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After seeing the title of last weeks quiz, one might think we were getting a bit sloppy but actually the first and most important clue to the solution was in the headline where we wrote "What IZ it? instead of the usual "What IS it? ". The picture that we used was a picture of the car owned by manufacturer Dr. Bissell taken around 1911. People who visited the museum must have seen this US built oddball:
The car is a 1911 Izzer Roadster, photographed in the days after 'Hershey' when we visited the famous Auburn, Cord and Duesenburg museum. The museum is housed in the original super art-deco factory showroom and factory buildings. Most friendly located near the old and lively center of Auburn. It's so nicely situated that we consider to open a PreWarCar-PostWarClassic branche office in a deserted petrolstation right opposite the museum.
Regarding Dr. Bissell's car. We received only a couple of good answers. Unfortunately both from jury members. Robbie Marenzi came up quick, short and correct with the name and location and Fried Stol who came up with the full story in a few words:
'It’s an IZZER otherwise he probably would have called it a Whazzer. Dr. Bissell from Watseka, Illinois was a character who liked to play with words when he ordered one at the “Model Gas Engine Co.“ from Perú (Indiana) in 1911.
E.A. Meyers owner of the Co liked what he had created so he decided to make another two, one for his own and one for his managing director James Littleton, using parts from Great Western another Peru-built car. The Bissell car has a folding front seat, installed by the doctor, to have a spare seat for his daughter.'
(photos by editor)
A studio shot like more than many were made in the early days of motoring. The young motorist seems ready to go. At least she has the right garment with her hat secured with a nice long silk(?) shawl that probably will be functional with speeds up to 15 mph. Further a long driving coat and a stout pair of chauffeur gloves. So far so good.
But now her car(click). Not too much to go on, except for the three spoke steering wheel, the handlebar details including handthrottle(?) and ignition setting? A bit lower one can distinguish a butterfly nut that may be part of an oiler. The simple wooden scuttle may be of little help, yet in the lowest left corner there is this very small part of the bonnet to be seen.
The sum of all these small hints makes us think we're looking at a 1904/1908 car but that's just a gutfeel based on little more than having seen so many photos before. So we leave the issue with you and well, if we never find the solution, there is still her sweet and inquistive smile. But take our advise, DON'T google for The Auto Girl as the search will come up with let's say post-war pictures that will not enhance your night's rest.
(collection Eldon Guay, Canada)
UPDATE: Per Westerberg just sends his artist impression of the studio set-up (Click here)
With the London to Brighton veteran car run still fresh in our minds, we naturally enjoy increasing our knowledge of pre-1905 cars so we can be better prepared next year - and the year after that.... and so on.
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