Lorraine Car Company - 1917-1921 - (Motor Hearse Corp. of America) later Pilot - 1921-1924 - Richmond, Indiana
|With the professional car business booming, D.H. Cummings launched the
Lorraine Car Company in 1917 to manufacture funeral vehicles. By 1919 the company offered a large line of both
conservative 12-column carved-panel hearses and modern limousine-style coaches. They introduced a passenger car in
1920 using a Wayne Motor Works (also in Richmond) assembled 122" chassis equipped with a 55hp Continental
six-cylinder engine. The depression of 1921 affected many small automobile manufacturers and Lorraine was no
exception. Cummings was forced to sell to the firm to his more successful Richmond neighbor, Pilot.
Now under Pilot ownership, Lorraine introduced a full line of coaches in 1922 and 1923. Directors could order a subtly carved 12-column hearse or a modern limousine-style combination coach in a range of colors which including a beautiful two-tone silver and gray.
The Lorraine funeral car remained in production until Pilot folded in 1924.
LORRAINE- Richmond, Indiana - (1920-1921) - D.H. Cummings launched the Lorraine Car Company in Richmond in 1917 with $200 in cash and a blueprint. The blueprint was of a hearse, and the funeral car trade was the focus of Cummings' new business. For a while it prospered, and in 1920 the company also offered a line of large limousines. The cars were placed on a 122-inch wheelbase chassis, and were fitted with the 55 hp six-cylinder Continental 7R engines. This activity was strictly a sideline to the principal Lorraine business, and passenger-car production was minimal. In 1921 the Lorraine Car Company hit the postwar depression head-on. "Few people understand how hard the undertakers of the country have been hit by the unusual conditions," D.H. Cummings lamented to a Richmond reporter when Lorraine went into receivership in September 1921. "It has been calculated that the number of funerals, the country over, have been only two-fifths of normal, since last October." Apparently Lorraines were built for the company by Wayne Motor Works. Subsequently, Lorraine was taken over by the Pilot Motor Car Company of Richmond, which continued to market the Lorraine, but as a hearse only.
LORRAINE (US) 1919-1924
Pilot Motor Car Co., Richmond, Ind.
Lorraine hearses were a sideline of the Pilot company, a minor assembler of 6-cylinder private cars. Specification was conventional, only the house colors of silver and dark grey distinguishing Lorraines from other contenders in this class. Sv power units by Herschell-Spillman or Teetor-Harley were fitted. MCS
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