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Car Collector Chronicles 01-14

Car Collector Chronicles 01-14

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Published by Dave Yaros
January 2014 edition (01/2014, 5 pgs.) of Car Collector Chronicles; a free, monthly, online, ad free newsletter for the classic/collector car enthusiast; now in 7th year of publication.

ARTICLES: High RPM’s, Made in Alabama, Get Your Kicks!, CCC Presents

PHOTOS: Keller Station Wagon Tour Poster, Keller Super Chief SW Ad, Keller Convertible, Hubert Mitchell, Drip Rail Tool, Drip Rail, Car Hop-Skating

FILE NAME: Car Collector Chronicles 01-14.pdf

LINK- http://www.scribd.com/D_Yaros
January 2014 edition (01/2014, 5 pgs.) of Car Collector Chronicles; a free, monthly, online, ad free newsletter for the classic/collector car enthusiast; now in 7th year of publication.

ARTICLES: High RPM’s, Made in Alabama, Get Your Kicks!, CCC Presents

PHOTOS: Keller Station Wagon Tour Poster, Keller Super Chief SW Ad, Keller Convertible, Hubert Mitchell, Drip Rail Tool, Drip Rail, Car Hop-Skating

FILE NAME: Car Collector Chronicles 01-14.pdf

LINK- http://www.scribd.com/D_Yaros

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Published by: Dave Yaros on Dec 31, 2013
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02/03/2014

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Volume VII, Issue 1
 American Motors Corporation 01/16/1853 André Michelin pat-ents the pneumatic tire 01/17/1953 Corvette intro’d at GM Motorama as concept 01/29/1886 Karl Benz patents the first gas driven auto
-Happy New Year! 
As I
type
 it is 4 days before the official start of winter, 8 days before Xmas and snowing yet again! I cannot remember the last time the temp was above freezing? I am already tired of shoveling/blowing snow! With no car activities on the horizon I have been contemplat-ing projects to be undertaken.
The Gray Lady
 oil pan leaks. I have purchased a replacement (used). I already have on hand the necessary oil pan gaskets. I also need to sand, prime, paint and install the correct style gear shift lever knob on
The Gray Lady
. Presently there is an incorrect wood grain after-market knob installed. It is my intent to get the wip-ers on
The Gray Lady
 working properly. The last time I ran them the only way I could shut them off was to disconnect a vacuum line. The vacuum mo-tor needs to be rebuilt. It is also missing the coordinator. That is a device that times the washer spray to the cycle of the wiper blades. I have bought a used vacuum motor for rebuild.
 Ficken Wiper Service shall be doing the work. Maybe I will get around to installing the rear seat belts in
The Gray Lady
? I only pur-chased them a half-decade ago! The Cad and Olds are both due for the 6-step exterior treatment (wash/wax). I did think ahead and have bought more pads for the polisher. Four refurb’d OEM wheels for the Mrs.’ summer ride (‘02 Solara conv) await new tires. Related to this task is the paint-ing and installation of brake dust shields on those new wheels. I tend to imagine I may spend a minute or two this month watching the annual B-J AZ extravaganza. Reality tv it ain’t!
 January Automotive Milestones-
 
01/01/1897 Winton builds 1st car with steering wheel 01/14/1954 Nash-Kelvinator and Hudson merge to form
 
 High RPMs
GDYNets
 ® 
 on the Web
Find GDYNets on the web:
 ®
-
A web site to discuss the newsletter, the hobby and our cars. Car Collector Chronicles 
-Our
1962 Olds convertible, Ransom Eli Olds and things Oldsmobile related web site. The Gray Lady
 
-
1955 Cadillac Coup
é
 de Ville web site.
SAVED 6 :
 
A website devoted to our 1962 Oldsmobile Dy-namic 88 convertible. The site also has a lot of information on Oldsmobile cars and the com-pany founder, Ransom Eli Olds.
THE GRAY LADY
This web-site features our 1955 Cadillac Coupé de Ville, lots of Caddy information and an extensive repair library.
-
A site de-voted to a myriad of interests. Foremost is extensive informa-tion on the “Steel City” of Gary, IN. There are also offerings on steel making, U.S. Steel-Gary Works, U.S. Marine Corps, M14 assault rifle, of course Oldsmo-bile, and the tragic story of the murder of Gary, IN Police Lt. George Yaros.
A GDYNETS
 ® 
 PUBLICATION © 2014, G. DAVID YAROS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
 January 2014 Ca s
Car Collector Chronicles 
®
Exploring:
Car Collecting Today
Classic Rides
Reports From the Field
Oldsmobile (
1897-2004
)
Cadillac (
1902-
)
Allanté (
1987-1993
)
Corvair (
1960-1969
)
 =
Clickable Link
 
IN THIS ISSUE:
High RPMs
1
GDYNets On the Web
1
Made in Alabama
2
Get Your Kicks!
4
 ® 
 Presents
5
 EMail:
 
