Sunday, August 21, 2011

On The Lincoln Highway

Good afternoon! I've just returned from my mini-road trip over to Livermore, CA. I rolled over there to visit the Duarte Garage, the 1915 service station that sat on the original Lincoln Highway. Today, 97 years later, the Livermore Heritage Guild opens the building on the third Sunday of the month from 10AM 'till 2PM. It's now their Lincoln Highway Museum, and a very nice museum it is.

Lots of cool artifacts, tin signs, maps and photographs, and some very nice volunteers doing the docent duties. My docent was one of the folks who are restoring the beautiful 1920 Seagrave Fire Engine. You should see the new paintjob on this beauty!

Purchased in 1919, this old fire truck served Livermore's Fire Department until 1955, and then it was "stored" outdoors down at Livermore's sewage treatment plant until the City loaned it to the Heritage Guild for restoration in 1980.

Amazingly, Seagrave is still in business, and still making Fire Aparatus!

The big inline six cylinder engine was finally restarted in 2010. This is one gorgeous power plant! 1000 cubic inches, making around 100hp, twin ignition systems- one coil & distributor, and one magneto, with two spark plugs in each cylinder. You can run either or both. I'll have to go back, this time with a tripod for my camera!

Each cylinder has a little bronze Priming Cup. On cold mornings, you'd put a little gasoline in each cup, then open each cup's valve to prime the cylinders before you turned the engine over. These little bronze do-dads are just beautiful, you can see them in the engine photo.

Below the Priming Cups you see the sand-cast aluminum Intake Manifold.

The rear suspension Swing Arms are made of wood. In the photo it's hard to's painted black. It connects the drive axle through the outboard brakes to the final drive axle that supports the rear wheels. Did I mention that it's chain final drive? My docent reminded me that most "big" trucks of the day ran the chain drive finals.

They say: "A picture is worth a thousand words", so I'll let my photos do the talking while I bask in the reflected glory of the San Francisco Giants who finally won a game this weekend.

As seen in my rearview mirror as I blew by on Portola Avenue
Lots of copper tubing, brass and bronze fittings, and aluminum.
Rear brakes, one each side- there are no brakes up front! These double as parking brakes.
On Friday, the mailman delivered my "Driving Maps of the Lincoln Highway in California". Published by the California Chapter of the Lincoln Highway Association. The maps are very nicely done, spiral bound in the 11X17 inch size. Well worth the $16.00 including S+H.

I wish all the State Chapters offered such a useful set of maps for the Lincoln Highway in their respective states. I ordered the next  book in Gregory M Franzwa's series, "Lincoln Highway: Nevada" after I read most of his "Lincoln Highway: California" as soon as it arrived.

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