1913 Turcat Mery
1913 Turcat-Méry – Recently shown at pebble beach. Hand painting in a cane pattern. Beautiful windscreen. Four-cylinder, 3300cc, 18-hp.

A group of gentlemen drivers arrived in Paso Robles last Tuesday, November 12th for a tour of the countryside east of town. It was a small gathering and they brought only a few cars. Nevertheless, it was a most interesting collection of, with two exceptions, post-First World War American cars.

1922 Pierce-Arrow
1922 Pierce-Arrow with unusual oil-air shock absorbers.

The Pierce-Arrows
The Pierce has wonderfully preserved original paint work, and from the photos you can see that even some of the original pin striping has survived. The car features these huge air and oil shock absorbers. They were introduced to provide a smoother ride than the competition. I spoke with the owner’s mechanic and he said right from the start they were a nightmare to service as the air leaked out and the oil entered the air camber. In terms of performance, it was not any better as they simply exaggerated any road bumps. However, it does not take too much of an imagination to hear a salesman telling a would-be customer about the advantages of this new technology in providing a floating ride.

1922 Pierce-Arrow Engine
1922 Pierce-Arrow Engine

The signature design was introduced in 1914. The headlights were moved from the traditional location beside the radiator to the fenders where they were flared in.

1922 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost

1922 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
1922 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost – Raced in the 2007 Peking to Paris and finished in second place!

In 2007, this very Ghost did the Peking to Paris race and came in second against cars from as late as the 1960s. The car has a starting carburetor that is separate from the running carburetor. The owner had a difficult time starting the engine until his mechanic arrived and made a small adjustment with the starting carburetor and it fired right up and ran in proverbial silence.

1922 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
1922 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost – Oiling the magneto.

There were ten or twelve oiling points before the engine could be started and, as you can see from the photo, Rolls-Royce provided the driver with a beautiful oiling can that was fitted to the scuttle wall. The magneto alone had four oiling points. Like many of these cars, the Rolls-Royce only had rear brakes. They traveled on dirt—or poorly surfaced—roads and as soon as the driver lifted off the throttle, the car would dramatically slow on its own.

Please take a moment to view all of the photos of these fine automobiles from this great gathering.

1915 Buick Tourer
1915 Buick Tourer – Straight-6, 336 ci, Open Overhead-Valve. On startup, the rocker arms need to be hand oiled as there is no pressurized oiling system.
1911 Simplex
1911 Simplex Race Car – Chain drive. Everyone I spoke to said it was a “very fast,” 50-hp car. The fabric fenders were used on Simplex race cars to reduce weight.
1922 Locomobile
1922 Locomobile – Manufactured in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Six-cylinder sidevalve engine. Huge engine at 597cc. Pebble Beach car.


Veteran Cars