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Gossip of the Automobilists and Notes of the Trade.

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Gossip of the Automobilists and Notes of the Trade.

The New York Times
February 5, 1911

Economy trips are finding favor with the motor car and tire manufacturers.  The two latest have been the tour of A. L. Westgard from New York to San Francisco, and the Winton up-keep demonstration.  In each event the Goodrich tires played an important part.  In the transcontinental tour the car ran 4,600 miles, while in the up-keep contest an aggregate 19,411 miles was covered.

The Hotchkiss Import Company are showing a new "little six" cylinder 42 horse power car that embodies all points that have proved so satisfactory in former types, as well as certain incidentals well calculated to make it modern in each detail.  The neat and compact motor is free from vibration, the result of perfect balance of the reciprocating parts, all of which are particularly efficient and silent in operation.

Thirty consecutive days of running with every part of the car sealed against repairs or adjustment is the record of a Maxwell Model Q, driven by W. H. Smith of Columbus, Ohio, in a midwinter test covering thirty-six counties in that State.  The run was started in Columbus with the intention of traveling 100 miles a day over the worst roads that could be found.  In the first twenty-seven days the car covered 3,184 miles, alternating in muddy, slushy, and icy highways.  Under ordinary conditions this average would be nothing remarkable by any Maxwell car, but in rounding out a daily century over the worst kinds of roads and with mechanical attention impossible, the car demonstrated that it was built for hard service.

The recent breaking of the automobile record for the round trip between Los Angeles and San Diego, Cal., was a great triumph for Goodyear tires.  This thirty horse power Buick, driven by Louis Nikrent, which established the new mark, was equipped with Goodyear tires.  These tires stood up remarkably well under the severe strain of covering 322 miles of rough and uneven country roads.  The machine was driven at a hard pace all the way, as Nikrent broke the former record of 9 hours and 58 minutes by 6 minutes.  There was no tire trouble of any sort throughout the run.  Not a second was lost by changing tires, punctures, or blowouts.

That there is no slump in the automobile industry is indicated by the activity in the factories of the leading companies.  Manufacturers keep pretty close track of conditions.  They are not prone to keep up full speed unless business warrants it, yet some companies are increasing their forces as rapidly as possible.  The Chalmers Motor Company reports that it is working with its full force, and overtime in some departments.  This company has been putting on men at the rate of twnety-five to thirty a day for the past 3 weeks, following the usual slack.  An average of 500 men are working on the night shift at this time.

Standard Oil made a new record last Monday when its Dreadnought six-ton Gaggenau German Army motor truck, purchased from the Benz Auto Import Company, established a pioneer mark for a long-distance indurance run of 275 miles, from New York to Boston, by pulling into the Standard's Boston office on schedule time at 7 o'clock Monday morning ready for business.  The actual running time was 35 hours, at an average hourly rate of eight miles.  Standard Oil officials claim that this initial record for this country for a truck of such heavy carrying capacity is remarkable, in view of the prevailing terrific road and weather conditions.  Long stretches of mud from six inches to a foot deep were encountered, and at Bridgeport, Conn., the truck was stuck in the mud to the hub for three hours.

Nothing more optimistic from an automobile trade standpoint has been heard in New York City than the reports from F. C. Chandler, Vice President of the Lozier Motor Company, who is in attendance at the Chicago Automobile Show.  Mr. Chandler, who is well known for his conservative tendencies, says" "Bigger actual business is being done at this year's show in the Windy City than has been known at any previous exhibition of the kind in the West.  The interest in motor cars all through the West is literally astounding, while the real buying power is nothing short of wonderful to an Easterner.  Talk of hard times and business depression, which is no stranger around New York, is refreshingly absent in Chicago.  The Westerners hardly know what it is."

The use of electrics for cross-country runs is becoming more frequent as the capabilities of the new Edison battery are better understood.  George A. Fort, the representative of the Waverley Company in Philadelphia, made a trip from the Quaker City to Manhattan that showed unexpected possibilities of fast travel over rough and difficult roads.  The distance covered was 112 miles, and the elapsed time was five and one-third hours.  Mud six inches deep was encountered in many places.  The car used was the new Waverley Roadster, a stock car taken from Mr. Fort's showroom and equipped with an A-6 Edison battery.  Mr. Glaser of the Edison Storage Battery Company accompanied Mr. Fort, and was enthusiastic in his praise of the car's behavior.

