Continental Motors Company
|Industry||automobile engines, automobiles|
|Successor(s)||Continental Motors, Inc.|
Continental Motors Company was an American manufacturer of internal combustion engines. The company produced engines as a supplier to many independent manufacturers of automobiles, tractors, trucks, and stationary equipment (such as pumps, generators, and industrial machinery drives) from the 1900s through the 1960s. Continental Motors also produced Continental-branded automobiles in 1932–1933. The Continental Aircraft Engine Company was formed in 1929 to develop and produce its aircraft engines, and would become the core business of Continental Motors, Inc.
In 1905, Continental Motors was born with the introduction of a four-cylinder, four stroke cycle L-head engine operated by a single camshaft. 1906 Type "O" 45 horsepower (34 kW) engine was developed to power aircraft. 1929 A-70 radial, seven-cylinder engine was introduced. 170 hp @ 2000 rpm 4.625x4.625 = 543.91cuin (8.91L)
Continental Motors entered into the production of automobiles rather indirectly. Continental was the producer of automobile engines for numerous independent automobile companies in the 1910s, 1920s, and 1930s, including Durant Motors Corporation which used the engines in its Star, Durant, Flint and Rugby model lines. Following the 1931 collapse of Durant, a group having interest in Durant Motors began assembling their own cars, the De Vaux-Hall Motors Company, using the Durant body dies, in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Oakland, California and under the De Vaux brand name. When De Vaux-Hall collapsed in 1932, unable to pay creditors, Continental Motors assumed automobile assembly and marketed the vehicles under the Continental-De Vaux brand name for the balance of the 1932 model year.
Continental Motors introduced a completely new line of Continental-branded automobiles for 1933. These cars were not based upon the 1931 De Vaux, a product of the De Vaux-Hall, which had been using body dies left over from the former Durant produced by Durant Motors until 1930.
The 1933 Continentals were marketed in three model ranges: the largest and most expensive was the six-cylinder Ace, next was a smaller six called the Flyer and also the low-priced four-cylinder Beacon. The 1933 Beacon roadster was the lowest price full-size car offered for sale in the United States in the 1930s, costing only $US335. None of these met with success in the depression era economy. At this same time, Dominion Motors Ltd. of Canada was building the same Flyer and Beacon cars under arrangement with Continental for sale in Canadian market, and importing the larger Ace models. Dominion then converted to building Reo brand trucks. The Ace and Flyer models were discontinued at the close of the 1933 model year. Finding that its cars were unprofitable, Continental stopped assembling even Beacon automobiles during 1934.
Kaiser, working with a Continental-designed engine, introduced USA's first OHC inline six-cylinder engine. It debuted in Kaiser-owned Jeep Corporation vehicles in the mid-1960s.
Particular models of John Deere tractors are currently being supplied by Continental since the ownership transfer to Korea, as stated on the tractor's engine identification plate.
Automobiles that used Continental engines
The following automobile companies used Continental engines:
- Bantam Reconnaissance Car(Y112 4 cyl. first Jeep during World War II)
- Bay State
- Checker (pre-1965)
- Continental (see above)
- De Vaux
- Durant Motors, including:
- Howmet TX (turbine race car)
- Kaiser-Frazer, including
- Kline Kar
- Morris Cowley
- Morris (manf'd under licence)
- Norwalk
- O'Connor
- Owen Magnetic
- Rock Falls
Trucks and buses that used Continental engines
Tractors that used Continental engines
Some models used Continental engines for only part of their production lifespan; others used them exclusively.
US military vehicles that used Continental engines
Contental built many engines for the US military, some by license, and many of unusual type.
Inline: several conventional gasoline I6s were built for trucks, the COA331 (licensed from REO), 6602, 22R, and AO895 (also used in some armored vehicles). Later the M-A-N licensed multifuel LDS427, LD465 and turbocharged LDT465 were developed, also for use in trucks.
Radial: in the late 1930’s 7 and 9 cylinder air cooled radial aircraft engines were adapted for use in armored vehicles. The W670 and R975 were considered very reliable by the British in North Africa, but were not developed further.
Opposed: just after WWII an air cooled O6 was developed for armored vehicles. All were supercharged, AOS895-3 models had carburetors, -5 models had fuel injection with no increase in power, but greater fuel mileage.
V type: in the early 1950s an air cooled V12 engine was introduced for armored vehicles. Later the AVSI-1790 was developed into the AVDS-1790 diesel version, which was often retro-fitted to earlier vehicles.
