Nelson Update


Here is the update (July 2005) on my 1917 Chalmers Model 35B 7 passenger Touring. 

I purchased this car just outside Missoula, Montana in June of 1995.  The car was trailered home and stored in my shop.  In September of 1999 the restoration was started, first was the body off.

   The car has no dash.  It has an instrument cluster sits low on the inside firewall and just above the floor boards. 

   Behind the top of the front seat facing the rear is a solid black walnut pierce 6 inches by 48 inches nice looking with a clothing rail rack.

The four motor mounts are solid oak.  New ones were made and one half inch rubber was glue on.  This insures a smoother running engine.  This rubber was also used between the body and frame.  New top bows were also made.


  A partial list of the restoration.  Rebuilt engine, new muti-disc clutch, new radiator honey combe core four inches $1280, transmission and rear check out, new front bearing and seals, new brakes, new exhaust, 6 new 5x35 Lester tires, new hickory wood spoke wheels, new top bows. New ship deck running board covering in gray, new windshield.  The body work was done by me. 


   On May 19. 2006, I bought this 1916 Chalmers; model 32-B Roadster, on the telephone, through Kruse Auction in Auburn, Indiana.  It was the third car sold that morning.  I paid $8200, plus a 10% buyer’s fee.

About two or three weeks before the auction I had received a flyer regarding the coming auction.  My wife, Myrna, went to the internet and pulled up six pictures.  The car had come from an estate in New Jersey.  The only other information was that the car had a leather top and seats.  The vehicle license showed NJ 1925.  The body appeared to be straight, but it had four flat tires.

   Within one and one-half hours after buying the car, I had contacted a trucking firm which had an enclosed car hauler. The individual with this trucking firm told me that the car would be delivered in about one to one and one-half weeks.  He was familiar with this car, as the trucking firm had brought it from N.J. to the Auburn Auction.  I also paid them an extra $100 for loading, due to four flat tires.  This fellow told me to feel free to call him at any time to check on the car. To make a long story short – I received the car six weeks and two days later.  To my surprise it was complete, including complete set of side curtains, a tonneau cover and a cover for the rear tires. The rear spare tires were now and still had the paper wrapped around them.  The tires are harder than 20 year old good cement.  The running boards were partly rotten with all the metal trim.  About half way on the outside of the running boards is the name of  “Chalmers” in brass. All the wood is excellent.  The dash, on the left side, has an eight day clock.  The engine, brakes and controls are all free.  The top has a headliner in it.  This car is complete and in very good condition.

   This car will have to wait until I finish my 1917 Chalmers 35-B, seven passenger touring car, which is done except the upholstery and top cover.  My son, Marc, age 44, has a great interest in the older cars. He is a superb mechanic and has helped me a lot.  When he was 15 years old he got his first car.  He tells me “I know dad, I remember my first car, you towed it home and said, here’s your car son, put it together.  If you need help, I’ll help you.”  It was a 1957 Chevy hardtop coupe, no motor or transmission.  He still has the car and I still have my first car, that I bought in 1957, a 1938 Olds, 6 cylinder, four door sedan.  It’s in line waiting patiently with a couple others.  Have I mentioned that restoring antique automobiles takes multiple $100 bills and lots of patients.  No free lunch in this hobby.

   Hope this finds everyone well.  Tommy Nelson # 4