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Re: Cromeen Durant 4+4 Speedster

Yes, it would be the perfect car for the Museum.

Where Are You From? Fremont, CA

Do You own a car built by Durant? Two of them

Re: Cromeen Durant 4+4 Speedster

I stopped by and met Jeff I think it was also in 03...Jeff fired the Speedster for us and yes, that dang thing does snort with authority...I asked Jeff about the crankshaft an he said that in the beginning they had a method of welding two W-5 crankshafts together but after having problems with them breaking at the weld they then had a one piece common crank made for the engine(s)...I ask Jeff how the heck did they do that, he said that they machined the crank out of a solid block of steel...Needles to say I was impressed.

Where Are You From? Yuma / Leavenworth

Do You own a car built by Durant? several

Re: Cromeen Durant 4+4 Speedster

Well there is an article in an earlier Durant magazine about the original construction of this beast by a worker/employee of the Durant Plant I believe in Oakland, CA. Very interesting for sure, maybe it would be a good one to reprint sometime. After Jeff developed Dementia and then passed away, I had called a company in Texas to discuss making the license plate toppers or something for the club. He knew the Cromeens both Jeff and his son and stated that Jeff Cromeens son got all the automobiles and stuff Jeff had. I don't recall the name of his Son, but when I get a chance, I can find him and give him a call maybe to see what happened to it. Does anybody remember where in Texas they lived?

Re: Cromeen Durant 4+4 Speedster

Jeff lived in Sunnyvale and later in Mesquite, TX. He had three sons, one was Gary. I think Gary was the one I dealt with when I acquired all the spare parts.

Where Are You From? Texarkana, TX

Do You own a car built by Durant? Several and one in the "oven"!

Re: Cromeen Durant 4+4 Speedster

Jeff was living in Mosquite, TX (east of Dallas) when I stopped by in 03... However, I just dug out a coupla Durant standards given to me by Carol Tintenor which has an article by Jeff and Elaine Cromeens- Sunnyvale, TX... That was in Volume 19 May 1994 Number 1, The article was about the second half of the Great American Race....My memory is not the best but I'm thinking that Jeff told me that he put all the cars up for auction except for the Speedster... I was looking for A-22 fenders at the time so Jeff put me in contact with Don....Oh, Eddie Cromeens was their sons name.

Where Are You From? Yuma / Leavenworth

Do You own a car built by Durant? several

Re: Cromeen Durant 4+4 Speedster

Yes, the article mentions both Gary and Eddie, Eddie being the chief mechanic and and part time driver on that race, It doesn't mention the third sons name.

Where Are You From? Yuma / Leavenworth

Do You own a car built by Durant? several

Re: Cromeen Durant 4+4 Speedster


After his garage and a few collector cars burned up, he wss looking for parts. I sold him a
power unit from a Model 75, complete from radiator to 4 speed transmission. I don't know if
he used it anywhere. I met him with the parts and slid them off my trailer onto his and had lunch.

When he came to the Mall of America, he remembered me, and asked me if I'd take a ride. So we raced around some city streets in Bloomington. He was a happy guy.

Later, I found out about the broken cranks, which wasn't surprising. Those bent hanger wire crankshafts couldn't take much torque. I suggested that he go to a prototype shop in California
and have a one-piece made, with firing order like a Packard straight eight, [might as well do it right.] Much stronger alloy, able to flex and take the vibration. So he did so. Quite costly,
but there are more than a few shops to serve the niche market.

One such project is from YouTube:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1ttGgKjcJM

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes

Re: Cromeen Durant 4+4 Speedster

Hi fellows:
My wife and I visited with Jeff and Eileen in Mesquite in 2001. Also dropped in on Don Shilling in Texarcana with Jeff for a visit.
Jeff took me for a long drive out into the countryside in the speedster demonstrating to me how to keep the speed constant up hill and down - very essential in the Great Race. We were about 50 miles out into the country when we turned around - then Jeff said - you drive back and see how good you can be. What a thrill - I will never forget it. However, I could not even come close to holding the speed at a constant rate. Jeff kept encouraging me and finally on one hill I came close to holding it steady.
When Jeff passed away, Gary got the speedster. I do not have his address, but I don't think that he lived a great distance from Mesquite.
We picked up a lot of parts from Jeff and also from Don Shilling on that trip. The 1922 Durant touring on the latest Partner is the result. That car is owned by my son, Will. It was incorrectly listed as being owned by me and my wife. We own the 1932 Frontenac and that is enough to keep me busy.
Jeff attended many Durant events. Attended the meet in Fremont Nebraska with 3 cars including the speedster. I believe that he and Gary competed in eight different Great Races. The number 72 he chose was for his age when he drove in the first race.
I have some great memories of that family.
Gord

Where Are You From? Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1932 Frontenac assembled by Dominion Motors Ltd., Leaside

Re: Cromeen Durant 4+4 Speedster

Don Shilling
I found some pics from Butch James of a trip we made in 2003 to visit Jeff Cromeen in Dallas. Jeff built this replica of the 1925 Durant 4+4 Speedster and entered it in the Great Race. It was built from an extended A22 frame and running gear, Star radiator and shell, and two W5 engines. The front engine is a Star W5 and the rear is a Durant W5.

