Early American Automobile Industry

Chapter 30


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January 5, Motor Age

A Long Hard Pull

As this is written, the pages of the daily and weekly newspapers are filled with reviews of the year just gone, and practically all of these say that we
have turned the corner and that better times are coming. We hope and believe that this is true. But there is going to be no waving of a fairy wand, good business immediately taking the place of the more or less dark days that you have been experiencing. It is going to be a long, hard pull and you will need all of the strength that you have gained by the galley slave days of the period we are leaving. The return to prosperity of your own business and that of your neighbors will balance the effort you put in to reach the high levels. For more than 25 years the automotive industry has responded when the road was clear. It is not yet clear, but the fogs and mist of pessimism are lifting and good times loom ahead if we move cautiously and steadily.Each must do his part, for the industry must move as a whole.


Copied from the January, 1922 Motor Age Magazine

The 1922 Car is in every respect the best product ever turned out by the automobile makers of this country. It is a better car to look upon and it is better from a performance standpoint. The car is more ruggedly built, although not necessarily heavier. It is more serviceable, that is, accessibility has received more attention than ever before. With the above facts in mind it is quite easy for anyone to see that other things being favorable, the 1922 car ought to be the best selling and servicing proposition offered the public. There is no change of a radical nature in the new cars. The time seems passed for such changes. There has been a steady development from year to year in the chassis and bodies of our cars and with the standardization work of the Society of Automotive Engineers going on steadily it is hardly to be wondered at that
the cars of today follow pretty much along the same lines of construction. Thre are exceptions, of course. For instance, while practically all cars use engines of the internal
combustion type, it cannot be said that this is the approved type because there is the steam car, which has made good for many years, and there is the electric vehicle, which long has proven its worth, particularly in the large cities.


Dealer Financing Not So Serious

The question of dealer financing is not nearly so serious as it was a year ago. No evidence of false optimism is to be found among automobile manufacturers who are here for the New York show. They have no illusions about what the coming year has in store for them. A few expect sales of passenger cars in 1922 to exceed those of 1921 by about 25 per cent, but the majority believe production this year will be on about the same basis as last year. While it Is the consensus of opinion that there will be no falling off from the production of 1,5*5^)00 passenger cars In 1921, there are many factory executives who believe this ontpnt will be centralized in a few factories to a greater extent than it was last year. There Is no disposition to wink at the fact that competition will be keener than it ever has been, especially in lines which are In practically the same class. It is felt that If there are further price concessions It will be by rival companies fighting for sales of cars.

Neara Car

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1922 Neara Car Automobile

January 5, 1922 Motor Age
Two-Wheeled Vehicle

An automobile on two wheels is the main thought which brought about the design of the Nera-Car, a small vehicle resembling in some ways the
motorcycle. It is intended primarily to supplant the motor car where very often an excess of machine and energy is called into play to transport only one person. Its riding comfort is amplified, it is stated, by the ideal saddle mounting on coil and flat springs, giving a true vertical movement, free from pitching and lateral motion. Additional riding comfort is claimed through the use of 26 by 3 in. tires, much oversize for a vehicle weighing about 165 lbs. The wheelbaseis 55 in. The car is easy to operate. The throttling levers are in finger reach of the righ-hand grip on the handlebar. The starter pedal is well placed for the left foot. An easy turning of the left-hand grip has the same effect as throwing in or out a clutch, but much softer. The five-speed drive secures smooth acceleration and is operated by a lever within easy reach of the right hand. The 21/2 hp. engine has ample power for the car's light weight, and with its five-speed transmission gives good hill-climbing ability. Maximum speed on level roads is 35 m.p.h. Footboards are covered with pyramid aluminum mats fastened with split rivets, making them easy to replace, and giving a lasting and pleasing appearance

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January 5, 1922 MOTOR AGE
Government Tax Blunder Cause of Lincoln Failure

$4,000,000 Mistake at Time of Refinancing Company Cause of Receivership

DETROIT, Jan. 4In an order issued by Federal Judge Arthur J. Tuttle here the Lincoln Motors Corp. has beenordered sold Feb. 4. The action followed a request by counsel for Henry M. Inland, president of the concern, who says he has a buyer. Judge Tuttle set a sale price of $8,000,000 on the corporation.

