All posts by Steve Evans

Steve Evans is a second-generation car guy whose passion for collector cars spans all eras. A Phoenix resident, Steve serves on the committee for the Arizona Concours d’Elegance and is the editor of a vintage motoring blog. A collector of all things automotive, Steve’s current object of interest is a 1927 Locomobile.

Classic Profile: The rare Duesenberg Model X

Hotelier and real estate investor Arnold Kirkeby was a famed owned of the Duesenberg Model X | Courtesy of the author
Hotelier and real estate investor Arnold Kirkeby was a famed owned of the Duesenberg Model X | Courtesy of the author

The Duesenberg brothers introduced their first production road car in 1920. The Straight Eight (later called the Model A) was an innovative and well-made machine. Regardless, the brothers (underfunded from the start) struggled to find enough customers to keep the company viable.

When E. L. Cord (through Auburn) purchased the bankrupt Duesenberg Company in 1926, Fred Duesenberg was already experimenting with a new iteration of the Straight Eight. It is thought that about dozen Model X chassis had been manufactured by the time of Cord’s acquisition. The Model X featured a re-worked Model A suspension and a larger displacement (260 cubic inches) mono-block straight-8 engine. Continue reading

Classic Profile: Checkered past of 1929 Duesenberg J-183

The Duesenberg J-183 with its original Derham town car body | Courtesy of the author
The Duesenberg J-183 with its original Derham town car body | Courtesy of the author

The fascinating history of 1929 Duesenberg chassis 2201 (engine J-183) starts with the handsome town car body seen in the photo and created by Enos Derham. The Derham Body Company was one of the longest-lived American coachworks, surviving two world wars.

The company was founded by Joseph Derham as the Rosemont Carriage Works only a few miles west of Philadelphia. Enos Derham, the youngest of four brothers that followed their father into the firm, would end up running the company. They were known for their formal coachwork and bodied many great brands including Duesenberg. Interestingly, the company’s building survived, becoming the home to Chinetti & Garthwaite in the 1960s, the U.S. distributor for Ferrari. Continue reading

Classic Profile: 1903 Napier Gordon Bennett Cup race car

Restorer Frank Johnson looks over the 1903 Napier after its restoration in the 1950s | Courtesy of the author
Restorer Frank Johnson looks over the 1903 Napier after its restoration in the 1950s | Courtesy of the author

D. Napier & Son Limited of Great Britain gained notoriety for automobile manufacturing through racing, specifically their 1902 win in the Gordon Bennett Cup, a cross-country race that ran from Paris to Innsbruck, Austria. The following year, the race would have been brought to England because of the Napier victory, but because England prohibited motor racing on public roads at the time, the race was moved to Ireland. Continue reading

Classic profile: 1925 Pierce-Arrow Series 80 Runabout

A 1925 Pierce-Arrow Series 80 displayed at the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo | Courtesy of the author
A 1925 Pierce-Arrow Series 80 displayed at the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo | Courtesy of the author

Despite a difficult automotive market after World War I, the president of Buffalo’s Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company, G. W. Mixer, announced net earnings of $1.7 million for 1920. With a little money in the bank and the economic climate improving, the company decided to introduce a new, more-affordable line of cars. Continue reading

Classic Profile: 1909 American Gadabout

An Edwardian party out for a drive in a 1909 American Gadabout | Photo courtesy of the author
An Edwardian party out for a drive in a 1909 American Gadabout | Photo courtesy of the author

The distinctive cars of the American Motor Car Company (1906–1914) of Indianapolis, Indiana, have gained a bit of notoriety as of late, achieving some of the highest prices paid for an Edwardian-era vehicle at auction.

These sales are all related to the company’s American Underslung models with their advanced low-profile suspensions. But when the company was established, they hired Indianapolis local Harry C. Stutz, who would design a very handsome large-displacement touring car in the prevailing style with a traditional suspension, such as the 1909 American Gadabout shown in this period photo. Continue reading

Classic Profile: 1928 Packard 443 custom roadster

Hollywood actor Richard Dix poses with the Packard in front of a movie facade | Courtesy of the author
Hollywood actor Richard Dix poses with the rakish Packard in front of a movie facade | Courtesy of the author

From the beginning, the stars born of the Hollywood movie industry have wanted to be seen in the best cars available. Richard Dix, seen here posing with a 1928 Packard 443 custom eight roadster, was just such a leading man.

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Classic Profile: 1932 Stutz Super Bearcat

The Stutz Super Bearcat was powered by a twin-overhead-cam straight-eight engine | Courtesy of the author
The Stutz Super Bearcat was powered by a twin-overhead-cam straight-eight engine | Courtesy of the author

Wearing a set of Goodrich Silvertown whitewall tires – distinguished by the double diamonds on the sidewall – the shortened chassis of the 1932 Stutz Super Bearcat is clearly apparent. At only 116 inches, the wheelbase was a full foot and a half shorter than the standard offering. In comparison, today’s Ferrari FF rides on a 117.7 inch wheelbase. Continue reading

Classic profile: 1930 duPont Series G Special Sport Sedan

The 1930 duPont Series G by Merrimac was shown in this period photograph | Courtesy of the writer
The 1930 duPont Series G Special Sport Sedan by Merrimac was shown in this period photograph | Courtesy of the author

As you’ve probably guessed, I enjoy searching for old photos of early cars. During Monterey Classic Car Week, this means a stop at Automobilia Monterey, and it was there that I found this image of a uniquely bodied duPont Series G Special Sport Sedan.

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Classic Profile: 1909 Stoddard-Dayton Model 9K

The Stoddard-Dayton touring car was photographed in London | Courtesy of the author
The Stoddard-Dayton touring car was photographed in London | Courtesy of the author

Illustrating the pride of Dayton, Ohio, this picture shows a Stoddard-Dayton Model 9K posed in London. The building in the background appears to be Britain’s House of Commons or Parliament Building, and the picture might have been taken from the embankment across the Thames River.

The Stoddard name was already well-established and respected within Dayton. It was John Stoddard’s farm-implements business that put Dayton on the map as a center for industrial production. Together with his son Charles, the two would turn to automobile manufacturing with the Dayton Motor Car Company in 1905. Continue reading

Classic profile: Cup-winning 1905 Richard-Brasier

The Richard-Brasier race car was shown at the 1905 Paris Salon | Courtesy of the author
The Richard-Brasier race car was shown at the 1905 Paris Salon | Courtesy of the author

I came across this postcard in Monterey last year and couldn’t resist. As it states, the card illustrates the Richard-Basier stand at the Paris Salon in 1905. The star-car of the French show, the 1905 Gordon-Bennett winning racer is seen front and center.

The French firm of Richard-Brasier has a confusing history with many name changes, but the story starts with brothers Georges and Maxine Richards. They entered the bicycle business in 1893 and a few years later started manufacturing vehicles resembling the Benz Velo. In 1901, they enticed Henri Brasier, the chief designer for Mors, to join the team. His impact was immediate and by 1902, Brasier’s name was added to the marque. Continue reading