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I was going to wait a while, but it seems more than one have taken the time to pursue the story behind this fascinating and remarkable automobile & are aware of the identity of this thing so I think it's time to reveal all. It's the 1935 Hoffman 8X..............and as indicated, it's the only one ever made. The curious thing about this car is that even though it wasn't officially commissioned by one of the big manufacturers there seems to have been enough money available to develop a on

Not a 450, 150, 200 or 300 - rarer than those, with only two original factory cars made, although some have been cobbled together later. Given that you can't measure the engine size from my photo and John is going away I will disclose that it is a 250S. This was the first car to use the new (or at least much revised) four cylinder engine planned for the forthcoming T series birdcage models. The idea was to produce a car with the straight line performance of the 300S but with the lighter and torq

I have several and will search... but here's a really unrecognizable one... 😎 because my dad had some normal cars... but HIS dad even BUILT its own !! he had a small workshop for agri gear... and put some pieces together in 1900, as recorded time ago in our local newspaper (dirty scan hereunder) ... after that (1902)  he was approached by a gentleman from Turin who easily convinced him that making cars needed organization... 😁... and capital... and that was better to sell FIATs instead of making

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Took me a while as I started with slightly the wrong “vague memory/gut feelings” and headed off down a whole interesting 1920/30s engine development byway, parked-up in a pleasant Streamlining design lay-by for a while, then finally rejoined the carriageway to Detroit (or thereabouts).

Edited by NigelG
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I was going to wait a while, but it seems more than one have taken the time to pursue the story behind this fascinating and remarkable automobile & are aware of the identity of this thing so I think it's time to reveal all. It's the 1935 Hoffman 8X..............and as indicated, it's the only one ever made.

The curious thing about this car is that even though it wasn't officially commissioned by one of the big manufacturers there seems to have been enough money available to develop a one-off proprietary engine. As near as I can discover, the inventor behind this project had a contract to develop a rear engined car with the Fisher brothers firm, who were still an independent mass-production coachbuilder prior to selling out to General motors,  and enhancing GM's restige with the famed 'Body by Fisher' logo opn all future GM rocker panels. Although not stated in the contract explicitly, the main behind this project had access to a US $170,000 budget.............quite a sum for those days. Ford was in the throes of developing their 'X-motor' an aircooled, side-valve, radial-engine  motor for his passenger cars.It appears this inventor used a page out of Ford's book engine-type wise, but chose a water-cooled, overhead cam configuration with 4 'blocks' of two cylinders @ a 60 degrees, or, as Jay Leno explains his video interview of the owner, 'think of four Harley cylinders bolted to a common case and a single crankshaf, withj a displacement of 2.8 liters, making a reported 70 HP in a car weighing 3100 lbs..

The other mysterious and not much discussed aspect that makes this car so very interesting is the fact that Andre Citroen was in the process of building the prototype of his newTraction Avant' which was designed from its inception to utilze the brand-new Auto-Union developed innovation of the monocoque body, (as opposed to a chassis with non-structural bodywork mounted to it) as was exclusively the practice in US car production. The American Budd Company owned the patents to a mass-production process to build the new 'Unibody' coachwork which they had licensed to Citroen, which was the connection between Roscoe Hoffman, the man behind this project and the tangle of contacts and connections he had with numerous Detroit-based car Companies involving some of his previous ideas. 

The showing at the Pebble Beach Concours was the first time this car was seen by the public at large after almost four decades in the Stevens Museum in Milwaukee. It is entirely original except for the above mentioned exterior repaint to the Brooks Stevens preferred Packard Blue, and immediately became a crowd favorite at that exhibit. I think one must admit that it's pretty rakish for a 87 yearold design and a portent of many  things to soon come.

Your turn, Ronald...........and thanks for playing along.

JZG

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52 minutes ago, John Z. Goriup said:

...It's the 1935 Hoffman 8X..............and as indicated, it's the only one ever made...

Thanks very much for posting this extraordinary car, John! I think it's a very beautiful vehicle in its own quirky way.

As far as its being unique is concerned I came across, whilst doing the detective thing, this fascinating and informative post in the Studebaker's Driver's Forum (where else?!?) and the writer hints that there was, originally, another example (see last paragraph);

"Hoffman was about 47 when he designed this car. He graduated from Purdue University in 1911 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He started a company called Hoffman Motor Developments in 1934 in Detroit. Hoffman was an independent engineer and knew many people in the auto industry. He may have done projects for GM. Studebaker and Packard. He became a good friend of Brooks Stevens and gifted the car to him in 1961.

The car — now dubbed the Hoffman X-8 — is believed to have evolved from a deal that the French automaker Mathis was working on with Henry Ford. Apparently Hoffman, Ford and Mathis got together to develop a radical X-engined car that was envisioned for European production. The prototype was constructed in Boston, Mass.

