OT - can you identify my grandfather's car?

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2014: OT - can you identify my grandfather's car?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Friday, July 18, 2014 - 08:36 pm:

Sorry, not a T, but maybe you sharp car guys can identify this car. My father, born in 1914 is sitting on the running board along with his two sisters. What do you think?

3 kids


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tyrone Thomas - Topeka KS on Friday, July 18, 2014 - 08:38 pm:

Chevy?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bob Cascisa - Poulsbo, Washington on Friday, July 18, 2014 - 08:41 pm:

Center Door Dodge Brothers ??

Be_Zero_Be


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Hanson on Friday, July 18, 2014 - 08:49 pm:

Looks like Dodge Four Door Sedan...

1919 Dodge Four Door Sedan


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By mike conrad on Friday, July 18, 2014 - 10:24 pm:

It's not a Dodge. It's a Buick I own a dodge and a Buick of the early 20's. I would guess this car to be 1919-23


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Friday, July 18, 2014 - 10:34 pm:

Buick had a more sculptured radiator shell profile. The high mounted "frog eyes" headlights and shapeless radiator shell say "Dodge" to me.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Gitts on Friday, July 18, 2014 - 10:39 pm:

Not a Dodge, as Dodges in the late teens and early twenties do not have louvres on the side of the hood. I'd also guess Buick.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Larry Smith on Friday, July 18, 2014 - 10:48 pm:

Looks like an FB Chevy.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Henry Petrino in Modesto, CA on Friday, July 18, 2014 - 11:03 pm:

Well, I'm certainly glad we can all agree. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Royce in Georgetown TX on Friday, July 18, 2014 - 11:17 pm:

Early 1920's Dodge Brothers.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Justin Heim on Friday, July 18, 2014 - 11:17 pm:

1917-1918 FA Chevrolet


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Friday, July 18, 2014 - 11:32 pm:

This points up my aesthetic attraction to the black-era T's, the narrow/tall radiator shell and low mounted headlights. I am not Ford fan at all (too common), but the T is such an iconic and well balanced design for the era. I really dislike the high mounted "bug eye" cars of the day. For a cheap car, Ford really hit a home run with that design. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mark Stewart -Calif. on Saturday, July 19, 2014 - 01:34 am:

That's easy. It is an 1880 Kern Steam Horseless Moving Carriage.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Saturday, July 19, 2014 - 06:29 am:

Thanks for all your replies. I didn't realize that some cars looked so much alike that it would be so hard to get a consensus. I'm guessing my dad is around 10 years old, so that would put the photo around 1924.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Saturday, July 19, 2014 - 06:48 am:

If it would help in identification, I can try to scan it at high resolution, then zoom in on a specific part of the car.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Haynes on Saturday, July 19, 2014 - 07:36 am:

The car is a Chevrolet.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Saturday, July 19, 2014 - 09:06 am:

Well, we're down to a Buick, Dodge Brothers or Chevrolet. Here's a couple close ups that may help narrow it down.

car1

car2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Saturday, July 19, 2014 - 09:08 am:

I just noticed this detail, my dad appears to be holding a cap gun. I've heard he was a hell raiser as a kid, I can see that now.dad


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren W. Mortensen on Saturday, July 19, 2014 - 09:16 am:

Try getting a close-up of the front hubcap. It looks to me like the name (or trademark) is on a square dark background. I'm leaning toward a Chevy myself.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Saturday, July 19, 2014 - 09:37 am:

Warren - Here's the front hubcap. Unfortunately its pretty grainy.

hubcap


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Thode Chehalis Washington on Saturday, July 19, 2014 - 09:38 am:

Based on the straight line on the front fender from the running board forward I would say it is a Chev. Both the Dodge and Buick have an ogee curve in that area.

Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Saturday, July 19, 2014 - 12:53 pm:

Jim - I see what mean, that does looks like the Cheverolet. I amazed at how similar the different brands are in appearance.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Saturday, July 19, 2014 - 09:40 pm:

Steve,

Yes, if you scan the original photo at 600 x 600 dpi or so (possibly even 300 x 300) I believe there is an excellent chance you/we will be able to read the writing on the right front hubcap or at least enough of it to narrow down the search so we can locate the correct car. Depending on the size of the original photograph and the quality of that area of the photo it may or may not help. But the photo of the right front wheel with the hubcap that you posted was 65kb. As you mentioned it is not very clear and it does not allow us to zoom in and change the contrast etc. very much to see what is written on the hubcap. We may also be able to make out the writing on the radiator shell.

I've posted the information below a couple of times but it helps illustrate the difference a higher resolution scan and posting can make. I used to carry that 3 x 2 1/2 inch photograph of my Dad, Mom, Sister, and my Grandparents in my wallet. It kept getting worse and worse so I pulled it out and put it in a drawer. Below is a low resolution scan that looks ok on the computer screen. You can see the many cracks in the photo from the billfold.



