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Graham Owners Club Project


Kirk
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I have been requested by the Graham Owners Club International (specifically the Michelhaugh family) with the daunting task of coming up with a list of Paige-Detroit and Paige built cars from 1909 to 1927 and their current owners.  After all these years, the powers that be have decided to seek out Paige owners for membership in the Graham Club.  I was the first person to take a Paige, a 1926 Paige 4 dr. Model 6-72, to a National GOC Meet in Williamsburg, VA in 1989.  They had made no expanded judging or space for a Paige automobile at that time. To say the least I was shock and much displeased. Now after 27 years, and a re-upped member of GOC and also a Graham owner, I have agreed to take on this task, plus be an advisor on things Paige, even though I am only knowledgeable on  1925 to 27 Paige cars.   What  we are seeking is a list of cars and  owners  and addresses in an effort to expand the GOC membership and welcome Paige owners.   Thanks in advance for any help I can get in this matter.  I think that we all shall benefit from it.  The GOC National Meet #46 is in Chattanooga, TN on June 21-25 at the Choo-Choo Hotel.   Email me for details on the meet and your information on Paige cars.  Thanks again, Eric Kirk, Winchester, VA  AACA member since 1974.   

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As a Paige owner and a Graham Owners Club International member, I think I may have already done some of the work for you. I will be in Chattanooga in June for the GOCI convention. We can talk there. In the meantime, you can check-out what I have gathered so far. (There is already a link to Item 2 on the GOCI web site.)

 

1. My 1918 Paige Larchmont four-passenger touring car <http://www.wcroberts.org/Paige.htm> 
 
2. A brief history of the Paige-Detroit Motor Car Co. (1909-1927), builder of Paige and Jewett autos and Paige trucks <http://www.wcroberts.org/Paige_History.html> 
 

3. A roster of surviving Paige autos <http://www.wcroberts.org/Paige_owners.htm> 

 
4. Paige and Jewett Serial Listing and Model Data privately printed by Olan D. Chiles in the 1970s, including a registry of owners at that time <http://www.wcroberts.org/Paige_Roster.html> 
 
 
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  • 1 month later...

I wish I was in a better position to help with this. The Paige and its sister car the Jewett were fine cars well deserving a better place in automotive history than they have been given.

Part of my Paige's story. In 1967, I was in high school, and I had a passion for history and automobiles in particular. My dad had often talked about getting and restoring an antique car, but never had gotten close to doing so. As I showed more and more interest in such things, he finally decided to buy one to become the "great family project!"  What he bought was a 1927 Paige 6-45 four-door sedan in fair condition. What I learned after, was that much better cars could have been had for only a few dollars more. But that was alright. Although rough looking and needing a full restoration, the body wood and all sheet steel were solid, and the car had very low mileage meaning most of the mechanicals were also good.

Unfortunately, he was very good on ideas, but not so good on "follow through". The car was disassembled for restoration, then buried so deeply in the garage under anything one could think of, that actually working on the car became impossible. And, so it was for about 30 years.

In the meanwhile, I bought, worked on, toured, and sold a number of old cars. A '29 REO, model A Ford, several model Ts, a couple early Studebakers, and even a few HCCA pre-'16s.

Between marriage and kids and medical bills and work and family troubles? The Paige eventually became mine, and I did work on it some. But I have never had the time or the money to do the work needed to bring it back to the road. So, it still sits, about half done, in one of the best parking slots I have. I have two major restorations that need to be done, and a couple other cars (model Ts) that desperately need some little work done on them before I can put significant time and effort back into the Paige (one of the true joys of antique automobiles, they always need something done for them and you can only put it off so much). 

 

Through this all? I have cared for the Paige, dreamed of finishing it. I look at Paige cars and talk to Paige owners as often as I can, and occasionally post answers to questions on forums like this.  I really would like to see a good active website devoted to Paige and its relations. Years ago, I had hopes that the GOCI would be the springboard for that. The club had made statements to the effect that "owners of Paige and Jewett automobiles were welcome". But it never seemed to work out that way. I did talk with a few Graham owners, and was not favorably impressed. I spoke with several other Paige owners occasionally, several of them referred to GOCI as the "Grahams Only Club"

 

After the internet became something, GOCI had a site fairly early. More than fifteen years ago, and occasionally off and on ever since, I have checked out their site. Several times, I have looked in, seen a new poster introducing himself and showing nice pictures of his Paige or Jewett. Usually, nobody would reply with a welcome (occasionally, there would be a halfhearted response). Several times, the original poster would respond again himself days or weeks later asking if anybody is "out there".  Meanwhile, Graham owners, Graham truck owners, and even Coke Bottle owners were being welcomed with open arms.

Now, I know a fair amount about the Graham history (hence, the Coke Bottle comment). It is as richly deserving of books, articles, clubs, and websites as anyone. But the fact that the Paige/Jewett occurred independently from the Grahams, and the Graham Brothers did buy the Paige Detroit company, does not make the Paige nothing more than an unwanted step cousin. The fact is, that without the Paige, there never would have been a Graham Paige. The Graham Brothers may well have bought some other struggling automobile producer. There were several to choose from at the time. But the Paige was still a viable, solvent, company, whose leadership simply wanted to retire. If the Grahams had taken on some of those other companies? They could have collapsed in the first years of the great depression just like most of those other companies did. Sadly, their timing for getting into major automobile manufacturing could not have been much worse. But no one really knew that until it was too late. Most of the available producers with a good name were much worse off than Paige Detroit at that time.

 

The Paige and Graham automobiles are, and always will be linked. Their histories may have begun separately, but they became forever intertwined. One club should serve them both, and both should feel absolutely welcome in that club. Together, they have a lot of history to be proud of.

 

Good luck on your project. I truly hope you succeed in a grand fashion!

Wayne Sheldon

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  • 6 years later...

I am a new graham paige owner here in PA.  I would like to contact a fellow Graham owner here in my area so I can get some info.  My email is gary.rew@gmail.com, 

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