CarterCar – The Car Ahead – Read All About It

CarterCar was manufactured from 1905 to around 1915 albeit under different companies. After differing on transmission type, its namesake, Byron J. Carter moved the operation from Jackson, Michigan to Detroit and then Pontiac.

CarterCar – The Car Ahead – Dependable, gear-less transmission


In 1907, The Carter Motor Car Corporation opened offices in Detroit, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and San Francisco and began to raise money through stock (with a little selfless promotion). The advertising for the CarterCar automobile followed shortly thereafter.

Carter Motor Car Stock $2.00 Per Share – The Washington Times, August, 1907 –


cartercar NY Sun 1906

First ad found – N.Y. Sun 1906 – click for enlargement

The Future Increase In Valuation Will Be As Rapid As The Past – The wonderful increase in value of the Carter Motor Car Stock since being placed on the local market has been the undisputed phenomenon of the local financial market. No other investment offers such brilliant prospects. As news of the Carter superiority spreads – as the merits of the the Carter Car become more and more understood, the demand for Carter stock increases. Today it is selling for $200 a share and if past record may be taken as a criterion, it will not long remain at this figure. We expect to pay 25% profit on the output of our product or 250% on your investment which means $2,225,000 in annual dividends when this factory is complete based upon a yearly production of 3000 Automobiles of a market value of $9,000,000.00. Below is the full ad that can be enlarged by clicking it.

cartercar 1907

CarterCar sells stock options in 1907 (Click for full size)

Carter Obituary - click for full image

Carter Obituary – click for full image

1909 marks the year that advertising for the CarterCar hits full gear. That is one year after the man that came up with that gear-less transmission dies. Byron J. Carter dies of Pneumonia at the age of 45 in 1908.




CARTERCARS NOW ON GASOLINE ROW – The Los Angelas Herald, August 1909

Said to Be the Only Real “Foolproof” Cars on the Market and Friction Drives – Price Is Reasonable

cartercar 1909

CarterCar 1909 – Woolwine distributor So. California

At last the Cartercar has taken its place, physically and literally, on gasoline row, and the Woolwlne Motor Car company, which has secured the agency for Southern California, is already being keeping busy showing this car to Inquiring, investigating persons who have heard of the merits this car possesses.

1912 cartercar

Advertisement 1912

A carload of Cartercars came through to the Woolwine company on Friday last. The Cartercar is said to be tho only actual “foolproof” automobile made today. The gentleman who “knows all about” a car and then wrecks it with what he does not know cannot go wrong with the Cartercar, for it Is said that the maker determined there would be one car that even the “fool” could not make a. mistake with.

In this car is to be found the ideal transmission, which is friction. It embodies all of the good features which a good automobile transmission should have, destitute of the disadvantages so patent In others. It is a chain-in-oil drive, which is the housing of the chain drive, permitting it to run in a bath of oil, protecting it from all grit and dust, and with this construction the chain and differential are absolutely noiseless and entirely protected.


CarterCar Automobile Advertisement 1910 – Click to enlarge

All needless weight has been eliminated, but all the power retained, and the car is guaranteed to take a 50 percent grade and will operate twenty miles under one gallon of gasoline consumption, showing the economical point of the Cartercar to be worthy attention along with its other features. The car is shown in three styles, runabout, touring car and delivery model, and the latter is no less attractive than its sister machines. In fact the model on the floor of the Woolwlne company is the most attractive looking car ever seen in Los Angeles.

The price too is bound to make this car popular, being but $1000 at the factory. R.F. Pendleton, the factory sales manager of the Cartercar company, is to be here this week, making his headquarters with the Woolwine company and demonstrating the car to all who wish to see it in operation.

The CarterCar Transmission comparison in an advertisement in 1912


CarterCar transmission comparison – 1912 – click for full size


CarterCar Advertisement East Oregonian – 1913 – click for full sized image

1914 – This is the New Model 7 Cartercar

1914 cartercar

CarterCar Model 7 1914

The Commoner – Lincoln, Nebraska 1914 – A NEW CARTERCAR at a new price, $1250, possessing all the proven qualities of and coming fully lip to the high standard set by the other Cartercars.

It has the simple two unit patent Cartercar drive system, the world famed gear-less transmission. This consists of a disk shaft and friction wheel and the silent chain-in-oil secondary drive. The disk and wheel roll gently together to set the car in motion, thus eliminating the usual clutch with its rasping clash and jerky starting. This Famous Gear-less Transmission with its many speeds and one lever control is backed by the powerful four cylinder, five inch stroke motor, operating silently because all valves are enclosed.

MODEL 7 SPECIFICATIONS – Motor, four cylinder, bloc type, enclosed valve action, bore 3 1/2 inches, stroke 5 Inches. Starting and lighting, electric, in same system with ignition as one unit. Both controlled from driver’s seat. Lubrication, splash system, renewed by positive plunger pump.

Carburetor, automatic float feed type. Transmission, Carter patent friction transmission. affording any number of speeds Instead of two or three. Final drive, silent chain-in-oil enclosed in tight dust proof housing. Wheel base, 106 Inches, artillery type, tires 32×3 1/2 inches. Brakes, internal, pedal; external, lever. Steering, worm and nut type, 17 inch hardwood wheel with aluminum spider. Sparks and throttle above operating silently.

Do not confuse the Cartercar Model 7 with the cheap cars appearing on the markets today. Please remember that no qualification that has helped to build up the reputation of the Cartercars for sterling worth and dependability has been sacrificed to produce Model 7 at this price.

Another point, too, is worth remembering about Model 7 and all other Cartercars your Cartercar purchased “today” is not old “tomorrow.” We do not produce “yearly” models, for we believe that is unfair to you, our customers and depreciates your car unduly, without compensating advantages to anyone.

Unfortunately, 1915 marked the end of CarterCar advertising in the United States. Aside from a few classified ads and used car advertisements, nothing is found…. except for this ad for the model 9 in the Missouri Valley Times – 1915.


Last of the CarterCar Advertisements in 1915

I hope you have enjoyed your tour of the CarterCar as it appeared in the old newspaper ads of the early 1900’s.

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