BruceW

Little Motor Kar Company

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I am looking for any information on the Little Motor Kar Company. I found a reference to a business with this name in nearby Havre de Grace, Maryland. At first, I thought it might have been just an independent garage but have found information that suggests it may have been a dealership for an automobile manufacturer. Recently, I saw a stock certificate for sale on the internet that had the same name. In addition, I found a reference to a Little Motor Kar Company in Texas that built an automobile called the Texmobile in the 1920s. Any information that can be provided on the Little Motor Kar Company Ltd. is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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Bruce,<BR>I had a look in the Georgano encyclopedia<BR>for info on the Little Kar Company. As you said, they produced the Texmobile car between<BR>1919-21 in a factory in Grand Prairie Texas.<BR>The building in Havre de Grace Maryland was the second factory that the company was going<BR>to use. The man behind the operation was one <BR>William S Livezey. The Texmobile was first displayed at the Dallas Fair in October 1919.<BR>It was a 4 cylinder car on a 109 inch wheelbase, with wire wheels, and 2 side mounted wheels.<BR>Things went downhill from there. The stock<BR>certificate you mentioned was the problem.<BR>In 1920 charges were made gainst Livezey, regarding the way stocks were used to finance the operation. In April 1920 Livezey and some assistants were arrested and charged with fraud. <BR>Livezey's trial was in Dallas in February 1921. It was discovered that Texmobile "production" was no more than a handful of cars, in various stages of construction.<BR>No two cars bore any similarity to any others, while some components were made by local blacksmiths. One of the brake drums presented at the trial was found to be taken<BR>from a Ford. Livezey was found guilty, and sentenced to 5 years imprisonment in the Federal Penintentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas.<BR>The Little Motor Kar Co continued as a maker of road equipment and a small truck called the Little.<P>Graham

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Graham,<P>Thank you very much for the valuable information on the Little Motor Kar Company. It provides a lot for me to go on in researching the Havre de Grace location. <P>Thanks again.<BR>Bruce

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Here is some more information on the Little Motor Kar Company, taken from the book "Historic Grand Prairie: An Illustrated History", by Kathy A Goolsby (HPN Books, 2008):

"Visitors to the 1919 State Fair of Texas who stopped by booth 99 in the Automobile Building were introduced to the Little Motor Kar Company. Most likely they also were treated to a sales pitch touting the financial benefits of investing in Grand Prarie's newest business.

The company was headquartered in Wichita Falls, but in July paid $30,000 for 80 acres near Fowler's stop on the Interurban line. The company's officers - William S Livezey, President, RL McCoy, Vice-President, and Secretary George Stricker - vowed to invest $1 million in production of light pleasure cars, tractors and trailers. The plant would employ 3,000 men working day and night shifts, they said.

In early March 1920, sales manager JH Judge claimed to have orders for 100,000 four-cylinder Texmobiles. Later that month, Grand Prairie Texan editor Fred R Krieger reported production had begun on a "sport kar" and a "touring kar". "In taking a ride in the sport kar, I found the engine to be exceptionally powerful", he wrote. "The touring kar seems to be an easier riding car than the sport kar."

Unbeknownst to Krieger and the Little Motor Kar Company's more than thirty thousand stockholders, the company was on the verge of collapse. The previous November, Livezey withdrew $500,000 from the company's account on his way to Havre de Grace, Maryland, where a second plant was planned but never materialized.

A few days after Krieger test-drove what was the only car built under Livezey's leadership, the company officer's were arrested and charged with using the mail for fraud. Livezey was also charged with embezzlement. In July, the stockholders elected Dr JE Payne of Grand Prairie and Dallasite WE Jewer as the company's new officers. They also voted to cancel any stock issued to the former officers that had not been paid for with cash.

At Livezey's February 1921 trial in Dallas' Federal District Court, sales manager Judge testified that although much money from stock sales was received, records of those transactions were non-existent. Further testimony revealed that the officers failed to record $226,588 in stock purchases, and at the time that the company went into receivership there was $70,843 left in its account.

The most sensational testimony came from Nellie Preston, who was nineteen during the trial. The Aberdeen, Maryland, resident reported that Livesey lavished her and her family with gifts, including several cars, diamond jewelry, fur coats, silk "underlinery", and a saddle horse. Livezey was found guilty of misuse of the US mail and sentenced to five years in prison.

Meanwhile, the Little Motor Kar Company resumed operation in November 1922, producing a "complete light truck". But the endeavour proved unsuccessful, and the company filed for bankruptcy in 1928."

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BruceW,
I am currently researching the Little Motor Kar Company and have a file box full of material.  I have found that for the most part the information on-line is accurate.  However, some is simply wrong.  My goal is to write a piece (length undetermined at this time) about William S. Livezey and the Little Motor Kar Company and include the other characters in this piece of history. 

You wrote "I found a reference to a business with this name in nearby Havre de Grace, Maryland."  I would like to visit with you about this as my attempts to learn more about the Havre de Grace, MD plant (of lack there of) have had sad results.  I have confirmation Livezey bought some land from the Preston family and have seen that Livezey said he leased a building in Havre de Grace for a plant but that is it, no additional information.

 

Look forward to hearing from you.

Sharon (gain8)

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Certainly some Little cars came to Australia, and I believe more than the one I knew have survived. A friend, Jim Everett, had and restored one in the early 1970s in Melbourne. Another friend had several "Baby Hupp"

cars, (model 20, I think they were called). Of course I never saw the two together, but I remember that they were virtually identical; same mechanicals, even to the raw-hide valve tappet inserts for quiet running. I do not know if they carried the same warrantee for the life of the original owner, attributed to Hupp. Jim had his fully registered with working acetylene lights, after some argument about legality and authenticity with the local police. You could still get calcium carbide readily if you knew where. So Jim would occasionally use it for shopping, even at night. The car is still about, though Jim is long gone; but remembered well.

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Could be Dave. I understand Little was Durant's motor company, tha mouse he used to recapture the lion (GM), that he had lost. I guess that what the Little car was, may not have mattered. There was a world of difference between the little and the first Chevrolets mechanically. A friend of mine about twelve miles from here, Bob Schukraft, has finished several years ago a fine personal restoration of a 1914 Chev. He also has later ones, pre 1920, and we reckon that the later Chev 4s were not a well built as the 1914. They have the same "faith and hope" engine lubrication as a lot of early cars, except that the 1914 has the refinement of plaited felt wicks to the top oil hole of each main bearing. I guess this was what you might call a capilliary action oil feed. The side valve barrel crankcase Little engine had nothing much in common with the OHV Chev 4.

If it was not just a re-badged Hupp 20, it most certainly used the mechanical design or parts supplied. I suppose you could say that the main similarity between the Little and the Chev 4 was use of wood-spoked wheels

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GRAHAM: Production of a Little Kar/Texmobile truck apparently remains problematical, unless it had a different name---nothing appears in Mroz's US Trucks/Comm'l Cars book, nor in Grorgano's little truck book (names, adds's  etc only, I should live so long as to afford his big book)...

Mroz's book does include prototypes...

I also have Auto Qtly's "Am'cn Car since 1775--5000 Marques" which also has lists of trucl mfr's, including a list of prototypes, trucks announced but not produced, experimentals etc etc---no mention of ours.

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