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Anyone Recognize This?
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First Month Member
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/13
posted
It seems too short for an Auburn, and has too few exhaust pipes. And the front fenders are too bull-nosed. This has a GM look about it, maybe Harley Earl. The nose hints Cadillac. But I can't ID it, and neither can anyone on my block.

It also has a slight odor of Plymouth.

I have not remembered to take the picture with me on museum and car show visits, so nothing on that front.

I know we have some sharp car guys here.

Thoughts?



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84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
Posts: 6170 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Old Man and No Barth
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The car more closely resembles a Cord than anything else. It's about the size of the Corvair-powered 8/10 Cord that appeared briefly in the 1960s. The fenders are very Cord-like, but seem more bulbous, & the headlights are not built-in to the fender fronts. The pipes are Cord-like, as are the bull-nose hood & front bumper, but the grill & front pan are different. Somehow I sense fiberglas, not metal in the body structure, but don't ask me why.

Take your photo to a custom show, & maybe someone can identify it. It is almost certainly a custom, but it's hard to say what vintage.
 
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Picture of Dave Bowers
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Hey Olroy, you bought one of these babies new didn't you? Smiler Smiler Razzer


 
Posts: 557 | Location: Eden Prairie, Minnesota | Member Since: 02-07-2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
First Month Member
Supporting Member of Barthmobile.com 11/13
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quote:
Originally posted by olroy:
Somehow I sense fiberglas, not metal in the body structure, but don't ask me why.



It has an aura of the late thirties or just postwar, I think, which would make it too early for FRP. However, the way the door meets and incorporates the front fender could make one sense fiberglas.

The cockpit is too far forward. That makes me think the body started out life as a four door sedan. Then they chopped it and covered the back seat area and stuck on a windshield from a 1928 Gar Wood Speedster that was confiscated from Joe Kennedy by the Bureau of Prohibition in 1929.

The Assistant Prohibition Commissioner, Harry J. Anslinger kept the boat for himself, but was afraid to be seen in it, as Kennedy had been named Ambassador to The Court of St James, and was not without political influence. So he burned the boat, piece by piece, in his fireplace, at a soiree' with Kennedy present, He kept only the windshield and the bollard bit. It lay fallow in the loft of his carriage house until 1946, when he had accumulated enough confiscated drug money from his position as Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Since money is harder to trace, he was able to have a custom car built. He decided to use the windshield to remind him of his glory days protecting us from Demon Rum. Unfortunately, the builder commissioned by the commissioner to build the car was a cannabis user, and did most of his work when high. The Commish never forgave himself for making such a bad choice, and embarked on a campaign to criminalize MJ that continues to this day. He was ridiculed whenever he showed up anywhere with the car, and was greatly distressed when he heard that Kennedy had recognized the windshield and had put two and two together, recalling Anslinger's comments about the "finest Honduras mahogany" in the fireplace. Anslinger developed a case of hives over his fears of retribution through Kennedy's mob associates, and finally gave it to a his Russian counterpart, a Drug Czar, as it were. It is now lost to history, along with the Romanov diamonds, Jimmy Hoffa and Judge Crater. Anslinger had all pictures of the car hunted down and confiscated in phoney drug raids, so my copy is the only one that survives. I placed it on this site to remove the benefit of his son in law having me killed for it.


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84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
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The Old Man and No Barth
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Bill's been in the sauce again (sigh).

Dave, I'm not quite that old, really I'm not.
 
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First Month Member
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quote:
Originally posted by olroy:
The car more closely resembles a Cord than anything else. It's about the size of the Corvair-powered 8/10 Cord that appeared briefly in the 1960s. The fenders are very Cord-like, but seem more bulbous, & the headlights are not built-in to the fender fronts. The pipes are Cord-like, as are the bull-nose hood & front bumper, but the grill & front pan are different. Somehow I sense fiberglas, not metal in the body structure, but don't ask me why.



Bite your tongue! Gordon Buehrig himself was involved in the design of the 8/10 replicar. It was as beautiful as the original. It was Royalex, not fiberglas, anyway. The Cord design had the cockpit farther aft, without the door cutting into the front fender. None of the replicas that I remember had the door cutting into the front fender. That is just plain awkward. Especially for a suicide door. If nothing else, it puts more weight on the hinges than was normal for those days. Lots of custom bodies were built on wood structure, or at least used it as reinforcement.

The front pan lacks the hump for the front wheel drive transmission, and the hood seems too far forward in relation to the fenders, compared to a Cord.

Graham ended up with the Cord body dies, but I don't remember anything this bad.

There were later full-sized Cord-inspired "replicas" on Ford and Chrysler chassis, but they were not quite true to GB's design. They were stretched and widened. Handsome cars, nonetheless. Sadly, few (or none) of them had the disappearing headlights, though. They had truck headlight bezels and sockets stuck in the fenders. None that I recall had bullet headlights, however. All of the replicas were later than the picture seems to be.