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Hi Don, thankyou so much for posting these pictures of what you have described as the Jeff Cromeen built "replica of the 1925 Durant 4+4 Speedster". I gather from Google that the 4+4 Speedster was an actual Durant production line model but is rare? and not some in period special of which Jeff has made a replica or even an indeendent design all his own? I haven't found one online yet as a 1925, only 1924.

I love it and Jeff's workmanship and interpretation is simply first rate.

Would it be OK to show these pic's on my blog with a link back to this forum thread of course. I ask because it is broadly relevant to where I'm going from here with my own attempt at building a Durant based Indycar tribute.

Some questions (which probably can't be answered, especially if the car's current whereabouts are unknown); are the two 4 cylinder blocks welded or bolted together? What about crank and valve timing and attachment? Does it run as a properly timed straight 8 or as two fours or as one big four. Was custom crank damping required if it is running as a straight 8 and if so, how did Jeff resolve? I have considered trying this sort of thing myself in the past.

Thankyou again everyone for helping to resolve the identity of my own Durant chassis and to you in particular Don. My own research is now deeply mired in the confusion of Cliff Durant's involvement in the 20's Indy 500 scene. I have still not been able to pick which car is to be the basic starting point for my "tribute" special. The historical tangle of these cars is astonishing.

Where Are You From? South Australia

Do You own a car built by Durant? Chassis only, model M

Re: Cromeen Durant 4+4 Speedster

Just re-read this whole thread and between you all you have answered most of my questions about this very cool car. Great commmunity atmosphere here. I reckon your club meetings must be fun & friendly affairs:relaxed:

Cheers, Mark.

Browny's Place

Where Are You From? South Australia

Do You own a car built by Durant? Chassis only, model M

Re: Cromeen Durant 4+4 Speedster

Mark, this is a fantastic club. Full of information, history and friendship. Let me encourage you to consider joining us as a member. We would truly enjoy following you on your project and the club could benefit greatly with your membership. I’m sure we could use your input on subjects as well.
Our gatherings are a great deal of fun! We were please to host some members from Australia at last years big gathering. I hope you will consider.

Where Are You From? Brighton Michigan

Re: Cromeen Durant 4+4 Speedster

Hi Brian. I am definitely considering joining your club, even all the way from the other side of the world. The open friendly community you show here on your public forum is a great advert for your club and honestly, without this forum's help, my project would be going nowhere. Now, instead of worrying about South Australian bureaucratic problems (well, still a little...), I'm researching which Durant connected Indy racer is to be the starting point for my own tribute; now what a tangled web of cars that is and I can see, fertile ground for passing off a perhaps initially well intentioned self built tribute as a genuine race car. My build will and is being documented as much and as well as I can on my blog and will always have in the car a copy of the process. My hope is that the car will stay in my family when I'm gone as Jeff Cromeen's special appears to have.

Regarding joining the club, is it affiliated with any clubs in Australia, particularly South Australia? I ask because there are still Australian bureaucratic hoops for me to jump through. My build will definitely be classified as a street-rod which will require either a full engineering report and sign off (very expensive) or examination and sign off by a qualified TAC Inspector, a process generally related to being a member of a club with an affilition with the ASRF (Australian Street Rod Federation) so, in the main, hot-rod clubs. Ideally, I would love to join one of the local clubs which doesn't have friction between restorers and rodders as I really do intend my Durant to be a tribute to a type of racing vehicle which I would personally love to own, drive and maybe even hill-climb a little.

Given my brain cancer treatments, money is a big factor in all of this sadly.

All the best and thankyou for the invitation to join the club which I'm sure will happen sooner rather than later :smile:

Sorry for my wordy replies. May I start another thread to discuss which Durant racers I am considering as the basis of my tribute and ask you all which one you would start with as the basis for my design?

Where Are You From? South Australia

Do You own a car built by Durant? Chassis only, model M

Re: Cromeen Durant 4+4 Speedster

Jeff Cromeens was my grandfather who unfortunately passed away. I now have the Durant Speedster in my garage in Virginia.

Where Are You From? VA

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes

Re: Cromeen Durant 4+4 Speedster

Jeff was a great guy. It's good to know the speedster is safe in loving hands.

Dave

Where Are You From? Iowa

Do You own a car built by Durant? yes

 

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