More updates! June-July 2018

More exciting news from the First Division Museum’s Liberty truck! Some amazing progress has been made in just the last 3 months. Some very important parts have finally been tracked down and/or fabricated to include a set of rear bumper brackets, and the magneto coupling bracket. We’ve still got a few items to find that I have been chasing down for many months. Strange that no one seems to hold on to Acetylene Gas light generators over a century after they were a viable lighting source…a fuel transfer pump has also continued to elude us as very few of the existing Liberty trucks have them intact. The ones that we have managed to find that have the pumps tend to be behind glass or out of our reach- a fact that the National Museum of the Marine Corps made abundantly clear to our restorer Tom Bailey in Virginia back in January. In the meantime, we are growing increasingly excited about finally having our truck back!

4 thoughts on “More updates! June-July 2018

  1. Welcome back Frank!
    I can’t speak directly to why flat paints weren’t the norm yet, but from the looks of the ingredients of the day and mixtures recommended by the QMC in 1916/17 which was used on all military vehicles and wagons, my guess is the ‘Japan dryer’ and linseed oil are the two items that give it the semi-gloss finish specifically. This was common place at the time and we copied this recipe to make our own small batch (including white lead), which we then copied with modern materials using a computer scanner to match it as closely as possible to make a ‘safe’ batch large enough to finish the truck. Stay tuned for an upcoming post I have in the works for this month which is all about the Liberty Truck and its paint.


  2. I just stumbled across your site and am very impressed with the work you have done restoring the Model B Liberty! I am restoring a 1919 Nash Quad 2-ton military truck and I know the many challenges you have overcome so far. My truck was one of 2,000 built by Paige-Detroit, under license from Nash, and was delivered a few months after the Armistice.

    Your hunt for the correct Solar acetylene generator is a challenge. I searched for several years and finally found one on eBay. Searching on eBay is also how I located the correct Eisemann magneto switch, so be patient and keep looking.

    I will continue to follow your progress on the great work you are doing.
    Rich Dunn


  3. Thanks for the compliments Rich! I actually came across a part-time company that specializes in reproduction and restored Automobile Acetylene Gas generators recently but it has been hard to get him to respond to emails. If I am unable to find a proper ‘Solar’ brand generator I may just use a similar model of the period for a different vehicle (early Model-T’s had floor and cab-mounted generators that look very similar). I have come across photos of the liberty with non-Solar brand generators which were more than likely OEM replacements at the time (they are immediate post-war era)

    Still no luck with the fuel transfer pump which will be effectively the last piece of the whole truck for us!


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