<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415

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Lot 277
1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring

Sold for US$ 60,480 inc. premium
1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring
Chassis no. 5348
Engine no. 6415

226.2ci, Side-Valve 4-Cylinder Engine
Single Updraft Carburetor, 26bhp
3-Speed Transmission
Leaf Spring Suspension
2-Wheel Mechanical Brakes

*Offered from long term private ownership
*Formerly in the renowned Protsman Collection
*Sympathetically restored with some original finishes
*Extremely rare survivor of the marque


CROW-ELKHART

In 1908, Dr. E.C. Crow and his son Martin became involved in an automotive venture with Willard Sterling and F.O. Hudson of Elkhart, Indiana. In July 1909, they incorporated the Crow Motor Car Company, and began to build a vehicle called the "Black Crow," which was distributed by the Black Manufacturing Company of Chicago. Black had built two-cylinder air-cooled, chain-drive buggies with solid tires, but the Black Crow was a full-fledged four-cylinder car, built by the Crows in Indiana. In 1910, they canceled the contract with Black and began selling the car as simply "Crow," then, within a few months, "Crow-Elkhart."

A medium-priced four, the Crow-Elkhart was offered in nine body styles on four wheelbases, with four different engines of 25 to 40 rated horsepower. Occasionally advertised as "Elk-Hart Four," it was "Made to make good" and touted a "9-Year Chassis." A six-cylinder model was added for 1913, and engines were procured from a number of proprietary manufacturers: Rutenber, Lycoming, Herschell-Spillman, Gray and Atlas among them. In 1916, the company name was changed to Crow-Elkhart Motor Company, and it began supplying some of the cars to be sold by others, including Birch and Bush, both mail-order brands. Although the factories had a capacity of 30 cars per day, production never reached that level. Sales peaked at 3,800 cars for 1917, and the post-World War I recession resulted in receivership – and ouster of the Crows, father and son. Production lingered on into 1923, with some reported to be sold as late as 1925. Although the name suggests otherwise, Elkhart's other car, the Elcar, is unrelated, being a 1916 startup of William and George Pratt under the name Elkhart Carriage and Motor Car Company.

When the Crow Manufacturing company of Indiana decided to venture into the business of automobile manufacturing, they chose to play on the name of their location and name their cars the Crow ElkHart. Almost certainly using the sturdiness of the elk to convey the quality of build their car, the Elk and a heart were prominent features of their logo and marketing.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

This motorcar is an example of their Model 52, a four-cylinder, 3 speed chassis scaled in the zone of a number of 20-25hp cars of its day. One individual who took a particular interest in their products was a Mr. T.M. Hall. Hall of the T.A. Hall Horseshoeing and Carriage Company of Bowman, Georgia could likely foresee that his business was decreasing in activity over time owing to the prevalence of horseless carriages. Ultimately, he would purchase one of Mr. Crow's machines, but along the journey are a series of fascinating letters between Hall and Crow regarding interest in becoming a sales agency for them and most interestingly persistent Crow managers trying to impress upon him how good and lucrative a deal with them could be.

Finally, in May 1912 Mr. Hall placed a very specific order for the car we offer for sale here today, noting larger wheels than standard, 'high-grade first quality' mohair top and a Prestolite starter. On file is the original bill of sale even! Mr. Hall appears to have kept the car for many years and when it came for him to sell it, he found a willing buyer in Shady Ballard of Spartanburg, South Carolina. It was later purchased in 1953 by C.T. Protsman one of few pioneering collectors of his era who would place it on display at the Antique Auto and Music Museum in Stone Mountain Memorial Park, in Virginia.

The current owner made the acquaintance of Protsman in the 1980s and over the course of a number of years was able to negotiate the sale of a couple of cars from him, the Crow-Elkhart being one of them. Acquired in the mid-1980s, it has been with him ever since.

Viewed closely today, the car has clearly been the subject of a sympathetic restoration some time ago and most likely in the Protsman era. There are still a number of appealing original elements retained, notably the door panels and the front mat which is emblazoned with the company brand name, as well as a sole 'Hood Rubber Co' arrow pattern spare tire. The upholstery is a well finished button back job and had very little age to it, while the paintwork appears to have been redone at the same time.

Although not used in the current ownership, it has been carefully stored/displayed in a personal museum setting ensuring that its aesthetics remain clean. In preparation for the auction the car has been recommissioned and found to run well. With an enviable file of period correspondence and a simple provenance this rare survivor of Indiana's best of its day would make an interesting and refreshing alternative brass era car for tours.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note, this vehicle is titled under the engine number.
Contacts
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
<b>1912 Crow-Elkhart Model 52 Five Passenger Touring</b><br />Chassis no. 5348<br />Engine no. 6415
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