Ground Vehicles

American La France Fire Truck

American La France Fire Truck (1922)

The American La France Company was officially formed in 1903 and built steam powered hose and chemical cars. ALF produced their first gasoline powered pumpers in 1910 and built several other types of fire-fighting vehicles. By the 1920s American La France became perhaps the largest manufacturer of fire-fighting apparatus in the industry, and continue to produce fire-fighting vehicles to this day.

Austin Seven - 1930

Austin Seven (1930)

Introduced in 1922 the Austin Seven not only saved the Austin company from going out of business, but also revolutionized British motoring. Its diminutive size made it unique and by 1927 approximately 20,000 were produced each year, continuing through the late 1930s. The Austin was built under license all around the world including France, Germany, Japan and the U.S.A.

Baker Electric

Baker Electric (1911)

Cleveland, Ohio U.S.A. Women favored electric automobiles because they did not require cranking and had no exhaust fumes. Electrics could travel up to 20 MPH and had a range of 20 to 50 miles on one charging of the batteries. Several manufacturers produced electric vehicles including Riker, Woods, Detroit Electric, Columbia and of course, Baker. From 1910 to 1915 the popularity of the electric car peaked and shortly thereafter gasoline powered vehicles took their place. Electric cars were expensive costing between $2,550 and $3,000 in 1914. For more information on our Baker Electric, please visit

Brewster Brougham

Brewster Brougham (1913)

Long Island City, NY U.S.A. Brewster and Company built custom car bodies in a variety of models for the wealthy who preferred smaller luxury vehicles than those already on the market. Rolls Royce of America eventually absorbed Brewster, and the Brewster line was discontinued in 1925. In 1934 the Brewster name was brought back to life when 300 Brewster bodies mounted on standard available chassis (Ford, Buick etc.) were constructed. These automobiles sold for $3,500.

Brush Runabout

Brush Runabout (1908)

Alanson P. Brush set up the Brush Runabout Company in 1907 after designing the very first Cadillac. The Brush was a typical lightweight, inexpensive auto and was fitted with a single-cylinder 6 HP motor. Selling price was $500. In 1910 a 10 HP version was offered. Interestingly the Brush used wooden axles that proved their strength when Francis Birtles became the first to cross the continent of Australia from west to east using a Brush in 1912.

Buick Touring Car 4

Buick Touring Car (1920)

Flint, Michigan U.S.A. David Buick started the Buick Motor Car Company in Detroit in 1903. The first design was comparatively similar to conventional automobiles of the time. In 1909 a Buick driven by Bob Burman won the first race held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and sales were boosted to over 30,000 autos by the following year. During 1916 nearly 126,000 Buicks were sold and by the end of the First World War Buick was fourth in automobile sales overall, just behind Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet. All of these makes were priced far cheaper than Buick.

Cleveland Speedster

Cleveland Speedster (1922)

Cleveland, Ohio U.S.A. Built as a small copy of the popular Chandler motor car, the Cleveland was a slightly more affordable version. It had a 6-cylinder valve-in-head engine and could be purchased for $1,490 to $1,990 as opposed to the Chandler which cost between $1,595 and $2,395.

Columbia Ambulance

Columbia Ambulance (1917)

The Columbia Automobile Company built a wide variety of cars including runabouts, surreys, tonneaus, cabriolets, broghams, delivery wagons police patrols and ambulances. They produced both gas and electric powered vehicles and had offices in New York City, Boston and Chicago.

Excelsior Motorbike

Excelsior Motorbike (1913)

Chicago, Illinois U.S.A. The Excelsior Supply and Manufacturing Company was the biggest factory to produce Excelsior motorcycles and was part of the well-known Schwinn Bicycle Company. Excelsiors were produced in the U.S.A. from 1908 through 1931 when Ignaz Schwinn decided to discontinue manufacture of motorcylces. This motorcycle was donated by Paul Richards of Poughkeepsie, New York.

Ford Model T Touring 1914

Ford Model T Touring Car (1914)

Early on, the Model T was only available in grey, green, blue and red. Henry Ford’s famous quote that customers can have a car painted any color “so long as it is black” was first applied to the 1914 models, and was reportedly due to the durability and low cost of black paint.