Washington, Jan. 3An unusual instance of blundering by the government in the realm of taxation is revealed today in the decision Wednesday of the
collector of internal revenue reducing taxes assessed against the Lincoln Motor Co. from $4,500,000 to less than $500,000. It was the action of the government on Nov. 4 last in assessing this tax, which forced the Lincoln company into the hands of a receiver. The collapse of several smaller accessory corporations in Michigan and elsewhere, which were creditors of the Lincoln, and of a number of the distributing concerns, formed in other cities to handle the new car, followed immediately. In all, it is estimated that business institutions of a total capital value of $12,000,000 were

Now, only a little more than a month later, the government has decided it was a mistake, and that the major portion of the tax should not have been assessed. The action of the government in pressing the tax assessment in November is all the more startling in light of the history of the Lincoln company. The plant was built almost entirely with money advanced by the government, for the purpose of manufacturing Liberty airplane motors. It produced 6,500 of these motors before the armistice, when it was just beginning to reach its maxi- mum of production. When the government no longer needed the plant for its war purpose it was sold to the Lincoln Motor Co., a Delaware corporation. The sale price represented approximately 55 per cent of cost. The reduced price, of course, was due to the abnormal construction costs prevailing during the war period and the recognized necessity of the material transformation of the property by its purchasers to adapt it to automobile construction. In effect, the government came along some time thereafter and assessed the plant for purposes of taxation at its full war cost. It denominated as profit the difference between original cost and the subsequent 55 per cent sale price and assessed a tax on this profit at the maximum rate of 80 per cent.

The 1918 tax law plainly intended to provide for this specific situation. It declared in effect that a manufacturer producing materials exclusively for war
purposes was allowed to deduct from his income within three years after the war the loss represented by depreciation from the abnormal war cost of his plant. At the moment when the tax was levied, in November, officials of the Lincoln company were in New York, where they had about closed negotiations for a loan sufficient to carry the company through until spring, when it was believed that reviving business would enable it to carry itself. The immediate effect of the assessment was to destroy the credit of the company. In the face of it no one would make a loan.


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Oakland, Calif., Jan. 13A warrant has been asked of the district attorneyof Alameda County by Erwin C. Easton, acting commissioner of corporations, for the arrest of H. T. Severin, president of the Severin Motor Car Co. of Kansas City, Mo., and his wife, Mrs. L. M. Severin, on a charge of fraud in the sale of $25,000 worth of stock in the Severin Motor Car Co. Severin and his wife, who were stopping at the Whitecotton hotel in Berkeley, about six miles from Oakland, left that hotel on Dec. 29, 1921, without leaving any address.


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1922 Gray Sedan Automobile

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1922 Gray Roadster Automobile


February 9, 1922. MOTOR AGE

Ford Buys Lincoln Co. and Immediately Lowers Prices Lelands to Continue in Management 600 Workmen Ordered to Report at Once

Dtroit, Mich., Feb. 6The Lincoln Motor Co. began operation today as a Ford company under Leland direction, Henry M. Leland continuing as president and Wilfred C. Leland, vice-president and general manager. No changes will be made in the executive personnel of the company, Wilfred Leland said, the company resuming work under the same manufacturing and distribution policies as maintained before the receivership. New prices announced effective at once.

No other changes can be looked for until largely increased production or changed market conditions make them possible, Wilfred Leland said. Where production methods can be improved without sacrifice of quality, changes will be made, Leland said, but these will be carefully determined. Reports that specialized production men
would be introduced into the personnel were denied by him. The probabilities are that Ford engineers will work with the Lelands in an advisory way in determining changes. No declaration was made as to the position of the Lelands in the new company aside from their executive positions. It is expected that when the articles of incorporation of the new company are filed they will be found to hold a considerable share in the stock of the new company, with the control vested in the Ford family.


