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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Alfred Reeves


The New York Times
July 18, 1909

Alfred Reeves, General Manager of the American Motor Car Manufacturers' Association, returned to New York yesterday from a tour of inspection of the leading motor car factories of the country. Mr. Reeves visited sixty-one factories, and has thoroughly posted himself concerning the 1910 production.

Indications for next year are that improvements will be confined almost entirely to the refinement of the present successful types of automobiles, Mr. Reeves says. It is his opinion that the desire of motorists for standard motor cars has been attained.

"In a general way, I would say that the 1910 motor car will show a decided tendency toward standardization," said Mr. Reeves last night. "The wonderful advance in gas engines during the past ten years has brought the present type of automobile almost to the perfection point, and improvements now must be almost entirely in the matter of details. While there will be some changes of models and designs by a few makers, the inclination is to improve on the present satisfactory type of motor. The future may see some radical changes in car construction, but certainly not for a couple of years.

"The 1910 car will see refinements which make for silence and simplicity in operation, increased power without increasing the size of motors, more pleasing design, greater riding comfort, and lower maintenance cost. One of the most important changes will be the use of a longer stroke in motors. A number of makers are using the same size of cylinder, whether they be for a four or six model, which makes for standardization. Magnetos are now in universal use, some makers not even supplying a battery. High tension and low tension magnetos are in use, each having its followers.

"Among other changes for next year will be larger wheels and tires, a longer wheel base, especially in the moderate-priced cars; the casting of cylinders in pairs, and sometimes en bloc; the use of shaft drive, except on a small number of very large cars or buggyabouts; the increasing use of the thermo-syphon system of cooling, and the adoption of a direct drive on third speed transmissions where four speeds are supplied.

"The most radical change is the placing of the steering wheel on the left hand side. Two of the largest producers and a number of smaller concerns will make this change."

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