|1908 or 1909 Mors 30 or 45hp car (in the collection of the author)|
The Societe d'Automobiles Mors was founded by brothers Emile and Louis Mors - early French automotive pioneers. After moving to gasoline engines in 1895, Mors built a reputation for technically advanced and fast cars. The company grew quickly, exporting cars to England and The United States. The Honorable Charles Rolls imported and distributed Mors prior to his partnership with Royce. In fact, Roll set the land speed record in 1903 in Dublin driving a 30hp Mors. The Central Automobile Company of New York (and later Cryder & Company- located at 63rd Street & Park Avenue in New York City) was awarded the sole distributorship for America. Additionally Mors, like many other foreign makes of the period, licensed the manufacturing of it's cars to an American concern - the St. Louis Car Company would built the American Mors (a slightly altered version of the French car) between 1905 and 1909, competing with the French imports of the same name.
The car pictured here appears to be a 1908 or 1909 30hp (possibly the 45hp) Limousine. At the time, Mors offered a 10, 15, and 20hp car - all of which were shaft drive. They also offered a 30hp and 45hp, chain drive, 4-cylinder car, as well as a 6-cylinder 50hp car. This car is a chain drive and I believe a 4-cylinder. The car is pictured in front of (Raymond) Bergougnan et Cie, the large French tire and rubber company located in Clermont-Ferranb (a city within the Puy-de-Dome region - just west of Lyon). Bergougnan was often over shadowed by it's neighbor Michelin et Cie of the same city.
Around the time this car was made (circa 1908), Mors was in financial trouble. The company had suffered from the financial depression sweeping France at the time - cars sales had fallen off and the company withdrew from racing. Mors' president, Harbleisher, invited Andre Citroen, a gear manufacturer recognized for his expertise in mass production, to join him in trying to turn the company around. Citroen did as requested and quickly increased production. Citroen would go back to running his own company, however the two would meet again. Citroen would resume control of Mors and purchase the company in 1925 - closing Mors and using the factory to produce Citroen automobiles.
|Motor, December, 1906|