The Norwalk Underslung – A Noteworthy Car Built in West Virginia: Today's feature on The Old Motor covers this large, luxurious and very interesting car.
See many photos and learn much more @ http://theoldmotor.com/?p=117878
Doesn't the missus look uppity uppity with her little white foo-foo dog!! Nice car though!
Quite a car. For it's size and obvious weight it's interesting that the doors are so small.
"It's interesting that the doors are so small."
Henry, I guess that is all aimed at a sporty appearance and the possibly the location of the wooden sills in body.
Check out this attractive 4-pass. "Roadster"
The attached link will give you a little more history of the car. Member Tim Morsher who lives in Norwalk owns one of the few remaining Autobugs
It is pretty neat that The Old Motor would do a feature on the Norwalk Underslung. The wonderful caretakers in Martinsburg bring it back to Norwalk , Ohio , for a visit about every year or so. The pics do not do it justice, it is an amazing automobile. There is a lot more to the Norwalk auto company than any of the articles tell about , but a neat start. Lots of intrigue, underhanded dealing,money problems, deceptive advertising (BS ) , government involvement, legal troubles, yes, just your normal cut throat automobile manufacturing business after the turn of the century.
Being a Ford nut, I am also intrigued by the early auto history. Just think where the industry was in about 1908 , where a talented man was able to gather enough investors to start building a new vehicle for sale. A high wheeler at that. All sorts of people were betting which way this thing would go......explosive motor engines, electric or steam power. 2 wheelers, 3 wheelers, buggy wheels. Expensive, cheap or somewhere in between. Even Thomas Edison had stated about then he would own no car that used ball bearings. He used Grout steam cars, and also was very interested in electric cars, for obvious reasons.
There is a also a lot more to the Norwalk story, probably not very interesting to most people, but I appreciate it.
The Fisher brothers ran a carriage works and blacksmith shop right downtown. They took a big chance moving to Detroit , and before long were one of the largest suppliers of quality body's to not only ford but other companies. I have really neat picture of the fisher works in 1895 norwalk. I can send it to someone if they know how to post pics here.
Thanks Joe, you gave me a reason to ramble for a bit. Maybe see you next week?
Tim just sent me this. 1909 Norwalk Centennial parade. 3 Auto Bugs.
Tim just sent me this. 3 Auto Bugs during 1909 Centennial celebrations
Sorry 2 for the price of one.
So Rob it looks like Henry had it right. Everyone loved the 6 cylinder cars but the money was in the little 4 cylinder jobs. Thank You Henry for coming out on top and giving us the fords that we all love. Scott
It really shows the state of the industry at the time. Manufacturers were betting on electric powered autos, still some steam powered, and all different types of "explosive motor " types. This small concern in Norwalk was betting on high wheel vehicles that could handle the rough wagon rutted roads of the period.
In 1908 Henry launched the universal car, ended up making millions. Arthur ( Skadden ) barely made it through 1909, made about 25 Auto-Bugs before throwing in the towel, like hundreds of other companies.
HAHAHA I don't know why but every time I see Norwalk I think of this:
A narwhal would be a FANTASTIC radiator cap!