|Founder||A. P. Broomell|
The Pullman was an American automobile manufactured in York, Pennsylvania by the York Motor Car Company from 1905 to 1917. Total production is estimated at anywhere from 12,000 to 23,000 cars. The Pullman automobile was named by industrialist A. P. Broomell to reflect the quality and luxury of rail cars and coaches made by the Pullman Company, but the two organizations were not related.
Pullman automobiles were sold as luxury vehicles, using advertising slogans such as "Not Only The Best at the Price But the Best at Any Price." While not as expensive as the high-end motor coaches the cars were purported to match in quality, they were considerably more expensive than the contemporary Ford Model T. The Model T introduced in 1909 was $1850, but the price dropped to around $500 by 1914. A Pullman advertisement from 1910 lists four touring car and roadster models for $1650 to $3200.
One unusual Pullman, the York manufactured in 1903-1917, featured six wheels. The axles were evenly spaced, so that while the endmost two axles were in their conventional fore and aft locations, the middle two wheels were the powered wheels and sat directly under the passenger seats. When the car reached a particularly high spot in the road, it had a tendency to see-saw. One of these models was involved in an early crash. The vehicle was torn apart and items such as the engine were rebuilt in a more conventional four-wheel configuration.
Other models started mass-production in 1905. These proved moderately successful. In 1908, one vehicle was driven from the York factory to San Francisco and back over a period of about a month to prove its reliability. This was no mean feat, as the roads that make up the cross-country Lincoln Highway which ran through York had not been fully organized or completed. There are about 27 known Pullman automobiles still in existence, about half of which have been restored.
Pullman went bankrupt and ceased operations in 1917. The original building which housed the Pullman factory still exists in York, Pennsylvania at 701 Hay Street, York, PA 17403. The building is currently owned by, entrepreneur, Bryan Donovan under Hay Street LLC.
- Smith, Jean Edward (2012). Eisinhower in War and Peace. New York: Random House. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-8129-8288-6.
- "1900-1939". York Daily Record. Archived from the original on November 23, 2018. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
- "1909 Pullman Model K". Conceptcarz. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
- "1908 Pullman Model H Touring / 902 Chassis Information". Conceptcarz. Retrieved August 17, 2019.
- New York Times story on new cars for 1909
- New York Times Sunday, April 25, 1909 Automobile Section
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