Horseless Carriage Club of America
If your predilection hinges on relating to the cradle days of this country's automobile industry, Famous But Forgotten is for you and without reservation. It is the detailed history of the automobiles built by Alexander Winton.
Wintons were available to the public as early as 1898. It was a period of great experimentation in road transportation but with few companies yet producing their wares for sale to the public.
Alexander Winton had been a bicycle builder in Cleveland, Ohio, when he produced his first prototype. This would be the beginning of a line of 24,190 quality automobiles ending in 1924 with a good many Wintons still in everyday operation at the time.
Like its peers, the Winton followed a general pattern that included exhibition of its cars, its record on the dirt track, hill climbs and endurance tours and advertising in magazines, newspapers, and company literature.
Winton cars always maintained high standards in engineering, design, quality and longetivity. Its cars were not as many but were hardly cheap. They held their niche over the years in a given price range based on dollar-for dollar value. As a result, they were well known by the average citizen and their owners were frequently repeaters, owning one Winton after another. Production peaked during 1916 when 2,100 cars left the factory at Cleveland. After building five cars in 1924, Winton left the automobile market, its future still intact as a part of General Motors' Diesel Engine Division.
The Winton's production and sales had reached 10,777 by the end of 1915.
Production continued afterward 1,300 to 2,100 units per year until the sharp recession of 1921 when production dropped from 1,800 to 331. Although 500 cars were built in 1922, that dropped to 400 in 1923 and five by the end of 1924.
Famous But Forgotten is a treasure trove of data not always found in a research endeavor of this type. Besides its 18 chapters, it includes a host of appendices (nine in number) giving year-by-year specifications. Each year is accompanied by a photo of the year's Winton. Another lists the buyers of the first 51 cars between April 1, 1898 and June 8, 1899. Others have race results, shop machinery, patents, and year-by-year production statistics.
The paper is of fine quality giving considerable quality to the illustrations. Overall, Famous But Forgotten leaves little to be desired.