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M.P. Moller Motor Car Co. continued
M.P. Moller Motor Car Company, 1923-1938; Hagerstown, Maryland
Associated Builders
Luxor Cab Mfg Co., 1923-1927; Paramount Cab Mfg. Co., 1927-1938; Elysee Delivery Car Corp., 1927-1930; Astor Cab Sales Corp.

In preparation for their story, Marvin and Homan interviewed a number of former Moller employees and family members, who could account for only thirty-seven distinct cars. They concluded that the actual number of Dagmars produced was likely somewhat greater than 37 but unlikely to be more than 100. What little remained of the firm’s records in the possession of the Möller family at that time gave no concrete indication to back up either party’s estimates.

However, it is recorded that Keith Marvin assisted Clark & Kimes in the preparation of the first edition of the Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942 (published in 1985), so we can only assume that additional information had been located to support the Standard Catalog's substantially higher number of 417 Dagmars.

Adding further confusion to the numbers is a statement given to Homan and Marvin in 1959 by John E. Harbaugh, Moller’s chief machinist/engineer. Harbaugh stated that “not more than 50 Dagmars were built”. As Harbaugh was one of only two surviving employees interviewed at the time, his summation puts some doubt on the Standard Catalog’s figure of 417 vehicles.

As none of the parties responsible for the figures are alive today, the actual number of Dagmars built will likely remain another one of automotive history’s great mysteries, however it is common knowledge that only two of the vehicles, a 1922 Dagmar 6-70 Petite Sedan and a 1924 Dagmar Five-passenger 6-60 Sedan, managed to survive.

The 1922 6-70 Sedan’s last known owner was Catonsville, Maryland resident Charles Glanzer. The stunning maroon military-fendered petite sedan was discovered in its original state in a Long Island, New York garage in the mid-60s.

The 1924 Model 6-60 Sedan was owned for a number of years by Edward S.Darner, a former Moller bookkeeper. It was originally purchased by William Wolf, a machine shop foreman, who died after he had run it little more than 2,000 miles, His widow insisted on selling it to Darner, who used it as a daily driver before converting it into a pickup truck in 1942.

Luckily Darner retained the rear doors and fenders he had removed from the vehicle, which were transferred to its subsequent owner, Hagerstown resident Paul Poe, who purchased the car from Darner in 1967. Poe subsequently embarked upon a thorough restoration of the car to its original 5-passenger configuration. The completed car was first shown June 7, 1969 at the Hometown Antique Auto Meet which took place in Williamsport, Maryland.

Although both vehicles are thought to reside in Maryland, their current whereabouts are unknown.

Although it’s is sometime stated that Moller manufactured the 1927-28 New York Six (aka Parkmobile), the facts relate that Villor P. Williams, had only contemplated manufacturing the car in Hagerstown, and what few cars were actually manufactured were built in the former George W. Davis Motor Car Co, factory in Richmond Indiana.

A 1925 issue of Motor Transport announced that Luxor was entering the bus field, although further evidence is lacking. Luxor announced in November of that year that they were purchasing the assets and real estate of the former Bay State automobile manufacturer R.H. Long. However on June 29, 1926 the Budd Wheel Co. initiated an order for receivership. The Commercial Car Journal reported:

“The company has assets of $1,000,000 but the liquid capital has been tied up in financing sales. Manufacturing operations of the Luxor Cab Mfg. Corp. will be continued under the receivers in equity appointed by Judge John Hazel in the United States District Court, New York.”

The proceedings listed LaRue Brown, as the firm’s receiver. Luxor’s headquarters were located at 1804 Broadway, New York, NY with 59 Fountain St., being their address in Framingham.

Freeds’ Astor Cab operation was an entirely different corporation and was unaffected by Luxor’s bankruptcy. He decided to consolidate all of his taxicab manufacturing operations in Moller’s Hagerstown plant and by the end of the year had organized yet another taxicab building operation that would dwarf all of his previous efforts.

R.H. Long was also unaffected by his bankruptcy and by 1927 had become a General Motors distributor. In the ensuing years he handled Cadillac, Pontiac, Oldsmobile and GMC and his firm continues to do business in Framingham today as the Long Automotive Group.

Midway through 1927 Freed debuted a new more luxurious taxicab, and a new corporation to market it. The Paramount Taxi Cab Manufacturing Co. took over sales of the Freed-owned Elysee Delivery De Luxe Corp. and soon introduced a new 6-cylinder long-wheelbase cab which was sold to New York operators as the Paramount.

The Paramount Cab Manufacturing Corp. offices were located at 730 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. An early 1928 issue of the Commercial Car journal announced:

“Paramount Cab Manufacturing Corporation has been organized with 250,000 shares of no-par value to take over a corporation of similar name and its associated companies which have been producing Paramount taxicabs and Elysee delivery cars at Hagerstown, Md.

“A.S. Freed, president of the Paramount Cab Manufacturing Corporation, in which W.C. Durant recently acquired an interest, will hereafter make his headquarters at Bridgeport, Conn. where it is stated the will become head of the Locomobile Co. of America, which organization is now wholly separate from Durant Motors Incorporated.

“The Paramount Cab Manufacturing Corporation makes taxicabs and delivery cars. It was formed in 1928 to take over the Paramount Cab Manufacturing Corporation, Parts Depot Corp., Elysee Motors Corp., Sawill Financial Corporation of America and Sawill Financial Corporation. The company has a financial subsidiary and a cab operating subsidiary. The plant of the company is located at Hagerstown, Maryland and has a capacity of 3,000 cars a year.”

Advertisements for the Paramount included “The Car Beautiful” slogan explaining that “in days of pow­dered wigs and courtly gestures, nobility rode in Sedan Chairs by right of birth . . . Today, New Yorkers, by preference, hail the new Paramount, their personal limousine, because it is the ultimate in smart, luxurious transportation.”

Riding on a 118” wheelbase chassis, the 6-cylinder Buda or Continental-engined Paramount was more powerful and substantially better proportioned than previous Moller-built taxicabs. Standard equipment included coach lights, side-mounted spares, and a leather covered rear landau roof with a small rear window. It was also available in a built-to order version appropriately called the Super Paramount.