Ford Model T, Touring Car

Ford Model T Touring Car (1917)

In 1917, 9 of every 10 cars on the road were Fords, and 77% of the cars that rolled off Ford’s assembly line that year were Touring models that could be purchased new for $360. The Aerodrome’s example served as Sir Percy Goodfellow’s ride in our air show for many years.

Ford Model T Speedster

Ford Model T Speedster (1919)

From 1908 through 1927 15,000,000 Model T Fords were produced. Known as the “Tin Lizzie” this vehicle made the Ford name forever famous. Henry Ford used the assembly line method of manufacture that revolutionized the automobile industry and paid his workers a $5.00 per day minimum wage which was considered quite high for the times. The list price for a brand new “T” in 1909 was $850, and the price was continuously reduced until 1927 when a brand new “T’ Roadster could be purchased for $260.

Ford Model T Fuel Truck (1925)

This 1925 Model was originally a pickup and has been converted to a functional fuel truck to fuel the aircraft on the flight line. It was restored in 2013/2014 by Kurt Muller, Stew Sommerville, Corey St. Pierre and others from the Aerodrome volunteer crew. Special thanks to Roger Hannay of Hannay Reels for making and donating a custom-made hose reel for the project.

Ford Model T Sedan
Ford Model T Sedan (1927)

The Model T four door sedan was produced from 1923 to 1927, when Ford ceased production of the Model T to begin working on its successor, the Model A. Over 150,000 replacement Model T engines were produced through 1941, and even in the 21st century, private companies continue to manufacture parts for the thousands of Model Ts that are still on the road.


Franklin (1929)

H. H. Franklin was known as a motorcar pioneer and manufactured nothing but air-cooled automobiles. Their light construction was always used as a selling point. In 1923 the company advertised that a Franklin had been driven in 122-degree temperatures through the sandy Imperial Valley of California for hours with no bad results. Charles Lindbergh openly favored the Franklin, and in an unrelated story, a 274 cu. in Franklin engine was installed in a Waco biplane and successfully flew it.

This vehicle made many trips to Queens, NY in the 1960’s when Cole Palen was courting the woman who would eventually become his wife, Rita Weidner.


Grout Steam Car

Grout Steam Car (1903)

In an effort to show the superiority of the Grout Steam car over the horse, the above slogan was used in advertising literature accompanied by a graphic depiction of a horse’s skeleton. Just four years later Grout discontinued their steamer line. In 1904 Grout introduced a gas-powered car but few were made as the company faced financial difficulties from 1905 through 1912 when they went out of business.



Hupmobile (1912)

Advertisements for the Hupmobile claimed that it was the dominant car of its type and never had a serious rival. Hundreds were shipped around the world to destinations such as Egypt, Russia, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. The Hupmobile was available in Runabout, Roadster, Touring Car and Coupe versions and prices ranged from $750 through $1,350 depending on what type and what options were selected.

George Dragone of Dragone Classic Motorcars in Bridgeport, CT beautifully restored the Hupmobile for the Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum in 2002.


IHC Auto Buggy

I.H.C. Auto Buggy (1913)

The high carriage wheels and solid tires of the I.H.C. auto buggy were used because the company felt that they were “ageless attributes of any good automobile” even though most other car manufacturers had already adopted smaller pneumatic tires by this time.

Under good conditions the I.H.C. could achieve 15 to 20 M.P.H. A removable rear seat made the auto buggy appealing to farmers and businessmen who used the vehicle as a truck during the week and as a family car on weekends.


Indian Motorcycle (1917)

Indian had at one time the largest motorcycle factory in the world. Starting in 1901 the Indian Company achieved fame prior to the First World War due to their great success at racing circuits around the globe. Advanced and sturdy designs insured their success for many years but changes on their board of directors led to the end of the company in 1951.


