An Entertaining & Informative Vintage Automobile Internet Magazine

Another Flash In The Pan….The Shaw


The Shaw was another of the small assembled car makers who choose to use the popular Rochester-Duesenberg engine. Walden W. Shaw who had been in the livery business went into the automobile line in 1908, by taking on several brands to sell. He then went into used cars and took on as a partner his salesman John Hertz. Next they sold the Thomas for a while and then went into the taxi chassis manufacturing business. This turned into the Yellow Cab Company in 1915 with Shaw’s firm becoming a holding company.

After WWI was over Shaw and Hertz decided to go into manufacturing automobiles. They may have made the chassis themselves, based on their taxi experience and chose the walking-beam, 4-cyl. powerhouse. The first car was shown at the Chicago Motor show in February of 1920. The name was then changed to the Colonial after worry about the new car having the same name as the taxi. By July they had changed their mind again and went to a Weidely twelve cylinder engine. Sales were dismal and the engine change did not help either. By February of 1921 and the Chicago show, Shaw was gone and Hertz was in charge of the company. He again changed the name this time choosing the Ambassador which was manufactured until 1925. Fred Roe Collection photos, courtesy of Racemaker Press.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *