Entrant number 19 Driver Merv Kroll
Cyclecars were a phenomenon of the early 19th Century.
Several automakers manufactured these unique vehicles to address the needs of buyers looking for a means of transportation lower in cost than conventional automobiles. Additionally, registration taxes were based on vehicle weight and engine displacement. Lighter in weight and with smaller, less powerful engines, Cyclecars were less costly to buy and taxed at a lower rate.
A typical Cyclecar, such as one type that the Pennsylvania firm of Driggs-Seabury Ordinance manufactured from 1913 to 1915, had two seats in tandem displacement and an under-slung body. Cyclecars of various manufacturers were all powered by either a single-cylinder, V-Twin, a four-cylinder or a motorcycle engine.
Note that the tandem two-seater configuration and engine type gave the impression that the vehicle was a hybrid type of motorcycle-automobile combination.
Cyclecars enjoyed limited popularity for a time and were even entered in races restricted to these vehicles
. During the brief heyday of the Cyclecars, they were manufactured in many countries such as Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Spain, France and England. The most prolific producers of Cyclecars were the English.
The Ford Motor Company’s Model hastened the demise of the Cyclecar T. Ford advertised the Model T’s advantages over the Cyclecar, one of which was the Ford sold at a price very near the Cyclecar. Additionally, the Model T offered superior comfort and roadability. By the early 1920s, the Cyclecar was but a curious memory.
Cyclecars were a phenomenon of the early 19th Century. Several automakers manufactured these unique vehicles to address the needs of buyers looking for a means of transportation lower in cost than conventional automobiles.
Additionally, registration taxes were based on vehicle weight and engine displacement. Lighter in weight and with smaller, less powerful engines, Cyclecars were less costly to buy and taxed at a lower rate.
A typical Cyclecar such as one type
1914 Twombly Cyclecar
Driggs-Seabury Ordinance Corp Pennsylvania
Owned By: Mervyn and Margaret Kroll – Brisbane
(one of three known remaining worldwide)
“Twombly” type “A” . 4 cylinders, four cycles, water-cooled, cast en bloc, thermo syphon system 12-15 H.P. Positive oiling mechanical valves located on the left side of the motor. High-grade bronze bearings Throughout
.Transmission – “Twombly” straight-faced friction with two-speed drive shaft and single chain drive to rear axle, giving six speeds forward and two reverse. Bearings of high-grade bronze.
Rear Axle – “Twombly” live unbreakable type with standard differential and solid shaft from wheel to wheel, differential casing acting as an emergency brake. The axle is surrounded by a seamless steel tube. Hyatt roller bearings exclusively.
Front Axle – Drop forged I-beam section, chrome nickel steel. Bearings annular ball.
Suspension – “Twombly” underslung, giving a low centre of gravity and perfect balance.
Frame – Pressed steel, channel section.
Springing system – Rear – Cantilever, 36 inches long Front – Semi-elliptic, 30 inches long.
Wheels – 28 x 2 1/2 extra heavy wire
Tyres – Extra heavy clincher non-skid, rear, corrugated, front.
Brakes – Service, on a different case. The transmission acts as a powerful emergency brake.
Gas tank – In cowl, 5 gallons capacity
Ignition – Heinze high-tension magneto
Carburetor – Longuemeare
Lubrication – Splash and force feed.
Radiator – Cellular, nickel.
Steering – “Twombly” adjustable gear. Steering wheel 14 inches, Irreversible worm and sector.
Control – Hand or foot. Gas throttle lever on dash and foot throttle accelerator. Contracting brake band on the differential casing. Transmission can be used as a powerful emergency brake.
Wheelbase – 100 inches.
Road Clearance – 9 1/2 inches.
Weight – 600 pounds.
Stock colour – Sulphur yellow with black and nickel trimmings.
Equipment- includes two oil side lamps and one tail lamp: Horn and complete set of tools.
Top – One-man top with envelope and side curtains, $25.00
Windshield – $12.00
Speedometer – $12.00
Electric lighting – 2 headlights, one tail light, storage battery and dimmer, independent push buttons