SO WHAT WOULD THE KNAPPS DRIVE ?
Joseph P. Knapp has been seen skimming around the ( Bellport ) village lately in a new automobile ..... Patchogue Advance : April 6, 1906
I recall when I first read that item in the Advance 100 year old files, well over two years ago in 2006, I wondered indeed what kind of car J. P. Knapp was driving around Bellport and Patchogue in 1906 and for that matter before that. I believe he joined the NY Auto Club circa 1904 -5? His brother in law, Ed Wallace was driving a car in 1902 and running afoul of the horse and buggy citizenry. J. P.. who was always interested in technological advances, probably was too. More than likely, he had one or more "machines" even earlier than that.
With the focus on Detroit and all it's financial problems lately, this item came my way this week (Nov 22, 2008) from the "Official Automobile Directory of New York" published by J. R. Burton & Co in 1914. These books are pretty rare and only three libraries scattered far and wide are known to have copies. Thank's to Google's digital library project, rare books like these are becoming at least partly searchable and sometimes you can read the entire book!
Way back in the early days of this website, I imagined that at the Knapp Estate in Mastic Beach cars like the ones I inserted into this illustration of back side of the Knapp mansion.
I now know for a fact (from Arthur Penney's oral history of the Mastics) that in the 1920's & 1930's, there was at least one station wagon there to go back and forth to of all places, the Mastic Rail Road Station. Joan Kiely O'Connell, the daughter of Ed Kiely (Dodi's right hand man & personal secretary) told me last year, she recalls seeing a very fancy "roaring twenties style", turqoise & cream roadster in the mansion garage in Mastic Beach in the late 1930s . ( an Auborn, Cord, Stutz ? ) And I also know that in the 1940's Joseph F. Knapp aka Dodi Knapp drove Buick convertibles when he lived at 410 Isle Of Palms Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
THE ISLE OF PALMS ROADMASTER ?
But according to the "Official Automobile Directory of NY" in 1914, when he was a young executive of 22, at his father's American Lithographic Co. in NYC, Dodi drove a Peerless, perhaps one very much like either of these two touring models . These great photos of these colorful machines are courtesy of Conceptcarz.com
Peerless Lived Up To It's Name And At $ 6000.00 In 1912 Dollars, It Wasn't Cheap, But Sure Was Pretty.
Swivel Seats & We Thought They Were New When Dodge Featured Them In 1958. Dodi's Sea Sled "Miss Demure" Had Very Similar Leather
AT 824 Cubic Inches It Was One Of The Largest Engines To Ever Power An Automobile. However It Was Not Very Efficient. It Only Developed 60 HP. Nonetheless, This Monster Of A Car Could Cruise At 65 MPH, Which On Wheels & Suspension Of That Era Driving On Roads That Were Made For Horse & Wagons At That Speed Was Bordering On Insanity.
DODI KNAPP IS ALSO LISTED IN 1914, AS OWNING A STEARNS. PROBABLY VERY MUCH LIKE THIS SPEEDSTER
I WONDER IF HE DROVE OUT FROM THE CITY TO MASTIC ON WEEKENDS BACK THEN OR TOOK THE TRAIN ?
This 1914 7 Passenger Peerless, is now housed at the Crawford Auto - Aviation Museum in Cleveland Ohio and reportably the only 1914 model known in existence.
"Come On" Knapp Co. NY