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Essex History

1922 Essex Four

Chassis number : 70536

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Sold for $26,400 at 2018 Worldwide Auctioneers : Hostetlers Hudson Auto Museum Auction.
The Essex Motor Company was formed in 1917 and made its debut the following year as Hudson Motor Company's 'junior' companion marque. It operated from the old No. 5 Studebaker plant on Detroit's Franklin Avenue. Essex was named after an English town and was financed and managed by top Hudson staff. For example, Hudson president Roy D. Chapin and other leading Hudson staff served on the Essex board of directors. Essex president William S. McAneeny was Hudson's factory manager, and top Hudson executives Roscoe B. Jackson and A.E. Barit held administrative posts at Essex.

The original Essex vehicles were powered by a 55 horsepower 'four' mounted in a 108-inch wheelbase and given angular body designs. They were relatively inexpensive while offering good performance and reliability. The first Essex automobiles were produced in December of 1918 as 1919 models after it had been delayed due to World War I.

Essex vehicles are credited with beginning the trend away from open bodied cars. They realized very early the interest in closed cars, offering America's lowest-priced version starting in 1922. The cars were very dependable and won several hill climbing challenges including the 1923 Pikes Peak run. In December of 1919, an AAA-supervised demonstration test was executed involving an Essex being driven to speeds exceeding 60 mph at the Cincinnati Speedway over 50 hours and 3,037.4 miles. Four Essex motorcars participated in a publicized transcontinental run in August of 1920, with a mail pouch transported by each car and each driver sworn in as official letter carriers.

Essex sales were impressive, outselling Hudson two consecutive years in 1919 and 1920, and matching them for 1921. 92 cars were produced in 1918 as 1919 models. Over the years, sales continued to escalate and propelled the Hudson Motor Car Company into third place in overall sales for 1929.

For 1922, Essex and Hudson were merged into a single company. The Essex vehicles received a new wider body for the Touring car with front hinges and wider doors. Body styles included the Tourer, Sedan, Cabriolet and a new two-door, five-passenger coach. Mechanical updates heightened reliability and durability. The four-cylinder engine received a new cylinder head, a more efficient fuel intake, repositioned spark plugs, and a Morse timing chain.

For 1922, Essex shipped 36,222 vehicles to their dealers. This particular example is a four-door touring car. It is believed the car was used on touring events for many years in California before it was acquired by Ralph Levin of Michigan. In 2005, it was listed for sale at the Kruse Labor Day Weekend auction, where it was purchased by Eldon Hostetler.

This Essex Four has a canvas top, spotlight, wind wings, and a Moto-Meter atop the radiator. Power is from a 180 cubic-inch F-head inline four-cylinder fitted with a single Essex carburetor. There is a three-speed manual transmission, two-wheel (rear) mechanical brakes, and a wheelbase which measures 108.5 inches.


By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2019

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2018 Worldwide Auctioneers : Hostetlers Hudson Auto Museum Auction

Sale Price :
USD $26,400

Recent Sales of the Essex Four

(Data based on Model Year 1922 sales)
1922 Essex Four Touring
Chassis#: 70536
Sold for USD$26,400
  2018 Worldwide Auctioneers : Hostetlers Hudson Auto Museum Auction
1922 Essex Four image  1922 Essex Four image  
1922 ESSEX TOURING CONVERTIBLE
Sold for USD$18,500
  2001 Kruse Auction - Auburn, IN
 

Essex Fours That Failed To Sell At Auction

1922 Essex Four's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1922 Essex 2016 Mecum Indianapolis$15,000  

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1922 Essex Four Profiles

1922 Essex Four vehicle information
Touring Car
Chassis #: 70536