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January 16, 1916 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1916-01-16

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--- 4. . . .......

nnual New York Show--Detroit Exhibit--New Auto Laboratory

General Price Reducton Without Sac-
rifice of Value of Car or Workman-
ship Is Discussed
Each year as the time for the an-
nual New York show approaches, the
automobile world and the automobile
buying public naturally turns its at-
tention to the developments of the past
twelve months, and speculates as to
the possible developments in the year
to come. Each year as we study these
developments and the progress of the
industry, we are impressed with the
tremendous strides that have been
made and each year wonder how simi-
lar developments can take place in the
automobile field in the next four or
five years. The industry has come by
rapid advances to rank third among
industries of the United States, and
it can be said in all seriousness that
no one knows where automobile devel-
opment will end.
There is only one New York show.
It stands ahead of all others today,
as always, in interest for the engi-
neer and for the prospective automo-
bile buyer. It comes first each sea-
son, preceding all other shows, and
being a directly manufacturers' ex-
hibit, represents the best development
in the country. The New York show
this year was far from disappointing.
Many had said, "Well, what can we
expect to find this year?" and a great
many felt last year, as they did the
year before, that we must have reach-
ed the pinnacle of automobile devel-
opment, and that for a number of
years designs and general character-
istics of machines would remain more
or less the same. In the last year of
strictly four-cylinder development, it
was said by many that the best four-
cylinder cars were "as good as any
man should ever hope to drive." Then
the six-cylinder car came and was ac-
cepted by the public, by engineers and
manufacturers on its merits, and at
the 1914 show many felt that we had
reached the high peak of the automo-
bile development curve and the end
of radical improvements. Last year
we were surprised to have presented
by no less a company than the Cadil-
lac Motor Car company, an entirely

new idea, the eight-cylinder motor,
with its evident advantages in torque,
quick pick-up, low operating speed,
and shorter possible wheel base. We
were interested also in an entirely
new idea in transmission, the Owen;
Magnetic drive, in which a motor-gen-
erator set replaces the conventional
clutch, transmission, starter and gen-.
erator, and provides in connection
with the gasoline engine, a control
which approaches that of the electric
vehicle. A striking number of cars
showed cantilever springs. We were
agreeably surprised at the general ap-
plication of electric lighting and self-
starting systems to cars even below
$1,000 in price, both these items mak-
ing of course for the comfort and con-
venience of the driving public.
Developments of General Interest
The New York show this year was in
all particulars equal to previous
shows. It was generally agreed that
the progress made since last year,
the development shown, the new ideas
presented, were probably as important
this year as in any previous year. Some
of the statistics for this show and
some of the developments in 1915, are
of general interest.
First and foremost is to be noted
general price reduction by different
manufacturers, without apparent sac-
rifice of the value of the car or of
workmanship. The average price of
cars in 1915 was $2005. The average
price in 1916, based upon the product
of 108 different makers is $1600, a
tremendous drop and remarkable when
we consider that in general the work-
manship, the machining, the mate-
rials, the service value of the car re-
mains as good as a year ago, if not
better. This figure represents a
straight 20 per cent cut in the average
price of cars in one year. The ex-
planation is rather comprehensive and
the reasons many.
Multiple Production
First of course is multiple produc-
tion. Most remarkable in this line has
been the experience of the Ford Motor
Car company and the developments
which that company has been able to
make in the way of low cost produc-
tion. In at least a dozen other fac-
tories the entire organization has been
revised in the last year with the view
to producing as good a car as before
but at greatly reduced cost, in some
cases only 50 or 60 per cent. of the
previous year's figure. .The second
reason is concentration by the vari-
ous companies upon a few models. A
number of companies, instead of pro-
ducing half a dozen different chasses
of no widely different characteristics,
have concentrated upon one single
chassis, with resultant saving in cost
and possibility of cutting price with-
out reducing the value of the car.
An influence which has begun this year
to affect prices of automobiles is the
standardization of parts by the Soci-

