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Man unveils latest work

Replicates 1904 Oldsmobile

June 17, 2016
By J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

With a top speed of 21 miles per hour, Bill Simcox of New Middletown maneuvered his replica 1904 Oldsmobile pie wagon through the Western Reserve Village June 9 at the Canfield Fairgrounds.

The vehicle, decorated for the Railroad Express Agency and lettered for Youngstown-Struthers-Lowellville, was just completed prior to Memorial Day.

''I started on it Oct. 15, 2015,'' Simcox said. ''I finished it on April 10 of this year.''

Article Photos

Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
John Simcox guides the wheels of the 1904 replica Oldsmobile pie wagon as his brother and builder, Bill Simcox, watches his creation hit the pavement.

Some of the parts he needed were found online while others had to be handmade. He said the horn and the two oil-fired headlights were found in Michigan.

Parts that were fabricated by Simcox included the entire front end suspension.

''I designed and built it from a photograph of one of the vehicle,'' Simcox said.

Among some of the harder builds were the four wooden spoke wheels. The center was made out of maple, and the spokes were of white oak.

''It took me two months of trial and error to build the first wheel,'' he said. ''There are 13 spokes on each that presented a big challenge. If one is off 1/16 of an inch, by the time you are done going all the way around, your off by over 8/4 of an inch.''

Simcox said the only big change from the original is the height. He added close to a foot to make it more comfortable in parades.

As for being called pie wagons, Simcox said the 1904 delivery vehicles were the favorite for bakeries who wanted to deliver their goods, such as pies.

Since the vehicle was lettered for the REA, of which there was an REA office in Youngstown during the early 1900s, he felt getting a photo by the classic old Canfield Erie Railroad Station would be fitting. It also was a chance for his brother, John Simcox, to visit another old mechanical friend.

''I worked at the Youngstown Sheet and Tube and have ran Old (Number) 301 many times,'' he said.

Both brothers plan to continue showing the 1904 Oldsmobile at car shows and possibly in parades.

Bill said he will have it at this year's Cars in the Park at Boardman Park later this summer.



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