Ophan Cars

Gone But Not Forgotten
Jun 6 2014 - Sep 26 2014

An Orphan Car is: “any marque or brand of vehicle produced by a company that has discontinued business entirely.”  The name is often confused with a brand that is terminated while the parent company continues to exist (e.g. Pontiac, Oldsmobile,etc.)  True orphan cars are brands like Packard, Cord, Auburn, Pierce-Arrow, Hudson, etc.)

Historians agree that more than 2,000 automotive companies world-wide have gone out of business during the last 120 years.  Most of them came and went from 1900-1920.  A narrow slice of the B section includes:

Blood (1902-1905),

Borland Electric (1910-1916), Brew-Hatcher (1904-1905), Brogan (1946-1952),

Bryan (1918-1923),

Buckmobile (1903-1905), and Burg (1910-1913). 

Even successful companies went out of business.  Studebaker started production with covered wagons in the 1850’s.  By 1902, the company began to experiment with electric-powered vehicles.  They started producing combustion engine cars in 1904 and sold them for more than 60 years.  Sadly, the factory closed in 1966.  Studebaker is gone.

Nash started in 1916.  It had an excellent reputation for trucks and innovative cars.  It no longer exists because of image problems and the fact that it was ahead of its time.  It suffered from identity issues through a series of sales.  The path for Nash was:  Nash to Nash-Kelvinator, to Nash Rambler, to American Motors Corporation, to AMC/Renault, to Chrysler, to Daimler-Chrysler, to now…Fiat.

 There are many reasons car manufacturers fail.  The reason may be design flaws, a poor economy, lack of corporate support and vision, and resistance to cultural trends, to name a few.