Archive for 1929 Orphan Vehicles

1929 American Steam Car

American Steam car 1924-1931 Thomas S. Derr built the American Steam Car in West Newton, MA. The company catered mostly to former Stanley Steamer (1899-1927) customers. The cars Derr built were conversions, using his own engines and boilers, but using mostly Hudson chassis and bodies. The hood emblem and hubcaps bore the American Steam Car name. There were at least 124 makes of steam cars once manufactured in the United States. Notice in the photo, there are no louvers on the hood, giving it away as an electric or a steam engine. I like the louvers, even if they were not functional, they ad style.

Rick Robinson

The Automobiles of 1929

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1929 Auburn

Auburn 1900-1936
The Auburn Automobile Company was established in 1900 when Frank and Morris Eckhart of the Eckhart Carriage Company of Auburn, Indiana (est. 1874) began experimenting with hand built cars. By 1903, Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal reported that a single-cylinder, Auburn gasoline engine car for 1903 could be bought for $1,400, including side lamps and a tool kit.

In 1919 Auburn introduced a new 26 hp six, built by continental Engine Company, but it failed to boost sales. Errett Cord became the first General Manager when he was only 30 years old in 1924. Cord’s leadership brought the company new designs and delivered Auburn out of the sales slump.

In 1928 the first boat-tailed speedster was introduced. This car was capable of speeds of over 108 mph at a time when many manufactures were bragging about 60 or 70mph. The design of this car has had long lasting inspiration. There were a couple of companies in the 70’s to build a kit car replica of the Auburn boat-tail.

In 1966, Auburn USA (not related) started building a complete replica Auburn built on a Corvette chassis and drive train. Buick tried that boat-tail inspiration on the design of the 1971-1973 Riviera.

In 1929 the Auburn models were available from $995.00 to $2,095.00. Over 22,000 new Auburns were sold in 1929.

Rick Robinson

The Automobiles of 1929

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1929 Blackhawk

Blackhawk 1929-1931
Stutz originally introduced the Blackhawk in 1928 as the Stuz Model B-B. In 1929 it was launched as a new marquee on it’s own, but despite efforts to start a new marquee, the confusion from introducing it as a 1928 Stutz caused people to continue to regard it as just another Stutz model. Even my Rapid Repair Manual from the era, list this vehicle as a Stutz Model B-B.

Rick Robinson

The Automobiles of 1929

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1929 Chandler

Chandler 1913-1929
The Chandler Motor Company began production in July 1913 in Cleveland, Ohio by Frederick C. Chandler. The company built 550 cars that sold for $1,785.  While some companies purchased parts and assembled them, Chandler produced their own engines, chassis, and bodies. According to my copy of the sales brochure, Chandler used lighting and starting by Delco-Remy. Chandler bodies were built with an armored wood frame, like most cars built before all-steel bodies became the industry standard in the mid-1930s. (GM went to all steel in 1935.) Armored wood frame vehicles like the Chandler have survived in smaller numbers, since the fabric roofs incorporated tended to let the wood rot.

Chandler earned a reputation for being a very reliable vehicle. The success of the Chandler Motor Car encouraged Chandler to organize the Cleveland Automobile Co. in 1919. Sales, production, and profits declined for both companies in 1921. In 1926 the two auto companies consolidated as Chandler-Cleveland Motors Corp. Sales continued to drop and 1928 was the last year of production for the lower priced Cleveland. In December 1928 Chandler was sold to the Hupp Motor Car Corp. of Detroit. 1929 was the last production year for Chandler, since Hupp only wanted the factory to expand production of the Huppmobile.

Rick Robinson

The Automobiles of 1929

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1929 Checker

Checker 1923-1982
In 1922, Commonwealth Motors was on the verge of bankruptcy but had a large order from Checker Taxi, a cab company in Chicago. Checker Motors Corporation was established in Kalamazoo, Michigan after Morris markin, merged Commonwealth Motors with Markin Automobile Body in order to honor the contractual commitment. Markin was later to buy the Checker Taxi Company. Checker made the iconic American taxi cab which taxicab companies valued for its durability in heavy use. In the 1920’s and 30’s taxicabs were competing to be the most luxurious and comfortable ride. The 1929 Checker had a landau roof and would have been a very upscale ride. Most early Checker production vehicles were built almost exclusively for the taxi business, but cars for personal use could be ordered.

Rick Robinson

The Automobiles of 1929

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1929 Orphan Vehicles

 

Between 1896 and 1929, there were over 1800 Automobile manufacturers in the United States. In the old car hobby, these car companies that have gone out of business are referred to as orphans. In 1929, the used car buyer would have had a large selection of used cars to choose from, considering all the orphans, along with the 60 plus active car companies. This section of my 1929 Pontiac blog is not a complete list of the orphan vehicles in 1929, but I will continue to post them as I get a chance.

In 1929 when my Pontiac was new, there were still over 60 Automobile makes built in the United States, all posted on this site. I like to use actual factory photos and literature or old original photos, for reference–I think it is more fun and accurate than contemporary photos.

Many of the manufactures purchased parts from other companies and assembled them. The Continental Motors Company produced engines for various independent manufacturers of automobiles from 1905 through the 1960s.

This photo is an Elmore Baker Dealership, location unknown to me. I don’t know who the men are, but the first car in line is a 1907 Elmore.  I hope you enjoy looking at the vintage photos of early vehicles in these post as much as I do.

