1916 Saxon Model 14's Engine Comes to Life after 50 Years

The classic car was found in a desolate state in a Connecticut basement.
Fabienne Lang

Some unexpected surprises can await anyone in a dark basement, and they're typically unwanted. However, sometimes you do find some forgotten gems. 

That's precisely what happened to Jeryl Schriever and Alex Huppe who found a 1916 Saxon Model 14 laying in pieces in a basement in Connecticut in the U.S. It had been there for about 45 to 50 years. 

The duo bought the Saxon last year and went about putting it back together in the same style as the Golden Flier, another Saxon Model 14 that was used in 1916 to promote women's suffrage in the U.S.

The Drive was the first to report on the news.


The recently-discovered Saxon 1916 is now standing proudly at the Seal Cove Auto Museum in Maine and is part of its Engines of Change exhibit.

The team at the museum worked hard to put the vehicle back to its former glory, and late last week even managed to crank her engine up — something that hadn't been done in approximately five decades

Watching and listening to an old engine fire back up to life is quite something, and you can sense the team's thrill in the YouTube video. Granted, one of these old numbers doesn't give quite as much power or make as much sound as current-day engines, but that's part of their beauty. 

The Saxon 1916 Model 14 gave out 12.5 horsepower thanks to its four-cylinder Continental engine with a crank starter, as the Drive explained. For a light model such as the Saxon 16 Model 14, which only weighs some 544 kg (1,200 pounds), this type of engine made the car faster than many others of its generation.

The team had cleaned and lubricated the distributor, fixed a leaky fuel valve above the exhaust, and the vehicle was re-timed to make sure the crank starter didn't hurt anyone attempting to use it. 

A choke cable and a condenser were missing from the parts found in the basement, so the team added these to the Saxon. Then, they successfully fired her up!

It was an exciting moment at the Seal Cove Auto Museum last week, and it's not yet done providing excitement. The team's next steps include driving the car down a road and adding a hood to the top. 

Take a look at the video below, it'll brighten up your Monday: 


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