A Politician, A Missed Train and A Chandler Automobile

The Chandler Motor Car Company was in operation from 1913 to 1929 and touted their six-cylinder product as a light-weight car (less than 3,000 pounds) that was “built by men who know.”

Those men were largely former lieutenants of the Lozier Motor Company, no fewer than seven of the officers and department heads being formerly connected to that company.

A 1916 write-up about the Philadelphia Auto Show referenced the company’s policy of building only one type of chassis on which they would mount the different body styles.  Aside from the Chandler Six motor, other equipment included an aluminum crank case, silent full-floating spiral-bevel gear rear axle, long semi-elliptic springs, front and rear, Bosch high-tension magneto, Grey & Davis separate unit electric starting and lighting system, silent chain drive for motor shafts, annular ball bearings, Stewart-Warner magnetic speedometer, Stewart vacuum gasoline feed and non-skid rear tires.

The Chandler made some headlines in 1917 thanks to the antics of a politician, a state senator by the name of “Wild Bill” Scott.  I had never heard of this particular “Wild Bill”, but there was another 1917 story about him assisting an elderly woman who wanted to see the California Senate in action but couldn’t because all the chairs for spectators were full.  Scott had a page bring another chair to his desk on the floor so that the lady could sit with him to watch the proceedings.  After that incident, the Santa Ana Register printed this description of Scott:

“That’s ‘Wild Bill’ Scott. He’s loud-mouthed for booze and doesn’t care who knows it; he’s out-spoken, blustering and breezy and generally votes wrong on every moral issue that comes before the Senate and yet he is continually doing acts of kindness for some little friendless kid or some aged lady who seems to feel she is out of place in the legislative halls.”

In regard to Scott and the Chandler automobile, the story started when Scott and some of his fellow legislators hopped a train to Sacramento.  Scott got off at one stop to send a telegraph and the train departed without him, much to the amusement of his colleagues.  A Chandler Touring Car was parked in front of the station, and Scott bet the driver that he couldn’t beat the train to Sacramento.  A wager was made in which Scott gave odds and the Chandler was off.  The speeding driver was pulled over at Dixon, whereupon Scott stood on the rear seat and gave an impromptu patriotic oration to the town constable.  It must have been a good speech because the officer sent them on their way. The Chandler and its pair of occupants arrived at the Sacramento train station a full four seconds ahead of the train carrying the other legislators.  It was reported that Scott first paid the driver on the wager and then promptly sent a wire to San Francisco to purchase a shiny new Chandler for himself.


“Chandler Car Saves Senator From Big Joke.” The San Francisco Examiner, 14 January 1917, p. 4A.

“Chandler Car Saves Wild Bill Scott From Being A Goat In Joke.” Visalia Daily Times, 20 January 1917, p. L-1.

Chandler Motor Company. Advertisement. Los Angeles Times, 30 January 1913, p. VI-12.

Chandler Motor Company. Advertisement. The Boston Globe, 20 July 1913, p. 43.

“Chandler Six May Enter Local Field.” The Tacoma Daily Ledger, 24 August 1913, p. 21.

“Convention Hall Scene Of Largest Automobile Show.” The Philadelphia Inquirer, 9 January 1916, p. 2.

“Wild Bill Scott Votes Wrong, But He Does Kind Acts.” Santa Ana Register, 9 April 1917, p. 2.

Cool Photo: Jack Frye Buying A Rickenbacker

While rifling through the April 3, 1927, edition of the Los Angeles Times, I found this great photo of famed aviator and TWA President Jack Frye buying, what else, a Rickenbacker, the automobile named after WWI pilot Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, the “Ace of Aces”.

For more on the Rickenbacker and its distinctive radiator badge:

Rickenbacker Radiator Badge

Rickenbacker Sales Brochure

1959 Pontiac – An Uncommon Beauty

This 1959 Pontiac was a recent and welcome entry in the local car show:

When announcing the new line, Pontiac Motor Division general manager S. E. Knudsen said, “Pontiac has broken all bonds of traditional styling and engineering in 1959 with the most progressive change in our Division’s 51-year history. ” This was no exaggeration. Pontiac decision makers had left behind Indian-inspired names and ornamentation like they were a Cleveland baseball team, and Catalina, Star Chief and Bonneville comprised the ’59 line up. These models had 65 brand new features including lower, wider and heavier bodies and Vista-Panoramic windshields with greater visibility. Engine displacement was increased from 370 to 389ci with the Tempest 420 V8, and options included triple 2-barrel carburetion and Hydra-Matic transmission. Another new feature was the split grille, which Pontiac called a twin “air scoop” grille:

The new body was nearly five inches wider, and Pontiac labeled it “wide-track”:

These Pontiacs aren’t as plentiful as their Chevrolet counterparts, but their more simplistic styling makes them a beautiful alternative.