Produced between 1907 and 1915, the Speedwell has long been an admired motorcar because of its memorable name, attractive styling, and the robust 50 h.p. L-head four-cylinder engine that powered it between 1910 to ’12. The company was established by Pierce D. Schenck and headquartered in Dayton, Ohio.
The successful automaker prospered until the combination of the Great Dayton Flood of 1913 which severely damaged the factory, and the introduction of a rotary valve engine that started the firm on a downhill slide it never recovered from and led to a bankruptcy in 1915. It was a sad end for a well-regarded marque after some four-thousand cars were built by the company. Refer to an earlier article the “Speedwell Oddities – The Cruiser and the Rotary Valve Six” for more information.
The illustrations and text from October 12, 1911, issue of “The Automobile,” show the construction and details of this impressive machine.
Two of the 1911 Speedwell postcards courtesy of automotive historian Alden Jewell are reproduced here. The lead image shows the distinctive “Duck Boat” three-passenger roadster “An All-Around Athlete.” The photo below highlights the attractive four-passenger “Close-Coupled” touring car. A third postcard was published featuring the Speedwell “Fore-Door Seven Passenger-Touring.”