Sunday, November 21, 2010

Treasure Found in Ohio!

During a recent family visit to the Cleveland area, we were pleased to find a truly significant automobile/transportation museum to explore. This is a general view of part of the Crawford Auto-Aviation Collection at the Western Reserve Historical Society.

This collection is partially focused on early Autos built in Cleveland. Frederick Coolidge Crawford was the President of Thompson Products, later the TRW Corporation. In 1963, Mr. Crawford had the company donate the collection to the Historical Society.

Interestingly, Crawford is one of two people who is in The National Business Hall of Fame, The National Automotive Hall of Fame and the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Mr. Crawford, an important Cleveland industrialist, died in 1994 at the age of 103.

This is a 1909 Simplex. It was the first American car that combined race car engineering with elegance. With 90 HP and guaranteed to achieve speeds of 90 miles per hour, this was the most powerful car available in 1909. Much of the technology used was borrowed from Mercedes.

The Simplex Auto Company was based in New York City and it produced cars from 1905 to 1917, when it switched to the production of war time products.

This is a 1914 Peerless Model 60-six/seven Passenger Touring Car. It was built in Cleveland by the Peerless Motor Company. The company operated from 1900 to 1931.

The car was powered by a 60 HP motor and it had a wheelbase measuring 140". It's marketing slogan was "All that the Name Implies". The price for this automobile was 'peerless' as well... Imagine paying $6,000 for a car in 1914!

And here is a 1920 Jordan 'Playboy'! Ned Jordan founded the Jordan Motor Company in Cleveland. The company produced 43,000 cars in it's 15 years of operation. This particular model sold for $2,000 each and the company made a profit of over a million dollars from it in the first year of production.

Ned got the idea for this model from a dancing partner. She suggested that he build "a swanky roadster for the girl who loves to swim, paddle and shoot and for the boy who loves the roar of the cut out".

The Crawford Auto-Aviation Collection at The Western Reserve Historical Society is open from 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday - Saturday. Parking is $5.00. Admission for Adults is $8.50, Seniors $7.50, 17 and under $5.00, Veterans $6.50 and active military is half price. The museum is located at 10825 East Boulevard in Cleveland Ohio. Phone: 216-721-5722. Website:

I will post additional photos from the museum at a later date. This collection contains many exceptional vehicles...

1 comment:

  1. I'd love to drive around in that Simplex - it sure is fancy. Things sure change as that powerful 90 hp engine is in an average jet ski or big motorcycle.