The Winton Motor Carriage Company

1902 Winton Touring car

Wouldn't everyone like to walk out back and find a old Winton parked in their garage - I know I would. This car is a 1902 Winton Touring car in the collection of a friend.

The Winton Motor Carriage Company was organized by Alexander Winton in Cleveland, Ohio in 1897. Winton was one of the early pioneers of gas powered automobiles in America. By 1898, the company (along with others such as the Duryea Motor Wagon Co. - founded in 1896 and the Olds Motor Works - founded in 1897) were manufacturing cars in volume. I guess the term "volume" might be a stretch as Winton is said to have sold a total of 22 car in 1898 - one of which famously went to James Ward Packard, inspiring him to start his own company. However by 1902, when this car was made, the company was producing over 850 cars per year.

Alexander Winton is quoted (in The Horseless Age, Nov. 13, 1901 ) as saying "Racing not only stimulates public interest in the automobile, but furnishes data to the manufacturer which can be obtained in no other way; and I believe that every manufacturer should take out his machine at intervals and subject it to such excessively severe tests to locate its weak points." With wide spread public interest in his automobiles, due to the purchase of two cars by Reginald & Alfred Vanderbilt, Winton lived up to his word and found himself in a match race with a relatively unknown, Henry Ford. He lost (Grosse Pointe racetrack outside of Detroit). Undeterred, the media made public his plans to offer a purpose built race car to the public (the very first purpose built sports/race vehicle offered in the US). We are very fortunate that one of these cars survives in the Larz Anderson Collection in Brookline, MA.

The museum's website describes the 1901 Winton Heavy Racer as a 40-horsepower, 2-cylinder, horizontally opposed gas engine and one of only four of this particular model produced; and the only surviving example.

The Horseless Age of June 19, 1901 elaborates: "Automobile Club of New England's Track Races - Sixth Event. The first annual race meet of the Automobile Club of New England was held at the Brookline Country Club track, Brookline, Mass., on Saturday, June 15... The starters were a Winton entered by Larz Anderson, and a Robinson carriage entered by J.T. Robinson, and operated by J.T. Robinson, Jr. Much interest was taken in this race, as Larz Anderson's vehicle was a new 40 horse power racer which he had received from the factory the day before... In the race the Winton carriage, which was operated by one of the men from the factory, ran away from the other carriage from the start. But before finishing the third mile it stopped, for some reason, on the back stretch, and could not be started again. This left the Robinson carriage to finish alone, which it did in 12 minutes, 31 2-5 seconds."

In 1902, Winton would build the Winton Bullet (now known as the Bullet No 1) and go to set a number of race and speed records - this car still exists in the collection of the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, Ohio. Winton would again race Ford, only to loose to Barney Oldfield in the 999 racer (now in the Henry Ford Museum). Winton seems to have been plagued with a string of bad luck when is came to racing. The Winton Motor Carriage Company would see great success in the early years; succumbing to competitive pressures in 1924.

The Horseless Age, April 24, 1901

The Horseless Age, Nov. 6, 1901

Larz Anderson's 1901 Winton Heavy Racer (photo credit: Larz Anderson Auto museum)
The Larz Anderson 1901 Winton Heavy Racer today

The Larz Anderson 1901 Winton Heavy Racer today

The Horseless Age, June 12, 1901

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