4th of July Recap: A Boat for Sale, A Boat Back from a Watery Grave, and A Hubcap with a Historical Pedigree

We spent Independence Day in Nebraska’s 4th of July City, Seward, where the festivities always include a car show.

’47 Chevy Stylemaster

’57 Ford Fairlane 500

The line-up included a nice firecracker-red 1960 Buick with a “For Sale” sign in the window.

Seward is home to the Nebraska National Guard Museum, and that is where we saw a WWII Higgins Boat with an incredible backstory. It was revealed by receding waters in drought-stricken Lake Shasta in Northern California in 2021, and you can see video of that here. The Higgins boat, or Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel (LCVP) boat, played such a vital role that President Eisenhower described inventor Andrew Jackson Higgins as “the man that won the war for us.” There are less than twenty known to survive, so this was an incredible find, and I am so appreciative of everyone who played a role in its rescue.

Finally, Seward is home to a terrific antique store called Antiques on 34, and I found this amazing hubcap there:

It is in beautiful condition and looks like an old replacement cap for a 1941 Ford. This is what the cap looks like next to an original ’41.

I assume the replacement cap was made by Lyon, but I have not been able to confirm that fact. Lyon made lots of wheel covers, both original and replacement, but there is not a comprehensive source for identifying these Lyon products that I am aware of. This particular ’41 replacement cap is special because the same type of cap was used on Regg Schlemmer’s famous ’27 Roadster. The Hot Rod Foundation has a photo of that roadster posted here.

If this roadster seems familiar to you, it is likely because it appeared on the very first cover of Hot Rod Magazine in January of 1948. I recently purchased a reprint in hopes that there would be a good photo of my hub cap (there was not), but I had fun reading it anyway. Finally, in case you are wondering if your January 1948 issue of HRM is an original or a reprint, MotorTrend has a good explanation posted here.

A Trio of Nash Twin-Ignition Advertisements

The Nash Twin-Ignition motor was first introduced in June of 1928 for the company’s OHV engines, and I really like this 1929 Nash advertisement for its drawing and description of that particular innovation:

For 1930, Nash introduced its first eight, an OHV straight-eight with Twin-Ignition. With engine displacement of 298.6ci, it developed 100 bhp at 3200 rpm and was advertised as making 80 miles an hour in just three blocks:

The final one is from 1928, and it makes an airplane comparison by invoking the historic flights of Lindbergh, Goebel, and Byrd:

1930 Nash

Photo credit:
Greg Gjerdingen from Willmar, USA
CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Firestone Non-Skid and Other Interesting Treads from the Early 1900s

This is another picture of the Fawick Flyer discussed in a recent post. These Firestone tires with “NON-SKID” embossed in the tread are reproduced today, but these advertisements for the originals were published in 1913:

While looking for information on the original Firestones, I found many early advertisements for different brands of tires with interesting treads. Here are just a few:

The Fawick Flyer

While visiting Sioux Falls a few weeks ago, I learned about one of that city’s native sons, a mechanical genius by the name of Thomas Fawick.

Fawick was born in 1889 and grew up in Sioux Falls. Bored with books, he quit school when he was 14 years old. By the time he was 18, he had designed and built his own automobile, a 2-cylinder called the “Silent Sioux.” He founded the Silent Sioux Auto Manufacturing Company in 1909, and that business became the Fawick Motor Car Company in 1910. A new automobile called the Fawick Flyer was produced, and Fawick would often boast that it was the first four-door American car.

The Fawick Flyer had a 124-inch wheelbase and was powered by a 40-hp 4-cylinder Waukesha engine.  It had both electric and gas headlights, and the body was made of aluminum sheeting instead of steel. Only a handful of these cars were produced, no two exactly alike, but they do have another historical claim to fame:

This photo depicts former President Theodore Roosevelt enjoying a ride in a Fawick Flyer while visiting Sioux Falls during his “western tour” in 1910. Sitting next to Teddy in the back seat is fellow Rough Rider Seth Bullock of Deadwood, South Dakota, fame.

Fawick went on to big things.  He held hundreds of patents and developed rubber mounts for engines, an idea purchased by Chrysler in the 1920s. His Cleveland-based Fawick Corporation manufactured clutches, brakes, and hydraulic equipment, and he sold that business in 1967 for $42 million.

There is a surviving example of the Fawick Flyer on display at the Courthouse Museum in Sioux Falls. It is a beautiful building, so make time to stop and see them if you are in the area!