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The Winton Automobile & The Winton Motor Carriage Co.

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The Winton Motor Carriage Co.
Cleveland, Ohio

Alexander Winton was born in Scotland and moved to New York when he was only nineteen years old. At an early age he showed outstanding mechanical talent and worked on marine engines aboard various ships. Around 1886 Winton settled in Cleveland, Ohio and worked for various firms until 1890. It was then that Alexander Winton and Thomas Henderson founded the Winton Bicycle Company.

By 1892 the small firm produced 6,000 bicycles. A year later when a business panic caused the bottom to drop out of the bicycle market, Winton got busy designing his first horseless carriage and a power unit he planned to use. See a 1893 Winton Bicycle Co. and Winton Carriage Co. newspaper ad below.

1893 Winton Bicycle Co. 1893 Winton Bicycle Co.
1898 Winton Carriage Co. advertising 1898 Winton Carriage Co.

Alexander Winton built his first American Automobile in 1896. It was a curious looking automobile with a short stubby appearance. It held 4 passengers with the seats "back-to-back" or "dos-a-dos". This Winton was equipped with a single cylinder 8 horsepower water cooled engine. At the Glenville track he chugged steadily around the mile circuit in 1 minute and 48 seconds, an average speed of 33.8 MPH.

1896 Winton - The First 1896 Winton - The First
1897 Winton - The Second 1897 Winton - The Second

In 1897 Winton formed The Winton Motor Carriage Co. and built a second American Automobile that was longer and wider, accommodating 3 passengers abreast on both seats which were also arranged "dos-a-dos" like the first Winton. Equipped with a 2 cylinder, horizontal, 10 horsepower engine and moved this automobile along at 30 MPH. On April 29, 1898 Winton sold his first automobile, a single cylinder phaeton shown below for $1,000.00.

1898 Winton Phaeton 1898 Winton Phaeton
Restored 1899 Winton Restored 1899 Winton

This original sale, duly recorded in firms books established Alexander Winton as the builder of the first commercially successful American Automobile and the founder of the United States automobile industry. Between April and December 31, 1898 Winton built and sold 22 of the 2 passenger phaetons. After the turn of the century Alexander Winton stood out as a pacemaker in American Automobile design, production and automobile racing.

From the very beginning Alexander Winton knew that automobile racing was the key in selling his automobiles. At first he raced the clock at the Glenville track in Cleveland, then tried several road runs against the clock from Cleveland to New York. As his reputation spread among the motoring public he built a couple of Winton Racers to compete with other automobiles. After loosing the Gordon Bennett Race in France in 1900 with one of his Winter Racers and a race in Grosse Pointe to Henry Ford in 1902 Alexander Winton built the Winton Bullet (Bullet No.1) in early 1903. The first straight eight cylinder American Automobile built in the United States was called the Bullet No.2. Winton's Bullet No.2 and a lighter 4 cylinder Winton racer called the Bullet No.3 won many races and set 100s of speed records in the United States and Europe. The Winton Racers were driven by Winton, Barney Oldfield and Earl H. Kiser.

Restored 1903 Winton Restored 1903 Winton
1905 Winton Ad 1905 Winton Ad

By 1905 Winton's racing activities tapered off considerably. He had blazed the trail of the American motor car in competition and proved his point that the Winton Automobile was one of the best. Now Winton was more interested in promoting his distinctive new four Cylinder Model "K" shown below.

1907 Winton Model K Touring Car
1907 Winton Model K Touring Car

Alexander Winton introduced another new American Automobile he called the Winton Six in 1907. So popular was the Winton Six that it acted as the official car for the Glidden Tour.

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The Home of The Winton Six in Cleveland

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