Sunday, January 29, 2012

WINTON - Famous but forgotten

Alexander Winton (1860 - 1932) immigrated to US (from Scotland) in 1880. In 1890 , he started his own business of manufacturing and selling bicycles. In 1893, he developed a motor-bicycle and continued his efforts to build four-wheeled motor car. In 1896 he manufactured his first car , fitted with pneumatic tyres supplied by B.F. Goodrich rubber company.

In 1897, he further refined the design and introduced the second Winton car.

Alexander Winton is credited with many innovations apart from proving that his cars are reliable by driving 1300 Kms in one of his cars. He could reach speeds up to 35 mph , which was an unheard of speed during those times. Some of his innovations include compressed air starting system , where compressed air is let in the engine which pushes the piston downward and brings the adjacent piston to firing stroke - a system nowadays used to start large marine diesel engines. Winton is also credited with using the first steering wheel , replacing the tiller mechanism in use till then.

Winton was America's first automobile manufacturer to make and sell automobiles as a standard product even though Duryea brothers were making custom made automobiles, on order.

Car no 12 was sold to one Mr James Ward Packard and had to experience lot of faults in his car. He met Alexander Winton and complained , to which Winton got angry and challenged him to build a better car. That challenge resulted in another car company - Packard Motorcar co.

Some of the famous and large selling cars of Winton were 1899 - Winton Stanhope and 1910 Winton Six.

The Winton Logo -

Winton stopped making cars in 1924, unable to compete with the cheaper car available in the market. However, they continued to make large , marine diesel engines - the diesel engine division was taken over by General Motors in 1930.

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