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Detroit: Cars Built by the Auto Parts Manufacturing Co. Part I

This is the first in a series of articles covering three early cars constructed by the Auto Parts Manufacturing Co. located in Detroit, Michigan, between the years of 1909 to ’13. At this point, it is not known if the vehicles were prototypes built for other companies or were used to showcase the Company’s capabilities at automobile shows.

Of the three cars, the least is known about this uncommon four-passenger coupe on a chassis that is about the same size as most thirty horsepower cars of the period. The unusual front passenger compartment has a simple top equipped with side curtains for use during foul weather, but any passengers using the occasional half bucket seats in the rear were left out in the open.

We will return to this story on Tuesday when one of the largest roadsters ever built at the time will be featured along with photos of it while it was being assembled. The Spooner and Wells image is courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection.

7 responses to “Detroit: Cars Built by the Auto Parts Manufacturing Co. Part I

  1. Prototype or Parts-Showcase platform, this car has many interesting components consistent with the ’09 era: demountable square-followed wheels, triple-twist horn, and three-tiered cowl lanterns. Also note the outside drum brakes which appear to be activated by a rod or cable. The front springs are full ellipticals, but I think the rears are semi-ellipticals. The windscreen is interesting as it raises up all the way. Note the reflected surroundings above and forward of the driver. Finally, there are Murphy fasteners around the opening forward of the side curtains. The driver’s visibility would be challenging with all the curtains installed. Great photo.

    • To Joe Amara, I presume you mean ‘demountable square-felloe wheels’?

      The rear springs look to me to be three quarter elliptic, quite common at that time. I can’t see the front springs but as we can see the frame horn I presume they are regular semi elliptics. There does appear to be something odd in there behind the right front hub.

    • Hi Joe,
      When you say “square-followed” is that the same as square-felloed, as in the sections of rim that make up the wheel?

  2. I am drawn to the shuttle cowl. It appears to me that this is a pretty standard roadster with a shuttle cowl, like Overland’s at the time. The seat would be removed from its riser, and this coupe top bolts down and appears to clamp to and match the shuttle cowl shape.

    It also appears that the double bucket rear seat might fold forward, but there might not be enough room for it to fold forward with the very square seat in place.

    The front fenders also have a shape that blends the flat top and plow share flare shapes.

    I was seeing something odd above the passengers window area inside, like a hole in the roof. It is the windshield which folds up and latches to the roof.

    And in response to the first comment, driver visibility is always compromised with any early side curtain arrangement. You just need to keep your head moving around so you see around the blind spots.

    Keep up the great work Dave.

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