Using that lower resolution scan above, I have zoomed in on the license plate and it is shown below:



Using the same original wrinkled small photograph I carried in my billfold, but this time scanned at 300x 300 or so dpi the same area is shown. Note you can clearly read the year of the license plate as 50 for 1950. In this case a little more historical background, that my parents were living in Texas along with some other information (like looking at that same tag hanging on the garage wall) I know it says “TEXAS – 50” but without that information I can still make out that it is 50 for the year. And if the photo that I had scanned had not been carried in my billfold for all those years, I suspect I could read TEXAS – 50.



If you have not already scanned the photo at 600 DPI and if you really want to know what make of automobile it is, I would recommend giving that a try.

Based on the design of the front windshield & cowl I suspect the body may have been produced by the Fisher Body company. Below is a photo of a 1915 Fisher Centerdoor body mounted on a 1915 Model T Chassis. (Note Ford referred to that model as a sedan and not a Centerdoor -- today we routinely call it a Centerdoor. Additionally Ford only used the 3 pane windshield for the 1915 model year. He switched to a less expensive two pane windshield for the 1916 and later Fords that had Centerdoor bodies.)



Other body makers also produced Centerdoor sedan style bodies – for example Wadsworth also supplied them for use to Ford. So the body in your photo may have been produced by one of the other body makers and mounted on yet another car maker’s chassis. There were hundreds of independent car makers in the teens and twenties many producing only a few cars before they went under and others doing much better. Most of them disappeared before or during the depression.

Note with the original photo you posted many photos of cars will start to line up and then something will appear that does not fit with the car we are comparing it with. Having a name or even a few letters of a name or emblem would be an important lead. Ditto for a better shot of the radiator emblem. In general I would expect a non-Ford Centerdoor style body to be in the 1914ish-1923ish range. The were initially built that way for sturdiness, but they were not easy to get into or out of and the Fordor and normal two door sedans with the doors at the front apparently replaced the Centerdoor style bodies in the early to mid twenties.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Saturday, July 19, 2014 - 09:42 pm:

Oops -- we left out the paragraph below:

“IF” it was a Fisher body, then one of the companies that Fisher supplied might be the one that constructed your Grandfather’s car. From the Fisher Company web site -- http://www.fisherco.com/heritage/ they state:
In 1916 the Company became the Fisher Body Corporation. Its capacity was now 370,000 bodies per year and its customers included:
Abbot, Buick, Cadillac, Chalmers, Chandler, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Churchfield, Elmore, EMF, Ford, Herreshoff, Hudson, Krit, Oldsmobile, Packard, Regal, and Studebaker.

Respectfully added,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Justin Heim on Sunday, July 20, 2014 - 09:28 am:

Can someone point out what is different between the original photo and the picture of the FA series Chevrolet posted earlier?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Craig Anderson, central Wisconsin on Sunday, July 20, 2014 - 02:23 pm:

There were very few center doors of any kind built it seems.
I found this and it could likely be a McCabe-Powers body mounted on an early 20's Dodge chassis.

http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/m/mccabe_powers/mccabe_powers.htm where it states, in part: For 1916 McCabe-Powers offered a comprehensive line of professional vehicles ranging from simple casket wagons to elaborate carved-panel hearses. The sturdy yet inexpensive Dodge Brothers chassis was becoming popular with builders who formally used Ford Model T's and McCabe-Powers bodies were placed on 35hp Dodge chassis starting this year.

Here's a photo of a very similar, if not the same, center door body:
http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/m/mccabe_powers/oo1920-Dodge-MP-sedan.jpg


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Justin Heim on Sunday, July 20, 2014 - 03:45 pm:

Based on Craig's post:
1. The front fender slope is wrong.
2. The door handle for the center door is on the wrong side.
3. The length of the back window is wrong.

Again, refer back to the FA Chevy pic and point out what doesn't match.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chester W. Lowery TN on Sunday, July 20, 2014 - 04:38 pm:

Reminds me of a conversation I had just the other day.....You can't hardly tell much difference in the new cars built today.....Looks like it was the same way back then....


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Sunday, July 20, 2014 - 05:49 pm:

Hap - thanks for all the great info and photography suggestions. The original photo scan of the car was low res to meet the 200kb forum limit. The close ups came from a higher resolution scan. But I just rescanned the photo again at 1200dpi. The full size photo of the car is 3.82mb. I cropped out the front wheel hub from that and am posting it below. It is 102k. The original photo is 2" x 4" and while clear, the hubcap is about the size of a pinhead, so the resolution is just not there. This is about the best I can get.
hubcap


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Sunday, July 20, 2014 - 05:54 pm:

The Chevy image does seem very close. Unfortunately, Aunt Lois is sitting on the front fender/running board junction, so we can't really see if it is curved or not.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Sunday, July 20, 2014 - 07:54 pm:

Steve,

Thanks for trying. The small size 2 x 4 inch the photo will make it difficult and perhaps make it impossible for us to read the writing on the hubcap. One last technique that sometimes but not always helps is to do the high scan at 1200dpi. Save the file as a bit map (bmp). It will be huge. E-mail it to me or someone who can adjust the contrast etc. to see if they can make it out. You probably will need to crop the parts and/or divide the photo into sections so you can send it. My e-mail limits the attachment to 10mb so if you send it my way please slice it so it is 10mb or less per e-mail.

