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Thread: Christie WC1

  1. #1

    Christie WC1

    Christie WC1 au pesage
    1907 Grand Prix de l'Automobile de France
    2 July 1907- Dieppe Circuit
    768.43 km

    Walter Christie was born in River Edge, New Jersey in 1865, and as a young man began work in the Delamater Iron Works and took classes at Cooper Union in New York City. Eventually he became a consulting engineer for several steamship lines, and after the Spanish-American War he managed to patent a better turret track for naval guns. At this time he was also promoting his own designs for a front-wheel-drive car, which he raced at various speedways in the USA, and even competed in the Vanderbilt Cup and the Grand Prix in France.
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  2. #2
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    nice, any more info about the peculiar engine layout?
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  3. #3
    Well, obviously the crankshaft was inbetween the front two wheels. I do not know how it worked, though.

    I suppose there must have been a gearbox, differential, and front suspension?

    Or did he havetwo gearboxes, on either side of the crankshaft? On the dirtroads of those days, a differential could probably be done without?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.J.Horst View Post
    Well, obviously the crankshaft was inbetween the front two wheels. I do not know how it worked, though.

    I suppose there must have been a gearbox, differential, and front suspension?

    Or did he havetwo gearboxes, on either side of the crankshaft? On the dirtroads of those days, a differential could probably be done without?
    IIRC it was a V4 type of enigne isn't it?
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  5. #5
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    the inventor is not the same Christie that pioneered the tank suspension is it?
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by clutch-monkey View Post
    the inventor is not the same Christie that pioneered the tank suspension is it?
    Most probably.

  7. #7
    V4, yes, with Christie Direct Action system:

    After experiencing frequent blowouts during a 400 mile trip, John Walter Christie sought a way to reduce tire wear and other maintenance costs through simpler design. That search led to front wheel drive. Christie reasoned that he could lighten a car and give it better balance by applying power to the front, rather than rear, wheels. Front wheel drive helped Christie post a respectable 42.2 second mile and to win a 50 mile race at Ormond Beach, Florida, in 1905. After spectators praised the car, Christie opened the Christie Direct Action Motor Car Company. To enhance sales, he entered the Vanderbilt Cup Race of 1907. His new model was powered by a 19,891 cc V-4 - the largest engine ever to compete in a Grand Prix. Unfortunately, the car was insufficiently tested and broke down on its fifth lap. Christie did well in several dirt track races that summer until he was injured in an accident. His efforts, however, attracted no new investors, and the Christie Direct Action Motor Car Company slid into receivership in 1908. Using 'direct drive' once again, Christie built his last car in 1909. He posted a 57 second mile - a track record - at Grossse Pointe, Michigan, but received no orders. George Robertson drove the car for a 30.39 second mile before the engine failed. Thus ended Christie's racing career.

  8. #8
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    I hope this is the same model
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.J.Horst View Post
    V4, yes, with Christie Direct Action system:

    After experiencing frequent blowouts during a 400 mile trip, John Walter Christie sought a way to reduce tire wear and other maintenance costs through simpler design. That search led to front wheel drive. Christie reasoned that he could lighten a car and give it better balance by applying power to the front, rather than rear, wheels. Front wheel drive helped Christie post a respectable 42.2 second mile and to win a 50 mile race at Ormond Beach, Florida, in 1905. After spectators praised the car, Christie opened the Christie Direct Action Motor Car Company. To enhance sales, he entered the Vanderbilt Cup Race of 1907. His new model was powered by a 19,891 cc V-4 - the largest engine ever to compete in a Grand Prix. Unfortunately, the car was insufficiently tested and broke down on its fifth lap. Christie did well in several dirt track races that summer until he was injured in an accident. His efforts, however, attracted no new investors, and the Christie Direct Action Motor Car Company slid into receivership in 1908. Using 'direct drive' once again, Christie built his last car in 1909. He posted a 57 second mile - a track record - at Grossse Pointe, Michigan, but received no orders. George Robertson drove the car for a 30.39 second mile before the engine failed. Thus ended Christie's racing career.
    Whoa. Is that a typo? 20 Liters? For a 4 cylinder? That's massive!

    But then again, this is over 100 years ago. Cool stuff.

    From the first picture, I thought it ran on steam.

  10. #10
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    The very rare design for racer, the nice photos. By the way, it is not steamer.

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