Under Construction - UC002
Steve & Phyllis Hammatt
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Brakes: Hydraulic, rear only. Originally, no hand brake.
U-channel (3½” x 1¾” ), shortened at rear,
many evidences of shop-rivets, weight-reduction lightening
holes along sides of frame, appears to be early teen Buick.
Overall width is 32”.
Re-arched at front to increase clearance over front
axle and lower body.
Dimensions: 83” wheelbase, approx. 64” track (center of wheel tread). Chassis is now at 102” wb.
Engine: 1915 Buick, 4 cyl, 165cid (was 1926 Chevy). Cast marks: Front cylinder block – “15792-2 F1”, Rear cylinder block – “15792 F25”. Serial number stamped on aluminum crankcase: “136224”. Number stamped on timing case cover: “NO 2 13962”. At the top left rear of the aluminum pan, there is a 90° oil (return?) fitting with cast mark: “16214”. Cast aluminum intake manifold is stamped: “16421 1”.
Engine sub-frame: 4-point mount in sub-frame with lower two ½” diameter tension rods and cast iron center stand-offs; cast mark: “10E3278”.
Front axle: I-beam (drilled for weight reduction). Readable left-rear cast marks: “I Co 72” Readable right-front cast marks: “Co 2”.
frame horns: Each
cast iron horn is attached to the frame with 4 large
rivets. Left unit cast mark:
“FZ369” Right unit cast mark: “FZ368”, which
Front hubs: Cast mark: “6368”, “D” within a circle (assumed to be Dayton)
Front spindles: Cast mark: “W-M-Co 1484K” (Weston-Mott Co.)
semi-elliptic, parallel spring assemblies.
33” long x 1½” wide.
spring shackle mount:
Unused, mounted inside left frame rail.
Cast mark: “10E585”
Fuel pump: Manual pump unit mounted on right side (passenger operated), not connected to fuel tank.
Gas Tank: 34-3/4” long x 15” diameter from 1911 Buick Roadster with old-style Buick logos in brass.
Instrument panel: AC speedo/odometer; speedometer is horizontal-drum style. Misc. newer gauges.
Nameplate: Shop-made, thin aluminum nameplate (½” x 4½”) embossed with the name “FRIEDRICKENSHAFT SPE” and affixed to engine side of wooden firewall. Possibly has reference to a Mr. Friedricken or Friedrickenson (aka Frederickson or Fredickson) owner of an iron foundry and builder of air-cooled radial racing engine after WWI in Bloomington, IL.
Radiator: Brass radiator. Tagged: “Manufactured by Mayo Radiator Co. New Haven Conn. Patent Applied For.” Stamp mark: “Mayo Radiator Co. New Haven Conn. Patents Applied For No.46348”.
22” high, 22-3/8” wide w/ bottom fitting offset 5½” to right. Has vertical tube design with 3” core and ¼” square hole fin design. Probable early-teens Buick.
Rear axle: Rather narrow case design with central vertical split, torque tube design. Stamped mark: “26940 M” cast mark: left - “1 H26-H26” right - “4 H26-H26” (said to be Chevrolet 490).
parallel spring assemblies.
Bottom side, longest leaf, Stamped mark:
semi-elliptic with front and center pivoted mount on
outside of frame rails, rear end clamped to rear axle;
39” long x 1-3/4” wide.
Starter: Delco Model 56 (fitted to Buick 165cid engine) Motor/Generator unit is cast aluminum and includes built-in distributor. Cast marks: “2234 B (in circle) 6 (in circle)”. Stamped marks: “56 238375” and on top sealing face where top cover fits, “89” or could be “68”. Foot actuated starter lever has cast marks “52860” and “52861”, both followed by a custom mark of a B and a C superimposed.
Tires: Goodyear 4.50/4.75/5.00 x 20 inch.
20” diameter, 60-spoke wire wheels with Dayton
hubs and 6 pin-lock (5/8” diameter pins) alignment,
split-rim design. Two Dayton knock-offs with left-hand
thread, two shop-made knock-offs on driver’s side.
4 wheels + spare.
Split-rim locking rings, stamped mark:
Firestone “2??3½ ¶”.
The overall general construction is rather crude or home-made. The originally fitted engine was a near stock appearing 1926 Chevy 4 cylinder with single exhaust-port head. Wheelbase may have been shortened at a later date. No hood, no electrical lighting system, headlights in photographs are inoperative.
Prior owner: The prior owner bought the car in the 1980s from the Chicago area. It had been was sitting in a garden shed for many years. Color was white or a slight bluish white with orange chassis and firewall. No other history of the car is known
It all started, like many of these
things do, by accident.
I was working out near the road in some flower beds,
when a really unique car went by.
I heard it more than saw it, but I did see enough to
guess that it was out for a ‘joy-ride’ on Father’s
Day and may be returning.
