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1911 CarterCar Model L news, pictures, specifications, and information
Chassis Num: 7120
Sold for $47,300 at 2010 RM Auctions.
The Catercar Company was one of the early automobile companies that began in the early 1900s. It was founded by Byron J. Carter who began his career working as a steam-driven press printer. Along with printing, Carter was a rubber stamp manufacturer who later entered a partnership with his father, Squire B. Carter, in the production of bicycles beginning in 1894. The U.S. Tag Company was formed in 1896. In 1899, Carter built his first gasoline powered automobile. Using his background in steam-driven press, future cars were powered by this alternative source.

By 1902, Carter had invented a three-cylinder 6 horsepower steam engine that he patented. Having created a successful product, he persuaded Jackson residents George A. Matthews and Charles Lewis to help him with automobile production. Matthews was the owner of the Fuller Buggy Company and had ties to the Jackson City Bank, while Mr. Lewis was the president of Lewis Spring and Axle Company and the director of Union Bank in Jackson. Soon, the Jackson Automobile Company was incorporated and began producing both gasoline and steam powered vehicles.

A short time after incorporating and starting the business, Carter left the company due to a disagreement with his partners. He had an idea for a friction-drive that he was unable to convince his partners to pursue. Instead, he left the company and formed the Motorcar Company in Jackson, but soon relocated to Detroit after receiving financial backing there. Two years later, the company's name was changed to Cartercar Company, and again relocated to another location - the Pontiac Spring & Wagon Works in Pontiac.

Sales were strong and continued to improve year-after-year, until tragically, Byron Carter died in April of 1908 at the age of 44 due to pneumonia. On October 26th of 1909, the Cartercar Company was purchased by William Crapo Durant. The Cartercar would last through 1915.

This example wears an older restoration that still shows well in modern times. It is powered by a 255.6 cubic-inch L-head four-cylinder engine that produces around 35 horsepower. There is a friction transmission and two-wheel mechanical brakes.

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 $20,000-$30,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $47,300 including buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2010
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