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Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage


Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage

Second Chance Garage

For the Classic Car Restoration Enthusiast

Second Chance Garage

AUTO-BIOGRAPHY

Roamer: America's Smartest Car - Page 5

Sales of the car were strong, burgeoned by ads comparing them to distinctive styling in chairs (Sheraton or Chippendale), or designer gowns (Paquin or Premet, leading French designers) and claiming this was "the most talked-of car in America". 1250 cars were sold that year, some of those to the export market. For the New Zealand market, an ad showed a woman driving and claimed that building beautiful cars was becoming a neglected art — until the Roamer, that is: "Not everyone will want to own a Roamer, it is true, but there are a number who will find it the motorist's realization of their ideal". In Melbourne, Australia, Prime Minister Hughes found himself having to defend his office's purchase of a Roamer. As he would explain, there were no English cars available at the dealership just then (The Argus of 2 March 1917). Eventually, there would be Roamer sales representatives in Australia, China, Japan, India, Hawaii, Java, and Siam. And James Vusher of Athens, Greece, was on record for ordering Roamers to attract customers who'd otherwise go to Rolls. He surely was not alone in having done so. By 1919, about half of Roamer's production was destined for the overseas trade.

The company was cost-conscious even as its market grew, however, increasing the sales price by $40 when the cost of materials rose in the summer of 1917. Trying to turn even the increase to their advantage, however, they urged customers to buy right away, since: "It is quite possible that we will be compelled to make a further raise in price within a short time, because our manufacturing standards will not permit a decrease in ROAMER quality."

1917 Roamer Ad.

1917 Roamer Ad.


1918 brought Model C6, replacing the earlier Six. Powered by a larger, more powerful engine — the Continental Red Seal Straight Six which produced 54-hp, it was available in eight body styles, selling from $2200 to $4900. That year also marked the introduction of a new motor option, the powerful Duesenberg engine. One ad depicted a woman descending the stairs of a mansion, with a sketch of the Roamer's radiator front at the side, noting, "The Duesenberg 'miracle motor' now adds time and distance mastery to Roamer design distinction. Seventy-five miles an hour on the straightaway — fifty miles an hour over hills is guaranteed." The Duesenberg engine would figure significantly in a number of Roamer racing wins . With the nation at war, however, another 1918 ad explained that production of the Duesenberg engine that year would be limited. During the war years, automotive production generally was down because of a lack of metals.

1918 Roamer Ad.

1918 Roamer Ad.


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