The Eads Motor Co., Lexington Kentucky and two Ford Racing Cars

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  • Ford-based racing cars and a Graham in front of the Eads Motor Co.

The Eads Motor Co. pictured above was located at 256 East Main Street in Lexington, Kentucky. Little is known about the operation other than what can be found on the signage on the front of the building. The agency handled Diamond T Trucks and cars from the Graham Motor Car Company. They also offered More Cash For Your Car.

Nothing is known about why the photo was taken, but one might be safe to assume that it was connected with Eads sponsoring the two young men and their Ford-based racing cars that are parked out in the street. Just behind the racers as part of the photo op appears to be a circa 1935 Graham Sedan, and directly behind it The Guaranty Finance Company and the Lexington Greyhound Bus Depot.

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  • A Model “T” Ford-based racing car.

The racing car pictured above is based on a Model T Ford chassis that was modified and lowered. It is equipped with: Knock-off dental-drive wire wheels; Hartford shocks; what appears to be a professionally built body, hood and radiator; a non-Ford center-mounted steering box (possibly a Franklin), and a rams horn radiator cap to intimidate the competition.

What is under the hood is unknown, but it is likely it was a racing engine based on a Model T block with an o.h.v. conversion cylinder head and other special racing parts. Well built and maintained Model T Ford-based racing cars were competitive up until World War II on the rough and tumble dirt tracks in certain parts of the country. Learn more about the Model T Ford racing car here.

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  • A Model “A” or “B” Ford-based racing car.

The second car is slightly more modern and appears to be based on Model A or B Ford components that include the front and rear axles. The frame maybe custom-made or it could be based on the side rails from an Essex frame. The front spring has had much of the arch removed from it and is attached to what is referred to as a suicide spring perch directly in front of the of the radiator.

The body appears to be professionally-built and the engine, if it was, in fact, a Ford, was likely to have had a Cragar, Hal, or a Riley two or four-port o.h.v. conversion head. Others were made and included both single and double o.h.c units. Visible on the right side of the hood is the covered down draft carburetor.

Both of the racing cars appear to be in excellent condition, with reasonably good paint work. They appear to be devoid of lettering or numbers, which may have been added later. If you can add anything to the story about the Eads Motor Company or this pair of drivers and cars, please send us a comment.    

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Posted in Auto photos 1921 - 1942, Auto Racing 1894 - 1942, Garages and Dealerships | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

A Fine-Looking and Sporty Six-Cylinder Mystery Car

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  • Joe Ricketts the”builder”and crew with a fine early circa 1906 to 1910 car.

Reader Bill Petticrew sent in this photo that he found at a flea market, and hopefully our car sleuth readers that enjoy solving a mystery will be able to identify it. On the back of the image, it says: Joe Ricketts – Mr. Milnes Uncle in derby. The man in the back seat of the car is his father. Joe Ricketts went to Coral Gables with the builder and became a millionaire. 

So if we read this right, the gent in the derby hat is Joe Rickets, and the man in the mother-in-law seat is his father. One would think the builder may have assembled this car and he and Joe Ricketts, who made a lot of money ended up in Coral Gables, Florida. We wonder if Ricketts might have been related to this Joe Ricketts, and if the big money he made might have helped him.

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  • Very clear details of this car in the enlargements.

Aside from the caption telling us about the people in this image we have no clues other than visual to go on to identify this car. So the following is what has been observed by looking at a large scan of the image here at The Old Motor:

The car has a long wheelbase of roughly 120-inches plus; the radiator is set back; it is equipped with a small six-cylinder engine that appears to have overhead valves actuated by rocker arms; it has some very nice lamps, brass work and non-demountable wheels; it wearing an acetylene tank which probably post-dates the car. So there you have it, go to work, and we will give you until Friday morning to solve this mystery.  

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Posted in Auto photos 1885 - 1920 | Tagged , , |

Sunday Edition No. XI – Late for Work – Main Line Motors – A Laguna Seca Race – Tragedy at Lime Rock Park

Today’s video is from Marc Hendrix of Brussels, Belgium, who along with his brother made this video, Late for Work using their Father’s cars as a gift to him for his 60th birthday. It was made using a cheap digital camera and a windows movie maker which both add to its old time silent film look.

Follow the fun in the slapstick production where they use two British cars: A 1927 Austin Seven and a 1935 SS1. The SS cars originated from the Super Swallow Sidecar Company that first built motorcycle sidecars and then added automobile bodies to the mix. The SS1 was followed by the well-know SS-100; SS Cars Ltd. was later renamed Jaguar in 1945.

