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Cartercar Pontiac Factory


Pontiac - Franklin Road; (1908 - 1915)

1908 was a year of change for Cartercar - in April Byron Carter died and in October the Motorcar Company was renamed the Cartercar company, the capital stock was more than doubled and factory and offices were moved from Detroit to Pontiac.

Cartercar moved into the factory complex of the Pontiac Spring & Wagon Works (PS&WW).  PS&WW was founded in 1891 and by just after the turn of the century it was the largest manufacturing plant in Pontiac building Buggies and Buggy springs and parts.  By 1906, PS&WW must have seen the writing on the wall and produced their first automobile, the Pontiac.  This high wheeler must not have had the success they hoped for as they combined / sold out to the Cartercar company.

Cartercars were produced here from late 1908 through 1915, when General Motors ended Cartercar production.  When production ended there were trade rumors that a new six cylinder Oakand car would be produced here but it is unlikely that ever happened. 

In 1917 the factory complex was sold to Olympian Motors Company which built Olympian Cars there from 1917-1919.  In 1919 charges of mismanagement were levied by stockholders and the end result was that Olympian Motors was bought by Friends Motor Corporation, led by Otis Friend, in January of 1920.  Friend Motors built Olympian cars initially while working on a new model but by 1922 it was all over and the factory ownership was transferred to Gotham National Bank in a foreclosure sale.

The next occupant of the plant was the Wolverine Manufacturing Company which built furniture.  In later years it was used as an agricultural supply warehouse.  Today only one of the buildings remain - it is a warehouse for a local furniture store.



Pontiac Spring & Wagon Works in 1907, the year before Cartercar relocated here:
PSWW

Cartercar Factory - very similar to the PS&WW image above, but with a new name, water tower and other changes:
cartercar letterhead

Cartercar Factory from 1910 - new signs and one railroad is no longer shown:
cartercar 1910

Cartercar Factory:
Pontiac factory

Cartercar Factory - colored postcard image and photo:
cartercar factory cartercar factory

Friend Motors Factory circa 1920-1921:
friend factory

The Remaining Factory Building in 2014:
pontiac 2014

The Remaining Factory Building in 2014 - at top of the building it reads "THE WOLVERINE":
pontiac 2014

Remaining Factory Building in 2014 - note that "PONTIAC SPRING & WAGON WORKS"
from 1908 or earlier is still visible:
pontiac 2014

Satellite Image from 2015 showing the remaining Cartercar and Standard Vehicle buildings and the
former location of the Monroe Body Company:
2015



This site is a work-in-progress to document Cartercar history and production. It will be improved as time and information permit.
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