 

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A.B.C. Motor Vehicle Co. 1908-1910

A. B. Cole started his automobile company called the Autobuggy Manufacturing Co. in St. Louis, MO in 1906, building a High Wheeler vehicle from 1906 to 1908. In 1908 The Auto Buggy Manufacturing Co. changed it’s name to The A.B.C. Motor Vehicle Co. Cole liked the slogan, “Simple Car Simple Name” in his advertising. You may have noticed the name of the car uses his initials. The high ground clearance of the A.B.C. made the vehicle popular in rural markets, and it was promoted as being “A Fine Hill Climber”. The $650.00 price tag enabled the company to market it as “the cheapest high-grade car in America”. I like the ad I posted here, it makes the claim “we are still open” at a time when so many automobile companies were closing.

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Abbott-Detroit 1909 – 1919

The Abbott-Detroit,   built for the luxury car market,  was a very well designed automobile for its time. It was powered by a Continental engine, and from 1913 it had as standard equipment electric starting (only one year after Cadillac introduced it) and electric lighting. This is one of the 1913 Abbott-Detroit factory photos in my collection. For 1913 the price range started at $1700 for the Foredoor Roadster and finished at $3050 for the seven-passenger Limousine.

 

1929 Pontiac blog

1929 new vehicles

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Ace 1920-1922

The Apex Motor Corporation was formed in October of 1919 and produced the Ace Automobile in Ypsilanti Michigan from 1920 to 1922. O.W. Heinz was President and Fred M. Guy was chief engineer and Vice President. The new car company was started to meet the need of a car shortage in the western U.S. according to the Michigan manufacturer & financial record of 1920. The Ace featured an innovative motor with overhead valves driven by a gear instead of a camshaft. The following is a quote from August 1920 Automobile Journal.

“The new Ace car, manufactured by the Apex Motor Corporation, Ypsilanti, Mich., equipped with the new Guy disc valve engine, is creating much interest among motorists as the engine in this cars is equipped with a rotary type valve for which the manufacturer makes many claims. It is stated that this engine is the result of 10 years experimental work on the part of Fred M. Guy, vice president and chief engineer of the company. Eighteen months ago the first engine, a four, had been brought to a state of perfection which proved quite conclusively that this type of engine might mark a revolutionary advancement in valve construction. Since that time the entire engineering force has been concentrating on the development of a new six which at the present lime is stated to be ready for production on a large scale. The Ace engine valves are a series of discs, one in the combustion chamber of each cylinder. These discs are geared together in chain from a master gear driven from the crankshaft by worm. Each disc operates at one-eighth engine crankshaft speed and contains four slots cut in the form of a V from the periphery to the hub of the disc. These V shaped slots, in the process of the rotation of the disc, pass over ports which enter into the intake and exhaust manifolds of the engine. On the intake stroke of the engine four slots in the discs register with four ports in the cylinder, allowing the gas to enter the intake manifold. Several advantages are claimed for this method, chief among which is that scavenging of the cylinder is accomplished perfectly at any speed. Also, due to the perfect manner of handling the gases coming into and leaving the cylinders, a very high torque is obtained at low speeds which gives the engine unusual pulling power.”

The 1921 ad shown below touted the Ace’s advanced style and mechanical refinements. Four models were available, touring, roadster, brougham and sedan. At the top is the 1921 Ace coupe sedan and in the photos above you can see the Ace touring model along with the roadster. Early illustrations of a modern 12,000 to 15,000 square foot factory were used in advertising brochures, although the only real factory was the single building located on South River Street in Ypsilanti. Engineers Fred M. Guy and O. W. Heinz left the company to start the Heinz Motor Company project in April of 1921. The new President at Apex Motor Corporation, HT Hanover, could not make a go of the already financially troubled company. Creditors were asked for an additional year for repayment after re-organization and overhead cuts, but the company was sold to the American Motor Truck Company, maker of Ace passenger buses. The following quote was published in the 1922 edition of Bus Transportation.

“American Motor Truck Company. Newark. Ohio, reports that these vehicles are selling so rapidly that the company’s production facilities for the next ninety days have been doubled. The company is planning to exhibit at the botlv show to be held in New York in Janurarv and believes that afterward it will be necessary again to increase its production schedule.”

I have found no official report as to what they did with the factory; perhaps the new 25-passenger bus was built there? Feel free to post any reliable official references to this subject. Opinions or theories are welcome also, but state them for what they are.

http://www.mychurchgrowth.com/blog/category/1929-pontiac/

http://www.mychurchgrowth.com/blog/category/1929-pontiac/1929-vehicles/

http://www.mychurchgrowth.com/blog/category/1929-pontiac/1929-orphan-vehicles/

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Acme 1903-1910

The Acme Motor Car Co. of Reading, PA built cars from 1903 to 1910. This company had no connection to the Acme built by the Hoffman Brothers in Minnesota from 1908 to 1911. Since there were two automobile companies in the United States with the same name around the same time, some sources like Wikipedia have reported the history of this car incorrectly by blending facts from the two companies together. The advertisements I have posted here pertain to the Reading, PA company, I don’t own any ads or literature from the Minnesota automaker.

The factory art at the top is a 1906 Acme. Notice the jump seats in the back passenger area. You can see them a little better in the 1906 Advertisement with the door open.

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