Sunday, October 12, 2014

Earl Motors

Earl Motors of Jackson, Michigan never rose to the level of Studebaker, Nash, or Packard. It came into being with the automobile fad of the jazz age, incorporated in 1921 and it died a quiet death in 1924 having produced less than 2000 cars. Earl sprang from the Briscoe Motor Company, offering touring cars for $1285 and offering extras such as linoleum floorboards and front and back carpets.

Benjamin Briscoe appointed Clarence Earl as president of his Briscoe Motor Company in March of 1921 and abandoned the automotive business that same year. Earl renamed the company, announcing that the opening salvo of the newly minted Earl Motors would be a brand new four-cylinder car which actually was just the Briscoe with a new name and a few modifications to improve power and make the automobile larger.

The troubles that had driven Benjamin Briscoe didn't leave when he abandoned his company. Earl found himself saddled with a large debt and a board with which he clashed. In November of 1922, Earl resigned and turned Earl Motors over to its board which drove the company into the ground. In Early 1924 Earl Motors was sold to Standard Motor Parts Company of Detroit and mothballed.

This ad comes from the August 1922 issue of Automobile Topics, a time when Earl was at the helm and locked in a battle with his banker board members. This was before the board took charge and began trimming Earl's offerings to low-cost models. It's a spare ad, nothing like you see from Dodge or Ford during this same time. There are no image of feckless youth, no idle rich, no feel for the Earl brand. Just copy and line drawings, lingering like ghosts at the margins.

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