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The word car is believed
to originate from
the Latin word carrus or carrum,
meaning "wheeled vehicle".
The word MOPAR
In the 1930's
to early 1940's
Chrysler Corporation looked into
consolidating the parts divisions of all their brands
(Chrysler, Dodge, Plymouth, DeSoto, Imperial etc.)
into one division.
Thus the Chrysler Corporation Mopar division was
Parts used on any of the brands came in boxes
branded with the Chrysler MOtor PARts logo.
Over time, Mopar became a synonymous
term to use to talk about any of the Chrysler
In 1769 the first steam
powered automobile capable
of human transportation was built by French inventor
Nicolas Joseph Cugnot.
French inventor François Isaac de Rivaz
designed the first car powered by an internal
combustion engine fueled by hydrogen.
In 1885, German engine designer Karl
developed a gasoline powered automobile.
This is also considered to be
first "production" vehicle.
The automobile was powered by a single
cylinder 4 stroke engine.
Between 1860 and 1880 in the
inventors including, Rufus Porter, Harrison Dyer,
William T. James and Joseph Dixon created
steam carriages to haul passengers.
By 1902 over half of the 900 cars
in the U.S. were steam cars.
In 1871, the first carriage sized
suitable for use on existing wagon roads
in the United States was a steam powered
vehicle invented by Dr. J.W. Carhart, a minister
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in
It induced the State of Wisconsin in 1875
to offer a $10,000 award to the first to produce
a practical substitute for the use of horses
and other animals.
In 1904, the first
steel automobile frame was
produced by Arthur Oliver Smith
( A. O. Smith Corp.) in Milwaukee.
Mechanized Henry Ford's assembly line process
in 1913, becoming the first company
to mass produce car frames. By 1920 the
company's plant produced 10,000
frames per day.
In 1889, mechanic and inventor,
Godfrey Schloemer invented the
Motor Wagon in Milwaukee, which some have hailed
as the first workable gasoline engine automobile
ever built in the U.S., four years ahead of
Charles and Frank Duryea.
Schloemer had to improvise on his Motor
In 1892, Schloemer designed and
for an igniting system to fire the fuel, since
at that time there was no such thing as a spark plug.
He used a home made sparking mechanism
consisting of two points of steel striking together
causing a "spark" to ignite the gasoline fumes
in the cylinder.
a carburetor, which was known as the
Gottfried Schloemer carburetor.
He used kerosenelamp wicks in the center of it
to get the gasoline from the gas
tank into the cylinder of the motor to be ignited.
The Motor Wagon was later donated to
Milwaukee Public Museum.
It is still there to this day and touted as
"The first practical gasoline powered
auto in the nation".
Bicycle mechanics J. Frank and Charles
of Springfield, Mass.,
had designed the first successful American
gasoline automobile in 1893,
then won the first American car race in 1895,
and went on to make the first
sale of an American-made gasoline
car the next year.
Thirty American manufacturers produced
The Model T was an automobile built by the
2,500 motor vehicles in 1899,
and some 485 companies entered the
business in the next decade.
In 1908 Henry Ford introduced the Model T and
William Durant founded General Motors.
Motor Company from 1908 until 1927.
The Model T was offered in several body
styles, including a five-seat touring car,
a two-seat runabout, and a seven-seat town car.
All bodies were mounted on a uniform
A choice of colors was originally available,
but from 1913 to 1925 the car was
mass-produced in only one color—black.
The engine was simple and efficient, with all
four cylinders cast in a single block and the
cylinder head detachable for easy
access and repair.
The engine generated 20 horsepower and propelled
the car to modest top speeds of
40–45 miles per hour. In most
models the engine was started by a hand crank,
which activated a magneto
connected to the flywheel,
but after 1920 some models were
equipped with battery-powered starters.
In May 1927, lack of demand for the Model T
forced Ford to shut down the assembly lines
on the iconic vehicle. Later that year, the
company introduced the more comfortable
and stylish Model A, a car whose sleeker look
resembled that of a Lincoln automobile.