Two months later Ford and Lelands parted company for unknown and unexplained reasons. One month later, press reports stated that a Leland automobile was in the works. It never happened.

BRIDGEPORT, Conn., Feb. 6

Application for a receiver for the Locomobile Co. was filed with Judge Edwin S. Thomas of the Federal district court here Feb. 1 by attorneys representing the company and several creditors. It was asserted that the interests of both bank and merchandise creditors as well as those of stockholders would be served best by a reorganization through a receivership. The application was granted by Judge Thomas. It was asserted that the company is doing a considerable volume of business and has approximately $500,000 in cash deposits. Officers of the Company declared that several reorganization plans were under consideration, but that in any event, the policy of the company to build a limited number of high priced cars would be continued. Elmer H. Havens, president of the company, made the following statement in reference to receivership proceedings:

"The banking and merchandise interests and the present officers of the Locomobile Co. are in agreement that a receivership is the best solution to the problems of the company. It is a natural step towards a proper reorganization that should make possible the operation of the Locomobile plant upon a sound financial basis. "The New York banking interests and other creditors asked me to assume the administration of the plant. My per- sonal interest in the Locomobile as a Bridgeport institution impelled me, at a considerable personal sacrifice, to accept this responsibility.

"Since then we have been able to line up many of the old Locomobile organizations in our renewed activities. We have lowered the price of our various models on an average of $1,000 and have been able to get more than our share of business in the quality motor car field. Although, owing to the heavy burdens we have assumed, our progress has been slow, it has been steady. We have decided, however, that the best means of preserving the Locomobile as an institution is the receivership.

"This will enable us to carry out one of several plans, through which a complete reorganization will be effected. I am justified in stating very definitely that whichever proposed alternative is followed the familiar policies of the  Locomobile company will be preserved. Personally, I have great faith in the Locomobile. I believe the prestige it has earned the world over, supported by the enthusiastic specialists who have developed it and the loyal workmen who build it. Insure its future. The Locomobile is an institution; the ownership of the plan is merely a detail."


When the company went into receivership, Briggs Carriage Factory, Amesbury, Ma, who had been making bodies for them since their first order for bodies in 1899, also decided to stop operations.


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The Bay State Medallion

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In 1918, Richard Long, who had accumulated a small fortune by manufacturing canvas products for the government, decided to enter the automobile business. He purchased the body building business from A.G. Bela who had been making Winton and Franklin bodies in Framingham from 1916. To keep himself busy after his wife was killed in an aircraft accident in 1920, he decided to start making automobiles. He hired Herbert Snow, a well known automobile engineer, who had worked for some of the largest automobile companies and was between jobs,  to design the car. Even before one sketch was drawn, Long had a name for his car, Bay State. It was  made in Massachusetts, the Bay State, and it was going to be sold only in Massachusetts.

The 1922 Baystate was introduced on the mezzanine of the Hotel Comodore during the New York Automobile Show. There was an invitation to compare it with any automobile in any price range. The body built by Long was a masterpiece. All models of the Bay Sate were offered ranging from $1800-$2500.


Copied from the 1922 Motor Age Magazine

Chicago, March, 25, 1922

The R. H. Long Co. of Worcester and Framington, Mass., producer of the Bay State automobiles, has opened a factory branch in Chicago, for the distribution of cars to dealers in Chicago, in Illinois and throughout the West. L. E. Commings, connected with the Long company for 22 years, is general manager and his assistant is J. A. Howlett, who was with the Dodge distributors in Chicago for two years. The company expects to obtain 12 dealers in Chicago and already has contracts with two. These are the Brennan & Doty Co. and the Warner Motor Sales Co. The factory branch will sell at wholesale only and expects to carry a stock of 120 cars at all times. The models and retail prices of the cars are: Phaeton, $1800; roadster, $1800; coupe, $2400; sedan, $2500. The car is assembled and is equipped with six cylinder Continental engine, and other standard units. The bodies are of aluminum. The R. H. Long Co. has for years been engaged in the manufacture of automobile bodies.

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1922 King Closed Sedan Automobile

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1922 King Closed Sedanette Automobile

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1925 Bay State Convertible

Soon he expanded from in-state to regional sales and soon he had dealerships in Chicago. In 1926, he was in the midst of changing locations to Worcester when money tightened. He had just built the largest building in the city for the Bay State. The banks refused more financing and by years end, he was out of business. During this four year spand, he had manufactured one of the finest cars built in the 1920's. All of this from a man who did not drive a car and had no driver's license.

Luxor Cab Mfg. Company

1925 Standish Sedan

Both the Standish and the Luxor were luxury cars and built by the Luxor Cab Mfg. Company owned by H.P. Molier. Also as with the Luxor, the Standish had nickel trimings instead of brass. The engines were different. The engine in the Luxor was a Buda four and the Standish had a contiental six. Prices for the closed model were $2525 and $2100 for the open. It was supposed to be built in the recent vacated R.H. Long's factory, but only one sedan and maybe a touring were made.

Luxor Cab Company

1925 Luxor Sedan Taxi

Except for the engines, there was very little difference between the Standish and the Luxor. Luxor did move into the vacant building that where once the Bay State automobile was made. The Luxor was made until 1928. It had one claim to fame; the supreme court ruled in its favor that it had a copyright to its colors.

NEW YORK, April 4.

March probably was the best month the automotive industry has had since August, 1920. While detailed figures are not available, the output of Ford provides the only element of doubt. Practically all the other large producers turned out more motor vehicles than in any 30-day period in a year and a half. This applies to all branches of the industrypassenger cars, trucks, tractors and parts. Passenger car output for the first quarter ran far ahead of the same period in 1921. The first quarter of 1920 was the largest the industry ever had. Truck production in the first three months of this year gained even more in comparison with the opening quarter of 1921.


The new Stewart-Coats steam car made by the Y. F. Stewart Motor Car Co., Bowling Green, Ohio, is a five passenger, six cylinder, 110-inch wheelbase job with electric lighting and starting. It will retail at about $ I 085. In appearance the car resembles the modern internal combustion engine car, its lines resembling the conservative sport model type. The company planning to build this new creation of the industry is the Coats Co., Merchants Bank Building, Indianapolis.The rear axle is a combination of an engine and axle. Six cylinders are used, three driving each rear wheel. From this construction it will be seen that the differential has. been eliminated. The cylinders are set in the center of the rear axle and each group drives a single throw crankshaft which is part of and integral with the drive shaft for each wheel..

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1922 Stewart-Coats Steamer

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Cutaway Showing Location of Boiler

Cut from the May 2, 1922 Motor Age Magazine

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1,250.000m cars were sold in the first six months and it was an all tim high for any year. Across the board, most  of the manufacturers ad realized a 100% increease over the lasrt few years and once more skilled works were being sought for emp;oyment.


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1922 American Rolls-Royce Automobile Advertisement

July 6, 1922 MOTOR AGE

Associated Motors Merger Completed Nine Companies Form $80,000,000 Corporation Passenger Cars and Trucks of Va-rious Capacities to Be Made

Announcement was made here today for the completion or the organization of the Associated Motor Industries, negotiations for which have been In progress for about 10 months as related from time to time in Motor Age. The company as now organized is an $180,000,000 corporation chartered in Delaware and has acquired by purchase full ownership of nine companies manufacturing automobiles, trucks, parts and equipment. Following are the nine companies:

National Motor Car & Vehicle Corporation, Indianapolis, Ind.; manufacturer of  National cars., Covert Gear Co., Lockport, N. Y., manufacturer of transmissions, clutches and other car controls,  Recording: & Computing Machines Co., Dayton, O.. manufacturers of ignition systems, starters, magnetos and other electrical equipment, Jackson Motors Corp., Jackson, Mich., manufacturer of Jackson automobiles and four wheel drive trucks,  Kentucky Wagon Mfg. Co., Louisville, Ky., manufacturer of Dixie Flyer automobiles, and of trucks, wagons, wheels and bodies, Saginaw Sheet Metal Works, Saginaw, Mich., manufacturer of sheet metal parts for automobiles and trucks, Traffic Motor Truck Corp., St. Louis, Mo., manufacturer of Traffic Trucks, Murray-Tregurtha Corporation, Boston. Mass., manufacturer of gasoline engines,  H. F. Holbrook Co., New York City, manufacturer of automobile bodies.

NEW YORK, July 22

Two more spectacular moves for the expansion of Durant Motors, Inc., have been announced this week by W. C. Durant. The first was that Durant will assume the presidency of the Locomobile Co. and control its destinies hereafter. The second was the incorporation in Michigan of the Flint Motors Co., which will manufacture at Long Island City and in Flint a light six-cylinder car which will sell for $1,180.

The Locomobile announcement, which came first, had been discounted. It did not include details of the financial arrangements under which Durant takes control but it paid high tribute to the character of the Locomobile and stated emphatically that this car will be continued in its present exclusive class and that it will be manufactured as originally in the factory at Bridgeport. No price change is contemplated at this time. Present owners will be assured of adequate service. Production will be governed entirely by demand.

By the incorporation of the Flint Motors Co., which will have a plant at Flint, Durant has kept the pledge he made to the city of Flint, his former home, when he organized Durant Motors, that one of its plants would be located there. The factory will be similar in size to that built at Lansing for production of the Durant 4. The Flint car will be a refinement of the so-called Chrysler-6 which was to  be manufactured in the huge Elizabeth, N. J., plant of the Willys Corp., which recently was taken over by Durant Motors. When Durant purchased this plant he acquired the rights to the Chrysler car which had been designed at a cost of approximately $2,000,000. The car will be redesigned and made somewhat larger than the original model. It will include the seven bearing crankshaft and other special features.

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Kokomo, Indiana's Tribute to its Native Son and His 1893-Haynes-Apperson Automobile
July 4, 1922



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1921 Birmingham  Four Door Sedan
Birmingham No-Axle Motor Corp. Jamestown, NY

Copied from The 1922 Motor Age Magazine

Promoters of No-Axel Motors Company Indicted for Fraud Federal Grand Jury Alleges Misuse of Mails in Sale of $300,000 of Stock Said to be Worthless

Washington, Aug. 12Charged with having sold worthless stock to the amount of more than $300,000 to Virginia, Maryland and District of Columbia investors, through misrepresentation, 18 officials of the Birmingham No-Axel Motors Corporation were indicted by the federal grand jury, on a specific charge of violation of federal statute No. 215, involving misuse of the United States mails.

Those indicted are: George B. Mechem Sr., George B. Mechem Jr., Ida M. Mechem, Vance W. Mechem, Samuel A. Carson, Thomas E. Dicken, Harlan Van Wyck, C. A. Rye, Martin Linquist, Alexander J. Guttman, and others. The indictment against the company officials returned as a result or more than ten months' Investigation by the Post Office officials who charge that agents of the company sold hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stock on fictitious holdings and on promises which, according to the government's case, "the said Birmingham Motors knew never would be complied with."

MOTOR AGE August 31, 1922

All Ford Plants to Shut Down Sept. 16, Fuel Shortage Responsible; No Date Set for Resumption

Henry Ford Issues Statement Censuring "Wall Street Manipulators"Won't Pay High Prices

Detroit, Aug. 28Declaring that Wall Street manipulators are responsible for the coal shortage, Henry Ford has ordered the closing of all his plants on Sept. 16. He states that he will not reopen them until he can obtain coal at what he considers a fair price. Telegraphic notices have been sent to about 2,000 sources of supply to cease shipment until further notice. A formal notice signed by Edsel Ford states: "On account of coal shortage we will be unable to operate our plants after Saturday, Sept. 16. No material will be received if shipped other than as detailed in the letter following."

It is estimated that the closing of the Ford plants will be responsible for the laying off of more than 1,000,000 workmen. There are approximately 50,000
employes at the Highland Park plant, 20,000 at the River Ronge and other Detroit plants, and 30,000 at Ford branches throughout the country. There are 1,600 plants scattered throughout the country whose principal business is the supplying of parts and materials for Ford cars. Henry Ford reiterated the statement this morning that he will not pay excessive prices for steel or coal. He stated that he could get coal if he were willing to pay over the market price and that he had been offered 60,000 tons at $6 a
ton. He refuses to pay more than $4.50 a ton. Ford has sufficient coal on hand to operate until Sept. 16 and then to keep the factory ovens and boilers warm for  an indefinite period.

Ford production has been running in excess of 5,000 cars a day. None of the other Detroit factories are affected as seriously as Ford. When asked when the plants would resume. Ford stated that he had no idea and that the situation seemed to him impossible.

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1922 Dagmar Sportster


September 21, 1922, MOTOR AGE

Ford Plants Suspend Car Manufacturing Stopped At All of Company's Branches Production of Parts for Cars Now in Service Will Continue for a Week

Deroit, Sept. 18Manufacturing operations were suspended Saturday at all the plants of the Ford Motor Co. in this city and its assembly branches throughout the country will close as soon as operating conditions permit, most of them within this week. No formal statement as to the duration of the shutdown has been made. Going into the closing period, the company declares there are no stocks of new cars in its branches or dealer salesrooms throughout the country and that the closing is prompted solely by the coal and steel situations. Retail sales in the past four months and up to the closing day have been about 5,000 a day, taxing the capacity of production facilities.

The experimental department of the factory is continuing work on improvements in the line, despite the general closing, and it was said changes might be expected as the experimental work is advanced. As a result of the closing, about 80,000 men in the Ford factories, including Lincoln, are out of work in Detroit, and probably 30,000 more in Ford assembly plants are affected. A considerable number of men will be employed for another week in manufacturing parts for Ford cars now in use and the service department will continue to function throughout the shutdown period. An inventory is being taken in all plants while closed.

Cut from the September Issue of the Motor Age Magazine

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1893 Philbion SteamerAutomobile


The Barley Motor Car Co., Kalamazoo, MIch., manufacturers of the Roamer, have entered the low priced six cylinder field with a car bearing the company name and known as the Barley six. It is similiar to the Roamer model. The wheel base is 118 inches

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1922 Barley Touring Automobile

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1922 Barley Closed Sedan,Three-qurater View

In August, 1922, George Hopkins of the Barley Motor Car Company, Kalamazoo, Mi, announce plans for a new model known as the Barley would be put into production in addition of the Romer that the company had been making since 1916. It was to be a new design that was to compliment the high price Roamer. A sports touring an a sedan was put into production in September. The company  stopped making the Barley in 1924

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1922 Gray Sedan Automobile

The Gray Motor Corporation was capitalized for $4,000.000 in 1920 and bought the Gray Motor Company, Detroit, Mi,  that was a builder of engines .The men behind the venture were Frank Beall and William Blackburn. Both of them had been executives of two well known automobile manufacturers in that city. By the time that production was planned to begin, there was a severe downturn in the industry and the production was delayed until the end of 1921. It was a $500 model to compete with the Model T Ford. Like Ford,  the engine was 20 horsepower. On a cross country rip from San Francisco in 1922, it averaged 34 miles per gallon that set a new record. Gray predicted that over 200,000 cars would be sold per year. This was never realized. In fact, only 1800 cars were built by June, 1923. Henry Ford had predicted in 1914, that no one could compete with the Model T and the Gray company soon realized that. In 1925, the Gary model was discontinued. It was sold at auction in 1926.


December 21, 1922, MOTOR AGE

Nine body styles mounted on a single standard chassis comprise the Courier line. This newcomer into the ranks of automobile manufacturers will exhibit its product at the shows this winter. The company is now in moderate production and has been shipping cars to its dealers for some time. The  bodies are made in the shops of the company itself at Sandusky, O. The chassis, which is assembled in this plant, possesses some features which are of exclusively Courier design. The 116 in. wheelbase chassis incorporates a Falls model T-8000, six-cylinder, valve-in-head engine. This engine is a stock product, with the exception of the fitting of a dry sump oiling system for which some exceptional oil economy claims are made. The engine, it is claimed, develops 46 hp. on the block at 2600 r.p.m. The five-passenger car weighs 2825 lbs., ready for the road..Aspeed range of from 2 to well over 60 m.p.h. is developed. This is with a 32x4 in. tire.