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  • Main Line Motors Ford dealership in Ardmore, Pennsylvania

Reader Peter Robbins sent in this photo from his collection showing the Main Line Motors Ford dealership in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, at some point during the 1963 model year. The sales lot on the right-hand side of the building can be seen filled with a number of Falcons.

Hanging on the left-hand side of the showroom window, is a large 63 sales banner. On the right-hand side of the window is a large poster boosting, Falcon Wins that seems to apply to Ford’s statement that it won the 1963 Manufacturer’s World Rally Championship. Bo Ljungfeldt drove a Ford Falcon in the 1963 Monte Carlo Rally and managed to finish 42nd overall in a field of 307 entrants while apparently winning all six special speed stages in that year’s rally.

On the far-right hand window is a poster boasting of Ford’s World’s Most Contagious Roofline that can clearly be seen modeled on the Falcon Two-Door Hardtop at the curb.

  • IvanIvan Zaremba in his 1935 Hudson-powered Railton at Laguna Seca.

Reader Ivan Zaremba of Phil Reilly & Company wrote us about his experience in the Pre-War Race at Laguna Seca:

“I had a good weekend and the best race of some years and a great tussle with Brian Mullin in the 1938 Talbot T26SS and Jamie Cleary in the 1932 Studebaker Indy car. They were both a little faster, but the Railton kept them behind until the brakes did their usual late race fade. There were multiple passes and repasses all the way around, and those in the paddock tell me the big video screens showed little else. In the end, both the cars got around me and youth triumphed!” The photo is courtesy of Dennis Gray.


Sad news today from The Historic Festival 32 at Lime Rock Park. Vintage racing enthusiast Lee Duran, 73, of Lyme, Conn. died yesterday after a crash in his 1934 MG PA Special in a Pre-War race after something went wrong on the steep downhill turn leading onto the front straight, no other cars were involved. He was a great guy who did much of his own restoration work on his cars and in addition to the MG he also owned the 1935 Wetteroth Schoof Offy. 

He was a regular entrant at the Lime Rock Historic Festival and also ran the Scoof Offy at the New Hampshire International vintage circle track event and also participated in a number of concours here in the Northeast and at Amelia Island. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

The Sunday Edition is for reader contributions, please join in and help us share interesting discoveries with other vintage car enthusiasts. If you have a great photo, know of an excellent video, a mystery or story, contact us here (we will send you an email address for photos) and include your full name so we can credit your submission.

Posted in Auto photos 1921 - 1942, Auto photos 1946 - 1965, Garages and Dealerships, video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

* Up Dated * A Few Automotive Oddities to Ponder


Thanks to a number friends that we have made in Europe, today we present you with three automobiles that are a bit off the beaten track. Little is known about any of them so if you can fill in any of the details about these vehicles please send us a comment.

The propellor-driven car above is thought to be a late French Helica that may have been made after the manufacture of the cars had been transferred from Marcel Leyat to some other entity. Learn much more about the interesting cars referred to as The Plane Without Wings and see a video of a Helica in action here.


* Up Dated * Thanks to Isabelle Bracquemond who found the advertisement seen above, we now know that the top photo shows the Eolia model and it was built by Brevetees S. G. D. G. (Leyat et T. A.). The ad goes on to state the following specifications: 2-cylinder 8 h.p. engine; a top speed of 80 k.p.h.; fuel consumption of 4-5 liters per 100 kilometers; carries 2-passengers; weighs 225 kilograms (496 pounds).


* Up Dated * The Mercedes seen above with the unusual applied design work on its coachwork and wheels appears to have been on display at an automotive salon of some sort. We are hoping that with such a distinctive appearance it will not have been forgotten and one of our readers will be able to tell us more about it. Thanks to readers ehdub and C. Gillingham you can learn about this 1921 28/95 Mercedes here. You can view a number of exquisite 37/90 Mercedes cars here.

The Royal Ediswan product mobile below appears to have been built on a Model TT Ford Truck chassis. The Edison Swan Electric Co. Ltd. was located in Ponders End, Middlesex, England and manufactured and sold a full line of all types of electrical devices in addition to Fullolite Lamps. All photos are courtesy of our friends at Yacht club des Avions de la Route.


Posted in Auto photos 1885 - 1920, Auto photos 1921 - 1942 | Tagged , , , , , , , , |