|The Cole Aero-Eight Tourster as advertised in the January 1, 1920 issue of Life Magazine|
Between 1909 and 1925 the Cole Motor Car Company produced 40000 automobiles at its Indianapolis plant located in the 700 block of East Washington street. J.J. Cole intended his cars to compete with GM's Cadillac in terms of luxury and quality. His cars were assembled with parts that had been manufactured by other companies, but he still managed to be innovative, producing the first four-door bodies, de-mountable rims, motor-driven tire pumps, and being the first manufacturer to utilize electric headlights and self-starters.
|The Cole plant located in the 700 block of East Washington St.|
If you were to buy a Cole, you may have been came into the showroom after being exposed to their innovative promotions. A gas-filled balloon or Cole cigar may have enticed you to come in to see what the brand was all about. Or you might have seen a Cole pace car at the Indy 500 and fancied yourself a speedster. Then there was the sports angle, with a baseball team promoting Cole on the diamond. If you did come in to see a Cole, you likely would have been scared off by the price; in 1918 prices ranged from $1995 for a touring car to $3795 for the Aero-Eight Towncar
Imagination couldn't keep Cole afloat. Through the 20's sales declined and eventually the abundance of budget friendly models targeted at the growing middle-class automobile owner drove the company out of business. Cole's doors closed in 1925 and soon after the founder, Joseph Cole, died at the age of 56.