M. Armstrong & Co. - 1859-1920s - New Haven, Connecticut


Known New Haven body builder, built production bodies for the Long Island-produced F.R.P. automobile (1914)

The F.R.P. was a large European-style luxury car and was known to have been bodied by Brewster, Holbrook and Armstrong.

When the government took over the F.R.P.'s plant for war work, manufacture of the vehicle was halted and post war manufacturing was transferred to the American & British Manufacturing Company of New Haven Connecticut. Armstrong also bodied a few of the 36 Porters produced in their native New Haven from 1919-1922. Other Porters were bodied by Brewster, Demarest and Fleetwood.

The house of M. Armstrong & Co. was established by Montgomery Armstrong in 1859, who has continued as its head to the present time. The factory is most thoroughly equipped with such modern appliances as can be utilized in the building of a high grade of heavy carriages, which find a market in our large cities. And then few cities where such carriages are used when the products of this house cannot be found. Mr. Armstrong has associated with him his two sons, E. M. and E. L. The firm enjoy a high reputation, both as to style and quality of work and methods of business, which after all, is the secret of success.

M. Armstrong & Co. 433 Chapel St. New Haven, CT

Owner Montgomery Armstrong, home address (1897) 125 Humphrey St, New Haven, CT


In 1914, the Mercer automobile's T-head engine designer, Finley Robertson Porter, bought the former "the Only" automobile factory in Port Jefferson, New York to build his own dream car, the F.R.P. With a price tag of $5,000 for the car plus $5,000 for the coach by Brewster of Long Island City, the F.R.P. was beyond almost everyone's means.

After the Armistice, the F.R.P. was renamed the Porter. Richard's auto factory became a lace mill and was recently torn down.


J. T. Davies, foreman of construction and draftsman for the Crane & Breed, Mfg. Co., Cincinnati, Ohio, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in May, 1860, and learned his trade with Cooling Bros., Wilmington, Delaware. Later he worked in a number of small shops, engaging finally with Charles S, Caffrey Co., Camden, New Jersey, where he remained about three years.

He then went to New Hayen. Connecticut, and worked in the shops of William Johnson, Henry Killam Co. and M. Armstrong & Co., for seven years. Later on he worked with the United States Carriage Co., Columbus, Ohio; James Goold Co., Albany, New York; A. J. Joyce & Co., Washington; D. C.. and James Cunningham, Son & Co. Rochester, New York. He took charge of the hearse department of the Crane & Breed Mfg. Co. in 1899. He reorganized that department, and is still with it.



For more information please read:

Beverly Rae Kimes - The Classic Car

Beverly Rae Kimes - The Classic Era

Beverly Rae Kimes - Packard: A History of the Motorcar and Company

Beverly Rae Kimes & Henry Austin Clark Jr. - Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942

Richard Burns Carson - The Olympian Cars

Raymond A. Katzell - The Splendid Stutz

Marc Ralston - Pierce Arrow

Brooks T. Brierley - There Is No Mistaking a Pierce Arrow

Brooks T. Brierley - Auburn, Reo, Franklin and Pierce-Arrow Versus Cadillac, Chrysler, Lincoln and Packard

Brooks T. Brierley - Magic Motors 1930

Nick Georgano - The Beaulieu Encyclopedia of the Automobile: Coachbuilding

John Gunnell - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1946-1975

James M. Flammang & Ron Kowalke - Standard Catalog of American Cars, 1976-1999

Daniel D. Hutchins - Wheels Across America: Carriage Art & Craftsmanship

Marian Suman-Hreblay - Dictionary of World Coachbuilders and Car Stylists

Michael Lamm and Dave Holls - A Century of Automotive Style: 100 Years of American Car Design

Thomas E. Bonsall - The Lincoln Motorcar: Sixty Years of Excellence

Fred Roe - Duesenberg: The Pursuit of Perfection

Arthur W. Soutter - The American Rolls-Royce

John Webb De Campi - Rolls-Royce in America

Hugo Pfau - The Custom Body Era

Hugo Pfau - The Coachbult Packard

Griffith Borgeson - Cord: His Empire His Motor Cars

Don Butler - Auburn Cord Duesenberg

George H. Dammann - 90 Years of Ford

George H. Dammann & James K. Wagner - The Cars of Lincoln-Mercury

Thomas A. MacPherson - The Dodge Story

F. Donald Butler - Plymouth-Desoto Story

Fred Crismon - International Trucks

George H. Dammann - Seventy Years of Chrysler

Walter M.P. McCall - 80 Years of Cadillac LaSalle

Maurice D. Hendry - Cadillac, Standard of the World: The complete seventy-year history

George H. Dammann & James A. Wren - Packard

Dennis Casteele - The Cars of Oldsmobile

Terry B. Dunham & Lawrence R. Gustin - Buick: A Complete History

George H. Dammann - Seventy Years of Buick

George H. Dammann - 75 Years of Chevrolet

John Gunnell - Seventy-Five Years of Pontiac-Oakland


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