I’ve got to go fix the flat on the riding lawnmower, but this coming week I should have some more time to work on it. And even if the car is positively i.d. in the meantime, I would still like to try it to see if we can make it out. Related please include a photo of the radiator emblem area.

I have not studied radiator emblems -- but below is an initial look at some that do NOT seem to fit very well:

The Dodge Brothers normally was six pointed star inside a circle as shown below (photo from e-bay) :



The Chevy – well I need to research some more but they had a bowtie from late 1913 according to the article at: http://www.chevrolet.com/culture/article/bowtie-history.html . At: http://oldcarandtruckpictures.com/Chevrolet/ they show a 1920 Chevy 490 below:



And one of the Chevrolet bowtie radiator emblems I saw had the bowtie inside an oval with contrasting colors – but I can’t locate that at the moment and I do not recall the dates.

I believe Buick was normally a rectangle as shown below during the mid teens and twenties (photo from e-bay):



The emblem on the radiator of your Grandfather’s car appears to be oval in shape and it does not appear to match those very well. Perhaps he had an accessory radiator shell? Or perhaps one of those or some other emblem was done in an oval for that year’s or part of that year’s production? (I still need to track down that Chevrolet bowtie that was in an oval.) There is always more to discover.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Sunday, July 20, 2014 - 10:10 pm:

It seems Aunt Lois has always been a problem, hasn't she ? ;-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dan Haynes on Sunday, July 20, 2014 - 10:43 pm:

The car is a Chevrolet.
People can keep calling it a Dodge, but it is still a Chevrolet.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dexter Doucet on Sunday, July 20, 2014 - 11:16 pm:

It does have a GM look to it, like a Buick or Chevrolet. I have heard of Chevy center door sedans. Steve you might try showing it to the vcca forum.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Craig Anderson, central Wisconsin on Monday, July 21, 2014 - 12:14 am:

There's a 1920 Chevrolet Center Door >>> http://www.hubcapcafe.com/ocs/pages01/chev2001.htm

The rear fender flare doesn't match the one in the first post.......maybe a little added "flare" at a later date.
The hood slope looks way off too.

For the record......the car show where I drove my '19 Touring yesterday was near a friend's 1924 Buick Roadster.
If it didn't say Buick on the outside it could easily be mistaken for a Dodge....fenders, hood, front springs, drum headlights, etc.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Thode Chehalis Washington on Monday, July 21, 2014 - 12:48 am:

I'm still leaning toward a 1917-1918 FA Chevrolet.




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Monday, July 21, 2014 - 08:17 am:

Justin and Jim,

I agree that the 1917-1918 FA Chevrolet appears to be a very good match. The items that cause me to hesitate to say it is definitely a 1917-1918 FA Chevrolet are the oval appearing radiator emblem zoomed in on and shown below and the hubcap. Did I see any writing on it? Maybe, maybe not?



Great detective work even if we never get a better look at the radiator or hubcap.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Monday, July 21, 2014 - 08:07 pm:

Hap - I scanned it again at 1200 dpi and as a .bmp. It came out to about 43mb in size. I cropped out the hub alone, which came to 283kb, but the writing is still unreadable. I tried the same for the radiator badge, with the same results.

I think I've done as much as is possible. I appreciate everyone's efforts up to this point. It may have to remain a mystery.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Dexter Doucet on Monday, July 21, 2014 - 08:27 pm:

It's a Chevy Mr. Blancard. I passed the photo along to a moderator on the Vintage Chevy forum and he agreed.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Monday, July 21, 2014 - 10:01 pm:

Dexter,

Thanks for having a Chevy expert take a look -- they should know.

Steve, if you have a chance -- please send me the cropped 1200 dpi bmp versions of the radiator, and the front and rear wheel area. You can click on my name at the beginning of the post and my e-mail address is the third line down.

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Blancard on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 07:14 am:

Dexter - thanks for the confirmation. Hap - I'm at work now, will email the requested images tonight.

Thanks to everyone who helped to resolve this mystery.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren Henderson on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 08:01 am:

I'm with the group that says it's a Chevy. I think it is a "17 or earlier. Hope this is of some help.

Happy motoring,

Warren


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Hap Tucker in Sumter SC on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 09:16 pm:

Steve,

Thank you for the images -- I sent you an e-mail concerning them. (Still squinting.)

Respectfully submitted,

Hap l9l5 cut off


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Danial - Veneta OR US Earth Solar System on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 10:10 pm:

Looks like a Tucker to me. But then that's why no one ever asks me for advice.

Seriously though, you guys are awesome. That's why this remains my favorite car forum.


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