Some 100 years after Ransom E. Olds introduced his curved dash runabout and Waltham Manufacturing gave us the Orient Buckboard, David Nitz, a southern Wisconsin farmer, designed and built his own version of those early automobiles: the 2005 Nitzmobile, proudly displayed at this weekend’s Rock River Thresheree in Edgerton, Wis.
Nitz designed and engineered the Nitzmobile himself and is responsible for much of its construction. Ransom Olds’ curved dash runabout served as inspiration for the front half with the rear half said to be patterned after David Dunbar Buick’s first car. The drive train is a 125cc Honda scooter engine and transmission which deliver power to the rear wheels through a differential from a 1928 Harley-Davidson three wheeler. Both axles are tubular stainless steel and the car is suspended on two 1949 Chevy truck leaf springs in the rear and a single leaf spring from a Camaro up front (a la Ford’s Model T). Steering is by a tiller with motorcycle hand grip controls and the car rests on four mountain bike wheels and tires. Headlights are old carriage lamps rewired with electric bulbs.
As they say: They don’t make ’em like they used to.