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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Bob’s Antique & Classic Cars Part 12 – 1927 Cadillac Tow Truck

1927 Cadillac 314 tow truck conversion
Photo by Kate Tompkins
I’d thought a Cadillac converted into a tow truck was unusual, but it turns out I was wrong. According to THIS article on Hemmings Daily, detailing the invention of the tow truck, the very first tow truck was a converted 1913 Cadillac. And if you google “Cadillac Tow Truck” you’ll find photos of other conversions, both old and modern.

1927 Cadillac 314 tow truck conversion
Photo by Kate Tompkins
The car at Bob’s is a 1927 Cadillac 314 A (named for its engine displacement), and was originally a four-door sedan. It’s hard to say what it might have looked like originally as, according to several web sites I looked at, Cadillac offered at the time “Fifty body styles and types – Five hundred color and upholstery combinations.”

Other posts in this series:

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Bob’s Antique & Classic Cars Part 11 – 1914 Maxwell Model 25

1914 Maxwell Model 25
Photo by Kate Tompkins
According to Wikipedia, the Maxwell Motor Company (originally Maxwell-Briscoe Company) owned the largest automobile plant in the world in 1907. The Model 25 seen here was a response to other low-priced cars on the market, such as the Ford Model N and the Oldsmobile Runabout, and had a base price of $695. By 1914 Maxwell had sold 60,000 cars, but ran into financial problems shortly thereafter. Walter P. Chrysler took a controlling interest and the company’s assets were eventually folded into Chrysler Corporation, with the 1925 Maxwell (a descendant of the Model 25) being retooled into a 1926 Chrysler and, in 1928, the first Plymouth.

1914 Maxwell Model 25
Photo by Kate Tompkins
The most famous Maxwell owner was comedian Jack Benny, who drove various Maxwells over the course of his career as part of his stingy persona. Naturally, the cars were portrayed as on the verge of collapse, with sound effects sometimes provided by Mel Blanc.

According to the plaque at Bob’s, this 1914 Maxwell, currently under restoration, is a 3-speed 4-cylinder, with acetylene headlights, kerosene running lamps, and a crank start. It does not have a battery. The price when new was $899. The plaque also claims this is one of only six 1914 Maxwells still in existence.

A more detailed history of the Maxwell company, including their racing history and various endurance trials, can be found HERE.

You can find a 1920 movie written to promote the Maxwell car HERE. I haven’t yet watched it (it’s an hour long), but I’ve downloaded it for later viewing—it apparently involves a trip to Mexico, bandits, and, I believe, a car chase.

1914 Maxwell Model 25
Photo by Kate Tompkins
Other posts in this series:

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Bob’s Antique & Classic Cars Part 10 – 1926 Harley-Davidson

1926 Harley-Davidson Model B
Photo by Kate Tompkins
Yet another piece of Bob’s collection. According to its plaque, this 1926 Harley-Davidson Model B has a 350cc single cylinder engine, and could do 60 mph, with 80 mpg (presumably not simultaneously). While not the very rare 1926 “peashooter” Model S, which was built specifically for racing, the plaque says this particular Model B was also used for racing.

Bonhams say that the 1926 model year was the first year Harley-Davidson produced racing bikes with the 350cc engine to take advantage of a new racing class. The exhaust on the Model S made a popping sound, giving it the “peashooter” nickname, which spread to the road models as well.

Information seems scarce on these motorcycles—as scarce as the bikes themselves. You can read here about a collector who managed to find both the chassis and engine of the 9th Model S.

Other posts in this series:

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Canada Day Car Shows

I'm working on the car show page for July, but in case I don't finish it today, here's a list of the car shows I know about for Canada Day.

