Quantcast

Found a Pistol in a Car, in a garage, from 1934!

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Leedavisone, Jan 10, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Leedavisone

    Leedavisone Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    New Mexico
    You will not believe this... I am a restorer of antique cars (and trucks), and in my usual search, I bought a car in far Eastern Pennsylvania, just across from Trenton. It was a car bought in 1934, driven till the death of the owner in 1954, then parked in a garage. One spectacular car... a 1934 REO Flying Cloud. I don't have a picture, for it is in the snowed in shop out in the hills above Albuquerque, and I can't get in. (I will post one later). But... The car is a beauty for restoration... what all of us dream about. The '34 Flying Cloud was the end of Ransom Olds' career (He started Oldsmobile, quit in 1904, and started REO... "Ransom Eli Olds"). It is in superb restorable condition... all there, Black, long and sinister looking, suicide doors, pinstripes, complete, and spectacular. This (actually the 1933 REO) was the first true automatic transmission on any car in the world... it has a Tee-handle on the dash to change gears. Cigar lighter, old Arvin Tube radio, Classy hubcaps, even the upolstery may be good enough to keep. Great car.
    But! It has two glove compartments (those were the days). In one, I found a pistol. It is a Colt double action revolver, marked "Colt D.A.41" on the barrel. My local gun man determined that it is a .41 Long Colt. Great condition! A bit of very minimal corrosion and trivial pitting over the entire surface. What impresses me is the quality of the manufacture. Here is the question... Is there a serial number hidden somewhere that would tell me the age? I looked everywhere, but can find none.
    As for my other cars and trucks that I have stashed to restore (I have 14), I started a search... looking everywhere, under seats, glove boxes, trunks... nothing good. Well, I did find three distrubutors in one of my 1931 Hupmobiles. But that just can't compare to a colt. Lee Davis
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 10, 2007
  2. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    16,314
    Location:
    Centennial, CO
    Open the cylinder, should be marked on the frame underneath it.
     
  3. Hemicuda

    Hemicuda member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    1,064
    Location:
    Middle of the Mitten!, Michigan
    WAY cool find...

    My find is not nearly as good or rare, but I found a like new Remington Nylon 66 behind the second seat of my 1970 Dodge 4-door crewcab... (really cool for me, since I collect Nylon 66's!)

    Is this thesame REO that made the "Spreedwagon) trucks that the band is named after?
     
  4. Leedavisone

    Leedavisone Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    New Mexico
    No, nothing

    I opened the cylinder, nothing. I looked carefully, but there are no marks anywhere inside the frame that surrounds the cylinder. LBD
     
  5. Leedavisone

    Leedavisone Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    New Mexico
    REO's

    Yes, a cool find also! Any pistol is wonderful when found in an unlikely place! (the price is right). Yes, this is the REO of REO Speedwagon fame. I actually have 2 Speedwagons... a 1925 Speedwagon pickup, and a 1948 Speedwagon Dump truck (the only existing '48 dump). The '25 speedwagon I am restoring to the original specs of the Philadelphia Police Department... as one of their paddy wagons. They said "Philadelphia Police Patrol" on the side. Lots of fun. LBD
     
  6. Pork Fat

    Pork Fat Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Messages:
    157
    Location:
    Charleston SC
    How come this stuff.....

    ...happens to other people? Cool find. Sounds like a great car too.
     
  7. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    10,756
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Leedavisone
    New Member

    Join Date: 01-02-07
    Location: New Mexico

    Not to be all paranoid and stuff, but doesn't this present a slight legal problem? :uhoh:
     
  8. ChefJeff1

    ChefJeff1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Messages:
    748
    Location:
    Mountains of Idaho
    nice find, I bet it has an interesting "history".
     
  9. Leedavisone

    Leedavisone Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    New Mexico
    It can happen

    Yeah... it happens to others, right?
    Well, it will happen if you are passionate about what you do. I am feverish about buying antique cars to restore. I am out of money right now, but when I was looking, I bought and sold a lot, keeping the cream for myself (the last two years). I found some spectacular cars (half on Ebay). among them: 1935 Ford Coupe, 1955 MG Magnette, 1925 Reo Speedwagon, 1926 Buick Master, 1932 Chevrolet Deluxe, 1929 Cadillac LaSalle, 1915 Hupmobile Touring, and a 1930 Chevrolet Landau, one of 3 in existance.
    My problem is that now I have the gun itch. I have always wanted a 1911, and so now I am going to the gun stores. My problem is that I want to buy more cars, so I can search them. Sad... very sad. LBD
     