ety of Automobile Engineers, and the1
adoption of these standards by the
manufacturing industries. Last, but
not least, among the reasons for price
reduction is competition, which in 1915
has been as keen as at any period of
automobile history. Perhaps the most
striking reduction, the reduction which
has created most comment in the psat
year, has been that of the Packard
Motor Car company, a reduction from
$3750 for their lowest price six-cylin-
der car to 2750 for a twin six car of
the same size and carrying capacity,
and of evidently superior qualities.
The effect on the high class market
has not yet been felt, in fact the ma-
jority of the higher priced manufac-
turers still retain their prices. Gen-
eral price reduction has been most
evident among medium priced cars,
as is indicated by the Overland, offer-
ing a new model for $615, the Buick,
offering a six-cylinder car at less than
$1000, the Dodge company, producing
one model in great quantities from the,
beginning for $785. All these and
others, represent car values at prices
which three years ago would have been
considered absolutely impossible.
Buyer Has Varied Choice Below $1250
It is interesting to note that below
$1250, the buyer now has choice of five
different eight-cylinder models, twen-
ty different six-cylinder models, forty-
two different four-cylinder models and
one twelve.
The second point of general inter
est in 1915 is the tremendous increase
in output of manufacturers of medium
priced cars, and the resultant success-
ful financial condition of these manu-
facturers. In this regard may be
suggested the output of the Ford com-
pany, 308,000 cars; the Buick, 44,500;
the Overland, 75,000; the Chandler,
10,000; the Franklin, 2,800; and the
contemplated production by the Pack-
are of 7,500 cars in 1915.
Important in the consideration of
motor design is the introduction of
twin-six or twelve-cylinder motors. In
May, 1916, the first announcement of
a twelve-cylinder car was made by
the Packard company. At the present
time we have five twelve-cylinder cars!
on the market. A year ago we were
uncertain as to the value of the multi-
cylinder "V"-type motor. Today it
is one of the recognized standard de-
signs in the automobile industry and
its advantages and future are assured.
The popularity of the eight-cylinder
car with its high speed "V"-type motor
may be judged from the fact that in
January, 1915, we knew only the Ca-
dillac in this country and the success-
ful De Dion abroad. At the present
time, at prices ranging from $950 to
2050, twenty-one different eight-cylin-
der models are Ioffered. Strictly con-
servative designs have been main-
tained by three of the leading com-
panies in this country, the Locomobile,
Pierce-Arrow and Stutz. In spite of
the changes which have been carried
on by the large majority, these three
manufacturers at least have confined
development work to the general de-
signs which they began years ago:
"T" head motors, twin cylinder-blocks,
valves not enclosed, cone clutches,
conservative design throughout. Yet it
is interesting to note that in the front
rank of American automobiles are
always found Locomobile, Pierce-Ar-
row and Stutz.
ROat-Line Bodies Develop Rapidly
The development of boat-line bod-
ies -has surpassed even the most fan-
ciful expectations. One man tops are
almost universal. In some cars divid-
ed front seats have taken the place
of the old style front seat, and in a
number of cases we have the so-called
"all weather" body, a body which is
convertible from a summer touring
car with its general streamline effect,

to an enclosed body for winter. In
some designs the top is made col-
lapsible, in other cases we have a sep-
arate winter top, designed to fit upon
and be attached to the regular tour-
ing car with a few minor adjustments.
In every case the development presag-
es a design of body which will prove
popular in all except the highest price
cars. Prominent among the designs
offered this year are the Dodge, Jef-
fery, Overland and others. In con-
nection with body design should be
noted the so-called chummy or clover-
leaf design, which has come upon the
market for the first time this year
and which has met with general ap-
proval. A roadster in effect, or run-
about, yet carrying an extra seat which
is adapted for one or two passengers.
These designs have been worked out
with great success and have been ac-
corded general approval.
From the standpoint of individual
interest and striking novelty, the Mair-
mon car has perhaps eclipsed anything
at the show. Announced only a few
days previous to the opening and pre-
ceded by articles and advertising upon
the general subject of "the scientific-
ally designed car," interest was cen-
tered on this new car. Of streamline
(Continued on Page Seven)'

Ly aiboratory Work in M. E. 2 to In-
USHERS IN DETROIT lude Slentiicxpements
oil Motor Cars
TLo important and intoresting
tests are to be added next year to the
, b hc~rtor work in AT E_ 32.

