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 GMC Model 16 photo

1917 GMC Model 16

Before automobiles, William C. Durant's Durant-Dort Carriage Company, of Flint, Michigan, was among the leading manufacturer of horse-drawn vehicles in the United States during the late 1890s and early 1900s. In 1904, Durant acquired the Buick Motor Company from his fellow Flint businessman James H. Whiting, owner of Flint Wagon Works. In 1908, Durant and his partner Charles Stewart Mott formed the General Motors Company as a holding company, and its first acquisition was Buick. A short time later, it acquired Oldsmobile, Cadillac Elmore, Oakland, Reliance Motor Truck Company of Owosso, Michigan, and the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company of Pontiac, Michigan. Having acquired all these company, Durant had put General Motors in financial distress and had over-leveraged the company. As a result, the board of directors had him removed in 1910 at the insistence of the bankers who had backed the loans.

Durant was down, but he was not out. A year later, he co-founded the Chevrolet Motor Company with Swiss race car driver Louis Chevrolet. It was immediately successful and allowed Durant, with the backing of McLaughlin and Pierre S. du Pont, to re-acquired a controlling interest in GM in 1917, which had been re-incorporated in Detroit in 1916 as General Motors Corporation. Chevrolet became part of GM on May 2nd of 1918. Just two years later, du Pont had Durant removed for a second time, and was replaced with Alfred P. Sloan.

General Motors had been created as an umbrella organization for several passenger car marques. In similar fashion, Durant assembled the General Motors Truck Company, headquartered in Pontiac, Michigan, to produce trucks. After acquiring the Rapid and Reliance company, he continued the production of their products but with new branding. The GMC badge was first used on trucks for the New York Auto Show in 1912. During World I, the company supplied over 21,000 trucks in support of the war effort, many of them ¾-ton Model 15s. After the war, GMC re-entered production with a long-running Model 16, which was built through 1926.

The GMC Model 16 was powered by a Continental L-head four-cylinder engine delivering 35 horsepower through a three-speed sliding-gear transmission. It had a wheelbase that measured 132 inches which provided plenty of room for several types of bodies, both closed and open.


by Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2020
Vehicle Profiles
1917 GMC Model 16 vehicle information

Truck

Chassis Num: 161759

This 1917 GMC Model 16 ¾-Ton Express is very rare and believed to be the only surviving example of its era. It was acquired by a GMC dealership and given a ground-up restoration with the fenders and hood painted in gloss black. The pickup type bed is....[continue reading]

Truck
Chassis #: 161759 

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Industry Production

#1#2#3GMC
1922Ford (1,147,028)Chevrolet (243,479)Dodge (152,673)
1921Ford (1,275,618)Chevrolet (130,855)Buick (82,930)
1920Ford (806,040)Chevrolet (146,243)Dodge (141,000)
1919Ford (820,445)Chevrolet (129,118)Buick (119,310)
1918Ford (435,898)Buick (126,222)Willys Knight (88,753)
1917Ford (622,351)Willys Knight (130,988)Buick (115,267)
1916Ford (734,811)Willys Knight (140,111)Buick (124,834)
1915Ford (501,492)Willys Knight (91,904)Dodge (45,000)
1914Ford (308,162)Overland (48,461)Studebaker (35,374)
1913Ford (168,220)Overland (37,422)Studebaker (31,994)
1912Ford (78,440)Overland (28,572)Buick (19,812)

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