Hoosier Auto Manufacturing

Indiana is probably not the place you think of as the Mecca of car manufacturing in the US, but in the early days of the automotive industry it was.

Elwood Haynes was one of the earliest to made a car in the US. (Notice my use of the verb “made”, not “manufacture”. He actually was making it in the kitchen until his wife banished him to the shed out back.) His 1894 Pioneer is housed in the Smithsonian.

Haynes established the first commercially successful gasoline engine car company in the US, manufacturing cars from 1898 until 1925 (1898-1904 Haynes-Apperson, 1904-1925 Haynes).

Other car companies quickly followed in Indiana his footsteps. Unfortunately most of these Hoosier car manufacturers did not survive the 1920s. The following is an incomplete list of early Hoosier car manufacturers at the Kokomo Automotive Museum.

Car Manufacturer Dates Indiana City
Ansted 1921-1926 Connersville
Apperson 1902-1926 Kokomo
Auburn 1902-1936 Auburn
Auburn 1929-1936 Connersville
Birch 1916-1923 Elkhart
Black Hawk 1929-1930 Indy
Brook 1920-1921 Indy
Bush 1916-1924 Elkhart
Cole 1909-1925 Indy
Cord 1929-1931, 1935-1936 Auburn
Crow/Crow Elkhart 1911-1923 Elkhart
Davis 1908-1929 Richmond
Duesenberg 1920-1937 Indianapolis
Durant 1922-1928 Muncie
Erskine 1929-1930 South Bend
Haynes 1898-1925 Kokomo
HCS 1920-1925 Indianapolis
Huffman 1920-1925 Elkhart
Kenworthy 1920-1921 Mishawaka
Lafayette 1921-1922 Indianapolis
Lexington 1910-1927 Connersville
Marmon 1902-1933 Indianapolis
Martel 1923-1927 Elkhart
McFarlan 1910-1928 Connersville
Monroe 1915-1923 Indianapolis
Moriss-London 1919-1923 Elkhart
National 1900-1924 Indianapolis
Pilot 1909-1924 Richmond
Premier 1903-1926 Indianapolis
Revere 1917-1926 Logansport
Roosevelt 1929-1936 Indianapolis
Saf-T-Cab 1926-1928 Auburn
Sheridan 1920-1921 Muncie
Sperling 1921-1923 Elkhart
Studebaker 1902-1963 South Bend
State 1911-1935 Indianapolis

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