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January 21, 1917 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1917-01-21

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One New Steam Car and Electric
- Transmissions Attract
Four Passenger Bodies Give Easy
Riding; Are Not Completely
Developed as Yet
IThe 1917 New York show was strik-
ingly different in at least one partic-
ular from the shows of the past two
years. While the general effect at the
Grand Central Palace was as elabo-
rate as usual, while the number of cars
exhibited was even larger than inthe
last two years, while the exhibit show-
ed markedly the results of concen-
trated engineering thought, yet there
was lacking the startling exhibit, un-
expected design, the radical departure
in chassis or body. The changes
noted at the show were largely matters
of detail, and of mechanical perfection
in the body, the engine andthe'various
chassis units. Very noticeable has
been the progress in body comfort and
convenience, and decided improvement
is apparent in the general appearance
of the car.
In looking over the cars for this year
we find the majority are perfected de-
signs of cars which have been on the
market at least one year, and in some
cases four or five years. The general
development of the various units has
been carried to the point where service
as a whole is very satisfactory. Two
years ago radical changes were insti-
tuted in the "Eight," as announced by
the Cadillac company, followed almost
immediately by the Twin Six and other
V type engines. The introduction at
that time of the first magnetic drive
car, the Owen, was an unexpected in-
novation in the automobile field. This
year we have no such radical changes.
There Is much that is new, however,
in the present exhibit, both in the mat-
ter of new cars and new features.
Seventeen cars appear for the first
time at this particular show, including
the Jordan, Liberty, Drexel, Harroun,
Doble, and others. In these new cars,
of course, many new features appear;
many changes and improvements in
the units which go to make up the
chassis, from the motor to the rear
Use Sixteen Valve Four
Most striking, perhaps, in the mat-
ter of engine changes, is the introduc-
tion of ,the sixteen-valve, four-cylinder
engine, with two intake valves and two
exhaust valves per cylinder. Such
construction, as shown by the Stutz,
White and Drexel companies, was en-
tirely to be expected, on account of
the application and general success of
this type of valving on practically all
four cylinder racing engines which
have made satisfactory records in the
last three years. The advantage in
four valves will be at once apparent:
first, in the matter of " large, quick
valve openings, with consequent in-
crease in volumetric efficiency and
therefore in horsepower output per
unit of weight; and second, in the
matter of low reciprocating valve
weights,-an item which is of greatest
importance in the design of high speed
engines. Objections upon the ground
of complication and possible noise due
to many, wearing joints are met by im-
proved mechanical details and better

materials. The Drexel engine, made
by the Farmer Company, is of special
interest in that it not only carries six-
teen valves, but these valves are oper-
ated by two overhead cam shafts,
which in turn are driven by a double,
triangular chain drive from the crank
shaft.- The very fact that two recog-
nized leading companies in the indus-
try have adopted and made standard a
sixteen, valve engine would indicate
that this general type will no doubt be
permanent. There is nothing freakish
about the design. It has proved its
merit in racing engines, where the test
of an engine is as hard as could be
given it under any circumstances.
Several Transmission Changes.
A year ago the automobile industry
was introduced to electric transmis-
sions and 1916 has seen the steady de-
velopment of the Owen Magnetic Drive
Car. Its continuance in practically the
same detail as a year ago, and the
offering of two other cars in which
same form of electric drive is em-
ployed indicates a decided trend. The
Woods combination gasoline-electric
vehicle has many possibilities, and the
McFarlan electric transmission has
been designed in an attempt to do
away with the rather cumbersome and,
non-mechanical gear shift which pre-

John C. B. Parker.... Managing Editor
Clarence T. Fishleigh..Business Mgr.
Editor............Carleton W. Reade
Assistants-Stiles C. Smith, Marian
Wilson, Mildred Mighell.
Business Manager.....J. E. Campbell
Assistants-Harold Smith, Harry Louis,
William LaFevre.


The magazines of the country which
always keep a finger on the public
pulse, have proclaimed the motor age
by substituting an illustrated automo-
bile catalgue for the breakfast food
booklet which formerly occupied the
advertising sections.
A couple of decades ago, he who
went about exhaling the fragrance of
gasoline was suspected of having
clambered into a suit of clothes all too
recently cleaned. In these days, even
'cigarette smoke is not more tolerantly
received by the olfactory perceptions of
mankind as a patent of gentility.
Such are the changes in social
standards wrought by mechanical in-
vails on the ordinary car at the present
time. This McFarlan system is quite
different from that in the Owen Mag-
netic Car, in that the magnetic or
electric drive is on high speed alone.
Low speed action and reverse are
through a planetary gear set.
Control Cooling Water Temperatures
Remarkable advance has been made
in the control of cooling water tem-
peratures of the engine. A year ago
very little attention was paid to the
matter of efficient cooling water tem'
peratures. At the present time prac-
tically all first-class cars have instal-
lations for controlling cooling water
temperature, by thermostat or positive
shutter for radiator.
Steam Power Cars
The well known discussions of the
advantages and disadvantages of the
steam power plant have been. stimu-
lated this year by the appearance of
a new steam car. The Doble, which
will be manufactured in Detroit, was
shown for the first time at the New
York show and created tremendous in-
terest, as expected. It is built along
the same general lines as the Stanley
Steamer, with its two-cylinder, double-
acting engine built in unit with the
rear axle, a water tube boiler located
under the hood at the front, a kerosene
main burner with a gasoline pilot
Air cooling of automobile engines
will no doubt in the next year attract
additional interest, due to the fact that
within the last month it has been an-
nounced that Arthur Holmes, former
vice-president and chief engineer of
the Franklin Company, is forming a
new company, to be located in Ohio,
which will manufacture a new, high-
grade, air-cooled automobile.
Special Bodies of Various Designs
From the standpoint of the owner-
driver, it is satisfying to note the im-
provement and general application of:
first, the. detachable winter top, and,
second, so-called "convertible bodies."
A number of special body makers are
offering standard designs of both
these styles of bodies and a majority
of-car builders, regardless of class, are
offering some sort of all-weather body
as standard equipment. The wire
wheel seems to have come to stay and
we find installations of wire wheels
on cars in almost every price class.
Especially do they seem to be well
adapted to enclosed cars, such as se-
dans, limousines, landaulets.
Two years ago we heard practically
nothing of the "Clover Leaf" body, the
four passenger roadster, the "Chummy
Car." Many such models are offered
but the designs have not been well
worked out. In general, they are
crowded and the proportioning of the
body has not been well studied, but no
doubt in a short time we shall see sat-
isfactory improvements in this style of
body. The riding qualities of such a
car are undisputed, due to the suspen-
sion of the four seats at the center of
the chassis, eliminating the objection-
able throw which is so often evident

in a long car in which the rear seats
overhang the rear axle.
A great deal has been done in the
study of body proportions and prac-
tically every car at the show is very
much improved In the matter of body
dimensions, body comfort and storage
United States Sells Cars to Java
Java imported 759 motor cars during
the first six months of 1916, and of
these 668 were from the United States.
Italy sent' 53, and Holland 32.



Vulcanized Products Co.



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