The picture makes me think it is a movie still. It is clearly posed, with the butler, etc. But not quite like an advert. The guy in the hat still looks like Anslinger.

Where is Dale? He is sharp on old cars.


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84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
Posts: 6170 | Location: AZ Central Highlands | Member Since: 01-09-2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Old Man and No Barth
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Please note: I said it "most closely resembles a Cord," & "it's about the size of the 8/10 Cord." But it surely ain't no Cord replica, 8/10 or otherwise.

Indeed it's a bit of an abortion because of the liberties taken with the original design which, I had forgotten in my earlier description, was usually referred to as the "coffin-nose," Cord.

Before the 1930s, most auto bodies, including production cars were wood-framed, & referred to as, "coach-built." A lot of British production cars well-into the 1950s also used this construction which involved building a finely crafted wooden buck, then covering it with sheets of metal hammered into place by skilled craftsmen. My 1950 MG TD was built that way.

It's great fun to try to restore one of these old coach-built bodies when water has gotten in to rot the wood.
 
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She who must be obeyed
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Here is my guess, the picture looks like the movie Topper.




The picture Bill has shows someone who is not Roland Young in the car; I wonder if it is from a screen test. Here is a picture of Grant and Young in the movie


http://www.carygrant.net/fotogallery/topper/topper-13.jpg

The car in that movie was a one off buick.

http://www.thefedoralounge.com/showthread.php?t=6006


This is the best posting I found about the car. A quote from one the responses is below.

Sorry for dredging up an old thread, but I found it. The car was a one-off 1936 Buick Roadmaster roadster built by Bohman & Schwartz. It still exists, but no longer looks like the car from the film. The last record of it I found was at this auction.

It's a shame, really, since it was such a gorgeous car. I suppose if you wanted to buy an old '36 Roadmaster and rebody it, it could be done. I'd add a removable top though.

Someone asked about the car's color. I remember watching the colorized version of the film and I think it was a cream or peach color. . .

This is a link to the last sale. It sure looks different at the end.

http://www.rmauctions.com/AuctionResults.cfm?SaleCode=BC06#



Timothy
 
Posts: 282 | Location: Studio City, California | Member Since: 02-07-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Old Man and No Barth
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Not the same car. The only similarities are the little rear fin & suicide doors. The "Topper" car has fadeaway fenders not teardrops, a longer fender line front & rear, a longer hood rounded off in front, as opposed to the "coffin-nose,"a garish front-end with headlights in the fenders, not teardrop headlights partially inset, no exposed exhaust pipes, & no parking lights on the fenders.

On the other hand, El Segundo Bill's photo might be the "Topper" car, & the other one an imposter.

In any event, Bill's photo is Cord-like, though neither a Cord nor a replica, & the other one is IMHO butt ugly.
 
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She who must be obeyed
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Roy:

The last sale pictures are sure different.

By the time Gilmore Gas and Mobil were done with the car it sure did not look the same. The car when it was last sold, well as I see it, was not a nice as when it was first built.

I added a link to the movie in my first post to clear things up. Roy, you are correct; looking at the last pictures things have changed from Bill's picture.

There is a description of what was done to the car at the last sale but no pictures that show the changes over time, that is I think a shame.


All the best:


Timothy

 
Posts: 282 | Location: Studio City, California | Member Since: 02-07-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
First Month Member
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Yup. Tim's got it. It is the Topper car. The still I posted does not do the car justice. It looks bar better in the other shots. The windshield in the Gilmore shots http://www.thefedoralounge.com/showpost.php?p=194996&postcount=220has a frame, while the Topper car appears frameless. This fits the story that Kennedy saw the movie and used his Hollywood connections to demand the return of his windshield. Gilmore replaced it with a traditional automobile windshield.

This thing, has had a whole bunch of changes to it. Few of them good. Roy's description of it is apt. The more you read, the more it reminds me of my grandfather's axe.

Actually, it is not too bad if you ignore the Tucker/Studebaker front.


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84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
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She who must be obeyed
and
me, Ensign 3rd crass
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The car in Topper always impressed me. This is a great posting I often wondered where the car ended up.

To think it became the abomination shown in the last post is rather sad.

I love the pictures, Bill's shot show a car that is forshortened; the movie shots don't agree on the color. We can only wonder what it really looked like.


Timothy

Oh yea the girl and the life style they both impressed me as well.

 
Posts: 282 | Location: Studio City, California | Member Since: 02-07-2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Old Man and No Barth
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O.K. El Segundo Bill's last post 'splains everything. Too bad they bastardized what was a pretty nice custom, though nowhere as neat as a real Cord.

And then there was Roscoe Turner, and his pet lion, Gilmore, but maybe we shouldn't get into that.
 
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First Month Member
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OK, I'll see your Roscoe Turner and raise you a Franz von Werra.


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84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
 
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The Old Man and No Barth
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I fold. Who's Franz von Werra?
 
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