Standard Catalog of American Cars

Standard Catalog of American Cars – lists every known American car from 1805 to prior to World War II.

The Standard Catalog of American Cars

Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942
Beverly Rae Kimes and Henry Austin Clark, Jr

The Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942 offers a definitive look at the American automobile industry. Every known American car manufacturer is listed – from the Oliver Evans steamer of 1805 to the last U.S. car off the line prior to World War II. Historian and author Beverly Rae Kimes, and chief researcher Henry Austin Clark, Jr., have compiled one of the most useful volumes for anyone beginning research on the American automobile.

The volume’s information ranges from steam, spring and gasoline-powered automobiles to highwheelers and cyclecars. It covers marques built in large volumes as well as those that produced as a single unit. Detailed information includes identification data, model descriptions, factory price, and estimated prices. Technical specifications such as engine type, horsepower rating, and wheelbase are included.

Major marque listings are more comprehensive and include I.D. data and location, production totals, popular options, factory shipping weights, tire sizes, and notes regarding the running changes during production.

The volume’s extensive photo resource of over 5,000 photos allows the reader to trace an auto’s styling evolution. This resource draws on the photo archives of more than 100 institutions including manufacturers, private collections, museums, and historical societies. These photos come from original advertising art, publicity photographs, and other sources.

The publisher states that the volume is intended as a contribution to the pursuit of greater knowledge about the many wonderful automobiles built in the United States. I feel that they meet this criteria extremely well. The author’s thorough research ferreted out information on even the smallest manufacturer where scant data existed in primary sources.

The volume goes on to discuss the age – old question about the total number of cars built in America. For the purpose of this volume, the simple matter of a car having been built was the criterion for inclusion. By using this definition, the book recognizes the efforts of early pioneers who made their own cars, because the automobile did not burst upon the scene as a well-developed unit. It evolved from the work of hundreds of individuals across the country. These vehicles are part of the story of America’s automotive heritage as much as those built by a large manufacturers. In Indiana’s case, the book lists 354 automobiles of all types. The majority of the Indiana-built autos were built in small numbers by lesser known manufacturers.

The book introduces you to the who, what, when, and where of America’s automotive industry. The author’s depth of research and love for the subject is apparent. Kimes and Clark are widely recognized for their outstanding work and contributions to the preservation of American automotive history. This volume belongs on the every auto enthusiast’s reference desk.

Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942: Third Edition, Beverly Rae Kimes and Henry Austin Clark, Jr., Iola, WI, Krause Publications, © 1996, ISBN: 0-87341-428-4

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