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Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Mike Clark (
Date: October 20, 2010 10:03AM

The 200hp Land Speed Record Darracq re-created around the original engine and part chassis by Mark Walker must be on the list - my bet is that it would blow all the others away. It has been sensational on its first year out and broken every Edwardian record, not only that but it is superbly engineered and authentic in detail. He knows how to drive it as well!


Attachments: Darracq small.jpg (249kB)  
Re: Wistling Billy Replica
Posted by: (
Date: October 21, 2010 06:14AM

it is good to hear about the opposition.
Whistling Billy was certainly the car to try to beat in 1905 but crashed into a pond severely injuring Webb Jay on 18th August 1905 at the Kennilworth track in Buffalo.
The car was then rebuilt and sold by Whites to Charlie Bair and was driven by various drivers including Ralph Baker, Gus Seyfried and Fred Dundee. It continued to win races and took the 5 mile track world record.
A newspaper report of December 26 th 1908 reads"one of the most spectacular accidents ever occuring in American automobile racing happened at Ascot Park(Los Angeles) this afternoon when a front tyre on the White racer Whistling Billy, broke on a curve while Gus Seyfried of San Francisco was driving it at more than a mile a minute, the car turning three somersaults in the air, a blazing ball of flame and landing a broken wreck in the centre of the track where it was consumed by flames."
whites rebuilt BIlly. One can recognise the 1909 version as it had a curved nose turning up a bit at the bottom and a squarish cover over the steam generator as well as resrictors for the movement of the front axle - presumably to stop the nose digging into the ground as it had done in the accident.
THe rebuilt Billy went on tour in western America. During the 1909 season it ran 29 races -and won 29 -as Charlie Bair said "A clean sheet".
I have no more pictures or newspaper articles after this until three pictures taken on July 9th 1912. THe first two show Billy in the pits and the third Billy upside down and broken in half with the bent body(hood) beside it. I do not have any story about this and I have found no more concrete evidence of Billy racing again. Of course WHites by this time had given up building steam cars and may not have been prepared to rebuild the car again.
I am looking for more history---------

Attachments: image002.jpg (84kB)  
Re: Wistling Billy Replica
Posted by: (
Date: October 21, 2010 11:19AM

Ron Thurber wrote the story for Horseless Carriage Gazette which contains this photo of Whistling Billy in Portland Oregon, with Chris? Dundee at the wheel. Mr Thurber purchased Mr Dundee's remaining White steamer in 1984. He may have some information of interest to you.

Attachments: Whistling Billy in Portland HCGazette July 2009.jpg (248kB)  
Re: Wistling Billy Replica
Posted by: Fire-Drop_Technologies (
Date: October 22, 2010 05:45PM

Sweet Pick I've seen the other's but this one is a new one to me! Where Did you find it ? And Any Idea what Year it was taken?

Re: Wistling Billy Replica
Posted by: (
Date: October 22, 2010 08:36PM

I believe Ron Thurber owns the photo. He may know if the Dundee brothers left any archives. Mr Thurber may also be a member of your club, he owns 2 White steamers.
If not, I could try and contact him for you guys.

Re: Wistling Billy Replica
Posted by: (
Date: October 24, 2010 04:03AM

Hello Lee,
The picture is of Billy after the rebuild following the 1908 accident taken between 1909 and 1812.
I would like to contact Ron Thurber- he may well have more useful information for me to keep my version of Billy accurate. I especially need information on the firing -the burner,vapouriser and jets etc.
Please email me if you have his email address.

Attachments: Copy of 1912 July 9th (Medium).jpg (53kB)  
Re: Wistling Billy Replica
Posted by: (
Date: October 24, 2010 04:07AM

Sorry that should read 1912 -The pictures on my last entry are of Billy before and after the accident on July 9th 1912

Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: (
Date: October 28, 2010 11:10AM

Bob, I sent Ron's info to your private email.

Re: Whistling Billy Replica
Posted by: (
Date: October 28, 2010 04:37PM

Thanks for the link Lee, I have sent him an email.
I had a rest from Billy today and treated my 1908 White Lucy to a burner and vapouriser clean as she had got increasingly sluggish on the last couple of outings. The vapouriser was well clogged probably as I have used a lot of old fuel this year from out of cars and boats.
I am waitng for some NPT fittings from the USA for the generators for Billy, Lucy and my 1906 Model "F" - all are inline for new steam generators.The coil bender is ready for action.

Re: Wistling Billy Replica
Posted by: (
Date: November 15, 2010 04:57AM

I have a little more progress to report on Billy.
Friend Harold Bowden helped me with the woodwork around the seat, the dash, the fire wall and the butt patern for the nose.
I did my first body panel job ever by doing the panel beside the driver. I am now half way through making the long bonnet (hood for the Americans). I have done the sides and top and am about to do what I expect to be the hardest part -the nose. A friend and I did have a go at this on its own last week but I was not happy with the results as far as we went, so I started again this time doing the whole top. Then I will have to join the top and side sections - Aluminium welding is the problem here but I have oxy kit but not a TIG. I shall have some practice first!
Harold has moved on to making a wooden water tank. The body needed sorting before this so that it can maximise the space available and lets me know where I can have access through the doors when ready to run. I had the old water tank that came with the engine and I am using the original now much repaired fittings. Anyway it will be another job out of the way.
I am also now trying to sort my instruments. I have two original White duplex tank pressure gauges and two original White steam pressure gauges plus an early Jones rev counter reading to 1200rpm. All these will need to double their readings. The idea, at least to start with, is to have stick-on dials keeping the originals but doing the artwork and finding some paper for the correct "Silvered dial" appearance is the next problem. Then I will sort the insides.

Edited 1 times. Last edit at 11/16/10 03:55PM by steamcarbob.

Attachments: 2010Nov 15 making body (Medium).JPG (86kB)   2010 Nov 15 making body 2 (Medium).JPG (70kB)  
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