In the early 1900s small open car craze swept the Únited States. This eagerness for this type of car was soon satisfied by cars like the 1910 Brush Model D Runabout. Runabouts (also called 'Gentlemen's Roadsters') were designed wîth no consideration given to comfort or weather protection. For several years manufacturers resisted making changes to the successful design, and as a result the cars began to look out-of-date. By 1920, the Runabout was almost extinct.
Alanson P. Brush had helped Henry Leland design the original Cadillac one-cylinder engine. In 1907 he decided to build a low-cost one-cylinder car marketed under his own name. The Brush was successful for a number of years, owing in large part to it s affordable price. The 1910-1911 model ranged in cost from $350 to $850.Source - Frick Car Museum
During the first decade of the 20th Century, hundreds of American manufacturers introduced a wide variety of automobiles. The Brush Runabout Company (1907-1911) focused on building small, well crafted machines that consistently proved themselves in events like the Glidden Tour and the Pike's Peak climb. Coil springs at all four corners and wooden axles (and frame) combine to give the car excellent balance. This roadster was rescued from a barn by its last private owner. After restoration it received numerous AACA awards, including a Grand National in 1980.Source - AACA Museum
Alanson P. Brush founded the Brush Runabout Company in 1906 in Detroit, Michigan. Alanson was a respected technical innovator though he had no formal technical training. His resume included working for Henry Leland's manufacturing company where he was engaged to solve design problems on the first Oldsmobiles, Buicks, and Cadillacs.
The Brush Company would be later absorbed into the United States Motor Company. The U.S. Motors collapsed in 1912 and would bring the end of the Brush automobiles.
The Brush automobiles were built using mainly Michigan hardwoods, with axles and wheels fabricated from hickory, frame and flooring from oak and the seat structure from poplar.
The Model D rode on an 80-inch wheelbase and powered by a single-cylinder engine offering 10 horsepower. The car weighed 950 pounds and cost $485.
A California man purchased this car and it remained in his family for three generations. In 2008, the current owner acquired the car from the original family in a partially assembled condition. The restoration work took two years to complete. By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2010
The Brush Model D was promoted as the 'everyman's car - priced low enough for every man with quality high enough for any man.' Ads claimed that it 'went fast enough' and 'cost less to operate than a horse and buggy, less than a cent a mile.' It was stated to get '25 to 30 miles out of every gallon of gas.'
The Brush Model D was powered by a well-engineered, vertical, L-head, one-cylinder engine which ran counter-clockwise and produced 10 horsepower. This gave the runabout a top speed of around 35 mph with pneumatic tires and 20 mph with the optional solid tires.
Single cylinder engines were noted for their vibration. To counter this, Brush installed a heavy counterweight in the crank case that was driven in the opposite direction, resulting in a vibration-free engine. Power was sent to both rear wheels via a chain drive system.
The cars frame, front axle and artillery wheels are constructed for wood (oak, hickory or rock maple; air-dried; oil soaked). The fuel tank was mounted on the firewall in the engine compartment and was capable of holding five gallons of fuel. The twin coach lights were fuel by oil. They had a single rear oil lamp which was mounted on the driver's side.
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