Ironically, the prospects for M.P. Möller’s automotive holdings increased as production of the Dagmar decreased. Its demise had nothing to do with the quality of the Dagmar, which was well-loved by all who owned one, rather it was due to its sales and distribution, or rather the lack thereof.

Fortunately for Möller he had already started doing business with Allie S. Freed (b.1892-d.1938 and sometimes spelled Ally), New York City’s Taxicab King. Moller began doing business with Freed in early 1924 and by 1927 had became the third largest taxicab manufacturer in the country, exceeded only by the Maurice Markin’s Checker and General Motor’s Yellow Cab.

Although Homan and Marvin make numerous references to Allie S. Freed’s right hand man as Mickey Heidt, his legal name was Morris Heit, (b. Dec. 1900 - d. Jul. 1973) with Mickey likely being his nickname.

Articles in the Hagerstown Morning Herald and Daily Mail always refer to him as Morris Heit and the papers society columns occasionally mention a Mr. & Mrs. Morris Heit who resided at, appropriately, the Moller Apartments.

Moller’s help wanted classifieds always ended “apply Mr. Heit, M.P. Moller Motor Car Co.” In addition to handling the firm’s staffing requirements Heit also managed the Moller Paramounts, the factory’s YMCA league basketball team.

Heit remained in the taxi industry for the next quarter century. An article in a 1958 issue of Taxi Fleet operator lists him as Morris Heit and at that time he was secretary of the Chase Maintenance Corporation, a large Manhattan based Checker Taxi fleet operator located at 607 West 47th Street.

Between 1924 and 1926 Moller employed not more than 50 to 75 workers in the manufacture of their automobiles and taxicabs. By the time the Paramount entered into production in 1927, Moller’s labor force had reached a peak of between 250 to 275 men, all of which were engaged in the manufacture of a reported 125 taxicabs per week.

Interestingly, across town, 1927 was also a banner year for Moller’s pipe organ works, due in large part to the firm’s success in undercutting the competition, yet offering a quality instrument affordable to any organization that needed one. Moller was now the largest pipe organ manufacturer in the world. Möller held a dinner party to celebrate a record-breaking December at his automobile works. The January 6, 1928 Hagerstown Daily Mail reported:


“Motor Car Company Celebrates Its Largest Output In Plant's History

“M. P. Möller, Sr., was host at dinner last night at the Dagmar Hotel to about 90 guests, including employees of the Moller Motor Car Company, Moller Organ Works and business associates. The dinner was in nature of a celebration over the largest output of the Moller Motor Car Company—77 cars during December. Last night's dinner was in payment of a "bet" made with Morris Heit, representative of the Elysee Motors Co. of New York, for whom the Moller plant manufactures Paramount taxicabs and custom delivery trucks.

“Early in December Mr. Möller said that if the plant could turn out 75 cars by December 31 he would pay for a dinner; if production fell below 75 Mr. Heit was to foot the bill. By December 31 the 77th car was finished, after employees had worked day and night to produce an average of six cars for each working day.

“Allie S. Freed, president of the Elysee Co., of New York, who was the first speaker Introduced by Mr. Möller, told how hardened New Yorkers are calling the Paramount the finest taxi on the avenue, while such firms as Ovingtons and Bonwit Teller are using the Elysee delivery car manufactured in Hagerstown to deliver a quarter of a billion dollars worth of goods to their customers.

“Mr. Heit, the next speaker, told how the cars had been built at the local factory. William Wolfe and William Bickle, both of whom had been at the plant during "bicycle season" before the days of automobiles, and Charles Eubert made brief talks.

“E.O. Shulenberger, to whom much credit was given for the production record of the Motor Co. is general manager of the M.P. Moller Motor Car Co.”

The Elysée was sold by the Freed organization through a subsidiary called the Elysée Motors Corporation, which was a July 21, 1927 reorganization of the Keyser Delivery De Lux Corp. A US Trademark was issued June, 28, 1927 to the Elysée Delivery de Luxe Corporation, New York, NY for “Automobiles and constructive parts thereof.” The Elysée Delivery de Luxe Corp. and related Elysée Motors Corporation were sometimes listed as Paramount Cab Manufacturing Corp. subsidiaries.

Advertisements for the vehicle stated the Elysée was “The Custom Delivery Car” which was ideal “For the Deliveries of Merchants of Importance.” Literature listed fours distinct models which were priced between $3,000 and $4,000. The Elysée was identical to the rest of the Moller-built taxicab lineup from the B-pillar forward, and was powered by a 6-cylinder Continental Red-Seal engine.

The Band Box (base model) and Fifth Avenue (deluxe model), were ¾ ton town car deliveries with an open driver's compartment and center-opening rear doors equipped with oval windows. They bore a resemblance to the Briggs-built Ford Model A Town Car Delivery save that the Moller-built trucks were noticeably taller and longer.

The Courier (base model) and Mercury (deluxe model) were 1½ ton enclosed vans with a forward canted oval window placed just behind the front doors over which a nickel faux landau bar was affixed. Center-opening rear doors with matching half gothic windows gave access to the rear compartment which was also accessible through a sliding door located behind the front passenger seat.

It is believed that 75-100 Elysée’s were built between 1927 and 1930 and known purchasers included three department stores; New York City’s Ovingtons and Bonwit-Teller; Cincinnati’s Maybee-Barew; and one grocer, Best Foods of Chicago.

At least one of the Bonwit-Teller vehicles was converted into an electric vehicle by the New York Edison Co. who displayed it at their annual Electric Truck Show, which was covered in the March 4, 1928, New York Times:


“1928 Electric-powered ULTRA-SMART Electric Delivery Cars Win Favor - ONE who sees for the first time the new type deluxe electric delivery cars, as recently built for several New York City Department Stores.

“At the eighth annual Electric Truck Show, one unit recently put into service by Bonwit Teller & Co., was shown in the booth reserved by the New York Edison Company. They were designed by the Elysée Delivery DeLuxe Corporation and the power units for them were built to order by the New York Edison Company.”

The February 15, 1928 Hagerstown Morning Herald included mention of an Elysée-related lawsuit which pertains to Freed's patents which are displayed to the left:


“The Elysee Motors Corporation, with its plant in Hagerstown at the M.P. Moller Motor Car Co., has begun a suit for $500,000 damages against the White Company, manufacturers of automobiles.

