[WHACO! Logo]

 

Automobiles—An American Love Affair

The American love affair began with the sale of the first true "production" vehicle, the 1896 Duryea. The Duryea's humble two-seat vehicle, called the Duryea Motor Wagon, featured a two-cylinder, in-line, water-cooled gasoline engine producing an earth-shaking six horsepower. The body panels, wheels and axles all were made of wood, and the frame from steel. The Motor Wagon cost $1,500 in1896!

By 1908, an astounding 485 companies were producing motorized vehicles in the U.S. The event that was the key turning point in the industry's evolution came in 1913, when Henry Ford installed the first continuous automotive assembly line at his Highland Park plant.

 Auburn Automobile

AUBURN AUTOMOBILE COMPANY (Specimen) — Active from 1900 to 1937, the Auburn Automobile Company is one of the most famous American cars of its time (Figure 1). From its humble beginnings in Auburn, Indiana, the company rose to become one of the leaders in the American automobile industry .

Auburn was started in 1900 with a capitalization of $2,500 by the Eckhart brothers. In 1919, William Wrigley, Jr., the chewing gum king, bought a controlling interest. Due to the postwar recession, sales languished until 1924 when Errett Lobban Cord acquired an interest in the firm and became general manager. He jazzed up the styling and improved the horsepower, and the cars began to sell. Auburn Speedsters competed against Stutz, but sold for much less. Cord acquired Duesenburg, Lexington and Lycoming, and combined his companies into the Cord Corporation. The Crash of 1929 and the subsequent Depression eventually proved to be too much, I and the company failed in 1936. Price: Low-Moderate.

[Courtesy: Lawrence Falater]

 American Austin Car

AMERICAN AUSTIN CAR COMPANY, INC. (1932) — The British car company Austin decided in 1929 to build versions of their automobiles in the United States. After choosing Butler, Pennsylvania as the place to build their plant, and production was begun in May of 1930.

However, Austin production in America hit its peak in 1930, and slid downward from there, to the end of production in 1934. Americans didn't take hold of the notion of tiny cars, and the Austin was indeed a small car, with a 75-inch wheelbase. Also, the Austin began production right at the start of the Depression, which helped speed its end. Price: Low.

[Courtesy: Lawrence Falater]

 Woods Mobilette Company

WOODS MOBILETTE COMPANY (1917) — Founded by Francis A. Woods, this Harvey, Illinois car manufacturer was promoted as having America‘s first “cyclecar.” Woods announced models for 1917 but sales never took off and none were manufactured.

Price: Low-Moderate.

[Courtesy: Lawrence Falater]

 Ford Motors Canada

THE FORD MOTOR COMPANY OF CANADA, LIMITED (1904) — Certificate #1. Ford Motor Company (USA) entered the business world without fanfare on June 16, 1903. With an abundance of faith, but only $28,000 in cash, the pioneering industrialists gave birth to what was to become one of the world's largest corporations. Few companies are as closely identified with the history and development of America throughout the 20th century as Ford. And perhaps no other American firm is as well known across the globe. At the time of its incorporation, Ford was a tiny operation in a converted Detroit wagon shop staffed with about 10 people. Paralleling Ford's domestic growth was a foreign expansion program which began in 1904, just one year after the company was formed. On August 17 of that year, the first foreign branch was incorporated in the small town of Walkerville, Ontario, with the imposing name of Ford Motor Company of Canada, Ltd.; production at the modest new plant began early in 1905. See their first issued stock certificate.

Price: Extremely-High.

[Courtesy: Lawrence Falater]

Bull Dog Motor Truck, Co.

BULL DOG MOTOR TRUCK, CO. (unissued) No historic information is available on Bull Dog Motor Truck.

Price: Low.

[Courtesy: Lawrence Falater]

F.A.L. Motor Company

F.A.L. MOTOR COMPANY (1910) — The F. A. L. Motor Company car vignette is red and hard to forge or copy. This Chicago based firm reportedly built 65,000 cars in six years. In 1913, the company pinned its hopes on a fascinating concept car, the Grayhound. It featured a bed, running from beneath the dashboard back to the rear deck. Sales proved to be sleepy, and they halted production.

Price: Low-Moderate.

[Courtesy: Lawrence Falater]

Pressman Tire and Rubber Co.

PRESSMAN TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY (1919) — Automotive related stocks can have some very interesting vignettes, but tires flying?

Price: Low-Moderate.

[Courtesy: Lawrence Falater]

Mack Trucks, Inc.

MACK TRUCKS, INC. (Specimen) — Mack Trucks, Inc. was founded in 1900 when Jack and Augustus Mack built the original sightseeing buses. The gas-operated, open-air buses carried up to 26 tourists at a time around the streets and sights of Chicago in the summer and New Orleans in the winter, courtesy of the Higgins Tour Company.

The 1911 Mack Jr. was the final truck design attributed to the Mack brothers before they sold their company to investors in 1911.

Price: Low.

[Courtesy: Lawrence Falater]

Willys-Overland Co.

THE WILLYS-OVERLAND COMPANY (1929) — Willys is best known for the jeep that it began producing for the U.S. Army in 1941. Willys had also produced cars, but jeeps became their bread and butter in the 40’s.

The Willys-Overland Company was formed in 1912 after Overland Company was purchased by John North Willys. The new company began producing the famous Willys Knight series of vehicles and later introduced the "Whippet."

Price: Low.

[Courtesy: Lawrence Falater]

Schuylkill Transportation Co.

SCHUYLKILL TRANSPORTATION COMPANY(1930) — Vignettes on historic certificates paint a fascinating history of the automobile industry. The Schuylkill River in Pennsylvania is a primary entry route to Philadelphia from the West. A small bus company taking its name shows a contemporary late 1920’s bus in its vignette. Note the 8 and 4/10 shares

 Price: Low.

[Courtesy: Centennial Documents]

Dusenberg Automobile

DUESENBERG AUTOMOBILE & MOTORS CO., INC. — Look Dad, it's a "Duesy!" The reputation of the Duesenberg was founded on a brulliant racing heritage. Duesenberg was the first American car to win the famous Grand Prix at Le Mans, France in 1921. The great and the near-great, the famous and infamous were Dusenberg model J clients because of its flamboyance and excellence. In 1929, the base cahssis price was $8,500!

 Price: Moderate.

[Courtesy: Lawrence Falater]

Lafayette Motors Corp.

LAFAYETTE MOTORS CORP. — Lafayette was founded by Charles Nash to produce a luxury car. The post-war depression caused Mr. Nash to remark “There have been far better times to introduce a new motor car.” He was right and a few months later, Lafayette disappeared.

 Price: Low.

[Courtesy: Lawrence Falater]








Copyright © 2000-2011 WHACO!, Inc. All rights reserved.