The Venerable Pope Hartford

I've written about Albert Pope's empire of bicycle and automobile companies before, and recently I've had the chance to see a number of wonderful examples of the make.

Col. Albert Pope (the title is honorary) invested his bicycle wealth in the manufacturing of electric vehicles. Pope' electric vehicle business (Electric Vehicle Co.) ended up in receivership in 1907. By that time, Pope had already bought up a number of automobile manufacturing businesses - to be named after the city in which they were manufactured. The longest running of these was the Pope Hartford (1902-1914) located in Hartford, CT. Albert Pope built a large estate in Hartford and shared his wealth with the community by gifting a large park to the city (Pope Park). In 1909, having been in ill health for a number of years, Pope died in financial ruin. The company, already teetering on bankruptcy, cycles through receivership proceedings until it's finally dissolved in 1914 (Pope Manufacturing Company factories are sold off in 1914). Col. Pope was an early pioneer of the automobile age and much beloved in Hartford, thus when he died a collection was taken up to build a memorial fountain in his honor - the fountain still stands today in Pope Park.

The first car seen here, in the collection of a friend, is a 1910 Pope Hartford Model T, 5 passenger touring. The Automobile Trade Journal of September 1, 1909 describes the car as a 4 cylinder, 40hp car priced at $2750.00 - with a 3 speed selective gear transmission. The wheel base was increased in 1910 to 118 inches (from 114 inches) and the wheel size increased as well, to 36 inches (from 34). 

The second car shown is from a local collection and I believe it's a 1911 Pope Hartford Model W "4-50", five passenger touring originally offered for $3000.00. In 1911, the horsepower of Pope's 4 cylinder engine was increased to 50 and Automobile Topics stated "The motor develops considerably more than 50 hp..." The same year a new six cylinder engine was introduced to the Pope Hartford line up - the model Y "6-50" was offered at $4000.00.

The final car shown here was spectacular in person and said to be wonderful to drive. I believe it's a "Club Roadster" that was originally offered at $3000.00 (4 cylinder car) - I don't recall whether this is a four or six cylinder car.

There are a number of Pope Hartford's still on the road, highly collectable, and they are cherished touring cars.

1910 Pope Hartford Model T, five passenger touring in the collection of a friend.

photo credit: Automobile Trade Journal, September 1, 1909

1911 Pope Hartford Model W

photo credit: Automobile Topics, December 31, 1910

The Pope Hartford Club Roadster

photo credit: Automobile Topics, December 31, 1910

photo credit: Automobile Topics, November 26, 1910

2 comments:

  1. The first car looks like the one that my Cousin Bradley Barnes from Southington, CT. owned.

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  2. The first car looks like the one that my Cousin Bradley Barnes from Southington, CT. owned.

    ReplyDelete