COMMENTS TO AKSEL QUESTIONS IN NO. 12
Comments on Instrument Panels: The question if the dash should
be covered with leather or polished mahogany wood is an interesting question.
Upon looking though my files, I found the following references:
THE LIGHT CAR for January 27, 1915 reporting on the New York
Show to its British readers, states that, “All the inside of the doors,
even the dash, is lined with padded leather, which gives a great feeling
of warmth and comfort.”
THE AUTO MOTOR JOURNAL for June 17, 1915 shows an illustration
of the interior of the body. It reports, “The interior paneling is upholstered
right up to the dash, in which are let, one on either side, two large pockets
for maps and such-like small articles. Polished walnut beading and instrument
board add the necessary high-class finish.
THE LIGHT CAR for September 22, 1915 printed a photograph of
a 1915 Model C with English license plate EM500 that shows a quilted leather
dash. THE AUTOCAR for November 20, 1915, printed the a photo of a 1915
Model C with English rego DU6952, showing its interior and states: “In
place of the polished dash, it is now quilted, square tufted, leather covered,
this applies to the instrument board, scuttle sides, inside of doors, etc.”
The door pockets appear to be open on top with no hinge flap covers. The
leather covering extended over the top of the doors in place of the wood
door molding used on the early models. That is, the tops of the doors were
now trimmed with leather in place of the former wood trim molding.
The Scripps-Booth Sales Brochure (6”x7”, 24 pages, undated),
that was probably printed in mid September 1915 for the Fall Selling Season,
covers the 1916 Model C’s that started with Car No. C3101 with Sterling
Engine serial #3001 [3” bore open valve]. Illustrated on page 8, is the
interior through the open door. On page 9, it states: “The exceptionally
careful finish of the upholstery and interior leather work, including the
square tufted instrument board.
THE AUTOMOBILE for January 6, 1916, reporting on the New York
City show cars, claimed that “One alteration is abandonment of the quilted
leather finish of the cowl board in favor of the more customary polished
The later Sales Brochure titled, The Luxurious Light Car As Originated
by Scripps-Booth (5”x6½”, 22 pages, un-dated, printing by the Cadillac
Press), that I have is a later edition of this brochure, that must have
been first printed in 1916. My version appears to have the first 16 pages
of text still applying to the 1916 Model C, while the page 17 Speci-fications
for the Four Cylinders was updated from the Model C to the 1917 Model G.
For example, it describes “The high-speed motor with its enclosed overhead
valves with outside adjustment…” This statement applies to the Sterling
engine serial #10,001 up, but not the 1917 Mason engine listed in the Spec.
page that had 3 11/16” bore cylinders. The Road-ster was priced at the
Model G $935 cost and not the $825 Model C cost. This brochure states,
“Beneath the base of this wind screen and at the rear finale to the hood
is a leather-covered instrument arrangement.”
THE LIGHT CAR October 31, 1917 article was on a handsome coupe
body by the Belgravia Coachworks on a Scripps-Booth chassis. It referred
to “A polished mahogany instrument board is fitted to the scuttle-dash…”
I think this dash was added by the body builder just like the windscreen
was also “framed in narrow polished mahogany.”
In conclusion, it appears the early 1915 Model C’s, perhaps the
first 400 built, had padded leather dashes. Then between C401 and about
C2000 at the end of July 1915, the polish walnut dash was used. About August
1st the quilted, square tufted, leather covered dash commenced up to December
31st, 1915 to C5000. The improved Model C’s that were specially built for
the 1916 Automobile Shows for January through March (estimate C5001-C5025)
changed back to polished walnut. The production Model C’s that started
in April 1916 came again [I believe] equipped with the plain black leather
Comments on Instruments:
The Steward speedometer used in 1915 is its Model 100. The dial face
is 3 inches with a nickel-plated bezel ring. The season and trip odometers
are located below the miles per hour speed drum. The dial face for 1915
is silver plated and has the code letter “G” stamped in the face just above
the word ‘patented.’ The trip meter is reset by pulling out and turning
the wheel on the right. The speedometer is set off with a polished nickel
flange that has an opening for the reset wheel. For 1916 and later, the
face was black with white letters, and had the date code of “H. In 1918
the “K” date code included the month, such as K-3 for March 1918.
I have photos that were taken in the early 80’s of the Harrah’s
Museum Model C that was built about June of 1916. This was a low 6,000-mile
car, and it appears the dash had the original leather covered dash. The
Car No. plate is missing, but with a Sterling Engine #10681, I would estimate
this car would have a serial number around C5800. The nameplate on the
dash under the choke knob is that of the Southern California distributor,
The center mounted Ignition OFF-ON Switch for the 1916 Model
C’s was made by Briggs-Stratton with the 4 button light switch made by
Connecticut Electric and Tele-phone company Note the B-S switch cover originally
was painted black.
Of course the system voltage was changed to 6 volts from 12 volt
at Car No. C5001. I presume your C3266 was updated to 6 volts when the
Mason engine was installed and the ignition switch you got from Hershey
is this type of ignition switch? The 1915 Model C’s with the Bijur Starter/Generator
used a combination ignition/starter switch, with the early switch only
two positions with the later [C1101 up] being a three position with the
center position “Idle” being added.
Nickel-plated mounting flanges are also used for the ammeter
and the oil sight gauges shown. I have no informa-tion who the suppliers
of these gauges are?
Comments on Upholstery:
There is some question as to when the 1916 Model C’s started production,
but most sources claim it was at Car No. C3101, that I figure must of been
built towards the end of September 1915, with the last Model C built before
the end of December 1915 to be C-5000. I estimate your Model C, Car No.
C3266, was built about the first week in October 1915 as a 1916 Model.
In our S-B Register, we list the 1915 models by year of manu-facture, since
our Horseless Carriage Club uses this as the cut-off date.
