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About Quiz #405: Cycleplane


About Quiz #405: Cycleplane

This probably seemed too easy. The illustration links in the post led to photos on Kit Foster's CarPort, on which the Cycleplane had been featured in 2009. Thus everyone who entered named the car, its builder Dr. Arthur Ball, the headquarters ar 42 Canal Street, Westerly, Rhode Island, USA, and the "aeroplane mudguards" that supposedly acted as shock absorbers. Some named Christy McConnell, the machinist who purchased the right to build further Cycleplanes.

But it took additional research to win. Ace Zenek, a prior two-time winner, went the extra mile, consulting the Norwich Bulletin, a local newspaper, The Automobile, a period magazine, and other sources. Ace adds the following: "The Norwich Bulletin of August 1, 1914 stated, 'The cycleplane car, the invention of Dr. William Ball of Westerly, just completed, is believed to be the nucleus of a local industry'."

Christy McConnell was born in 1892 in Westerly, Rhode Island to wealthy parents who owned a summer cottage at Watch Hill, Rhode Island. An article in the February 27, 1913 Norwich Bulletin stated he, " ... not only attracted attention of those who chanced to be on the highways whenever he was driving his high powered racing car but so terrorized the natives by his reckless speed that he was arrested by the police last summer, resulting in having to pay a heavy fine and also to forfeit his license." He opened a branch of the Westerly Autogenous Welding Company of New York City in April 1914 at Westerly. The September 5, 1914 Norwich Bulletin stated, "The cycleplane and autogenous companies have combined and located in Margin street. Christy McConnell is the superintendent and William A. Ball manager of the consolidated firm."

Despite McConnell's youthful recklessness, he went on to serve as a Second Lieutenant in the U. S. Army during World War I, later breveted to Captain, he stayed in the Army after the war, was injured in the eye while fighting fires in Wyoming, and also served as the Westerly Automobile Dealer's Association secretary and treasurer. He later became an electrician, and he moved to Florida where he died in 1968. His first name is actually spelled "Chrystie," but all published accounts of his name show the other spelling.

Congratulations, Ace. It's your turn to report for jury duty.
 
 

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Jury Member Location Information

Bart Oosterling NL
Bas de Voogd / Rutger Booy NL team
Bob Swanson USA Sports Cars & Racing Cars
Carleton Hughes USA
Ced Pearce South-Africa Ford & Cord
Chris Paulsen USA Brass Era (pre-1916) cars
David Green NZ
Dick Trenk (deceased 2010) USA US cars
Dominique Barbault F French Cars
Don Edwards USA US Classics
Eduard Hattuma NL
Fons Alkemade NL French automobiles
Frans Vrijaldenhoven NL Dutch Automobile Historian
Fried Stol NL
Hans Compter NZ
Harry Schley Germany
Henk Visscher NL Firsts in Car Industry
Ian Hayhurst Canada pre-1916 autos / early Mopar
Ingo Jost Germany German Cars
James Helms USA
João Pedro Gazineu Brazil
John Barringer UK
John Robins UK
Jon Baker Australia
José A. Gómez Argentina
Josef Kubista CZ
Joseph P. McCormick USA
Kit Foster USA US cars 1920-1960, Stanley Steamers
Kjetil Langsaether Norway
Lars-Göran Lindgren S brass era cars
Luke Chennel USA
Marc Fellman Australia
Mark Dawber NZ
Mike Clark GB Vintage Cars.
Mike Tebbett UK cyclecars
Mike Turner USA
Nicolas Boissier France
Paul Linster L French & Britsh sports cars
Peter Ransom Australia
Richard Armstrong UK
Radu Comsa Romania
Raul Valkila Finland
Reg Harris Australia Citroën and English cars
Robb Stewart USA early racing and sports cars
Robbie Marenzi Argentina
Roger Fields USA
Rutger Booy / Bas de Voogd NL team
Stuart Penketh Thailand
Theo Castricum NL US cars
Tom Chaney USA
Verner Johnson DK