Friday, February 14, 2020

History of Automobile Dealerships in the Lawrence County Part 8

Ed Note: The following article is a continuation of the history of automobile dealerships in Lawrence County begun earlier on this blog.
5.      Staninger-Nash company was one of the eight auto dealers selling cars in 1924 in Lawrenceville.

This firm dealt exclusively in Nash cars, starting only a few years earlier, in a tent on the south side of the square. Temporary quarters had been established on the east side of the square when the Daily Record offered a new Nash touring car, valued at $1530, to the winner who sold the most newspaper subscriptions.  The car had been purchased from the Staninger- Nash Motor Company and came with glass wings, motometer, step plates, and cord tires.

By 1924, The Staninger-Nash Company  was located in one of the new buildings on Tenth Street with branches at Robinson and Mt Carmel. The manager was Paul Staninger, who built the company from the ground up. C. W. Gould, was the sales manager; Mr. Dale was in charge of the service dept; other employees were Sam Tarpley and Olin Thompson.

In 1925, L. D. Jarvis of Bridgeport had become the new manager of the Staninger-Nash Company upon the resignation of Paul B. Staninger  in Lawrenceville.  A petition to change the name of the company to the New Nash Motor Company was filed with the secretary of state.  

A year later, Jarvis and Guy Elliot, of Bridgeport, left for Cleveland, Ohio, where the latter was having a special automobile built. Except for the car previously purchased by Mr. Kellogg of Kellogg Corn Flakes fame, which cost $12,000, Mr. Elliot’s automobile was called a palace on wheels.   Mr.  Elliott’s ‘palace’ had a few conveniences overlooked by Mr. Kellogg making the cost of the Elliot car, about $20,000, the largest single custom automobile ever made in the United States and perhaps in the world, according to a newspaper reporter for the Lawrence County News.

The ‘palace on wheels’ was built from a White truck chassis with a Bender tourist body, and had every convenience found in the most modern home at that time.  A Delco light plant furnished current for an electric cooker and the varied utensils such as grill, percolator, toaster, etc. and a Frigidaire plant insured plenty of ice while a Radiola 28 with an inside aerial and a loud speaker was installed in the ceiling of the car to keep the occupants in touch with the outside world. Other appointments were a sleeping compartment for two, a lounging room that converted to a dining room, a butler’s pantry, a clothes closet, a china closet, a shower bath with hot and cold running water.  The interior was finished in mahogany and the windows were hung with attractive curtains. 

Mr.  and Mrs. Elliott were expected to drive to Florida in the fall and from there to Yellowstone Park and other points of interest in the west.  Then they would ship the car from San Francisco to Panama and continue their journey through the south. *Readers of this blog may recall that Guy Elliott was the chauffeur who had married his employer's widow, Mrs, Robert T, Gillespie, heir to her husband's oil money and twenty years Mr Elliott's senior. *

Less than a year later, Sam Tarpley of the Nash Motor Company and Guy Elliott returned from Cleveland, Ohio, driving the specially built automobile ordered by Mr. Elliott. The car was about 25 ft long, 9 ft high, and weighed approximately 1500 pounds. The Ohio company took several photographs to use in future promotions.   

In September, 1927, the New Nash Motor Company purchased the equipment of the Middagh Motor Co on North Tenth St and used the Middagh building for a repair shop, allowing the company to use the garage room behind the show room of the Nash garage on Tenth St for the display of used cars. The regular force of mechanics of the Nash Company as well as Whitey Meeks of the former Middagh garage, continued to provide twenty-four-hour road service for flat tires, as well as regular service in the garage for greasing, car washing, and general repairs.  

One month later, advertisements were calling the company the Hancock- Nash Motor Car Company and they were selling the Marmon 78 for $1895 and the Marmon 68 for $1395. Sales locations were given for both Lawrenceville and Bridgeport.

 To be continued