Ford Motor Co., 1307-23 E. Washington St.

A couple of articles ago we explored: “How many cars were made in Indianapolis?” Prompting another question:  “Who were Indy’s top 10 auto producers?”

As mentioned previously, compiling this type of research is an imprecise art.  In this instance, there is no single source listing production numbers for manufacturers by location.  Some sources list production numbers only for larger manufacturers.  In this case, multiple nameplates or vehicle types are grouped by manufacturer.  In other instances, research is compiled from archives, other researchers, and historians.

After perusing numerous sources, here is the final yield: totals for 12 Indianapolis producers.

 Indy’s Top 10 plus 2 Auto Producers

Producer Total Production Address
Ford Motor Co.* 581,010 1307-23 E. Washington St.
Nordyke & Marmon Co. 115,211 1223W. Morris St.
American Motors Co. 45,000 1959 S. Meridian St.
Stutz Motor Car Co. 36,249 1008 N. Capital Ave.
Cole Motor Car Co. 35,266 730 E. Washington St.
National Motor Vehicle Co. 23,558 1101-47 E. 22nd St.
Premier Motor Mfg. Co. 12,401 3500 E. 20th St.
Marion Motor Car Co. 7,582 900 Oliver Ave.
William Small Co.** 7,339 602 N. Capital Ave.
Overland Auto Co.*** 5,460 1140-60 Division St.
Empire Motor Car Co. 3,647 323 W. 15th St.
Duesenberg Motors Corp. 1,145 1511W. Washington St.

* Ford’s production for the Indianapolis totals 526,740 passenger cars and 54,270 trucks.

** William Small Company produced the Monroe automobile.

*** Overland figures may be higher, because this total ends with 1908 Indianapolis figures.  The 1909 production figures are not broken out between Indianapolis and Toledo, Ohio, production plants, therefore, they are not included in these totals.

Duesenberg Motors Corp.

Duesenberg Motors Corp., 1511 W. Washington St.

The total output by these 12 producers totals 875,642 vehicles.  That is a respectable output of cars from 1896 to 1937.  These cars ranged from the utilitarian Ford Model T to the luxurious Duesenberg ‘Twenty Grand.’  Just think of the economic impact on Indianapolis’ economy from the once-booming automotive industry here.  Remember, in this era, Indianapolis ranked second only to Detroit for the title of the nation’s auto capital.  Way to go, Indy!

8 responses to “Indy’s Top 10 Auto Producers?”

  1. basil a berchekas jr says:

    MUST stay with this one…

  2. Jeff Downer says:

    The lineage of the Overland Automobile firm remains today in the form of the Jeep division of Chrysler.

  3. Bruce Buchanan says:

    Some of these classic old cars can be seen at the Indianapolis 500 Museum. I remember seeing a Cole there, a real beauty.

  4. GUY MAGER says:


  5. GUY MAGER says:

    Dennis one thing good is ford is going strong now and have ford dearlers east and west on washington

  6. John Sinclair says:

    There is no way the American Automobile produced 45,000 automobiles prior to its demise. This would have made it the 7th largest producer of autombiles up until that time. Utter and complete nonsense. Stop using wikipedia!

  7. vince luppino says:

    Grew up in Indianapolis, heard stories of auto manufactures, but never realized how many. Amazing history.

  8. Jeff Caudell says:

    John is right, there’s absolutely no possible way American could have produced that many cars, especially considering that they were defunct by 1914. Not sure where that number came from but it’s probably supposed to be 4,500 cars? Although American’s production figures are hard to track down, a quick look at the top selling cars of the era will show why this can’t be. It’s mathematically impossible considering American was never in the top eight. I have no idea where they would actually be on a complete list but likely, way, way, way down there somewhere?

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