The Racing Runabout..

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Have you ever seen a Racing Runabout?

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Published in: on April 10, 2009 at 1:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Metz Leaves American Motor Company

Metz Leaves American Motor Company
Motorcycle Illustrated
January 15, 1909
Page #8

C.H. Metz for three years mechanical head off the American Motor
Company,
Brockton, Mass., announces his retirement from that firm. He
has purchased the Waltham Manufacturing Company’s plant, at
Waltham
Mass. This concern makes the Orient automobile, and by his new
acquirement Mr Metz becomes the largest individual operator of an
automobile plant in
America, the capacity of the Orient factory being
5,000 cars a season.

 

Since 1882 Mr. Metz has had experience along the
inventing, manufacturing and selling end of bicycles, motorcycles

and automobiles. He is a man of undeniable inventive talent, as well as a
practical man. He started in 1882 as an enthusiastic rider of the
high wheel bicycle. In 1885 he was the champion racing man in central
New York State, his home being in Utica.

 

In 1886 he commenced to manufacture bicycle attachments.

In 1891 he led the crusade for lighter bicycle construction; in 1893

he organized the Waltham Manufacturing Company, makers of the

Orient bicycle, which concern he has just bought. And he increased

their output in three years up to 4,500 machines per annum, while in

1897 the total number of machines manufactured was 15,000.

 

In 1898, the concern started to manufacture automobiles, and also,

for the first time, produced a motorcycle. In 1902 they built Metz motorcycle,

and on this Mr. Metz made a mile record straightaway of 1.10 2-5, which

was an extraordinary record for those days. In 1905 Mr. Metz affiliated

himself with the American Motor Company, and the next year, marketed

 the Marsh-Metz motorcycles. Surely this is a fine record, and no doubt Mr.

Metz will still further enhance it in his now enterprise.

Published in: on April 7, 2009 at 6:21 am  Leave a Comment  

1911 Metz 22 Roadster #6198

1911 Metz #6198

1911 Metz #6198

1911 Metz #6198
1911 Metz #6198

I bought the Metz at an estate auction in 2004.  The title shows that the estate owner titled it in August 1953.  I was able to contact the wife of the previous owner, but she was unable to tell me what year they bought the car.  She did say they drove it in many parades.  When I bought the car it had a 2 cyl Onan engine, apparently this engine was in the car in 1953.  It is unclear if this engine was in the car before the sale in 1953.  My guess is that it was put in about the 1953 peroid as it appeared to be an engive of that era.  Before the auction, I had decided that I would not buy the car unless I could locate the correct engine.  I did locate an engine in VT but it was not for sale.  I did go ahead and buy the car.  I then thought that I would not restore the car unless I was able to find an engine.  I did meet the person from VT and did buy the engine from him.  Then I went ahead and restored the Metz.  As to the frame#, I looked thru my notes and did not find where to look for the number.  This restoration was several cars back.  I will take another look at the car to see if I can locate the frame #34687.
 Kermit & Ruby Wilke

Published in: on April 5, 2009 at 5:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

1913 Metz Model 22 Roadster #21665

1913 Metz Model 22 Roadster #21665

1913 Metz Model 22 Roadster #21665

I am the owner of a 1913 Metz Model 22 roadster. The engine number is 21665. I purchased it last month from a posting on the Yahoo Metz Group. The previous owner received it as a 16th birthday present from his father, a vintage car buff and restorer, in 1983. The old man they bought the car from claimed to be its original owner. Not knowing very much about Metz cars, I have so far found it to be very well preserved. I believe it was stripped down and refinished several decades ago. The chassis is black and has no rust.The wood is in very good condition, too, including the spokes and running boards (which, by the way, were made of a beautiful walnut painted black!). The non-original green color shows no other tints underneath, though I assume the car was a deep blue color as Metz stated in their advertising. I’ve been disassembling the engine, and it dos not show heavy wear. I just want to be sure it is in good condition. The friction drive wheel has its fibreboard wheel in place. Missing are the top, the windshield and one of the sidelights. It has gas headlights and an acetylene generator. I’m not certain if they are original, but they look correct. The cover mounted under the engine is a rather crude though functional reproduction, and the chain guards are also missing. It seems few Metz cars retain these chain guards; they must have been difficult to remove for servicing the chains. The nicely-preserved leatherette upholstery looks quite old, but it is diamond-pleated and thus looks different from the catalog illustrations.

