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October 21, 1897 – Autocar, the oldest surviving American vehicle company, is founded
This Day

October 21, 1897 – Autocar, the oldest surviving American vehicle company, is founded

What do the opening of the Boston subway, the start of the Klondike Gold Rush and Louis Semple Clarke completing his first vehicle all have in common? They each happened in the action-packed year of 1897. As prospectors showed off their new found wealth at Merchant's Cafe in Seattle, Clarke aimed to make his fortune off his three-wheeled, one-cylinder gas powered buggy named Autocar No. 1. Soon after his initial tests, it dawned on the inventor just how viable the automobile would become. LS, as most knew Clarke, recruited his brothers John and James, his father Charles, and friend William Morgan to found the Pittsburgh Motor Vehicle Company on this day in 1897. The team built a second vehicle the next year, this time with four wheels. They called it the Pittsburgher. (I tried to ...
October 21, 1897 – The oldest existing US automaker is founded
This Day

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 t...

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