In fact, the Model A was nicknamed “the baby Lincoln.”
In 1917, Henry Leland, a founder of the Cadillac
auto brand, established the Lincoln Motor
Company; he reportedly named the new venture
after his hero, President Abraham Lincoln.
Facing financial difficulties,
On February 4, 1922, the Ford Motor
purchased the failing luxury automaker Lincoln
Motor Company for $8 million.
In the 1930s, Ford’s Lincoln
its popular Zephyr model, which was inspired
by the Burlington Zephyr, a streamlined,
diesel-powered express train that debuted amid
great fanfare in 1934 and featured an engine
built by General Motors.
The Lincoln Continental launched in 1939 and was
a flagship model for decades.
Other leading Lincoln models over the years have
included the Town Car, a full-size luxury sedan released
in the 1980s, even though Henry Ford had a
vehicle called a Town Car in the 1920s.
David Dunbar Buick, was the
of the Buick Motor Company.
As a young man, he worked in the plumbing
industry and developed, among other inventions,
a successful process for bonding porcelain
enamel to cast-iron bathtubs.
During the 1890s, Buick became interested in
automobiles and the gasoline internal
In 1903, he founded the Buick Motor Company.
The following year, William Durant, a titan
of the horse-drawn carriage industry, invested in
Buick’s company, which was by then
based in Flint, Michigan.
That same year, the company made a total of 37
autos, known as the Model B.
By 1906, Buick had lost control of the business
and sold his stock, which would later be worth
millions of dollars.
Two years later, in 1908, William Durant made the
Buick firm the cornerstone of his newly formed
holding company, General Motors.
In 1908, General Motors was founded by
C. Durant, as a holding
company for Buick.
In 1909, GM purchased the Rapid Motor Vehicle
Company of Pontiac, Michigan, forming the basis of the
General Motors Truck Company, from which the
"GMC Truck" brand name was derived.
In 1911, Swiss automotive engineer
Chevrolet co-founded the Chevrolet Motor
Company in Detroit with William C. Durant
and investment partners William Little, former
Buick owner James H. Whiting, Dr. Edwin R.
Campbell (son-in-law of Durant) and in 1912
R. S. McLaughlin CEO of General Motors
Durant was cast out from the management
of General Motors in 1910, a company
which he had founded in 1908.
In 1904 he had taken over the Flint Wagon
Works and Buick Motor Company
of Flint, Michigan.
He also incorporated the Mason and
Chevrolet first used the "bowtie emblem"
in 1914 on the H series models
(Royal Mail and Baby Grand)
and The L Series Model (Light Six).
Louis Chevrolet had differences with Durant
over design and in 1914 sold Durant his
share in the company.
By 1916, Chevrolet was profitable enough
with successful sales of the cheaper Series 490 to
allow Durant to repurchase a controlling interest
in General Motors. After the deal was completed
in 1917, Durant became president of General Motors,
and Chevrolet was merged into GM as a
Beginning also in 1919, GMC
grade trucks were rebranded as Chevrolet,
and using the same chassis of Chevrolet
passenger cars and building light-duty trucks.
GMC commercial grade trucks were also
rebranded as Chevrolet commercial grade trucks,
sharing an almost identical appearance
with GMC products.
Chevrolet continued into the 1920s,
and 1940s competing with Ford, and after the
Chrysler Corporation formed
Plymouth in 1928,
Plymouth, Ford, and Chevrolet were known
as the "Low-priced three".
Chevrolet had a great influence on the
automobile market during the 1950s and 1960s.
In 1953 it produced the Corvette, a two-seater
sports car with a fiberglass body. In 1957 Chevy
introduced its first fuel injected engine.
In 1925, Chrysler was founded by Walter
Chrysler, when the Maxwell Motor
was re-organized into the Chrysler
In late 1923 production of the Chalmers
automobile was ended.
Then in January 1924, Walter Chrysler launched
an eponymous automobile.
of Detroit’s auto companies.
