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Thread: 1913 Thor Model U - a restoration in progress.

  1. #1

    Default 1913 Thor Model U - a restoration in progress.

    I bought my 13 Thor on e-Bay around 2012 (and probably paid too much at the time Ė thatís life). It had been painted by the sellerís brother in the 1950s and, although it was a pretty crude job with a paintbrush and house paint, it had at least preserved the bike pretty well (except the petrol tank which was probably already moth-eaten by then). It came from a family in Ohio and the bike was the sellerís fatherís sole transport. I had the fortune to speak to the seller, Pete Baltzly, when I bought the bike. Pete was a veteran of WWII in the Pacific (like my father) and fought at Iwo Jima, he was a real gentlemen and a pleasure to talk to. He had plenty of stories about his father, Milton, who owned the Thor (possibly from new), up until his death in the early Ď30s. Photo of Milton Baltzly attached (taken in the twenties I think Ė maybe earlier?) with cigar in hand Ė I guess the petrol tank didnít leak back then! The photo shows the bike with a tank-top toolbox, and the typical 13 model U toolbox behind the frame tube is missing Ė has anyone seen a period photo of another 13U with this configuration?

    Sadly, Pete passed away early this year at age 89, so Iíve missed my chance to find out more about his father and the history of the bike. I started restoring it, with much help from a friend, earlier this year and good progress has been made. New tank and handlebars have been made, along with a lot of the clutch components (which had been damaged in the same accident as the handlebars it seems). The original guards were in great condition as was the engine, frame, wheels and other cycle parts. A new tank has been made using the original as a pattern. The wheels are done now, thanks to Buchanans for the spokes. The seat is with Chuck and Jo at the Saddleshop being recovered. The cylinders are out being nickel plated, parts are being painted and the hope is to have everything back in time to assemble it over Christmas. Iíll post more photos as progress is made.

    Iíve set up a Facebook page called ďThor Motorcycles Ė the Aurora Automatic Machinery CompanyĒ and hope to post a lot of info on Thors there soon (when work and home duties permit). Please check it out and feel free to post anything Thor on there.

    Now for a request to the Forum members: Iíd like to find out who bought the original paint white 1912 ex-Otis Chandler Thor. Does anyone know who bought it at the auction back in 2006 (photo attached)? Iíd like to get some good close-up photos of the pin-striping on the frame so that I can get it right on my bike. Any photos of the Patrick Simmons 13 Thor would also be appreciated Ė thatís one nice restoration!

    Rob Elliott - AMCA Member 16215
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Chandler, AZ
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Hi Rob,
    Here is a pic of the fork pinstripe on the 14 U at motorcyclepedia, may help you. I'm not sure when I'll be back down there (maybe in a month) but I'll try to grab more for you.

    I have some other pics i can scan as well that may be the bike you are requesting. Will look through this week.

    Paul

    Thor fork pinstripe.jpg

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for the reply and the photo! Sorry for the delayed response - you know how work and domestic responsibilities get this time of year! The madness over for now, I can focus on the more important things in life - with two wheels.

    Would love to see more photos posted if you can find time to scan them.

    Regards, Rob

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Chandler, AZ
    Posts
    8

    Default

    IMG_1147.JPGIMG_1148.JPGIMG_1153.JPGIMG_1154.JPGIMG_1155.JPG

    Hi Rob,

    See additional pics of the bike in Newburgh, keep in mind this bike is for the most part what I believe to be a '14 and I am not sure the pinstripe differences from a '13 if there are any (maybe fork details from other pics i have seen?). Someone with an original paint '13, please chime in if you know.

    BTW - I am in search of an eccentric pedal assy or drawings/pics if someone could help me out. Please message me as not to hijack Rob's post.

    thanks,
    Paul

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Chandler, AZ
    Posts
    8

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    4,085

    Default

    You just don't see pin striping like that anymore. Thanks for posting those pictures Paul.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  7. #7

    Default

    Terrific! Many thanks for the photos Paul! They're the best reference I've seen yet.
    Will post photos of the finished paintwork after its done in the next couple of weeks.
    Have sent eccentric details to your email address - hope they help.
    Regards, Rob

  8. #8

    Default My 1913 Thor u

    image.jpgimage.jpgimage.jpgimage.jpg
    Quote Originally Posted by Norvilbob View Post
    I bought my 13 Thor on e-Bay around 2012 (and probably paid too much at the time Ė thatís life). It had been painted by the sellerís brother in the 1950s and, although it was a pretty crude job with a paintbrush and house paint, it had at least preserved the bike pretty well (except the petrol tank which was probably already moth-eaten by then). It came from a family in Ohio and the bike was the sellerís fatherís sole transport. I had the fortune to speak to the seller, Pete Baltzly, when I bought the bike. Pete was a veteran of WWII in the Pacific (like my father) and fought at Iwo Jima, he was a real gentlemen and a pleasure to talk to. He had plenty of stories about his father, Milton, who owned the Thor (possibly from new), up until his death in the early Ď30s. Photo of Milton Baltzly attached (taken in the twenties I think Ė maybe earlier?) with cigar in hand Ė I guess the petrol tank didnít leak back then! The photo shows the bike with a tank-top toolbox, and the typical 13 model U toolbox behind the frame tube is missing Ė has anyone seen a period photo of another 13U with this configuration?

    Sadly, Pete passed away early this year at age 89, so Iíve missed my chance to find out more about his father and the history of the bike. I started restoring it, with much help from a friend, earlier this year and good progress has been made. New tank and handlebars have been made, along with a lot of the clutch components (which had been damaged in the same accident as the handlebars it seems). The original guards were in great condition as was the engine, frame, wheels and other cycle parts. A new tank has been made using the original as a pattern. The wheels are done now, thanks to Buchanans for the spokes. The seat is with Chuck and Jo at the Saddleshop being recovered. The cylinders are out being nickel plated, parts are being painted and the hope is to have everything back in time to assemble it over Christmas. Iíll post more photos as progress is made.

    Iíve set up a Facebook page called ďThor Motorcycles Ė the Aurora Automatic Machinery CompanyĒ and hope to post a lot of info on Thors there soon (when work and home duties permit). Please check it out and feel free to post anything Thor on there.

    Now for a request to the Forum members: Iíd like to find out who bought the original paint white 1912 ex-Otis Chandler Thor. Does anyone know who bought it at the auction back in 2006 (photo attached)? Iíd like to get some good close-up photos of the pin-striping on the frame so that I can get it right on my bike. Any photos of the Patrick Simmons 13 Thor would also be appreciated Ė thatís one nice restoration!

    Rob Elliott - AMCA Member 16215

  9. #9

    Default

    Rob
    Just came across you posts.
    Do you still need pictures of the ex-Otis Chandler Thor? I have access to it. There is a even better original unrestored Thor in this area also but requires some travel.
    Spacke2speed

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Blighty
    Posts
    264

    Default

    There is an amazing original 1913 Thor in Solvang. There are a couple of pics on my thread here:

    http://www.antiquemotorcycle.org/bbo...hlight=solvang

    John

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