Welcome to the E-M-F History Page

EMF Registry Link
Welcome to the new history page for the E-M-F "30" Automobile. This page has been literally years in the making. You will find most of the data that was on the old history page plus a lot of new information that I have found. This page contains data compiled from multiple source, the best being a copy of automobile quarterly. See the "Sources" at the end of the page for exact details.

The best and most useful thing about this new history page is the Index! The bottom of this page contains a linked index so that topics can be found in the page quickly. CLICK HERE to go to the Index. This is something I have wanted to do for a long long time because I need to use it.

I hope you like the new format. Feel free to let me know what you think.


The History of the E-M-F company

When we look around us now, we see only a handful of companies building automobiles, but in the early days of the industry, there were thousands of car manufactures in the United States. Some of these companies had names that are still recognizable today, while others are totally foreign. Names like Ford, Buick and Pontiac, big name auto manufactures today, trace their roots all the way back to the beginning of the industry. Other name which are no longer producing automobiles, but still find a place in our memories could include Hudson, Packard or Studebaker. This page will detail the E.M.F automobile, which is a name that falls into the third class of automobile marquis, those that have been all but forgotten. If we look at the period around 1908, we see Ford and Buick producing approximately 10200 and 8800 cars respectively that year. Other principle producers in 1908 included Maxwell, Franklin, Packard, Reo, Rambler, Cadillac, and a new volume car, the E.M.F. The name alone should have stuck in our minds. This grouping of letters came to have many meanings over the years, most of which were of the derogatory nature.

Meanings of E-M-F

"Every Morning Fix-it." "Every Mechanic's Friend." "Eternally Missing Fire." "Every Mechanical Fault." Perhaps the E-M-F’s destiny sealed the day the decision was made to make its initials its name, or more precisely the arrangement of those initials. Had Mr. M or Mr. F been chosen to be first, the comedians and joksters of the day wouldn't have had nearly so easy a time maligning the car, nor would it have passed into history with a reputation unfairly tarnished by bad jokes. "Every Morning Frustration"-a phrase not favored by the punsters-was perhaps more to the point anyway. But that had nothing to do with the car, in as much as it did the continuing struggles of those involved in its production. The main three men were Everitt, Metzger and Flanders. A forth man, Mr. Pelletier, though his initial was not featured in the company name, also had a large part. His job was publicity. Lets start by looking at the “E”, "M” and “F” of E-M-F.
Picture of Byron F. Everitt
Byron F. ("Barney") Everitt
1872 - 1940
Click on the picture
to see the full size.

Mr. “E”.

The “E” in E-M-F comes from one Byron F. Everitt (everybody called him "Barney”). He was born in Ridgetown, Ontario in 1872. He learned the wagon-building trade in Chatham. He traveled to Detroit at age nineteen and worked for carriage maker Hugh Johnson. He became affiliated with the body-building enterprise of the Wilson family. In 1899 he started his own body building company, receiving body orders first from Ransom Olds, and then Henry Ford. With his business prospering, he hired Fred J. Fisher (one of seven brothers from Norwalk, Ohio) and Walter O. Briggs (of Ypsilanti, Michigan) to help him, and launched his own car, an assembled one called the Wayne, around 1904. But it was his coachwork which made him rich. It was said of Mr. Everitt, "he has made, painted and trimmed more automobile bodies, twice over, than any other concern." His was one of the biggest names in Detroit at the time.

Picture of William E. Metzger
William E. Metzger
1868 - 1933
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to see the full size.

Mr “M”.

Next, William E. Metzger was born in Peru, Illinois in 1868. He immigrated to Michigan at age ten and was a bicycle merchant until he visited London in 1895 and attended the world's first automobile show. His enthusiasm fired, he returned to Detroit, bought a batch of electric cars, sold them, then a bunch of steamers, and did same. He established what was most likely America's first automobile dealership, in Detroit, as the century was about to turn. He helped stage America's earliest automobile shows, in Detroit and in New York's Madison Square Garden in 1900. William Metzger was one of the prime movers in the Association of Licensed Automobile Manufacturers. He promoted races at Grosse Pointe, offering a $200 prize if a cash-strapped Barney Oldfield -"I'd rather be dead than broke"-could speed Ford 999 faster over the course than Alexander and his namesake Winton. He affiliated himself with the Northern Motor Car Company in 1902 and that same year was one of the organizers of the venture begun to build a car called the Cadillac. He took orders for 2700 at the New York Automobile Show in January 1903, before anyone knew the name and no more than three of the cars had been produced. He was a tall man, rather aristocratic looking, and keen of eye. He was also very persuasive. It is said that William E. Metzger could sell anything.
Picture of Walter E. Flanders
Walter E. Flanders
1871 - 1923
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to see the full size.

Mr. “F”

Last, but not least, comes Walter E. Flanders. Born in 1871 in Rutland, he was described as "a poor Vermont machinist" who became an "industrial colossus." He was the son of a country doctor, whose fees were generally paid in farm produce. He left school at fifteen to seek his fortune tending to mechanical things for cash, including sewing machines during an apprenticeship at Singer, followed by an association with Thomas S. Walburn in general machining in Cleveland. It was here that an order came from Henry Ford in Detroit for a thousand crankshafts. The order was not only filled, but also filled on time - a rarity in those days. This convinced Ford that Flanders was just the man to have on the team he was assembling to move his company into mass quantity manufacture of automobiles. Walter Flanders knew how arrange production machinery, and invent it. He invented various multiple drill, vertical boring mill and valve grinding machines. When it came to cutting supply and inventory costs, there was no one better than Walter Flanders. He wasn't interested in cars so much as building them. He was not concerned with those experiments with a new model in a back room at the Ford company. He was busy in the plant moving machines around, setting up procedures and effecting timesaving methods. He wanted to see the product only when it was ready and he didn't care if its model initial was N, R, S--or T. He was a huge man (close to 275 pounds) with a great shock of curly hair and a voice that, as Ford associate Charles Sorensen commented, "could be heard in a drop-forge plant". Flanders played hard and rough. A carouser and hell-raiser of epic proportion at night, he was blessed somehow with an immunity to morning-after hangovers, showing up on time at the plant every day. He was effective and forthright in directing his men (who admired him) in their work. Henry Ford worried a bit that the force of Flanders' personality might become a problem. He worried that Flanders might overwhelm, and possibly even overtake, Ford in his own company.

Picture of E. LeRoy Pelletier
E. LeRoy Pelletier
1868 - 1938
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to see the full size.

Mr. “P”?

But let’s not forget LeRoy. E. LeRoy Pelletier was born in 1868 in Houlton, Maine. He was a man possessed of a small body, a large head, and nervous energy that was electrifying. As a newspaperman, he covered the Klondike stampede for The New York Times*.
*His dispatches to the Times, covering the period 1897 to 1900, provide enthralling reading, Pelletier narrating tales of "precautions against starvation," "delays due to selfishness," "preventing a corner in supplies," "smallpox comes to camp," "getting ready for the greenhorns," "pistols drawn many times," "large loss of life and a murder," "no time for legal trials." They would make for a terrific adventure movie.
His dispatches to the Times, covering the period 1897 to 1900, provide enthralling reading. Pelletier narrated tales of "precautions against starvation," "delays due to selfishness," "preventing a corner in supplies," "smallpox comes to camp," "getting ready for the greenhorns," "pistols drawn many times," "large loss of life and a murder," "no time for legal trials." They would make for a terrific adventure movie.