The improved Model C with price increased from $775 to $825 was
first announced at the NYC Automobile Show the first week of January 1916,
starting with Car No. 5001 up, with Sterling Engine #10,001 and up, with
enclosed valves and 6 volt Wagner starter and generator,
The two photos I have of Car No. C6426S, that I estimate was
built during the last of August 1916, shows the original 1916 interior,
with the seats to be that of the diamond button style used on the Model
C's. These Janu-ary 1916 improved models had plain leatherette door panels
with pockets with flaps that fasten down on each side.
The driver's side toolbox compartment did not start until about
Car No. C5160 in mid April 1916 when the battery was relocated under the
driver's seat from the trunk. Several previous owners have copied this
compartment and added it to earlier bodies because they liked this feature
and wanted to update their cars.
Dick Minnick probably purchased the reproduction Houk No. 4 hub emblems
(not NOS) with the Scripps-Booth logo from the popular East Coast swapmeet
Emblem and Nameplate vendor, Bill Willaims. His firm is called Pulfer &
Willaims, and he does a mail order business at P.O. Box 67, Hancock, New
Bill took over the making of nameplates and emblems from the
famous Southern Californian collector and ven-dor, Harry Pulfer in the
early 70’s. I first met Harry in 1963 when I bought a 1923 3-port Olds
cylinder head and exhaust manifold from this elder gentleman.
Windshield Comments: The later Model C Parts Price List believed
printed in mid 1917 shows the 15C47 Windshield for the first 5000 Cars
and Overlapping Wind-shield #15C447 on cars above #5000. The early wind-shield’s
upper glass was 10 x 35 3/8 inches with square corners, with the lower
glass measures the same width and 8 inches at its highest part. I gather
the improved overlap-ping type referred to the upper class overlapping
the lower glass by a small amount, so rain spray doesn’t leak by the air
gap that the early models had.
MORE FEEDBACK TO REGISTER NO. 12
I received several letters and updates from Alan Schier this
pass year in which he wrote in part:
Thanks for writing and showing so much interest in the obscure
S-B history. It seems that it's been you and me, mostly, trying to
keep the interest going. I was glad to hear of Aksel in Norway finding
a "C" and showing so much interest in making his car as original as possible.
I researched my ads and owners handbook the morning after I received
your letter. Our S/N 2525 has the diamond pleating "padded" on side panels
and instrument area. It is of a cloth backed leatherette material.
The seats are top quality deep grained leather, deep rolled and tucked
Turk-ish style. This I was told was to absorb the bumps and jars
as in carriages of earlier times. My info comes from the 1914
Model "C" ad in Literary Digest, reprinted in Car Topics, the ad with the
stream lined fenders. It shows the diamond pleats. I believe
that Mr. Gears' car was not diamond pleats on the dash area but leatherette
fabric. The side areas on my seats are the cloth materials also.
The model "G" ad seats seem the same. The amp gauge was made by Roller
Smith of Bethlehem, PA. (Bethlehem PA is a stone throw from us, a 30-minute
drive) My car also says BIJUR system on it. I have collected
extra gauges without the Bijur markings.
I have contacted Jerry Cook who owns the ex-Ruggles car.
I have pictures of this project, which I received in January of '91.
It seems I know more about the car than Mr. Cook, as he has no interest
in these old cars. I gave Mr. Cook an approx. value of the S-B remains,
and he is willing to sell it to me. I am considering buying his project
to speed up restoration on my car. One of the pieces of this project is
a restored engine. As I have a cousin in Missouri who has been
begging us to visit and Mr. Cook is only 45 minutes from my cousin, I'll
now be able to do two things at once, and have free lodging to boot!
I have been working now for 2 months for Continental Airlines out of Newark,
NJ, so getting there will be easier than driving. Can't beat those
arrangements! I will need to sell some other car first to make the
purchase happen, so it could be another year or so before I am able to
take possession of Mr. Cook's project.
Mr. Geers' frame remains seems to have been a "G" 110-inch frame.
I was wrong in saying that it was a "D" frame. And it is so much
heavier than a "C" frame. I am sorry to say that I cut up the frame
rails for scrap, but saved the spring castings, axles, and brake cross
rods. What didn't make sense was the width dimensions of the splash
apron. The body door is much larger also. I have turned up
no info on a V8 runabout. Neither Mr. Jensen nor Mr. Kesling ever
got back to me so I decided to dice up the frame. Now I have had
second thoughts, lots of spare pieces.
I would be interested in copies or trading literature for the
1915 "C" parts list. Regards, Alan
QUESTION ON HOUK WHEEL HUBS
I bid $1350 on a set of four 23" Houk Wire Wheels, two hubs,
and two caps off of a Scripps-Booth this morning, and lost out in the last
minute when a Model T Speedster guy outbid me and got them for $1375. I
can't tell if these are left or right hubs? Are the Scripps-Booth hubs
the same for the front and rear? Can you tell if these are front or rear
I have thought about installing Houk 23 inch Quick Detachable
wire wheel on my 1912 Little runabout. This would replace the wood spoke
24" Wheels with 30 x 3" tires with 30 x 3½" tires, which should
give a better ride. Chevrolet actually offered as a factory option in 1914-15,
Houk 25" wheels for its 32 x 3½" tires.
My good friend Tom Meleo has Houk 25" wheels with oversize 34
x 4½" tires on his 1918 Chevrolet Model D5 Touring and I would like
to find a set of Houk 26" wheels and hubs/caps for 34 x 4" tires for my
'18 D5 also. An-other Chevy friend is planning to have the front and rear
#4 hubs for the 1917-22 large Chevrolet cast since they are almost impossible
to find anymore.
Have you found any Houk factory literature? Ken
TITLE FOR THE 14th MODEL C BUILT?
