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Auto-Restoration Toys for Boys the Twombly Cyclecar

Updated on May 19, 2020
Pat Davis profile image

I have always had a love of machinery: wheels connecting to rods, pulleys connected to shafts, engines connected to wheels.

The Most Popular Boys Toys Ever Invented.

Three hundred and fifty years ago, the first steam-powered vehicle, A gift for the Chinese Emperor was given, supposedly as a toy.

Approximately two hundred & fourteen years later Karl Benz introduced the Benz Patent Motorwagen, Powered by petrol, The internal Combustion engine.

This article is about The ultimate Boys Toy (or one of them). It involves the history and development of our modern-day transport: research, the evolution, the ownership, the pride and the showing of a classic vintage vehicle. The Hobbyist Searching for authenticity, finding the correct parts, if necessary, machining specific long lost parts.

And taking it for a drive to the local car show on a weekend.

1914 Twombly Cyclecar

Driggs-Seabury Ordinance Corp Pennsylvania Owned by Mervyn and Margaret Kroll- Brisbane. One of three known remaining worldwide

 Cyclecars were inexpensive automobiles, a cross between a car and a motorcycle. Cyclcars were made in the early 1900s. The concept was that this type of vehicle offered the promise of mobility for everyone. "Speeds up to 50 miles per hour". But the
Cyclecars were inexpensive automobiles, a cross between a car and a motorcycle. Cyclcars were made in the early 1900s. The concept was that this type of vehicle offered the promise of mobility for everyone. "Speeds up to 50 miles per hour". But the

A number of auto makers manufactured these unique vehicles to address the needs of buyers who were looking for a means of transportation lower in cost than conventional automobiles. Additionally, registration taxes were based on vehicle weight and engine displacement. Lighter in weight and with smaller, less powerful engines, Cyclecars were less costly to buy and taxed at a lower rate.

Typical Cyclecar such as one type which was manufactured by the Pennsylvania firm of Driggs-Seabury Ordinance from 1913 to 1915 had two seats in tandem displacement and an underslung body. Cyclecars of various manufacture were all powered by either a single-cylinder, V-Twin, a four-cylinder or a motorcycle engine.

Note that the tandem two-seater configuration and engine type gave the impression that the vehicle was actually a hybrid type of motorcycle-automobile combination. Cyclecars enjoyed limited popularity for a time and were even entered in races restricted to these vehicles. During the brief heyday of the Cyclecars, they were manufactured in many countries such as Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Spain, France and England. In fact, the most prolific producers of Cyclecars were English.

The demise of the Cyclecar was hastened by the Ford Motor Company’s Model T. Ford advertised the Model T’s advantages over the Cyclecar one of which was the Ford being sold at a price very near to the Cyclecar. Additionally, the Model T offered superior comfort and roadability. By the early 1920s, the Cyclecar was but a curious memory.

Vehicle Specifications

Motor "Twombly" type'A' 4 cylinder, 4 cycles, water-cooled, cast en bloc, thermosyphon system. 12-14 H.P Positive oiling mechanical valves located on the left side of the motor. High-grade Bronze bearings throughout.

Transmission "Twombly" Straight faced friction with 2-speed driveshaft and single chain drive to rear axle, giving 6 speeds forward and 2 reverse. Bearings of high-grade Bronze

Rear Axle "Twombly" Live unbreakable type differential and solid shaft from wheel to wheel, differential casting acting as an emergency brake. Axle surrounded by a seamless steel tube. Hyatt roller bearings Exclusively.

Front axle - Drop forged I beam section, chrome-nickel steel bearings. Bearings annular ball.

Suspension "Twombly" underslung giving the low centre of gravity and perfect balance.

Frame - Pressed steel channel section

Springing System. Rear - Cantilever 36 inches long

Front - Semi elliptic,30 inches long.

Wheels 8x2 1/2 extra heavy wire

Tyres Extra heavy clincher non-skid rear - Corrugated front.

Brakes-Service, in a different case. The transmission acts as a powerful emergency brake

Gas Tank In cowl, 5 gallon capacity.

Ignition Heinze high tension magneto.

Carburetor. Longuemare

Lubrication - Splash and force-feed

Radiator. Cellular, nickel.

Steering "Twombly" adjustable gear steering wheel 14 inches. Irreversible worm and sector.

Control Hand and foot. Gas throttle lever on dash and foot throttle accelerator. Contracting brake band on the differential casing. Transmission can be used as a powerful emergency brake'

Wheelbase 100 inches

Road clearance 9 1/2 inches - Weight 600 pounds

Stock Colour Sulphur Yellow with black and nickel trimming.

Equipment . includes two oil sidelights and one tail lamp. Horn and complete set of tools.

Extra Equipment.

Top One man top with envelope and side curtains $25 Windshield $12

Speedometer $12

Electric lighting - 2 head lights.- 1 tail lamp, - Storage battery and dimmer,- independent push buttons

5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of 1914 Twombly Cyclecar - BOYS TOY

What Car Would be Your Choice as a Boys Toy

I think my choice would be something like the Wolseley below.

Bills Toy,  while on a slow drive by parade. from an open window I heard the voice of a young girl.  "Is that the Queens Car"  she shouted.  I had little time to hear her fathers answer, but I heard him say. "YES! Probably", then we were out of earsh
Bills Toy, while on a slow drive by parade. from an open window I heard the voice of a young girl. "Is that the Queens Car" she shouted. I had little time to hear her fathers answer, but I heard him say. "YES! Probably", then we were out of earsh

Some considerations when choosing a classic car, restoring a classic or vintage or Veteran Car, my choice would possibly be The Wolseley 24/80

How often can I take it for a drive?

A long honourable history.

Not overly expensive.

Plenty of associated clubs, for parts searches.

Comfortable driving.

Keeps up with modern-day traffic.

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