July 1 (cancelled in the event of rain)
Canada Day Parade
Cars 20 years old or more, lightly modified okay, need to register ahead
10 am for placement in parade of cars at 11, followed by a car show at Manoir St-Bruno
Downtown, St-Bruno-de-Montarville, Quebec
Contact 450-441-9427

July 1
Golden Gears Car Club Canada Day Car Show
9 am to 3 pm
Seaway Locks, Iroquois, Ontario
Contact Henry Swank at

July 1
Canadian Forces Support Unit Ottawa Canada Day Car Show
4 to 6 pm
(former) CFB Uplands, Ottawa, Ontario. Enter via Breadner Blvd.
Contact PSP Recreation at 613-998-8216 or

July 1
Almonte Canada Day Car Show
10 am to 3 pm
Almonte, Ontario

Contact Jeff Shoots at 613-222-3778

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Bob’s Antique & Classic Cars Part 9: 1921 Ford

1921 Model T Ford Open Express
Photo by Kate Tompkins
While many of the Model T Ford Open Express vehicles had bodies built by the Field Body Corporation of Owosso, Michigan, (more info in Field HERE), this 1921 restored model doesn’t look like one of theirs. Field bodies were a baked enamel green, and had iron bindings where this one has wood. Of course, vehicles were considerably more customizeable back then (a Model T could be turned into a car, a truck, a tractor, even a snowmobile), and it wasn’t uncommon to buy the rolling chassis from the manufacturer and have someone else do the coachwork.
1921 Model T Ford Open Express
Photo by Kate Tompkins

Other posts in this series:

Friday, June 3, 2016

Car Shows This Weekend

I'm still working on the June page of car shows in the Montreal area, but here's what you need to know for this weekend.

June 2-5
BUSFUSION - a Volkswagen Camper Camping Event
Almonte Fairgrounds, Almonte, Ontario
Contact Frank Condelli at

June 3-4
Rendez-vous British Québec (all British made cars and motorcycles)
Friday evening at Rue St-Jean
Saturday at Domaine Maizerets, 2000 Montmorency Boulevard, Quebec City

June 3-5
13th Shelburne Museum Classic Auto Festival (1991 and earlier)
9 am
Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vermont
Contact Ernie at 802-483-6871 or Andy at 802-862-4388

June 4 (rain date June 5)
Fusion Performance Open House
2499 boul. Labelle, Chomedey, Laval
Contact 450-978-3065 or

June 4
4th Annual Blair Rendell Memorial Car Show
10 am to 3 pm
Sparks Street Mall, Ottawa, Ontario
Contact Jeff Pelletier at 613-406-1442 or Jim Calombaris at 613-795-5109

June 4 (rain date June 11)
Auto Expo Cowansville Saturday Night Cruise-In
5:30 to 10:30 pm
Wal-Mart, 1770 South Street, Cowansville, Quebec
Contact 450-263-7002 or

June 5
Rassemblement de la Chaudière
10 am to 5 pm
$5 per car
Parc de L'île Ronde, Beauceville, Quebec
Contact Michel Poulin / Séphane Veilleux / Johanne Jacques at 418-774-2544 / 418-774-0843 / 4

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Bob’s Antique and Classic Cars Part 8

1954 Kom-Pak Trailer
Photo by Kate Tompkins
I’m betting you haven’t seen one of these before—I certainly hadn’t! It’s a 1954 Kom-Pak trailer, designed to look like a 1953 Ford from behind. Check out the roof—yes, it is a boat. But don’t worry, it originally had support bows to hold a canvas roof when the owner was off fishing.

According to the plaque beside it, fewer than 200 were made. Many of the websites I was on while researching claimed only 16 were made with only six still around. Then again, like most information online, I think they were all quoting from each other. Pretty sure I’ve seen at least six different ones online. I’ve got a few links below, mostly auction sites, that have better photos than I could get.

1954 Kom-Pak Trailer
Photo by Kate Tompkins
Doesn’t seem to be a lot of information out there on these trailers. The sites claiming there were only 16 made also say they were made in Medford, Oregon. No manufacturer is given, however. Even on the advertising material I found on a station wagon forum, they only list dealers. They do however give specs, and the original asking price, FOB Medford, of $1,595.

And here’s a link to a post on a vintage trailer site by someone who actually owned one, providing a few more details (scroll down, it's the second post). Among other things, they confirm the canvas roof, that both the boat and trailer are fiberglass, and the back has a fold-down table with a kitchenette and ice box behind it (you can see it in the Barrett-Jackson photos). They also discuss how the boat is removed.

Other posts in this series: