Winton Motor Carriage Company

Winton Motor Carriage Company

The Winton Motor Carriage Company was a pioneer United States automobile manufacturer based in of Cleveland, Ohio. Winton was one of the first American companies to sell a motor car.


The company was incorporated on March 15, 1897 by Scottish immigrant Alexander Winton, owner of the Winton Bicycle Company. Their first automobiles were built by hand. Each vehicle had fancy painted sides, padded seats, a leather roof, and gas lamps. B.F. Goodrich made the tires for Winton.

By this time, Winton had already produced two fully operational prototype automobiles. In May of that year, the 10 hp (7.5 kW) model achieved the astonishing speed of 33.64 mph (54.14 km/h) on a test around a Cleveland horse track. However, the new invention was still subject to much skepticism and to prove his automobile's durability and usefulness, Alexander Winton had his car undergo an convert|800|mi|km|sing=on endurance run from Cleveland to New York City.


On March 24, 1898 Robert Allison of Port Carbon, Pennsylvania became one of the first persons to buy an American-built automobile when he bought a Winton after seeing an advertisement in "Scientific American". Later that year the Winton Motor Carriage Company sold twenty-one more vehicles, including one to James Ward Packard, later founder of Packard automobile company (after Winton challenged a very dissatisfied Packard to do better). [Clymer, Floyd. "Treasury of Early American Automobiles, 1877-1925" (New York: Bonanza Books, 1950), p.58. This is the same mistake Enzo Ferrari would make with Ferruccio Lamborghini.]

1899 - 1900

The following year, more than one hundred Winton vehicles were sold, making the company the largest manufacturer of gas-powered automobiles in the United States. This success led to the first automobile dealership being opened by Mr. H.W. Koler in Reading, Pennsylvania. To deliver the vehicles, in 1899, Winton built the first auto hauler in America.

One of these 1899 Wintons was purchased by Larz Anderson and his new wife, Isabel Weld Perkins. It is still on display at Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, Massachusetts.


Publicity generated sales and in 1901 the news both Reginald Vanderbilt and Alfred Vanderbilt had purchased Winton automobiles boosted the company's image substantially. That same year, a Winton lost a race at Grosse Pointe to Henry Ford.


Winton vowed to come back and win, producing the 1902 Winton Bullet, which set an unofficial land speed record of 70 mph (113 km/h) in Cleveland that year. The Bullet was defeated in another Ford by famed driver, Barney Oldfield, but two more Bullet race cars were built.


In 1903, Dr. [Clymer, Floyd. "Treasury of Early American Automobiles, 1877-1925" (New York: Bonanza Books, 1950), p.156.] Horatio Nelson Jackson made the first successful automobile drive across the United States. He purchased a slightly used Winton touring car and hired a mechanic to accompany him. The trip took 64 days, including breakdowns, delays while waiting for parts to arrive, and hoisting the Winton up and over rocky terrain and mudholes. [ [ Winton touring car] From the Smithsonian Collection] Jackson's Winton is now part of the collections at the National Museum of American History. This historic drive from San Francisco to New York has been immortalized in a bronze entitled [ "S.F. to N.Y.C '03"] by American automotive artist [ Stanley Wanlass] and described in a PBS documentary.

1904 - 1924

The 1904 Winton was a five-passenger tonneau-equipped tourer which sold for US$2500. By contrast, the Enger 40 was US$2000, [Clymer, p.104.] the FAL US$1750, [Clymer, p.104.] an Oakland 40 US$1600, [Clymer, p.84.] the Cole 30 [Clymer, p.104.] and Colt Runabout US$1500, [Clymer, p.63.] while the (1913) Lozier Light Six Metropolian started at US$3,250, [Clymer, p.111.] American's lowest-price model was US$4250,. [Clymer, p.91.] and Lozier's Big Six were US$5,000 and up. [Clymer, p.111.]

Winton's flat-mounted water-cooled straight-2, situated amidships of the car, produced 20 hp (14.9 kW). The channel and angle steel-framed car weighed 2300 lb (1043 kg).

Winton continued successfully through the 1910s marketing automobiles to upscale consumers. As dozens of new automobile companies started up rapid innovation and intense competition led to falling sales in the early 1920s.

End of production

Winton Motor Carriage Company ceased automobile production in 1924. However, Winton continued in the marine and stationary gasoline and diesel engine business, an industry he entered in 1912 with the Winton Engine Company.

ale to General Motors

Winton Engine Company became the Winton Engine Corporation, a subsidiary of General Motors on June 20, 1930. It produced the first practical two-stroke-cycle Diesel engines in the 400 to 1,200 hp (300 to 900 kW) range, which powered early Electro-Motive Corporation (of GM) Diesel locomotives and U.S. Navy submarines. That part of Winton devoted to the manufacturing of diesel locomotives in 1935 became part of the Electro-Motive Corporation—later a division of General Motors, and is still in business today.

1936 and beyond

By 1936 Winton was producing engines for only the marine, Navy, and stationary applications. GM reorganized the company in 1937 as the Cleveland Engine Division of General Motors. This division closed in 1962.

ee also

* List of defunct United States automobile manufacturers


* Clymer, Floyd. "Treasury of Early American Automobiles, 1877-1925". New York: Bonanza Books, 1950.
* "Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly" (January, 1904)
* [ America on the Move] (National Museum of American History)

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