THE PERFECTED DURYEA CARRIAGE.
Motor carriages are now occupying great attention both in Europe and America, and we may look for excellent results as the consequence of this interest. Inventors, in this country at least, have been heavily handicapped by lack of funds to carry out the expensive experiments which are requisite to the perfecting of the carriage. In England there appears to be now no lack of capital, but a sad lack of practical carriages.
We have already illustrated the principal carriages of domestic origin and we now present an engraving of the Duryea motor wagon, which made an exceedingly creditable run in the recent inaugural trip from London to Brighton on November 14. The Duryea carriage won the first prize in the Times-Herald race in 1895 and also the prize in the Cosmopolitan race on Decoration Day, 1896. The run to Brighton was not a race, but a "go-as-you-please" run, still the time was taken, and once started the vehicles tried to pass one another, so that it was virtually a race in spite of all efforts to make it a procession. Out of fifty entries only some thirty carriages materialized, and many of them were left by the wayside between London and Brighton, to the great delight of writers for some of the dailies and weeklies, who now had a new object of ridicule. That some of the carriages greatly exceeded the legal limit of twelve miles an hour is shown by the time in which a Bollee car covered the entire distance, which was two hours thirty minutes.
The Duryea carriages were late entries and were placed at the rear of the procession. While in the city it was not possible to turn out and pass the vehicles, but once in the open country the American carriages began to pull past carriage after carriage until they reached Reigate (22 miles) 30 minutes ahead of the next similar vehicle. Here lunch was served, and some of the carriages kept right on without waiting, which accounts for the remarkable time shown in some of the published reports; this has been the cause of much misunderstanding. When the procession reformed, the Duryea carriage again forged ahead and reached Brighton forty minutes in advance, making a total gain of seventy minutes in about four hours. The roads were very heavy on account of the rain. It is said that the Duryea wagons were the only ones which were turned over to stable boys to be cleaned off with a hose; the other carriages, having exposed parts, had to be wiped off like a locomotive.
The Duryea carriage was described in the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN for November 9, 1895. Various improvements have been introduced since that time, such as decrease of weight, an accurate adjustment of the explosive mixture, an improved muffler and arrangements for starting. While ordinary stove gasoline or naphtha is used, the motors can be quickly adjusted to use kerosene or other hydro-carbon.
source: Scientific American December 19, 1896 page 440