The 1908 Chadwick

Last Updated: August 26, 2023By Tags: ,

The Greatest car you’ve never heard of

When thinking back to 120 year old cars the image comes to mind of experimental, rudimentary and primitive cars. At the time the. Burgeoning industry of the automobile was a landscape of hundreds of small firms manufacturing cars in small numbers, these toys for the rich outdid one another through innovation and exclusivity. As early as there have been gear heads they have been trying to race each other. It seems that humans are born with a need for speed and an air of competition that will never be truly satisfied. This is the environment Inventor Sherman Chadwick found himself in. An extremely reclusive and obsessive man who dedicated his life to the pursuit of building the finest car possible. Quoted once as being unable to recognize his own sons if they walked past him in the streets, he designed along with the help of fellow engineer [insert name here] an inline six powered beast. Particularly in that era the developement of an inline six posed major engineering hurdles, these were originally overcome by Lancaster in the UK, the party piece of Chadwicks design was one of the earliest examples of a supercharger while not being the first forced induction device used in an internal combustion engine, it has the capacity to be the earliest supercharged vehicle and certainly the earliest American. The supercharged models produced a claimed 109 horsepower, a gain putting it in contention for the most powerful car at the time. These are the makings of greatness.

The year is 1908, Vanderbilt cup, the early makings of the Grand Prix. The Vanderbilt cup has been held in Nassau, Long Island. The 30 mile dirt track lines up with [X] cars successful early marques, Locomobiles, Renaults, Hotchkiss and Isota to name a few. The Chadwick storms ahead in the beginnings of the race putting on a good show and setting a new top speed record in any road race at the time 74.5 mph!!! Blistering at the time. The Chadwick led for the remainder of the race reaching a gap of almost 7 minutes to the previous cars until a magneto took them out of competition, ultimately finishing tenth. The Chadwick would go on to participate in the American Grand Prize where it suffered another mechanical failure, this time a bearing. The Chadwicks suffered a cruel fate and a bloody nose in 1908, however as stubborn as Chadwick was he did not give up on his automotive dream.

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