1913 Metz 22 Roadster: The blast from the past

1913 Metz 22 Roadster: The blast from the past

Engine 4-cylinder Horsepower 22 HPTransmission Gearless Transmission Company direct-drive transmission

The American automobile brand Metz lasted only a short time in the automotive industry – only 13 years. However, over the thirteen years of its existence (1908-1921), the company made a mark in history thanks to its extraordinary design and pioneering models in the emerging industry.

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The early years of the 20th century witnessed a surge of new automotive companies. At the time, more automotive companies, or rather startups, were beginning with the letter “A” than there are currently. This was a period of technological advancements, with individuals working tirelessly to overcome various engineering challenges, leading to the birth of several technical industries, particularly in the automotive sector. The booming automotive industry was home to many renowned names that have left a lasting legacy. The era of the iconic Ford “Tin Lizzie” was preceded by equally brilliant but short-lived names such as the Metz 22 Roadster, manufactured in Massachusetts, which shone brightly in the early years of the 20th-century automotive world.

The origins

Source: Mecum Auctions

At the turn of the 20th century, car companies often named themselves after their founders. Charles Metz was no exception. He started out manufacturing bicycle parts in his 20s and later co-founded the Waltham Manufacturing Company, which produced bicycles, parts, and accessories. He then adapted an internal combustion engine to a bike, producing one of the first American motorcycles, followed by a tricycle and quadricycle. In 1901, the company introduced its first car, the Orient Runabout, in a limited run of 50 units. Then, the 7-year break followed. After this period, they returned to the motorcycle industry before reentering the car market in 1908 with “The Metz Plan”. This involved selling the automobile in parts, packed in 14 boxes, allowing the buyer to assemble the vehicle to their budget and preference. In 1911, the company’s most popular and progressive automobile, the Metz 22, was released. The number 22 represented the engine’s power of 22 hp. The automobile’s defining feature was its friction gear transmission, which transmitted torque to the drive disk through perpendicular contact with the driven disk, changing the gear ratio. The lightweight, nearly half-ton vehicle was priced at $600, then later reduced to $495 and $475.

The 1913 model year

Source: Bonhams

As a brainchild of the brass era pioneer, the 22 Roadster was very popular at the beginning of the 20th century. It was the pick of the day, designed only in one body style, intended to take the driver and his companion. This doorless cream-wheel handsome brass-era vehicle was sold in dark blue, equipped with a 22hp inline four-cylinder engine. It was sold for $495 in 1912 and 1913, but at the end of 1913, it was decreased to $475 for the advanced model. Later when the company added doors, the model was sold for $495. Dual chain drives and a friction transmission drove the inline 4-cylinder  water-cooled engine. Moreover, the company sold “The Metz Plan” car and the assembled model until 1913. However, starting from 1913, only factory-assembled examples were offered at $395 for the basic model.

Did you know?

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The 22 Roadster won the Glidden Tour in 1913 with excellent results compared with other racers. Another durability test for the model was the road from LA to Grand Canyon and back. The owner of the Metz agency L. Wing and reporter O.C. Parker left LA and went across the desert to the Grand Canyon and at the bottom.

Contact us if you have this or another classic car to sell.

1913 Metz 22 Roadster: The blast from the past

Engine 4-cylinder Horsepower 22 HPTransmission Gearless Transmission Company direct-drive transmission

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