The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by kurtis, Jul 18, 2009.
Barney Oldfield tinkering with his Christie machine
Well, maybe the engine, not the chassis. Bob
Yes, definitely a different chassis. Probably built in the Midwest, late twenties. There were a few similar looking cars around in period, I'm still hoping to find out more about it/them.
It pays to flip through magazines & catalogs before listing them on eBay! Bob
Two examples of racing Alfa Romeos of the mid to late thirties, this has sometimes been described as Dubonnet suspension. Looks more like twin-trailing-arms to me, as used by Auto Union, but possibly with coil springs, instead of torsion bars (concealed within those upright cylindrical contraptions). Can anyone verify?
Alfa did use Dubonnet suspension on the Bimotore, and also on a later version of the legendary Monoposto, maybe that caused the confusion.
Had`nt seen this pic of the `
I have a little lighter version of the same pic but it is still not very clear. I wondered what date it is with the damaged tail. I assume it is 1917 when it match raced but have not gone out on a limb as to where the pic was taken. For some reason I have Atlanta rolling around in my head but I could be all wrong on that as I have not thought of that pic in quite a while. I like the young guys giving it the once over. It is without question a cool picture of a cool car.
Has to be 1917, because it still has the original bodywork which was removed before its first race in 1918. The only actual accident I have recorded for the car that year was September 3, Uniontown/PA. At Atlanta, July 28, it retired because of a damaged axle, which could have caused the damage in the picture, too. Can't access original sources atm because newspaper.com is trying to fuck with me. Again.
Michael, I probably studied the above picture over 30 years ago and may have jumped to conclusions (possibly in error) but my notes are buried pretty deep in a file box and my desk is just as deep with another quest. I found a quick note in the Motor Age (9/13/17) that Oldfield lasted 9 laps at the Uniontown race you reference. He blew a tire that caused the car to turn completely around on the southwest curve. The stern was battered somewhat and Oldfield retired from the race. This could possibly be the damage on the stern.
It is very possible that this damage was caused at Uniontown but I most likely assumed that when he broke his axle at Atlanta that the tail dropped down and caused this damage. Figuring out a 30 year old assumption is difficult when I cannot remember what I had for lunch last Tuesday. I do not believe I have the smoking gun on it so I probably have to chalk my assumption up to ouija board science. Still really like the picture.
I've read somewhere (perhaps John Glenn Printz) that Oldfield rolled the Golden Sub in 1917 at Springfield Illinois, and the car caught fire. Supposedly that scary incident prompted Oldfield to cut the roof.
I've searched, but can't find period support, or references where that story came from.
The often seen photo after the body chop.
Billy as to Oldfield's accident at Springfield, I have read the account a few times in more than one source I am quite sure. The one place you can read the account is in William Nolan's biography on Oldfield. Nolan relates (p178) that at the far end of the first turn, the car got sideways and Oldfiled over corrected, and it smashed thru the fence and turned over and a large splinter came thru the top of the car. Barney was soaked with gasoline on his trousers and now with the car on fire the door to exit would not budge and finally he was able to exit before the gas tank exploded.
Whether the account was as Nolan related I am not sure, but the incident in some form most likely occurred. In looking over my stuff I may have to amend my thinking that the picture above may have been Atlanta. I found some notes that seemed to correspond to Nolan's account of Atlanta and it was a front axle that gave way. The above picture I assume was probably what happened at Uniontown.
Now to make matters worse I seem to remember there may have been another incident with the Sub and a body of water at one of the tracks. Not all that important but it seems to be rolling around my head as well.
Indy 1913,Bob Burman working on a Keeton car.
Bob that is a really nice picture and different and cool in a way that it has been colorized. No complaints from me but someone may point out that Fox in his Indy book he claims the car was green. If I did not have so many pictures on my walls in my shop I may have made a copy and hung it. The engine in the car was a pretty decent Wisconsin that Burman had a hand in. Jules Goux in his Peugeot won the race but Burman was probably his strongest competitor in the early going. He ended up changing his carburetor allegedly which put him back in the field. He finished in 11th place.
Thanks Jim for the info. I wouldn't know one way or the other about the color. Like you, I feel the image stands alone aside from a touch of historical inaccuracy.
Alfa Romeo Tipo A, 1931. With two 1750cc six-cylinder engines.
According to "Automotive Industries" of 19 Sept 1931, 'The right-hand engine revolves clockwise and the left-hand engine anti-clockwise, thus cancelling out torque reaction...'
And "Motor Sport" of Feb 1932 says 'Both engines revolve in the same direction, and are positively geared together so that one cannot run faster than the other'
From the plan view above, the engines are certainly connected together at the rear axle, but the contradiction remains.
Anyone able to resolve this? Thanks
With equal traction at the rear wheels...Those engines would have no choice BUT to turn at the same RPM
...unless the differentials are 'open'. The mystery continues.
Open ,locked or using some sort of mercury infused magnetic wonder disc....If the wheels are turning at the same speed? So will the engines.
Not sure I stated the problem clearly. It's whether the engines turned the same way or opposite ways. Both are possible.
And as I understand it, the differential usually controls the speed difference between left and right driving wheels, and should have no effect on the engine(s) speed.
In cases like Maserati's V16, and the Sampson V16, there is no confusion because both crankshafts are connected by gears of the same size before the clutch. But even if the connection is at the rear axle, like this Alfa, the same should be the case.
So let's look at it this way:
Assume both rear differentials are 'open'. There must be a connective "axle" shaft between the two differentials connected to both engines with a side gear on each end driven by the spider gears linked to their ring gears.
In an open diff it is possible for both axles to rotate at different speeds, most notably when a car is turning and the outside wheel travels further than the inside wheel, or in the case where one wheel sees traction to the ground and the other wheel spins (as on ice). If that be the case, the engine speeds can vary one-to-the-other. If that is possible then consider this scenario - what if one engine stalls or suddenly seizes up??? Will the other engine also stall or seize up??? Or will the open diff on the running engine side see the seized axle between the two differentials and transmit all its torque to the un-seized side of the diff, the tire on that side of the car?
sliceddeuce, I will readily concede that if the wheels are turning at the same speed what you say is true, both engines will run at the same speed but that is a singular case and not what happens in the real world at all times, especially on a curved race track. That is why I posited the possibility that with both diffs 'open' it would indeed be possible for them to operate at different speeds.
I have no doubt those pesky corners became a serious issue with that set-up...Especially when exiting and the wheel that was rotating freely on the differential gears suddenly went back to powered. Might explain why they bailed on that idea.
Two differentials would certainly make things just as tricky as you have explained. I suspect that there was only one differential, and the second banjo case contained only a bevel pinion and wheel. The two bevel wheels could have been connected via a hollow shaft, which would allow the output from the differential to reach the wheel on the far side.
Boy, wouldn't it be fun to build a modern prototype (with maybe midget-sized motors) to test all the possible scenarios we just discussed. I'll decline to be the test driver tho.
I've seen twin engine antique tractors quite often. International model A's and B's or Cubs are the most common. A's and B'sand Cubs drivetrain is offset from original so there are two very different length axle housings to make it easy. They just use two of the short ones. They run two differentials, but I don't know what's in them. Old guys have lots of time to play. Maybe there's discussion on one of their forums?
Might be on to something with the single dif. idea...Whatever they did? Didn`t work worth a hoot.
This makes my temples throb too...dif. is mounted to the trans w/ two drive shafts.
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