Great Southern Automobile Company

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Great Southern Automobile Company
TypeAutomobile Manufacturing
GenreTouring Cars, Roadsters, Buses
FounderEugene F. Enslen
Area served
United States
Automotive parts
Number of employees
200 (as of 1910)

The Great Southern Automobile Company was the first automobile manufacturer in the central South.[1] It was incorporated in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1909[1][2] and manufactured automobiles, automobile parts, and buses from its plant in Ensley, where it also maintained a repair department. Its founding officers were Eugene F. Enslen, president; Ike Adler, vice-president; John Kyser, secretary and treasurer; and Eugene F. Enslen, Jr., general manager.[2]

image of Great Southern 50
1910 sketch of the then-upcoming Great Southern 50

In early 1910, it announced a Model "50" touring car with a wheel base of 124 inches, a 5.25x6 inches bore and stroke engine, capable of 60 bhp.[3]

In 1912, it opened salesrooms in the Empire Building, then the tallest building in Birmingham. The manager was W. O. Fields.[4]

image of Great Southern 30
Great Southern 30 roadster two seater

In 1913, it was manufacturing two models:[5]

  • Great Southern 30, available in two-seater roadster and five-seater touring bodies for $1400.
  • Great Southern 51, available in a six-seater touring body for $2100.

In 1914, it dropped the Great Southern 30, and concentrated on the manufacture of just the Great Southern 50 chassis, formerly titled the Great Southern 51.[6] The new 50 model was a seven passenger touring body.

By 1915, it was manufacturing a chassis and body for a "one-man, pay-enter" motor bus that was 22 feet long, 8 feet 9 inches high, 7 feet 6 inches wide, rated at 2.25 tons capacity, and could carry 25 passengers.[7]

The company went bankrupt in 1917.[8] Alabama's other pre-1950 car manufactures include Preston Motor's Premocar in Birmingham and Keller in Huntsville.


  1. ^ a b Gibson, Henry, ed. (25 October 1909). "Hardwood News". Hardwood Record. Chicago: The Hardwood Company. 29 (1): 43. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  2. ^ a b Beecroft, David, ed. (18 November 1909). "Great Southern Incorporates". The Automobile. New York City, NY: The Class Journal Company. 21: 886. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  3. ^ "New Models". Motor. New York City, NY: Star Company: 112. April 1910. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  4. ^ Betts, R. G., ed. (12 March 1912). "In The Retail World". The Motor World. New York City, NY: The Motor World Publishing Company. 30 (11): 1033. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  5. ^ Black, William, ed. (10 March 1913). "Great Southern Incorporates". The Automobile Journal. Pawtucket, Rhode Island: The Automobile Journal Publishing Company. 35 (3): 886. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  6. ^ "Great Southern". Motor Age. Chicago, IL: The Class Journal Company. 25 (1): 63. 1 January 1914. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  7. ^ "One-man, Pay-enter Motor Bus Design". The Hub. New York City, NY: The Trade News Publishing Company. 57 (1): 34. April 1915. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  8. ^ Kimes, Beverly Rae (1996). Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942. Iola, WI: Krause Publications. p. 656. ISBN 0-87341-428-4.

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