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Gossip of the Automobilists and Trade Notes

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Gossip of the Automobilists and Trade Notes

The New York Times
December 19, 1909


Maharajah of Datia in his FiatMaharajah of Datia in His New Fiat Car.
In view of what has been said and printed during the last year concerning export of American automobiles, a shipment recently made by the Cadillac Motor Car Company is interesting.  The steamer Makura, which cleared Vancouver Dec. 14 for Australia, carried $33,600 worth of Cadillac "Thirties"—or twenty-one cars—for the Australian trade.  The transfer of this unusual cargo was a matter of intense interest to the Makura's passengers, who crowded the rail.

There will be no changes in the 1910 Mercedes models, except a few changes toward simplicity, and among them will be the accessibility to all parts.  There are three new distinct models for 1910.  The four-cylinder twenty-five horse power shaft drive type will have the overhead rocker system, ignition by high tension Bosch magneto, and, in fact, is a miniature reproduction of the old type of the sixty horse power Mercedes, which made the product of the Daimler Company so famous. It is also a copy of the motor used in all its racing models.  A new feature of the Mercedes model is the long stroke, which gives these cars wonderful elasticity and marvelous durability.

The standardization of the modern automobile is so clearly established that one is apt to lose sight of the fact that there are still certain details of design and construction over which automobile engineers differ widely.  These do not result, however, in the bitter controversies which were formerly waged over such questions as shaft versus chain drive, water versus air cooling, selective versus progressive type of transmission, and sliding gears versus planetary transmission.  One question which is now beginning to engage the attention of motorists is that of the short-stroke motor versus the long-stroke motor.  The advocates of the short-stroke motor claim many advantages for their type.  Foremost among these advocates stand the manufacturers of the Corbin.

The Royal Tourist Car Company of Cleveland, Ohio, is delivering from its factory its latest product for the coming season in the Model "M Series Two," a touring car of exquisite lines and of mechanical construction that marks a distinct refinement upon its output of last year.  The Model "M Series Two," a logical successor of the "M Series  One," as the 1909 car was designated, is being turned out in a big seven passenger style as well as in a short coupled five-passenger body style.  The design of each of these cars sets a high standard for automobile builders.

The Maharajah of Datia, India, known for some years as one of the most ardent sportsmen in all the great Empire, recently purchased a twenty horse power Fiat car and has become an enthusiastic motorist.  Datia is a small State embracing an area of about 930 square miles and is widely known for its great tiger hunts.  Through its many miles of dense jungle there are a number of roads suitable for pleasant motoring and the Maharajah has already felt the need of good roads for his latest pastime and is having a number of them improved accordingly—an instance which again proves that the motor car is a great civilizer.

To make possible the fulfillment of the large orders placed by agents for 1910 Moon cars, the Moon Company had found it necessary to make further additions and changes in its St. Louis plant.  The adoption of compressed air for factory use was signalized last week by the installation of a high-capacity compressor.  Air-driven drills and riveters will now be used to facilitate assembling.  This will make it possible to complete chassis of the two new models—the $1,500 thirty and the $3,000 forty-five—more promptly.  The compressor is electric driven, of the Westinghouse make, similar to those used by traction companies for compressing air for brakes.

In the awarding of prizes yesterday for the Edgewater-Fort Lee hill climb two gold and one bronze medal were delivered to W. C. Poertner of the Poertner Motor Car Company, agents for the National and Empire "Twenty."  The National, driven by Tom Kincaid, was first in Events No. 4 and No. 10, while the little Empire "Twenty" captured third place in Event No. 1.  Mr. Poertner also received three handsome cups for winning the three most important events in the Ossining hill climb.

Driving rain came down in sheets while the big meeting in Carnegie Hall was in progress Monday night.  Umbrellas were of little use because of the gale-like wind.  The W. C. P. Taxicab Company, realizing the inconvenience to which President Taft and his party would be put, sent a half dozen of its yellow taxis to the rescue.  After the meeting Dr. Klopsch and other members of the committee, together with President Taft and the secret service men, were whirled away to the Bowery, where the President addressed another large meeting.

On an automobile trip which included a climb to the top of Mount Washington, H. G. Hichborn of Cambridge, Mass., recently took a party of four from his home through Maine and back with a puncture of one tire as the only trouble of the tour.  He used a 1906 Franklin touring car of twenty-eight horse power and climbed many severe grades among and about the White Mountains.  After starting from Cambridge the party arrived at the Profile House in ten hours.  Thence they rose around the Presidential Range, and thereupon it was that they went up to the top of Mount Washington with the five people in the car.  Descent was made by way of the Crawford Notch.  The trip extended to Stockton Springs, Me., the party passing through the Dixville  Notch, Farmington, Skowhegan, Pittsfield, and Bangor.

An attractive booklet describing the now famous flag to flag pathfinding trip of the Chalmers-Detroit "Thirty" from Denver to Mexico City last Spring has just been issued by the Chalmers-Detroit Motor Company.  The book is sixty-four pages and is illustrated with duotone plates showing the interesting scenes along the route.

It is officially announced that the R. M. Owen Company will exhibit the most complete line of motor cars in its history at the big Grand Central Palace show which opens in New York, Dec. 31.  Among their exhibits will be included a polished chassis of the new model four-cylinder Reo, a four-cylinder touring car, four-cylinder roadster, a four-cylinder limousine, a two-cylinder touring car, and the "Baby" ten-horse power $500 Reo runabout.  Thousands of motor buyers have already expressed their intention to the Owen Company to visit their booth during show week at the annual show.

The successful experiments made by Luther Burbank to utilize the fibre of the common cactus, which overgrows entire sections of some of our Western States, in the production of cloth promise to find a most practical application in the field of automobile brake construction.  During the past year J. D. Maxwell, designer of the Maxwell line of automobiles, has tested various brake lining materials, and he now states that cactus fibre is not only the equal of asbestos, but possesses a number of qualities which make it highly desirable for the new purpose.

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