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Doctor of Tires: 1934

Doctor of Tires: 1934

San Francisco, 1934. "Fisk Service garage." So, Mister, you say it pulls to the right? 8x10 nitrate negative by Christopher Helin. View full size.


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Manual starter

The keyhole shaped opening in the radiator grille was for an auxiliary crank starter, Peugeots had the same opening in the front bumper up into the 1960's.

Radiator badge

This is my Great Uncle Henry Augustus Welch from Franklin, New Hampshire. We were never able to figure out what the "Deland" badge was for.


The 1934 Crocker-Langley City Directory directory has the Fisk Tire Company at 422 2nd St.; the next year the company is also at 414 9th.

New (to me)

In my many decades of admiring, acquiring, or attempting to acquire pre-WW2 automobiles, I don't believe I have ever run into the after-market home-town moniker this Stude sports, at least not one done in elegant script and attached to the radiator grille.

Pimped ride

Is the badge on the radiator grille ("San Francisco") a common customization of the era? Or a customization at all? Dealer badge? Seems like that would have been pretty darn expensive at the time. Heck, it wouldn't be cheap to do it now.

Test Brakes

Doubleclutchin is correct about this being a brake adjustment.

One of the few things I can make out on the work order is the check mark next to the "Test Brakes" section, also the tool in the Mechanics hand is a "Brake Spoon", a tool used to turn the star wheel of the brake adjuster.

This is a picture of a more modern brake spoon but the function is exactly the same.

Stude Six

It's a 1931 Studebaker Six. It lacks the oval headlamps that the upscale Eights had.

Straight Stops, Please

The equipment being used on this Studebaker Dictator (which turned out to be an awkward moniker as the scourge of fascism advanced during the '30s) may at first appear to be an alignment machine. But instead, it is a brake equalizer, necessary because the pushrod (or cable)-actuated brakes of the day, which did not naturally self-equalize as hydraulics do, frequently needed adjusting for straight stops.

The equalizer works by spinning the wheels, like a dynamometer, while measuring each brake's drag when the brakes are applied. That's the purpose of the gauge at far right -- one for each wheel -- and the mechanic is apparently adjusting the brake on the right front.

Bald is Beautiful

Not much left to align.

Let me be the first to ask!

For a close up of that repair order!

Very Frustrating

The car appears to be a 1931 Studebaker of some sort, but I can't pin down the model.

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