The Cartercar Company was an American automobile manufacturer in Jackson (Michigan ), 1906 in Detroit ( Michigan) and from 1907 to 1915 in Pontiac (Michigan) was established in 1905.


Byron J. Carter founded in 1905 Motorcar Company in Jackson, after he left the Jackson Automobile Company in a dispute with his partners on the selection of gears. End of the year, the new company moved to Detroit, as their financiers were sitting there. Beginning of 1907 named Carter to his company in Cartercar Company and moved to Pontiac, where he bought up the Pontiac Spring and Wagon Works. The Cartercar was particularly praised for his Reibscheibengetriebes, in the press. This Reibscheibengetriebe was a forerunner of today's CVT; both offer variable drive ratios. After about 6500 km had the paper fiber discs that were part of the transmission to be replaced, but only 5, - U.S. $ cost, ie half the price of a new grease filling an ordinary spur gear.

From the first to the second full year of production, sales figures doubled; In 1906 there were 101 pieces in 1907 already 264 The following year, already 325 copies were sold. On October 26, 1909 Cartercar was acquired by General Motors, as William Durant after incorporation of the company bought up a number of car manufacturers. When asked why he bought Cartercar, Durant replied, " You say that I had Cartercar should not buy. Yes, because how could know that Cartercar would be nothing Proper someone? They had the Reibscheibenantrieb that had no other car. Where should know what would say these engineers next I? " Durant had in 1910 to relinquish control of GM and when he in 1915 regained, GM management had already implemented the decision, the Cartercar adjust because the forecast of Durant sales of 1,000 - 2,000 were never reached per year. It was decided to build in the factory instead Oakland automobiles.


The company started with a single-cylinder engines, and later two-cylinder boxer engines that were used until 1909 came. From 1910, only four-cylinder engines have been fitted. Two models, both with four-cylinder block engines, published in 1912; The model R had 4160 cc displacement, while the S model had 5437 cc displacement. Both drove the rear wheels via a chain. There were other cars with Reibscheibengetriebe how to Lambert, the Metz and the Petrel, but none of them has been produced as long as the Cartercar.

The accident broke in, as Byron Carter in 1908, met his death while trying to start a parked car. The striking back occasion crank struck him on the jaw and caused a wound, in which gangrene was formed, which ended fatally. Carter was a personal friend of Henry M. Leland, founder of Cadillac. His tragic death led (introduced in 1912), the first successful electric starter, so you could do without the dangerous occasion crank future for the development of the self - starter.

Because you could adjust each translation with the Reibscheibengetriebe and was not tied to fixed gears, Cartercar was touted as the " car with a thousand programs". Another promotional text claimed: "It is difficult to improve a Cartercar ".




  • Burgess Wise, David, The New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Automobiles.
  • Website for Cartercar enthusiasts (English)