The Big Car Database


The Metz Company was a pioneer brass era automobile maker established by Charles Herman Metz in Waltham, Massachusetts, from ca.1908 to 1922.

The Metz Company 
Waltham, MA 

C.H. Metz began in business in 1886 making bicycle parts, and in 1893 formed the Waltham Manufacturing Company with Herbert L. Thompson, Elmer G. Howe and Frank L. Howe. Later the firm developed designs for motorized vehicles.

Claiming to be "winner of the Glidden Tour", the 1914 Model 22 was a two-seat roadster or torpedo. It had a 22½ hp (17 kW) four-cylinder water-cooled engine with Bosch magneto, full-elliptic springs front and rear. It ran on artillery wheels with Goodrich clincher tires, and featured a Prest-O-Lite-type acetylene generator for the headlights. It was billed as "gearless", having a friction drive mechanism, and priced at $475; by contrast, the Successwas an uncommonly low US$250, the Black started at $375, the Brush Runabout was US$485 Western's Gale Model A was US$500, and even the high-volume Oldsmobile Runabout ten years earlier was US$650.

The Plan Car served its purpose by 1911 and that allowed C. H. Metz to assemble his own American Automobiles. For 1911 Metz turned out complete two passenger automobiles and marketed them exclusively through dealers. The automobile the Metz Company choose to build was called the Metz 22.

In a Metz 22 advertisement a $1,000 cash reward was offered to the first person from anywhere in the United States who could show the Metz Co. any hill that the Metz 22 can not climb.

The new Metz 22 was equipped with a water cooled four cylinder engine rated at 22 1/2 horsepower, Bosch high tension magneto, Prest-O-Lite gas tank, left hand drive with center control and Goodyear clincher tires. Other features included windshield, extension top with cover slip, standard artillery wheels, five lamps, gas generator, horn, air pump and tools.

A company called the Gearless Transmission Co. produced a direct drive friction transmission in Glen Falls, NY. This transmission could be adapted to any American Automobile. The Metz 22 and Metz 25 used this gearless transmission. Advertising claims included the fact that the Metz 22 was a Gearless Car with no clutch to slip and no gears to strip. A top speed of 50 MPH was possible with the Metz 22.

The Metz 22 was unveiled in April 1911 for the 1912 model year. It was priced at $600.00 with electrical lighting and was very successful. Advertising claimed it was "Speedy, Stylish and Powerful". A $475.00 version was offered with gas lighting.

A Metz 22 Touring Car was offered in January 1913 followed by a $395.00 Special Roadster. In 1914 the Special Roadster was succeeded by a $500.00 speedster and a $475.00 Metz 22 Torpedo Roadster debut in June 1914. All were equipped with the 22 horsepower four cylinder engines.

A new addition to the 1913 Metz line up was the $400.00 Special Delivery Package Car. The Special was a Roadster with with a large parcel carrier behind the seat. This new model was equipped with the same 22 horsepower four cylinder engine as the other Metz 22 automobile.

Advertising claims made - "This is the car that had to come, the public demanded it".

Kit car

Although Metz was not the first to offer a kit car (Dyke and Sears predated Metz with do-it-your-self high-wheelers), Metz did offer the first known kit automobile on the installment plan, known as the Metz Plan. The buyer would buy 14 groups or packages of parts for $27.00 which would be put together with the plans and tools supplied, or a factory-assembled automobile could be bought for $600.00. This plan was in effect until 1911 when it became impractical to compete with a dealer-supplied model "T" Ford.

Financial problems

By 1922, the company was in dire financial condition and was taken over by the Waltham National Bank. They reorganized the company and renamed it the Motor Manufacturers Incorporated of Waltham. This successor company produced an Automobile called the Waltham Six, which sold for $2,450.00 and was produced in 1922 only. This last desperate attempt to save the Metz Co. failed. Charles Metz filed for Bankruptcy in August 1922.