The Big Car Database


The ArBenz was an automobile manufactured in Ohio from 1911 until approximately 1918.

The Scioto Car Co. 
Chillicothe, Ohio 

The Scioto Car Co. (1911-1912) then The Arbenz Car Co. (1912-1918) produced an American Automobile called the Arbenz. Fred Arbenz was president and founder of the company. His son Nand Arbenz was designer of the mid priced Arbenz.

Fred Arbenz and Nand Arbenz (father and son, respectively) formed the Scioto Car Company in 1911, named for the Scioto River flowing through Chillicothe, Ohio, where the car was made. It was manufactured in the factory of the former family furniture business. The name was changed to ArBenz in 1912. The capitalization was to suggest association with the Blitzen Benz.

Fred was president and Nand was the designer for the company. C.O. Snyder was hired as chief designer shortly thereafter. The cars produced by the company were all four-cylindersand usually in the mid-price category. A variety of touring cars and roadsters were produced. The 1916 model was significantly smaller both in size and price than previous models. In March 1916, ArBenz was taken over by the National United Service Company, which was acquiring automotive brands for yet another attempt to take on General Motors. NUSC announced that it would continue ArBenz production, but by 1918 the only cars assembled were from remaining parts.

The Scioto Car Co. was named after a river that runs through Chillicothe, Ohio. In 1912 the company was renamed after it's founder, Fred Arbenz. The automobile name was spelled "ArBenZ" in advertising as shown below. Reportly to take advantage of the popular Benz automobile made in Germany. Touring Cars and Roadsters were produced from 1911 to 1918.

Early ArBenZ automobiles were equipped with four cylinder engines that developed 40 horsepower. In the 1914 ArBenZ advertising above and below list their Touring Cars at $1885.00. Starting in 1916 the ArBenz produced a smaller and cheaper automobile with a 17 horsepower Lycoming engine that sold for $625.00.

The ArBenZ was equipped with a special rear axle and transmission. The axle was full floating and had extra heavy pitch gears. The transmission was integral with rear axle and had three speeds forward and a reverse. With the axle and transmission connected together only one universal joint between motor and rear wheels. Another unusual feature was the fully enclosed 16 inch brakes.

In September 1918 The ArBenZ Car Co. suspended operation because Nand Arbenz was called into the service due to WWI and the difficulties experienced in obtaining material and labor.