  10. Sindawe

    Sindawe Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    3,480
    Location:
    Outside The People's Republic of Boulder, CO
    Cool find! :)
    Yes, similar happened to me on a regular basis when I was around cars a lot (car wash for a rental company). Among the items I found in returns were:

    Compact fishing setup (snagged by the boss after 30 days in Lost & Found)
    Mini-binoculars (snagged by me after 30 days)
    A couple of Grateful Deat tapes.
    Loaded pipe and bag of marijuana (given to friend undergoing chemo at the time, too bad for the spacy stoners :evil: )
    $1200.00 cash (he came back for it w/in 10 min of leaving)
    Freshly poached Mule Deer (Fish & Wildlife claimed that one)

    No guns though. 'Prolly a good thing that.
     
  11. CB900F

    CB900F Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Messages:
    4,717
    Leeda;

    It's entirely possible that there is no S/N on the gun. I know it's a hard concept for our NEA educated, politically correct members to grasp, but there are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, or more, guns that were manufactured & sold in this country that did not have serial numbers. It is no longer possible to either make or import a firearm in or into this country sans S/N, but at one time it was a common practice. People of this era would regard the mandetory placement of a S/N on table lamps in much the same light :p as the populace wondering why it was needed on firearms then.

    As for the possible legal problem; gonna be tough proving criminal intent given the circumstances. You could, of course, go attempt to put it into the system & believe that the system will treat you as an innocent bystander. You could also believe that Godzilla really existed.

    900F
     
  12. SMLE

    SMLE Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Messages:
    1,398
    Location:
    Albuquerque New Mexico
    Legal Problem?

    I doubt it. Nobody knew the revolver was there and it was not the object of hte transaction. It would hard to prove intent in court.

    FWIW, since you're in/near Albuquerque, have you taken the gun to Ron Peterson? If not, he might be able to shed some light on the age of your Colt. I also recall seeing some .41 Colt Cowboy Action ammo at Ron's.
     
  13. Travis McGee

    Travis McGee Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Messages:
    1,790
    Location:
    NE Florida
    You gotta love your work!
    Sorta makes me think, "What if Indiana Jones was into antique automobiles?"
    Getting into an old "time capsule" garage must make the heart race!
     
  14. Outlander1

    Outlander1 member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    Wyfriggenoming
    GCA of 68 . No numbers , no worries . Call Colt .
     
  15. Leedavisone

    Leedavisone Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    New Mexico
    "My Time capsule garage"

    Yes, I guess I do have a time capsule in the garage. As for the legal ramifications of the pistol, I am surprised to hear that there may be any. Actually, what could be the problem? I have to admit, I haven't bought a gun since 1972, so I am a pendejo when it comes to modern rules. But, I am not one to give in to authority, of any kind.
    As for the cars and trucks in the garage, it is like going into a run-down museum that has been abandoned for 100 years when you step into the shop. Two rows of old cars that look like they need a good washing. But, I traded the wife and misery of 30 years for the cars and a new young Mexican Fiance. I feel like I am starting fresh. And, I have a pistol to defend the home turf... LBD
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2007
  16. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Messages:
    768
    Location:
    IL
    If you didn't not find it by opening the cylinder, the only other place is under the grip panels. By the looks of it, this maybe a First Edition, Colt New Navy/New Army DS model. They were made in .38 short & long and .41 short & long Colt. Barrells were 3, 4.5, and 6 inches. These were made from 1889-1894. The second edition added a double cylinder notches and double locking bolt and was made between 1892-1907.

    The Serial Number Ranges start for the New Navy #1 in 1892 through #29100 in 1907. You notice that the first edition started in 1889 and these numbers start in 1892. A 3 year gap..... If this is correct, is it possible that there is 3 years of gun production without serial numbers? Possible, but not likely. The first 5,000 were made and went to the Navy. See if the initials U.S.N. are on the butt.

    If this is indeed a 1st edition it is a rare colt (no serial?), rough condition. Mint 1st edition would be $1500 plus. I'm no gun-grading-expert, but base on the one picture I'd put the the gun in 40% to 50% condition.

    I don't think that you should sell it but keep it as part of the history of your REO. I have a soft spot for the Olds/REO brand due to employment. Just clean it well, and keep it lubed. Let a qualified gunsmith check it out. If it were me, I'd pull the grips, disassemble the major parts and give is a long oil bath, with Kroll or something like that. I would never fire any high power stuff through it.

    You know if that car came from Chicago with a gun in the glove box... We think that old Al Caponne gang could of been involved..... Enjoy your find.


    Just wondering, was it loaded when you found it?
     
