From Abbott-Detroit to Zip, this unique reference book documents American gasoline-powered automobiles manufactured for the model years 1906 through 1915, the Brass Era. In these explosive early years of automotive history, a vast number of manufacturers--most of which failed within two years--produced a range of cars whose sheer diversity is unmatched in later times. Technical evolution was rapid, relying largely on trial and error, and mistakes were many. The short corporate lifespans and constant change throughout the industry left a fragmented historical record, with data about specific models scarce and scattered in later sources. At the center of this book, collected from journals and books produced during the era, are the specifications of 4,097 automobile models, arranged both by manufacturer and by year. These include model year, make, model name, number of cylinders, bore, stroke, engine displacement, horsepower, steering position (which shifted during these years from predominantly right-hand to left-hand drive), price, tire size and weight. In addition, a statistical and historical overview analyzes how each of these specifications evolved during the Brass Era as certain standards began to emerge and the popularity of cars in the United States grew.
Robert D. Dluhy, a retired electronics engineer and longtime enthusiast of both Brass Era and Classic Era cars, has restored several cars and tours regularly in his 1913 Hudson Model 37 Torpedo and 1931 Pierce-Arrow Model 43 Sport Phaeton.