"That the farmer should eventually come to his own in this country as disclosed by the latest reports of the United States Bureau of Statistics is a matter of National rejoicing, for to him we look principally for our food and for the raw material of which our wearing material is made." says R. E. Olds, President of the Reo Motor Car Company.  "A careful compilation of all available returns at this time shows that during the year 1910 approximately 26,000 automobiles were purchased by American farmers, which is an increase over 1909 of 85 per cent, and more than 400 per cent over the motor cars which farmers purchased during 1908.

Albino Moura & Co., the general selling agents for Ford cars in Portugal, have recently completed a demonstrating and advertising tour in their Ford Model T demonstrator and succeeded for a time in attracting public attention away from the turbulent issues of forming a Portuguese Republic.  The tour, covering a distance of 2,093 kilometers, or 1,300 miles, was a complete cricuit of the Portuguese boundary line, and was over the roughest and most treacherous roads of the new republic.  The trip was made in the first Ford car ever received in Portugal.

Chief Engineer Perrin of the Lozier Works at Detroit, Mich., and Plattsburg, N. Y., has one of the most valuable automobile libraries in existence.  In addition to the standard technical works on automobiles and general engineering, this library contains complete files of the principal automobile magazines, in bound form, dating back to the earliest numbers.

The opening of the National Automobile Show at Chicago found five Waverley electric passenger cars on view.  These were Model 81 four-passenger brougham, Model 75C four-passenger brougham, Model 70C three-passenger coupe, Model 76 Victoria-phaeton, and Model 78 electric roadster.  The last-mentioned car is of the same type as the one that recently made a run from Philadelphia to New York with two passengers, covering 112 miles on Winter roads, sometimes in six inches of mud, and sometimes over deep ruts, i n5 hours and 20 minutes-a midwinter performance that would do credit to any gasoline motor of equal size.  The car was equipped with the new Edison battery, which is now furnished with any model of Waverley electric at an additional price.

The kaleidoscopic change of models in the Carhartt salesrooms at the Plaza during the last ten days gives rise to the question whether the hotel porters should not properly be transferred to the company payroll.  During this time an edition de luxe limousine, a phaeton, and a demi-tonneau have followed in quick succession, springing up mushroom-like over night, and each particular car has found an owner almost before it was properly placed.  The Carhartt Company is most enthusiastic over the quick changes under the unusually difficult conditions.

Having arrived at Chicago and nearly reaching the twenty-three-thousand mark in its mileage, the Abbott-Detroit "Bull-Dog" is still piling up mileage in spite of the snow and bad road conditions.  The "Bull-Dog," under the guidance of Dr. Charles Percival, has covered now more mileage on a continuous automobile journey than any other car has ever before accomplished in the history of the industry, and bids fair to complete the long journey of 100,000 miles laid out for it.

The word "chauffeur" has become a magical one in many rural districts.  Country boys are realizing more and more that the life of an automobile driver opens new fields-not grain and vegetable fields, but new experiences, sights, and pleasures.  "Some of the best chauffeurs we have are recruited from the smaller towns and cities," says H. A. Grant, a mechanical engineer of Tarrytown, N. Y., formerly of the testing and experimental department of the Maxwell-Briscoe Motor Company.  Automobile owners are learning that such young men make better drivers than usual "hangers on" around some garage or repair shop.  During a recent tour of the Western States Mr. Grant was so much impressed with the opportunities afforded to young men that he has prepared for free distribution a leaflet describing how any ambitious man can enter the automobile business.

One of the biggest retail sales of automobiles yet made in this city was closed late yesterday when William L. Colt, of the Colt-Stratton Company, took an order for twenty Cole cars from the De Laval Separator Company.  This sale is the talk of automobile row to-day, and Mr. Colt is congratulated on every hand.

If The Carson City News had not been enterprising enough to have an automobile in its service, a large part of the State of Nevada would have missed its daily newspaper on several occasions when a balky electric power house failed to furnish power to run the newspaper plant.  Having no auxiliary power, and no prospect of electric current, The News was unable to operate its linotype machines or presses and the paper could not be gotten out.  An ingenious master mechanic suggested that if the company's Maxwell runabout could be gotten into the press room he could start the machinery.  After removing several partitions the automobile was placed in the desired spot.  The rear of the car was jacked up and by the use of impromptu shafting and belting the machines were set in motion.

Automobile owners everywhere are pretty well agreed that in choosing a car the first and most important thing is to choose the maker.  The purchase of an automobile involves a sufficient amount to warrant a very thorough investigation as to his status.  The buyer of to-day expects his car to continue in service for many years.  The older makes are so well standardized, and so little change appears from year to year, that the quality of a car like the Rambler and its value will remain the same throughout several years of service.

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