Parry Auto Company
For almost two decades prior to the official release of his Parry car in 1910, David Maclean Parry (March 26, 1852 - May 12, 1915) experimented making other cars. His brothers and partners in the Parry Manufacturing Company preferred to stay with carriages, so these early cars were not put into production. These same brothers would later finance the Comet cyclecar. In 1906, David Parry gained control of the Overland Company, and thus officially got into the auto business. By 1908, he sold the company to John North Willys, since Parry had lost everything, including his house, in the Panic of 1907.
By July 28, 1909, Parry had recovered financially enough to establish the Parry Auto Company. He was sure he had the secret to success in the automotive field. He would learn from the mistakes of others (and himself), building only two models. These would be built in adequate numbers to offer them at a low enough price that would ensure success. The new company occupied seven large structures leased from the Standard Wheel Company in Indianapolis. The beginning payroll included 389 employees, but plans were laid to expand that number to 3000. "Now, if the Parry Auto Company can turn out 5,000 cars for the year 1910, it will have established a world's record for the first year of any such business," David Parry stated. Parry did not achieve this lofty goal and renamed the vehicle the New Parry in 1911, the only new thing being the higher price. The next year, the company changed names to the Motor Car Manufacturing Company, and production of the Pathfinder commenced. For a short while, both the New Parry and Pathfinder were made in the same factory, until New Parry production was terminated.
The problem with David Parry and his company had been a case of dreaming big and over-optimism. The company was capitalized for US$1,000,000, but only US$150,000 had been paid in. Most of that smaller amount was spent the first year on advertising and equipment purchases. There were only 900 cars sold in 1910, thus resulting in a substantial loss. The company was in receivership by late December 1910. David Parry died in 1915, after contracting an illness while overseas with the Foreign Trade Commission of the National Association of Manufacturers.
- Kimes, Beverly Rae. Standard Catalog of American Cars: 1805-1942 (Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 1996), p.1094.
- Kimes, p.1153.
Kimes, Beverly Rae and Clark Jr, Henry Austin. "Standard Catalog of American Cars: 1805-1942." (Third Edition). Iola, WI: Krause Publications. 1996.