Rapid Motor Vehicle Company

Coordinates: 42°37′34″N 83°17′15″W / 42.626026°N 83.287559°W / 42.626026; -83.287559
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Rapid Motor Vehicle Company
FormerlyGrabowsky Motor Company
GenreCommercial Vehicles
Founded1900; 123 years ago (1900) [1]
FounderMax and Morris Grabowsky
Defunct1909; 114 years ago (1909)
FateAcquired by General Motors and was predecessor to GMC Truck
SuccessorGMC Truck
Area served
ProductsAutomobiles, autoparts

The Rapid Motor Vehicle Company was founded in 1902 in Pontiac, Michigan, by brothers Max (1874-1946) and Morris Grabowsky, whose earlier venture, Grabowsky Motor Company, had been founded in Detroit in 1900.[2] They went on to build one-ton trucks and were the beginning of GMC Truck division after they were acquired by General Motors in 1909.[3]


In 1905 Rapid built a new assembly plant at 25 Rapid Street abutting the Grand Trunk Western Railroad tracks on the south side of Pontiac, Michigan.[4] The Rapid Street Plant 1 was the nucleus of what would become the Pontiac West Assembly complex.

Rapid was the "first truck to conquer Pikes Peak" in a 1909 road race.[3]

General Motors Era[edit]

General Motors Company was founded by William C. Durant in 1908. Durant began acquiring the stock of Rapid Motor Vehicle Company in 1908 and in 1909 had a controlling interest. Rapid Motor Vehicle Company became a subsidiary of General Motors in 1909. In 1911 the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company ceased to exist when General Motors Truck Company was created and all of General Motors truck subsidiaries were absorbed in to the new business unit. In 1912 the Rapid brand name was discontinued in favor of GMC.[5]


Rapid Motor Vehicle Company of Pontiac, Michigan - 1906
12 passenger Pullman vehicle.


  1. ^ https://www.gmheritagecenter.com/docs/gm-heritage-archive/historical-brochures/GMC/100_YR_GMC_HISTORY_MAR09.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  2. ^ Steven Rossi, Antique Automobile, Vol. 85 no. 5, September/October 2021, p. 34
  3. ^ a b "Rapid Motor Vehicle Company". Scripophily, 2011.
  4. ^ "Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from Pontiac, Oakland County, Michigan". Library of Congress. Sanborn Map Company. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  5. ^ "The First Century of GMC Truck History" (PDF). GM Heritage Center. Donald Meyer. Retrieved 17 September 2018.

42°37′34″N 83°17′15″W / 42.626026°N 83.287559°W / 42.626026; -83.287559