Photos of a 1924 Stanley 750 Roadster at an RACV Event in Melbourne, Australia courtesy of Jim Hatton.
Billings Cooke writes:
It has been a while since I posted a progress report on my restoration of the 1903 Grout. Work has been progressing slowly but progressing. We are still hoping to be under steam later this spring or summer.
After about a 5 week wait I have received the rebuilt Wheels back from Stutzmans Wheel Shop. Noah, did a beautiful job on rebuilding the four wheels. I was amazed at the speed in which he got them done and how economically he got them done. Now it's on to paint.
Courtesy of Prewarcar.com
We came across this fantastic article about the first American woman who got her driving license in 1900 and never had a dent. Anne Rainsford French Bush was the first official woman licensed to drive an automobile in America. On March 22, 1900, she received a Steam Engineers's License (Locomobile Class) issued by the City of Washington, D.C. Her unofficial title was, how can it not be, Miss. Locomobile of 1900! The article is full with anecdotes from her and also gives a good idea of the issues and way of thinking in the early days.
The interview is a delight to read. Originally published in Life Magazine, on September 8,1952 and written by Milton Lehman. Enjoy!
'Next to the mother-in-law and the farmer's daughter, the lady driver has long been the weariest butt of male American humor, which assumes that women always make left-turn signals when they plan to turn right, wigwag to pass when they plan to back up, and will crunch 85% of the fenders damaged in the U.S. in any given year. This libel, however, definitely could not be applied to Mrs. Walter M. Bush, who was the first licensed woman driver in the U.S. She has never made an improper signal; she has never dented a fender; she has never exceeded the speed limit; she has never been scolded by a cop. Mrs. Bush, however, does not provide a complete answer to anti-feminists on the road. She stopped driving in 1903.
Recently I bucked the swarming 1952 traffic from Washington, D.C. to South Brooksville, Maine, to visit her at her daughter's summer home. While we talked, her grandson Lincoln Smith worked in the backyard, hip deep in the random parts of his 1949 Ford convertible, which he had just bought with the proceeds from raking blueberries. Sitting on the front terrace overlooking the blue waters of Bucks Harbor, Mrs. Bush was delighted to recall the days when she was Anne Rainsford French, a belle of Capitol Hill, a licensed steam engineer and Miss Locomobile of 1900.
This month the vigorous Mrs. Bush will return to Washington in person to help the American Automobile Association celebrate its Golden Jubilee as the motorist's best friend. At that time, the District of Columbia Fire Department had promised, she will be able to indulge her whim to ride in a red fire engine down Pennsylvania Avenue. The Department will thus repay a long-standing debt. More than 50 years ago Anne French and her father conditioned the city's fire horses for the horseless age.
This takes a little explaining: Mrs. Bush's father, William Bates French, was one of Washington's most noted doctors, and among his duties was being physician to the District Fire Department. Dr. French decided on a drastic treatment. He and his daughter would drive their hissing steamer to the firehouse and sit there, while the horses snorted and reared, until the Locomobile noisily blew its safety valve. After several such treatments the horses calmed down and Dr. French was able to pronounce them cured of their automotive phobia.
While Mrs. Bush rejoices in her pioneer role, her experiences have never made much of an impression on her grandchildren. When she told Lincoln, a high-school pitcher and hotrod pilot, that the District speed limit was nine miles an hour and htat her father was once fined for going 12 miles an hour, Lincoln advised her that when he tried to get his convertible down to 12 miles an hour, the motor stalled. Her collegiate granddaughter, Rachael, was more aroused by grandma's driving costume than by her mechanical skill "If the car broke down," Rachael asked, "couldn't you get a boy friend to fix it?" "Certainly not," said Mrs. Bush "I knew more about the engine than they did!"
"Just try to get across the young folks how we felt!"she said, settling back in a canvas deck chair. "We don't seem to speak the same language. It's not that I'm a slowspoke." Mrs. Bush added.
"About 15 years ago, my younger brother drove me down to Washington in his heavy Chrysler, and our cruising speed was 90 miles an hour. I loved it and I didn't do any back-scat driving. When I got to Washington my sister took me up in a sightseeing plane over the city. I had a fine time and I'd do it again. But the old Locomobile was much more exciting than that."
The Stanley Museum writes- Steam Meet, Woodstock, Vermont, 1962. A fine lineup of Stanleys and Whites at an early steam gathering in Woodstock, Vermont, over half a century ago. Many of these cars are still touring today, even if many of their custodians in this picture are no longer with us.
Brett Ventura Writes:
The coils are rotted from the inside, Visited Tom Kimmel last month, (what a collection!) he is currently winding new coils and I am making a new coil shell & combustion chamber.
The I disassembled the differential yesterday, I think the guy welded the original Packard axle tube onto the Stanley. All the bearings need replaced, the threads on the end of the one shaft are stripped, and the taper was not cut right for the drums & required a shim (the axle with the shim had the stripped threads, would have lost a wheel). He also made a wheel spacer to widen the stance. I have decided to do away with all of this, and go to a modern drum setup from a Chevy truck. I would have to cut the old tubes off, and start over fresh. Does anyone know if the axle & housing are cast iron or cast steel? I can do the drill or spark test but figured I would ask here first. Open to any other ideas.
Also, the center of the spider/spur gear has some wear, just make a bushing I’m guessing?
What did the Stanley axle have originally to hold the wheel on? Was it a taper or just a key? I have not seen one apart.
Chris Wedgewood recently visited Australia, catching up firstly with Trevor Gaut and his immaculate 1925 Stanley and 1908 White Model L Project, before moving onto Sydney to see a Model F Serpollet being restored.