Known in the years after World War II for
its well-engineered cars, it has spent the last three
decades bouncing between highs and lows. has had a tumultuous
history as the third-largest
The company encountered financial turbulence
in the late 1970s that prompted it to seek a
Congressional bailout, a process that
vaulted its chief executive, Lee A. Iacocca,
to national prominence. Chrysler
paid off the
loans early in the 1980s,
when it enjoyed success thanks to its minivans
and a family of fuel-efficient autos called
In 1900, Horace and John Dodge founded
Dodge Brothers Company in Detroit, and quickly
found work manufacturing precision engine
and chassis components for the city's growing
number of automobile firms.
Chief among these customers were the established
Olds Motor Vehicle Company and the then-new
Ford Motor Company.
Their reputation brought
Ransom Olds, the first automaker to
use an assembly line.
Dodge Brothers’ plant made thousands of
engines and transmissions for Oldsmobiles,
which soon had a 30% share of car-building in the
US in 1903.
In 1913, Dodge
Brothers announced that they
would stop building Ford cars and would
design, build, and sell their own car.
Even as they built their last Fords, the Dodge
Brothers expanded their manufacturing
plant and built a new national
sales network and advertising
John and Horace had designed a
car of their own – the four-cylinder
Dodge Model 30.
Marketed as a slightly more upscale
competitor to the ubiquitous Ford Model T,
it pioneered or made standard many features
later taken for granted: all-steel body construction;
12-volt electrical system (6-volt systems would
remain the norm until the 1950s);
35 horsepower (versus the Model T's 20),
and sliding-gear transmission (the best-selling
Model T would retain an antiquated planetary design
until its demise in 1927).
As a result of this, and the brothers' well-earned
reputation for the highest quality truck,
transmission and motor parts they made
for other successful vehicles, Dodge Brothers
cars were ranked at second place for U.S. sales
as early as 1916.
Dodge Brothers cars
continued to rank
second place in American sales in 1920.
However, the same year, tragedy struck as
John Dodge was struck by pneumonia
His brother Horace then died of cirrhosis in
December of the same year (reportedly out
of grief at the loss of his brother, to whom
he was very close).
With the loss of both founders, the Dodge Brothers
Company passed into the hands of the brothers'
widows, who promoted long-time employee
Frederick Haynes to the company
During this time, the Model 30 was evolved to
become the new Series 116.
However, throughout the 1920s Dodge gradually
lost its ranking as the third best-selling automobile
manufacturer, slipping down to seventh in the
Henry Ford had gone
through two bankruptcies,
and couldn’t find financiers or suppliers
who would work on credit.
That may be why, when he approached the
Dodge Brothers, they demanded a 10%
stake in Ford’s new company, and the right
to all of Ford’s assets in case of
In return, they provided $3,000 in cash,
$7,000 in parts, and their mechanical and
WhenFord started making its first cars,
Dodge had 135 employees making parts, and
Ford had 12.
Dodge Brothers built every part of the
Ford car except the seats and tires and
possibly the radiators and body too.
The Dodge Brothers made money building
the cars, and also through their stock,
getting $10,000 in dividends in the first year.
The Dodge brothers were tough, but fair,
they gave up their other customers,
and created the production drawings and
all mechanical parts for Ford's new company.
The brothers also redesigned the car's
rear axle, engine, and other key parts, which
likely made the difference between Ford's
past failures and his new success.
Without the Dodges, Henry Ford would likely have
ended up just another machinist.
Olds Motor Vehicle Co. was founded
by Ransom E. Olds.
company moved from Lansing to
Detroit in 1900, a fire destroyed all of its cars
except its small, one-cylinder curved-dash
model. Light, reliable and relatively powerful,
the curved-dash Oldsmobile (when the
Oldsmobile name was first used) became a
commercial sensation after appearing at the
New York Auto Show in 1901.
Olds returned to Lansing in
1902 and began large-scale
production of the car.
