Model T Era Legends

Fredrick A. Ames - Speedster Body and Accessories Builder

Fredrick A. Ames, a buggy repairman from Owensboro, KY., founded the F. A. Ames Company in 1881. Eventually the company became one of the largest manufacturers of buggies and light horse-drawn vehicles in the U.S. producing 50,000 horse-drawn vehicles a year in more than 200 styles. Although the company was very successful, Fredrick Ames began to see the potential of the automobile, and the potential negative impact it might have on his business.

In 1910, the company began to produce its own car called the Ames. After building 400 to 500 cars production was discontinued in 1913. The quality of the bodies Fredrick Ames built for the Ames car won them contracts to build bodies for other car companies.

About 1916, the company began to build accessory bodies for the Model T. Included were speedster, sport roadster, touring, sedan, coupe, and commercial bodies. Also available were demountable wheels and rims, wire wheels, trailers in several types, spotlights, "one-man" tops, “all weather” enclosed tops for roadsters and touring cars. In addition, windshields, fenders, bumpers, hoods, radiators, and all manner of other accessories were offered.

In 1925 Mr. Ames died. Not long after his death, in June 1926, the company abandoned the automobile body business, and the horse drawn vehicle business, and began to build furniture. Furniture production lasted until 1968, when the company was dissolved and its assets sold.