I have a Certificate of Title for a 1915 Scripps-Booth roadster,
dated September 19, 1925, in the name of Harry G. Humphreys. Engine #525F
- Serial # 0114 - Horse-power 18 - power gas - style roadster - year 1915.
On the back it has been assigned to Fred Duesenberg (of the auto fame),
by Mrs. H. G. Humphreys, and has a notary public signature and seal. It
has a penciled address change at the top, and it is in very good condition.
It has been folded, but it is very clear to read. The paper is old but
in good condi-tion. I believe it is the original title. Jim
TITLE LIST BLOCK CAST NO. AS ENGINE NO.
Thanks for the title info and the engine serial number. Unfortunately,
the #525F is the early Sterling 2 7/8" bore cylinder block part number
that is cast into the side of the block. The "F" stands for the FERRO foundry
in Cleve-land, Ohio who cast the block. This was a common mis-take made
back then because the engine serial is often hard to locate since it is
stamped into the block on the right side at the base of the front cylinder
and is often covered over by paint.
These Sterling engine that went from #1 to 3000 were used in
the 1915 Model C's that were built from Feb. to September 1915. I believe
your title for #O114 is also a mistake and should have the prefix "C" for
Model C, so should be #C114. It is estimated that first batch of 25 Model
C’s built in Feb-Mar 1915 were all built for the large city Automobile
Show - so I bet Car No. C114 was the Indianapolis Auto Show Car and the
first Scripps-Booth in Indiana?
It is interesting that C114 was still on the road 10 years later
in 1925 and Fred Duesenberg would want it? Ken
HOUK WIRE WHEEL COMMENTS
Received your note on Model C title. It may be of some use on
Ruggles - Cook car if I or someone else ends up with that project.
Mr. Cook said there is no known s/n & doesn't believe there is a title.
I still must get back with Mr. Cook.
You missed out on some rare Houk stuff. Some #4 parts were
used on Dodge, Monroe & others. The rear hubs on my early C rear are
square shaft axle type tor-qued tight with nut. A raised cast # on
each one matches my C parts book, most definitely S-B manufactured or made
for them. Check sequencing #’s in S-B parts book. Left p/n
hubs have clockwise threads and right hubs opposite, to self tighten when
driving forward. The spare
cap I believe is a left. The front hubs use an inner bearing
larger than the outer and can slide off once the nut is removed and thread
direction determines left or right. Don't know about casting #, they
may have been univer-sally supplied by Houk. The believed "G" rear
swapped from Mr. Geers' car uses tapered axles with key-way and may have
been supplied by Houk by that time.
I have a bit of history that Sue researched from the Buffalo
library on Mr. Houk & Company. I believe it became the Buffalo
Wheel Co. and later Wire Wheel Co. of America. The Pfund car had
the alloy wrench for caps with Houk cast name on it. I purchased
a steel Buffalo wrench at pre-'15 meet at Rhinebeck, NY a few years ago,
best I can find so far. I have also purchased a Houk spoke wrench,
name stamped on it.
On the subject can you tell me if any of the S-B tools supplied
as in Model C parts book or other models have the words Scripps-Booth on
them. I've been unable to find any from people selling car tools
at Hershey, etc. Alan
SWAPMEET AND LITERATURE REPORT
We had a nice time at the Macungie, PA car show last weekend.
We go almost every year, as it is about 50 minutes away, west of Allentown.
It has a large antique toy show Saturday morning, which we spent about
3 hours at. The car show is 1000 plus cars and trucks. It is big enough
but not too big. I bought a 1915 piece of literature I didn’t have or seen
before for $35 – “ouch.” He had a large $100 piece on the 1915
C but held off on that one. Also he had a 1920 and 1922 Scripps literature.
I have determined my wire wheels should be claret lake red instead
of white as other ads for the C’s showed. This is why I kept finding red
paint around my spoke nipples as I reworked them. The ad shows
the stream-lined rear fenders and $775 for the list price and also coupe
picture and specifications.
He also had a Crow Elk-Hart literature that looks like a Scripps.
I still think there is a link in the two companies with the Sterling Motor
Co. and being sold in London together - the Morris London link. Cars were
brand im-ported to England in 1916 during the war, and then in 1918 were
A guy that sells antique tools at swapmeets has a picture of
his Dad’s Model C with exposed push rods engine he raced at Paterson &
Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ dirt tracks in 1921 to 1923 eras. He says I can come and
see the picture but his Dad is dead now. He used a magneto on it like the
English magazine ads had conversions for the Scripps.
Enclosed is a duplicate Model C picture Gary L. gave me
showing radiator spurting over and guys arm around the lady driver-“Armstrong
Heater?” Also enclosed is a copy of a J.S.B. letter dated January 3, 1953
from my collection. Thanks for the 1915 Model C Parts List copy.
William E. Swigart Jr., a pioneer in the antique automo-bile
hobby, died this pass July in his native Huntingdom, Pennsylvania. His
Swigart Museum is the oldest antique auto museum in the United States having
been started in 1920 by his Dad.
Mary Isham reported her husband Oren, a collector of antique
auto engines from Enumclaw, Washington, died this past year and she needs
to sell off his large engine collection. Oren had two 1916 Scripps-Booth
engines and transmissions units mounted on display stands, one a Sterling
4-cyl. serial #11829 and the other a FERRO Model 13 V-8 serial #FS73. Both
have found new homes.
CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP
Richard Penaluna in Spokane sent me a nice note and photo of
his 1920 B-39 Touring he got from Al Hillstrom. Richard worked on
this car most of the winter polishing up the trim and repainting it from
the old blue body to dark green that “should last another 80 years.
The green is almost black - looks really green in the noonday sun.”
