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The St. Louis Automobile & The St. Louis Motor Car Co.

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St. Louis
The St. Louis Motor Carriage Co.
St. Louis, MO
1898-1906

The St. Louis Motor Car Co.
Peoria, IL
1906-1907

The first American Automobile factory in St. Louis, MO was that of The St. Louis Motor Carriage Co. which built it's first automobile in 1898.

The firm's officers included Joseph French, John French, Callie French, Jesse French, H. E. French and George Preston Dorris.

Early St. Louis automobiles built by The St. Louis Motor Carriage Co. were four passengers Runabouts were the passengers sat backs to back. This automobile had tiller steering with single or two cylinder engines that were mounted beneath the seat.

1902 St. Louis Runabout
1902 St. Louis Runabout

By 1900 two passenger High Wheeler Runabouts and Light Delivery Wagons were being built by The St. Louis Motor Carriage Co. The Runabouts were wheel steered and equipped with air cooled single cylinder engines. Before long The St. Louis Motor Carriage Co. was manufacturing relatively large numbers of the more advanced St Louis Automobiles. Early advertising claims included this phrase - "Rigs That Run"

1903 St. Louis Runabout
1903 St. Louis Runabout

The St. Louis Motor Carriage Co. produced about 1000 units between 1898 and 1905. In 1905 Joseph French changed the company name to The St. Louis Motor Car Co. and move it to Peoria, Illinois with hopes of expansion. Unfortunately the firm's chief engineer George P. Dorris chose to remain in St. Louis, MO to begin his own automobile company.

1901 Runabout
1906 St. Louis Touring Car

In Peoria The St. Louis Motor Car Co. produced a five passenger Touring Car. It was equipped with a four cylinder vertical under the hood water cooled engine that developed 32-36 horsepower. The transmission was a sliding type with three speed forward and reverse. Features included spark and throttle control, bevel gear drive, brakes, 110 inch wheelbase, speeds of 4 to 50 miles per hour and a pressed steel frame. The 1906 St. Louis was beautifully finished, luxuriously upholstered and fully equipped for $2,500.00. However sales were not very good out of Peoria, Illinois and in 1907 The St. Louis Motor Car Co. went into bankruptcy and receivership.

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