Marion Model 33 Bobcat

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Model 33 Bobcat





The "Marion Motor Car Company" of Indianapolis, Indiana, was founded in 1904. This company manufactured automobiles with the "Marion" brand between 1904 and 1915. The first versions of the Marion car were equipped with Reeves 4-cylinder and 16-hp refrigerated engines by air.

Advertised as “The Car That Has Set Men to Thinking,” the Marion was originally a four-cylinder, air-cooled side-entrance tonneau; water-cooling came soon afterward. Among early personnel were Robert Hassler, Fred Tone, and Harry C. Stutz, the latter two coming from the American Motors Company, maker of the American Underslung.

In its ten years of operation in Indianapolis, Marion Motor Car Company produced 7,158 vehicles. Early versions of the Marion had 16 hp Reeves air cooled four-cylinder engines. George Schebler of the Wheeler Schebler Carburetor Company used a Marion chassis to build a V-12 roadster in 1908. The 1913 Marion Bobcat roadster was its best known sporting car.

In the end, the Marion cars ended up having a certain similarity with the Stutz cars, which is not surprising since in 1910 Harry C. Stutz was hired by the "Marion Motor Car Company" as the main engineer and was responsible for design.

In 1910, Marion produced cars with 4-cylinder engines between 16 hp and 48 hp. In 1911 the model 33 Bobcat Speedster was presented, which was sold for $ 1,475. This model, was produced until 1913, and incorporated improvements in the brakes and greater distance between axes and was the best sports car of the brand. In 1912, the model 47 cost 1,850 dollars and the inferior models cost 1,750, 1,350 and 1,285 dollars.

Marions were four-cylinder cars of 16 to 45 hp, selling at $1,600 to $2,000, which at the time would buy the most expensive Buick. Production was never immense, fewer than a thousand cars a year. Although most were four- or five-passenger tourers, a marquee model, the Bobcat roadster, appeared in 1912. Described by the late historian Beverly Rae Kimes as a “rakish machine,” it was Bearcat-like, no doubt Stutz’s influence before he left to found his own company. It would bear close resemblance not only in design, but in spirit as well. Void of needless amenities, it was a minimalist and lightweight car fitted with a powerful engine for the time. By 1914, however, the Bobcat was gone.

Throughout its life in Indianapolis, Marion struggled due to low capitalization. John North Willys, president of Willys-Overland in Toledo, Ohio, bought a controlling interest in Marion in 1909. In November 1914, J.I. Handley purchased the assets of Marion and moved operations to Jackson, Michigan.

In 1916, the company merged with the "Imperial Automobile Company" of Jackson, Michigan, giving rise to a new company called "Mutual Motors Company" that manufactured cars with the brand "Marion-Handley" between 1916 and 1919 .

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