The curved-dash Oldsmobile was the first
American car to be produced using the progressive
assembly-line system, and the first to become a
In 1904, Olds
left to found the Reo Motor Car
Company (for his initials, R.E.O.).
After his departure, Oldsmobile struggled,
and in 1908 it was taken over by the new General
Motors (GM) company.
By the 1920s, Oldsmobile’s six- and
eight-cylinder models sat in the middle of
GM’s lineup, less expensive than Buick or Cadillac,
but still comfortably ahead of Chevrolet.
Oldsmobile introduced the “safety automatic
transmission” in 1938, a precursor to the
1940’s “Hydra-Matic,” which was the first
successful fully automatic transmission.
The 135-horsepower “Rocket” engine,
introduced in the new 88 model in 1949,
made Oldsmobile one of the world’s top
performing cars. In 1961, with the release of the
upscale compact F-85 (powered by a V-8 engine),
Oldsmobile launched its Cutlass, which would
become one of the industry’s longest running
and most successful names.
And the Cutlass Supreme would
reign as the
best-selling American car for much of the
1970s and early 1980s.
In 1928, the Plymouth automobile was
It was Chrysler Corporation's first entry
in the low-priced field, which at the time was
already dominated by Chevrolet and Ford.
Plymouths were initially priced higher than
the competition, but offered standard features
such as internal expanding hydraulic
that Ford and Chevrolet did not provide.
Plymouths were originally sold exclusively
dealerships, offering a
low-cost alternative to the upscale
With Walter Chrysler’s comment
public something better and the public will buy,”
the first Plymouth car was made that year.
By the time the year was out, 58,000
Plymouths had been shipped. To meet
demand a new Plymouth plant was begun on
40 acres of Detroit real estate in October,
1928, to be completed in 1929.
The origins of Plymouth can be traced back
to the Maxwell automobile.
When Walter P. Chrysler took
over control of the
troubled Maxwell-Chalmers car
the early 1920s,
he inherited the Maxwell as part of
After he used the company's facilities to
help create and launch the six-cylinder
Chrysler automobile in 1924, he decided to
create a lower priced companion car.
So for 1926, the Maxwell was reworked and
rebadged as the low-end four-cylinder
Chrysler "52" model.
In 1928, the "52" was once again
redesigned to create the Chrysler-Plymouth
Model Q.The "Chrysler" portion of the
nameplate was dropped with the introduction
of the Plymouth Model U in 1929.
the Pontiac brand was introduced
by General Motors as the companion marque
to GM's Oakland division, and shared the
GM A platform. Purchased by General
Motors in 1909, Oakland continued to
produce modestly priced automobiles until 1931
when it was renamed Pontiac.
It was named after the famous Ottawa chief
who had also given his name to the
city of Pontiac, Michigan where the
car was produced.
Within months of its introduction, Pontiac
was outselling Oakland, which was
essentially a 1920s Chevrolet with a
six-cylinder engine installed.
Body styles offered included a sedan with
both two and four doors, Landau Coupe,
with the Sport Phaeton, Sport Landau Sedan,
Sport Cabriolet and Sport Roadster.
As a result of Pontiac's rising sales, versus
Oakland's declining sales, Pontiac became the only
companion marque to survive its parent, with
Oakland ceasing production in 1932.
In 1893, the Pontiac Buggy Company was
established in Pontiac, Michigan.
They produced horse-drawn carriages,
and like others in their field, they wanted to evolve
into the automotive age.
In 1907, as an adjunct to his buggy-making
During the summer of 1907, Murphy
enterprise, Edward Murphy began building and
selling 2-cylinder runabouts called Oaklands.
the Oakland Motor Car Co.
His lack of sales with the Oakland, a two-cylinder
vertical engine that rotated counterclockwise,
convinced him that Cadillac might have
been right in rejecting the Brush design.
In 1909, they introduced a line of 40 HP
four-cylinder cars with sliding
Although this innovation was successful
Edward Murphy didn’t see the increased
sales due to his sudden
death in 1908.
