Knox Automobile Company

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Knox Automobile Company
HeadquartersSpringfield, Massachusetts, United States

The Knox Automobile Company was a manufacturer of automobiles in Springfield, Massachusetts, United States, between 1900 and 1914. Knox also built trucks and farm tractors until 1924.


The Knox Automobile Company was established in 1900 and built 15 cars their first year.[1]

The 1904 Knox was a runabout model. The angle iron-framed car weighed 1850 lb (839 kg) and used side springs. It could seat 2 passengers.

3 or 4 wheels[edit]

1901 Knox Runabout on display in Tallahassee Automobile Museum. This model has a one-cylinder 5 hp (3.7 kW) air-cooled engine.

Initially, only three-wheelers were offered. Four-wheeled runabouts soon followed.[1]

Back seat driver[edit]

In some models, passengers rode up front over the front axle while the driver and another passenger sat in the back over the engine.[1]

The "Old Porcupine" engine[edit]

Knox tractor-trailer, Salt Lake City, 1915. Note chain drive, common in this era.

The flat-mounted single-cylinder engine was air-cooled. Rather than flanges to improve the efficiency of cooling, 1,750 threaded 3/16 inch (5mm) diameter rods were screwed into the cylinder casing as projecting studs, which led to the engine sometimes being referred to as "Old Porcupine". A 2-speed planetary transmission was fitted.[2][3] This engine was situated at the center of the car and produced 8 hp (6 kW). It was also called a "hedgehog".[4]

Competitive pricing[edit]

The "Knoxmobile" sold for US$1350. By contrast, the Ford Model F was US$2000, the FAL US$1750,[5] the Cole 30 US$1500[5] and Colt Runabout each US$1500,[6] the Oakland 40, US$1600,[7] and the Enger 40 US$2000,[5] while the high-volume Oldsmobile Runabout[8] ran US$650, Western's Gale Model A US$500[9] and the Brush Runabout was US$485.[5]

A larger Knox tonneau model, equipped with a straight-twin engine producing 16 hp (11.9 kW), was also produced, for US$2000.


The Knox was raced by Billy Bourque in the 1909 AAA Championship Car race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.[10]


  1. ^ a b c 100 Years of the American Auto Millennium Edition, page 24, Copyright 1999 Publications International, Ltd.
  2. ^ Clymer, Floyd. Treasury of Early American Automobiles, 1877-1925 (New York: Bonanza Books, 1950), p.170-1.
  3. ^ David LaChance (January 2007) "Old Porcupine – Knox", Hemmings Classic Car.
  4. ^ 100 Years of the American Auto Millennium Edition, page 19, Copyright 1999 Publications International, Ltd.
  5. ^ a b c d Clymer, p.104.
  6. ^ Clymer, p.63.
  7. ^ Clymer, p.84.
  8. ^ Clymer, p.32.
  9. ^ Clymer, p.51.
  10. ^


  • Clymer, Floyd. Treasury of Early American Automobiles, 1877-1925. New York: Bonanza Books, 1950.
  • Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly (January, 1904)

See also[edit]