Richard Penaluna email: Mmpdlp@email.msm.com
SON NOW OWNS CAR AND FOUND ANOTHER
Sorry about the delay in replying to you. I have been having
medical problems, but am improving now. Please amend your records to show
Peter J. Templer (at this address) as owner of the Scripps Booth. Peter
has also purchased another Scripps Booth as follows:
Year 1920 or 1921. Radiator flat. Wheels wooden artillery spoked.
Chassis: no number discernible. Front and rear axles with wooden spoked
artillery wheel hubs. Gearbox. Engine, Northway (I think) number BD5027-2X.
Steering column, pedal assemblies, various brackets etc. Peter is overseas
at present. When he returns we'll try to find more numbers of the first
Regards Ken Templer.
TOM BOOTH CHECKS OUT ENSTINE’S CAR
The Scripps-Booth is still owned by Ray Enstine. He has about
12 other cars and is trying to reduce the size of his fleet. I got
to see and drive the car on Monday, No-vember 22, 1999. It runs fine as
far as I can tell. The engine was rebuilt in 1994 by a mechanic in the
Water Mill, NY area. I did not get a chance to check the serial numbers.
The car is in nice shape with a few blemishes and body scrapes. Looks like
minor bodywork has been done in the past. The jump seat is missing, no
wipers (I don't know if there should be any), no side curtains (I don't
know if there should be any), no S-B wheel covers, speedo not working,
etc. I am seriously interested in the car. Best regards, Tom Booth
TOM BOOTH BUYS HIS DREAM MACHINE
I am happy to say that my wife and I have completed the purchase
of the 1916 Model C formerly owned by Ray Enstine. The car is still in
New York but will arrive here in Michigan sometime in the next few weeks.
LITERATURE QUESTION ON WEB SITE
Hi Stuart, Thanks for leaving a message in my web site guest
book. Yes, there are separate Scripps-Booth In-struction and also illustrated
Parts List for both the 1915 Model C and the 1916-17 Model C Roadster.
The 1916 Model C, starting at Car No. C5001 and up, is covered in the:
BOOK OF INFORMATION, MODEL C, 4-Cylinder Roadster, 48 pages. INSTRUCTIONS
for WAGNER STARTER and GENERATOR, SCRIPPS-BOOTH CARS, FOUR AND EIGHT CYLINDER,
26 pages Parts and Price List, 4 Cylinder, Model C, 48 pages.
Do you have a Scripps-Booth or are you thinking of buying one?
I usually make free copies of the manuals for new owners who can provide
a Car No. and Engine serial number along with a photo and description of
their car. I have been researching S-B for about 35 years and am
still looking for the right S-B for me to buy. Are you the Stuart Shuster
of the GM Truck Designer fame? Regards, Ken
FINE TUNING THE MODEL C AT HOME
Thanks for your prompt reply; yes I worked in the Truck areas
at the Design Center in Warren. I was the assistant Chief Designer
for all GM truck interiors for approx. 10 years. One of my last projects
was the interior for the Cadillac Escalade. Now I am retired, however
I am back on contract working with our educational relations group.
My interest in Scripps-Booth is associated with Tom Booth who
is also in your Register. He just received a 1916 SB Model C from
a man in the East Coast. He had a problem with the accelerator pivot
near the steering column, fixed that, but now engine will start, but stalls
upon trying to drive. I will forward our transmissions to Tom; He will
be interested in this info.
One item of interest is, I have one of the last 69 Corvair Monzas
owned by Ned F. Nickles [GM stylist] who among other cars designed the
original Corvair under direction of William Mitchell. The Corvair
remains in original condition as Ned customized it. In those days,
when they received their buy cars, they would send them down to the styling
shops to try out new ideas, etc. Best to you, Stuart
FOUND CAR AND ENGINE SERIAL NO.’S
I would describe the car as a “driver”. It runs fine and
I drive it around the area when the weather is nice. The car was
restored in 1972 and now has body flaws such as small nicks, dents, scratches,
etc. as you would expect. The top is fine but without side curtains.
I replaced the rear window glass that was broken. The jump seat is
missing, the speedometer does not work, the ignition switch has a key slot
but a key is not required, the clutch pedal does not return fully unless
the floor board is removed, etc. The engine was rebuilt in 1995 and
runs nicely. I am not complaining and think the car is fun and nice
to have. I will work on these items that need attention as time per-mits.
The engine number is 10943C, which is cast into the block on the right
hand side. The body number is C5793S.
There is an oval plate nailed to the heal board below the right
The door sill plate appears to have “Scripps - Booth” embossed
on it but has been painted and is hard to read.
Best regards, Tom Booth
A NEW OWNER FROM NEW ZEALAND
Glad you found us on the Internet. I always get excited when
we find a new Scripps-Booth car to add to our Register - especially from
I have attached an updated Register and Owners Addresses for
your use until the annual newsletter is sent out in December. You might
have to edit it a bit if you print it out on your odd A size paper. Let
me know if you have any problems downloading these word.doc files? I will
add your engine Serial # when received - it should have a BD prefix. Did
your car have a Scripps-Booth Nameplate with the CAR NO.? [like 30000]?
Also send me your mailing address for the list.
Below is a message I received from my friend Jim Hickman concerning
an S-B in Te Aroha. I believe the man's name is Johnson, but I have not
yet tried to contact him.
Just returned from a car rally in New Zealand and located a man
who said that he is the owner of a Scripps Booth (unrestored). I believe
the car to be a 1915. The man's name escapes me now, but he can be contacted
as follows: Te Aroha Lawnmower Service, Whittaker St., Te Aroha, New Zealand.
This man owns the shop. He also told me (or a friend of his told
me) that the car will have to be re-bodied. I only found the car because
he had the ignition switch in his shop window. He did say that he had owned
the car for some time and that he hoped to get around to restoring it sometime.