“Allie S. Freed, president of the Elysee, who has an office both in this city and New York, stated that he was granted two design patents last October. The suit, which is an injunction restraining the White Company from manufacturing cars of a design like the Elysee, has only to do with the manufacture of the delivery car.”

The March 27, 1928 Hagerstown Daily Mail included the following announcement:

“Moller Sends Out Eight New Trucks

“Eight special-built Moller delivery trucks will leave the factory of the Moller Motor Car Company today for Cincinnati where they will be put into the service of the Maybee-Barew Department stores. The trucks are painted a light green and present a very snappy appearance. They sell for around $4000, officials say. The trucks will be driven to Cincinnati and stops made in all cities en route.”

Moller ran the following display ad in the May 23, 1930 Hagerstown Morning Herald which featured a poor-quality image of the Elysee.

“SPECIAL TRUCK SALE - Factory rebuilt 1 ton trucks in first class condition. Price, and terms will please you. - M. P. MOLLER MOTOR CAR CO.”

The ad marked the second to last time the Elysee appeared in print and it’s assumed that production had been terminated by that time.

If a November 13, 1928 news item was accurate, Allie S. Freed’s Paramount organization made a gross profit of $197,928 on sales of $471,075 during the month of October, 1928. Those astounding profit margins had apparently attracted the attention of William Crapo Durant as he soon mad a sizeable investment in the firm.

The January 21, 1929 issue of Time mentioned that “Dealers, friends, etc., recalled that William Crapo Durant had only recently bought full control of Locomobile Co. of America, that only last week he had bought a large, but not quite controlling interest in Paramount Cab Manufacturing Co.”

Durant installed a number of trusted associates to Paramount’s board of directors whose officers included; Allie S. Freed, president; Harry O. Sandberg, vice president; Frank M. Wohl, treasurer; Alfred M. Ellinrer, assistant vice president. Additional board members included W.C. Bennett, Peter Van Brunt, Harvey Weeks and Porter L. Willett.

Soon after the taxi trades announced:

“A.S. Freed, president of the Paramount Cab Manufacturing Corporation, in which W.C. Durant recently acquired an interest, will hereafter make his headquarters at Bridgeport, Conn. where it is stated the will become head of the Locomobile Co. of America, which organization is now wholly separate from Durant Motors Incorporated.”

The Locomobile plant would serve both as corporate headquarters and service depot for Paramount over the next few years.

According to station wagon historian Donald J. Narus, Moller supplied a number of Hupp Motor Car Co. distributors with a small number of series-built wooden station wagon bodies for the 1930-31 Hupmobile Model S chassis.
The firm is also known to have furnished International with wood station wagon bodies for the Model C-1 into the mid 1930s.

The September, 15, 1930 Hagerstown Daily Mail reported on another large order from Freed:


“Moller Company Gets Big Order For Taxicabs; Work For 300 Men In All

“A million dollar order for taxicabs, which will mean employment for an additional 200 male workers between now and Christmas has just been received by the M.P. Moller Motor Car Company, according to an announcement made today by that company.

“The order, received from the Paramount Cab Company, the corporation which handles the sales of the production at the local factory, will go to the Five Boroughs, an organization which supplies taxicab service for the five New York districts.

“Five hundred taxicabs must be turned out between now and the first of the year under the terms of the contract, and the local plant will be forced to do much overtime work to fill the contract. The Moller plant is now employing about 100 workers and will engage approximately 200 more men once the preliminary work is completed on the first hundred by the present staff of workers.

“This single order goes into New York city and does not include the orders which come in from Chicago and other points regularly supplied by the local plant. It is understood that one or more other large orders are expected shortly, which will keep the local plant busy after the first of the year.

“The Moller plant has been building up one of the most important industries in Hagerstown several years, and now is getting most of the taxicab trade in New York city and much of that in Chicago. Its taxicab is the most popular one in the two cities.”

Surviving photographs of a circa 1930-31 Paramount Five-Boro taxicab reveal a very handsome automobile that was clearly more luxurious than its competitors. Its modern day equivalent would be the long wheelbase Lincoln Continental Town Cars employed by the Carey Limousine Service.

Named after the five boroughs of New York City: Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx, the Paramount-based taxicabs were fitted with a nameplate featuring the New York skyline as well as a trio of false ventilators on the top of the hood. The ridged appendages were supplemented by a pair of chromed faux exhaust pipes that were inexplicably run diagonally across the front of the otherwise tasteful standard Paramount hood louvers on both sides of the car.

One 1930-31 Paramount Five-Boro cab played a prominent role in the 1937 20th Century Fox feature, 'Step Lively Jeeves' which starred Arthur Treacher in the title role. The film was the follow-up to 20th Century Fox's 1936 feature 'Thank You Jeeves! which was the first American outing of P.G. Woodhouses' literary "gentleman's gentleman".

The Paramount cab seen to the right with a Yellow Cab shield appears to be identical to the one that was used in 'Step Lively Jeeves', although it did not have a shield in the motion picture.

A second Paramount is featured in the 1935 Dick Powell - Joan Blondell Warner Bros. feature 'Broadway Gondolier' where the cab-driving Powell is discovered by two Broadway critics, who encourage him to pursue his singing career, albeit on the radio as the 'Broadway Gondolier.'

A third - likely the same vehicle - plays a part in Republic Picture's 'Ticket To Paradise', a 1936 comedy starring Roger Pryor and Wendy Barrie. Pryor, who's suffering from amnesia, believes he used to be a cabbie, but after spending a couple of days driving the Paramount, realizes he was mistaken.

Although the Five-Boro's embellishments would be considered garish today, they helped prospective customers quickly identify a Five-Boro from a distance, which likely resulted in increase fares for the operator. In response, their main competitor, Checker, came out with their own distinctively-styled taxicabs soon afterwards.

The December 13, 1930 Hagerstown Daily Mail reported another large order for Freed:

“Big Order For Moller Taxi Cabs Will Keep Many Men At Work Here

“As the result of another large order for 500 additional Five Boro taxicabs, the Moller Motor Car Co. will be able to keep their present large force of men busy until probably April 1; it was stated last evening by E.O. Shulenberger, general manager of the company.

