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Mass Mobility: America Gets Behind the Wheel

1906 Cadillac Model H Coupe
The Cadillac Automobile Company was founded in 1902 by Henry Leland from the remains of the Henry Ford Company. As a result of an agreement that prohibited the use of the Ford name – the new car was named after the French explorer who discovered Detroit. Cadillac’s closed car was a first. Most automobiles of the day reserved glass for the windshield only.

1912 Ford Model T Speedster
Adventurous drivers of the time modified Henry Ford cars creating the “Speedster” from the Runabout. By simply replacing the windshield with a monocle, adding wire wheels, changing the gas tank, and removing the panel between the running boards and body – the vehicle became 25% lighter and one of the fastest cars of the time.

1913 Pierce-Arrow Model 38C Brougham
Pierce had originally started as a manufacturer of high-quality household goods – but had ventured into automobiles with the single cylinder Motorette in 1901. By 1913 the Ford Model T Town Car was about $850 – compared with the $4,300 to $5,200 for the 1913 Pierce-Arrow Model 38C Brougham. You can certainly discern luxury in this vehicle.

1914 Ford Model T – Runabout
A sturdy and inexpensive car powered by a 22 horsepower engine mated with a two-speed planetary transmission that hadn’t changed since 1909. Subtle differences such as doors with rounded bottoms and a body strengthened by extending the sheet metal across the rear door spills marked changes in the 1914 over the 1913. The Model T stayed in production until 1927 – – with over 15 million manufactured.

1917 Winton Six – 7 Passenger Touring Car
According to automotive historian Beverly Rae Kimes, “If any single individual can be credited with lighting the spark which set the automotive industry going in America, it would be Alexander Winton.” First, Winton created the Winton Bicycle Company in 1891, followed by the Winton Motor Carriage Company 6 years later and was the largest manufacturer of gasoline powered vehicles by 1900. Winton has also been credited as having the first commercially sold auto built in America.

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