Marion Motor Car Company, Indianapolis, 1904-1915

wp-15851298258981457099957.jpg1911 Marion Roadster

On Noveember 1, 1904 the Marion Motor Car Company was incorporated in Indianapolis, Indiana, by Linnaes C. Boyd, vice-president of the Indianapolis Water Company; Hugh McK. Landon, Secretary of the Indianapolis Water Company; Robert H. Hassler, mechanical engineer who invented shock absorbers for automobiles; Frederick A. Joss, an Indianapolis attorney; Charles A. Bookwalter, President of the Gem Garment Company; J. Arthur Hittle, automobile machinist; and Ida. G. Belser, stenographer.

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In 1906 Harry C. Stutz joined the company as its chief engineer and designer. Besides the Bobcat Roadster, he also designed the 1911 Marion Model 33 “Bobcat” Speedster.wp-15851419343841371386493.jpg

To advertise the Marion brand autos, Harry’s brother Charles Stutz and Adolph Monsen would drive the Marion in races:wp-15851495078661212161901.jpgIndianapolis Star, July 6, 1909

wp-15851493900311698389156.jpgIndianapolis Star, July 8, 1909

Harry Stutz left the Marion Motor Car Company in 1909 to form his own company, manufacturing the famous Stutz Bear Cat in 1911, which was raced in the first Indianapolis 500 Race in 1911 under the Ideal Motor Car Company brand.

The Marion Motor Car Company manufactured 7,158 automobiles in all, but it was never a very profitable company. John N. Willys, President of the Overland Automobile Company, bought Marion in October, 1908, and used its factory to produce the Overland engines and parts. wp-15851523259032103696764.jpg

In 1914 J. I. Handley bought the assets of the company and moved it to Jackson, Michigan.

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Written by Robert F. Gilyeat, a volunteer at the Indiana State Archives.

 

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