The Waltham Manufacturing Company was founded in 1893 by Charles H. Metz. It would become an important company in America; it would build America's first motorcycle and the largest bicycle. The bicycle had ten seats. Metz would remain with the company until 1901. He returned seven years later to a company that was in debt and spiraling out of business. What he did find was a surplus of parts and much potential. To stimulate sales, Metz offered customers a payment and self-assembly plan allowing customers to gradually purchase their cars. Each of the 'Parts Group' cost $25 and was assembled by the client. In total, the car consisted of fourteen boxes of parts and cost a total of $350. This 'Metz Plan' worked, and by 1909 Waltham's debts were paid off. By 1910, the Metz Two was offered with factory assembly.
By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2008
Prior to building automobiles, Charles Metz was a bicycle manufacture. His Waltham Manufacturing Company in Massachusetts made Orient bicycles. After a dispute with investors, he left his company; eight years later, he re-purchased his company which had fallen into a desperate financial state and had a large inventory of parts on hand. Metz then began selling packages of parts for $25 each, enabling them to build their own cars, one package at a time. This ingenious plan created a steady cash flow, allowing Metz to retire the debts of Waltham Manufacturing and become an auto manufacturer in his own right.
In 1912, Charles Metz introduced a new Model 22, powered by a 22 horsepower four-cylinder engine. It has a simple friction drive transmission found on the earlier vee-twin cars. The friction drive is operated via a steel disc rotating in one plane which drives a fiber disc operating in a plane 90 degrees to it. The engine turns the steel disc, and the fiber disc turns the drive wheel.
The Model 22 had a 90-inch wheelbase which was kept in drivers control via a two-wheel mechanical braking system.
This example wears an older restoration that remains in good condition in modern times. It has a monocle windshield, gas lamps, and excellent bright-work.
In 2010, this car was offered for sale at the Vintage Motor Cars of Hershey presented by RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $200,000-$250,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $189,750 including buyer's premium.By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2010