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Founded1913 in Detroit
FounderJames Scripps Booth
Defunct1923; 98 years ago (1923)
FateAcquired by General Motors, then defunct
ParentGeneral Motors

Scripps-Booth was a United States automobile company based in Detroit, Michigan. Established by James Scripps Booth in 1913, Scripps-Booth produced motor vehicles and was later acquired by General Motors, becoming a division of it, until the brand was discontinued in 1923.


A new Scripps-Booth engine described in the journal Horseless Age, 1916.
1916 Scripps-Booth Model C

The company was founded by artist and engineer James Scripps Booth (of the Scripps publishing family), who also built the Bi-Autogo.[1] Scripps-Booth company produced vehicles intended for the luxury market. In 1916, they consolidated with the Sterling Motor Company to become the Scripps-Booth Corporation.[2] By this time, Scripps-Booth had been purchased by Chevrolet whose founder William C. Durant was also the founding president of Sterling Motor Company.[3] General Motors discontinued the brand name in 1923.


The Vintage Chevrolet Club of America accepts the following Scripps-Booth models:[4]

  • Model C Roadster, 1915–17
  • Model G Roadster, 1917–19
  • Model D 4 Passenger Roadster, 1916–17
  • Model H 4 Passenger, 4 Door Touring, 1918

For 1914, Scripps-Booth offered a three-passenger torpedo roadster, powered by a 103in3 (1702 cc) (2⅞×4-inch, 3½×102 mm)[5] 18 hp (13 kW) water-cooled four-cylinder[6] of valve-in-head design[6] with Zenith carburetor and Atwater-Kent automatic spark advance.[6] It featured a 110 in (2794 mm) wheelbase and 30×3½-inch (76×8.8-cm)[6] Houk detachable wire wheels, with three speeds and (still a rarity then) shaft drive.[6] With complete electrical equipment, from Bijur[6] starter to ignition (on a separate switch from starter) to headlights to Klaxet electric horn (with a button in the steering hub, rather than a bulb)[6] to pushbutton door locks,[6] it sold for US$775,[6] compared to US$700 for the Ford Model S (new in 1909), US$650 for the high-volume Oldsmobile Runabout,[7] Ford's Model T at $550, Western's Gale Model A at US$500,[8] the Black starting as low as $375,[9] and the Success at an amazingly low US$250.[7]

The 1916-17 Model D was powered by an overhead valve V8 engine[10] designed by Alanson Brush.[11]

In popular culture[edit]

Before marrying the main character in John O'Hara's 1934 novel Appointment in Samarra, a youthful Caroline Walker drives a Scripps-Booth Model C Roadster. The car's unusual seating arrangement, in which "the driver sat a foot or so forward of the other seat, which made kissing an awkward act," is especially noted.[12]

Groucho Marx owned a Scripps-Booth.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Clymer, Floyd. Treasury of Early American Automobiles, 1877-1925 (New York: Bonanza Books, 1950), p.115.
  2. ^ New York Times, August 9, 1916
  3. ^ Chevrolet U.S. and Canadian Production Figures 1912-1931, Kaufmann/Hayward 2002
  4. ^ 1914-22 Scripps-Booth
  5. ^ Clymer, Floyd. Treasury of Early American Automobiles, 1877-1925 (New York: Bonanza Books, 1950), p.149.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Clymer, p.149.
  7. ^ a b Clymer, p.32.
  8. ^ Clymer, p.51.
  9. ^ Clymer, p.61.
  10. ^ Cars by Lou Phillips
  11. ^ Hemmings Muscle Machines April, 2004
  12. ^ O'Hara, John (1994) [1934], Appointment in Samarra, New York, NY: Modern Library, p. 119, ISBN 0-679-60110-4


External links[edit]