Part One of Brent Campbell's Steam Car Renovation.
The car I am replicating is the second of three cars made especially for F.E Stanley's son, Raymond (1894-1985). As many many people know I restored the first car Raymond designed,which his father had requested the factory to build to what Raymond specified.
Since Raymond was only 16 when the first special car for him was built (1910-11) FE surely had to over-see the "build" of the car at the factory.That is why i nicknamed it "Effie".
Luckily this car is one of the survivors and its history has been verified and detailed information can be found on Kelly Williams "The Stanley Register Online"in the 1911 model year , serial number 6052.
the second car built for Raymond was completed in April of 1912 and was serial number 6700 as verified by the original Stanley serial number book that is in the custody of Virginia Landry, Fred Marriott's (the test and racing driver for the Stanley Factory) grand daughter.This fits since the first car is recorded in the book as being delivered (sold) April,1912. The book has Fred`s name inscribed on the cover as it was his job to record the model,serial number,and delivery date when vehicles were sold.
This car was not sold since it was still in use by Raymond in 1914 when the steering broke the second time. FE decided to dismantle the car after the second steering breakage which happened while Raymond and two of his Harvard classmates were on there way from Harvard to Raeburn Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts on Friday afternoon for a game of golf. Each week the boys would try to best the previous week's time as Raymond told several steam enthusiasts during one of several interviews in the early 1980`s before his death in 1984. Ray said they were on track for a record time when the steering broke (again) and the steering wheel just went round and round in his hands with no connection to the front wheels. Luckily, he and his two passengers survived the crash and Ray walked away to the nearest house to call his father. It was after this last incident that F.E decided to dismantle the car. I used the word dismantle since those who have studied the Stanley twins know that "Maine Yankees" didn't throw anything away that could be used. I have no doubt that any usable parts were recycled at the factory!
The serial number, date of delivery,and model were usually typed into the serial number book. Virginia Landry recognizes Fred`s hand writing and wrote in RWS 30HP 3P next to the number 6700.The 3P meant it was built to accommodate three people.
Fred Marriott didn`t like Raymond (pictured above) according to all accounts of people who new them both. Imagine an 18 year old owner's son bringing in his special car for service and advising the service manager of what needed attention. Fred would have to take care of his boss' son ahead of other scheduled work in all likelihood, even if the problem was minor such as a yellow pilot! No wonder Fred remembered the serial number, and description of the car since he probably had to drop everything to tend to it during the three years it was in service. Never "sold" but not forgotten by Fred!
Ray liked his cars low with a racy look. He did graduate from Harvard with a degree in Automotive Design. The first series V nose Stanley condensing cars were designed by him and are generally considered the most attractive of the condensing body styles.
"EFFIE" was almost four inches lower than production Stanleys at the time he designed it. Thirty horse power cars are large imposing vehicles, be it a model 87 touring car or a mountain wagon.
The first car built for Ray is anything but large or impressive. Rather "a wolf in sheep`s clothing" in appearance. EFFIE IS PICTURED BELOW.
The second car Ray designed was lower by almost eight inches. He could have been inspired by Mercer Raceabouts or American Underslungs which were very low compared to most other automobiles of the period. The wheels sported aftermarket period accessory disc plates screwed to the conventional wood spoke wheels on both sides which gave them a different look. He didn't like standard windshields but preferred a canvas covering which was commonly referred to as "Cambridge Windshield" the six different pictures from Ray's personal scrap book show that this windscreen was modified three times during the time he had this car. He told the interviewers that this was his favorite of the three cars built expressly for him. The pictures from Ray's scrapbook were vital in the ongoing effort to recreate this car accurately.
Computer aid helped determine dimensions and generating design specifications. My son-in-law, Mark Herman, is the person who has brought the car to life along with one of his employees , Peter Kruger. Mark is a cabinet maker, Stanley owner, and has built or repaired over 25 Stanley and other steam car bodies up to now.This project (Ray`s car is my nickname for it but one Stanley friend has dubbed it "Ugly Betty" which reflects what many folks feel about the looks of this car!) has been far and away the most difficult build of any car done by Mark in the past. There are no internal pictures or information about how the factory made the numerous alterations necessary to lower the car. There are countless interference issues that have had to be dealt with.
We try to imagine how Stanley might have solved the problem while considering solutions. (Knowing Stanley's, we think they opted in favor of the quickest ,easiest, cheapest way possible.) One is the steering, which they didn't get right since we know it failed three times. I have experienced five steering failures in three different Stanley`s over the years and figure my luck of being unscathed so far is going to run out one of these days.
We now have a rolling chassis and plumbing has started as you can see from the pictures. This is one of the things I can do myself and enjoy the task. The three passenger body skeleton has been built by Mark and Peter and is now in Northport, Michigan being aluminium skinned by an expert craftsman thanks to Mike May who resides only five miles away and is overseeing the construction for me (not to mention hauling it as well!!)
The car has a 55 gallon water tank,20 gallon main fuel tank, and the wheelbase is 130 inches. It is geared 55/60 or 1.09 to one. Curb weight is estimated to come in about 4000 pounds when finished. It is not going to be a performance car such as "Effie"which curbs at 3450 pounds, or a model K which weighs in at 2900 pounds, or an H5 which tips the scales at 2460 pounds.
Hopefully it will be a comfortable, good cruising, decent handling steamer with a very low center of gravity compared to production Stanleys. Like an H5 or "Effie" it will have good weight distribution since there will be more weight on the rear than the front. (Most Stanleys understeer since much of the weight is in the front). I plan to run it as a chassis without fenders, hood, lamps,etc until it is all "dialed in"; besides it is more fun and faster while lighter than it will be in full dress!