Leach (automobile)

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Leach-Biltwell Motor Company
TypeStock company
IndustryAutomobile manufacturing
PredecessorLeach Motor Car Co.
FoundedLos Angeles, California, U.S. (1919 (1919))
FounderMartin Andrew Leach
Defunct1924 (1924)
FateCeased trading
Los Angeles, California
ProductsLeach Power-Plus Six

Leach-Biltwell Motor Company manufactured and distributed the Leach luxury automobile from 1919 to 1924 in Los Angeles, California.[1]


Leach-Biltwell Motor Company was a west-coast automobile manufacturer. Martin Andrew Leach of the Leach Motor Car Company formed Leach-Biltwell for automobile coachbuilding and customization. In 1919 the company was re-capitalized and began producing complete automobiles. Leach purchased the Republic Truck Company factory and began production of the Leach Power-Plus Six motorcar.[1]

In 1922 the company again re-capitalized and expanded by purchasing the Miller Engine and Foundry works. Harry A. Miller became a vice-president of Leach-Biltwell and developed a new engine for the company. In 1923 the company was in financial trouble and introduced a smaller automobile called the California. In 1924, the company moved to a smaller factory and discontinued the Leach Power-Plus Six.[2][1]


The Leach Power-Plus Six used a model 9N Red Seal Continental 303.1 cubic inch 60 hp inline six-cylinder engine.[1] Touring coachwork on a 128-inch wheelbase featured two or four door body styles. Leach popularized the distinctive "California top" that was a precursor of the "hardtop" body style thirty years later.[1] In 1922 the engine was changed to a Miller model 999 100 hp Ohc six-cylinder engine, on a 134-inch wheelbase. This technically advanced engine had teething troubles and many were replaced with Continentals.[2]

For luxury customization, the Leach included a tilt and telescoping steering column, removable steering wheel (to be used as an anti-theft feature), a directional signal/stop light box with a dashboard switch, lighted aluminum steps instead of running boards, a one piece windshield and disc wheels with chromium rims.[3]

The Leach was priced in 1920 from $5,200 to a high in 1922 of $6,500 (equivalent to $113,640 in 2022). From 218 to 264 cars (chassis with and without factory bodies) were produced.[3][1]


Leach-Biltwell displayed a Leach at the 1920 Chicago Auto Show. Although primarily sold in California, with the slogan "The Aristocrat of Motordom", Leach advertised in major magazines to attract national attention.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Kimes, Beverly Rae; Clark Jr., Henry Austin (1996). Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942 (3rd ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 978-0-87341-428-9.
  2. ^ a b c Georgano, Nick (2001). The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile (3 vol. ed.). Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. ISBN 1-57958-293-1.
  3. ^ a b Theobald, Mark (January 1, 2004). "Coachbuilt - M.A. Leach, Leach-Biltwell". Coachbuilt. Retrieved June 21, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

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