Shortly before his passing, Murphy had
met with another former buggy man named
William C. Durant.
Soon afterward, Oakland became
Durant’s General Motors Empire and its
design would evolve under his rule.
The company produced Oakland’s most
recognized model in 1924, the “True Blue
Oakland Six” which came with a new L-head
engine, four-wheel brakes, centralized
controls and an automatic spark advance.
They painted the cutting edge automobile
with a Blue Duco nitro-cellulose lacquer.
In 1926, Alfred R. Glancy, Oakland’s assistant
general manager introduced the Pontiac.
The quality six-cylinder engine cars designed
to sell for the price of a four.
The automobile became an instant success
and Pontiac had been born.
Henry Martyn Leland, the founder of Cadillac
Automotive Company, named his luxury,
precision-made car after Frenchman Le Sieur
Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac.
Leland wanted to honor Cadillac, who founded
the city of Detroit in 1701 initially as a frontier
outpost and fort.
In 1909, the newly formed General Motors
Corporation (GM) acquires the country’s
leading luxury automaker, the Cadillac Automobile
Company, for $4.5 million.
Cadillac was founded out of the ruins
of automotive pioneer Henry Ford’s
second failed company (his third effort,
the Ford Motor Company, finally succeeded).
When the shareholders of the Henry Ford
Company called in Detroit machinist
Henry Leland to assess the company’s
assets for their planned sale, Leland
convinced them to stay in business.
His idea was to combine Ford’s latest chassis
(frame) with a single-cylinder engine
developed by Oldsmobile,
another early automaker.
In its first year of production, Cadillac
out nearly 2500 cars, a huge number
at the time.
Leland, who was reportedly motivated
by an intense competition with Henry Ford,
assumed full leadership of Cadillac in 1904,
and with his son Wilfred by his side he firmly
established the brand’s reputation for quality.
Among the excellent luxury cars being
produced in America at the time–including
Packard, Lozier, McFarland and Pierce
Arrow–Cadillac led the field, making the top 10
in overall U.S. auto sales every year from
1904 to 1915.
The Cadillac V-16
was Cadillac's top of the
Mercury and Edsel:
line model from 1930 - 1940.
The V16 powered car was a first in the
United States, both extremely expensive and
exclusive, with all chassis finished to
Only 4076 were constructed, with the majority
built in its debut year before the Great Depression
took strong hold.
In 1912, Cadillac introduced the world’s
first successful electric self-starter, developed
by Charles F. Kettering; its pioneering V-8
engine was installed in all Cadillac
models in 1915.
The years, Cadillac maintained its reputation
for luxury and innovation.
In 1954, it was the first automaker to provide
power steering and automatic windshield washers
as standard equipment on all its vehicles.
In 1938, Mercury was created by Edsel
Ford ( Henry Ford's son ).
Forming half of the Lincoln - Mercury
the brand was intended to bridge the
price gap between the Ford and Lincoln
for Mercury included improved
power, ride, handling, stopping distance,
internal noise and enhanced styling.
To offer a medium price car
under its own marque,
Edsel Ford began Mercury as a separate
company within Ford in 1937. Even though
it was used on the Chevrolet
1933, the Mercury name was selected from
over 100 potential model and marque names.
The first model, the 1939
Mercury 8, sold for
$916 and had a 95 horsepower V-8 engine.
More than 65,000 were built the first year.
The offerings included a two and four door
sedan and a town sedan.
When World War 2 ended in 1945,
Mercury was coupled with
Lincoln, and the Lincoln -
Mercury Division debuted.
In the 1950s, featured more styling
features such as the first fixed sunroof
on the 1954 Mercury Sun Valley, with a
transparent Plexiglas top. In 1957, Mercurys
grew wider, longer, lower and more powerful
with what was called Dream Car Design.
Mercury had entered its heydays as a
premium brand with models like the
Montclair, Monterey and
In the late 1950s, the
launch of the Edsel
brand would significantly affect both the
Lincoln and Mercury divisions.
