|1909 American Gadabout - from the collection of the author|
This is a very interesting picture found among a stack of original American Motor Car Company factory photos acquired recently. The company was founded by VA Longaker in 1906 and this photo shows he and his wife in the back seat. Longaker hired Harry Stutz (prior to Stutz forming his own company) to design a car for the company. Based in Indianapolis, Stutz was a local guy and already known in automotive circles. Stutz designed a hansom, typical large displacement touring car but left the company within a year's time The car shown here is a 1909 Gadabout - a derivative of that original Stutz design (not an underslung). I don't believe any of this model survive.
The other interesting feature of this photo is the driver - none other then Fred Tone himself. Tone was hired as Stutz's replacement and would be responsible for developing the "underslung" model. So popular infact, the company would change its name to American Underslung. When this shot was taken two variations of the Underslung model were already in production. However, it seems that Mr Longaker wished to be driven in the Gadabout this day.