Early Auto Identification Resource

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    • #132718
      colleen holt
      Member

      We have received a wonderful collection full of early autos and I can find no way to identify them. Does anyone have a recource or two that I can add to our resource library? I have tried everything I can think of and unless you know the MAKE of a car I am finding it impossible to ID. Most photos do not show make/model info, mostly side shots.
      Thanks, Colleen
      Collections Manager
      Jerome (AZ) Hist Soc

    • #132725

      Colleen, you find find Hemmings Motor News an excellent (cost-free) source in helping you determine the make & model of car photographs your library has acquired.  Their link is:  http://www.hemmings.com/

      Best of luck on your identification efforts.  

       

    • #132724

      Colleen, you may find Hemmings Motor News an excellent (cost-free) source in helping you determine the make & model of car photographs your library has acquired.  Their link is:  http://www.hemmings.com/

      Best of luck on your identification efforts.  

       

    • #132723
      Lyn Triplett
      Member

       
      There are several “Classic Car Clubs” in our area – they frequently get together at a drive-in restaurant or parking lot. Go to a showing, or to a meeting – with your pictures – I am sure there are some true experts in the club(s).  Also, there are numerous Auto museums tucked away off the beaten paths – I am sure that those collectors have a wealth of knowledge.  Just Google “classic car museums.”  Some of those collectors are steeped in the history of the automobile. 

       

    • #132722

      Colleen – The process of identifying these vehicles with only side shots can be extremely difficult. From the side shot often the only clues that you will have are the hub caps or certain distinguished features particular to specific marques. A good resources for early auto information is the Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942. If you have more questions please feel free to contact me DMoore@WRHS.org.

      Derek E. Moore – Crawford Curator of Transportation History

      Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio

    • #132721
      colleen holt
      Member

      Thank you all for the wonderful information. Could have saved myself hours of searching if I had asked all you experts first. With appreciation, Colleen

    • #132720

      What would you estimate the era to be of the vehicles you are trying to identify? Prior to the 1930’s there were hundreds of independent auto manufacturers in the US alone. After that the big-3 either acquired or put most of those out of business by their economies of scale in production. If you are talking about very early cars, often referred to as “brass-era”, “veterans” or “horseless carriages”, you would probably best start by contacting the Horseless Carriage Club of America http://www.hcca.org/

      They will be able to far more quickly help you identify obscure makes and models than anyone else as this is their specialty, or at least help lead you to automotive archives that specialize in that area.

      D. Jordan Berson

    • #132719
      colleen holt
      Member

      Thanks, Jordan. Most of the autos are pre-1920’s so the site should help a lot. I have searched a million “veteran” sites already. Colleen

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