Earlier this year we camped and hiked at Joshua Tree National Park in the Mojave Desert of Southern California. Renowned for its famous rock formations, and the namesake trees, it also features some historical sights, including a bit of automotive history.
I’m not great at identifying cars that are much older than me (model year 1957, I like to think, as I was born after the new car launch in the Fall of 1956), so here are a few random but not hugely interesting finds.
This truck (which I can’t identify, any ideas?) was fitted with an inline six which featured the Ferro name cast into the block.
Ferro was a Cleveland, Ohio manufacturer of marine engines, but most of their own designs seemed to be large one to three cylinder 2 stroke engines. There’s some speculation on the web that they also cast parts for other manufacturers, and this might be a Graham Paige.
But this was the star of the show, and I needed a bit of offline help from Paul to confirm that it is indeed a Lincoln Model L with its original V8.
Here it is, in its aluminum block (correction: crankcase. See comments below) glory. Foreshadowing the Chevy Vega in its construction (correction: not really), this engine was a 358 cubic inch 60º V8 introduced just after World War 1, when Lincoln was still owned by the Leland’s, pre-Ford. Ford kept this engine in their lineup until 1930.
This picture matches photo’s I’ve found of the Model L cowl and dashboard, so the engine itself was definitely not transplanted into another vehicle.
Even after the acquisition of Lincoln, bodies were not built by Ford but by coachmakers such as Murphy, LeBaron, and Fleetwood. Presumably this one was cutoff somewhere aft of the front doors and a rear bed, either purpose built, from another truck, or maybe even from a wagon, was grafted on. Most of the non-truck body panels were aluminum.
Fuel pump by Stewart … presumably before Warner came to the party.
The tire cords have held up surprisingly well in the dry desert environment. Most of the rubber is gone.
One last shot of that great engine.
About a month later I made another trip to the Mojave and found some more random Trailside Classics; all but the Ford shown below were on public land. If anyone can identify the others, please comment.