had taken their shirts off due to the heat and under their bib overalls just had on their camisoles which caused Einar to force himself to remember that he was selling Bibles). This is not off topic, this is History.
I hope you charged him extra for the firewood.
That's not firewood, Jack. If the pictures were better you could see the beautiful patina on the wood on the deck. It will get saved and given to somebody who is making picture frames or Montana stuff of one kind and another. The wood underneath is probably still good enough to use. Things don't rot here like they do back east. You just wait until he gets this all cleaned off, you'll be pretty impressed with this frame. Or maybe you won't but you should be. I'll bet you've never seen another one. This one still has black paint on a lot of it.
Making it twin-engine like this?
Something like that. I dunno. It's John's project, I just donated the frame. He may just be pulling my leg. I'll let him tell you about it.
I know what you mean,I have planed down some old wood and there was great looking grain in it. Made a cabinet for my bath from one set of Gum. No doubt John will work his magic on it.Look forward to seeing progress pictures.