AR192 American Classic 2 (And the men behind ten of the marques)


SKU: AR192

Product Description

In Auto Review 181 we looked at American Classic car marques regarded by car enthusiasts as ‘orphan makes’ because they were never absorbed into any of the large car-making groups. In that publication we examined some attempts to create conglomerates capable of competing with General Motors, including Hare’s Motors, Durant Motors and New Era. In this volume another selection of ‘American Classic’ marques focuses on the men behind them. Our chapter headings are mostly names of the visionary entrepreneurs, engineers and salesmen who dived into the shark-infested waters of the American car market in the early years of the 20th century. They include Colonel Albert Pope, who tried to corner the market in bicycle and motor vehicle patents, then to make other manufacturers pay him for the use of them. Henry Lozier made his fortune with bicycles, then sold his factories to Pope and switched to making luxury cars. Frank Stearns was an exacting inventor and engineer who was the first in America to take out Knight sleeve-valve license for his cars. Benjamin Briscoe was another of the empire-builders; his United States Motor Co embraced a number of marques, but when it collapsed it took most of them down with it. Peerless is the exception in this publication; it isn’t the name of the founder, but originated as a maker of wringers (mangles) which changed direction to make prestige cars, then changed again, to brew Carling beer. After that refreshing interval we come to Albert Barley, responsible for the top-quality Roamer marque, among others. David Parry’s family of carriage makers refused to support his motor car ventures, and the failure of his Overland car wiped him out financially. Overland was rescued by John North Willys, and Parry’s successor firm became Pathfinder under new ownership. Raymond and Ralph Owen found fame as the maker of the Owen Magnetic car, using the Entz patent transmission. Elwood Haynes joined forces with Elmer and Edgar Apperson to make the Haynes Apperson, before they separately made the Apperson and Haynes cars. Wealthy Paul Du Pont’s distant cousin was head of General Motors, but Paul restricted himself to making high-specification luxury cars, until his interest waned and he transferred his attentions to rescuing the Indian motorcycle firm.


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