As a publicist he served as advance man for a circus. In 1902, he settled down in Buffalo, New York, to build a car called the Duquesne. Following its failure, he relocated to Detroit in 1905 to work for Henry Ford, first as consulting engineer and thereafter, when it became obvious he was considerably more adept with words than machines, as Ford's private secretary and advertising manager, though for the latter he apparently preferred the title "publicity engineer." That he was. A brilliant intellect matched with a vivid imagination, he could think even faster than he could talk, and his conversation was routinely described as "rapid-fire."

Studebaker Family Photo
The Studebaker Brothers
Pictured from top left, Peter and Jacob, and from bottom left, Clement Sr., Henry and John M.
Click on the picture
to see the full size.

Mr. “S”?

It would be difficult to discuss the history of the E-M-F without also exploring the name "Studebaker". Names like John M. Studebaker, Clement Studebaker, Peter Studebaker, and the most influential from the Studebaker side in this story, son-in-law to John M. Studebaker, Frederick Fish.

We will meet others as we go along, but with these individuals, we have a starting point.


Flanders departs Ford Motor Company

Walter Flanders knew that that the future of the automobile industry would come down to a few large player and he wanted to be one of them. But he also knew that this would be unlikely if he continued in his position as production manager with the Ford Motor Company. He was apparently unaware of Ford's fears regarding him. There was a personality clash in any case between the roistering Flanders and his puritanical employer. Flanders presented notice of his resignation to the Ford, and it was accepted without regret. Flanders also convinced Thomas Walburn (who had traveled with him to Ford from Cleveland) and Max Wollering (a talented machinist Ford had hired upon Flanders' recommendation) to join him in the exodus from Dearborn.

March 1908

There must have been a good deal of pre-planning because the first mention of any of this in the press was a short notice in The Motor World edition of March 12th, 1908 announcing Flanders' new position as general manager of the Wayne Automobile Company, with the person formerly holding that title, Barney Everitt, moving up to the firm's presidency. Wayne spokesmen were quoted as proceeding with plans for the production of automobiles "on a scale heretofore unattempted." One week to the day later, Henry Ford sent a circular to his dealers announcing his new Model T.

What was happening was the same idea-mass quantity manufacture-being contemplated in two different camps, with one significant difference. Henry Ford opted for the low-priced field and a primeval automobile. Flanders who was the driving force in the rival camp believed the motoring public more likely to accept a "well finished" car and opted for the middle price range. Survival in this field, he was convinced, demanded a capital investment of a couple of million dollars. Barney Everitt could come up with half of that right away, and simply a listing of his financial angels (William T. Barbour, J.B. Gunderson, Charles L. Palm, J. B. Book), so the press would say, "goes to show that the new company will have almost unlimited resources." It would also have the benefit of the best salesman in the business. William E. Metzger had "retired" as sales manager of the Cadillac Motor Car Company. M was about to join E and F.

The birth of the E-M-F Corporation

June 1908

When it happened, the result was not simply announced, it was celebrated-at dinner at the Cafe des Beaux Arts on Tuesday, June 2nd, 1908. It was a gala affair, no new automobile company in the industry's history had ever been given a grander introduction, nor had any held grander promise for the future. Everitt, the financial genius. Metzger, the salesman extraordinaire. Flanders, the production man nonpareil. Interestingly, reporters often referred to them as the "Big Three." Was anything missing? Well, convincing the populace that this new company could produce a $2500 car by its mass production methods and sell the result at $1250, twice the car for half the price required some clever writing and promotion. Flanders remembered Ford's private secretary, who had left Henry for Tarrytown, Now York and Maxwell-Briscoe. LeRoy Pelletier saw the E-M-F venture as a fantastic opportunity and quickly joined up.

For the banquet at the Cafe des Beaux Arts, it was reported that Everitt and Metzger personally transported the frogs' legs from Detroit, Flanders saw to it that sufficient libation was at hand, and Pelletier provided the after-dinner jokes. A novel departure from standard trade banquet practice was the invitation to reporters and guests to bring along their wives and sweethearts. All in all, it was a most unusual way to reveal the birth of a new automobile company. But then this was no ordinary new company.

Seeing to the details came next. In essence, the new Everitt-Metzger-Flanders Company represented a merger of the Wayne Automobile Company and the Northern Motor Car Company, in which William Metzger quickly and conveniently acquired a controlling interest. This provided E-M-F three ready-made plants, Wayne's and Northern's in Detroit, and the latter's second plant in Port Huron. To provide a ready-made dealership organization, E-M-F contacted the Studebaker brothers in Indiana. NOTE: For more information on the E-M-F Factories, see the E-M-F Factory Page in the Photo Archive.

Enter the Studebakers

The Studebaker Company was a family owned and operated business that had enjoyed preeminence in the wagon-building field since before the civil war, and was the only corporation that was successful in making the transition from horse drawn to gasoline powered vehicles. Brothers Clement Sr., Peter and John Mohler (John M.) (having bought out brother Henry’s interests) founded one of the largest vehicle-manufacturing firms in the US. A fifth brother, Jacob Franklin Studebaker, entered the firm in 1870 and established its first branch office at St. Joseph, Mo., where it helped to outfit settlers moving west. The firm produced more than 750,000 wagons during its history.

But it was Frederick Fish, legal counsel to the Studebaker corporation and son-in-law to John M. Studebaker that proved to be the visionary who saw that the older Studebaker company must accept the innovation of the automobile, or die a slow death.

Some Background on Frederick Fish

Born in 1852 to a prominent Baptist minister Henry Clay Fish, Frederick attended Rochester University before being admitted to the bar in 1876. Fish quickly rose through the ranks in the Republican Party, first as the city attorney of Newark in 1880 and then as a state assemblyman in 1885. One year later in 1886, Fish won a seat in the state senate, and a year after that in 1887, he was the president of the New Jersey Senate. His success was short lived, however, when in 1888, the Democrats made a comeback, and Fish lost his seat to a Democrat.

That same year Frederick met and married Grace Studebaker, John M.’s daughter. Three years later in 1891, at the “repeated insistence of John M. together with Clem and Peter”, the Fish’s moved to South Bend, Indiana and Frederick joined the Studebaker corporation as the company’s corporate counsel, with the primary task of assisting the Studebaker brothers in financial matters.

The Sudebakers and the Automobile

Within a short time of moving to South Bend, perhaps as early as 1896, Fish began urging Clement Sr. and John M. to explore automobile production, if only on an experimental basis. From the beginning, Clement and especially John M. proved reluctant. Fish, however, remained steadfast in his conviction that the age of the auto had arrived. The decision to try their hand in the automobile market occurred at the persistence of Frederick Fish and only after years of bitter discussion and maneuvering on the executive board of Studebaker.

In the years that followed, Studebaker experimented with and produced several automobiles, finally introducing an electric car in 1902. Gasoline powered Studebakers came in 1904, produced by the Garford Company in Ohio, marketed under the name Studebaker-Garford.

The Garford company, initially organized as the Federal Manufacturing Company, had been set up as a joint venture between George Pope, the founder of the leading bicycle manufacturer and early pioneer in automobiles, and Arthur Garford who had made a fortune as a manufacturer of bicycle seats and other parts during the bicycle boom of the 1890’s. Garford broke ties with Pope in 1904 when Garford feared that Pope wanted to take complete control of the company. Garford acquired the options held by Pope and reorganized the company under his own name. Less than a month after Garford assumed control, talks were underway with the Studebakers.

The Production of Studebaker-Garford automobiles continued into 1908, when on February 13, nearly eight months after his first offer, Frederick Fish announced that Studebaker had gained a majority interest in Garford. In December of 1911, Studebaker sold their interests in Garford to Willys-Overland. The Studebaker-Garford arrangement, for all of the time it had consumed, produced little. In the end only 2481 Studebaker-Garfords were built in those seven years between 1904 and 1911.

For Studebaker, the arrangement had primarily been a learning experience. Even while Studebaker worked with Garford, Frederick Fish saw that the market was changing. He saw that the future was in medium to low priced gasoline cars - just exactly the kind of automobile that E-M-F was planning to produce.

Studebaker-EMF Announcement

July 1908

In July of 1908, Frederick Fish announced that a cooperative arrangement had been made with EMF to market 500 of its cars. Fish left nothing to chance. He had arranged that final payment for each EMF was to be made after it was sold.

The E-M-F proposition seemed a marvelous opportunity for a maximum effort with minimum risk. As Colonel George M. Studebaker said at the time, "We considered it more advantageous to us to form an alliance with a group of men ... possessing . . . factory facilities, experience and manufacturing ability of a rare order, as well as an intimate knowledge of the problems peculiar to the motorcar, than to establish a separate factory of our own." For E-M-F's part, the alliance brought 4000 dealers to the new company right away. General manager Walter Flanders was particularly pleased about that. Sales manager William Metzger was dubious, and perhaps a little chagrined that, super salesman that he was, his partners did not assume he could put together an effective dealer network himself. But Barney Everitt, who took the E-M-F presidency title, was persuaded by Flanders that time was of the essence-and thus South Bend was given a role in the E-M-F act. It was a co-starring one. Studebaker would handle all of the E-M-F export business (its contacts abroad were heady) and the United States was divided in half, with Studebaker manager Hayden Eames to see to E-M-F sales in the South and the West, the rest of the country to be in the direct charge of William Metzger. Studebaker was to take half of the E-M-F production, which was planned for 12,000 units the first year.

The start of Production

July 1908

The pilot cars were sent down the production line in July of 1908. Deliveries began in September with journalists having been given complete details regarding the E-M-F product the month previous. There was nothing extraordinary for them to report; indeed it was the ordinary nature of the E-M-F upon which LeRoy Pelletier based his advertising strategy: "Nothing added-no frills or furbelows. Nothing omitted that experience has proven or convention taught you to consider a necessary part of a first- class motorcar. Not one original feature-not a single novelty-no startling innovations. Not one experiment-not one hair-brained theory or half-baked mechanical idea-not an untried or unproven invention-or metallurgical hallucination-will you discover in the E-M-F '30'."

An interesting note: By the end of 1908 close to 172 E-M-F's had been produced, but unfortunately they used an inefficient cooling system (a thermo-syphon instead of a water pump), so all 172 units needed to be recalled.

E-M-F Description

In 1909, the top five automobile manufactures and their production figures were:
1. Ford 17,771
2. Buick 14,606
3. Maxwell 9,460
4. Studebaker-E.M.F 7,960
5. Cadillac 7,868
What was unusual about the E-M-F was its price and what the car offered for it. Its chief engineer was William E. Kelly, who had worked with Barney Everitt at Wayne. He called reporters together and said he had built his first automobile in 1895 which had "not come up to his expectations," had since been "handicapped by having to work under the 'assembled car' system," and the E-M-F was for him the realization of "a long cherished ambition." It had a four-cylinder engine (4 by 4.5 bore and stroke, 226 cubic inches), the cylinders cast in pairs, with waterjackets cast integral and large mechanically operated valves. A nicety involved the valve guides which were machined and pressed into rather than cast integral with the cylinders, making replacement easy when worn. Another nicety was the splash lubrication system governed by an automatic vacuum feed (the oil reservoir cast with the aluminum crankcase), this allowing the use of large tubes and avoiding the clogged pipes so frequently resulting with gravity feed. One filling of the oil reservoir, Kelly said, was good for three to five hundred miles depending on road conditions.

The single float feed carburetor was adjustable from the driver's seat, there was a dual jump spark ignition system consisting of quadruple coil, commentator, battery and magneto built into the engine. This last was unusual for this period, the magneto frequently being considered an "accessory," but to E-M-F, "it is as much a part of the car as are the valves." Initially cooling was thermo-syphon, but after the first batch of cars was in the field, overheating problems were discovered, and William Kelly personally recalled the vehicles and installed water pumps on them, and all subsequent E-M-F's.

In 1910, the top five automobile manufactures and their production figures were:
1. Ford 32,053
2. Buick 30,525
3. Willys-Overland 15,598
4. Studebaker-E.M.F 15,020
5. Cadillac 10,039
The car's frame was a pressed steel U-section with semi-elliptic front springs, full elliptic rear, and double-acting brakes on the rear wheels. A three-speed sliding gear transmission was incorporated into the rear axle, steering was worm and sector, and the clutch was an expanding ring. This last, incidentally, was the only significant detail that would be altered for 1910. As LeRoy Pelletier explained it matter-of-factly, "some owners simply couldn't or wouldn't master the simple knack [of the expanding ring clutch]. So it has been changed. A cone clutch, simple and also better in some respects, has been substituted . . . " That, and a wheelbase increase of two inches (to 108), were the only refinements made after the first year's production.

But was it necessary to change anything else? Motoring periodicals had been uniformly astounded by the quality and value of the E-M-F. "There is nothing in the appearance of the car that would suggest scrimping or cheapness," said Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal. It "is fitted with every device known to the art," allowed The Automobile. The Horseless Age was impressed by the "extensive use of pressed steel"; no malleable castings appeared anywhere on the car. Who would have believed four cylinders, thirty horsepower, five-passenger capacity, "selective type of transmission, quick detachable tires and double ignition system for such a price," cooed Motor Age. "Who can doubt that the promise was kept?" asked MoToR.

The E-M-F promise was, as Walter Flanders said at every available opportunity, that "a better automobile can be built and sold for $1250 than is possible at twice that price." The quality was possible because of superior production facilities and methods, the price because of the quantity production. Of course, the very same day the first E-M-F's rolled out of the factory on one side of town, on the other the first Model T's rolled out of Ford, and their price tag was $400 less. But the T provided only 177 cubic inches and 20 hp, a 100-inch wheelbase, featured a planetary transmission, thermo-syphon cooling (this proved the reverse of the E-M-F experience, original T's had centrifugal water pumps but early on Henry Ford decided on the more basal thermo-syphon)-and the T could certainly not be awarded that "new descriptive term," as The Automobile put it, "which has come into vogue in automobiling." Everyone called the E-M-F "classy."

In 1911, the top five automobile manufactures and their production figures were:
1. Ford 69,762
2. Studebaker-E.M.F 26,827
3. Willys-Overland 18,745
4. Maxwell 16,000
5. Buick 13,389
In 1911, when the T's price was lowered, to $780, the E-M-F's was too, to $1100. And LeRoy Pelletier who, the year before, had published a little booklet-"The Hyphen"-comprising a lengthy interview with the loquacious Flanders and containing the original slogan simply changed that quote to "a better automobile can be built and sold for $1100 than is possible at twice the price" and ran the rest of the interview again virtually verbatim. Except for the deletion of one significant sentence: "We propose being the largest builders of automobiles in the world."

The number of E-M-F cars produced to December 1909 totaled 8132-though the year following this would be raised to 15,300. (Model T production for the same period was a little more than double that.) There was the bright spot of the E-M-F providing the "path-finding" for the Glidden Tour of 1909, however-which provided Leroy Pelletier grand promotional possibilities, all of which he took advantage. Look at the pictures, he said when the trek from Detroit to Denver that April was over, "The car looks as if the stunt was nuts to her. Nothing about her, not even the varnish on the body, indicates that she has been through anything more than a pretty strenuous tour-such as you will want to make with the car you buy. There's nothing broken, not even a fender bent. We didn't resort to any of the clever (?) little tricks practiced by some publicity promoters, of shooting holes in the body, scratching up the paint, and breaking lamps and fenders just to make her look like a tramp. Nor did we leave mud on her till it caked four inches deep. It wasn't necessary to manufacture hardships on this trip, or to fake up injuries to prove she had had adventures. These there were in plenty, as all the world knows. The steering gear never failed, so she wasn't ditched. The brakes never failed to hold, so she always stopped when necessary and didn't bump lamps or radiator. The radiator is properly suspended, so it didn't spring a leak. Frame is extra heavy, so it didn't sag. Fenders are properly made and attached, so they are still in place as on the day she started out."

And the car was washed every night so it would always look "classy" like an E-M-F should. The AAA Contest Board's official "Pathfinder," Dai Lewis, said he had been skeptical about "starting on such a trip in a car that was new to the market," but afterwards told Pelletier that he was ashamed of his doubts: "You can quote me as saying the E-M-F '30' is a wonderful car." Pelletier did - as often as possible.

By now the jibes about the initials had begun - and most of them were heard first in the showrooms of the competition. Pelletier tried to write away the problem. "Competitors have said some very cutting things", he noted in one leaflet, "that is, they were intended to be cutting ... oh, they were awfully peevish.... We understood that and so laughed over their lame jokes more heartily than they did themselves. The intended victim can always laugh at a joke that misses the mark." Perhaps ... but LeRoy didn't sound very convincing.

Quarreling over Studebaker

May 1909

And what was happening behind the scenes was no laughing matter at all. The partners were quarreling. And it was over Studebaker. Metzger had not favored the alliance from the beginning, and now he convinced Everitt that it had been a bad idea too. Flanders, scarcely the diplomatic sort, buffed and puffed-and literally blew the partnership away. In May of 1909 it was revealed that the E and the M of E-M-F were leaving the company, selling out their interest to the Studebaker brothers who would handle all E-M-F distribution after September 1st. The cash amount tendered Everitt and Metzger has since been bandied about as in the million-dollar range, which was wildly inflated, the actual amount was less than half that ($362,500), which was still a tidy enough sum for the two to venture off and start a new company to build a new car. And that they did, taking along engineer William Kelly to help.

Metzger Motor Car Company

September 1909

One matter was seen to immediately. No initials this time, that was for certain. But Everitt-Metzger or Metzger-Everitt was an unwieldy and certainly not euphonious mouthful, so the partners decided instead that the car would be called the Everitt and it would be built by the Metzger Motor Car Company. With the billing thus solved, the new firm was incorporated for a half-million dollars on September 20th, 1909. The factory of the truck-manufacturing Jacob Meier Company in Detroit was purchased, and William Kelly was put to work designing what would be built there.

It was essentially an E-M-F, it was even called a "30," but there was one departure of note. As Len Shaw would write in the Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal, "The four cylinders are cast together, but in this instance the en bloc principle has been carried to an extreme that gives the powerplant a distinctiveness while the most grueling tests have demonstrated the correctness of the theory and its application." The main casting included the cylinders, the upper half of the crankcase, intake and exhaust manifolds, the inner half of the gear housing, the upper half of the bearing beds-and for 1911 the magneto and pump supports would be added as well. In addition, the stroke was a quarter of an inch longer, the wheelbase was set at 110 inches, its price was tagged a hundred dollars more-but other than that one could read the E-M-F 30 specs and learn everything there was to know about the Everitt 30.

"The Car for You" and "A Car with a Rich and Rare Heritage," the ads ballyhooed - obviously Everitt and Metzger could have used the services of LeRoy Pelletier - and in a calculated dig at the motorcar which still bore their initials, it was noted that the "Everitt '30' motor contains 150 fewer parts than its closest competitor! Think of it-150 less parts!" Advertising also backdated William Kelly's maiden horseless carriage venture to 1891 and described it as "one of the first practical cars ever built." Pelletier would never have allowed such nonsense.

Hewitt Motor Company

The prominence of its builders insured a ready acceptance of the car initially, and the planned output of 2500 units for 1910 was pre-sold before production even began. Thus assured, Everitt and Metzger proceeded to purchase the Hewitt Motor Company of New York, scuttling that firm's automobile but retaining its truck production, and sold rights to manufacture the Everitt in Canada to the Tudhope Motor Company. But within a year the Hewitt alliance was, as The Motor World headlined, "unmerged," with Edward R. Hewitt henceforth building his own trucks in his own new factory at West End Avenue and 64th Street in New York. The Canadian connection proved similarly unfruitful.

For 1912 the Everitt home market looked far more promising, and all attention was focused on it. Presented now were three models: the returning 4-30, dropped in price to $1250; the newish 4-36 on a 115-inch wheelbase at $1500; and the brand-new Six-48 on a 127-inch wheelbase which was a whopping lot of car for $1850. The Everitt fours and the six all shared the 4 by 4.75 bore and stroke dimension with which the marque had been born, and each was simply a bigger or smaller clone of the other. The "All- Chrome-Nickel Steel Car" was one tagline, the "Self-Starting Everitt" was another. (Like Chalmers and Winton and others, Everitt had a fling with a compressed air device which Cadillac would soon render obsolete.) The press was uniformly impressed, and indeed provided catchier phrases of commendation than the Metzger publicity department could come up with. "Idealized the real, and then realized the ideal" was offered by Motor Age. Overall, Barney Everitt and William Metzger were rather pleased with the way things appeared to be moving along.

