1903 Knox Waterless Model C (Stanhope)
The Knox automobiles were built from 1900 to 1914 in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA. Founder Harry A. Knox was inspired to build his own automobile by his neighbor, noted automotive pioneer J. Frank Duryea. Harry A. Knox, a graduate of Springfield Technical Institute, built several experimental gasoline-powered automobiles in the mid-1890s. During this time, he was employed by the Overman Wheel Company in Chickopee Falls.
In 1898, Harry Knox left the Overman Wheel Company. Company management, planning to enter the market for "horseless carriages," had decided to use steam instead of gasoline. Upon his return to Springfield, Harry Knox partnered with E.H. Cutler. The goal was to produce a lightweight three-wheeled car with a single cylinder engine. The vehicle was based on Knox's gas-powered prototype cars designed by Overman. The first Knox three-wheelers were built at the Waltham Watch Company factory in Springfield.
Four-wheeled models were added in 1902. Also offered were both one- and two-cylinder engines. During this period, Knox engines were air-cooled, earning them the nickname "Waterless". The cylinder cases were studded with 2-inch threaded pins. The spiky appearance gave the cars the nickname "Old Porcupine." The engine was mounted in the center of the chassis and connected to a manual 2-speed planetary gearbox. The rear wheels were driven by a chain. Steering was by a steering tiller mounted on the left side of the car.
In 1903, only one model was offered. The Model C had a slightly longer wheelbase than its predecessor at 72" (183 cm). The versatile and compact runabout body was still used. The design offered the ability to fold out two additional seats in front of the driver. The style was often referred to as "Stanhope" on other contemporary cars of the era. This was, by today's standards, the first "2+2" car. A particularly attractive aspect of the Knox bodies is a trim strip that follows the curved shape of the body sides.
Harry A. Knox numbered his cars quite simply. The VIN (actually an engine number) is stamped at the base of the cylinder head. The number of the car presented here is "800". It is thus to be assigned to the production of the year 1903.
|Year of construction:||1903|
|Engine, power, design:||Single cylinder, 8 HP, capacity approx. 2600 ccm, horizontally mounted|
|Gearbox and drivetrain:||2 speed and reverse planetary gearbox, power transmission by chain to rear axle|
|Cooling:||Air cooled, with extra fan|
|Body:||2 seater with 2 additional seats in front of the driver's seat, steering with tiller|
|Vmax:||Approx. 45 km/h|
|Price at the time:||US$ 1350|
|Manufacturer, location, country:||Springfield, Mass., USA|
|Vehicles surviving worldwide:||Estimated 10-15 vehicles|
|Special features:||The Knox had the largest single-cylinder engine in a car in 1903, thanks to the cooling via about 1700 threaded bolts it was also called "the old porcupine".|
- The position of the tiller and the seat do not fit. You can't make right turns because the tiller is mounted too close to the driver's body.
- The seat has been modified to match the tiller. The original bolt holes were not used for this purpose.
- The brake rod was modified to fit with the extra-wide body.
- The sprocket on the rear axle is a sprocket for passenger cars on flat terrain. All cars that had to carry heavier loads had larger sprockets. This was also true for passenger cars that drove mountainous terrain.
- The mechanics completed and reworked (final restoration to follow).
- The brass parts cleaned and restored.
- Restored the missing Stanhope body according to old templates and pictures.
- Replaced the missing carburetor system with a 1904 Schebler carburetor.