Hope you can use this information. Jim Hickman
Perhaps if you get the chance, you might try and get this car's
engine # and what model it might be? Would like to add this car to the
Register too. Ken
WELCOME BRENDON FOX FROM NZ
I was happy to discover that someone had a web site on Scripps
Booth cars. I have been involved in Scripps Booth restoration and searching
for parts on and off for the last 19 years. I have a 1920 Scripps Booth
Model B Tourer which is almost road worthy. This car has been a major project
and has involved reconstructing the timber frame by using the old body
panels, which were only good for pat-terns. Every panel on the car has
been made by hand and is as close as possible to the original patterns.
We tried for years to find another Scripps Booth of similar model in order
to obtain photos of the original interior and confirm the odd dimensions.
If you would like I will send you some photos and a brief history of the
The Scripps Booth that your friend would have seen last February
was probably the unrestored 1919? Scripps Booth in Te Aroha, North Island,
New Zealand, which is missing all it's body panels except for the scuttle.
I know of a 1919 model roadster, which 10 years ago was in Auckland and
owned by a Mr. Power. That is the only other restored Scripps in this county
that I know of or have heard of. Also know of an early 4-cylinder model,
which has been rotting away for the last 20 years but is unobtainable.
I have heard that this car is reasonably complete and have taken photos
of what is left of the chassis, front axle, diff and wheels. I plan to
keep trying to obtain this car, as I have plans to put one together. So
far I have a 4 cylinder model chassis, wheels, a few motors, a radiator
and a rear body panel for a roadster.
I would like to correspond with people that may have spare parts
for sale for this particular model (I maybe able to swap some of the spare
parts that I have collected over the years), and would also like to correspond
with people that own the same model Scripps Booth as my Tourer. I also
have a 1920 Oakland model 34C roadster which is virtually identical mechanically
to the Scripps.
I also know of a 1920 Scripps Booth owned by a Mr. Les Francis
in Melbourne, Australia. This car is restored, but like mine has been a
I will look up the original engine number of my car so you can
add it to your register. I hope you find this infor-mation useful.
I look forward to further correspondence. Keep up the good work. Brendon
REQUEST FOR ENGINE SERIAL NUMBERS?
I would be interested in finding out the engine # and any casting
numbers or casting codes that are from the other 4 cylinders engines you
have as well as data/numbers from your Oakland so we can make sense of
There are only 7 1920-1 Model B cars known - I have CC Richard
Penaluna this note since he has an email address and might be able to give
you information on his Model B.
See my last few Newsletters on my web site for what few spare
parts that might be available? We knew about a Les Francis with a Six Touring
in Victoria but lost contact about ten years ago and thought he died? Do
you know his where about?
I don't own a Scripps-Booth but have been looking for the right
Model G since 1972 to purchase. My interest in S-B stems from the Chevrolet
connection - the Model G is a lot better looking than the plain Jane Chev
490 roadster! I currently own two Veterans Chevs - a restored 1912 Model
Little 4 RHD runabout and a 1918 Model D5 "EIGHT" Touring which I should
finish the restoration of by next summer. I attended the Vintage &
Veteran Chev Club's tours in Australia in 1997 and 1999 and plan on their
tour in 2002 - so might stop off in NZ for a few days or longer in about
FOUND RHD WITH MAGNETO ENGINE NO.
Just a quick note to let you know I have found the engine number
from the original block for my car. The number is MD32771, and also I see
you have listed the car as having wood spoke wheels, but it is actually
on wire wheels. They are Buffalo, beaded edge, jelly mold, 24-inch wheels.
Due to the state my car was in before restoration started, the only number
we could find anywhere was a number stamped down the side of the wood work
of the driver's door, it was 1885. I don't know if this is a part number,
or if it is of any other significance. I haven't looked for the Oakland
numbers yet, but will contact you when I get time to check them out.
Have you heard from Les Francis yet? I phoned him a week ago
and informed him about your site. He seemed keen to look you up. I will
also contact Mr. Johnson for you and find out if Mr. Power up in Auckland
still owns his Scripps Booth Roadster that is restored. We haven't heard
from the other Ken yet, but I am keen to make contact with him especially
to find out if he has a spare ring that screws on to the fuel tank to secure
the petrol gauge for my car. Do you have his email address? Brendon
FOUND POSSIBLE BODY SERIAL NO.
Thanks for your input and serial number. Are you sure your engine
number prefix is "MB" and not "BD”? All the other S-B engines for 1920-21
I have heard of have the "BD" prefix. The Oakland serial # chart that was
printed in the S-B Register Newsletter Number 11, indicates the late 1919
Oaklands used a "MC" prefix, but I have never seen a "MB" before? The #1885
stamped in the wood is proba-bly a body serial number with yours as the
first body number reported.
Interesting about the Buffalo Wire Wheels - sometime in the early
20's Buffalo took over from the Wire Wheel Corp. of America who made the
Houk Wire Wheels for the earlier S-B that used a pin driven hub and switch
to the House type driven hub that the Buffaloes used. The only other 1920-22
car that has wire wheels is Car No. 25961 and they appear to be pin driven
Houk type, but I think they might of been switch from an earlier chassis
parts car? Did your Buffalo's come with your car from the factory you think,
or were they installed later?
I am looking for a set of #4 Houk 25" or 26" to install on my
1918 Chevrolet Model D V-8 because I like the way they look.
If your engine is MD32771, it falls within the range of a 1920
model serial number so I will shift it between BD22798 and BD37719 on the
Register when I update it next. I bet you can find the block casting date
code of 20 for 1920 somewhere on your block? What engine do you have in
your S-B now?
It is exciting you got hold of Les Francis, but he hasn't contacted
me yet. Thanks for contacting other owners. I don't think Ken Blair has
email? Regards Ken
MORE ENGINE NO.’S WITH COMMENTS
I am quite sure that the original engine block for my car has
a "MD" prefix, I haven't looked for any casting date codes on it yet. However
I have some other engine num-bers from other engine blocks I have which
have the following numbers:
[Okay - It could be that the prefixes were different because
of export models that could have indicated RHD and/or magneto equipped.