The all-steel Hoffman features a unitized body and frame with honeycomb floor perimeter strengthening members. It has a tubular front axle, front transverse leaf spring, front trailing arms and tube shocks all around. The rear suspension features fully independent half shafts with Cardan joints at each end, along with londitudinal leaf springs and trailing arms. It has a 115-in. wheelbase and 181.35 overall length. It weighs in at about 3100 lbs. and puts out 75 hp.

This 1935 Hoffman is the last of the Brooks Stevens Collection. The car last ran in 1996 but the brakes did not work yet at that time. It is the only one of its kind, the sister car was destroyed many years ago. It is very unique and will be an asset to any collection."

I LOVE the rear aspect of the thing but, then again, I love 'Pretzelfenster' Type 1's!

Philip.

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I also came across mention of two prototypes being constructed, financed by Fisher Bros. and using the rear-mounted X-8 engine...

I think the other car worth mentioning is the John Tjaada - designed "Briggs Dream Car" that was exhibited 1933-34 at the Chicago "Century of Progress Exhibition" that is very similar.

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Am 21.4.2021 um 22:23 schrieb John Z. Goriup:

Your turn, Ronald...........and thanks for playing along.

John, thank you for this interesting car. There were more 1930s/40s rear engine aerodynamic cars than we think (Stout Scarab and - like mentioned by Nigel- Briggs Dream Car for example).

I´ll post the next riddle car tomorrow. If anybody is faster, please feel free to post.

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Is it a coachbuilt coupé body on one of the un-raced Ferrari 333SP chassis? I believe not all 26 of the series 2 Michelotto built chassis were sold for racing and some were later sold off for conversions to road cars, modified to fit 550 V12 engines and a strengthened Graziano F1 355 gearbox, in place of the 4 litre 641SP engines and Hewland/Dallara gearboxes that the racing versions used. 

Wilson

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20 minutes ago, stuny said:

Wilson -

You must really learn to be specific😁:D

Stuart, 

In 2006 I looked at buying one of these cars but it was all a bit "home-cooked" looking for comfort. I was told the body was made by Brandoli in Modena but the workmanship was not to their usual standards. Too many pop rivets, duct tape, exposed glass fibre and carbon lay up mat and assorted cable ties. The supposed 550 HP from the tuned 5.5L V12, were well concealed. I got a Ferrari expert from the UK to look at it for me, when he was on a trip to France and he told me not to touch it with a barge pole. I went instead for the ex Monaco Motor Show Porsche 997 Turbo S Exclusive special with the 550HP Metzger engine in the 4WD chassis. it turned out to be a very good choice, as I really had very little trouble with it over 65,000 miles and 11 years. 

Wilson

Edited by wlaidlaw
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vor 5 Minuten schrieb wlaidlaw:

Stuart, 

In 2006 I looked at buying one of these cars but it was all a bit "home-cooked" looking for comfort. I was told the body was made by Brandoli in Modena but the workmanship was not to their usual standards. Too many pop rivets, duct tape, exposed glass fibre and carbon lay up mat and assorted cable ties. The supposed 550 HP from the tuned 5.5L V12, were well concealed. I got a Ferrari expert from the UK to look at it for me, when he was on a trip to France and he told me not to touch it with a barge pole. I went instead for the ex Monaco Motor Show Porsche 997 Turbo S Exclusive special with the 550HP Metzger engine in the 4WD chassis. it turned out to be a very good choice, as I really had very little trouble with it over 65,000 miles and 11 years. 

Wilson

Now that was very specific but for the wrong car 😉

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vor 30 Minuten schrieb stuny:

Wilson -

You must really learn to be specific😁:D

 

vor einer Stunde schrieb stuny:

It would appear to be a racing car, probably European.

 

Stuart -

You must really learn to be specific 😉

Racing car yes, European also yes but now even more specific please ;-)

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Judging by there being a flying buttress it appears to be an open example of the Mk1 GT-40 but as I'm not too clued-up on those - and by a LONG way at that - I'll wait to find out if I'm barking up the wrong tree before going much further.

I see that there appears to have been at least one X-1 Roadster variant of the '65 Mk.1 GT-40 built so might it be that car?

Philip.

 

Edited by pippy
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vor 27 Minuten schrieb pippy:

Judging by there being a flying buttress it appears to be an open example of the Mk1 GT-40 but as I'm not too clued-up on those - and by a LONG way at that - I'll wait to find out if I'm barking up the wrong tree before going much further.

I see that there appears to have been at least one X-1 Roadster variant of the '65 Mk.1 GT-40 built so might it be that car?

Philip.

 

Bark up that tree, it´s sitting there but needs some fine tuning.

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