 
 Quick, name any car made in Alabama after WWII, and before 1970. I suspect you are having a hard time coming up with one? Do the names Bobbi-Kar and Dixie Motor Car mean anything to you? Probably not. No matter, as this article is about neither. Rather, it is about their successor, Keller Motors Corp. I doubt a lot of you know of Keller Motors. It did exist; for a short time; 3 years. It did produce cars; a few . Its base of operations was Alabama; Hunstville and more specifi-cally on the Redstone Arsenal. The story of Keller Motors begins in San Diego, not Alabama. A flim-flam man named S.A. Williams decided the post-war small car market was the means to a quick buck or two. For him that automobile was the Bobbi-Kar. The name was selected to honor his son. Problem was, his reputation was such that the S.E.C. was keeping a close eye on him. Williams did not feel he could operate with the feds on his back. To ditch them he decided to leave San Diego. He hoped Alabama would give him the breathing room he felt he needed. Williams arrived in Alabama only to learn a prior criminal conviction for counterfeiting barred him from being a corporate officer, board member or issuer/seller of stock. His get rich quick scheme was going nowhere fast. Williams decided it was best to bail out. He sold Bobbi-Kar of Alabama to his designer/engineer John Liefeld, who had made the trip with him from San Diego to Huntsville. Liefeld expressly created Dixie Motor Car to take control of the Bobbi-Kar assets. Liefeld, with the personal and financial intervention of Hubert Mitchell of Hartselle, AL induced George D. Keller, formerly Studebaker V.P. of Sales, to take on the running the new enterprise. Hubert Mitchell, like Williams before him, had an interesting background. As a young lad he built and flew an airplane. What made this feat remarkable was the fact he had never seen a real airplane, only pictures of aircraft! In the 1930’s he claimed to have found the notorious outlaw Jesse James languishing in a prison. He procured his re-lease and booked the 90 some year old gent on the vaudeville circuit in the deep south. Mitchell’s interest in auto manufacture was precipitated by a need to liquidate his in-ventory of military airplane seats. During the war Mitchell owned a furniture company which manufactured and installed military spec’d seats into conscripted civilian air planes. The government orders stopped with the outbreak of peace. What was Mitchell to do with the now useless inventory he had on hand? The answer: Why not start a car company and provide the seats? It was Mitchell who insisted the company be named Keller Motors Corp. His reason-ing was that it was a car and Studebaker V.P. Keller was well known within the auto industry. Ironically, this insistence ultimately contributed to the demise of the company. What Liefeld and Keller did was build a few prototypes and hawk them throughout the U.S. The vehicles were presented for viewing in 60 major cities across the country to both potential buyers and dealers. The concept being marketed by Keller was that of a low cost, no frills, inexpensive to maintain, bona fide automobile. The business rationale at Keller was that in pushing bigger is better and extravagance equals status the major auto manufacturers were abandoning the needs of the lower end of the market. This analysis, as far as it went, was indeed correct, but misjudged buyer upward mobility. To address the perceived need, Keller offered the post-war motoring public two small cars, the Chief and Super Chief, in station wagon and convertible models. The differ-
Made in Alabama 
 
ar ollector hronicles
 Page 2
“The business rationale at Keller was that in  pushing bigger is better and extravagance equals status the major auto manufacturers were abandoning the needs of the lower end of the market.”
 
Made in Alabama-Cont’d.
 
ence in models was the 4-cylinder engine. With the Chief one had all of 25 H.P. at their command. In the Super Chief the engine power was nearly doubled at 49. All cars had a manual 3-speed transmission and a 92 inch wheelbase. Tire size was 600 x 12. A dry type (paper) air filter came standard, while an oil bath air cleaner was offered as an option. Interestingly, the hubcaps on the cars bore script reading “Buick.” The tranny was from Studebaker, while the engine was a Continental, the generator came from Hudson and the dash gauges from Chevrolet. This is because Keller was acquiring parts from suppliers, rather than manufacturing their own. In fact, even though the Keller plant was on the Red-stone Arsenal grounds in Huntsville, AL, it did have offices in Detroit so as to have ready access to parts suppliers. That it was able to acquire sundry parts belies the stories that the big auto manufacturers did everything possible to hinder car production by independ-ent upstarts. Mitchell said years later that they never encountered such interference. To generate awareness and interest in the Keller car line a few automobiles were as-sembled. Reports on the number of Keller cars actually built varies from 14 to 25. They were taken on tour across the country; over 100 showings in 60 different cities. While a convertible model was promised, all the cars built were sta-tion wagons. This is because the wooden bodies could be hand as-sembled by cabinet makers. Keller lacked the necessary funds to buy tooling to stamp out metal body parts. The wagon was being offered with an $848 base price. Investors and buyers were im-pressed. 1,600 dealers signed on to
“ 
 A dry type (paper) air filter came standard, while an oil bath element was offered as an option. Interestingly, the hubcaps on the cars bore script reading ’Buick.’ ”
ar ollector hronicles
 Page 3

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