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Model 36


The Elmore is a curious footnote in the annals of American automotive history. Based in Clyde, Ohio, the company was founded by brothers James and Burton Becker in 1902. Like many in the pioneering days of the horseless carriage, the Beckers got their start in the bicycle business before gradually moving into motorized transport.

Their first car, produced in 1900, featured a single-cylinder engine mounted in the middle of the chassis. They built about ten cars before incorporating Elmore Manufacturing Company in 1902, the name borrowed from a parcel of land where their father operated a stave mill. On the surface, the Beckers were just like hundreds of other starry-eyed young entrepreneurs vying for their part of this burgeoning market. But Elmore stood apart as one of the earliest adopters of the two-stroke engine and staunchly defended its merits for the entirety of the company’s existence.

Elmore - Part of the General Motors (GM) corporation
By 1900, William C. Durant's Durant-Dort Carriage Company of Flint, Michigan had become the largest manufacturer of horse-drawn vehicles in the United States. Durant was averse to automobiles, but fellow Flint businessman James H. Whiting, owner of Flint Wagon Works, sold him the Buick Motor Company in 1904. Durant formed the General Motors Company in 1908 as a holding company, with partner Charles Stewart Mott, borrowing a naming convention from General Electric. GM's first acquisition was Buick, which Durant already owned, then Olds Motor Works on November 12, 1908. Under Durant, GM went on to acquire Cadillac, Elmore, Welch, Cartercar, Oakland (the predecessor of Pontiac), the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company of Pontiac, Michigan, and the Reliance Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan (predecessors of GMC) in 1909.

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