should be topic on post
NOT Picking up your Gray
? ? ? ? - Don't know what happened.
How do you edit? ? ?
It happened again ! ! !
OT, but I wish I had a Gray to pick up, they're neat cars.
pick up an entire set!
DAVE!! JUST IGNORE THAT GUY. CHARLEY
NOT YOU DALE. CHARLEY
Whoever restored the Grey did a top notch restoration.
I opened this expecting to see Marty B here! I think he has become the world's foremost Gray automobile collector. I think he has 25 percent of the surviving cars (two out of the eight, or maybe there are nine known now?).
Interesting and extremely rare cars. Their survival rate must be among the lowest of any car that ever reached real production. They had a nationwide dealership network, original photos exist of dozens of dealerships, and many cars, yet, out of thousands built, less than a dozen are known to still exist. For some reason quite a few of the engines do exist, and are known around the world. The last year of production, they had a very distinctive tail-lamp with their name proudly displayed. Many years ago, I knew the owner of one of the few (then six known) cars, so I noticed things like that. There were two guys that had Gray tail-lamps, practically NOS, trying to sell them at swap meets. But as we know, rare alone does not make valuable. No buyers? No need? No value. I used to chuckle when I would spot both tail-lamps at the same meet.
Boy!!! Did I ever do a double take on that title!!!
When I first saw it, I thought there was another Gray out there!
Wayne, I do now own two Grays: A 1925 Touring still undergoing restoration and; a non-running 1924 or 1925 that is really more of a parts car. It does have a complete engine, chassis, a lot of sheet metal including fenders, splash aprons, wheels, instruments, etc. I've also amassed a good collection of Gray parts, big and small, picking up anything I could find at Hershey, swap meets and, ebay.
I think the reason there are so few cars left is that they were not very good cars. I think the reason why there are engines left is that the engines are great. The folks that started the company had a lot of engine building experience with marine engines before getting into the car business. For some reason, a lot of Grays seemed to have been exported to Australia. (Any comment from our friends down under?)
I have one of the tail lamps mentioned. The glass is red with the Gray logo in yellow. It came with the car being restored and is original to the car, so, they must have started using them in 1925. Mine looks good but has a slight crack in it. (Anybody want to see a photo.)
Wayne, how long ago did you see those tail lamps? Any idea where they are now?
Mark, those photos look like they were taken at OCF last year. The owner and I connected there. Really nice people from the east coast. We've kept in contact. I think he also had it at Hershey two years ago.
Oh, by the way, I even found a belt buckle in the shape of the Gray radiator emblem with the Gray logo!
I have to ask Marty if the cars were found in a barn, out in a field or from another old car guy. Cars that are this rare don't ever show up but I guess these did!
Parts maybe would show up in a trailer filled with old parts from who knows what parked in the back of a swap meet.
Neat and practical looking car.
Marty, the picture was taken at Hershey, I believe in 2016.
Saw one in Minnesota a few years ago, nice car.
Sorry Marty, I can't help much with those tail-lamps these days. Just another "those were the days" tale. It was when I was just a kid getting into this hobby. Going to college part time, working part time, tinkering on my '29 Reo and model T most of the time. More than 45 years ago. I had joined a couple local clubs, and was just getting to know the people. One of the "prize" members of the Mid Peninsula club had the Gray (sadly, I cannot remember his name these days). He was one of several members that everyone else liked to brag about knowing. His was one of the rarest cars in the club, and he personally knew Bill Harrah (talk about bragging rights!). Bill Harrah was having his Gray restored at about the same time as this fellow was restoring his. They got together several times (so the story goes) to compare notes and information about the Gray automobiles, both helping the other get their car right.
Unfortunately, only a couple years later, the club made a bad decision, to include "newer antiques" as active members. Within two years of that decision, nearly ALL the '10s and '20s cars that used to tour regularly, were left in the garage, replaced by '50s cars and tours driven on freeways. While my Reo and T speedster could keep up? I had no desire to tour with a bunch of modern cars, so I left the club soon after.
I was curious about the Gray, and the fellow that had it. So I did inquire a few times a couple years later. But nobody I talked to knew what had become of him, and I have not seen his Gray since.
The last time I saw those tail-lamps at a swap meet was about 40 years ago. I sometimes wish I had bought one of them, just for kicks and giggles. But I never really had enough money to buy things I did not need for too much money.
I forgot about Harrahs and the extensive literature collection he allegedly amassed on each car he was restoring.
Anybody know where all those records are?
I do not know how much? But a lot of it is still there at the National Automobile Museum (or some offsite location?) (I was told by someone that it is on an upper floor of the museum building, but don't know if that is true or not?). They still do research requests. I was there while trying to visit family in Reno about two years ago. It is such a letdown after seeing the collection 40 years ago. However, still a very impressive collection and nicely displayed.
I have also heard that some of the literature collection found its way to what eventually became the Horseless Carriage Foundation Inc, the pure research offshoot of the HCCA (legally, they are separate entities). I was a member of the HCFI for many years because I wanted to support their research efforts.
I have read that at least three huge private collections formed the foundation of the HCFI, including part of Bill Harrah's collection. But that is just what I have been told.
I did see Bill Harrah's Gray as well, but that was about 40 years ago also. I am fairly sure it is not in the current collection (I know I did not see it two years ago). I have no idea what became of it beyond "probably sold during the infamous auctions".
I know of one in Houston. I've even done a little work on it.
About 55+ years ago, I went to the Newport Region swapmeet in Newport Beach, and there was a Gray coupe there for sale. I've never forgotten that car.