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Case Car History


By richard - Posted on 09 December 2011

In 1910 the Case Company got involved in Cars. They didn't want their own dealers selling Model T's or anything not related to Case. So in August 1910 Case bought out the Pierce Motor Co. of Racine - the name was changed to CASE.

The automobile plant was improved and enlarged. They added the best of equipment. The capacity for 1911 was 3 times that of 1910. Pierce started building motors in 1894.

To show the care in construction of a reliable, capable car, they tested their engines vigorously. In the testing rooms there was a series of tanks 8'H x 5' W x 5' L arranged for each engine. In each tank is water. Within 2' of the bottom there is a shaft driven through the out side on which is a 14" propeller wheel. As the engines come from the final assembly line, they are placed on the stands outside the tank and operate without a load for 2-4 hours. At the end of the time they are then connected to the shafts and run for 10-40 hours.

This is to test out the magneto, carburetor, bearings, etc. They examine them before leaving the testing rooms. Then they are placed into a chassis.

Before the body is put on, sand is used for weight equal to carry passengers weight, while testing the cars. Then the body is mounted and sent out to be sold at a Case Depot.

Case entered into the Indianapolis 500. To qualify a car had to do 75 MPH for one lap.

This was an era of iron men, wooden wheels, massive heavy engines, slow rpm's safety equipment was nonexistent. No seat belts or shoulder harnesses, no roll bar, cages, no crash helmets, no protective clothing and apparently - no concern- just grin and bear it or Risk and Hope. Finishing 8th, with Case No. 31, was the best Indy ever for Case, but not sufficiently inspirational to bring them back to the Indy again.

The Case car was an expensive car to own. Prices for 1911 ranged from $1750 to $2850 plus options, mohair top, side curtains, clock, speedometer, etc. In 1914 prices ranged from the touring Model 25 at $1250 to a touring Model 40 for $2300. Case also manufactured a limousine in 1911, closed body, with a quaint intercom (it was only a mouth piece connected to a pipe so the passenger in the backcould instruct the chauffeur.)

The Case passenger automobile continued to be manufactured until 1927 when it was taken out of production. During those years approximately 60,000 cars were built.

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