The Hatfield Buggy Type Chassis. There are a large number of high-wheeled vehicles fitted with solid rubber tires, light opposed-cylinder motors, and planetary or friction-disk transmissions, now upon the market. One of the most. interesting of these, as well as one of the simplest, is the Hat-field "Buggyabout," a plan view of the chassis of vfhich we illustrate. As can be readily seen, the motive power consists of the double-opposed-cylinder, air-cooled motor of 12 horse-power, which drives, through a pair of friction disks, the transverse countershaft placed directly under the seat in the center of the machine. The disk on this countershaft can be slid to one side or the other of the disk on the motor crankshaft, thus securing the forward speeds and the reverse. Separate driving chains run from sprockets on the ends of this countershaft to the large sprockets, which are mounted on the rear wheels through a peculiar trussed-wire arrangement. To allow for the differential motion of the gear wheels at the countershaft, a patented type of double ratchet is provided in a drum on each end of this shaft. One set of these ratchets are used in going forward, and the other when the car is reversed. The steering gear used on this car is very similar to that used on some of the first automobiles ever built in this country. The whole front axle is swung on a fifth wheel. Attached to this axle is a semicircle of angle iron upon which slides a chain. This chain is fastened to each end of the axle, and it passes around a horizontal sprocket mounted upon the vertical steering post. When the steering wheel is turned, the sprocket moves the chain and swings the entire front .axle. A turnbuckle makes it possible to tighten the chain if necessary. The friction disk is slid upon the countershaft by means of a lever placed beside the driver's seat, while pressure upon a pedal applies this disk to that on the flywheel and starts the car ahead. Brakes are located upon the countershaft, and are very powerful. They are applied by another pedal. A gasoline tank is located in the dash'ooard, and carries sufficient fuel for a run of 160 miles. Another machine exhibited at the Grand Central Palace show, and which was very similar in construction to the Hatfield, was that made by the Schacht Manufacturing Company, of Cincinnati, Ohio. A water-cooled motor is used to propel this machine, however, and the gasoline tank is located in the back of the seat, while the dashboard consists of a radiator. The steering gear of the Schacht machine is of the ordinary automobile type, but with the differences mentioned, the car is quite similar to the machine shown above.
This article was originally published with the title "Transmissions and Chassis" in Scientific American 97, 19, 324 (November 1907)