This luxury automobile was introduced in 1917.Its name was known as a low price brand.In an unusual move for head of GM Billy Durant this car was entered into the high price field going against Packard and Pierce Arrow.This touring car featured a very ahead of its time “overhead valve” V8 engine.This would be a first for this high volume car company but not its last. They would not produce another V8 car till 1955. The advanced V8 engine featured a central camshaft, counter balanced crankshaft and detachable crossflow cylinder heads. Horsepower for this V8 wonder was very high for the time 55.The most for this maker till 1932. At 288 cubic inches the little V8 was fed thru a two barrel Zenith updraft carburetor. While Ford’s Model T featured a planetary gear set this car used a very modern 3 speed manual with a leather faced clutch and single reverse gear. Riding on a 120 inch wheelbase and weighing at 3200 lbs it was over two feet longer and half a ton larger than its 4 cylinder siblings. Featuring full electrical items such as lights and starter as standard equipment its price was $1395.00.Higher than Buick or Hupmobile.That very vaulted pricing would hurt sales.In its first year only 511 units were produced. While the other models of this make would top 111,000 for model year 1917. As much of a mechanical marvel this touring car was it only lasted two years.Production would stop in 1919 with only a total of 1500 being produced. What Auto is This??
Tag Archive: Billy Durant
This was the last year for this 1931 Make. Produced from 1907-1931. It would become part of Billy Durant’s GM empire in 1909 till its demise in 1931. By the mid 1920′s GM vehicles had big gaps in pricing. GM beancounters decided to create “Companion Makes” Buick would get Marquette.Cadillac got LaSalle and this make would be the parent to soon to be famous make. This make was always outshined by it other sibling divisions. Not a Chevy or a Caddy it never found its true market place. In the mid priced range it offered a good value at a less than Oldsmobile price. Even offereing V8 power at a few dollars more than Ford. It also would benifit from the superb Fisher body and reliable Delco electronics. The one thing the beancounters didn’t get was that the divsions were too close in price. By the time the Great Depression kicked in the upstart and stylish companion make was out selling its parent by more than 10 to 1. With slow sales and bread lines becoming part of the American way of life GM sent this make to the automotive trash heap. Oddly its companion would go onto become a long running and spirited American icon. “What Auto is This”
The answer to 05/24/2011′s What Auto is This Quiz?? is the 1917-1919 Chevrolet Model D Touring.Powered by a 288 cubic inch “overhead valve” V8 engine it was a mechanical marvel in its day.One of Billy Durant’s follies the Model D was ahead of its time.The selling price was $1395.00 putting it against upscale Packard and Buick.With sales of only 1500 units from 1917-1919 the Model D Touring was discontinued.Chevy would not have another V8 till the famous “Small Block” of 1955. Ford purist brag how Ford had the V8 before Chevy.Chevy fans can brag how Chevrolet had it 15 years before the famous Flathead V8. The 1917-1919 Chevrolet Model D Touring would fail in sales compared to its cheaper sibling but was an engineering marvel in its era. Ever take a ride in a 1918 Chevy Model D Touring? Take a ride in Luke’s 1918 Model D touring..
The answer to 05/18/2011′s What Auto is This?? is the 1915 Scripps Booth Model C. Founder James Scripps was an artist and engineer. His family made its fortune as owners of the Detroit News.The Model C was unusual for its day with a very modern V8 engine. James Scripps would lose control of his company in late 1915 when stock raider Billy Durant took control of the company with a huge stock purchase.Durant would later use Scripps Booth and Chevrolet to regain control of GM..only to lose its a few years later. Scripps-Booth would close its door in 1923 due to slow sales and high production costs.
This high end automobile was produced between 1913-1923.Its founder made his fortune in the newspaper industry.He was also known as an artist and engineer. Early cars were known as auto-cycles because of their half car half motorcycle design.Known for its at the time exotic engines the first cars were powered by a 18 horsepower OHV four cylinder engine.Very unusual at the time. Only 400 of the early cycle cars were produced when its founder changed his focus to the luxury car market.This 1915 model would feature one of the industies first v8 engines.A working marvel at the time it would compete with luxury biggies like Packard and Cadillac.Other very upscale features were full auto spark advance,3 speed tranmission with shaft drive,electric starter with full electrical system,Zenith carburetor,push button door locks,electric horn with steering wheel mounted button and full pressure lubrication. Prices for the four cylinder models started at $775.00 in 1915 not bad considering a Model T sold for $700.00..The more hoity-tioty V8′s sold for $1525.00 a premium for a car in its day.By mid 1913 shares of the company was sold to the public.By 1915 its founder lost control of the company and it was gobbled up by GM CEO Billy Durant in a semi hostle takeover.By 1917 Durant used this company and the power of Chevrolet to regain his hold on GM.From then till its demise in 1923 this luxury make was part of the early GM days. despite all the drama this car company was able to produce over 34,000 vehicles in its short history. What Auto is This??
The answer to 05/11/2011′s What Auto is This?? Quiz is the 1925 Flint B40 Touring. Flint’s were produced in Flint Michigan between 1923-1927.A division of the Durant Motor Company it was the idea of founder Billy Durant to place the Flint against Buick and Nash in the mid price class.As with most of his ventures Billy Durant would over spend and under plan.The Flint would close its doors in 1927.Durant was one of the founders of GM and would gain and lose control many times during his tenure a CEO.The car bearing his name “The Durant” would die in 1931 due to The Great Depression.He would die almost poor as a bowling alley manager in Flint Michigan in 1947 at age 85.
The answer to 01/25/2011′s What Auto is This?? Quiz is the very “grand” 1913 Chevrolet Model C. The nickname for this early Chevy was “The Baby Grand” In an effort to compete with the Model T GM guru William Crapo Durant installed a four cylinder in the touring car and priced it at $490.00. This angered Louis Chevrolet so much he left the company. Once again answered correctly by Car Maniac Ken Slavik..Thanks Ken for the addtional info.
The answer to 01/27/2011′s What Auto is This?? Quiz is the 1964-1969 Triumph 2000 sedan. With its 2.0 liter six cylinder engine mated to twin carbs and fully independent suspension. It was considered one of the first Sport Sedans. Triumph would go on to sell over 120,000 of the spirited sedan.