The American Motor Car Company
was a short-lived company in the automotive industry
founded in 1906, lasting until 1913. It was based in Indianapolis
, Indiana, United States. The American Motor Car Company pioneered the "underslung" design.
Harry C. Stutz
, who later formed a company bearing his name, designed the first car for the new enterprise. However, Stutz quickly left and Fred L. Tone took over as chief engineer in 1906. Tone re-designed the chassis
(frame) below the axles and the semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension
system mounted above.
This upside-down or reverse arrangement became known as the underslung
design. It gave the vehicles a lower stance and was an industry first. Because of the lower chassis position, wheels gave the vehicle space between the frame and the ground. The company claimed that the vehicles were safe from rollovers and could be tilted up to 55 degrees.
The engine was a engine rated at 40 horsepower (by the measurements at that time), but the car was underpowered. By 1908, the engine was enlarged to producing . The company entered a large engined roadster in the Savannah Challenge Cup Race held in Savannah
, Georgia, but it finished last.
Facing financial problems during 1911, the name was changed to American Motor Company.
In 1912 all of its models featured the distinctive underslung chassis and the cars were officially named American Underslung
. However, the new company was still over-extended and inefficient. The relatively... Read More