Category: 1927

Against all odds, French inventor Albert-Paul Bucciali spent decades claiming he invented the Willys MB Jeep – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings


Albert-Paul Bucciali was livid. Sometime after the Allied forces invaded Normandy and fought their way across France, he got an up close look at the little Jeep that everybody was talking about. While he appreciated what it could – and did – do for his country, one look underneath the Willys- and Ford-built light reconnaissance vehicles led him to spend the next 35 years in court defending his claim that he’d invented the Jeep and that he was owed a sizable fortune for doing so.

If Bucciali didn’t actually invent modern front-wheel drive, as he often claimed to have done, he at the very least made some pioneering advancements in sending power through the steerable wheels at a time when other inventors and carmakers were just starting to see the potential of such a system. Other than filing a series of French and U.S. patents for the system, though, he never fully capitalized on it and left behind just a handful of prototypes when he and his brother shut down the Freres Bucciali venture in the early Thirties.

Bucciali’s front-wheel-drive system. Hemmings file photo.

The two later went on to experiment with a four-wheel-drive sports coupe and a 12-wheel-drive armored fighting vehicle before Albert-Paul Bucciali settled on building gas generators toward the end of the decade. After the war and his brother’s death, Bucciali went on to experiment with helicopters and gas turbine engines before developing a semi-automatic transmission for Cotal.

That he never capitalized on his many patents, however, seemed to have stuck in Bucciali’s craw in his latter years. He accused Jean-Albert Gregoire, Tracta, and Citroen of stealing his ideas and claiming the glory and commercial success he believed was owed to him for inventing front-wheel drive. He contended that Renault built its automatic transmission on the principles he established with Cotal, and argued that Panhard et Levassor’s eight-wheeled EBR derived from the armored fighting vehicle work he and his brother did

But those claims all paled in comparison to his campaign to be credited as the father of the Jeep. While one would have expected he’d have cited the four-wheel-drive sport coupe that he and his brother developed, he instead looked at the Willys nameplate on the Jeeps he inspected and built his case upon the fact that Willys was one of several American companies to review one of his TAV30 prototypes in early 1930 while considering his pitch to license the front-wheel-drive system.

According to Griffith Borgeson, who visited Bucciali for a story in Automobile Quarterly in the late Seventies, the inventor pointed to one design in particular, US1837106, as “the patent upon which the whole issue depends.” That patent, filed in September 1928 and granted in December 1931, describes Bucciali’s TAV front-wheel-drive system. It includes a number of innovations, including drum brake linings integrated with the wheels, electrically actuated brakes, and a “parallelogramic” independent front suspension, but for the purposes of Bucciali’s argument, it also includes claims for inventing the spherical casing for a universal joint that permits the steering of a pair of driven wheels.

Bucciali suspected that, even though Willys brass passed on licensing Bucciali’s patent, they also filed away the design until the time came, a decade later, to design and build a light four-wheel-drive reconnaissance vehicle. Then, underhandedly, those same Willys executives and engineers re-constructed Bucciali’s design, slapped it under the front of the Jeep, won lucrative defense production contracts, and went on to build a civilian version with the potential for making millions upon millions of dollars.

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With an Offy under the hood, 1927 Ford Model T street rod is one of the few that deserves to wear that track nose – Daniel Strohl @Hemmings


These days, we’ve become accustomed to track noses as just another option in the sea of hot rod aftermarket items. Sporty, yes, but all too often backed up by an otherwise standard street rod. However, the track nose on this 1927 Ford Model T-based street rod for sale on is entirely fitting, given that the builder of the car chose to power it with a real-deal Drake Offenhauser dual overhead-camshaft four-cylinder. Once the hood is up, not even the screaming yellow zonkers paint can divert focus away from that jewel of a racing engine, and we’re sure there’s a story about how the engine came to power this car, along with many stories of frightened and delighted passengers who went for a ride thinking it was just a regular ol’ 1-800-street-rod. From the seller’s description

includes: A 255 cu in Drake Offenhauser engine with original magneto and water plumbing system, Dual two barrel Mikuni carburetors, Dry sump oil system, Custom built tube headers and exhaust system, Steel tube chassis, Ford automatic transmission, Ford 9 inch rear end with three link rear suspension with coil over shocks, Front drop chrome axle, Ansen type five spoke wheels CNC profile cut for original machine finish, Wilwood front disk brakes with chassis mounted master cylinder and bias valve, Custom radiator with electric cooling fan, Rear mounted battery with under seat disconnect, Hand fabricated upholstery and carpets, Fiberglass body with aluminum hood, radiator nose and louvered side panels. Car is currently licensed and insured and ready to drive

