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Issue 08:02:01 - February 04, 2008

Paige Car - America's most beautiful car

Selling high-end luxury cars between 1908 and 1927 in Detroit was an automobile company called Paige. Paige was the first car in 1908 and was advertised as being the "Most Beautiful Car in America."

1910 - First Paige-Detroit

The Challenger, a light, open two-seater roadster, was the first Paige-Detroit model in 1910 and was priced at $800. This model was unique with its rare 25-horsepower, three-cylinder, two-cycle engine. The Challenger had a 90-inch wheelbase, 3 3/4 inches x 4 inches bore and stroke, 32-inch wheels that were fitted with 3-inch tires, and a 56-inch tread. At the front were semi-elliptic springs, and at the back were a full elliptic spring mounted crosswise and a cylindrical gas tank.

Other features on the Challenger included a bulb horn, tool kit, and oil lamps on both sides with one on the rear. The top was extra, but all bodies were "ironed for tops." Cream yellow running gear and a dark blue body were standard enamel colors that were all tastefully striped.

1911 - Last Paige-Detroit

In 1911, the consumer had a choice of the two-cycle, 25-horsepower, three-cylinder engine or a new conventional four-stroke, 25-horsepower, 4-cylinder motor, which was still the price of $800. The Challenger featured a Japanese distributor and a 90-inch chassis holding the sliding gear transmission with two forward speeds and reverse. For an extra $75, the owner could have a top and headlights.

A new 1911 open-sided touring car with detachable rear seats was priced at $900. This model had a 104-inch wheelbase and a transmission with three forward speeds and reverse. For $975, the consumer could choose a torpedo-type touring car with side doors.

Even with the company believing in the future and efficiency of the two-cycle engine, its emphasis was placed on the four-cycle. The two-cycle motor was eventually phased out during the 1911 model run.

Year of the first "Paige"

In 1912, Harry Jewett changed the name Paige-Detroit autos to Paige, with all the models given stylish names. These included the $1,600 La Marquise four-passenger coupe, $975 Kenilworth Roadster, $975 Brooklands two-passenger Raceabout, $925 Rockland two-passenger Runabout, $975 Beverly fore-door torpedo-type Touring car, $900 Pinehurst Touring car with detachable rear seats, and the $1,000 Brunswick five-passenger Touring car.

All 1912 models had a 104-inch wheelbase and 25 horsepower with tops and windshields included as standard equipment. The 1912 Paige became the first car to use a cork-insert, multiple-disc clutch that was enclosed in the flywheel and running in oil. This car was also the first popular priced vehicle with a self-starter.

1913 - Year of changes

In 1913, Model 36 and 25, new and larger series, brought dramatic changes to Paige. Model 36 included the Monstrose four-passenger Coupe, Brighton Raceabout, Westbrook three-passenger Roadster, Maplehurst five-passenger Sedan, and Glenwood five-passenger touring car. Model 25 offered the Kenilworth three-passenger Roadster and the Brunswick five-passenger Touring car. All new models featured electric starting, electric lighting, and center and left-side drive.

Model 36 had a 116-inch wheelbase and a long stroke four-cylinder motor that produced 36 horsepower at 2200 RPM. Other equipment included was electric side and tail lights, Stewart revolving dial speedometer, nickel trim, adjustable foot rest, and twelve-inch electric headlights. Standard on the Model 36 were dark blue bodies with blackrunning gear, and the buyer had a choice of either the standard 56-inch tread or the wider 60-inch tread. Model 25 featured curtains, silk mohair top, five demountable rims, horn, extra tire irons, pump, jack, and tools.

1914 – Adding a Limo

In 1914, Paige continued Model 25 and Model 36 with Model 36 prices being unchanged and Model 25 being reduced from the previous year. Added to the Model 36 line in 1914 was the Newport Limousine. Also an option for the consumer on Model 25 was electric starting and lighting for $75.

1915 through 1916 models

Paige dropped the Model 25 line in January 1915 but continued the "Four-36" models, which included the Model 36 touring car and roadster. Big news came of the "Six-46," which was a six-cylinder line that consisted of the Meadbrook three-passenger roadster and the Fairfield seven-passenger touring car.

The last two four-cylinder cars were replaced in the middle of the year with the new "Six-36" Hollywood five-passenger touring car. On the rear wheels of this model was a double set of brakes that expanded internally and contracted externally on 12-inch steel brake drums. The "Six-36" had a 112-inch wheelbase and 32-inch wheels with 32 x 4 tires. Additional "Six-46" models added were the three-passenger Cabriolet, three-passenger Coupe, seven-passenger Sedan, and the seven-passenger Town car.

In 1916, the "Six-46" line remained unchanged, but the "Six-36" was replaced by the "Six-38" with more models that included the Dartmoor three-passenger Roadster, five-passenger Sedan, and the Fleetwood five-passenger Touring car. In July 1916, both series had insignificant modifications, and the prices on the larger cars were increased by $80. There was an increase of $40 on the smaller cars.

New series in 1917

Paige-Detroit offered a whole new series in January 1917 with the "Six-39" becoming the smaller series, the "Six-51" becoming the larger with a 127-inch wheelbase, and the "Six-46" remaining the same.

The "Six-39" Series included the Dartmoor two-to-three passenger Roadster, five-passenger Sedan, and the Linwood five-passenger Touring car. Included in the "Six-51" Series were the seven-passenger Town car, Limousine, Touring car, and Sedan. Also included were the three-to-four passenger Coupe and Brooklands four-passenger Roadster, which was the most unusual model in the lineup.

1918 through 1919 models

The larger series in 1918 was now "Six 55," which included a four-passenger Coupe, Larchmont four-passenger Sport roadster, the seven-passenger Limousine, Essex Touring car, Town car, and Sedan. The smaller "Six-39" Series, with a 117-inch wheelbase, included the Glendale Chummy Roadster, five-passenger Sedan, Dartmoor two-to-three passenger Roadster, and Linwood five-passenger Touring car.

In 1919, Paige did not announce any new models because the industry was faced with material shortages, rising prices, and problems transporting their products to their customers. With all this to deal with, there was no time left to create new designs or make engineering changes.

1920 – Company introduces "Six-42"

The company introduced the "Six-42" at a New York show in 1920. This car was available in two open and two closed models with a 119-inch wheelbase. Other features included a 17-gallon gas tank at the rear, a motor built and designed by Paige, a Stewart vacuum fuel system, and Firestone tires that were standard. Also in 1920, the big Six was still the "Six-55" with a 127-inch wheelbase.

1921 Daytona Speedster

In 1921, the "Six-42" was replaced with the "Six-44," which had a powerful new engine. Included in the "Six-44" Series were the Glenbrook five-passenger Touring car, five-passenger Sedan, four-passenger Coupe, Ardmore four-passenger Sport model, and the Lenox two-passenger Roadster.

The "Six-66" Series was also available in 1921 and included the Larchmont II four-passenger Sport type, seven-passenger Sedan, Lakewood seven-passenger Touring car, and a five-passenger Coupe. In stock racing, the "Six-66" became one of the hottest cars. In April, a two-passenger speedster on a 131-inch "Six-66" chassis called the Daytona was announced by Paige.

In 1922, Paige announced a new six-cylinder car named after Jewett, the company's founder and president. The successful Jewett models included a five-passenger touring car and a five-passenger sedan. The year 1923 was the final year for the Daytona Speedster and Paige Truck.

In 1924, a new Jewett plant was in full operation and over 100,000 Jewett models were purchased in 1925. In 1927, the Jewett name was retired and all cars became Paige automobiles again.


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