I suspect a shortage of oil at number one rod.
Sure hope those original period-accessory external brakes worked in reverse.
Might well have been an advertising pose to clearly show the "holding power" of (insert name brand here) external brakes.
Appears to be a '19 or '20 with demountables but still had the bale handles.
Reminds me of seeing Bud Scudder drive his T down a similar flight of steps at Devil's Head Resort in MN. He spilled a lot of oil & water. It was hilarious and very much like Bud.
I'll bet he ran out of gas!
Look where he's heading to. The dealer told him it's a "Centerdoor" sedan.