Are all these S-B and Oakland RHD in NZ and some have magnetos?]
BDM51192 - This I believe came from Scripps Booth. [This is normal
S-B prefix but with a "M" - does if have a magneto?]
MC81553 - Unknown. [Both S-B & Oakland used "C" prefix engines
for 1918-19 - does this one have a mag?]
C42803 - This engine is restored ready to go into my Oakland
and I believe it came from an Oakland Tourer.
DM8925 - And has a casting date code of 1-27-20 and I believe
this is the original engine block for my 1920 34C Oakland Roadster. The
original chassis number is 12629034. [The Oakland used the D prefix for
1920 engines - does this engine also have a magneto? From old rego records
in England there was an Oakland chassis # 130866 34 that had an engine
with a serial # of DM7756 that was first rego in January 31, 1923. This
at least shows the "DM" prefix was used in both NZ and England in early
The Motor that is currently in my Scripps Booth has no alphabetical
prefix and simply 24538.5. I appears that the number has not been tampered
with. [This is a mystery to me? I presume you found this number stamped
in the same location you found your other serial num-bers and you have
enough blocks that you know what you are looking for? So this shouldn't
be a casting number or date code? However, the owner of a 1918 S-B Coupe
reported his engine is: 24538-6W so I'm at a lost what these two almost
identical numbers are? Does this replacement engine have a valve cover?
Could it be an early 1918-9 engine?]
I also have a 4 cylinder Chev type motor that I pur-chased on
the understanding that it had come from a Scripps-Booth, the number is
R1582582, Casting Number 344624 /12. [Both the serial # and the 344624
cast number proves this is a 1925 Chevrolet engine. My 1925 Chev 4 engine
is serial # 1729277 with cast # 344624 /10 with a date code D 8 5 (April
8, 1925) with a cloverleaf cast mark with the letters SPC within the cloverleaf
indication GM's Saginaw Prod-ucts Co. FERRO was also used as a foundry
during this period. The 1917-9 S-B Model G that used the basis Chev 490
engine/transmission, except it had a jacket water heated intake manifold,
aluminum valve cover, and aluminum push rod/lifter covers (lower half).
The serial # was different then a Chev 4 but still stamped on the flywheel
like the 490's.]
In regard to wheels I have a Scripps Booth sales bro-chure featuring
flat radiator models which have pin drive wire wheels. My Buffalo jelly
mold wheels were original for the car, and Les Francis also has the same
on his car. I see in my 1920 Oakland parts brochure that the jelly mold
wheels were listed, but not the pin drive ones.
Would you like to send me more information on the wire wheels
that you are searching for, I assume they are pin drive, but are they beaded
edge or straight-sided rim? In either case they are very hard to find as
people are reluc-tant to part with them, but I will see what I can do.
As a last resort if we could find some centers, the rest of the wheels
can be manufactured here in New Zealand. [I am currently researching the
Houk Wire Wheels for a story for the Chev Club and will add more later.
The type I am looking for are 26" demountable rims with locking ring for
Straight Side 34 X 4" Tires. The # 4 Houk hub has 6 drive studs on 6 1/4"
centers. A friend who has a 1920 Chev FB is going to cast the correct Chev
front and rear Houk #4 hubs [same as my Model D5 EIGHT], so perhaps the
cheapest in the long run is to buy 5 good Houk #4 wheel hubs and have the
wheels remade with new rims, lock rims, and spokes in NZ. I have yet to
find any #4 (or #5 hubs) 26" wheels, and all the smaller 25" wheels I have
seen are rusty junk with bad rims and missing lock rims, and the vendor
still wants $300-400 each for them. This would sure give me a good reason
to spend a holiday in NZ to pick up a set of wheels to take home? I know
I am going to Australia in Sep-tember 2002 for the VVCAA Anniversary Meet.]
Recently I managed to find some rear mudguards for a 4-cylinder
model, and I am still looking for various other parts such as steering
column and gearbox, diff and front axle. Do you have a parts brochure featuring
a steering box, etc for the 4-cylinder model? Regards Brendon Fox
[Attached is the page that illustrates the Model G steering - all in pieces.
Good Luck, Ken]
MORE ENGINE COMMENTS
All are right hand drive New Zealand motors and all were magneto
equipped, except for the 2 Oakland motors.
Re: Block Number 24538.5: All of the reasonably complete engines
that my father and I obtained for the Scripps had no valve covers and had
exposed push rods except for the engine from the original car which also
had a one piece exhaust inlet manifold. So there is a strong possibility
that it is from an earlier car. However, I cannot rule out the possibility
that we obtained this engine block simply in its bear block state. I recall
that there is a differ-ence between the engine sumps where they seal around
the rear main bearing? This one seals across the bearing cap as opposed
to sealing around it. I don't know if there is a difference in the engine
blocks to make allowances for the different bearing caps that accommodate
this type of sump? The casting number on this block 1-13 C-3575-W-4
Perhaps these blocks without alphabetical prefixes were supplied as
replacement blocks in the early days?
Re: Chev Motor: Thanks for confirming my suspicion. I have two
4 cylinder motors with Scripps-Booth cast into the side of them in the
amongst the rusty treasures. I will send you the numbers when I gain access
Re: Wheels: Recently I had a brief encounter with a friend that
has searched for similar wheels in the past. He informs me that there were
Houk wheels produced with 6 studs and 6 and a quarter inch centers, but
the centers still varied according to the size of the wheel. He seemed
quite sure that you would find good wheels in the USA, so next time I see
him I will ask him to be more specific. In the meantime I will look for
the wheel manufacturer’s ad and will send it to you. In the meantime I
found some photos of my Scripps restoration and of Mr. Johnson's car which
I will send to you. Also one of my car restored.