I was right and that’s how we met Art Reichlin and
his lovely wife Helen.
They are neighbors, just a ½ mile behind us across
the fields. I’d
always liked old (and unique) cars and here were a whole
bunch of them.
To summarize, we got interested in
speedsters; I searched the Internet for everything I could
find, spent hours in Art’s garage with Art and his
brother Frank, met Frank’s son Paul, etc., etc.
It all brought back memories of earlier days when I
worked on cars, went to the SCCA and URA, CRA circle track
races in Southern California and pit-crewed for two midgets
and a sprint car (Ascot, Oildale, San Bernardino). Then
Phyllis and I spent our 30th wedding anniversary
(Labor Day) in Eugene, OR at the club’s meet.
It was exciting to see so many different cars.
We also had fun driving our 1965 Corvair Corsa to
Eugene; it is the same car we drove on our honeymoon in
I was now looking in earnest for
“Our Speedster.” Wanting
something a bit different, I liked the idea of finding an
old race car or speedster that was converted some time ago.
I continued to search the Internet (and elsewhere)
until one day I was logged into some obscure regional
Auto-For-Sale website and I found a 1924 Chevrolet Race Car
called the “FRIEDRICKENSHAFT SPE”.
I called and got some photographs to study and
continued to think about what I could be getting into.
I used to work on cars, over 30 years earlier
(before family and career); I’ve owned Maseratis,
Jaguars, Lancias, Alfa Romeos, etc., but nothing older than
the mid-fifties. My
first car was a ‘51 Pontiac 2-door coupe with a
“built” V-8 we added under the hood (go-fast, pray to
I still thought about the car, but
didn’t make up my mind until I met some people at a car
show in Tacoma. They were with the Golden Wheels club
(specializing in vintage circle-track race cars) and I
showed one of the members the pictures I had of the Chevy
race car. He
immediately said that if I didn’t buy it, he would.
Nothing like competition to force one to make a
A friend and I drove to St. Paul, MN
to drop off an old BMW sedan he had sold, then onward to
Madison, WI where we picked up the car (it was exactly as
described) and headed for home.
We also stopped in Iowa to pick up an engine for Art
(after all, we were using his trailer!). After 4200 towing miles in 5 days, we arrived
home and the work began.
When returning the trailer to Art, I
mentioned that the old car had gone 88 miles per hour; he
acted impressed until I told him it was 2 days prior while
traveling on his trailer during our trip across Montana.
I tend to go overboard sometimes,
especially when trying to determine if there was any
history with this car.
It had spent most of its life in the Chicago area,
was found in a garden shed and taken to Madison sometime in
the 1980s. The
previous owner had cleaned it up, painted it and
occasionally driven it in local parades.
I’ve contacted dozens of people and have yet to
find anyone that remembers the car.
If it had been a race car with a history I would
restore it differently. Instead, I hope it will become an
interesting addition to the Northwest Vintage Speedsters.
In doing the initial research I
discovered that the originally described 1924 Chevrolet
engine was really a 1926 model, apparently stock.
A more interesting find was that the brass radiator
is apparently from an early-teens Buick as is the engine
sub-frame and chassis.
However, the chassis has been shortened (maybe
appears to have been shortened after it was converted to a
“bob-tail” race car (or maybe just somebody’s street
racer). The wheelbase is a very short 83” and it has
been lengthened (I do need to fit behind the wheel!).
Many pieces have been drilled for lightness
including the chassis side rails and the front axle.
The front axle is possibly a Buick but we’re still
trying to determine it’s exact beginnings.
I’ve taken reference photos and have
started re-designing the car.
So far, the chassis has been lengthened to 102”
(with parts from two other Buick B-24 and C-24 frames), a
1915 Buick C-24 engine (165cid) engine has been found in
Cheyenne, WY (plus a spare 1914 ‘dummy’ engine). The car currently has a 1914 Buick
transmission fitted along with the dummy engine.
The radiator has been redone, bucket seats from
Rootleib, a 1913 Buick gas tank has been rebuilt, two steel
with brass trim headlights have been restored and ready for
fitting, 5 new 20” rims were laced on the Dayton
pin-drive knock-off hub centers, new tires fitted, the
stock Buick handbrake has been moved to outside the
driver’s entry-way and the engine has been torn down and
new pistons are being made.
A big thank-you to Art and Frank for
their awesome contributions and many other members for
There are a number of items that point
to the possibility that the car may have been raced;
it has an outside mounted fuel pump (that the
passenger or riding mechanic would operate), no electrical
system for front or rear lights (the headlights shown in
the photographs are recently added dummies and have no
electrical wiring), and finally the split-rim wire wheels
are fitted with Dayton 6-pin knock-offs.
Steve & Phyllis Hammatt
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