Work in South Half of Old Boiler
House Progresses; Expect Com-
pletion Before October

Main Feature of Huge Show Is '
Model of Concrete Roadway as
Nade in Wayne Co.
Automobile show week in Detroit
was officially ushered in last night
when Mayor Oscar P. Marx of that
city threw the switch that illuminated
the big show rooms with thousands"
of vari-colored lights.
This is the fifteenth annual show to
be given in the hub of America's
third industry and not only is it the
best ever to be given in Detroit, but
it is in several respects the most not-
able of the season. Some of its points
of special excellence are:
It is the first big show of the year
to be given in the middle west.
1. is the leading commercial ve-
hicle show of the year.
It leads other Detroit shows in
number of automobiles shown.
It has a much better exhibit of ac-
cessories than ever shown before.
it is the most artistic and beauti-
ful show ever held in any city, and
it promises to shatter all attendance
records, owing to the interest outside
of the city.
iDecorationis Elaborate
The decorations of the show, which is
held this year in three connected
buildings, the Palais do Danse, the
Palace Auditorium and the Pier are
different for each building. The Pier,
which is given over to pleasure cars,
is decorated in old rose and white bars
of the Adam period, graceful and
just colorful enough to make the
scene odd but artistic.
The Auditorium, in which trucks
and accessories are exhibited, is done
in a commercial scheme with colored
spot effects on immense chandelier
enclosures. A skyline surrounding
the room represents a row of factor-
ies and big smokestacks belching
black smoke.
The Palais de Danse is the most
uniquely decorated room of the three
The walls of the great octagonal dance
hall are painted in a black and white
checker board or futurist design
Here and there a panel or a silhou-
ette in odd daubs, breaks the regular
Detroit Show Viewed
The Detroit show differs from the
New York show in that the former
is giver by the dealers or sales com-
panies and the latter is given by the
manufacturers. In point of general
statistics of the Detroit show the
following is to be noted.
Dealers representing 47 different
motor car manufacturers are showing
125 models. Thirty-four accessory
manufacturers are showing exhibits
that range from a pair of gloves or a
dust coat to a commercial installa-
tion of compressed air for inflating
tires. There are 38 different models
of trucks and express cars shown. A
half-dozen electric car makers are
showing 12 models.
This year's show is featured with
chassis and motor block exhibits of
design of car or motor manufac-
facturers who have put out a
new design of car or motor during the
last year. Prominent among these
are the following:
A Cadillac eight cylinder motor on the
chassis is built with a section motor to
show the important working parts.
Small lights illuminate the interior
of the crank case, the cylinders, the
gearbox and the rear axle and the

whole affords an excellent opportun-
ity to learn the operation of this V-
type motor. It is planned to have this
chassis in the engineering exhibit
next spring.
A Packard twin-six chassis is dem-
onstrated in the same way as the
Cadillac. The new Franklin six, air-
cooled motor, the much advertised
Hudson super-six, the King eight, the
new Chalmers Master-Six are also
demonstrated in this way. The Stude-
baker "golden" chassis is to be seen
mounted on a throne of royal purple.
Road Construction Featured
The feature of the exhibit is not an
automobile at all but is an exhibit put
on by the Detroit Board of Commerce
and is captioned by the words""Build
the Maintenance into the Road." It is
a huge model of concrete road con-
(Continued on Page Seven)

1. Tests for efficiency of transmis-
sions or gear boxes are made possible
by the new testing rack which has

been erected at the south end of the Work on the new automobile labor-
Diehl Electric Dynamometer. atory which is being constructed in
. Roaduts of complete utomo=the south half of the old boiler house
bile gasoline consumption will be is .progressing rapidly and it is ex-
made in accordance with standard pected to have the laboratory com-
methods of fuel economy used and pleted and in use by the beginning of
recommended by the Society of Auto- the iie :t school year.
mobile Engineers, using their stand- Since the Highway laboratories are
ard gasoline measuring tank. to be located in the north half of the


