Luverne was a United States automobile manufacturing company which produced automobiles from 1904 to 1917.
Founded by carriage makers Al and Ed Leicher, the company was based in Luverne, Minnesota. In addition to automobiles, the company also produced fire trucks and equipment.
The Luverne Automobile Co. produced an American Automobile called the Luverne. The Luverne was named after a town in Minnesota by the same name and attracted buyers in all parts of the northwest. In 1893 Fenton A. and Ed L Leicher, under the firm name of Leicher Brothers, established a wagon making business and then branched out to supply Automobiles based on local demand.
The first Luverne, built in 1903, was a complete assembled car manufactured by The St. Louis Motor Carriage Co. of St. Louis, MO. All of the parts were purchased from A. L. Dyke Automobile Supply Co. and the car assembled by The Luverne Automobile Company and branded as a Luverne. It had a one cylinder Buick engine and a three speed planetary transmission. It's success led the Leicher Brothers to design and built their own American Automobile.
The 1905 Luverne shown above had a 16 horsepower two cylinder motor mounted underneath the body. This car was a highwheeler with solid tires and no fenders. In addition The Luverne Automobile Co. built Runabouts and Delivery Wagons. In Minnesota and surrounding states farmers, ranchers, lawyers and doctors owned Luverne.
A $1250.00 5 passenger 1906 Model A Luverne Touring Car was equipped with a 20 horsepower two cylinder engine also mounted beneath the body. The engine had a 5 inch bore and 5 inch stroke. The same three speed planetary transmission with chain drive was also used.
By 1908 the Luverne was equipped with four cylinder engines and in 1909 more advanced vehicles with six cylinder engines were produced. Their automobiles were uniform in color inside and out and were known as "The Big Brown Luverne".
Some Luverne's were built for Montana buyers with special attention to the needs of that state. The 1911 Montana Special was equipped with six cylinder engines that developed 50 horsepower. It's features included a wheelbase of 126 inches, 36 x 4 1/2 inch wheels and tires, special springs and a heavy frame.
In 1912 Luverne came out with several new American Automobiles. The Luverne Sixty Model 760 5 to 7 passenger Touring Car priced at $2,850.00 equipped with a six cylinder Rutenber engine on 130 inch wheelbase. The Luverne Roadster Model 260 2 passenger priced at $2,750.00 equipped with a six cylinder Rutenber engine on 130 inch wheelbase. The Luverne Fifty Model 750 5 to 7 passenger priced at $2,600.00 equipped with a four cylinder Rutenber engine on 128 inch wheelbase. The Luverne Forty Model 545 5 passenger priced at $2,000.00 equipped with a four cylinder Beaver engine on 124 inch wheelbase. The Luverne Little Forty Model 540 5 passenger priced at $1,850.00 equipped with a four cylinder Beaver engine on 124 inch wheelbase.
The Luverne Six was a large, high powered, luxuriously finished and equipped car of the very latest design in every detail. It was easy riding, quiet running and dependable. Major specifications on the 1912 Luverne included Mohair top, curtains, windshield, speedometer, clock, self starter, electric horn and trunk.
The Leicher Bros. made no attempt at quantity production as each automobile was hand built including the 1914 Luverne featured above. By 1916 it was apparent closed cars were in demand. Only 2 Luverne's were built in 1917. The Luverne Automobile Co. made trucks and fire trucks for many years thereafter.
Legend has it that this "Big Brown Luverne" Special Speed Roadster was built to race at the Indianapolis Speedway but various problems arose and the car never made the race. It was produced as seen above as a sports roadster.
Luverne advertising slogans:
- Cars That Are Worth The Money
- The Best Investment in the Long Run
- They Look Good, They Are Good, and They Stay Good
- Strictly High Grade and Moderate in Price
- The Big Brown Luverne/Eventually You Will Want One
- Good for a Lifetime
- Cars With the Doubt Left Out
- They are Big and Long and Brown and Strong
- The Car for the Mountains