  17. Hemicuda

    Hemicuda member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    1,064
    Location:
    Middle of the Mitten!, Michigan
    I am the worlds BIGGEST REO Speedwagon (the band) fan... and I do own a 1926 REO Speedwagon firetruck... (City of Chicago, none the less, where the band is from!) I just have NO clue as to what the history behind the TRUCKS are... (I do know the band's history, and where the name CAME from, their name was after a firetruck REO Speedwagon... (hence the reason I have one)

    WAY cool find!

    my TRUE automotive hobby is MoPar MUSCLECARS as my name sugguests...
     
  18. SDC

    SDC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Messages:
    3,116
    Location:
    People's Republic of Canada
    I THINK you've got a Colt 1889 Navy; there should be a serial number on it, on the bottom front of the butt, near where your little finger would sit; they're usually in two lines, one above the other (ie. "10" OVER "459" would be S/N 10459)
     
  19. Kim

    Kim Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2003
    Messages:
    1,488
    I always hoped I could find a stash of buried gold from some of my relatives whom I have heard distrusted the Feds and espically FDR (IMAGINE THAT). I guess I come about my politics naturally. If I do I will never tell. They were poor but people like that in that time hoarded their gold and did not take to the .gov making them turn it in. I often wonder how much buried gold is out in the hills.
     
  20. Dr.Who

    Dr.Who Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2003
    Messages:
    768
    Location:
    IL
    HemiCuda

    REO's where made in Lansing Michigan. The Old REO Plant is gone and the Oldsmobile Headquarters Building is still present( not for long ). But there is a good R.E. Olds Musseum 5 blocks east of the capitol just south of Michigan Ave. Once a year they have a huge show and swap meet. Keep looking at www.oldsclub.org for details.

    But being in Michigan, you must already knew that.... http://www.reoldsmuseum.org/
     
  21. Leedavisone

    Leedavisone Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Reo's and colts

    I am very familiar with REO's... been to Lansing. But I have a serial number problem with the Colt AND the REO. I looked the pistol over. No serial number. I took off the grips... scratched on the inside of the grips is a crude 126... probably from the batch of pistols on the line. But no serial number. I looked everywhere carefully... nothing. Nor is there any place where it could have been filed off. Same with my REO. I have the title, but there is no serial number on the car. Normally, the serial number on REOs was put on the frame under the driver wheel well. Nothing there. The engine numbers don't come close to the title. So, it seems like the owner (I actually know his name) was a secretive man... no numbers to follow him. But, (This was just a thought, now that I reflect on it)... maybe there is something to this. The owner of the car, and the pistol, was a civilian employee of the Navy at the War Dept. Man, I can think of all sorts of conspiracies here... Well, probably nothing though. I will go out tomorrow and take a picture of the car. LBD
     
  22. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    23,908
    Location:
    Arizona
    The revolver in question is a Colt Model 1892 New Army (Identified by the rampent colt logo at the top of the grip). The serial number should be stamped on front of the butt in two rows.

    If it hasn't been noticed I suspect it was filed off. The number might not be there, but it was when the revolver left the factory.

    There may be patent dates on the top or side of the barrel.
    From 1891 to '95 the last date was the lat date was November 6th 1888
    From 1895 to 1905 the last date was March 5, '95
    From 1905 on the last date was Apr. 9, 1901

    There should be an assembly number on the cylinder release, which appears to have been filed off.

    The number on the grip is the last 3 of the serial number. The stocks were individually fit to that gun, and numbered so they'd get back on the right one after the revolver was blued.
     
  23. ilcylic

    ilcylic Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Messages:
    1,002
    Location:
    Desert Southwest, USA
    Whoa. Cool.

    That sounds like an awesome car, too.

    It's two of my favorite things all rolled into one neat package!
     
  24. Leedavisone

    Leedavisone Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    144
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Found some numbers!

    Ok... I found something. On the top of the barrel, the very top, just where the barrel meets the body of the pistol is some lettering. I got out the talcum powder, for it is extremely small engraved lettering. reads:

    Colt's PT F A MFG Co
    Hartford Ct USA
    Pat. Aug 5 84 Nov 6 88 mar 5 95

    As for other markings, there is a single o on the handle under the grips, on either side. Other than that, there is nothing. No file offs, either. I am a machinist, and I can tell the original bluing... it has never been filed, anywhere. Now... if someone can just help me with the REO... LBD
     
  25. SDC

    SDC Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Messages:
    3,116
    Location:
    People's Republic of Canada
    Another faint possibility is to have someone take off the sideplate; since that was another hand-fitted part, it's likely stamped on the inside with the original serial number.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice