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Playboy Automobile Company: Wikis


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Playboy Motor Car Corporation was a Buffalo, New York-based automobile company, established in 1947. The company only produced 97 cars before going bankrupt in 1951.

The Playboy had a 40 hp (30 kW) Continental[1] four-cylinder sidevalve[2] engine driving a three-speed manual transmission. It would get 35 mpg-US (6.7 L/100 km; 42 mpg-imp). It would accelerate from 0-30 mph (48 km/h) in six seconds, and 0-50 mph (80 km/h) in 17 seconds. Advertised top speed was 75 mph (121 km/h).[3]

With a 90-inch (2,300 mm) wheelbase[4] (10" {250 mm} less than the Rambler American), the Playboy measured 156 inches (4,000 mm) overall,[4] and was priced at just US$985.[4] It ran on 12 in (30 cm) rims, and weighed 1,900 lb (860 kg). It was offered as a three-passenger convertible with a folding steel top.[4] (A station wagon was planned, but never built.)[4]

Undercapitalized, Playboy could not compete with better-financed companies offering more conventional cars.[3]



This company, indirectly, was the source for the name of Playboy magazine. The name was suggested to Hugh Hefner by his close friend, co-founder and eventual executive vice-president Eldon Sellers, whose mother had worked as a secretary for the automobile company's Chicago sales office before it went bankrupt.

The Playboy Automobile Company was also based in Chicago, although shortlived, it played a part in the name of the US Gents magazine Playboy. Eldon Sellers ( A business partner of Hugh Hefner) was seeking a new name, Sellers Mother was dating Alexx Mills who was working in the Sale office at the time and suggested the name "Playboy" after the Automobile company went bust later that year.


  1. ^ Flory, J. "Kelly", Jr. American Cars 1946-1959 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Coy, 2008), p.1012.
  2. ^ Flory, p.1012.
  3. ^ a b Flory, p.1013.
  4. ^ a b c d e Flory, p.1012.


  • Flory, J. "Kelly", Jr. American Cars 1946-1959. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Coy, 2008.

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