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Apperson

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Defunct
The Apperson was a brand of American automobile manufactured from 1902 to 1926 in Kokomo, Indiana. The company was founded by the brothers Edgar and Elmer Apperson shortly after they left Haynes-Apperson; for a time they continued to use a front-mounted flat-twin engine, following it with a horizontal four.

By 1904, Apperson offered vertical fours in two models. The 1904 Apperson Touring Car was a touring car model. Equipped with a tonneau, it could seat 6 passengers and sold for US$6000. The vertical-mounted straight-4, situated at the front of the car, produced 40 hp (29.8 kW). A 4-speed transmission was fitted. The steel-framed car weighed 2800 lb (1270 kg). The Apperson offered electric lights, a novelty for the time, and used a modern cellular radiator. The 25 hp (18.6 kW) version weighed 1800 lb (816 kg) and sold for US$3500.

In 1906 the company catalogued a 95 hp (71 kW) four at $10,500. The next year the first of the famed Jackrabbit speedsters rolled off the line; this was a 60 hp (45 kW) that sold for $5000. For a time, the entire range was known the "Jack Rabbit" - in 1913 a 32.4 hp (24 kW) four and a 33.7 hp (25 kW) six were listed, and a 33.8 hp (25 kW) 90 degree V-8 of 5.5 L (5502 cc/335 in³) followed in 1914.

In 1916 the company announced production of the "Roadplane" six and eights. The term "Roadplane" did not refer to a specific model but was a marketing concept devised by Elmer Apperson that was applied to the "Chummy Roadster" and the "Touring" car. Elmer took the unusual step of patenting the "Chummy Roadster" design (see:"U.S. Patent 48359").

The "Silver-Apperson", designed by Conover T. Silver, was launched in 1917; the model was known as the "Anniversary" after 1919. A proprietary six of 3.2 L (3243 cc/197 in³) appeared in 1923, and a Lycoming eight was offered beginning in 1924.

By now, Apperson and Haynes were both losing sales; a rumored re-marriage came to naught, and Apperson folded for good despite the introduction of four-wheel brakes on the 1926 models.

References

  • Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly (January, 1904)
  • MADDEN -- Haynes-Apperson and America's First Practical Automobile ISBN 0-7864-1397-2

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