Bad times at E-M-F

Meanwhile, Walter Flanders was having an awful time of it at E-M-F, where now he was both president and general manager. Firstly, he was being outdone by Henry Ford who was under-selling him and out-producing him in a factory the production setup for which had largely been his doing.

Secondly, Frederick Fish had moved to reorganize E-M-F. He had proposed to merge the two companies, but Flanders resisted. Instead, Flanders became president of the company, but Studebaker men were placed in all of the leading administrative positions, sparking obvious resentment of many of the E-M-F people.

DeLuxe Motor Company

Consequently, in July 1909, he talked the Studebakers into helping him buy the DeLuxe Motor Company, whose high-priced car had been given a death rattle soon after birth, but whose Detroit plant was admirably situated and equipped. Several other companies were interested in it as well but as The Automobile reported, "Walter Flanders shattered all previous speed records by opening negotiations in the morning and turning over the cash in the afternoon [$800,000 was the widely-guessed figure, neither confirmed nor denied], closing the deal before others knew what was transpiring."

Birth of the Flanders 20

He took possession two hours later, transferring 150 of his men to DeLuxe immediately, since all tools and, patterns for the car to be built there had already been prepared in anticipation. About it, LeRoy Pelletier would say only that it would be called the Flanders "20" , would have a 100-inch wheelbase, would sell in the $750 range, and would be "a full- sized automobile, not a dinky affair as one might expect at the price indicated." The price was even lower than the Model T, though Henry Ford would soon fix that. A production of 25,000 cars was planned for 1910. Only one-fifth that figure was realized.

Because William Kelly had left the company with his erstwhile partners, Flanders had been forced to come up with a new chief engineer. He settled upon James Heaslet, a self-taught mechanic who had previously bounced around among various small assembled car manufacturers in the field. Heaslet had one good idea and one bad one. The good idea was the multiple uses to which the underframe was put; the engine, magneto, radiator, pump, carburetor, steering gear and dash were all carried on this subframe which consisted of two parallel steel tubes which in turn were supported on cross members secured by four bolts. This simplified manufacture and allowed the low price, and the removal of those four bolts made for a quick and easy lifting of the entire unit from the chassis. This commended itself admirably to commercial application; replacing a unit, which took five minutes at most, meant that any single car in a fleet could be kept in service at all times. This may have been considered, but the E-M-F idea was even more ambitious than that. As Pelletier wrote, "We expect this feature to revolutionize present garage practice which necessitates laying up the car for days at a time while some minor repair is being made. In case of any repair or replacement in a Flanders '20,' however serious or simple, the easiest way is to replace the entire unit, send the owner away rejoicing with his car and then, when time best suits and with parts most accessible, make the necessary repair at a minimum of time and expense. The original unit may later be replaced in the car-or if the condition, as to wear, of the two units are about the same the change need not be made-the owner simply charged for time and material in making his unit good." A very interesting notion.

The bad idea Heaslet had was the two-speed transmission; the rear axle just could not bear its strain-the limitations of a two-speed layout of that day are recognized with horror today by antique car buffs-and frequently snapped axles were the result. Consequently the unit was replaced for 1911 by the E-M-F three-speed, and Pelletier insisted that the company admit its mistake and offer to exchange two-speed for three-speed on all the cars in the field. Thereafter he sent the new Flanders on numerous endurance runs - pathfinding for the 1911 Glidden tour on the East Coast, doing the same on the West Coast for the Pacific Highway Association, and sending a roadster over four-thousand-plus miles from Canada to Mexico-to demonstrate that everything was all right now.

Interesting Flanders Owners Manual

Walter Flanders had said pointedly that this new vehicle was designed for use by the owner "who does not keep a mechanician but looks after his own car"-and to that end LeRoy Pelletier produced one of the most comprehensive and easily understood instruction books of the day. Whether appropriately or not, it assumed the owner knew nothing at all about a motorcar. The manual warned, for example, that a feather duster should not be used on the body ("it will scratch the varnish") nor gasoline to clean the top ("it will dissolve the rubber in the fabric"). Driving hints included: "Your car won't run without gasoline, oil and water. It is a good practice to always make sure yourself that you have these before starting, even on a short trip." And, "when filling the gasoline tank, always extinguish the lamps and be sure your cigar is not lighted." LeRoy didn't miss a thing.

March 1911

Initially the Flanders 20 was offered in variations on the roadster theme but in March 1911 a foredoor, five-passenger tourer was announced at $800, "the lowest price ever asked for a car with a torpedo type of body." Which it remained until October that year, when Henry Ford lowered his Model T into the $700 range.

Still, the Flanders should have been a lively competitor for the T. The rear axle problem obviously had upset production initially, but it was quickly seen to. Backstage, however, the goings-on were most unpleasant. Walter Flanders was discovering that his friends Barney and Bill had perhaps been right all along about the Studebakers.

At the factory Flanders now had things well in hand, with his friends general superintendent Wollering and factory manager Walbum competently in charge. He had set a thousand-car-a-month production schedule and offered a bonus for every car produced over that number to his workforce "clear down to the office boys and stenographers." When the 1909 World Series was played between the Detroit Tigers and the Chicago White Sox, he declared that if output reached fifty cars a day, half holidays would prevail for everyone so the baseball fans on his team could attend the four games in Detroit. Production records were routinely broken at E-M-F. Sales records were not. This made for a problem. As The Motor World explained it, "the E- M-F factory was going full blast and its product was piling up; in due course Mr. Flanders called the Studebakers' attention to the fact."

December 1909

In late 1909, E-M-F opened a branch plant in Canada (Walkerville) and began the manufacture of E-M-F 30 and Flanders 20 Automobiles.

On December 9th, 1909, Walter Flanders posted a letter to South Bend and at the same time sent it to Detroit daily newspapers and all trade publications to be published as an advertisement. It was a bombshell. In it he declared the alliance with Studebaker as "rescinded and annulled" for a number of reasons, among them the failure of the South Bend people to accept and pay for contracted cars; their unfair discounting of the cars; their advertising which misled readers into believing Studebaker owned a controlling interest in E-M-F, which it did not. Thus was begun what was called the "bitterest legal battle" (The Automobile) and the "most engrossing litigation" (Motor Age) in the history of the industry thus far.