(Vehicles often change engines during production and/or service life)
- Gun motor carriages and tractors
- Landing vehicles and carriers
- Armored recovery vehicles
(tank chassis / winch capacity)
- BY4112: 112 cu in (1.8 L) gasoline I4 45 hp (34 kW)
- COA331: 331 cu in (5.4 L) gasoline I6 146 hp (109 kW)
- LDS427: 427 cu in (7.0 L) multifuel I6
- LDS/LDT465: 478 cu in (7.8 L) multifuel I6 175 hp (130 kW)
- R6602: 602 cu in (9.9 L) gasoline I6
- 22R: 501 cu in (8.2 L) gasoline I6 145 hp (108 kW)
- AO895: 895 cu in (14.7 L) gasoline O6 295–375 hp (220–280 kW)
- R6572: 572 cu in (9.4 L) gasoline 6 207 hp (154 kW)
- R975: 973 cu in (15.9 L) gasoline R9 400 hp (298 kW)
- AOSI895: 895 cu in (14.7 L) fuel-injected gasoline O6 500 hp (373 kW)
- AV1790: 1,790 cu in (29.3 L) gasoline V12 810 hp (604 kW)
- W670: 668 cu in (10.9 L) gasoline R7 262 hp (195 kW)
- AOI268: 269 cu in (4.4 L) gasoline O4 707 hp (527 kW)
- AVSI1790: 1,790 cu in (29.3 L) fuel-injected gasoline V12 1,020 hp (761 kW)
- AVDS1790: 1,790 cu in (29.3 L) diesel V12 1,020 hp (761 kW)
- Leyes, p. 87
- Hodges, David (1994). The Guinness Book of Car Facts and Feats. England: Guinness Publishing. p. 256. ISBN 0851127681.
- Hemmings Motor News (print and expanded in blog), 12/10/2008
- Georgano, G. N., Encyclopedia of American Automobiles, 1971, p. 26
- Georgano, G. N., Encyclopedia of American Automobiles, 1971, p. 37
- Georgano, G. N., Encyclopedia of American Automobiles, 1971, p. 56
- Georgano, G. N., Encyclopedia of American Automobiles, 1971, p. 160
- Georgano, G. N., Encyclopedia of American Automobiles, 1971, p. 69
- Georgano, G. N., Encyclopedia of American Automobiles, 1971, p. 78
- Georgano, G. N., Encyclopedia of American Automobiles, 1971, p. 100
- Georgano, G. N., Encyclopedia of American Automobiles, 1971, p. 107
- Georgano, G. N., Encyclopedia of American Automobiles, 1971, p. 112
- Georgano, G. N., Encyclopedia of American Automobiles, 1971, p. 116
- Georgano, G. N., Encyclopedia of American Automobiles, 1971, p. 131
- Georgano, G. N., Encyclopedia of American Automobiles, 1971, pp. 136-137
- Georgano, G. N., Encyclopedia of American Automobiles, 1971, p. 143
- Georgano, G. N., Encyclopedia of American Automobiles, 1971, p. 144
- Georgano, G. N., Encyclopedia of American Automobiles, 1971, p. 151
- Flory, J. "Kelly", Jr. American Cars 1946-1959 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Coy, 2008), p.1012.
- Georgano, G. N., Encyclopedia of American Automobiles, 1971, pp. 169-170
- Georgano, G. N., Encyclopedia of American Automobiles, 1971, p. 173
- Georgano, G. N., Encyclopedia of American Automobiles, 1971, p. 178
- Georgano, G. N., Encyclopedia of American Automobiles, 1971, p. 180
- Georgano, G. N., Encyclopedia of American Automobiles, 1971, p. 177
- Stephens, Richard E. The Rise and Fall of the Stephens Automobile (self-published, 2001), p. 15
- Doyle, David (2003). Standard catalog of U.S. Military Vehicles. Kraus Publications. ISBN 0-87349-508-X.
- Foss, Christopher F. (1974). Jane's Pocket Book of Modern Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles. Collier Books. pp. 45–49. 73-15286.
- Foss, Christopher F. (2000). Jane's Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles Recognition Guide (2 ed.). HarperCollins. pp. 112–122. ISBN 0-00-472452-6.
- Leyes II, Richard A.; William A. Fleming (1999). The History of North American Small Gas Turbine Aircraft Engines. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution. ISBN 1-56347-332-1.
- Georgano, G. N., ed. (1971). Encyclopedia of American Automobiles. New York, NY USA: E. P. Dutton. ISBN 0-525-097929.