Alexander Winton was unquestionably one of the individuals - quite possibly the individual - who launched the American automobile industry. And he did it in Cleveland, Ohio. One of the most famous cars built in that city, the car was in production from 1897 until 1924.
This particular Winton was once owned by Mr. Winton's son, Alexander Winton Jr. He rescued it from a Cincinnati wrecking yard shed, where it had been stored from 1928 to 1952. It was in its original condition. Mr. Winton took the car on several Glidden Tours before selling it to the current owners.
This Model 33 Three-Quarter Limousine was the very top of the line in construction and appointments. The Winton was completely restored many years ago and remains in superb condition.
Sold for $52,250 at 2011 RM Sothebys. Every car that is ever produced will have a story to tell. Many things will be seen and experienced. Very few will have been there from the very beginning and will have seen its lineage evolve. In the case of Winton's cars, they can brag as having been present from the beginning.
Winton was one of America's first company's to produce and sell automobiles. Founded in Cleveland, Ohio, the Scottish immigrant Alexander Winton actually started out, like so many in that day and age of the very early 20th century, making and repairing bicycles.
In 1899, Winton sold more than 100 of their gasoline-powered cars, making it the largest automobile manufacturer in the United States at the time. In 1902 a car called the Winton Bullet set an unofficial land speed record of 70 mph.
Throughout the years prior to the First World War, Winton promoted its cars to the upper-classes of America. By the 1920s, many car companies had popped up and innovations were coming more and more quickly. Winton was unable to really challenge all of the manufacturers as it had been when it was just Ford as their main competition. Therefore, in 1924, the company ceased making automobiles and concentrated instead on manufacturing engines. This last remaining part of Winton was purchased in 1930 and became a subsidiary of General Motors. GM reorganized the company in 1937 and renamed it the Cleveland Diesel Engine Division of General Motors, which ended up ceasing operations in 1962.
Featured in a book by highly respected classic-car photographer Michael Furman, the Winton offered at this year's auction was one of the company's last chassis designs. Between the later part of the 20th century's first decade and the mid-teens, Winton had not unveiled a new design. However, in 1916, Winton debuted its new Six-33.
Winton was one of the biggest and earliest proponents of the six-cylinder engine and started putting the engine in his cars around 1908. The six-cylinder engine would remain a fixture in all of Winton's cars for the rest of the company's days.
The car offered at the auction came from the Gateway Colorado Auto Museum and featured a Model 22A, 34 hp, 348 cubic inch in-line six-cylinder engine. It features a four-speed transmission and solid axle front suspension with semi-elliptical leaf springs. The rear is a live rear axle also with semi-elliptical leaf springs.
The car's exterior finish is olive-colored. Its convertible, fabric top is black. The interior boasts a large, wooden steering wheel, mechanically-actuated rear drum brakes and a wood finished dash. It was expected the Winton Six-33 would garner between $80,000 and $120,000 at auction.
The car is truly a timepiece and provides on-lookers and passengers with an instant trip into the past and the automobile's historic early days.
'Buy: View Lots (Lot 300: 1917 Winton Six-33 Sport Touring)', (http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=AZ11&CarID=r247&fc=0). RM Auctions Arizona. http://www.rmauctions.com/FeatureCars.cfm?SaleCode=AZ11&CarID=r247&fc=0. Retrieved 11 January 2011.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Winton Motor Carriage Company', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 12 December 2010, 22:32 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Winton_Motor_Carriage_Company&oldid=402031807 accessed 11 January 2011By Jeremy McMullen
The Winton Motor Carriage Company of Cleveland Ohio was one of the first American companies to sell a motor car with their product listed as a 'horseless carriage.' The company was created by a Scottish immigrant named Alexander Winton, owner of the Winton Bicycle Company, on March 15th of 1897. Each of these early vehicles were hand built and painstakingly assembled piece-by-piece. The cars were rather elegant and stately for the era, being given padded seats, a leather roof, gas lamps, painted sides, and rubber tires made by the B.F. Goodrich Company of Akron, Ohio.
In the late 1890s, Winton had created two operational prototype automobiles which he subjected to extensive testing and trails. He achieved a top speed of 33.64 mph on a test around a Cleveland horse track and later drove 800 miles from Cleveland to New York City to determine the vehicles capabilities, durability, feasibility, and stamina.
His first customer was Robert Allison of Port Carbon, Pennsylvania who purchased a horseless carriage from Winton on March 24th of 1898. Twenty-one vehicles were sold through out the year, including one to James Ward Packard. Packard was unhappy with his purchase and created the Packard Automobile Company to create a 'proper' auto car.
By 1899 the Winton Company was the largest manufacturer of gas-powered automobiles in the United States by selling over one hundred vehicles. A dealership was later opened in Reading, Pennsylvania which led to another 'first', the creation of a vehicle auto hauler.
During the early years of Winton production, popularity was generated by racing accomplishments, endurance runs, and publicity. As the years progressed, the engine size and power increased. By 1908 they had cemented their business in the six-cylinder range and would power each of their Winton's for the next 16 years with the six-cylinder engine. Changes throughout the years were few, mostly in reaction to the rest of the industry. They switched to left-hand drive in 1914 and offered an electric starter as optional equipment in 1915. The decision was a difficult one for Winton, as he was very fond of his compressed-air starter. It took a contingent of dealers to finally convince him to offer the electric starter as optional equipment.
During the early 1910s, Winton began experimenting in other industries, such as marine engines and diesel fuel. As World War I broke out, Winton levitated towards producing engines with diesel fuel and soon it was accounting for the majority of their production.
As the War came to a close, sales were slow for the automobiles but strong for the engines. Automobile production was ceased in 1924 but they continued in the marine and stationary gasoline and diesel engine business. In 1930 the engine operations were purchased by General Motors.
Post War Production With the War at an end, Winton saw an opportunity for a light weight car, the company introduced the Six-33, cataloged as the Model 22-A. The Model 22, Six-48, was given a larger wheelbase, now measuring 138-inches but retaining its 48 horsepower engine which displaced 525 cubic-inches. The wheelbase of the Six-33 decreased by ten inches and powered by a smaller 348 cubic-inch six which produced 33 horsepower. It had a sticker price two-thirds that of the larger model.
By the very early 1920s, Winton had consolidated his model line down to one, which was an evolution of the Six-33. Sales were slow and only a few hundred examples were sold in 1922 and 1923, forcing the company to close in February of 1924. By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2009