Noting that no "formal contract signed by both parties" existed indicating it was obliged to take one much less a thousand cars a month-astoundingly, all agreements had been either a handshake or legally non-binding correspondence-Studebaker sought a restraining order and permanent injunction against E-M-F in the U.S. district court in Detroit. This failed, but the company finally managed a temporary injunction from the U.S. circuit court in Cincinnati. In the interim Flanders pushed up production to sixty cars a day and got out a map of the United States. He advertised for dealers, scores of them came rushing to Detroit, Pelletier said he hadn't seen such a stampede since his Klondike days. Circles and squares were made on the map, territories divided up-but this wasn't Flanders' or Pelletier's area of specialty at all. William Metzger's talents were sorely missed.

January 1910

Studebaker failed to have the temporary injunction made permanent, but that settled nothing. As Motor Age noted on January 4th, 1910, the "litigation continues merrily, the past week having seen the inauguration of three new suits, with excellent prospects of a fourth." Walter Flanders traveled to New York in early February to talk to Benjamin Briscoe about possibly amalgamating with United States Motor, but decided against it. A conference was held in South Bend, certainly an unfriendly one, Walter Flanders emerging to state flatly that "we have nothing to gain by a compromise or reconciliation."

The Studebaker Buyout

March 1910

What ultimately happened was a takeover. Frederick Fish turned to J. P. Morgan for help. After all, Morgan had backed the Studebaker company in that critical year of 1894 when the company had expanded its capital base nearly threefold. As a result, Morgan had acquired one sixth of the voting stock of Studebaker. Morgan continued to take an interest in the Studebaker company over the years. Fish invited Morgan back to the E-M-F deal, which finally broke the logjam.

In March it was announced that J.P. Morgan on behalf of Studebaker had purchased sixty-four percent of the stock- in E-M-F which, combined with the thirty-six percent acquired in the earlier buying out of Everitt and Metzger, gave South Bend complete control of the company. Particularly emphasized was the fact that Morgan had been acting as broker only and, as The Horseless Age noted, "the wild reports that the Napoleon of finance was commencing to form a gigantic $300,000,000 'automobile trust' were quite unfounded ... thus far Wall Street has not secured a monopoly in the automobile business." A lot of automobile people in Detroit began sleeping easier nights.

Walter Flanders was among them. The entire episode had rattled him, and he saw capitulation in his best interests. Rather like his decision to leave Ford earlier, he believed now that his future with E-M-F was cloudy, he had been upset for some time by the Studebaker practice of having its name typeset larger than his in advertising; it seemed to him that with E-M-F he could never really run his own show.

February 1911

For bowing to these realities, Flanders was handsomely rewarded, a million dollars worth for his stock, and he agreed to continue for a term of three years as general manager of Studebaker Corporation which would be formally organized on Valentine's Day, 1911, combining E-M-F and the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company. His salary was $30,000 a year plus 1% on all the earnings.

For his holdings LeRoy Pelletier received $175,000, in addition to a contract to continue as Studebaker advertising manager at a princely salary of $20,000 a year. James Heaslet formally resigned as E-M-F engineer but was immediately picked up by Studebaker and was soon that company's vice-president of engineering. He and the Studebaker staff refined the cars-beefing up the rear axle still further; this was admittedly the car's weakest point, though it was no more serious a failing than most of its contemporaries suffered in other areas of design- and they were marketed under the E-M-F or Flanders names for 1912, though the type size of the Studebaker logo was now bigger than ever. In 1913 they all became Studebakers.

November 1911

With his $20,000 a year salary, LeRoy Pelletier found he could write as convincingly for the Studebakers as he had for Walter Flanders. He adroitly promoted the one-two- three victory of the E-M-F in the Tiedeman Trophy race concomitant to the Grand Prize in November 1911. (The E-M-F was an admirable performer, the ninth car produced, nicknamed Old Bullet still held the Atlanta Speedway speed record at over 84 mph.) But he remained best in his getting-down-to-the-facts and leveling-with- the-reader approach on other matters, as in the manipulative price cutting rampant in the industry vis-a-vis the frankly stated competitive business reasons the E-M-F was now $1000: ". . . we never could fathom the philosophy of the ostrich-nor see the sense of treating as trade secrets, matters that were patent to the whole world. You fool nobody but yourself. Besides, it's bad advertising, for it is palpably evasive." Or the price gouging engaged in with regard to replacement parts: "Strange, is it not, then, that not once in a hundred times does the prospective buyer ask for a price list of parts. He accepts the magnificently printed and elaborate catalog as evidence sufficient.... Studebakers propose to change all that. We propose to so educate the public that every man considering the purchase of an automobile will insist first on comparing the prices at which replacement parts can be had.... The abuses that have prevailed in this industry from the first and up to the time when the Studebakers stepped into this arena are simply incredible." Pelletier was a master, though his spelling and punctuation left a lot to be desired.

Still, his heart was not in all this. Neither was Walter Flanders': With part of his million dollars, the latter bought 1200 acres of farm land surrounding two lakes near Pontiac with the view of transforming it into a plantation, and he created a petty cash fund for taking a number of people out to dinner to talk business.

January 1911

Out of this came- in January 1911-the Flanders Manufacturing Company, a consolidation of the Grant & Wood Manufacturing Company of Chelsea, the Pontiac Motorcycle Company, the Pontiac Drop Forge Company, the Pontiac Foundry Company and the Vulcan Gear Works (also in Pontiac). Capitalized at $2.25 million, most of the money came from former E-M-F backers, Flanders even managing to talk Clement Studebaker, Jr. out of $200,000 in exchange for a seat on the board of directors. Flanders was described as the "moving spirit" of the new company and was a director as well, though the presidency title was given to one of his associates, Robert M. Brownson. The whole object of the consolidation was stated to be the manufacture of the Flanders Bi-Mobile, or two-wheeled automobile. When it arrived later that year it looked like a motorcycle, which it undeniably was - and LeRoy Pelletier, who had thought up the other name, decided that calling a spade a garden implement didn't change its character, and so the $175 Flanders 4 was thereafter termed a motorcycle. Pelletier's involvement was strictly sub rosa at this point, lest his position with Studebaker be endangered.

It was Pelletier, too, who talked Walter into the Flanders Electric. It was announced that summer, priced at $1775, and differed from conventional cars of its type with its adoption of worm drive, cradle spring suspension, a coupe body twelve inches lower than the average ("therefore, less wind resistance"), and anti-friction bearings throughout, combined with a less weighty chassis, to make for easier running, in- creased mileage on one charge of the battery and better hill climbing. The aim was to "infuse red blood" into the electric field and belie the notion that "parlor prattle and pretty pictures" were the only way to sell an electric carriage, and a refined lady the only customer who would buy one. "Wise and Foolish Statements About Electrics" was the title of the little booklet written by an unnamed "advertising man" and published about this new Flanders. No one in the industry reading it would have had any doubts about its authorship. Doubtless a copy was not sent to South Bend.

