The Paige, which was built in Detroit from 1909 to 1928, was advertised in the 1920's as 'The Most Beautiful Car in America.' The company also offered a lower-priced 'companion car,' the Jewett (named for company president Harry M. Jewett) from 1922-27.
This type 6-42 Sedan sold new for $2,395 in 1920, which placed Paige solidly in the mid-price range. The sedan was not necessarily typical of Paige production - the company loved to build sporting models. In 1921, a stripped-down Paige was driven on the one-way straightaway at Daytona Beach at a speed of 102.83 miles per hour.
As the automobile business became more difficult in the late 1920's the company was sold to the Graham Brothers and for a brief time (1929-30) a Graham-Paige was offered.
The Paige Automobile Company was formed by Harry M. Jewett, a wealthy coal company owner. He had taken a ride in a two-stroke, three-cylinder car that had been created by the Reliance Motor Company. The president of the company was Fred Paige. Jewett purchased the company, reorganized it as the Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company (based in Detroit, MI), and established Fred Paige as its president. Paige would remain as president for only a short period, as he was later forced out after several production problems arose. The 'Detroit' portion of the name was dropped in 1911, after Jewett had shut down production, fired many of the employees, and re-organized the company.
Their first vehicle was a two-seater vehicle powered by a three-cylinder, two-stroke engine that displaced 2.2-liters. A few years later, a four-stroke, four-cylinder model was offered. A six-cylinder unit became available by 1914. Four-cylinders would be apart of the Paige line-up until 1916, when the company focused solely on their 3.7 and 4.9-liter sixes.
The company's most famous automobile was the Paige Daytona, built between 1922 through 1926. It was a sporty, 6-liter car that (in proper guise) set many speed records. The engines were Continental units that had a stroke of 5-inches and a bore that measured 3.75-inches. The block and cylinder head were constructed from iron while the crankcase was from lightweight aluminum. The crankshaft featured adjustable pressure oil feed driven by a gear pump that provided the lubrication. It engines breathed through Rayfield carburetors, had an L-head design, and had fully-enclosed and lubricated valves. Equally impressive were the gearboxes, which were among the finest built of the era. They were three-speed Warner non-synchromesh units that had a reputation for their ease of use, reliability, and quietness.
The Daytona 6-66 Speedsters were advertised as the 'World's Fastest Car'. Their claim was reinforced when a stripped production car exceeded 100 miles per hour at the Daytona sand-beach track. In doing so, it broke every stock car record for speed after traveling a mile in a mere 35.01 seconds at a speed of 102.8 miles an hour.
A low-cost alternative was also produced, called the Jewett.
Following on the coat-tails of its sporty sibling, an eight-cylinder unit was added in 1927.
The Graham brothers were successful businessman who had made a sizeable fortune in the manufacture of glass bottles. They later began building kits for modifying vehicles into trucks. This led to the manufacture of their own line of trucks which was later purchased by Dodge in 1925.
In 1927, the Graham brothers purchased the Paige-Detroit Motor Company for four million dollars. The following year, Paige-Detroit cars became known as Graham-Paiges. For several years, trucks were added to the lineup, but this was short-lived as Dodge had a non-competition agreement with the Graham Brothers which meant Paige-Detroit had to cease production of trucks. By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2011