Horseless Carriage Pictures

Here is a 1904 (?) Duryea...  Do you see a steering wheel???  I wish I knew more about it...

 

Here is a detail of the little Duryea's transmission...  I was very impressed with the quality of the metal work on these cars.

 

Here is a detail of the little Duryea's engine... note the oiling mechanism which is the brass box on top... then the oil lines going to the places that need oil.

Here is the real deal... the name plate... I bet that had to be repainted.

 

Here is the big Duryea...  I wish I knew more about it... it's a large car and they had it out on the "tour" earlier in the day... leaks a lot of oil!!!  This car was a barn car... the pictures of it in the barn were shocking... no tread, no upholstery, no paint, missing parts.  Kinda melting into the dirt loaded down with bales of stuff.  This is a true rescue/restoration.  Its also a labor of love... wait till you hear when the resto started!

 

Here is a Buick Engine from 1905.  It is on a stand and trailer for taking out to exhibitions... they also said it would eventually go in a car.  Much cranking but it would not start...  The flywheel is 150-lbs and REALLY hard to spin.

 

Here is a detail of the Buick Engine - No valve covers.

 

This is a 1909 Buick and it apparently runs... it was the other car that was out on the road earlier.

And this is the second 1909 Buick.  The 1905 engine on the stand will go in a THIRD 1909 Buick that is halfway completed... the body of the third car was in the garage on a stand and the running gear was in the driveway waiting for paint and assembly.

 

Now lets take stock of what we've seen...  Two Duryeas, obviously well restored and running well enough to take on modern streets.  Get this:  The little Duryea has Kawasaki motocross bike disc brakes on the rear wheels to make it more drivable... the son in law said the original brake operates but usually is so slippery with a coating of oil it hardly stops the car. Then there are the three 1909 Buicks in various states of restoration, two out of the three look pretty good.  The body of the third looks pretty good with similar paint and upholstery already done.

The garage is two doubles and one single bay with the only special large tool being a lathe.  The house is in a nicer area of
Pasadena but nothing really special, perhaps 1800 sqft ranch style.  I think they guy was just excellent at his hobby and the fruits of his labor are crystal clear in these pictures.  The son in law told me that the old man had started working on these cars in 1949.  Really a great showing of what can be accomplished with time and perseverance.  The son in law estimated that out of all these type of cars that still exist, perhaps 25% are restored and the other 75% are still living in barns...

You really have to ask yourself what will happen to this collection now that the old man has died.  I can see that this requires a lot of time in the garage and a lot of time hunting parts.  I do not know that the son in law has the time to maintain the collection or even to finish the third Buick.  I did not see the wife of the old man but you know how life is...  she may choose to move to a new smaller home and then where do the cars go?  And what about all the spare parts tucked away in the garage?  Building this collection was obviously a labor of love but with the passing of the old man what will happen is not clear.