Project Description

1899 Winton Motor Carriage

A close look at this car makes it clear why early automobiles were called “horseless carriages.” The horse and buggy is reflected in its design, its height, its wooden body, and even in its name. Most early automobiles used tillers for steering. The 1899 Winton is the only car in the collection still retaining its original tires!

Alexander Winton was arguably the most important early American maker of automobiles. He started as a bicycle maker, then began experimenting with early automobiles. He introduced his first “motor wagon” in 1896, then became the first American manufacturer to sell a car to the general public in 1897. A Winton was the first car to cross America from coast to coast in 1903. The company’s motto was “It Will Go.”

This car is one of exactly 100 that were produced by Winton in 1899, which was considered a remarkable example of mass-production at the time.

  • MANUFACTURER: Winton Motor Carriage Company, Cleveland, Ohio (1897-1924)
  • PRICE NEW: $1,500

  • PRICE TO BUY 2019: $45,549
  • ENGINE: 1-cylinder, horizontal configuration, variable inlet valve actuated by compressed air, 142 cu. in./2.3 l.

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In our current exhibit, From Carriage to Classic: How Automobiles Transformed America, we present the origin story of the American automobile through 23 cars from Heritage’s permanent collection of antique and classic automobiles. Come along for a ride from the late 1800s to the 1960s and watch the car evolve from a horseless carriage to a streamlined symbol of freedom and independence.

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