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Reading Steamer
Founded 1900
Defunct 1924
Industry Automobile
Products automobiles
trucks
tractors

The Knox Automobile Company was a manufacturer of automobiles in Springfield, Massachusetts, United States between 1900 and 1914. Knox also built trucks and farm tractors until 1924.

1901 Knox Runabout on display in Tallahassee Automobile Museum. This model has a one-cylinder 5 hp (3.7 kW) air-cooled engine.
Knox tractor-trailer, Salt Lake City, 1915. Note chain drive, common in this era.

The Knox Automobile Company was established in 1900 and built 15 cars their first year.[1] The 1904 Knox was a runabout model. The angle iron-framed car weighed 1850 lb (839 kg) and used side springs. It could seat 2 passengers.

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3 or 4 wheels

Initially, only three-wheelers were offered. Four-wheeled runabouts soon followed.[2]

Back seat driver

In some models, passengers rode up front over the front axle while the driver and another passenger sat in the back over the engine.[3]

The "Old Porcupine" engine

The flat-mounted air-cooled single-cylinder engine (which led to it sometimes being referred to as "Old Porcupine", due to the numerous projections on the cylinder cases)[4] was situated at the center of the car and produced 8 hp (6 kW). This engine was also called a "hedgehog".[5] A 2-speed planetary transmission was fitted.

Competitive pricing

The "Knoxmobile" sold for US$1350. By contrast, the Ford Model F was US$2000, the FAL US$1750,[6] the Cole 30[6] and Colt Runabout each US$1500,[7] the Oakland 40 US$1600,[8] and the Enger 40 US$2000,[6] while the high-volume Oldsmobile Runabout[9] ran US$650, Western's Gale Model A US$500[10] and the Brush Runabout was US$485.[6]

A larger Knox tonneau model, equipped with a straight-2 engine producing 16 hp (11.9 kW), was also produced, for US$2000.

Notes

  1. ^ 100 Years of the American Auto Millennium Edition, page 24, Copyright 1999 Publications International, Ltd.
  2. ^ 100 Years of the American Auto Millennium Edition, page 24, Copyright 1999 Publications International, Ltd.
  3. ^ 100 Years of the American Auto Millennium Edition, page 24, Copyright 1999 Publications International, Ltd.
  4. ^ Clymer, Floyd. Treasury of Early American Automobiles, 1877-1925 (New York: Bonanza Books, 1950), p.170-1.
  5. ^ 100 Years of the American Auto Millennium Edition, page 19, Copyright 1999 Publications International, Ltd.
  6. ^ a b c d Clymer, p.104.
  7. ^ Clymer, p.63.
  8. ^ Clymer, p.84.
  9. ^ Clymer, p.32.
  10. ^ Clymer, p.51.

References

  • Clymer, Floyd. Treasury of Early American Automobiles, 1877-1925. New York: Bonanza Books, 1950.
  • Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly (January, 1904)

See also


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