Monday, June 25, 2012

Caverns and Cars - Day 2

We continue our visit to the Car and Carriage Caravan Museum, part of the Luray Caverns complex (Luray, VA). Unlike other auto museums which feature a few early autos, this museum features very early cars (90% of the cars in their collection are pre-1930).

A walk through the displays was an education about a number of previously-unknown manufacturers and a discovery of electric cars, front-wheel drive cars, and cars that reached speeds of 120 mph decades earlier.

Following the discoveries we noted in yesterday's entry, we begin a second day of discovery.

1914 Locomobile, Model 48 "Gentleman's Speedster

Built by the Bridgeport, CT, Locomobile Company of America, this vehicle was known as "the American Rolls Royce." It was very expensive ($5,100), but could do 70 mph (6 cylinder, 48 mph).

A most interesting feature is the windshield, called the "monocle windshield."

The auto also had extra tanks for gasoline and water.

1914 Westcott Seven Passenger Touring

Advertised as "The Car with the Longer Life," this particular car was found with the original engine.

The owner boasts: "This car will cross any mountain in the area in high gear without a whimper."

1911 Hupmobile Model 20 Roadster

With many brass details and elaborate seats, this car was very popular. It sold for $750.

1912 Hudson Model 33 Touring

This car had right-hand drive, which was not unusual (actually, very popular) in early car design. This may have been done for the driver's convenience, which was more important than safety in driving cars.

1913 Stanley Steamer Model 70 Touring

The price for this model was $1,300.00 in 1913. The car had an aluminum body on a wooden frame, and a steam engine had horsepower of 10 HP.

1922 Willys Knight Model 20 Country Club Touring

1928 Packard Phaeton Touring

Packard was an American luxury produced from 1899 to 1958. This model had an 8-cylinder 120 HP water-cooled gasoline engine. The price of the car was $4,040.

Packard Hood Ornament. As impressive as the car itself.

1925 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost Town Car

It was owned by Rudolph Valentino, of the silent screen era. The body paint was intentionally alligatored when new to create the effect of a leather-covered body.

The hood ornament must have looked impressive as this car reached speeds of 80 mph.

1930 Cord L-29 Phaeton

The information displayed with this car identified it as "one of the most outstanding cars ever produced in the US. An interesting feature of this outstanding car (priced at $2,595) is a front-wheel drive."

1935 Hispano-Suiza (made for 1935 Paris Auto Show)

This car was the epitome of ultra-luxurious cars. It was driven by a 6-cylinder 132 HP engine with a top speed of 120 mph.

The accent trip line is 24K gold plate and external appointments are made of silver. Now forgotten, the Hispano-Suiza automotive company (in Bois-Colombes, France) had even greater reputation than Rolls-Royce in England.

The original cost of this 1935 vehicle was $20,000.

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