Brendon Fox email@example.com
ROADSTER CRUISES FLUSHING TOWNSHIP
By James M. Miller / Special to The Detroit News
Flushing residents occasionally have the chance
to see something very rare: a Scripps-Booth on the road. Barry Jensen,
who lives near the city, said when the mood strikes, he uses the 1917 roadster
for routine errands to town. “I drive it around once in a while. The other
day I took my son to the pool," said the Flushing Township resident, who
owns Davison Road Glass in Flint. There are a few other Scripps-Booth cars
in Michigan, but most of them are in museums. Jensen said from reading
club lists, he believes his family's car is the only one licensed in the
state. The Scripps-Booth company built cars in Detroit from 1912 to 1922.
Jensen's car is a three-passenger roadster. It is an export model, so the
driver's seat is on the right, slightly ahead of one passenger's seat,
with a hatch behind the driver's seat serving as a glove box. The second
passenger perches on a small jump seat that is mounted underneath the dashboard
on the left side and swivels under the dash when not in use.
The Scripps-Booth car was designed by James Scripps
Booth, who was related to two families important in Michi-gan newspaper
history. He was the son of George G. Booth, founder of the Booth newspaper
chain, and the grandson of James E. Scripps, founder of The Detroit News.
During the cyclecar fad of 1913-15, Booth built a small cyclecar called
the Rocket, a two-passenger ma-chine with the passenger sitting behind
the driver and V-2, 10-horsepower engine that powered the rear wheels using
a belt. Then he got the idea for what he called a luxurious light car,
and began to base his advertisements on the image and quality, when many
other manufacturers were still selling based on facts and figures. The
1917 boat-tailed roadster has a cowl that is much more sculpted than some
of the other designs of the time. It has a small four-cylinder overhead-valve
engine, rated at about 25 horse-power. Jensen said the Model C was the
first car to have the horn button mounted in the center of the steering
wheel, and the first to have the spare tire fully mounted on a wheel, rather
than a separate tire that had to be mounted on the wheel when needed.
He said his father, Robert, bought the car in 1972, and they
restored it together. “I was in high school at the time," he said. "He
wanted something different, something un-usual and it is that. He didn't
know anything about the company. He'd never heard of it, so he bought it."
The car was reasonably complete when they got it, he said, and came with
new fenders that had been made for the previ-ous owner. The Jensens found
a man trying to sell some Scripps-Booth parts, and bought the entire package.
Rob-ert Jensen died in 1991. "I took him for a ride, a little while before
he died, but I don't think he ever drove it," Jensen said. Jensen said
about three years ago he decided the old car was due for a new paint job.
“In six hours I had it completely stripped, ready to paint," he said. "But
it took me 50 hours to put it back together."
Jensen said he enjoys the unusual Scripps-Booth and has taken
it to the Old Car Festival at Greenfield Village three times. It was one
of the feature cars at the Sloan Summer Fair this year. Like many cars
it is a simple design: The gas tank is under the cowl, so the system works
by gravity feed and there is no fuel pump. There is no water pump because
the car uses the "thermo-syphon."
The car uses two quarter-elliptic springs in the rear, and they
carry the rear axle behind the end of the frame.
Many cars in the 'teens had their own shift pattern or layout for foot
pedals. The clutch pedal is on the left in the Scripps-Booth, the brake
is on the right and the accelerator is in the middle. Scripps-Booth was
an independent com-pany until it was bought by Chevrolet in 1917. The Scripps-Booth
brand gradually became less distinctive, with an Oakland chassis and Northway
engine, and the brand was discontinued in 1922.
PARTS WANTED FOR 1919 SIX-39 TOURING
I was wondering if you knew of someone that has an engine hood
for sale that would fit my car? The one that went with my car was stolen
not too long ago. Also, I am interested in buying the following parts:
1) Replacement front and rear fenders. 2) New Tires.
3) Louvered engine hood cover. 4) Sales Brochure. If you know where I can
get the above-mentioned items I would appreciate you letting me know. Thanks
again for sending the news-letter. It has been a valuable source of information!
Jacob F. Kratz email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PARTS WANTED AND FOR SALE
In the HCCA Gazette for May/June 2000 is found:
Wanted: 1915-6 Scripps-Booth Chassis and/or engine & transmission.
Can be in virtually any condition – Don Schep-pelman, 429 S Meade, Flint,
MI 48503 – email:
For Sale: 1915 Sterling 4-cyl. engine with starter generator.
Running unit when removed from vehicle, $2000 – Jeffery Vogel, 14
East 90th St., New York, NY 10128 – 213-360-1216 or email:
This Sterling engine is a 1916 model built towards the end of
September 1915 using the improved 3” bore block that had the casting number
of 645F, starting at serial #3001. This engine was removed from an
Isotta Fraschini is serial #3005 and has a water pump added.
MORE GOODIES FOR SALE
I am sending details of the following for your upcoming Scripps-Booth
newsletter: The original, one-of-a-kind signed artwork master of their
radiator emblem logo to be used in this unique Moto-Meter, May 7, 1921.
See lengthy historical background, together with list of much other original
automotive and truck logo artwork, on our site at
Photocopies of artwork by mail only, $4.00 each, de-ductible
against purchase. $345.00. Hubcap. Aluminum, 3" diameter. Later style (plain
threaded). Usual service wear, but attractive. Two "SB" initials probably
repainted inside $145.00. Radiator emblem. N.O.S. $170.00. Owners manual.
1919, 6 cylinder. Cover edges considerably mouse chewed, text satisfactory.
Ex-N.A.C.C. Library, then William Todd Collection. $80.00. Wiring diagrams.
