Saturday, February 20, 2016
The drive mechanism had no direct connection between the engine and the rear wheels. Instead of a flywheel, a generator and a horseshoe shaped magnet were attached to the rear of the engine's crank shaft.
On the forward end of the car's drive shaft, was an electric motor with an armature fitted into an air space inside the whirling magnet. Electric current, transmitted by the engine's generator and magnet attached to the armature of the electrical motor, providing the energy to turn the drive shaft and propel the engine's rear wheels. Speed for the car was controlled by a small lever adjacent to the steering wheel.
The Owen Magnetic was the perfect vehicle for the first decade of mass produced automobiles, since it has no clutch or gear shifter. In 1916 hybrids made more sense than they do today because early manual transmissions were such a bear to operate. Most cars of the era had straight-cut gears and heavy clutches. If you were a man or a woman with a bad leg, or you simply weren't able to drive, shift, and double-clutch at the same time.
The car's other advantage was its electric brake. There's a cockpit lever that turns the traction motor—the one that drives the rear wheels—into a generator. So when it's time to slow down, you move the lever, and the resistance provided by the motor slows the car and charges the batteries—the same kind of regenerative mode that's found in today's hybrids.
Walter C. Baker, (of Baker Motor Vehicle) owned the patents on the Entz transmission, and Owen Magnetics were advertised as "The Car of a Thousand Speeds".
The car became as famous as the company's clientele, which included Enrico Caruso and John McCormack.
In December 1915, the concern was moved to Cleveland when the Owen joined Baker and the Rauch and Lang concern. The Baker Electric Car company would produce the car, and Rauch and Lang would build the coachwork. Because of the combined resources, the 1916 Owen Magnetic increased its model range for 1916 model year, with prices in the $3,000 to $6,000 dollar range.
A 1917 Ford Model T cost $360; Cadillacs ran about two grand. An Owen Magnetic started at $3700 and went up from there.
only 12 are said to still exist, one in the Nethercutt, one in Jay Leno's collection, one in the Cleveland Car Museum, one in the Fountainhead. Cleveland had about 10% of the car makers in the US at one point.
He won the 1904 Tour, and other races, by cheating very cleverly. Well, almost. He did get caught.
Aucouturier was one of the four leading riders disqualified at the end in a race bedevilled by protesters, some of who attacked riders, and by trees felled across the road. So frequent were accusations of cheating among riders, including claims that some had taken a train, that on 30 November 1904 the Union Vélocipédique de France disqualified Maurice Garin, Lucien Pothier, César Garin and Aucouturier.
One rider that wasn't disqualled, was Faurer, who had a 100 fans mob the race path after he passed them, forcing his competition to get off their bikes and fight through the mob to get on with the race.
the other, was that Aucouturier tied a piece of string to the back of a car. To the other end of the string he tied a bit of cork. Now the idea was for Aucouturier to bite down on the cork and then be towed along by the car, all the while presumably praying with clenched teeth that no-one found out. Of course, someone spotted the string.
These are 2 of the 4 worst cheats in all bike racing history according to Bike Roar http://www.bikeroar.com/articles/the-4-greatest-bicycle-cheats-in-history
But remember, this wasn't the only van at the school,
this one had side windows
Friday, February 19, 2016
Right place, right time, car gets to be with the Beach Boys on the Ed Sullivan show because it scored a place in the New York Worlds Fair
With 15 dollars, a Chevy roadster was pulled out of the Luna Park junkyard on Coney Island, and without welding equipment or any power tools Joe used a hacksaw to section the car 6 six inches and channel the body over the frame 4 inches. The top was also chopped 2 inches from stock, installed atop a '32 Ford frame, which had been shortened, completely boxed, and fully plated in polished stainless steel.
Reassembly was done using just standard pop rivets. Finish work was done in lead, a material with which Joe was a pro.
The paint job was done in the garage with 2 cases of J C Whitney laquer spray cans that he applied w patience, than rubbed by hand. That paint job won him numerous trophies.
The grille shell is an interesting piece. It was made from two original shells, each cut in half, with both top pieces molded together after sectioning 3 inches out of the center. A custom stainless steel cover was made for the front of the grille.
Covering the front tires is an original set of Harley-Davidson motorcycle fenders. Headlamps are from a '34 Ford truck, and the roadster has a pair of HD signal lights to boot.
After winning Best of Show at the 1964 New York Coliseum Rod and Custom extravaganza, Joe Sbrigato was asked by General Tire to display his car in its booth at the New York World's Fair.
The payment was a brand new set of whitewall tires, while at the fair, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys asked to borrow the car for the Ed Sullivan the next week.
But they needed 3 roadsters so Joe asked two of his drag racing buddies from Long Island and New Jersey to bring their rods on the show.