October 20, 2023
From Africa To North America, A Tourings Tale
August 25, 2023, the kick-off party for the Autofest Nationals, the Kars On King car show, was in full swing in downtown Oshawa. Over a thousand classic cars, including muscle cars, old school tuners, cruisers, and various other vehicle types, decorated the streets. Amidst the Chevelles and Mustangs, a particular few had truly grasped my attention. Notably, this incredible 1911 E-M-F 5 Passenger Standard Touring from the Brass Era was among those.
Front of the 1911 E-M-F 5 Passenger Standard Touring
In June 1908, three visionaries united with aspirations of making a mark in the burgeoning automotive industry. Byron Everitt, William Metzger, and Walter Flanders were the driving forces behind the establishment of the E-M-F Company, a name thoughtfully crafted from the initials of each founder.
Rear of the 1911 E-M-F 5 Passenger Standard Touring
Fast track a few years to 1911, and this E-M-F 5 Passenger Standard Touring emerged from the production line, poised to conquer the roads of the era. Sometime in its early years, this exquisite Touring car embarked on a journey across the Atlantic to South Africa, where it resided until 2001. In that year, it made its triumphant return to North America once more.
The kerosene powered lamp of the E-M-F is a sight to behold of the forgotten ways to illuminate the roads ahead
Upon its return, a small, yet thoughtful effort brought the automobile closer to its original condition. The incorrect elements, like a purple interior and tan coloured canvas top used during its tours in South Africa, including the city of Johannesburg, were graciously removed and replaced with the timely black interior. Despite the interior and top restoration, this antique still wears its historic white paint with pride from its time on the other side of the planet.
Radiator cap of the E-M-F
The current caretakers of this E-M-F had acquired it the year before, a departure from the muscle cars their family had traditionally focused on restoring throughout their lives. Driven by a passion for adventure and the allure of the brass antiques, the owners chose to take on the responsibility of preserving and caring for this Touring car.
The incredible details strewn throughout the automobile, with its gorgeous brass lamps, horn and unique shifters adding to the uniqueness of historic vehicles
Over the past two decades, this distinctive automobile has participated in numerous tours across Canada and various regions of the United States, including three antique tours since it came under the care of its new custodians. One of the noteworthy tours was the Celebration of Brass III event held at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan. At this event, the E-M-F marque was the featured celebration of pre-1916 automobiles for this year’s event. A total of 18 E-M-F family vehicles gathered on the museum grounds, travelling from both Canada and the U.S., reuniting with their fellow autos after a century apart.
Another angle of the brass lamp
While this 112-year-old automobile remains in remarkable condition, the caretakers have encountered their fair share of challenges. Shortly after acquiring this prized antique, they faced an issue when the original aluminium pipe connecting the front and rear engine jugs together failed. Given the scarcity of parts for a vehicle of this vintage, the caretakers opted for a modern solution. They took advantage of 3D modelling technology to create a mould of the original pipe and forged a new replacement, ensuring a swift return to the open roads ahead.
While given some modern LED lights for safety reasons, the original taillight of the E-M-F is still in place on the rear of the beautiful auto
During an early spring outing, as the antique car embarked on its maiden voyage of the season, a catastrophic brake failure occurred. The brake linings had disintegrated, leaving the vehicle to rely solely on metal-on-metal contact for braking during their journey home. Fortunately, no further incidents happened and with the assistance of the HCCASO Car Club, the caretakers swiftly acquired the new skill of relining the antique brakes. They worked diligently to restore the E-M-F to operating condition, and ensured it was back on the road in no time.
The very simplistic interior was finished in a beautiful wood
The E-M-F I had the privilege of witnessing at the Kars on King show was truly a treasure. Laden with a rich history that extended across the globe, it stood as a testament to its enduring journey, surviving over a century on this planet. This deeply cherished antique will undoubtedly persist the test of time, continuing to recount the stories of its remarkable life, one adventure at a time.
The rear seating area of the E-M-F
Until the next time I see you, listen to the stories that can be told from an automobile, you never know what incredible adventures you’ll hear.
The rear seat of the E-M-F was a throne to all who were toured throughout South Africa in the automobiles early days
- Kyle Hanger of Searching for Classics