Motoring with Case Automobiles

An antique auto enthusiast preserves fine examples of Case automobile engineering, including a 1912 Case touring car and 1913 Case Model O.

| July 2018

  • 1912-case
    The 1912 Case restored by Harold Musolf Sr., on display at a tractor show.
    Photo courtesy Loretta Sorensen
  • 1912-case
    The 40 hp 1912 Case (shown here) is nearly identical, mechanically speaking, to the 1913 Case. The 1912 car had a crank start; the 1913 car had a Westinghouse electric start.
    Photo courtesy Loretta Sorensen
  • 1913-case-40
    The 1913 Case 40 hp Model O at the completion of restoration in 2011.
    Photo courtesy Loretta Sorensen
  • chassi
    The 1913 Case chassis, when restoration began.
    Photo courtesy Loretta Sorensen
  • case-engine
    Engines in 40 hp Case cars built from 1912-14 were a derivative of the Pierce “T” head engine manufactured by Case. The 4-cylinder engine was rated at 40 hp and had a 4-1/2- by 5-1/4-inch bore and stroke.
    Image courtesy Loretta Sorensen
  • case-grill
    Detail of the grille on the 1913 Case. J.I. Case built 1,252 automobiles in 1913.
    Photo courtesy Loretta Sorensen
  • 1912-Case
    Harold and Ann Musolf with their 1912 Case touring car.
    Photo courtesy Loretta Sorensen
  • car-interior
    The beautifully restored interior of the 1912 Case.
    Photo courtesy Loretta Sorensen

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  • 1912-case
  • 1913-case-40
  • chassi
  • case-engine
  • case-grill
  • 1912-Case
  • car-interior

Harold Musolf Jr. and his father, Harold Musolf Sr., never intended to restore vintage automobiles. In the 1950s, they were simply intent on being active members of a local Horseless Carriage Club in Seattle, Washington.

And they certainly didn’t realize that their shared interest would trickle down two generations. Today, Harold Musolf Sr.’s grandson and great-grandson not only share that passion – it is their profession as well.

This four-generation bond began innocently enough when Harold Sr. and Harold Jr. learned that they had to own a pre-1915 automobile in order to be voting members of their local Horseless Carriage Club. Their 1923 Model T was a great car, to be sure, but it would not qualify them as voters. So they started looking for a car that would satisfy the club’s eligibility rules.

“In those days, you didn’t purchase a vintage car already restored,” Harold explains. “You found one in a barn and restored it yourself.” The Musolfs located a 1912 Overland that was in running condition. It had sat outside for years, protected by nothing more than a piece of plywood. Because the owners had used it as a clown car, the Overland was painted odd colors to make it look silly. The car’s wheels had been adjusted for comic effect, so as the relic went down the street, it wobbled in cartoon fashion.



Harold’s father purchased the Overland and set about to restore it. The auto was pretty complete, but had no top or top bows. “Once we had it mostly restored, we learned normal top bows wouldn’t work on that car,” Harold says. “The rear seat was wider than the front.”

Instead, the Musolfs’ Overland required “bow-legged” bows. “A local club member called my dad, saying he had found the correct set of bows for the Overland,” Harold says. “We inspected and purchased them.”



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