George Hounslow recently test drove his 1901 Porter Stanhope around a local country estate, just after a complete restoration. Photos courtesy of Mary Gray.
RON ROGERS ( ROGERSMACH@YAHOO.COM )
Founded in 1900 by Major D Porter of New York, inventor of the Porter Electric Motor, the Porter Motor Co. of 950 Tremont Building, Boston Massachusetts, claimed to build “The Only Perfect Automobile”. In that case, perfection was too much for the average American of the time, as the company folded in 1901.
Many claims were made by Major D Porter (Major being his Christian name, not a rank). Automatic water control, a perfect burner, a fuel and water supply that will last 60 miles; all to be made in a 100 ft x 35ft factory “within a mile of the business section of the city” that is “well fitted for building motor carriages”.
All wishful thinking. Further research carried out by my friend Keith Burton during his visit to Boston revealed that Major D Porter’s occupation was a “Patentor”, writing patents for other people’s inventions for a living hoping to live off the royalties. His own inventions included the before mentioned electric motor and a Fibre Container, very similar to modern day Cardboard Milk Containers. However, at the time, it seems his income was slight; he and his family shared a modest house with another family in Boston; the company office of 950 Tremont building, was in fact a hotel-9th floor, 50th room. It seems that a factory, of the type previously described, was built, the building surviving until recently. However, it appears Major Dane Porter was ultimately arrested for Larceny of upward of $3000 . A Canadian by birth, he attempted to repatriate to Canada towards the end of his life, and indeed, died there in 1918, aged 59.
George Hounslow's restoration of his 1901 Porter Stanhope continues. The car has just been superbly painted by George's friend Edward Gray, and is soon to be pinstriped, and is now being reassembled.
Looks really good, George!
I have STANHOPE 1899 LOCOMOBILE WITH A MASON 170 ENGINE
HAVE A FEW QUESTIONS IE MODEL 1 OR 2
AND AM TRYING TO FIND THE BRASS I THINK
ALCOHOL BURNER STARTER CAN YOU HELP
Phone America 2023455121 Email email@example.com
I am currently restoring a 1901 Porter Stanhope steam car. This car uses a vapourising burner that burns unleaded petrol, pressurised to around 40PSI. The pressure forces the fuel through the vapouriser, where it is turned into a gas, out of the jet and into the venturi, where the fuel mixes with the air, and then through a few thousand holes in a cast burner grate, where it is ignited, producing around 250,000 BTU’s of heat, which subsequently heats the boiler.
This early car used an early system by which the whole fuel tank is pressurised. As such, a container that would hold the pressure was needed. Luckily, I had a Compressor, with a defunct motor, but almost brand new tank. The air tank proved to be exactly the right size, with the brackets in the right place. Firstly, having removed the motor and compressor parts, the tank was sandblasted. However, the two pack paint used on compressor tanks is quite resilient to sandblasting it seems, and following a failed attempt with paint stripper, the tank was suspended and then heated with a blow torch and, with the use of a wire brush, all the paint was removed.
Now, a fuel filler needed to be installed. A suitable stainless steel filler and cap of superb quality were obtained on Ebay, with a 1.8” spout. However, without a suitable sized drill or cutter, how to cut the whole for this to be fitted? The answer, was to strap the tank to the bed of the pillar drill, using a car strop and pieces of wood to support the round tank, and then drill a series of small holes in the area required, this area being marked by placing the spout on the tank and drawing around it. Once the holes were drilled, a dremel was used to cut between the holes and then create a perfect circle that the filler would snugly fit into. The filler was then silver-soldered into place, the whole tank then being pressure tested to 100PSI. This being successful, a coat of smooth Hamerite was applied to the tank, to prevent corrosion until final painting of the car, some Oak spacer blocks made up, so that the tank would fit to the frame correctly, and, finally, the necessary ¼” holes were drilled, and the tank mounted in place. Hence, a suitable fuel tank was easily and neatly made and installed.
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