For 1957, the entire Mercury product line was
redesigned, and for the first time since 1948, Mercury
vehicles no longer shared a common body
In 1957, Mercury introduced station
as a model line, such as the Voyager
and woodgrained Colony Park.
While Lincolns would shift to unibody
construction for 1958, the 1957 Mercury line
shared the chassis and underpinnings of
the premium models of the upcoming
In a marketing decision that would prove
fatal to the future of the Edsel brand, the pricing
of the Edsel division overlapped the Mercury
developed, and manufactured by the Ford
Motor Company for model years 1958 - 1960.
In 1958, 63,110 Edsels were sold in
and 4,935 were sold in Canada.
In 1959, 44,891 Edsels were sold in
and 2,505 were sold in Canada.
And in 1960, Edsel's
last, only 2,846
vehicles were produced.
Ford invested heavily in a
leading consumers to believe that the
Edsel was the car of the future.
After it was unveiled to the public, it was
considered to be unattractive, overpriced,
The Edsel never gained popularity with
contemporary American car
buyers and sold poorly.
The Ford Motor Company lost about $350
million on the Edsel's development,
manufacturing, and marketing.
In 1967, the Cougar was
introduced, which was
Mercury's version of the Ford Mustang.
The 1970s Mercury saw the introduction
of the Grand Marquis, Mercury’s best-selling
nameplate. Mercury sales peaked in 1978 at
an all-time high of 580,000.
In 1975, several
changes across the Mercury
line. The long running Monterey was
discontinued, with the Marquis becoming
the sole model, and a new Grand Marquis
was put between the Marquis and
Originally intended as the replacement
for the Comet, the Monarch, led to a
completely new market segment:
the luxury compact car.
After the 1997 model year, the
discontinued as the personal luxury market
began to decline in demand.
In 2010, Ford announced the closure
of the Mercury line by the end of the year.
In terms of overall sales in North America,
the Mercury brand held only a 1 percent
share, compared to the 16 percent
share of Ford.
With under 95,000 vehicles per year sold
for 2009, Mercury had sold fewer vehicles
than either Plymouth in 2000 or Oldsmobile
In 1909, the name Hudson came
Joseph L. Hudson, a Detroit department
store entrepreneur and founder of Hudson's
department store, who provided the
necessary capital and gave permission
for the company to be named after him.
A total of eight Detroit businessmen formed
The Hudson Motor Car Company made
Hudson and other brand automobiles
Detroit, Michigan, from 1909 to 1954.
In 1954, Hudson merged with
Corporation to form American
The Hudson name was continued through
the 1957 model year, after which it was
One of the organizers of the company was
Roy D. Chapin Sr., a young executive who
had worked with Ransom E. Olds.
(Oldsmobile) Chapin's son, Roy
later be president of Hudson-Nash descendant
American Motors Corp. in the 1960s.
As the role of women increased in car
purchase decisions, automakers began
to hire female designers.
Hudson, wanting a female perspective
on automotive design, hired Elizabeth
Ann Thatcher, who later became
Betty Thatcher Oros, in 1939.
A graduate of the Cleveland School of Arts
(now Cleveland Institute of Art) with a major in
Industrial Design, she became one of America's
first female automotive designers.
Her contributions to the 1941 Hudson included
exterior trim with side lighting, interior
instrument panel, interiors and
interior trim fabrics.
She designed for Hudson from 1939
leaving the company when she married
Joe Oros, then a designer for Cadillac.
He later became head of the design team at Ford
that created the Mustang.
In 1954, Hudson merged with Nash-Kelvinator
Corporation to become American
The Hudson factory, located in Detroit, Michigan,
was converted to military contract
production at the end of the model year,
and the remaining three years of Hudson
production took place in Kenosha, Wis.
The last Hudson rolled off the Kenosha
assembly line on June 25, 1957.
There were no ceremonies, because at
that point there was still hope of continuing
the Hudson and Nash names into the 1958
model year on the Rambler chassis as
deluxe, longer-wheelbase senior models.
