Description

  • The body converts from an enclosed coupe to an open roadster.
  • In 1919, Cole sales in the luxury field were only exceeded by Cadillac.

Story

Story

Joseph J. Cole established the Cole Carriage Company in December 1905 and produced horse-drawn carriages.  In 1908, Cole built an experimental motor buggy that used many carriage components.  A 4-cylinder touring car design was developed and, in July 1909, the Cole Motor Car Company was formed and horse-drawn carriage manufacture ceased.  These 4-cylinder cars were joined by 6-cylinder models in 1913, and V-8 engines were introduced in 1915.  The V-8s became so popular that it was the only model offered after 1917.

This 1917 Cole Tourcoupé is an all-season model that seats four passengers.  Its Springfield body converts from an enclosed coupe to an open roadster when the door glasses are dropped into concealed recesses and side windows are stored in the rear.  When the steel frames of the door-windows are folded into the lower door panels, all evidence of the enclosed car vanishes.

In 1919, Cole sales in the luxury field were surpassed only by Cadillac, but after 1921 Cole encountered a rough period.  A proposal to merge with other auto firms collapsed and Cole was confronted with a decision to mass-produce cars or go out of business.  Cole decided to quit and his last car left the factory in October 1924; he died the following year.

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