Crane Simplex, Model 5 #2246 was originally purchased in 1916 by Frank Coykendall, a very wealthy industrialist and resident of Kingston, N.Y.
Custom Body When purchasing a Simplex Crane automobile, one would first order a complete chassis from the manufacturer. Next the buyer would order their choice of a custom body. In this case it was a formal enclosed drive limousine body manufactured by Brewster & Company. Brewster & Company was at that time one of America's most prestigious body builders. A great number of early Rolls Royce bodies were made by Brewster. The enclosed body styles were much more expensive to manufacture than most open body cars. During 1925 Mr. Coykendall sent his Simplex back to Brewster & Company to have its body completely rebuilt and updated. A few wealthy owners of only the highest grade automobiles would be willing to spend a small fortune to update and customize their special high grade cars that ran well beyond their anticipated number of years. This particular Simplex is a prominent example of an early custom re-body. A brass Brewster dash plaque dates and authenticates the work by Brewster & Company. Some distinctive Brewster design features include its obtuse style windshield, a movable glass ventilator in the chauffeur's windshield, spring-loaded door windows with no cranks, exposed wooden ribs supporting its fabric top, passenger compartment roof ventilator, and many other extravagant features. Mr. Coykendall's desire to have his car re-bodied by Brewster & Company may be compared to having a custom home designed by a nationally recognized architect. There is little doubt that much time, study, and consultation were shared by him and Brewster & Company. The end result was an elegant nickel era automobile with classic lines and a stunning visual appeal. The body exterior and interior have been kept in completely original condition. The finish on the highly detailed interior wood mouldings has darkened and checked from age. Some of the upholstery and rug surfaces are somewhat worn and discolored. This is to be expected in a preservation car. The original body paint has been coated with tung oil to prevent further deterioration. The sound of the doors closing must be described as music to the ear of a dedicated collector. The integrity of the body structure is uncompromised.
Special Order Wheels When Mr. Coykendall ordered his Simplex his order included six 25" 120mm Rudge Whitworth splined center lock wire wheels. These wheels were available at a substantial additional cost. Only a handful of the surviving Crane models have these high quality wheels. Our research indicates that this vehicle is likely the only surviving Crane model to have both original nickel plated spare wheel covers, including their ornate Simplex medallions.
Custom Made Radiator
The elegant appearance of his car was enhanced by a very rare custom feature. All Simplex, Crane model 5's came with radiators manufactured from the finest quality German nickel silver alloy. According to the late Kieth Marvin, automobile historian and editor, in an article from the Upper Hudson Valley Automobilist Number 150, Jan 1984: "Most were equipped with a high rounded radiator similar to the Fiat, Kissel, and ReVere. There were options, however and some owners ordered their cars with cooling systems, the shells of which resembled other contemporary cars. Rolls-Royce was a favorite although rare. Another look-alike radiator shell was designed after the Napier car and this is an excellent example of the difference."
His article includes two photographs of this Simplex #2246 showing its original Napier style radiator custom ordered by Mr. Coykendall. Our research indicates that this is only surviving Simplex Crane with this distinctive and attractive Napier radiator style.
Originality This car is one the most original Simplex Crane model 5's in existence, if not the most. We will begin by saying that every mechanical assembly is original and has been professionally restored. This includes its original bolts, screws, and other fasteners. Every bearing and bushing was replaced with quality NOS if in any way affected by wear or corrosion. The amount of time required to perform such a detailed mechanical restoration is nearly unfathomable. Please see the other blog posts on this website for the details of the restoration process. To continue, we will mention parts that are often missing or changed over on other vehicles. Included with this Simplex: The fully restored original complexNewcomb solid brass carburetor. The Kellogg four cylinder air compressor. The original Simplex script Boyce motometer and bakelite cap in excellent condition. The original Flentje shock preventors on the front axle. The Hartford friction shock absorbers on the rear axle. The original well preserved unrestored, operable, Klaxxon horn. The original C.M. Hall headlights with special cast nickle plated brass bezels. The original unrestored tail light. The original complete tool set. The original brass priming cups with levers and wooden knobs. The original factory muffler. The original magneto, coil, and generator. All dashboard instruments including the Waltham clock. The original fuel tank filler cap. The original Triumph fuel gauge Original privacy curtains. The original copy of "Instructions for the care and operation of Simplex motor cars." The original copy of "Simplex Automobile Company, Catalogue of parts, Crane model No.5" The six tires are not original to the car, however, they are the exact same manufacturer and tread design as offered on the Simplex Crane from the factory - BF Goodrich 33X5 The original plate glass has been removed and replaced with laminated safety glass. The hand operated fuel pump is still complete and in place. A modern electric fuel pump is currently in use as a matter of convenience. The fuel system can easily be restored to the original hand pump system.
A colorized image of the residence of Frank Coykendall
Crane Simplex, Model 5 #2246 was originally purchased in 1916 by Frank Coykendall, a very wealthy industrialist resident of Kingston, N.Y. It seems obvious to us that Mr. Coykendall loved his Simplex automobile as he owned it for 34 years! According to our documented research he operated the vehicle until 1936 and then placed it in storage and retained ownership of this vehicle until 1950. On June 1, 1950 this vehicle was sold to Mr. Claude Schaffer of New Haven Connecticut. After Claude Schaffer passed away ownership was transferred to his daughter Marion. Who married Charles W. Bishop. On March 9th 1977, Marion S Bishop of Fort Lauderdale FL sold the Simplex to Ralph De Angelis of Stamford CT. Dan Obele of Phoenix AZ purchased the Simplex from Ralph De Angelis around seven years later in 1984. Dan Obele sold it to Mike Kilian of Old Hickory TN sometime near 1991. The current owner purchased this Simplex on June 22, 2018.
Sales Information This vehicle is being offered for sale with a clear California title. We are willing to assist in international export technicalities. We invite potential buyers to inspect this vehicle in person or to send a representative. It is being stored in a dry climate controlled facility.
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Here is a YouTube video of the simplex starting and running: Simplex Video