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
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
Cartercar Factory - very similar to the PS&WW image above, but with a
new name, water tower and other changes:
Cartercar Factory from 1910 - new signs and one railroad is no longer shown:
Cartercar Factory - colored postcard image and photo:
Friend Motors Factory circa 1920-1921:
The Remaining Factory Building in 2014:
The Remaining Factory Building in 2014 - at top of the building it reads "THE
Remaining Factory Building in 2014 - note that "PONTIAC SPRING & WAGON
from 1908 or earlier is still visible:
Satellite Image from 2015 showing the remaining Cartercar and Standard
Vehicle buildings and the
former location of the Monroe Body Company:
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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