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1922 Maibohm Closed Sedan Automobile

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1922 Courier Sports Phaeton Automobile

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1922 Courier Five-Passenger Btougham Automobile

The Courier was a continuation of the Maibohm automobile that had recently declared bankruptcy. The new company was incorporated as Arrow Motors with Frank Burch as the president.  In a short time the company was reorganized as Courier Motors. After a total production of 373 cars., the company faded away without even an article from the press.

Copied from the 1922 Motor Age Magazine

Chalmers Company Now Is Integral Part of Maxwell Manufacture and MerchandisingWill Be Continued UnderMaxwell Policy

Detroit, Dec. 19With the expiration of the time in which objection might be filed to the sale of the Chalmers company to Maxwell Motor Corp., the plant and property have passed to the latter company and are how owned 100 percent by it. In a statement by President William R. Wilson, he said the Chalmers company will continue operations as in the past and that the sale of Chalmers cars will be continued under that name. He said further that Chalmers will now have the full benefit of the organization that has made Maxwell successful and that it now has behind it the entire financial resources of the Maxwell interests. Dealers were reported to be en-
thusiastic over the constructive outlook and the company, he said, is planning largely increased shipping schedules for 1923. In both the case of Maxwell and Chalmers, the schedules for the new year have been only tentatively fixed and will not be whipped into definite form until just preceding the national shows.


Edward "Eddie" Rickenbacker was a well known figure in professional racing before he joined the Army and became one of its greatest heroes and had won the Medal of Honor for his bravery as a pilot in the Air Corp. He had been out of the service for three years when he was approached by Barney Everitt, former owner of and Everitt automobiles, to get his permission to name a new car after him that Everitt was about ready to put into production. Everitt also sought help from his two partners of the former E.M.F. Motor Car Company and the three became partners once again.  Rickenbacker agreed to the idea and in 1921, Rickenbacker Motor Company was incorporated with Rickenbacker as vice-president in charge of sales. the Rickenbacker automobile emblem would be his famous "Hat in  the Ring" logo that was used for his army squadron.

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1922 Rickenbacker Four Door sedan

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Rickenbacker automobiles made their preview at the 1922 New York Automobile Show with a sedan, touring and coupe models. They were six-cylinder, 58 hp with a guaranteed 60 Mph. with a guaranteed of no vibration. A chassis with four wheel brakes was also on display. This was the first chassis with four wheel brakes.


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1923 Rickenbacker D6 Sedan

Rickenbacker motors announced in 1923 that all models would have four wheel brakes. Packard had made this announcement two weeks previously. However, the Rickenbacker was the first medium priced automobile in America with four wheel brakes. Other companies who were caught by surprise denounced ths a a careless idea that would cause many accidents. All of these naysayers had them on their cars by 1928.

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1923 Rickenbacker Advertisement

Rickenbacker sales never did live up to expectations. The 1925 models offered   that had a vertical  eight, 80 hp motors and a six-cylinder 68 hp. A new model, a coach styled brougham, was also built that would account for the majority of the sales.

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1926 Rickenbacker Boattail  Coupe

A Super Boattail model that was touted as America's fastest stock car capable of doing 90 mph was introduced at the 1926 New York Automobile Show. During the year Rickenbacken resigned because of the bickering within the company. Everitt struggled through receivership and announced that 5,000 cars would be built in 1927. However, he gave up and the company folded in February, 1927.

