*Updated* An Intriguing American Underslung Traveler Coupe

AMS

After our recent coverage of the American Underslung, Layden Butler posted this photo of one wearing an exquisite closed body that was photographed in Southern California. Having seen this photo before, and after our recent research, an advertisement in December 1912 issue of Country Life in America came to mind showing the illustration of an artists rendering below.

AM1

This 1913 American Traveler Limousine is described as having the following features: center-drive from the left, interior finishings of the finest goat skin and taffeta, it is electrically lighted and started, the car’s complement of passengers is five beside the driver, is priced at $6,000 complete. An article in the December 14, 1912 Automobile Topics below describes the”Bulbous Flare” of the 1913 American Traveler Limousine.

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*Update* Ariejan Bos has determined that the American in the top photo was a Traveler coupe and was on the market only in 1912. The company built coupes and limousines both in the Traveler and the Tourist category. The Tourist Coupe was a more classical coupe in ‘normal’ colonial style. The Traveler Limousine was a bit of an outsider by its rounded back; all other closed bodies were rather rectangular.

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The advertisement above was found in the November 30, 1912, issue of Automobile Topics showing the 1913 American Tourist Limousine, and gives more details of the closed cars. The 1913 models are listed elsewhere as follows: the Scout as a 30hp four-cylinder on a 105-inch wb., the Tourist as a 50hp four-cylinder on a 118-inch wb., and the Traveler as a 60hp four-cylinder on a 140-inch wb. Included in the lineup was a Scout Coupe.

Photos below courtesy of Ariejan Bos show: the American Traveler Limousine, its plush interior and the Scout Coupe. You can find our earlier American and Norwalk Underslung coverage here.

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9 Responses to *Updated* An Intriguing American Underslung Traveler Coupe

  1. Ariejan Bos says:

    Though it looks like a limousine, the American in the photo was sold as a Traveler coupe and was on the market only in 1912. The American Motors Co. built coupes and limousines both in the Traveler and the Tourist category. The Tourist coupe was a more classical coupe in ‘normal’ colonial style. The Traveler limousine was a bit of an outsider by its rounded back: all other closed bodies were rather rectangular. However, I can’t find a reference to its designer anywhere.
    Remarkable is that apparently no closed bodies on American chassis have survived. Or were they ‘modified’ at some time to the more spectacular touring cars or roadsters?

  2. Doug Walters says:

    David, am I seeing this correctly that there is one door one the left side, and two on the passenger’s side? Are there any of either model left?

  3. Perry Smith says:

    Now THAT would be the ultimate barn-find! What does (anyone) suppose its total body height would be?

    • I would think the top two examples would be about about the same height as a touring car top at seven-plus feet tall. The car in the bottom illustration might be eight feet tall.

      • Ariejan Bos says:

        The Traveller limousine had a wheelbase of 140″. Based on this I measure a total height of about 79″ (2m 00)! The Scout coupe (wheel base 105″) had a height of about 74″ (1m 88). I don’t have a good side view of the Traveller coupe (wheel base 124″) , but the height I expect to be somewhere in between.

  4. Perry Smith says:

    Thank you both for your similar answers! I also find it interesting that in the newspaper blurb regarding the “bulbous” body, that mention is made of styling attentive to the concept of streamlining! I was unaware that that concept was even a thought in 1913, at least on production cars!

  5. David Schultz says:

    What great photos–and information! That’s why The Old Motor is such an interesting site.

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