Ace (1920 automobile)

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Apex Motor Car Co.; Apex Motor Corp.
Automobile Manufacturing
Industry Automotive
Fate sold and closed
Founded 1920
Founder FE Earnest
Defunct 1923
Headquarters Ypsilanti, Michigan, United States
Area served
United States
Key people
Harry T. Hanover, Fred M. Guy, Otto W. Heinz
Products Vehicles
Automotive parts
Bus coachwork

The Ace was an American-assembled car made in Ypsilanti, Michigan by the Apex Motor Car Company, which was reorganized as the Apex Motor Corporation in 1921. The initial batch of cars assembled were sent to Seattle, Washington dealer FE Earnest, who had the idea for the Ace after he was unable to secure a steady supply of new cars for his dealership.[1]

The most interesting feature of the Ace was the Guy Disc-Valve motor, created by engineer Fred M Guy, and Otto W. Heinz.[2] Initially, it was prepared as a four-cylinder engine for production in the Hackett, but the company folded before it was ready.[3]

In April, 1921, Guy and Heinz left the Apex Motor Corporation, obviously with the support of Apex, to found the Guy Disc Valve Motor Co. in Ypsilanti. In mid-1921, a Model H tourer with a conventional Herschell-Spillman straight-6 was added, with a selling price $2,000.[2] The man at the helm at Apex was by now Harry T. Hanover. For 1922, the Guy engine was gone. The Model F "Pup" was added to the range, fitted with a conventional 4-cylinder Gray-Bell engine, and priced at $1295.[1] It was sold beside the Model L "Scout" with a smaller than previous Hershell-Spillmann straight-six engine, and the new top of the line Model C "Combat" with a 340 c.i. Continental Six engine. The sixes ranged in price from $2260 to $3150.[1]

Most Ace cars were tourings, with a few roadsters, and a 4/5 passenger "Coupe-Sedan" with a custom-built look. The "Combat" line also included an attractive speedster in the Kissel Gold Bug pattern.

Apex was initially involved in the Diamond Cab project, which also included Gray Motor Corp., and Guy Disc Valve Motor Co. Within a few months, these plans became obsolete as Diamond Cab got new owners, resulting in the cab built by Elcar, and another cab built by the Driggs Ordnance & Manufacturing Corp..[4]

Ace automobile production ended with the 1922 model year. Total production was 256 cars.[2] Apex Corp. was sold to the American Motor Truck Company in Newark, Ohio, in 1922. For a short time, Apex built bus bodies here, but soon closed forever.[5]

Ace model overview[edit]

Year Model name(s) Cyl. Displacement
c.i. / cm³
Power
bhp / kW
Engine Wheelbase
in / mm
Coachwork Price
1920 Six
Model T
S6 57 / 42,5 Guy Disc Valve 115 / 2921 Touring
1921 Rotary Six
Model G
S6 57 / 42,5 Guy Disc Valve 123 / 3124 Touring
1921 Rotary Six
Model G
S6 57 / 42,5 Guy Disc Valve 123 / 3124 Coupé
1921 Six
Model H
S6 288.6
4730
68 / 50,7 Herschell-Spillman 117 / 2972 Touring US$2050
1921 Six
Model L
S6 248,9
4078
59 / 44,0 Herschell-Spillman 117 / 2972 Touring
5 Sitze
1921 Six S6 248,9
4078
59 / 44,0 Herschell-Spillman 117 / 2972 Coupé-Sedan
4-5 Sitze
1922 Pub Model F
34-40
S4 192,4
3153
43 / 32,1 Gray-Bell 114 / 2896 Touring
5 Sitze
US$1295
1922 Pub Model F
34-40
S4 192,4
3153
43 / 32,1 Gray-Bell 114 / 2896 Roadster
2 Sitze
US$1295
1922 Pub Model F
S4 192,4
3153
43 / 32,1 Gray-Bell 114 / 2896 Coupé-Sedan
4-5 Sitze
US$1295
1922 Scout Model L
30-60
R6 248,9
4078
59 / 44,0 Herschell-Spillman 117 / 2972 Touring
5 Sitze
US$2260
1922 Scout Model L
30-60
S6 248,9
4078
59 /44,0 Herschell-Spillman 117 / 2972 Roadster
2 Sitze
US$2260
1922 35-70 S6 288.6
4730
Herschell-Spillman 117 / 2972 Coupé-Sedan
1922 Combat Model C
35-80
S6 340,6
5582
77 / 57,4 Continental 120 / 3048 Touring
5 Sitze
US$2975
1922 Combat Model C
35-80
S6 340,6
5582
77 / 57,4 Continental 120 / 3048 Roadster
2 Sitze
US$2975
1922 Combat Model C
35-80
S6 340,6
5582
77 / 57,4 Continental 120 / 3048 Speedster
3 Sitze
US$3150

The 1921 Model L and 1922 35-70 are mentioned by a single source. While the L appears a smaller companion to the Model H, the 35-70 possibly was nothing more than a renamed 1920 Model H Coupe-Sedan.[6]

There is no existing Ace automobile known,[7] however the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum offered a $5000 reward for evidence that directs to such a car.[8] Although the museum continues to search for a surviving Ace, the reward expired in 2003 with the death of museum co-founder Skip Ungrodt.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Georgano, Nick (2000). The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile. London: Stationery Office. p. 1792. ISBN 0117023191. 
  2. ^ a b c Kimes, Beverly Rae (1996). The Standard Catalog of American Cars: 1805-1942. Iola, IA: Krause Publications. p. 1612. ISBN 0873414284. 
  3. ^ Kimes, Beverly Rae (1996). The Standard Catalog of American Cars: 1805-1942. Iola, IA: Krause Publications. p. 666. ISBN 0873414284. 
  4. ^ coachbuilt.com: Driggs Ordnance & Manufacturing Corp.
  5. ^ Kimes, Beverly Rae (1996). The Standard Catalog of American Cars: 1805-1942. Iola, IA: Krause Publications. p. 14. ISBN 0873414284. 
  6. ^ carfolio.com: Specifications: 1921 Ace H
  7. ^ american-automobiles.com: The Ace Automobile & The Apex Motor Corporation
  8. ^ ypsilantihistoricalsociety.org: History / Ace Automobile - 1920-1922

External links[edit]