“The first ten cabs of the initial order left Hagerstown on Nov. 12. This was also an order for 500 and at that time the Paramount Cab Manufacturing Company, the distributors for the taxicabs, stated that an additional order might follow should the cars prove satisfactory. In the largest city in the United States taxicabs must be of the best to compete with the many makes. New York people are resorting to the use of taxis more and more and demand not only beautiful cars to ride in, but comfort as well.

“According to Manager Shulenberger, the Paramount people feel that they have the acme of comfort and appearance in the new Five Boro Cab. About 300 of the initial order have already been delivered in New York and are now being used in the metropolis.

“The new cabs, the fifth model to be turned out at the local plant, are-painted an old ivory cream, have black tops and nickel trimmings, presenting a most artistic appearance. One of the features is the pneumatic cushion base for the passengers and driver's seats.

“The body, upholstery and painting is done at the local plant and the Continental motor and the transmission are assembled here. It was stated that at present about 300 men are being employed, some of them working at night. This schedule will probably be maintained. If the additional order had not been received, it is likely that the local plant would have closed on Feb. 1, Manager Shulenberger said. This means that now the large force will be assured of work for this additional time.

“The local company has been manufacturing taxicabs for several years. M. P. Moller, of the Motor Car Company, recently stated before going to Florida for a vacation, that it was the policy of the company to keep the plant operating at all times and to employ as many men as possible.

“From 12 to 14 cars a day are now being manufactured with an average of about 85 per week, which is the heaviest output that the company has ever experienced. About thirty local drivers are kept busy continuously driving the cabs to New York in shifts.

“The Five Boro Association, which is using the cabs, is made up of picked fleet operators in New York who operate throughout Greater New York.”

Apparently some of the Elysee trucks had been leased as a display ad in the January 5, 1931 Hagerstown Daily Mail offered factory refurbished Elysee's for pennies on the dollar:


“1500 lb. Capacity — First Class Condition

“New "ELYSEE" design bodies, painted as desired

“Special Price — $750.00 - While They Last

“Sample On Display

“The M. P. Moller Motor Car Co.”

A prospectus issued by the The Paramount Cab Manufacturing Corporation on February, 19 1931 reported Paramount’s first financial loss:

“The Paramount Cab Manufacturing Corporation makes taxicabs and delivery cars. It was formed in 1928 to take over the Paramount Cab Manufacturing Corporation, Parts Depot Corp., Elysee Motors Corp., Sawill Financial Corporation of America and Sawill Financial Corporation. The company has a financial subsidiary and a cab operating subsidiary. The plant of the company is located at Hagerstown, Maryland and has a capacity of 3,000 cars a year.

“For the fiscal year ended September 30, 1929 the company made a profit of $1,115,981 and for the period ended September 30, 1930 there was a deficit of $280,912. This, according to the officials of the company, resulted mainly from general business depression. There is no funded debt.

“Capital stock outstanding amounts to 251,241 shares of no par value. An initial dividend of 60c a share was paid January 2, 1929 and distribution continued quarterly at this rate up to and including January 2, 1930. Stock dividends of 2 per cent each were distributed in April and July, 1930.

“As of September 30, 1930 total current assets were $1,711,228, current liabilities $46,188 and net working capital $1,665,040. Book value applicable to the common stock amounted to $6.49 a share.”

Much excitement was generated in Hagerstown during late 1930 and early 1931 by as series of newspaper articles detailing the pending manufacture of a new exciting minicar by the M.P. Moller Motor Car Co.

The car, which had been first introduced in 1928 as Martin Dart, was now called the Victory and according to accounts hade been substantially redesigned while under development at the Moller Plant.

The Dart was the project of Col. James V. Martin, of Garden City, Long Island. As he was an aeronautical engineer by trade, Martin enlisted the assistance of automobile engineer Miles H. Carpenter, the creator of the Phianna, to see his dream to fruition.

The Dart had a 60-inch wheelbase, and 29hp 4-cylinder Cleveland motorcycle engine which allowed the 600 lb. vehicle to reach a top speed of from 40-50 mph. The cars most unusual feature was its monocoque body and frame which was isolated from the tires by loops of rubber airplane cord. Another neat feature was its shipping crate which could be used to the store the diminutive vehicle in lieu of a proper garage.

Three prototypes were constructed and Martin spent the next three years trying to get investors interested in the cars. James W. Bryan, a well-connected Washington D.C. resident became interested in the car in late 1929, and within the year had gotten some Hagerstown residents interested in the vehicle.

The following series of articles relating to the development of the Martin appeared in the Hagerstown newspapers starting in late 1930.

December 3, 1930 Daily Mail:

“Martin Car, Bantam Auto, Is To Be Manufactured At The Moller Plant

“Work Already Started On Demonstrators At Hagerstown Plant—Diminutive Auto Designed By Famous Engineer—New Car To Cost $250.

“A new bantam automobile, the Martin car, is to be manufactured at the M. P. Moller Motor Car Company here. Negotiations have been completed between the company and the Martin Motors, Inc., of Washington for the manufacture of the diminutive cars and work already is under way at the local plant on the first demonstrators,

“Hagerstown Selected.

“Officials of the Martin Motors announced that Hagerstown had been selected for the manufacture of new cars by reason of its splendid transportation facilities, rates and tariffs and that-the Moller company, because of its long established reputation in the construction of automobiles of high quality, had been selected as manufacturing agents. It was announced that many manufacturing concerns and cities had been bidding for the industry but that Hagerstown offered greatest advantages. It is planned when full operation is started probably the early part of summer to turn out as high as several hundred Martin cars a day. The Martin Motors, Inc., officials announced. Prior to, that time the Moller Motor Car Co. will build several thousand demonstration cars which will be placed with sales agents throughout the country and in some foreign countries. Officials say that with orders already in hand and those reasonably expected, the first year's requirements may exceed 250,000 cars. To turn out these cars would mean a tremendous increase in the force at the local plant.

“Little In Weight

“The Martin car weighs less than one-half that of any other automobile despite its unusual seating room and comfortable capacity. It will be equipped with the Continental Motor, a contract for the production of motors already having been closed. The motor company has produced for the car a compact, yet powerful and efficient, motor unit, developing in excess of 29 horse-power at 300 revolutions per minute. It is claimed to be without equal in power, pick-up, flexibility and speed in the smaller car field.

