One of the few autos ever built in New York City, the Simplex was among the most respected American marques in the pre-WWI period. Starting in 1907 with a T-head 50 hp four-cylinder short-stroke engine and chain drive, the Simplex quickly racked up an enviable record in racing and soon became a favorite among the well heeled in society and commerce alike. They were painstakingly handcrafted from the best materials of their time and built by highly skilled workers. The model range was expanded over the next few years with the development of the 38-hp cars an exceedingly small output of 75- and 90-hp cars.
Coachwork on the Simplex ranged from downright stark, in the form of its bucket-seated Speed Car, to highly elaborate landaulets and limousines. Custom bodies by venerable firms like Holbrook and Quimby were mounted on Simplex chassis from its very beginning, and this tradition was carried on when the firm evolved into making Crane models in 1915. These Crane-designed cars used an L-head six-cylinder engine of immense quality, had a chassis price of $5,000 and, as with the earlier cars, carried custom bodies from Brewster, Demarest, Healey & Co, McNear and Farnham & Nelson, as well as the aforementioned coachbuilders.Source: Gooding & Company