In 1928, the DeSoto make was
Walter Chrysler, and introduced it for the 1929
model year. It was named after the Spanish explorer
Hernando de Soto.
The DeSoto logo featured a stylized image
of the explorer who led the first European
expedition deep into the territory
of the modern-day United States, and was the
first documented European to have crossed
the Mississippi River.
DeSoto or De Soto is an American
automobile marque that
was manufactured and marketed
by the DeSoto Division of the
Chrysler Corporation from 1928 to
the 1961 model year.
Chrysler wanted to enter the brand in
competition with its competitors Oldsmobile,
Buick, Mercury, Studebaker, Hudson, and Willys,
in the mid-price class. DeSoto served as a
lower priced version of Chrysler products,
with Dodge and Plymouth added to the
Chrysler family in 1928.
Shortly after the DeSoto was introduced,
Chrysler completed its purchase of the
Dodge Brothers, giving the company two
mid-priced makes. Initially, the two-make
strategy was relatively successful,
with DeSoto priced below
In 1899, Packard was founded by
James Ward Packard, his brother
William, and their partner, George
Lewis Weiss, in Warren, Ohio.
A mechanical engineer, James Packard
believed they could build a better
horseless carriage than the Winton cars
owned by Weiss. Packard's first car was
built in Warren, Ohio, in November, 1899.
In 1900, the Ohio Automobile
was founded to produce Packard
automobiles and in 1902 the name was
changed to the Packard Motor Car
Company with James Packard as president.
In the beginning, all Packards had a
single-cylinder engine until 1903.
Packard vehicles featured innovations,
including the modern steering wheel and,
years later, the first production 12-cylinder
engine, adapted from developing the
Liberty L-12, and air-conditioning in a
passenger car. Packard produced its "Twin Six"
model series of 12-cylinder cars from
1915 to 1923.
In 1903, Packard constructed a
automobile manufacturing plant in Detroit.
Packard produced luxury automobiles not
only for the American market, but also for
foreign markets. By the 1920s,
Packard was exporting more cars than
any other make in the luxury class.
While the high-volume Oldsmobile Runabout
went for $650, the Packard concentrated on
cars with prices starting at $2,600.
The company developed a following among
wealthy purchasers both in the United States
and abroad, competing with European
marques like Rolls-Royce and Mercedes Benz.
By 1935, the Great Depression
Packard to introduce its first lower priced car,
the Packard 120. Sales tripled in 1935 and
then doubled again in 1936. The 120 model was
built in an entirely separate factory.
Like all automobile
Packard ceased the car production
during World War II.
In late 1945, the company resumed production
with the Clipper. Like other cars of this era,
the 1946 and 1947 models were essentially
same as the 1941 models. In the post-war era,
Packard decided to emphasize the higher
volume lower priced models instead of the more
During the first half of the twentieth
the Packard was one of America’s premier
The first Packard automobiles were produced
in 1899, and the last true Packard in 1956,
when they built the Packard Predictor,
their last concept car.
Packard bought Studebaker in 1953
Studebaker-Packard Corporation of
South Bend, Indiana. The final Packards were
actually badge engineered 1958
In 1852, Studebaker was founded in South Bend,
Indiana, and incorporated
in 1868 under the name of the Studebaker
Company, the company was originally a producer
of wagons for farmers, miners, and
The Studebaker began when brothers Henry
and Clement opened the H & C Studebaker
blacksmith shop in South Bend, Indiana, in 1852.
Their wagons became known for quality
Business began slowly, with production
being only two wagons built and sold
the first year; the first carriage followed
in 1857. By 1858, brother John Mohler
joined and invested in the firm, which was filling
wagon orders for the U.S. Army.
Studebaker continued to supply wagons to the
Army throughout the Civil War, exposing their
product to the Nation.
The company grew quickly. Production in
1867 was 6,000 vehicles, and by
1885 topped 75,000.
