Monday, May 28, 2012

1926 Rickenbacker Super Sport Boat tail, Eddie's show car

In June 1923 all Rickenbackers built from then on had four-wheel brakes. Packard had made the same statement 16 days earlier, but only offered it on their eight-cylinder models.

The Rickenbacker was the first medium priced American car with four-wheel brakes. Duesenberg had been the first to offer the option, but Duesenbergs were far from meduim-priced.
 Buick, Oakland, Cadillac, Marmon, Chalmers, Elgin, Paige and Locomobile were next to jump on four-wheel brake bandwagon.

 Few people seemed to remember that Rickenbacker had been making cars with four-wheel brakes since 1922, although few models came with the option in 1922. Four wheel inside brakes were introduced in 1923.

At the 1926 New York Auto Show the Rickenbacker Motor Company deputed it’s new Super Sport Boattail Coupe for $5000. They claimed it was the fastest production car to carry 4 people at just under 100 mph.

Duesenberg, Stutz, Packard could go faster, but they could only haul 2 people!! It’s believed less than 20 of these Super Sport Boat Tails were ever produced.

 The super 8 was his sportscar and he only made 7 of these chassis, but because of the economy he could only made 1 car to take to the auto show



currently owned by the Pond Collection, this car was at the Desert Concours in Palm Springs in 2009, photos from Rex Grays Flikr page http://www.flickr.com/photos/rexgray/page357/

info from the Pond Collection website

 Car makers who did not offer a four-wheel brake model claimed that four-wheel brakes were dangerous. This campaign hurt Rickenbacker sales slightly, even though there was nothing unsafe about the design. Two companies leading these negative ads were the Ford Motor Company & Studebaker. The main reason for these ads really had nothing to do with the safety of the brakes. Ford & Studebaker had thousands of chassis in stock with two wheel brakes and nothing on the engineering table to start building a car with four wheel brakes. The negative campaign was to slow down the selling of four wheel braking auto’s until their stock piles to two wheel chassis were used up. And you thought Tucker was the only company that got a raw deal from the big 3?



Brochure images from http://www.lov2xlr8.no/misc.html

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