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1913 Mitchell touring car

1913 Mitchell 5-4 Touring Car – The American Built French Car

Updated – Micheal J. Semas has a wonderful collection of central California postcards and images and we will be featuring some of his collection and helping him to identify the year, make and model of the vehicles. This photograph shows two young women posing in an unknown make of car in front of the Hotel Stone in Kingsburg, California. Don’t miss the pig mascot on the radiator cap.

Update – Both Robbie Marenzi and Ace Zenek were able to quickly identify this distinctive 1913 Mitchell 5-4 40 h.p. four-cylinder five passenger touring car. Mitchell referred to it as a “American built French car.” You can view an ad (below) announcing the new 1913 models, and a four page article covering all the specifications and how all were constructed. The automaker called it “The American Built French Car” because it was designed by a French engineer and an American engineer, “who was able to ‘temper’ French ideas to American practice”.

According to the History of Fresno County (1919) by Paul E, Vandor, Paul J. Stone was “one of its foremost citizens”…. he was “very active in building up the town of Kingsburg and in promoting its business and musical life.” “In 1912 he built the Hotel Stone (Later the Kingsberg Hotel)” and “the new Ford Garage run by S. Tucker, one of the finest in the Valley”… “he was a partner in both with his son,” the two ventures were later sold within a few years.

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  •  “Auto Trade Journal” March 1913 (above) and a November 1912 ad for the new 1913 models (below). 

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5 responses to “1913 Mitchell 5-4 Touring Car – The American Built French Car

  1. This is a 1913 Mitchell Model 5-4 Touring for five passengers. It had a 4 cylinder engine, 40 horsepower, and a 120 inch wheelbase. The 1912 models still had right hand drive, and the single piece windshield appears to not have been carried into 1914. Not all advertisements for 1913 show the cowl lamps. The six cylinder Mitchell models were very similar, but they had a longer hood.

    The Mitchell Motorcar website shows that in 1913 the company made 3,813 vehicles.

  2. I have always wondered what cowl lamps were for. Were they incandescent bulbs and were they effective at anything besides making the car more visible.

  3. The French engineer who designed the T-head engine for the 1913 models was Rene Petard. He didn’t stay too long, going with company president William Mitchell Lewis to make the Lewis, which was also based in Racine.

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