“H.M. Carpenter, eminent automobile engineer and former builder of one of the famous Phinea custom made cars, is the chief engineer and is at the motor plant in direct charge of production. He is assisted by C.M. Aument, formerly factory manager of the Fokker Aircraft factory, Charles Adler (also referred to as E.W. Adler) , who for ten years was chief body designer for the Brewster Rolls Royce; will under Mr. Carpenter's direction supervise the body construction.

“Attractive In Design

“The Martin, despite its diminutive size, will be a beautiful creation. The experts and consulting engineers have developed a body design incorporating graceful curves and sweeping lines. The Martin is a radically different automobile. It is the invention of the renowned aeronautical engineer, James V. Martin, known wherever airplanes fly. Captain Martin's contribution to aviation has been recognized by Congress.

“Rubber Cord Used

“Captain Martin has been in Hagerstown during negotiations with the Moller company and will supervise much of the work. The Martin is the logical result of Captain Martin's invention for the aeroplane applied to the automobile. The announcement states that the wheels of the car are suspended to the body by rubber cords the same as used for aeroplane wheels. This suspension permits each wheel to act independently with the result that the Martin car in thousands of tests demonstrated its ability to negotiate without perceptible jar the roughest going. The wheel suspension permits the elimination of steel springs, chassis and other cumbersome parts. It also permits such seating room that three people may ride with comfort on a wheel base of less than six feet.

“The Martin has less than half the parts of the average automobile. Likewise, all the parts of the Martin lend themselves to extreme economical mass production.

“The Martin car on reaching mass production will retail at $250 f.o.b, Hagerstown.

“James William Bryan, Washington financier, is the president of Martin Motors and Paul T. Collins, President of the Federal Mortgage Guarantee Company of Norfolk, Va., is the secretary and treasurer. Associated with these are a number of leading business and professional men of the District of Columbia and Virginia. The executive offices are in Washington and the production and shipping headquarters in Hagerstown.

“Boyd Henri, former member of the Hagerstown Chamber of Commerce, who is associated with Martin Motors, paved the way for negotiations leading to selection of Hagerstown and the Moller plant for production.”

March 12, 1931 Hagerstown Morning Herald:


“‘Victory,’ Midget Auto, Will Be Made at Hagerstown Plant

“The eyes of the automobile world is focused upon Hagerstown where a radical departure in automobiles is in the course of construction at the plant of the Moller Motor Car Company.

“The car, one of the several midget automobiles under the course of construction, has been named the “Victory” and will be sold under that trade name, it has been announced by James W. Bryan, president of the Martin Company, in a special article appearing Sunday in the New York Times.

“The machine, which has undergone many radical changes since engineers arrived here some weeks ago, may make its debut within the next few weeks, but until that time, local representatives of the company have declined to discuss its possibilities. It is known however, that many thousands of orders have already been received and there has been a mad Scramble among automobile dealers not only in the United States, but in other countries on the American continent to secure agencies for the Victory.

“Radical In Design

“The Victory, according to President Bryan, of the company, is low in cost because of the absence of the conventional chassis frame members and the elimination of springs and axles. The base of the body takes the place of the usual metal frame members. Instead of the conventional axle interconnecting two wheels, each wheel is sprung independently, with rubber compression members instead of the usual metal spring. This was the feature of the original Martin car and it embodies a principle that is reported to be under study in nearly every motor car laboratory in the country. It is declared to give the car unusual smoothness and assure comfort at a speed of sixty miles an hour over a rough field.

“Cheap To Assemble.

“As evidence o£ the Victory's unusual design as a factor in production economy, Mr. Bryan reports that the total assembly and test cost per car is $14.60.

“Under the plan Victory dealers will not carry stocks of cars, save for display and demonstration purposes. They will merely take orders and deliveries will be made by the parent organization direct to purchasers. Dealers will not even accept payment from the buyers. Each purchaser will be directed to make his deposit of a down payment of $75 or the full amount if he pays cash at a bank which will represent the factory in each community.

“To assure minimum of delay in delivery, the Martin company itself, not the dealer, will maintain stocks of cars in central warehouses in various parts of the country. Each car will be carried by truck to the purchaser's home, just as deliveries of vacuum cleaners, electric refrigerators and other commodities.

“Selling Territories.

“Another feature of the distribution set-up is that territories are being sold to dealers. Sixty already have been taken and the company has 1,500 applications, according to Mr. Bryan, who was here yesterday inspecting the progress being made on the revised models. While dealers are not required to carry cars in stock, they must agree to take their territories on a Quota arrangement, to carry parts and to give complete service on a flat rate basis prescribed by the factory. In addition they must agree to take no trade-ins, a step which Mr. Bryan rays is taken in the direction of ending the worst evil in the motor car business.

“These are the plans which, Mr. Bryan believes embody the ideal in motor-car merchandising. At the same time he concedes that the program is theoretical and must prove itself in practice.

“300 Cars Daily.

“According to Mr. Bryan, plans are under way to produce 300 cars daily at the local plant by summer. If the Victory proves the success its designers are hopeful it will, it will mean employment for hundreds of people here. The victory as designed has a wheelbase of 75 inches, and in the standard coupe weighs 940 pounds. The engine of the Victory is made by Continental and has a piston displacement of 78 cubic inches, a brake horsepower of 30 and a rated horsepower of 14. The engine has four cylinders. The Victory has a single seat, but will seat, three persons comfortably and four crowded. It is understood that the Victory will offer three versions of the coupe, a standard, a deluxe and a convertible. The three are priced respectively at $250, $325 and $350.”

April 16, 1931 Hagerstown Daily Mail:


“C. Sauer, Son Of Famous Auto Manufacturer, Comes Here From Firestone Plant

“The son of Switzerland's greatest automobile manufacturer, a young man who is recognized as one of the leading engineers in the United States, is here in Hagerstown to put the finishing touches upon the Victory, the bantam wonder car, which will be given its final tests Monday at the plant of the Moller Motor Car Company.

“He is C. Sauer, chief engineer of the experimental division of the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company. He is also the son of the maker of the famous Sauer truck, recognized as the leading automobile truck of Europe.

“The Firestone company not only has the contract to furnish all tires for the Victory when production gels under way, but is also supplying one of the most important sections of the radically different automobile, the invention of James William Bryan, president of the Martin Motors, which concern will manufacture the cars here.”