Vari-ous. $5.75 Cordially, Bob Snyder, Cohasco, Inc., P.O. Drawer 821,
Yonkers, NY 10702, 1-914-476-8500, Fax 1-914-476-8573, http://cohascodpc.com
Est. 54 Years
PARTS LIST INTERNET LEAD
I've got original Scripps-Booth Parts List Booklet,
70 pages. I wonder what it's worth and who might want it? Stewart Gray
You request was forward me since I run the Scripps-Booth Register
in which we have about 50 members.
The Parts Lists worth vary in price from:
1915 Model C $40; 1916 Model C $35; 1916 Model D $60; 1917 Model G
$30; 1918-19 Six Cylinder Models $25; 1920-21 Six Cyl Models (B Series)
$20; 1922 Six Cyl Models (F Series) $30. I would be willing to buy your
Part List for the above models for the price stated. Hope this is of some
SEARCH FOR DADS 1917 SCRIPPS-BOOTH
I was recently prompted to try the 'net to search for our father's
1917 S-B roadster. Our dad died in 1958 at age 44, just before we were
to start a restoration on his car, preserved (sort of) in his home town
of Cedar Vale, KS in a barn since his being drafted for W.W.II. With his
brother Dick, of Wann, OK, we had recovered the car during a visit from
CA in 1957. It was in generally poor shape, which disappointed Dad, because
he had left it with the shop teacher in the local high school where he
was teach-ing English (he was later Principal.)
Before we could transport it to Alturas, CA, where he lived,
he succumbed to a heart attack. Regretfully, we weren't well off, and agreed
to sell it to an OK acquain-tance of Uncle Dick's who was going to restore
it. When we looked the old fellow up in 1984, he'd become a bit senile,
and couldn't recall who had bought and restored the car, though he was
sure it was a museum. Of course, we'd seen the Roadster black & maroon
that Bill Harrah had back in the 'Seventies, and photographed it. A local
re-storer, Duane Schotthauer, had mostly redone a later coupe, back then,
also. Recently, our Mom received a 1937 Pittsburg KS newspaper with
an article on the S-B, as a pet vehicle on
campus of KS State Teachers College, with it's history from new (just
as I recalled Dad telling us), as well as an original dealer brochure in
fair condition. This was from the widow of a college pal of his who was
noted as co-owner.
I suppose deep in my heart, I'd like to think that 1.) Dad’s
S-B still exists, 2.) that it might be available, and - faint hope -3.)
my two brothers and myself might be able to afford it
I'd be glad -- technology permitting -- to send you a the
scan of the aforementioned literature, if you like. Alas, we don't
know his VIN or anything but perhaps the color (blue and black -- though
it may have been painted) and that he had to replace the original vee-radiator
with a conventional flat one due to damage by the original owners. Though
I was only twelve when I last saw it, I can still recall many details of
the sad little car in Grandma's barn.
Thanks for your attention, and any help you can render. I did
print out your 2000 register of cars. Wick
WAS IT A MODEL C OR G?
Thanks for your most interesting message. Perhaps you can describe
the literature you have first since I might already have it. Was the 1937
article about the same car you Dad later had? When you say it was a 1917
Roadster - was it a Model C or a Model G that used the Chevrolet engine.
The Model G also had the fuel tank in rear of car and used a vacuum tank
on firewall while the Model C had a dash mounted gravity feed fuel tank.
I do not know of any S-B that came from Kansas? But am sure there
are still S-B out there we do not know about? Regards. Ken
ENGINE WAS A FERRO
Thanks for the quick S-B reply! The newspaper article was indeed
about dad's 1917 roadster, while he was at Kansas State in '37. He owned
the car for over twenty years, was the second owner, and knew all its history
up to then. When it was sold, it probably was sourced from the Bartlesville
OK area, not KS. The finder gave me a ride through Bartlesville with my
uncle back when I visited in the summer of '62, but not in the Scripps,
rather a Model T phone booth coupe he'd restored. He'd sold the S-B before
that date “to a restorer (or museum)”
No, I have no sure way of telling what model it was, as so far
we haven't found any photos of dad and the car. I don't believe it had
a Chev 4 however, as I seem to recall an I-head and I think it said FERRO.
I had some stock 8CM Mercury heads for a '51 Ford that were branded Ferro,
back when. It had a little boat-tailed trunk. We all recall the 'starting
strangler' and four separate light switches, however. As I recall, it was
a dead ringer for the car that Bill Harrah used to have, except for color.
Anyhow, I sure liked looking at the photos in your Register files. I included
an S-B roadster in a novel manu-script I'm writing (being squired around
by two Army Air Service officers in 1922 in San Antonio) just because of
the interest I have in it. We're having a family reunion up by Mt. Shasta
this weekend, and the brothers will be tickled to know I've heard from
I believe there is an S-B owner in Paradise CA, possibly the
coupe that Scholtthauer restored back in the early seventies. I'll try
to call him, if so...both my married kids live in P-dise. Thanks again,
STERLING BLOCK WAS CAST BY FERRO
Yes, it sounds as if you Dad's S-B was a 1917 Model C with the
Sterling engine, which was a small OHV engine with a 3” bore. Sterling
used block and head castings from FERRO (as did Chevrolet in the 1923-28
period) and FERRO supplied the small 2 main brg V-8 engine for the S-B
Model D 4 pass roadster - which was the first mono-cast block and also
OHV. My Chev V-8 is a 2-piece block that is bolted vertically in the middle.
Yes the S-B Coupe in Paradise is a 1918 Six cylinder that has
been in a fire since it was restored. I will print you letter in the next
annual newsletter in December. I would be interested in a copy of that
1937 newspaper clipping to include also in the newsletter. Regards Ken
MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY HOLIDAYS
There was enough material submitted this year to fill another
8 pages. It will have to wait till next year.
Remember, the Scripps-Booth Website is access at: