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October 21, 1897 – The oldest existing US automaker is founded

The oldest existing automotive manufacturer in the Western Hemisphere was founded on this day in 1897. Louis Clark recruited his brothers John and James, his father Charles, and friend William Morgan to help him start the Pittsburg Motor Vehicle Company. Two years later the company moved from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Ardmore, changing its name to Autocar Company, as it is known today.

After building the first motorized truck in the United States in 1899, followed by several small passenger cars, the company turned its focus to commercial vehicles. By 1911 Autocar was manufacturing only trucks. The end of a short-lived post-WWII boom proved to be a difficult time for the company. Autocar would be sold to White Motor Company, then be bought and sold several more times throughout the next 40 years, landing with Volvo in the 1980s. In 2001 Autocar once again becoming independently operated after Grand Vehicle Works Holdings, LLC purchased the company.  Autocar is now headquartered in Indiana where it manufactures severe duty trucks, such as refuse vehicles.

2017 Autocar ACX refuse truck. By Sedimentary – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Cover: 1922 Autocar truck


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