The Cleveland Motor Car Company of Cleveland, Ohio, was manufacturer of the Cleveland automobile. The company was founded in 1904 by E. J. Pennington.
|Founder||E. J. Pennington|
|Headquarters||Cleveland, Ohio, United States|
Before he founded the Cleveland Motor Car Company, E. J. Pennington built the Tractobile from 1900 to 1902 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. It was a steam-powered device "that could be attached to any horse-drawn carriage to make it into an automobile."
The CHANDLER-CLEVELAND MOTORS CORP. was established in 1926 by consolidating the Chandler Motor Car and Cleveland Automobile companies, both of which were founded by Frederick C. Chandler (12 July 1874-18 Feb. 1945). A native Clevelander, Chandler worked for the Cleveland Bicycle Co. of Henry A. Lozier, which began to make boats and later automobiles. In Jan. 1913, Chandler and several other Lozier executives organized the Chandler Motor Car company to produce a moderately priced 6-cylinder automobile. With Chandler as president, Charles F. Emise, vice-president and Samuel Regar, treasurer, the firm established an office in the Swetland Bldg. on Euclid Ave., purchased a 6-acre site on E. 131st St. north of St. Clair, and began production in July 1913. The company built 550 cars that sold for $1,785 each that year; production increased to 1,950 automobiles in 1914 and 7,000 in 1915. Chandler's financial success enabled it to expand its facilities in 1915, doubling production capacity to 15,000 automobiles in 1916. During World War I the company also made 10-ton artillery tractors for the army.
The success of the Chandler Motor Car Co. encouraged Chandler to organize the Cleveland Automobile Co. to produce a lower-priced automobile. Founded in Feb. 1919, the new firm began production in July at a 17-acre site on Euclid Ave. near London Rd. Chandler and Regar served on the Board of Directors with John V. Whitbeck as president. The company produced the Cleveland automobile, a 5-passenger touring car that sold for $1,385; 16,000 of them were made in 1920. Chandler Motor Car made 23,832 automobiles that year--the most of any car manufacturer in Cleveland. However, sales, production, and profits declined for both companies in 1921. The two firms consolidated as Chandler-Cleveland Motors Corp. in 1926, and production of the Cleveland car was discontinued. In Dec. 1928 Chandler-Cleveland was sold to the Hupp Motor Car Corp. of Detroit
By March 1906, the company advertised in a national trade magazine as "the car without a weak spot." Their 4-cylinder, 30 to 35-horsepower Model F was priced from US$3,500 to US$5,000, "depending on body equipment." The complete chassis was made by the Garford Motor Truck Co., the largest manufacturers of high-grade automobile parts and chassis in America.
The ignition was by the imported Simms-Bosch low tension Magneto, "with which all important foreign cars are equipped." The spark is "make and break" and controlled by the speed of the engine; which did away with the spark plug, coils, intricate wiring and batteries. The carburetor was automatic and "required no adjustment" and the company promised "it will not flood." The vehicle weighed 2,400 pounds (1,100 kg) and the exhaust on the muffler "prevents dust from coming up the rear of the car." Body options were "Victoria" and Tulip."
That same year, the company advertised that the Model D, a 20-horsepower model would continue without change. The vehicle was priced at US$2,800. Both models were guaranteed for one year.
The company had distributing agents in New York City, Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, Missouri, Los Angeles and Buffalo, New York.
The Cleveland was produced as a 4 door touring car and a 4 door sedan. Only two colors were available, coach blue and blue devil blue and included gold edge black stripes. Interiors were made of hand buffed black leather. Tires were 31 X 5 1/4 inch. Other equipment included rear view mirror, windshield wiper, aluminum trunk rack and optional running boards. The Cleveland had a body by Fisher Brothers and was very popular all across the United States.
In 1919 the Cleveland Automobile Co. produced 3,000 units. Demand was so great for their American Automobiles that they made plans to produce 18,000 units in 1920. This number was equal to the maximum number of units scheduled for the Chandler Motor Car Co., the parent company.