My Dad’s 1912 Chase automobile

In 1938 my Dad, Robert H. Rowland, and his two brothers did some work for a farmer in Wheat Ridge, Colorado and were given a 1912 Chase as payment for their work.  The Chase didn’t run and was in pretty bad shape.  They pulled it back to their farm in Lakewood with a team of horses.  My Dad was 17 at the time.  When he turned eighteen he moved to southern California.   After WWII he married and moved to Hemet California.  In 1955 a friend of his was in Colorado with a large truck and offered to haul the Chase to Hemet.  The Chase was in pretty bad shape, engine was froze, hood was missing,  hard rubber tires were shot, wood need replacing, including several wheel spokes and parts were missing.  For the next couple years he spent much of his spare time repairing damaged wood, rebuilding the engine and locating missing parts.  He replaces the solid rubber on all four wheels.  By 1957 it was restored like new and we spent many weekends for the next four years trailering the Chase to parades all over Southern California.  It was in many parades in Hemet, several in Palm Springs, San Diego, Oceanside, Sun City and was in the Disneyland parade twice.  It won many trophies for most unusual and best restored.   In 1995 I and my family moved to Boulder Colorado and in 1998 my Dad tailored the Chase out to Boulder and turned the title over to me.  We lived in a small development outside Boulder and a couple times a year would start the Chase and drive it around our development.  Since its top speed is only about 20 mph it was not safe to drive it outside the development.  We now live in Lafayette Colorado and most of the time it now stays in the garage.  I try to start it and run around the neighborhood with the kids and grand-kids in the back.

Chase made automobiles from 1908 to 1918.  Most were either delivery wagons or farm wagons.  Our Chase is a 1912 farm wagon.  It looks like a horse drawn wagon with wooden spoked wheels, solid rubber tires, a flat be for hauling hay, a high buck board seat with an engine up front.  The engine is a three cylinder two cycle air cooled engine with an up draft carburetor.  It has a band transmission, two forward gears and one reverse with two large chains driving the wheels.  It has a hand crank and at times was very difficult to start.  In 1990 my Dad added an electric starter to its large flywheel which made it much easier to start, but is now less original.

My Dad wrote a lot of letters to antique owners across the country and only found a half dozen Chases left and only two 1912 Chases like his.  Since I took owner ship I have run a lot of searches on the Internet and only found a couple more Chases, one in a car museum and another privately owned.

Below are a few pictures of our Chase.