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Thread: Cartercar Model H 1909

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    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Cartercar Model H 1909

    After leaving the Jackson Automobile Company due to a disagreement with his business partners over the choice of transmissions in 1905, Byron J. Carter formed the Motorcar Company in Jackson. The firm relocated to Detroit by the end of the year, due to having financing there. Starting in 1907, the company was named Cartercar Company and was relocated to Pontiac, thereupon merging with the makers of the Pontiac High wheeler. The Cartercar was given a warm reception in the press, largely due to the friction drive transmission, which was a sort of forerunner of the CVT of today, as both offered an infinite number of engine speeds. At 4000 miles, the paper fiber rims that were part of the friction-drive could be replaced for no more than $5, which was less than half the price that would be expended on grease packing in a regular geared transmission.

    Sales more than doubled between the first and second full years of production, from 101 in 1906 to 264 in 1907. The next year sales were up again, now at 325. On October 26, 1909 Cartercar was bought by General Motors in the acquisition spree that William Durant went on after founding GM.

    Durant lost control of GM in 1910, and by the time he had regained control in 1915, the GM board had already decided to discontinue the Cartercar, largely because sales never approached the 1000-2000 annually that Durant had predicted. The GM board decided to use the factory instead to produce the Oakland.

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