I picked up a Gray motor and transmission last week. Has anybody got info on these besides what's on Wikipedia?
It's been sitting out in a paddock keeping the kangaroos company for the last couple of decades so I'm not sure what the internals will be like.
If I can get the crank to turn I'll try to spark it up.
If (the big IF again) this is one of the USA built Grays (may have been part of Gray-Dort, I am not sure, but I could go do some research), it is a very unusual thing.
About forty years ago, I knew a fellow that had one of the USA Gray automobiles. It was considered a very big deal in the club I belonged to at that time. If I recall correctly, Bill Harrah had two of them, this fellow had one, and there were a total of seven known in the world. It made the old car world news about two years ago that one more had been found. Most people would have missed the news. I noticed it because of the fellow I had known before. Discussions at that time indicated they were still as rare as had been believed years before.
What is so very unusual about this, is that back in the 1920s, both Dort and Gray were somewhat common cars. They had a fairly decent dealer network, and areas that had good dealers sold lots of cars. For those that know where to look for it, original photos and memorabilia are surprisingly common. I have personally seen dozens of original sales books, manuals, and more than a few car parts. Again, due to my past association, I have seen dozens of Gray tail-lamps. Some of them are quite distinctive. And they have the Gray name on them. I have seen dozens of them at swap meets, probably about a dozen on eBad, and more than a few others in ads in antique automobile magazines. For some silly reason, maybe in part that they were a nice looking lamp, a lot of people saved the tail-lamp from their Gray automobile. Motometers are also quite common. Too bad more of the cars didn't survive.
The Gray survivor rate has to be one of the most dismal in all of automotive history.
I have seen a few references to other Gray automobiles, but don't know anything about them. Some may have been English or European cars.
Did you get any more of it than just the engine and transmission? Any chance that more of it could be there someplace?
Can you tell if it is the USA Gray automobile? Or?
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
Dad (1921-2009) Told me of his dad owning a Gray automobile around 1928. For some reason, he "rebuilt" the Gray onto Model T Ford frame rails, as the originals had failed. I wish I had a picture of that car.
there was a motor & trans & rad near buy about 20 years ago but dont know what happened to it, i have yet to see one of those tail lights!!! charley
I know a guy in Houston with a gray.
Andrew, this is from Trove-
This is a promotional photo for the American-built Gray Model O tourer of 1925, from the Brisbane agents, Canada Cycle and Motor Agency Ltd. Gray cars were built in Detroit and had many similarities to Ford cars, including a 2.7 litre, 20 hp., side-valve four cylinder engine. They were intended to compete head on with the ubiquitous Ford Model T in features and price, but this did not prove so easy. Note there are no outside door handles as a cost saving measure, and no front wheel brakes on this 1925 model. Front brakes were included in the 1926 model, the final year the Gray car was produced. In 1925 the company President (and former Vice President of Ford Motor Co), Frank L Klingensmith resigned his post at Gray and 'took an extended vacation in Australia'.
'Most light cars have been bought in spite of their discomforts. Transportation - the 'they get us there anyway' spirit - has bought thousands of light cars. But why not have comfort along with the get-there idea? Gray cars have refined comfort to an unusual degree. There are forty different features which make Gray cars comfortable, easy to drive and economical. It will pay you to investigate all of them before you buy a car.' (Advertisment from the Queensland motoring journal 'The Steering Wheel', January 1, 1924. In 1924 the Gray touring car sold for 295 pounds.)
One of our Victorian Club members has a mid twenties Gray tourer, also a Truck project and maybe some other parts cars/trucks. I have also seen a Gray single cylinder stationary engine, not sure if it is the same company.
There was a Gray tourer which had been converted to a buckboard on the last Bay to Birdwood run I did. I sold the driver one of my repro model T mufflers for it. His was not grey, but green!
Allan from down under.
There's a Gray Sedan in Minnesota, saw it 2 years ago at a show.
Hey! I own a 1925 Gray touring currently undergoing restoration. I have done a ton of research on the Gray and have collected a lot of material regarding the company. It seems a lot of Grays were exported to Australia, for some reason. My understanding is that the auto company was started by the Gray Marine engine folks to compete with the Model T. The Gray was John Gray, the first president of the Ford Motor Company. I had the pleasure of meeting the great-granddaughter of Frank Klingensmith, who came to see the car when she was in town.
I'll post pics later as I'm not on my computer right now.
Andrew, if you are in the states and are willing to sell the engine and transmission, I would be greatly interested.
Gray ended up building marine engines for smaller sailboats in the 40 foot length size. They called it the Atomic Four. I sailed home from Hawaii on a Cal 40 with a Gray engine in it.
The first president of Ford Motor was John S. Gray, and he passed in the summer of 1906, at which time Hnery Ford became president. His shares passed on to his family, and his son was asked to become a board member, and did. I don't recall the son's name at this moment. The family retained their shares until the late teens, making millions from their initial investment of about $10,000.
Also, there appears to be no relationship between the Dort, and Canadian version, Gray-Dort, and the Gray Automobile Company.
Your topic is not quite OT Andrew,
As Dane posted there is a Ford Connection in more ways than one.
Gray cars were imported here by Robert Durance who was sent to Australia by McGregor from Canada in 1910? when he was establishing the Ford distributors in Australia.
Durance's job was to speed things along and sign up dealers in Australia and other countries.
He lost his job in 1918 with Ford and along with his brother in Law set up a company in Melbourne
called Durance Mayston Motors after leaving Tarrant Motors ( Victorian Ford distributor.
Having a connection with Gray and Klinkensmith they set about importing Gray cars to Australia along with other makes such as Studebaker.
Here is an article from 1923.
Grey engine was very common in marine use
I owned a few single and 2 cylender greys and even a grey hit n miss
I know of the germ auto but never seen one
Thanks for all the info. Here are some photos. More to come.
Inside doesn't look too bad.
Here are a few more photos. Looks like adjustable lifters. The generator/distributor drive gear doesn't look so good.
I'm not sure how I'll get the pin out that holds the fan belt pulley in place. It seems pretty tight.
Many years ago, an old friend who had lived through the era, told me that there were three 'spurious' or perhaps 're-badged' model T fords. He said that they were the Palm, the Renown and the Gray. Well, the Palm and the Renown were certainly Model T's, but with the Ford connections to Gray, I can understand his belief.
The third spurious Ford was the Spark.
Allan from down under.
The engine is in Australia and not for sale, sorry.
I am wondering if you have any photos from your restoration you could share? I am interesting in seeing the distributor & carburettor setup as these items are missing, also anything on the flywheel, clutch, gearbox.
I can pm you with my email address.
Well, I tried to post. Will try again.
Be careful removing that pin. It may very well be a tapered pin and will only drive out in one direction.
Here's another attempt at posting pictures of my Gray -- in better days.