1913 Metz Series 22 Runabout
Engine no. 22684
Many creative minds, both business and technical, plied the car business in its infancy. One of the more inspired individuals was Charles Herman Metz. Starting his career as a bicycle designer, he soon built a company of his own, the Waltham Manufacturing Company of Waltham, MA, to build bikes. From his fertile mind came such creations as a 10-person Orient cycle and a motorized tandem, considered the first American motorcycle, in 1897. The next year Metz expanded to motorcar production, but due to disagreements with his investors over control of the company, left the company he founded.
Without his guidance, the Waltham Manufacturing Company fell into financial disarray and by 1908 Metz was able to regain control, reorganizing it as the Metz Company. When he took the reins, he found the company to be in possession of two things in excess: debt and spare parts. To alleviate both problems, Metz devised a new way to sell carsas a 'Plan' in which multiple small packages could be successively purchased and assembled into an entire car. The plan worked, and by 1911 he was able to begin offering factory built cars. Initially offering a 12hp twin, his most popular model, the '22' was introduced in 1912.
Powered by a 22hp four-cylinder motor driving through dual chain drives and a friction transmission while sitting on a 90" wheelbase, the only body style offered was a Runabout. Offered initially as both a 'Plan' and assembled model, by 1913, only factory assembled examples were offered, starting at $395 for the 'Special' Runabout and $495 for the more handsomely appointed examples. As a testament to their quality, a three-car team of Metz 22 Runabouts won the 1913 Glidden Tour as then only entries to finish with a perfect score.
The example offered here is a stunningly preserved 22 Runabout built late in 1913fresh off of Metz's victory on the Glidden Tour. Lovingly preserved, the car shows phenomenal patina. Under the hood, light mechanical refurbishment has been undertaken to put the car into running order. Fitted with optional electric sidelamps, rear seats, and windscreen, this Metz is likely one of the nicest unrestored examples extant.