The Biggest Automotive Year Take This Headline As You PleaseIn Prospect or Retrospect. It Stands Both Ways

The biggest automotive year! To the forward looking optimists with which the industry is bounteously blessed this year that means the hope of 1923. To those of shorter vision, if there be any, who believe that the future holds nothing so good as the past, it means the fact of 1922. Look at it as you may, it appears fairly safe to predict that 1923 WILL BE the best automotive year, but to do so, it must wrest the title from 1922 which already has admirably won it. This year, as never before in history, the American people have bought and used automotive products, and here on the threshold of the new year there are no indications that the purse strings, so generously loosed for this great industry of highway transportation, are to be drawn. The outstanding reasons why next year should be the greatest in the history of the automotive industry were discussed in an article in Motor Age, Nov. 2. and the fundamental conditions set forth there remain such as to fully justify the conclusion that next year's prospect for the automo-tive merchant is the brightest he has ever had. With practically all of 1922 behind us we are prepared to measure the extent of this year's triumph and to consider inquiringly the reasons which have contributed to so brilliant a record.

Rapidly approaching a total of more than 2,500,000 motor vehicles, this year's production appears certain to exceed that of the next largest year by fully 300,000 vehicles. The total production in the first 11 months of this year was approximately 2,345,120, the November output having been 232,000. Thus it is seen that if 200,000 vehicles are made in December the figure of 2,500,000 for this year will be exceeded. With the majority of factories operating intensively and endeavoring to shorten as much as possible, or entirely eliminate their inventory shutdown periods, it is practically assured that the December production will exceed 200,000

By 1924, a  great many margues that had been making cars from the very beginning would be out of business. Some of these were Winton, Haynes, Apperson, Stanley, Austin, and Maxwell to name a few.  Other marques were not so well known.

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1920  R & V Knight Touring
Root and Vandervoort Engineering Co., East Moline, Illinois 


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1922 Hanover Cycle Car Roadster
Hanover Motor Car Co. Hanover, PA


1921-1922 Washington Delux
The Washington Car Company, Eaton OH.

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1922 Handley-Knight Sedan
Handley Motors Inc. Kalamazoo, MI 

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1923 Jewett Roadster
Paige-Detroit Motor Car Co. Detroit, MI 

At the urging of General Motors, Fisher Body had bought the Fleetwood Metal Body Company, one of the most prestigeous body makers in the country. General Motors boughtmcontrolling interest in Fisher Body in 1918 to make Cadillac bodies. By 1926, General Motors had bought the remainder of Fisher Body and Fisher Body was now making bodies exclusively for General Motors.

The industry continued through the next several years with many ups and downs, but none as severely as the last two. From 1923 to 1929 was a period of consolidation and rivarly between four giant corporations; General Motors, Chrysler, Ford, and Durant.

Many of the independents that were able to survive, hit a brick wall in 1929 when the Great Depression began.  They either collapsed into bankruptcy or their finances would be so depleted that they struggled for another few years begore calling it quits. This list included Dorris, Cunningham, and Lexington. By  1930, over ninty percent of all automobiles that had been built from the begining of the industry would be out of business.  Amesbury, MA  had 30 companies building bodies from 1895 to 1930, and they would be reduced to two and within two years, they would be gone. Many of the surviving ones would be owned by large corporations who were General Motors, Ford Motors, and Chrysler Motors. Other manufacturers were also able to withstand the depression years and remain prosperous were Willys, Nash, Hupmobile, Packard, and Hudson.   Duesebberg was able to continue to 1936 before deciding  that to continue would be useless.

Haynes Autmobile Company, who with the Apperson Brothers, had made their first car in 1894, ceased operations in 1925 aith the Aperson Brothers following a year later. The automobile companies in St. Louis, home of the Moon and Dorriss marques, closed down and this city was no more the center of automobile manufacturing in the Midwest. Two of the Big P's were among them. In 1932 Peerless figured that there was more money making beer than making cars and Pierce-Arrow called it quits in 1938.

But it was not all doom and gloom. American cars were soon to become recognized as the cream of the crop in the luxury car category. The 1925 New York Salon Show featured for the first time American cars. Three of these were Lincoln, Franklin, and Duesenberg, Two Hudson 1929 models have been declared as true American

The automobile industry in America made it the most prosperous and greatest country in the world and it all started with a simple desire to make a vehicle to replace the horse.

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