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      Car History: Car History Year 1921
    Posted on Sunday, September 26 @ 21:53:18 UTC by Cars
     
     
      Cars Proof of the rapid development of the automobile's place at the very heart of the American way of life is shown from several incidents during this year. Warren G. Harding became the first US president to travel to his inauguration in a car - a Packard Twin Six, and, at the other end of the scale, was another first - the Pig Stand, a drive-in restaurant in Dallas, Texas, where barbecued pork sandwiches were served to people to eat in their cars. Meanwhile, in an effort to regulate the ever-increasing flow of cars on the streets, the Detroit police were experimenting with synchronized traffic lights, having introduced the three-colored light two years earlier.

    Proof of the rapid development of the automobile's place at the very heart of the American way of life is shown from several incidents during this year. Warren G. Harding became the first US president to travel to his inauguration in a car - a Packard Twin Six, and, at the other end of the scale, was another first - the Pig Stand, a drive-in restaurant in Dallas, Texas, where barbecued pork sandwiches were served to people to eat in their cars. Meanwhile, in an effort to regulate the ever-increasing flow of cars on the streets, the Detroit police were experimenting with synchronized traffic lights, having introduced the three-colored light two years earlier. But the economy was still depressed at the start of the year, with 5 million people unemployed. As Ford slashed the price of the Model T to stimulate demand, grabbing over 60 of the market, the need for cheaper cars was recognized by other manufacturers. Oldsmobile had established itself as a builder of medium-priced, good quality automobiles, but reacted to the down-turn in sales by bringing out a four cylinder car - the Model 43-A. Since 1916, Oldsmobiles had all been powered by either a six or eight cylinder engine and the four was a welcome addition. At under $1400 in price, the 43-A was the cheapest Oldsmobile by a wide margin (their eight cylinder models cost nearly twice as much), yet they couldn't hope to approach the rock-bottom prices set by Ford. The cost of the Model T Runabout eventually sank to $325 in 1921, but a 2- M door sedan was $760 - which was still half the price of the new Olds. The difference in price is reflected in the annual production. While Ford churned out nearly 1.3 million cars, Oldsmobile's output was a modest 19,157, of which 13,867 were the Model 43-A. Despite the reduction in price compared to earlier models, the four cylinder Oldsmobile remained a quality automobile, far more sophisticated and better equipped than the Ford. While the cheaper open models were more popular, the Olds 4-door sedan looked more in keeping with the times, sporting the fashionable sloping windshield, but all featured smoother body work lines, especially where the hood joined the passenger compartment. Mechanically too, the Oldsmobile was in a higher class, with its 224 cu.in. engine putting out 43 horsepower, over double that of the Ford four. And, featuring a simple manual transmission with a single plate, dry disc clutch, torque tube drive and spiral bevel gear rear axle, the Olds was as conventional as could be. Dimensionally, the Oldsmobile was also unremarkable, sitting on a wheelbase of 115 inches with 32 x 4 tires on wooden spoke artillery wheels. It all added up to a straightforward package that appealed to those drivers who wanted a bit more from an automobile and were prepared to pay extra for it. Oldsmobile might not have had the commanding presence in the market enjoyed by the overwhelming Ford juggernaut but, as a small part of the complex General Motors organisation put together by Billy Durant, it would survive and prosper. Pierre du Pont had taken over as president of GM, but it was Alfred P. Sloan who directed the essential rationalization programme needed to unravel the mess created by Durant. Part of the restructuring meant a clearer definition of the market levels in which each marque sold its products and it was decided that Oldsmobile's future was to be with bigger and better automobiles. As a consequence, the four would be discarded after 1923 and, thereafter, the Olds would use only six and eight cylinder engines. For 1927, just the six-cylinder engine was on offer. The major advance was the introduction of Oldsmobile's first four-wheel braking system. Prices were pegged and all models were offered in either "standard" or "deluxe" trim. The deluxe package offered front and rear bumpers, locking moto-meter and a choice of steel disc or wooden wheels. 1927 was the last year that the "30" model designation would be employed. Total sales for the year were 54,234, almost unchanged from the previous year. Specification OLDSMOBILE MODEL 43-A Engine Cast iron - 4 cylinders in line Displacement 224 cu. ins Bore and stroke 3 11/16 x 5 1/4 ins. Horsepower 43 Body styles Roadster; Tourer; Coupe No. of seats 2-5 Weight (lbs) c. 2,800 lbs Price $1,325 - $1,895 Produced 13,876
     
     
     
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