The department is confident of a
wide interest in this new addition to
the course and it is intended that Ann
Arbor automobile owners will be giv-
en an opportunity to have the test
for the amount of gasoline consumedl
per mile, made upon their cars free
of charge.
Squad of 15 Men Make Gasoline Con-
sumption and Horse Power
The M. E. 32 squad of about 15 men
has just competed gasoline consump-
tion and horse power tests on the
Franklin six-30 air-cooled motor. The
test was carried out under conditions
that would give in every way actual
road service.
Thie motor was attached to a water
dynamometer, and it was fitted with a
standard dash and air-directing apron.
For each test a blast of air was driven
past the motor by means of a large
fan blower operated by a 15-horse
power electric motor. The velocity
of this air blast is regulated to the
speed of the wind past the motor when
actually operated on the road. In this
way the laboratory tests approximate
very closely actual road conditions.
Because of the difficulties to be met
in getting laboratory equivalents of
actual road conditions, a very elabor-
ate set-up was necessitated and the
present one is unique for this purpose.
It will be in operation during the ex-
The automobile engineering depart-
mnent has just received from the Cham-
pion Spark Plug company of Toledo,
Ohio, a gift of 50 Champion spark
plugs of all designs and sizes. The
gift was made through the efforts of
Mr. 0. C. Rohde, '09.
Some of the plugs are for actual
use in motors in the laboratory work
and a half dozen are cut in order to
show a complete section of the plug.
The latter will be mounted and placed
in the laboratory with the equipment
from the Bosch Magneto company and
the Eisemann & Simms company. This
important but neglected motor unit
will be displayed at the Engineering

building, it was found necessary to
partially reconstruct the interior of
the building. This work as well as
that of tearing out the old machinery
and boilers is being carried on at
The laboratory, when completed,
will have in all some 5,000 square
feet of floor space. The main testing
floor, located in the basement, is about
60 feet square. Along one side is locat-
ed a row of seven testing racks with
a complete motor mounted on each.
Large gasoline tanks located in a.sub-
vault will supply each motor from a
main feeder pipe. In the same way
the cooling water will be supplied to
th1e motors. The exhaust gases will
pass into a main exhaust pipe and
thus out of the building.
First Floor in Forum of Gallery
The first floor of the laboratory,
which is at the ground level, consists
of a gallery which entirely surrounds
the testing room below. A good
view may be had from any part of the
gallery of the tests going on on the
lower floor. At the entrance to the
gallery, which is made from the south
side of the building, a complete
chassis assembly will be placed on
each side of the door. Located along
the gallery rail will be found trans-
missions and clutch unit exhibits.
The left end of the gallery will be
devoted to a computing and design-
ing room. -In this room there will
also be located a complete chassis as
well as a large rack of drawings for
the use of the student designers. At
the right end of the gallery is to be
a research and dynamometer room.
Here will be located all the apparatus
for completely testing a motor.
In addition to this there will be in-
stalled the outfit necessary to meas-
ure the horsepower of any complete
car. All that will be necessary is
that the machine be backed into the
laboratory where the rear wheels will
revolve on large circular drums. Then
by running the motor and without
moving the car itself the horsepower
of the engine will be registered di-
rectly on the electric dynamometer.
In the front of the building in what
is now the switch board room will be
located the offices of the heads of the
department and those of his assist-
Always see The Ann Arbor Press
for your printing if you want quality.
Press Bldg., Maynard street. Phone
No. 1 (*)

The beauty and comfort and dignity you
look for in an enclosed car
The touring car and the roadster con-
verted into Winter cars by means of
demountable, electrically-lighted, cloth-
upholstered tops. Designed and built
especially for these cars-retaining and
emphasizing the grace and beauty for
which they are noted.
The motor is 30-35 horsepower
The price of the Winter Touring Car or Roadster,
complete, including regular mohair top, is ,
$95o (f. o. b. Detroit)


Staebler & Sons
119 W. Washington Phones 8 and 85

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