April 29, 1931 Hagerstown Daily Mail:

“Performance Of ‘Victory’ Car Is A Surprise

“Dealers Here Ride In Auto: Enthusiastic

“Scores Arrive Here From Eastern Cities Takes Bumps In Easy Fashion

“Fifty, odd dealers, just a part of the hundreds of automobile agency heads in the United States and Canada who have been clamoring for weeks for the appearance of the new revolutionary designed ‘Victory’ car got their first glimpse of the machine yesterday and also had the pleasure of riding in it. It is needless to say that these dealers returned to their homes with more enthusiasm than they brought here with them, for they admitted they had been somewhat skeptical.

“It was a rather daring thing that the officials of the company which will manufacture the ‘Victory’ at the plant of the M. P. Moller Motor Car Company did yesterday, something which we'll wager few manufacturers, about to put a new product on the market, would have done. That is to demonstrate before the men who must be sold out the product a model which had not been put through the smelling tests most necessary to find those many little defects which take time and patience to remedy.

“Ride A Revelation.

“The writer was invited to take the first ride in the ‘Victory’ and piloting the machine was Carroll M. Aument, formerly factory manager for the Fokker Aircraft Corp. of America. He designed the Victory car, perhaps the most, radical departure of any machine placed up- on the American automobile market in the past decade That ride was a revelation, even though a small bolt, holding a part of the rear section, snapped off because of the fact that the steel in the bolt was too brittle. Mr. Aliment drove the bantam car over the section of Wilson Boulevard from Pope avenue to the Funkstown pike, a rather rough stretch of road, at 40 miles an hour. The writer went back over the same stretch in a six cylinder car with shock absorbers a short time later to find out if his eyes had deceived him and it wasn’t a stretch of concrete highway instead of the rut filled road it appeared to be. The ruts were there and the higher priced six cylinder car, with shock absorbers failed to take those same bumps as did the little ‘Victory.’

“Wheels Steer Separately.

“Each of the wheels on the ‘Victory’ from the pitman arm to the steering wheel is steered independently. Each wheel is made to travel four inches up and down. Another radical change is that the "Victory' has no steel chassis frame, the body making its own frame. Two little discs, manufactured by the Firestone Company, the invention of Mr. Aument, are the secret of the spring suspension. They replace the original suspension rubber shock cords, which were used on the original Martin car and found to be unsuited.

“The ‘Victory’ has none of the features of the Martin car, being entirely different in design. Beginning immediately the machine will go under the most severe tests, and will be operated day and night over the roughest roads surrounding Hagerstown in order to pick up all defects and remedy them before production is started.

“Thousands of orders are already on file at the plant and everything is in readiness to start production once the car is proven fool-proof. The designer has moved slowly because it is not the desire to put a product on the market until it will stand the wear and tear.

“Another line has been added to the ‘Victory’ which apparently has caught the eye of the agents – a light delivery vehicle capable of handling up to 500 pounds with a capacity of 50 cubic inches.

“These are the other advantages claimed by the inventor over another midget machine which recently made its appearance: The ‘Victory’, the same weight as the other machine, develops 30 horsepower to 13 horsepower by the other car. Has a tread of 53 ½ inches to 40 inches of the other car, capable of hauling comfortably three persons, where two can ride in the other car, and will sell for at least $100 cheaper than the other machine. And last of all, the ‘Victory’ is mighty good looking car and that's quite necessary to sell any kind of a machine even though it will undersell any other car on the market.”

Although production of taxicabs had ended at the end of March, good news for the Motor Car Co.'s laid-off employees was reported in the July 16, 1931 issue of the Hagerstown Morning Herald:


“Production of Cars Gets Under Way at Local Plant

“The Moller Motor Car Company went into production this week after having been idle since the middle of April. The local automobile manufacturing concern, in putting its wheels back into operation after a four month lay-off, began work on a large order for taxicabs, which, when filled, will total from one and a quarter, nearer to one and a half million dollars The can now under construction, as they are finished, will go to the Taxi Manufacturing Corporation of New York City, a firm recently organized to absorb the older one with which the Moller Company previously did business. The machine being turned out is the Five-Boro Cab, the Hagerstown concern's latest model, which took the place of the Paramount.

“The Moller Motor Car Company was one of Hagerstown's busiest Industries during the depression of last winter; and this present impetus enables E.O. Shulenberger, the general manager, to hope that his organization may continue to help relieve the unemployment situation.

“As it happens, there are no openings just now for men who have not previously been on the Moller payroll. Of necessity, the New York buyer cannot all for the taxis all at once, and the Hagerstown producers are obligated to take care of their regular employees before going outside.

“Monday saw work begin in the mill on the first twenty of the new cabs. This body building will continue for several weeks, and then the chassis men will be taken on for a similar period before the metal craftsmen are called.

“There is a possibility that a second consignment will be received before the first is completely filled, which will mean another boost to the personnel, but nothing is certain on that. The original order was received about three months ago, and Mr. Shulenberger had not expected to have a chance to start filling it before fall. At any rate, it will be several months before there can be any change in the regular Moller employee body.

“Mr. Shulenberger announces that the production of the Victory, the small car that his company is putting on the market; will be begun in about four weeks.”

Despite all the free publicity and alleged interest in the car, the Martin-designed minicar never did enter into production and Homan and Marvin believe only four prototype Victory’s were built at the Moller plant.

Apparently James V. Martin was not dissuaded by the failure of the Victory as he displayed 2 all-new streamlined minicars at the 1932 New York Automobile Show, the first a 3-wheeler, the second equipped with 4 wheels. Production of those cars never materialized however a pair of Martin-designed vehicles were produced in very small numbers after the Second World War. The Martinette and its companion wagon, the Stationette, were produced in very small numbers by Basson’s Industries Corp. of the Bronx, New York between 1950 and 1956. The wooden bodies used by the Stationette were furnished by the Biehl Auto Body Works of Reading, Pennsylvania.

Although Paramount's poor financial state had resulted in the idling of most of Moller's workforce in late 1931, the March 28 1932 issue of the Hagerstown Morning Herald brought some much-needed good news:


“Work has been started on an order for 200 taxicabs at the Moller Motor Car company  plant here, which are to be turned out during the next eight weeks for the Paramount Cab Company, of New York, it was announced Saturday. This contract will put hack to work over one hundred men. There are approximately 100 now at work, and as work progresses, others will be taken back in various departments. The company is taking back only their regular employees, who were furloughed after the completion of the last contract.”

