Cartercar is a vehicle manufacturer, founded by Byron J. Carter in 1905, Jackson, Michigan. The company moved to Detroit in 1906, then to Pontiac, Michigan from 1907 to 1915.
Originally, Carter started his own company named the Motorcar Company in 1905 after leaving the Jackson Automobile Company. At the end of the year, he moved to Detroit due to financing.
The company was renamed the Cartercar Company in 1907 when it relocated to Pontiac, Michigan and merged with the Pontiac High wheeler manufacturers.
In the first years of production, 101 cars were sold in 1906. The next year, 264 vehicles were sold, then 325 in 1908. The company was bought by General Motors (GM) on October 26, 1909.
William Durant lost control of GM in 1910 and regained control in 1915. However, GM’s board had already discontinued the Cartercar line due to sales not reaching the 1000-2000 annually that Durant expected.
In 1908, Byron Carter died trying to start a car when the crank kicked back hitting him in the jaw. He developed gangrene from the injury and died due to the complications. His death brought about the development of the self-start system introduced in 1912.
The original Cartercar featured a flat-twin engine as well as a vertical four. In 1910 the company used only four-cylinder engines. By 1912 two models were being sold as Cartercars. The Model R with a 4160 cc engine, and the Model S with a 5437 cc engine. Both featured a single chain drive.
Image Caption: A 1912 Cartercar. Credit: Buch-t/Wikipedia (public domain)