Sales by 1887 surpassed $2 million.
Studebaker had become one of the world's
largest manufacturers of horse drawn
vehicles in the world.
This success was not without hardship.
Major fires occurred at the factory in 1872 and 1874
with the 1872 fire nearly wiping out the firm,
and the 1874 fire destroying two-thirds of
Along with its wagons, Studebaker
were highly prized, and counted
U.S. presidents among their passengers,
including Abraham Lincoln,
who was transported to Ford's Theater
the night he was assassinated
in a Studebaker carriage.
Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company
was the only top ranked carriage builder
to actually manufacture both automobiles
and wagons from 1902 to 1920.
The company introduced an electric car in
1902 and a gasoline powered vehicle in 1904.
Studebaker entered the automotive
in 1902 with electric vehicles
and in 1904 with gasoline vehicles,
all sold under the name Studebaker
The first gasoline automobiles to be fully
manufactured by Studebaker were
marketed in August 1912.
Over the next 50 years, the company established
a reputation for good quality and reliability.
Studebaker closed its South Bend plant in
Car production continued at the Ontario, Canada,
plant until its closure in March 1966,
ending a 114 year history of
The Excalibur automobile was a car styled
after the 1928 Mercedes-Benz SSK by Brooks
Stevens for Studebaker. Stevens
subsequently formed a company to manufacture
and market the cars, which were conventional
under their styling.
Clifford Brooks Stevens (1911 – 1995)
an American industrial designer of home
furnishings, appliances, automobiles and
motorcycles, as well as a graphic designer
Stevens founded Brooks Stevens, Inc.
headquartered in Allenton, Wisconsin.
A prototype premiered at car shows in 1964,
Stevens subsequently obtained engines
fitted on a Studebaker chassis and using a
290-horsepower Studebaker 289 V-8.
Studebaker almost immediately ceased its
operations,ending the availability of
from General Motors through his friends,
GM executives Ed Cole and Semon Knudsen.
These were Chevrolet 327s in 300-bhp
Corvette tune, making the 2100-pound
Excalibur a strong performer.
With the standard 3.31:1 rear axle, acceleration
from 0-60 mph took less than six seconds.
Projected top speed was 134 mph.
Over 3,500 Excalibur cars were built,
The company failed in 1986 but was
all in Milwaukee, Wis.
The American comedian Phyllis Diller
was a notable proponent
of the Excalibur automobile, and
owned four of them.
revived several times.
Production of the Excalibur
continued until 1990.
In 1916, Nash Motors was founded
former General Motors president Charles
W. Nash who acquired the Thomas B.
Jeffery Company in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Jeffery's best known automobile was the
Rambler, whose mass production began in 1902.
Nash Motors Company was based in Kenosha,
Wis. from 1916 to 1937.
From 1937 to 1954, Nash Motors was the
automotive division of the Nash
Nash Kelvinator Corporation
was the result
of a merger in 1937 between
Nash Motors and Kelvinator Appliance Company.
In 1952, Kelvinator introduced
Food-A-Rama Side by Side Refrigerator, one of
the earliest modern side-by-side frost
Nash Motors production continued from
1954 to 1957
The 1917 Nash Model 671 was the
after the creation of American Motors
produced to bear the name of the new
Nash pioneered some important innovations.
Using its Kelvinator refrigeration
experience, the automobile
industry's first single unit heating
and air conditioning system was introduced
by Nash in 1954.
The unibody construction in 1941,
seat belts in 1950,
a compact car also in 1950, and
muscle cars in 1957.
Nash and Hudson production ended with
the last Hornet made in June, 1957.
From 1958 to 1962, Rambler and the
Metropolitan were the
only brands of cars sold by AMC. By 1965
the Rambler name
would begin to be phased out and AMC
would take over
as the brand name until the 1988 model year.
In 1987 Chrysler Corporation made a
public offering to acquire all shares of
AMC on the NYSE.
The shareholders approved the offer and
AMC became a division of the Chrylser
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