Matters quickly became sticky anyway. The manufacture of an electric car and a motorcycle by the Flanders organization did not on the face of it represent a conflict of interest between Flanders himself and his position at Studebaker. But Brownson, after an argument with Flanders, resigned the presidency of Flanders Manufacturing, and at the board of directors meeting that December-not attended, significantly, by Clement Studebaker - who was elected the new president? None other than Walter Flanders. This did not sit well in South Bend. Flanders already had a fulltime job at Studebaker. Subsequently, that company created a new position called corporate general manager - Flanders' title being general manager of the "Studebaker Corporation 'automobile interest' " - and filled it with James Newton Gunn (whose older brother was in England, incidentally, building the Lagonda).

May 1912

In 1912, the top five automobile manufactures and their production figures were:
1. Ford 170,211
2. Willys-Overland 28,572
3. Studebaker-E.M.F 28,032
4. Buick 19,812
5. Cadillac 12,708
For the next two months denials were issued on both sides that Flanders would be leaving Studebaker. But in March he did indeed resign, or try to, there being a logistic difficulty since he was under contract to the company, and this one had been signed. In May (1912) there was a reconciliation, though not the one everyone expected.

E-M-F together again at Metzger

Walter Flanders announced that he was rejoining his old partners ... and would now become general manager of the Metzger Motor Car Company which, the reader will remember, was engaged in the building of the Everitt automobile. When asked by reporters if this turn of events might not result in a lawsuit by Studebaker, Flanders replied, "That is quite possible. I believe I am not under contract anymore. I have been given very little to do around the Studebaker plants lately. They claim the right to use my name in the event of my quitting the company. I do not believe they have that right, and this difference of opinion may result in some entanglements."

Rumors followed that the Metzger and Flanders companies would be merged, and recapitalized at $3 million, and the press brought LeRoy Pelletier out of the closet by suggesting he would serve as advertising manager of the new concern.

June 1912

The only thing definite which happened in the next few weeks was the revelation in June (1912) that, yes, there was a new company succeeding Metzger, capitalized at $3 million (soon raised to $3.75), but it was to be called the Everitt Motor Car Company.

August 1912

The absurdity of all this finally prompted Studebaker, in August (1912), to release Flanders from his contract and to allow him to engage in the manufacture of gasoline automobiles which he could call by any name he chose. The next day a press release was issued noting that the Everitt Motor Car Company had changed its name to the Flanders Motor Company.

E and M without F had been rather like pasta without Parmesan, something was missing. Everitt knew how to capitalize, Metzger knew how to sell, but neither of them could produce like Flanders. The Metzger Motor Car Company had never really been set up properly. Everitt and Metzger were delighted to have Flanders back- and were amenable to the company name change, realizing Flanders' ego was easily the equal of theirs combined. Flanders stole Fred Hawes away from Cadillac's engineering department-he had been with that company since its inception, Metzger remembered and recommended him. He was not, however, given a whole lot to do. The new Flanders would be the old Everitt, with the addition of Gray & Davis electric lighting and starting, and minor refinements to make production easier.

Sixes only would be marketed, the 127-inch wheelbase 50-Six, and a smaller companion car, the 40-Six on a 115-inch wheelbase. And LeRoy Pelletier got to work. The day of the four was over, he decided, "If You Are Paying More Than $1200 for a Car, You Are Entitled to a Six." Of course, he couldn't promise "to give you a Six at exactly the figure mentioned" - he was writing before Flanders finalized production costs-but he did promise "a price so little above that figure it will be within your reach if you can afford a car of more than 35 horsepower at all." As it happened, the 40-Six came in at $1550-the 50-Six was over two thousand-so Pelletier tried another tack. "Four and Two Do Not Make Six" was the name of the booklet, and it advanced the notion, in Pelletier's inimitable style, that the rush now to the six- cylinder bandwagon by four-cylinder manufacturers was much too hasty: "The obvious way to make a six is to add to the four you already have. . . . But it simply can't be did! ... The designing of a six is a problem entirely separate from that of designing a four." The new Flanders was introduced, three months later, at the New York Automobile Show, January 1913.

December 1912

By that time everything had changed--drastically. Firstly, Flanders Manufacturing went into receivership in December 1912. An absolutely scathing news report in Motor World suggested the reason was Flanders' "thirst for millions." There was truth in this. An acquaintance had noted that "he asked nothing better than a gambler's chance to play for big stakes"-and he lost. The article went on to lambaste Pelletier as having swayed Flanders unwisely in both the motorcycle and electric car ventures, with time and money frittered away on a $100 Bi-mobile which finally arrived "as a purely conventional machine at a conventional price" and of which, in two years, less than 2500 were built of the thirty or forty thousand planned-and the rush to electric car production which resulted in 3000 orders immediately but also resulted in a machine the bugs of which had not been worked out, the price of which was too low to make a profit, and the production for which totaled something less than a hundred.

Flanders Manufacturing had been an E-M-F-Every Morning Frustration. But the biggest problem apparently was the plant in Chelsea, "a large, imposing structure, originally built on an idealized scale with the funds of the taxpayers of Michigan by a defaulting state official." It included a library, a theatre, a gymnasium, a swimming pool "and other things designed to make the workmen happy" . . . but not the facilities to make them productive. All previous owners hadn't been able to make the factory work; doubtless Flanders, with his experience in such matters, thought he could. He made a mistake. It was a very costly one. Now he found himself, among other debts, unable to pay the contractor who had installed $250,000 worth of improvements to the plantation he had bought with the sellout to Studebaker. Walter Flanders needed cash-badly.

No one ever accused him of not being resourceful. He outdid himself this time. He exchanged one company in receivership for another company in receivership. He broke off ties with Flanders Manufacturing and took on a fiasco someone else had created which was even bigger than his own- Benjamin Briscoe's United States Motor Corporation . In exchange for his services, he required U.S. Motor to purchase the Metzger-Motor Car-Company-cum-Everitt-Motor-Car-Company-cum- Flanders-Motor -Company. The price was the $3.75 million at which it had only recently been capitalized-a million of that in cash, the rest in stock in the new company to be organized. This made for a nifty profit for investors Everitt and Metzger who merrily went their separate ways, Everitt back to his body-building business which had remained prosperous throughout this saga, Metzger on to affiliations in a number of automotive-related companies including Columbia of Detroit, builders of an assembled car which was among the most respected in this country.

Meanwhile Walter Flanders took the remains of U.S. Motor, and having learned a hard lesson, decided retrenchment was sometimes preferable to gambling. At the Knickerbocker Hotel in New York, on two sheets of notepaper, he drafted out the reorganization. He scrapped every sick company in the U.S. Motor colossus, and concentrated on the one healthy organization and the one good name that was left. One month after its introduction at the New York Automobile Show, the Flanders Six became the Maxwell.

