Posts Tagged Cleveland

Cleveland Motor Car Company

Cleveland Motor Car Company  was started in the early 1900’s by E. J. Pennington in Cleveland, Ohio. Certainly not to be confused with the Cleveland Automobile Company started by F.C. Chandler in 1919–the two companies are not related. It is not clear to me when he actually built his cars, maybe 1903-1908 (?). Above is the 1907 Cleveland and below is the 1905 Cleveland ad. I have seen many conflicting reports each stated with confidence, so I have used dates that have been published in periodicals of the time and advertisements. Very few cars were advertised that were not built such as the Davis, advertised from 1930-1932 in hopes of re-opening the factory that had been foreclosed.

Before the Cleveland Motor Car Company, E.J. Pennington built The Tractobile from 1900-1902 in Carlisle, PA. The steam-powered device could be attached to any horse drawn carriage to make it into an automobile. The steam motor was connected to a removable frame built between two bicycle wheels with a tiller connected to the right wheel. The Tractobile advertisements used an acrostic for Steam Engine.
Simple, Trusty, Economical, Ample power, Mechanical, Efficient, Noiseless, Gearless, Interchangeable, No complications, Exhaust invisible.
The Tractobile sold for $450.00 by itself, or a complete car could be ordered for $625.00 ($650.00 with rubber tires). There is a photo below.

When estimating production numbers for automobiles in the New Year, the January 7,1904 issue of Motor Age stated, “A new and unknown quantity in the local field is the Cleveland Motor Co., a concern headed by E. J. Pennington.”  In the same issue it was reported that “Only one Cleveland retailer failed last season”. This is why I used 1903 for a start date. That seems to fit with the discontinued idea of the steam engine device as well. The ad at the top is a 1905 Cleveland model.

The July 6, 1905 issue of The Automobile reported Pennington was working on a huge 208-horsepower road juggernaut with a locomotive “cow-catcher” in front. Below is a photo of the Pennington built car from 1895 with a cow catcher attached, most likely his original idea, not the model reported he was working on in 1905. (208 horse on this ride would be frightening.)

Motorized baby carriages were also mentioned as one of the ideas Pennington had in other publications. E. J. Pennington certainly had a history of coming up with ideas to make money that didn’t work out, and cost his investors a great deal of money. The New York Times reported June 28th 1904 that E.J. Pennington was arrested for fraud at the St. Louis World’s Fair. After his death on March 10, 1911 the New York Times article Claimed his life was out of the adventures of the get-rich-quick variety. It also stated he was married again hours after his wife was buried.

Horseless Age January 1908 said “the Cleveland Motor Car Company began making important changes in its organization. It disposed of its factory in Cleveland, and made arrangements to build a new factory at Milwaukee. Early last summer At the same time the main office and sales department were removed from Cleveland to 1659 Broadway, New York, where all the business of the company is now transacted. The company decided to build 300 cars during the coming year, and to dispose of its product entirely through branch offices.” Below is a scan of the specifications for the Cleveland out of a book with all the vehicle specifications for all cars and trucks sold in the United States in 1907.

I have found no other mentions of a Cleveland factory in WI, so I have used the 1908 for an end of production. By 1913 there was a tire store located in the NY office address listed earlier.

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/

Comments off

Berg 1902-1905

Hart O. Berg began production of the Berg at Cleveland, OH. The Berg was an assembled car sold through their Berg Automobile agents in New York City, Binghamton, NY, Detroit MI and Philadelphia, PA. The Berg was priced starting from $2,700.00 for the smaller 78 inch wheelbase two cylinder engine models with 32 inch x 3 1/2 inch wheels and tires, and three speed transmission. There was also a 90 inch wheelbase car with the larger four cylinder engine and the larger 34 inch x 4 inch wheels and tires and a four speed transmission. The photo above is a 1904 Berg with the prices listed on the top right. Below is a 1904 Berg magazine ad. 1905 was the last year for the Berg, when the Berg Automobile Co. was sold to the Worthington Automobile Co. of New York, NY.

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/

Comments off

Baker 1899-1915

Walter C. Baker Founded the Baker Motor Vehicle Company in Cleveland Ohio, building electric cars and in 1907 an electric truck commercial vehicle department was added. Baker came up with technologies and manufacturing processes that helped make all cars practical, such as modern ball bearings, steering knuckles, the fully floating rear axle with worm-gear shaft-drive. His advanced engineering was a major topic he advertised.

Baker built race cars too, called the “Torpedo” breaking records for an electric car. It had sling seats with seat belts, a 12 HP Elwell-Parker motor, and weighed in at 3000 lbs. One Memorial Day, Baker drove a Torpedo, with C. E. Denzer in the second seat switching the battery connections as the car picked up speed. In a speed test on Staten Island, The Torpedo went over 80 mph when one of the wheels collapsed as it caught a streetcar track, throwing the car into spectators resulting in two deaths and several injuries. Due to the bad publicity the torpedo was not raced in public again.

