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    No one identified who was sitting in the back seat of the Dual-Valve Six in the Florida Region Mystery Photograph posted a week ago – so we’re posting another view of the same car – with the landaulet roof lowered – as a very excellent final clue!

    The fellow with the thick-brimmed hat who was sitting in the front seat with the driver in the first Mystery Photo now rides in the rear seat next to _________. We are looking to identify both men (if you now know who the driver is, please mention that, too).

    It helps to use the computer prompt at the bottom right hand corner of the screen to enlarge the photo up to 500% – clicking on the photo does not do that.


    That is the front gate at the White House they just left.

    My guess one is Charles Dawes, Vice President and Calvin Coolidge President. Coolidge on the passenger side and Dawes on the drivers side?

    One could also be Woodrow Wilson.

    Chauffer would be Francis H. Robinson


    I would say Woodrow Wilson and V.P. Thomas Marshall (lifting hat). A quick search on line says Wilson’s chauffeur was George Howard.


    I’m glad folding the landaulet’s roof is encouraging more replies. That is the front gate of the White House – but we still do not have the correct identification of the people in the back seat.

    I just noticed this photograph, unlike the first image of the car, does allow clicking on the image to enlarge it. You can still use the prompt in the lower right hand corner if you want to posterize the image.


    I saw where President Taft Ordered 2 Pierce Arrows in 1909 one being a landaulet. So maybe the license is a 1914?

    They aren’t dressed for an Inauguration or Harding’s funeral which would have been in August 1923.


    I think it is the Prince of Wales, the one who abdicated for the woman from Chicago, what was her name?

    The divorcee, Wallace Simpson?

    it is a very nice landaulet.

    I would love to have a Pierce-Arrow like that one.


    It is not a 1914 DC plate.

    See pic.


    The Prince of Wales visited the US in November of 1919, a year after the end of the First World War. President Wilson had suffered a stroke in October of 1919, but was propped up in Lincoln’s bed at the White House to receive him. Once President Wilson had his stroke he very rarely, if ever, left the White House, as he was largely incapacitated. So if this photo was taken after October of 1919, it cannot be President Wilson in the car.


    I guess then it ain’t the bloody Prince.

    The first pic showed plates that are clearly 24, 25, or 27, just by the configuration of the lettering above the registration number 102.

    All I know is that it was not Zachary Taylor! ;-)


    Can we get a ruling on the chauffeur?

    That will fix the time period.


    The photo caption does not provide an exact date. Please do not forget both Mystery Photos show different views of the same landaulet.


    Could the mystery guy be Charles Lindbergh?

    That would be late May 1927, just after he crossed the Atlantic.

    He has a striking resemblance to the Prince of Wales.


    The White House chauffeurs are discussed in a book called “Presidents on Wheels,” by Herbert Ridegway Collins. He says Francis Robinsopn replaced Taft’s chauffeur George Robinson. A second back-up, combination chauffeur and mechanic, was Edward (Doc) White. White was the chauffeur for Harding, Coolidge and Hoover.

    This car’s license plate, DC 102, indicates it is the car reserved for the President’s wife. So the driver is unknown to me. I’m adding the other view of the car here, in case it helps.

    Tomorrow is the Amelia Island conocurs here in Florida. Many Pierce enthusiasts go – I will hold the next update until Monday in case someone attending would like to add something, even if it is only another Zachary Taylor joke.


    Could it be the summer of 1924 with Charles Dawes and Owen Young coming from the White House after presenting the Dawes Plan for war reparations?


    I know this is heresy, but Taft’s favorite car was a White Steamer.

    Some say he owned it before he was elected. Others say it was part of

    the White House purchase. $12,500 was budgeted by Congress to

    purchase the cars, set up the carriage house for autos, and hire a

    chauffeur. The White($4,000),2 Pierces at $5,000+ each, and an

    electric for his wife($2,800.The last year a White Steamer was built

    was 1911,so it was a used car in 1912.The White is still in existence

    while the others haven’t made it. Disclaimer: I own a 1915 White



    Congratulations to Peter Williams for correctly identified the famous person in the back seat of the landaulet as the Prince of Wales! No one has identified the other fellow with the hat or the chauffeur. Please add a note if you come across information about either one.

    The first Mystery Photo, with the landaulet roof closed, was taken ouside Wasington’s Union Station duirng the Prince’s 1924 visit to the United States. Calvin Coolidge was President then, the DC 102 license plate identifies the car as the the one reserved for Mrs. Coolidge.

    The Mystery Photos encouraged me to look for other information about the Prince’s trip. Querying Google for something like the “1924 Prince of Wales United States trip” brings up a 22-minute British Pathe newsreel showing his ship coming into New York, followed by a parade and riding in a Pierce-Arrow touring car (The scene showing the Pierce moves very quickly – it is towards the beginning of the reel).

    I also looked through the New York Times for information, starting with the beginning of the White House Garage, by President Taft, in 1909 – it was big news then. It began with the two Pierces snd a White steam car, the latter a touring car for Taft’s personal use. Mrs. Taft, said to have negotiated the contract for the Pierce-Arrows, wanted to learn how to drive one of the cars but was discouraged from doing so and bought an electric runabout, considered a more feminine vehicle, for her personal use, bringing the Garage total to four.

    The Florida Region regularly reproduces period Pierce-Arrow photos in our quarterly hardcopy newsletter – so we can promise more mystery photos to come.


    I’ve just found the date of both Pierce-Arrow photos as August 30, 1924. The Prince of Wales arrived by ship in New York City the previous day, on what appears to be a mostly private visit to play polo on Long Island for two weeks followed by a visit to his ranch in Alberta. But first, he went to Washington to have lunch with President and Mrs. Coolidge. A special train was assembled to take him there – the Rolls-Royce dealer joined in, lending four cars to take him to the train – picking him up on Long Island on the morning of the 30th and bringing him back from Washington that evening.

    We still do not know who was the other passenger wearing a hat, but noticed two possible names in the news reports – could he have been Major Solbert, President Coolidge’s aide, or J. Butler Wright, the Assistant Secretary of State?

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