More good news followed as reported in the May 26, 1932 Hagerstown Morning Herald:


“First Consignment of Order of 200 Sent From Moller Plant

“The first consignment for the Five Boro Association of New York City, was sent last evening, by the Moller Motor Car Co. from the local plant, ten cars being driven to the metropolis by local drivers.

“There are now over 150 men employed at the local plant in turning out ten cabs each day to fill the order of 200 cars.

“Work on this order began on March 14. Gradually the number of men employed was increased as the different departments took up the work. This cab, which is a new model, is painted ivory and black and has a six cylinder, Continental motor. The bodies are made at the local plant while the chassis is assembled at the plant.

“The car has four-wheel brakes; an air seat spring for the driver's comfort and is said to be good for 200,000 miles. It is of the town car type. There are 28 drivers who will deliver these cars. This order will be finished by the middle of June. The local plant has built about 6,000 cars since 1928.”

The May 22, 1933 Hagerstown Morning Herald announced the debut of a new Taxi brand, the Moller:


“Considerable Improvement Noted During Last Few Weeks—Big Taxicab Order Received Here.

“An order for 150 Taxicabs received some weeks ago by the Moller Motor Car Co. is now being delivered to Baltimore and Washington and there are about 125 men working at the local plant.

“The Moller plant is now manufacturing taxicabs under the name of Moller cabs for shipment to Washington for the Washington Cab Sales Corp., which operates the Blue Light fleet in the capital city. The cabs, of a distinctive type, have made a big hit in Washington, as did the Paramount cabs, made at the Moller plant, when they were introduced in New York City.

“Henry Hanson, assistant manager at the Moller plant said that prospects for the plant were unusually bright and there were indications that additional orders would be received from New York city, where hundreds of the Paramount cabs made in Hagerstown are now operating. Because of the depression, sales of taxicabs fell off considerably there, but now that many of the cabs have served their time, additional orders are expected shortly.

“Eighty-one of the 150 taxicab for Washington and Baltimore had been completed up until today. The Wall Street Journal Friday announced that 30 carloads of taxicab materials including motors, frames, axes, transmissions, etc. have been shipped by the Continental Motor Company, Detroit, to the Moller plant here.”

The Washington Cab Sales Corp., a DC-based operator, marketed their Paramount-based taxicabs as Blue Lights on the streets of Baltimore, Maryland; Richmond, Virginia; and Washington D.C. Regardless of the name or badging, all Paramount-based Moller taxicabs were identical, save for small variations in trim and equipment.

A substantially redesigned Paramount taxicab which was christened the Paramount Artistocrat appeared in the spring of 1934. The new aerodynamic taxi sported a slightly veed grill similar to those found on the recently introduced Ford V8 passenger cars. Still available as a limousine or town car, the versions utilized by the Five-Boro Association featured a new engine cover treatment which substituted standard spear-shaped hood louvers for the awkward chrome hoses found on earlier versions.

The February 1, 1934 Hagerstown Daily Mail gave details of a $1 million order from the Freed organization:


“Order For 610 Cabs Given; To Put 200 Men To Work In Local Plant

“A contract for the manufacture of 610 taxicabs for the Paramount Cab Manufacturing Corp., of New York City, was signed yesterday afternoon for the Moller Motor Car Co., of this city. Production of the cabs, which will be completed in about four months, got under way this morning, with the recall of a number of men, and when production reaches its peak within the next month, approximately 200 workers will be employed.

“The contract for the big order, representing about $1,000,000, was signed by Allie S. Freed, president of the Paramount Corp., and a representative of the Moller Co. A.J. Freed, treasurer of the Paramount Co. remained over for a few days while preparations were being made to rush production. The new taxicab, which will be unlike any cab developed to date, has been designed and completed at the local plant and is in a room under lock and key. Taxicab designs are so quickly copied that the secrets of the new cab has been closely guarded. New Yorkers are unlike perhaps any other individuals in the nation. They like to ride in the very newest in taxicabs and statistics have revealed in the past that receipts of new cabs average $5 greater daily over cabs of older designs.”

A proposed measure by New York City Mayor Fiorello Laguardia to limit the number of taxicabs in that city was given a poor reception in Hagerstown as recorded by the February 10, 1934 issue of the Daily Mail:

“Chamber Is Against Cab Limitation

“Local Body Wires Gen. Johnson 300 Men Here Would Be Affected By Order

“The Hagerstown Chamber of Commerce today wired Gen. Hugh S. Johnson, national code administrator, protesting any limitation of taxicabs for New York City, on the grounds that any such action would affect adversely 300 men in Hagerstown engaged in the manufacture of taxicabs for the Paramount Company.

“The local Chamber learned today that Mayor Laguardia, of New York City is in Washington on matters pertaining to that city, one of which is to request the NRA to permit him to limit the number of taxicabs that may operate there.

“The Chamber immediately sent the following wire to Johnson: ‘Being Informed that cab limitation for New York City is being urged on you, wish to advise you that any such limitation will immensely affect adversely employment of 300 men here engaged in the manufacture of Paramount cabs for New York City.’

“The Moller Motor Car Co recently was awarded a contract for the manufacture of 610 taxicabs for the Paramount Cab Company, of that city, and between 200 and 300 men will be put to work. Many of the departments at the local plant already have recalled workmen and the order means four months continuous employment for that number of men and possibility of additional orders.”

By 1933 Morris Heit had left the Freed organization and formed his own firm, the Town Taxi Company. A small run of Moller taxicab bodies were built for Heidt using Diamond T taxicab chassis between 1933 and 1935, after which he turned to using standard Detroit-built iron.

Moller also built a small run of Ford-chassised taxicabs equipped with Moller coachwork for the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Co. The distinctive four-door sedan body featured a totally unique body from the grill rearwards. Features included a cowl-less full length hood with horizontal louvers, rear-hinged (suicide-style) front and rear doors, town car styling with the requisite leather covered roof and blanked-in rear quarters with landau bars.

The April 2, 1934 Hagerstown Daily Mail reported on a sizeable order for Ford and Dodge-based taxicabs for a Philadelphia operator:

“Receive Big Orders.

