[Last month H. L. Biggs gave some technical details of Frontenac Fords. A correspondent to ” N.A.R.N.,” the American Midget Car Racing Weekly, recently enquired whether early racing Chevrolets were” revamped” Model-T Fords or ” Special ” racing cars. In view of Biggs’s article the reply may be of interest, and we accordingly reprint it from the January 22nd issue of the ” National Auto Racing News.”—Ed.] THERE were three Chevrolet brothers —Gaston, Louis and Arthur—who came over from France about 1905 and they were all race drivers, though Gaston and Louis were the most prominent. They raced Buicks and other cars and at one time raced the Carnation at Indianapolis, which was a very small car for those days of heavy cars ; one of them burned at Indianapolis the first or second year the track was opened, and while it was still dirt. Gaston was killed at Indianapolis. Louis organised the Chevrolet Motor Co. -and built a light four-cylinder motor with overhead valves, rocker arm type. We are quite sure that this was before Chevrolet raced any converted model-T Fords. The dates are not quite clear from memory, but around 1919 Louis and Arthur built the Monroe 500-mile race cars and later the Frontenac race cars. These were complete cars and the motors ‘acre patterned after one of the French racing motors with two overhead camshafts. Later they built some
eight-cylinder D.O. Frontenacs. About 1920 Louis and Arthur began to make overhead valve cylinder heads for the model-T motors. These were rocker arm heads somewhat similar to the head used on the early Chevrolet stock car. Several of these motors were raced in the “500 ” around 1923 and one or two finished in the money. The rocker arm cylinder heads were also made for stock model-Ts and many were sold. Later a D.O. cylinder head was made by Arthur for the model-T Ford motor. Louis and Arthur separated and each began to make aeronautical motors, one in Indianapolis and one in Baltimore. The motors were good, but for some reason did not become successful commercially. We understand that Louis is now deceased. Arthur is in the Diesel line. We have reworded the matter somewhat. The date of the organisation of the Chevrolet Motor Co. is given as “shortly after the original model-T Ford.” How
ever, this is described as “the original light four-cylinder car with the water pump in front of the radiator,” which was surely the model-N Ford ? This renders this reference valueless as dating the first Chevrolet, as the ” N ” was considerably earlier than the “T,” we believe. We have recently come upon records of a Frontenac which A. E. Moss, who afterwards drove one of these cars at Brooklands, ran in the 1924 Indianapolis “500.” Apparently it was a BarbourWarnock Ford, with standard Ford crankshaft and rods, single carburetter and a 16-valve, twin 0.h. camshaft Frontenac head. It appears to have a slightly offset, single-seater body and the manifolding protruding from the bonnet. The camshafts are described as shaftdriven, whereas the Type D.O. “Fronty” head apparently had chain-driven camshafts. We believe that the car Moss afterwards brought to this country, and with which the Conan Doyles and Dick Nash were associated, was a 2-seater.