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Criss-Crossed Conveyors, River Rouge Plant 1927, Ford Motor Company by Charles Sheeler


A realistic painter as well as a photographer, Sheeler rarely failed to uncover harmonious coherence in the forms of indigenous American architecture. His series of photographs of the Ford plant near Detroit was commissioned by the automobile company through an advertising agency. Widely reproduced in Europe and America in the 1920s, this commanding image of technological utopia became a monument to the transcendent power of industrial production in the early modern age.

Ladle on a Hot Metal Car, Ford Plant 1927

Charles Rettew Sheeler Jr. was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art from 1900 to 1903, and then the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied under William Merritt Chase. He found early success as a painter and exhibited at the Macbeth Gallery in 1908.[1] Most of his education was in drawing and other applied arts. He went to Italy with other students, where he was intrigued by the Italian painters of the Middle Ages, such as Giotto and Piero della Francesca. Later, he was inspired by works of Cubist artists like Picasso and Braque[2] after a trip to Paris in 1909, when the popularity of the style was skyrocketing. Returning to the United States, he realized that he would not be able to make a living with Modernist painting. Instead, he took up commercial photography, focusing particularly on architectural subjects. He was a self-taught photographer, learning his trade on a five dollar Brownie. Early in his career, he was dramatically impacted by the death of his close friend Morton Livingston Schamberg in the influenza epidemic of 1918.[3] Schamberg’s painting had focused heavily on machinery and technology,[4] a theme which would come to feature prominently in Sheeler’s own work.

Source – Wikipedia


RON MEIS’ ’27 T BY KINDIG-IT DESIGN – Brandon Flannery @FuelCurve


With several projects from Kindig-it Design in his garage, Goodguys regular Ron Meis decided it was time for an open-wheeled car with a little more agility than his GTO and ’59 Buick. After hashing out a build plan they decided to use the redesigned ’27 T roadster from Dynamic Corvettes and Shadow Rods in Saginaw, Michigan. The XL27 has two more inches of room and sits low over a matching ’32-style frame.

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Buick Master Six Roadster 1927


The Buick Master Six was an automobile built by Buick from 1925 to 1928. Before then, Buick was using the six-cylinder 242 engine in their high-end cars and a four-cylinder engine in their smaller, less-expensive cars, but for 1925, they dropped the four-cylinder engine and designed a small six, which they called the Standard 6, to replace that end of the market. They coined the name “Master Six” for the high-end cars, now powered by the 255 engine released the year before.

Read the rest at Wikipedia

1927 Packard Found in Abandoned Philadelphia Factory Sitting for Over 40 Years – IronTrap Garage


In this episode Matt, Mike, and the team from Cabin Fever Auction Company travel to Northwest Philadelphia to help rescue a 1927 Packard sitting in a closed down Machine shop / Factory since the 1970’s and off the road since the 1950’s. John Paul’s Father has owned this building since the 1970’s and bought the Packard in approximately the 1940’s. The property is being sold and the family wanted help relocating the car to a proper garage so they can attempt to get it road worthy again. We tagged along to document removing the old Packard from it’s tomb.

The Art and Colour of GM from Hemmings Classic Car – Mark J McCourt


The Art and Colour of GM

I think that the future of General Motors will be measured by the attractiveness that we put in the bodies from the standpoint of luxury of appointment, the degree to which they please the eye, both in contour and in color scheme, also the degree to which we are able to make them different from competition.”


— Alfred P. Sloan Jr., in a letter to Fisher Body Corporation president William A. Fisher, September 1927

This article from Mark J McCourt at Hemmings Classic Cars tells the story of GM’s approach to the design and attractiveness of vehicles and was the complete antithesis of Henry Ford’s approach.