In 1907 Baker introduced the shaft drive into a Roadster with 2-bucket seats and a faux-radiator selling for $1,800. An inside drive Brougham or a Landaulet with the driver in front of the windshield were also offered at $4,000. In 1909, Baker built a Brougham electric for the King of Siam.

On August 30 1910 Baker ran a car for 201.6 miles on a single charge with a lead battery and later that year achieved 244-1/2 miles with an Edison battery. At the end of the run the lead battery was scrap but the Edison battery was nearly normal. One of the marketing advantages Baker used was the smaller amount of cells used in the batteries on his cars, making them less expensive, lighter more efficient vehicles than the competition.

In 1915 Baker merged with Rauch & Lang and in 1916 the Baker name was dropped for passenger cars.

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/

Comments off

1929 Stearns

Stearns 1898-1930
Frank Stearns was an early automotive pioneer in Cleveland, Ohio, building his first car as a student in 1896. The first production model from his Cleveland factory in 1898 was a gasoline-fuel buggy, with a one-cylinder engine (horizontal under the floor), a tiller for steering, wire wheels, and chain drive.

The Stearns above was photographed with Lilian Roth, who was a popular movie star of the day. She stared in the 1930 Marx Brothers comedy, Animal Crackers–One of my favorite Marx Brothers films in my collection of over 440 classic films. Notice the 1929 California dealer tag on the car.

Stearns Company manufactured luxury cars marketed under the brand names Stearns and Stearns-Knight. All the vehicle controls were located on the steering wheel. (Another not new idea.) My copy of the Stearns Knight brochure claims mechanical advantage no other car  of similar luxury can offer. The copy claims the more miles you put on this vehicle, it gains power and efficiency. No more valve-grinding and carbon cleaning annoyance. The armored wood-framed car weighed in at 2800 LB, seated six passengers, and sold for $3000.

Rick Robinson

The Automobiles of 1929

1929 Pontiac Restoration Project

Comments off

1929 Martin

Martin 1927-1932
The Martin was a midget car powered by a Cleveland motorcycle engine and selling for $200.00. It was air cooled and the radiator was only for looks. The 1929 Martin brochure advertised a $200.00 Midget Car that parks inside a box (garage). Yes, the weather proof shipping crate with hinged doors was proposed to be used as the garage. There are illustrations of this in the 1930 brochure. Selling price of the Martin was based on production of 2,000 units per day. The garage didn’t cost anything. The Martin weighed only only 600 pounds and could be rolled about with one hand. (Don’t try that with my 1929 Pontiac.) The interior was plain and practical. Though it was heavily advertised, they could not get people excited about it.

Rick Robinson

The Automobiles of 1929

Comments off

1929 Jordan

Jordan 1916-1931
Edward S. Jordan founded the Jordan Motor Car Company in 1916 in Cleveland, Ohio. The factory produced what were known as “assembled cars”, using components from other manufacturers. Jordan cars were noted more for attractive styling than for advanced engineering. While many automobile producers limited customers to a single color combination, Jordan automobiles were available in no less than three colors of red as well as more flamboyant color schemes. Jordan claimed, “Cars are too dull and drab.” He reasoned that since people dressed smartly, they were willing to drive “smart looking cars” too. Jordan went to an all-steel construction in the mid 1920s, some ten years before GM.

Rick Robinson

The Automobiles of 1929

 

1927 Jordan Dealership with Pontiac Oakland Dealership next door.



 

Comments off

1929 Hupmobile

Hupmobile 1908-1940
The Hupp Motor Company of Detroit, Michigan built Hupmobile. The Hupp Motor Company started building automobiles in 1908 and introduced their creation to the public at the Detroit Auto Show in February 1909. Production began with 500 cars built and sold the first year. The first police car for Detroit was a 1910 Hupmobile.

In 1928, Hupp Motor Car Co. bought the Chandler Car Co. buildings in Cleveland, Ohio, and from 1929 through 1936 Hupp produced automobiles at that site and in Detroit. In 1929, Hupp produced over 53,300 cars, making it their best year.

Hupmobiles were known for dependability, and a 1927 survey showed that over 40% of Hupmobile owners were repeat buyers. Another survey in 1937 showed that over 200,000 Hupmobiles were still licensed in the USA and 57% were still driven by their original owners. This survey also showed that more than 75% wanted to stick to Hupmobiles. The company’s idea to build a car in the working man’s price range, along with a strong commitment to quality, produced dependable, tough and durable automobiles through 1940. Below is a Hupmobile dealership from 1920. Notice the Mack truck dealer next store.

Rick Robinson

The Automobiles of 1929

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

Comments off

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

Comments off