One of the better-known autos in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum Indiana Automobiles: Precision over Production exhibit is the 1929 Marmon Roosevelt Coupe.
Marmon enjoyed a substantial production increase in 1929 because of a low-priced new straight eight, called the Roosevelt. The 1929 Roosevelt had the distinction of being the first eight-cylinder car in the world to sell for less than $1,000. Marmon warranted a listing in the Guinness Book of Records for its factory installed radio, also in 1929. The Roosevelt appeared in the 1930 catalog as the Marmon Roosevelt and only lasted one more year. The 1930 Roosevelt was the only car in its price range to be offered with a full one-year warranty.
The Marmon “Firsts” list shows an interesting list of features debuted on Marmon automobiles. In 1905, Marmon introduced an overhead valve, air-cooled, four-cylinder 90 degree V configuration engine with pressure lubrication. The 1929 Marmon Roosevelt was innovative for its time.
The Marmon Big Eight was introduced in December 1929. It was powered by an all new straight-eight engine on a 136-inch wheelbase with an advertised price of $3,300 and a delivered price approaching $3,800. Also for 1930, Models 8-69 and 8-79 replaced the previous Models 68 and 78, respectively. These three production models carried forward into 1931. The Marmon 70 replaced the Roosevelt as Marmon’s mid-priced offering, with prices still starting below $1,000 in 1931.
Model year 1929 proved to be the highpoint for Marmon auto production at 29,216 units.
Thanks to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum for showing this Marmon Roosevelt. For more information on Indiana cars & companies, follow this link.