The Big Car Database

York Pullman

The Pullman was an American automobile manufactured in York, Pennsylvania by the York Motor Car Company from 1905 to 1917.

Total production is estimated at anywhere from 12,000 to 23,000 cars. The Pullman automobile was named by industrialist A. P. Broomell to reflect the quality and luxury of rail cars and coaches made by the Pullman Company, but the two organizations were not related.

Former type

Automobile Manufacturing
Industry Automotive
Fate Bankruptcy
Founded 1905
Founder A. P. Broomell
Defunct 1917
Headquarters York, Pennsylvania, United States

Area served

United States
Products Automobiles
Automotive parts

History

Pullman automobiles were sold as luxury vehicles, using advertising slogans such as "Not Only The Best at the Price But the Best at Any Price." While not as expensive as the high-end motor coaches the cars were purported to match in quality, they were considerably more expensive than the contemporary Ford Model T. The Model T introduced in 1909 was $1850, but the price dropped to around $500 by 1914. A Pullman advertisement from 1910 lists four touring car and roadster models for $1650 to $3200.

Six-Wheeled Automobile

One unusual Pullman, built around 1903, featured six wheels. However, unlike other six-wheelers, even up to the March 2–4-0 in Formula 1 in the 1980s, these axles were evenly spaced, so that while the endmost two axles were in their conventional fore and aft locations, the middle two wheels were directly under the passenger seats. When the car reached a particularly high spot in the road, it had a tendency to see-saw. It was not a success, and crashed into a telegraph pole within the year it was built. The vehicle was torn apart and items such as the engine were rebuilt in a more conventional four-wheel configuration.

Other Models

Other models started mass-production in 1905. These proved moderately successful. In 1908, one vehicle was driven from the York factory to San Francisco and back over a period of about a month to prove its reliability. This was no mean feat, as the roads that make up the cross-country Lincoln Highwaywhich ran through York had not been fully organized or completed. There are about 27 known Pullman automobiles still in existence, about half of which have been restored.

Bankruptcy

Pullman went bankrupt and ceased operations in 1917. The original building which housed the Pullman factory still exists in York, Pennsylvania.

 

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