Adams (automobile)

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The Adams was an English automobile manufactured in Bedford between 1905 and 1914.

American-born Edward R. Hewitt had helped Sir Hiram Maxim to build a large steam plane in 1894. He later designed a "gas buggy" along the lines of an Oldsmobile; this machine was built by the Adams Manufacturing Company. The Adams had a supposedly foolproof epicyclic transmission with a 10 hp (7.5 kW) single-cylinder engine. Indeed, "Pedals to push, that's all" was used as the marque's slogan. Hewitt eventually returned to the United States to manufacture similar cars under his own name, after which more conventional shaft-driven cars with vertical engines were produced (beginning in 1906). Models offered included two- and four-cylinder ones and one of the first British V-8s; this last had a 35/40 hp (26/30 kW) engine based on the French Antoinette model (an aeroengine for which Adams were agents). But the V-8 was plagued by crankshaft breakages. In 1910, the company produced an advanced 16 hp (12 kW) model with front-wheel brakes; it came with compressed-air starting, tire-inflating, and jacking equipment. The "pedals-to-push" gear was still offered, as was a conventional four-speed transmission and an unusual planetary gearchange (three-speed), which was operated by a pedal that moved in a gate. The company folded for good in 1914.

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