Indian 4

Indian 4 (1931)

The Indian Four evolved from the “Indian Ace”, a model that was produced for one year following the Indian company’s purchase of Ace Motor Corporation in 1927. The Four was designed by Arthur O. Lemon, the former Chief Engineer at Ace, who incorporated modifications such as trailing-link forks and quarter-elliptic leaf spring. Later the engine would receive a sturdier five-bearing crankshaft in place of the Ace’s three-bearing design.

This Indian 4 was donated to the Aerodrome by Paul Richards of Poughkeepsie, New York.


Indian 4 1935

Indian 4 (1935)

The Indian Four design was developed and produced through the Great Depression until it was discontinued in 1942. The 1936-37 models saw a cylinder head modification that was expected to improve fuel vaporization and produce more power, however, it also produced a great deal of heat. This, along with a valvetrain that required regular adjustment, resulted in fewer sales. This prompted the company to return to the original configuration in 1938.


Renault Tank M1917 Light Tank (1918)

The M1917 Light Tank was an American copy of the French Renault FT which was manufactured by three American companies during and after World War I, including Van Dorn Iron Works, Maxwell Motor Company and C. L. Best Company. The American M1917 tanks were made under a special license agreement with the Renault company of France, and although it looks virtually identical to the FT, the M1917 included many subtle improvements.

A total of 952 examples of the M1917 were produced, although none saw combat. This particular tank was once part of the famous Colonel Jarrett collection of World War I artifacts.


Maxwell 1910

Maxwell (1910)

The Maxwell Runabout was introduced in 1908. It was recommended to “the doctor, lawyer, contractor, city and suburban salesman, builder, businessman; in fact to everyone whose needs not exceed economical, safe and speedy transportation for two.”

The two-cylinder 14 HP model LD sold for $825. Later the Maxwell Company became part of the well-known Chrysler Corporation. In 1921 the Maxwell line was discontinued.




The Aerodrome’s Armored Car started out its long life as an apple truck. All that remained of the vehicle by the 1960s was the chassis so it was modified to serve as an ambulance in our Sunday shows for many years. When we acquired our Columbia Ambulance the Maxwell was again modified, this time to an armored car configuration using 3/8” plywood “armor”. It was again rebuilt in 1998. The current design and color scheme is loosely based on an actual Polish armored vehicle of the First World War.


Merkel Light MotorbikeMerkel Light Motorbike (1909)

From 1902 through 1922 Merkel enjoyed success with well-designed motorbikes and motorcycles using single cylinder and “V” twin engines up to 986 cc. Eventually Merkel was purchased by Indian and their doors were forever closed.


MetzMetz (1912)

The Metz was advertised as the winner of the Glidden Tour. This tour was an eight-day competition of endurance over challenging terrain. The Metz was also known as the “Gearless Car” with “No clutch to slip – no gears to strip.”

Under ordinary conditions a Metz driver could travel anywhere from 28 to 82 miles on a tank of gas, 100 miles on a pint of oil and 10,000 to 12,000 miles on a set of tires. Selling price in 1914 for the Metz 22 was $475.


MorganMorgan (1936)

The prototype for the Morgan Tricar was built in 1909 by H.S.F. Morgan. He used the V-twin engine from a wrecked Peugeot motorcycle. Morgan three-wheelers were built up until 1948 when the supply of V-twin engines was exhausted.


Packard Moving VanPackard Moving Van (1916)

William Dowd Packard and James Ward Packard (brothers) built the first Packard in Warren, Ohio in 1899. Eventually they became known as producers of luxury cars.

The Aerodrome’s Packard Moving van played a small role in the movie “The Night they Raided Minsky’s” starring Jason Robards, Britt Ekland and Elliot Gould in 1968.


Pierce Stanhope

Pierce Stanhope (1904)

In 1904 the George N. Pierce company introduced the Pierce Stanhope. It had a unique folding front seat and the vehicle accommodated four persons. Available only in Quaker Green it weighed 1,200 pounds. The Stanhope used a single cylinder engine and had two speeds…forward and reverse. Selling price for the Pierce was $1,300 with a top and $1,200 without a top.