My aim is to refinish the car in the correct colors and use it for driving. I hope we Metz owners can get together to determine the correct specifications of our cars, and to pool our resources in reproducing oft-missing parts. I’ve heard various opinions regarding the practicality of the friction drive, especially premature wear on the fibre wheel. If enough Metz owners get together, I believe we can make everyone’s car better and more fun.

Philip Jamison
West Chester, PA

Published in: on April 4, 2009 at 10:56 pm  Comments (2)  

1912 Metz 22 Roadster #17547

1912 Metz model 22 Roadster #17547

1912 Metz model 22 Roadster #17547

Separating fact from friction:

1912 Metz model 22 roadster #17547

1912 Metz model 22 roadster #17547

Metz serial numbers for 1912 span a range of about 3300 units, suggesting that ours, bearing engine number 17547, was built in the mid to latter part of the production year.  The late Ralph Dunwoodie acquired the car “barn fresh” and began restoration in the early 1960s.  My dad, John Haartz, Jr., bought the unfinished car in the middle of 1963, finishing restoration three years later.  The bill of sale from Mr. Dunwoodie bears the signature of E.E. “Gene” Husting as witness.  If ever there was a persuasive Metz sales team in 1963, these gentlemen qualified!
The restoration embraced a couple of things not technically correct for the car, most notable being a brass radiator shell.  The original was steel, and like most of those steel shells, badly rusted.  Mr. Dunwoodie received a lower quote for a new brass shell than for a steel one, and said in a 1966 letter “I had every good intention of painting the radiator shell,,, however, at the last minute backed out since the car appeared so dull.  This was not as serious a crime in those days as now.”  The windshield on this car is the other anomaly.  The ones supplied by Metz consisted of a faired one of top material and celluloid sewed around an internal frame.
Dad began running the car in the summer of 1966.  A little bit too late he received this warning from fellow Metz owner, Bob McNair:
“If you haven’t driven yours yet, I don’t know whether I should warn you that it will sound like a coffee grinder, warn the person in the mother in law seat before you pull the throttle down, and if it stops for no reason a mile from home did you remember to turn the gas on before starting?  Oh yes.  Those thar “Messes” had a reputation for churning forward when they were supposed to stop.  Pushing all the pedals down doesn’t work as on other cars.  You had better practice that tricky stopping motion over and over again before you start out.  I don’t let other people drive my car.”
I recall no calamities due to the uniqueness of driving the car, nor the coffee grinder sound effects.  However, the shanks of the foot pedals have square-cut notches on the top side, and any smooth movement of them took a bit of practice!  One pedal activated the brake, and the other one was the Metz equivalent of a clutch, varying the pressure between the flat, aluminum pressure plate and its contact area on the friction wheel.  We had a large parking lot and industrial driveway available, and I was allowed to drive the car a little at the tender age of twelve, the first car I ever drove.  The trickiness of the pedals really was the most challenging part of the job.
The locally hilly terrain of east central New England made our Metz rides interesting.  If we failed to get a good run at a hill, I might hop out as we slowed to jogging pace and push hard on the back of the car to help reach the top.  There must have been some friction-driving finesse that eluded us.
This Metz figures in one more indelible memory.  We lived on a hill side with a steep, gently curving driveway extending up from our little dead-end street.  The Metz needed a good running start to make the hill.  One day Mom and I headed out, downhill, on some errand in the modern car, unaware of any opposing traffic.  In fact, opposing traffic was in a headlong rush, starting uphill.  A neighbor, working in his yard, braced for the inevitable crash.  There was darn little shoulder area beside the driveway, but Dad and Mom each deftly steered right and went around each other as if they did it every day.  A minute or two later we all resumed breathing.

Visit us at Waltham on Wheels on July 11th and say hello.

Eric Haartz

Published in: on April 2, 2009 at 2:27 pm  Comments (1)