And soon thereafter the Flanders Electric became the Tiffany. That was LeRoy Pelletier's doing-and his baby. He would take care of advertising Maxwells for Flanders, both for reasons of friendship and sustenance. But he couldn't get the idea out of his head that there remained a large market for the electric car, if only the right one could be produced. So he teamed up with former Flanders Manufacturing general manager Don McCord, bought what was left of the Flanders Electric business, reintroducing its product as the Tiffany in DeLuxe and Mignon (the latter French of course for tiny or delicate, as in filet). The new name made for catchy phrases - "Of all things She'd like, She'd like a Tiffany best" - but what Pelletier really wanted was a Tiffany with a Woolworth price tag, and this was announced in December 1913: a $750 electric which set an unprecedentedly low price in the electric field ... but which met the same fate as his $100 motorcycle. He struggled for a while, decided that since a million dollars had been spent promoting the Flanders Electric, its name was perhaps better than one associated only with jewelry, and asked his friend Walter if he'd mind if he switched back. Walter readily agreed, his ego hankering for a car called the Flanders, even though he knew he could pay off his plantation renovations only by producing the Maxwell.

Alas, the Tiffany didn't sell any better as a Flanders this time than it had the first-and ultimately Pelletier concluded he was better off advertising cars other people knew better how to build, like Walter Flanders' Maxwell. Or John Perrin's Lozier or Ransom Olds' Reo. In November of 1914 he established an advertising agency in Detroit. His reputation by now was firmly fixed. In succeeding years he would promote the aeroplane as well-campaigning to make Detroit the air center of the world-and he lent his talents to such "huge amusement enterprises" as Luna Park, Coney Island and Madison Square Garden. He would be generally credited with introduction of the "Midway" concept into expositions and world fairs.

A last fling for E, M and F - The Rickenbacker

Which brings us, by quantum jump, to 1921. Barney Everitt picked up the phone to say hi to his old partners and ask if they'd like to join him in a new car- building venture he was contemplating with Eddie Rickenbacker. William Metzger was dubious-he was enjoying a leisurely seat on numerous boards of directors and was about to assume the Michigan distributorship for the Wills-Sainte-Claire, but for the sake of friendship of course he'd help any way he could. Walter Flanders was dubious too; he'd made a success of Maxwell and was now enjoying retirement as a gentleman farmer, but for the sake of friendship, of course.... E and M and F were back together again. And they all called LeRoy. Pelletier said sure. It was a reunion. It was a comeback.

The Rickenbacker automobile, (For more information on the Rickenbacker automobile, please see the "Rickenbacker Motors Webpage at unfortunately, like the E-M-F, suffered callously unfair jibes from its competitors (these because of its early introduction of four-wheel brakes). It lived only a half decade, a year longer than the E-M-F. It was the last automotive venture for Everitt, Metzger and Flanders.

One is left with the nagging suspicion that, from the beginning, things might have been different had these people just been able to stay together long enough.


On June 16th, 1923, at age fifty-two, Walter Flanders died from injuries suffered in an automobile crash three weeks earlier. The impact of his death on the ultimate fate of the Rickenbacker, although unmeasurable, was very real. Obituary writers for the Detroit newspapers noted his having been married three times. Two further marriages had slipped by them. A month later three of his ex-wives - his second wife had died - contested his will, alleging they had been disinherited from the $1.5 million estate because of pressures brought to bear on Flanders by wife number five. Four of his five children - one from his second marriage, three from his fourth-had also been cut out of the will, and they joined in the suit. It was an unseemly business, ultimately settled privately.

On April 1lth, 1933, William E. Metzger died, age sixty-four, at his home in Detroit. It was a blessing, the press said, he had been incapacitated for four years, "critically ill for the past year, and in recent months had suffered a weakening of the mind." A heart attack released him. His wife had died in 1907, his daughter survived him.

On September 5th, 1938, heart disease claimed LeRoy Pelletier at the age of seventy. For years, in memory of his friend Elbert Hubbard who liked them, he had worn only Windsor ties, though he had to go to children's departments to buy them. He had asked his wife to bring one along when he checked into Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. Two sons, a daughter, a brother and eight grandchildren also survived him.

On October 5th, 1940, in Harper Hospital in Detroit, with his wife, his brother and sister at his bedside, Barney Everitt died at age sixty-seven. He had been in failing health for more than a year.


"Automobile Quarterly" - Volume 17, Number 4 from 1979. Article written by Beverly Rae Kimes.

The American Car since 1775 - Copyright 1971 by Automobile Quarterly Inc.

Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal - March 1909

Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal - April 1909

Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal - December 1909

Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal - March 1910

Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal - September 1910

1912 E-M-F Preliminary catalogue - The E-M-F Corporation, 1912.

Horseless Carriage Gazette - Volume 49 No. 6, November - December 1987 page 45 - 47. Article on the E-M-F By William Cuthbert.

Motor Age - December 31, 1908

Motor Age - January 5, 1911

Studebaker: The Life and Death of an American Corporation. By Donald T. Critchlow. Published 1996 by Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN. ISBN 0-253-33065-3
Atlanta Speedway
Briggs, Walter O.
Briscoe, Benjamin
Brownson, Robert M.
DeLuxe Motor Company
Eames, Hayden
E-M-F Automobile
   Chief Engineer
   Production 1909
   Production 1910
   Production 1911
   Production 1912
E-M-F Corporation
    Start of Production
E-M-F Financial backers
   Barbour, William T.
   Book, J. B.
   Gunderson, J. B.
   Palm, Charles L.
Everitt “30” Automobile
Everitt, Barney F.
   Piquette Street
   Port Huron, MI
   Walkerville, Ont Canada
Federal Manufacturing Company
Fish, Frederick
Fisher, Fred J.
Flanders “4”
Flanders “20” automobile
   Chief Engineer
Flanders Bi-Mobile
Flanders Electric
Flanders Motor Company
Flanders Motorcycle
Flanders, Walter E.
Ford, Henry
   Announces Model T
   Bodies from Everitt
   Crankshafts from Flanders
   Lowers Model T Price
   Lowers Model T Price Again
   Out sells Flanders
   Pelletier Worked for
   Wanted Low Priced Car
   Worried about Flanders
Ford Model T
   Announcement of
   First to roll out
   Flanders priced less than
   Henry lowers price
   Production, 1909
Garford, Arthur
Garford Company
Glidden Tour Pathfinding
   E-M-F “30”
   Flanders “20”
   Lewis, Dai
Grant & Wood Manufacturing
Gunn, James Newton
Hawes, Fred
Heaslet, James
Hewitt, Edward R.
Hewitt Motor Company
Kelly, William E.
Lewis, Dai
Maxwell Automobile
Maxwell Briscoe
McCord, Don
Metzger Motor Company
Metzger, William E.
Morgan, J.P.
Northern Automobile
Old Bullet
Pelletier, E. LeRoy
Pontiac Drop Forge Company
Pontiac Foundry Company
Pontiac Motorcycle Company
Pope, George
Rickenbacker Automobile
Rickenbacker, Eddie
Studebaker, Clement Jr.
Studebaker, Clement Sr.
Studebaker, Colonel George M.
Studebaker, Grace
Studebaker, John M.
Studebaker, Peter
Studebaker Corporation
Tiedeman Trophy race
Tiffany Electric Car
Tudhope Motor Company
United States Motor Corporation
Vulcan Gear Works
Walburn, Thomas
Willys Overland
Wollering, Max
Wayne Automobile Company
Wayne Automobile Factory

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