Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum
The Compound was named for its unique engine that expanded--or compounded--the exhaust gases through two stages. Compounding steam engines date back at least as far as 1781, while a limited number of internal combustion compound engines were patented or built later in the 19th century to run mills, boats and streetcars. In 1903 the Graham-Fox Motor Company exhibited a prototype automobile called the Graham-Fox Compound Engine Car. The following year it went into production as the Compound under the Eisenhuth Horseless Vehicle (E.H.V.) Company in Middletown, CT.
According to Willy, this is a car that requires lots of attention from the driver, from starting to applying the brakes. "First, if you follow a series of minor details, the car starts rather easy, much more so than you would expect. Once you step into the car you need to stay focused on what you and the car are doing. As you select a gear (it has a sliding gear transmission, with the pattern to shift being in a straight line), one must be very careful not to miss a gear or you could cause some damage. The engine does not like to idle for long periods, as it tends to load up the center cylinder. Then when you put the car in motion and speed up the engine, it will smoke a little and begin to give a little pop from time to time until it clears the center cylinder. At that point it becomes very smooth and you can feel the power increase. All in all, this is a rather fun car to drive and exciting to see and hear run."
|Dennis Gage from the Speed Channel drives the Compound|
while filming an episode for "My Classic Car"