Spartan RV Chassis, in Charlotte, MI

We left Bear Cave in Buchanan, MI on Wednesday October 6 at noon with Acey’s mileage at 77,638.3, Thor has 93,064 and we have 1,451miles on our bicycles. We stopped at a rest area to make lunch, stopped to fill up Acey’s fuel and arrived at Spartan RV Chassis at 3:30.

Jim has been concerned about a rattling noise while we drive, weird wear on the outer edge of the tires and a few other issues, so we are going to have Spartan inspect the rig and see what they come up with. We are staying in a parking area at Spartan with a 50amp and fresh water and dump station at our disposal. We met a few other folks also here for service on their motorhomes. They have room for about 30 motorhomes and periodically hold seminars and classes here too.

Across from our parking area was an unusual sight; a whole lot of Amazon Prime delivery trucks were parked on the field; they are ready for delivery except for handles on the passenger doors! There are even more of these trucks parked nearby, also waiting on those handles! By the way, Charlotte, MI is pronounced with the accent on the end, (char LOT) unlike Charlotte, NC.

We got up really early on Thursday, got Acey all closed up and unhooked from the power – and at 7am, the Spartan mechanic came to take Acey in for an inspection to see what they come up with – and to find out if our extended warranty will cover any issues that they might find. We waited in the lounge for a while and got results of the inspection around 10:30. Sure enough, they found several issues – some of which could be covered by our extended warranty. There was a lot of play in the steering wheel, the ball joints needed to be replaced, the shocks had some spacers in the wrong place, some bearings needed replacement, ride height needed adjusting, a hose clamp needed tightening, radiator sight glass needed to be replaced, coolant level sensor was leaking into a wiring harness (apparently a common known issue); and more issues we won’t bore you with! Interesting that the inspection last October in San Diego didn’t find ANY of these problems. Some things definitely were not warranty issues, so we had them fix all those items, and we will get a determination from the insurance company about what they will cover – but we want everything fixed! It rained off and on, so we couldn’t ride bikes today, and we went into town for lunch, and back to the lounge. We got Acey back about 3:30; they fixed the things that were definitely not going to be covered by warranty, but the insurance company had not yet determinied what they would cover. Later in the evening, we heard back from our Spartan rep that the warranty WILL indeed cover several issues, but not others. That will help the impact on our wallet!

Friday, Acey went back in at 7am to have the rest of the problems fixed, and we hoped they could get the work all done today so we can head out on Saturday! Another rainy day – we have been fortunate to not have had many rainy days in the 18 months we have been on the road! We hung out in the lounge for a while and then went to Lansing to see the R. E. Olds Transportation Museum. As we drove into Lansing, we saw the capitol building – both of us were born in Michigan, and Jim’s Dad was born in Lansing. Linda had never been there, and Jim hadn’t been there since he was a young child visiting his grandmother.

The logo features the Curved Dash Oldsmobile at the top – the first Oldsmobile!

This sign gave us some information at to what we would see at the museum, and maybe why Ransom Eli Olds went by “R E”!

Henry Ford was known for his assembly line; however, he did not “invent” it – he made it more efficient.

There was a display of stationary engines – gas and steam powered engines. P F Olds was R E’s father.

This IDEAL ENGINE is a 12 HP Single Verticle Engine, 4 stroke Cycle, Water Cooled, Manufactured by Ideal Motor Company – Mr R.E. Olds was President of Ideal Motor Co

This colorful engine was probably used on a grain binder – whatever that is!

NEW-WAY ENGINE – Sinf=gle Cylinder Vertical, Modle D, Type F Air Cooled, 4 HP @ 800 RPM — New Way Motor CO was established in 1905 in Lansing when Charles H Way, the developer of ClarkMobile Engine, purchased the remaining vehicles of the ClarkMobile Company. The vehicles were fitted with air cooles engines and sold as “New-Ways”. New-Way made only air cooled engines and claimed to be the largest factory in the world dedicated exxclusively to making air cooled engines. They were in business until 1940.

Here is a breif biography of R. E. Olds – a real genius!

Top left – Olds first steam car 1885-6 Top right – Olds gasoline internal combustion engine 1896 Bottom left – Olds second steam car 1892 Bottom right – Olds 1896 gasoline engine with M/M Olds (L), M/M Clark

Here is a reproduction of the first steam carriage that R. E. Olds built during the years 1883-1887

and a bit of information about it

The museum was really packed with cars – hard to get a photo of just one! Here is a reproduction of the 1897 High Wheel Gasoline Motor Carriage

and a bit of information about it

An ELECTRIC vehicle in 1899? You bet! The 1899 Olds Electric Stanhope

Some details about this vehicle

The Curved Dash was very popular – here’s a 1904 Olds Curved Dash Runabout

A little more info about the Curved Dash model

Here’s a 1901 Curved Dash Runabout

This old time clock was interesting – kind of an early computer of sorts

another Curved Dash – 1903 model – this one had a little jaunt overseas!

R. E. Olds – as this display says – “The Genius – The Visionary” He held a number of patents; he lived 1864 – 1950 and had patents as early as 1891; governor for steam engine and as late as 1941; Internal Combustion Engine. Its too bad this display did not photograph well.

R. E. was also a “Master Yacht Designer – Lifelong Love Affair with the Water” In 1882, he built a 25′ steamboat named Mary Ann and had many other boats during his long life!

OK – ever heard of REO Speedwagon?

1925 REO Speedwagon Dump Truck

Here’s a 1974 Diamond Reo Truck

This Diamond Reo Logo is somewhat similar to the Spartan Logo…

This was a fun display – “Baby” REO is exactly half the size of “Mama” Model A REO

There were some old lawnmowers also on display

Do you recall seeing a plate inside the door saying “Body by Fisher”?

Jim is checking out this 1926 Roadster

These cars were HUGE! This is a 1937 Olds Model L37 Club Coupe

This 1948 Dynamic Cruiser is an UNRESTORED ORIGINAL! In amazing condition!

A winning racecar! 1953 Olds 88

This Hurst Hairy Oldsmobile had TWO engines!!

This “fastback” Cutlass looks like the model Linda recalls that her mother drove (a dark green one) – and she remembers her younger brother Rob liked to ride in the platform behind the back seat – in the rear window. How did we survive without seat belts?!

Linda seems to recall they also had a Vista Cruiser that pulled their travel trailer, but maybe it was a Mercury station wagon. This is a 1972 442 Vista Cruiser.

1984 “Jet 84” Race Car

Here’s a 1996 GM EV1 Electric Vehicle

You can read more about the museum here. After our visit to the museum, we stopped in at Lansing Brewing

We got back to Spartan and were so pleased that they were able to complete all the work on Acey – so we will leave in the morning to head to Fort Wayne to visit Jim’s nephew and his adorable daughters!

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Please be sure to comment – at least every now and then – to let us know you are reading the blog and keeping up with our adventures. Thanks for stopping by!


1 thought on “Spartan RV Chassis, in Charlotte, MI”

  1. Now I know the rest of the story; there really was an REO Speed Wagon. Keep on Loving U. Kevin Cronin net worth 25 mill. Great history. Glad to hear you are keeping your RV safe and road-worthy.
    The mechanic says I need torque bars replaced on my car.

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