Renault Touring CarRenault Touring Car (1909)

Louis Renault developed his first automobile by extensively modifying an 1898 Dion Tricycle. At one of his first private demonstrations he secured 12 orders and the Societé Renault Freres was formed. In the years that followed Renault automobiles won numerous races throughout Europe and Louis Renault built his own empire producing aircraft, aircraft engines and even tanks.

Our Renault car is a Type CQ. It was built and delivered to England on February 8th, 1913.


Rolls Royce Boat-Tailed SpeedsterRolls Royce Boat-Tailed Speedster (1931)

From 1904 through the present day the Rolls Royce name has become internationally known as the very finest in automotive engineering and luxury. Founded by Charles Rolls and Henry Royce, Rolls had the sales skills and Royce possessed the production and design knowledge to create a great team. They set new standards for excellence and the wealthy felt that a Rolls Royce in their garage was necessary equipment.

Sadly Charles Rolls has the distinction of being the first aviator to be killed in England in an aircraft accident.


Royal Enfield Motorcycle

Royal Enfield Motorcycle (1916)

The Royal Enfield Company stayed in business for over seventy years manufacturing motorcycles from 1898 through 1971. Using some of the best riders around, Royal Enfield competed successfully at numerous motorcycle races and held the land speed record for sidecar outfitted motorcycles driven over one mile.



Saxon Roadster (1914)

During its peak the Saxon name was a household word. A brand new Saxon roadster sold for $395, and its operating cost was advertised as ½ cent per mile. Electric lights and a starter were available as options costing an additional $70. It featured a “high speed motor” that was light, powerful, efficient and durable. A 1914 Saxon traveled from New York to San Francisco in 30 days which was quite an achievement for the times.


Scripps Booth Touring Car

Scripps Booth Touring Car (1922)

In 1914 Scripps Booth introduced the unique and advanced feature of electrically operated push-button doors, long before they were to become what we would consider almost a standard feature today. They were advertised as luxurious light cars, and they offered luxury, beauty, performance and economy as selling points of their product.


Sears Auto Buggy

Sears Auto Buggy (1905)

Sears, Roebuck and Company had nine different car models available from 1905 to 1910 built by the Lincoln Motor Car Works in Chicago. In an unusual and trusting attempt to lure customers, potential buyers were allowed a ten-day trial period to determine whether or not they wanted to keep the Sears product. Prices ranged from $325 through $475 targeting the low-price market.


Studebaker Touring Car

Studebaker Touring Car (1916)
The Studebaker brothers opened a blacksmith and wagon shop in 1852. They produced 100 wagons for the U.S. Government just five years later. By 1902 the company produced its first horseless-carraige which was electric powered. In 1904 they offered a 14 HP gasoline powered vehicle which sold for $1,600.

Advertised as the most powerful six-cylinder, seven passenger car available, the Studebaker company claimed that its 1915 model could hold its own against any six, eight or even twelve cylinder car on the market. Selling price was $1,050.


Ural Motorcycle with Sidecar

Ural Motorcycle with Sidecar (1914)

The URAL was originally developed by the Soviet government for use by the Russian military during World War II. However by the late 1950s, military production shifted to the Ukraine and URALs began being manufactured for domestic customers, which continues today.


Willys Overland Opera Coupe

Willys Overland Opera Coupe (1916)

Starting as a salesman for the Detroit Auto Vehicle Company, John N. Willys met with great success. The Overland Company of Indianapolis was on the brink of bankruptcy when Willys was called in to rescue it. Shortly thereafter the company became known as the Willys Overland Company of Toledo, Ohio.

Later in his career Willys went on to built the popular Army Jeep used extensively during the Second World War.

This particular car served as the Aerodrome’s first ticket booth at our main entrance in the early 1960s.


Willys Overland Sportster

Willys Overland Sportster (1922)

The Overland Company had four separate factories employing 4000 men and turning out a brand new car every 4 minutes. At least one other factory was added to keep up with dealer demands in over 800 cities. An advertisement claimed that the Overland was “Almost trouble-proof” and one successfully accomplished test of endurance was the running of an Overland for over 7,000 miles without stopping the engine.

This version has been converted to a speedster type.