“The two manufacturing concerns which received big orders, work upon which got under way today. Are the M. P. Moller Motor Car Company and W. D. Byron & Sons, Williamsport.

“The Moller Company Saturday signed a contract for the manufacture of 100 special taxicab bodies for the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company, and put to work 50 men this morning. The order must be completed within 12 weeks.

“The 100 Dodge and Ford chassis upon which the taxicab bodies will be built, are being shipped to the Moller plant this week. The local plant was the first concern which developed the heavy body on a light chassis. The Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company, which controls the street car and taxicab business in Philadelphia., was much impressed with the type of body the local plant built for the Paramount Cab Company, of New York and placed an initial order for 100 of these type bodies to be made here.

“The order for 610 taxicabs for New York City, signed some weeks ago by the Moller Company is expected to start moving shortly, now that New York's taxi strike is settled. The company for which these taxicabs were being manufactured feared to bring them into that city with hoodlums smashing up scores of taxicabs daily while the strike was in progress.”

The November 22, 1934 Hagerstown Daily reports that work on the new Paramount Artistocrat didn't commence until June and the first production vehicles weren't delivered until mid November:

“First Of New Cabs Finished

“Stream-Lined Taxis Being Built At Local Moller Plant.

“The first Paramount Aristocrat taxicab finished at the local plant of the M. P. Moller Motor Car Co. was delivered in New York City yesterday. The local plant has a contract to furnish 625 of these new stream-lined cabs to the Paramount Cab Manufacturing Corporation of New York City.

“E.O. Shulenberger, general manager, stated that the first actual deliveries will take place next week. The cab delivered yesterday was a sample for drivers to inspect and try out. There are 200 employees working on the contract and by next week there will be about 250, with all departments working, according to Mr. Shulenberger. It is estimated it will take from 15 to 16 weeks to complete the contract. From 25 to 50 cabs a week will be delivered. Work on the present contract began last June. All departments are expected to be kept busy until spring. The new cab is said to be the latest thing of its kind and is the most handsome yet turned out and fully stream-lined.”

Sales of the expensive Aristocrat were disappointing as the Freed organization found it was getting increasingly harder to compete against the mass-produced taxis that were available from Detroit’s automakers for half the price of an Aristocrat.

No further taxicab orders are recorded in the local press and for the next couple of years a skeletal crew kept the Moller Motor Car Co. factory busy producing small runs of oddball commercial bodies for International’s light truck chassis.

Most numerous were International’s 1934-36 suburban station wagons whose production was shared with Cleveland’s Baker Raulang and Burkett Closed Body companies. A few bodies for the all-new 1937-38 International D2 suburban were also produced, the contract being shared with Cantrell and Hercules.

Moller also produced some of International’s factory rack / stake truck bodies plus a few custom jobs which included 2 paymaster’s vans for the US Military as well as prototype streamlined delivery van for the 1937 D2 chassis, neither of which entered into production.

They also built the prototype DeVo automobile, a diminutive 4-5 passenger sedan introduced by Norman deVaux and F.F. Beall in late1936 using a 4-cylinder Continental on a 102” wheelbase chassis. The export-only motorcar never got off the ground although the prototype remains extant and is thought to be the very last vehicle built by the Moller organization.

Mathias Peter Möller passed away at the age of 82 on April 13, 1937 after a short illness. In addition to his organ and automobile works, Möller also owned or had a controlling interest in a number of Hagerstown businesses which included the Moller Music Store, the Dagmar Hotel, the Moller Apartments, Home Builders Building and Loan Association, and the Hagerstown Trust Co.

On January 11, 1938 Möller’s longtime business partner, Allie S. Freed, joined him in death, passing away at the age of 46 from pneumonia.

At the time of his death, Freed’s Paramount Properties had recently completed a 30-acre planned community called Buckingham, in the Washington D.C. suburb of Arlington, Virginia. Freed’s widow Frances left Harvard University a huge endowment, sponsoring the Allie S. Freed Professor of Government and Allie S. Freed Professor of Economics.

The closure of the M.P. Moller Motor Car Co. closely followed the passing of its founder and namesake. Elden O. Shulenberger (B 1877- D 1944), vice-president of the organ works, had overseen the automobile plant for the past few years and upon Möller’s passing assumed the presidency of the Motor Car Co.

Shulenberger was one of Möller’s most trusted employees, having started off with the organ company in 1897 as a secretary to M.P. Möller Sr. It was his sad task to shut down the automobile works, which was completed by late 1938. Attempts were made to sell the factory to another concern, but there were ultimately unsuccessful. The physical assets of the firm were auctioned off on Monday, November 27, 1939 and the property was sold back to its previous owner, R.J. Funkhouser & Co.

The November 25, 1939 Hagerstown Daily Mail included two notable items. The first was a small item revealing that the factory had been sold:

“Mayor Thanks Company Head

“Extends Thanks To R.J. Funkhouser For Expanding Business.

“Hagerstown, through its mayor, Richard H. Sweeney, today thanked Raymond J. Funkhouser, president of R. J. Funkhouser, Inc., for establishing a new industry in this city, as announced on Thursday in the purchase of the Moller Motor Car Company building, which will be used for expansion and to house three industries."

The second was a display ad listing the contents of the Moller factory which were to be auctioned off the following Monday, November 27th:






“MACHINE SHOP, TOOL ROOM EQUIPMENT: Milling Machines, Lathes, Drill

Presses with Single and Multiple Spindles, Universal and Surface Grinders, Turret Lathes, Shapers, Foot Shears, Hand and Power Beading Rolls, Thousands of Small Tools.

“WOODWORKING DEPARTMENT: Baxter D. Whitney Shaper with Motor on Spindle, Defiance Shaper with Motor on Spindle, Defiance and Greenlee Boring Machines with Motor on Spindle, Single End Tennoners, Saw Tennoners, Large Greenlee Hollow Chisel Mortiser with Compound Table, Bits and Chisels, Belt Sanders, Bevel Saws, Saw Tables, Cut Off Saws. Band Saws, Ingersoll Rand & Berry Air Compressors, 42" Self Contained Tannewitz Band Saw, and Other Woodworking Machinery.

“ELECTRIC MOTORS: Running from U to 50 Horse Power. All 220 Volt 3 Phase, Alternating Current, Electric and Air Hand Tools.

“UPHOLSTERY DEPT. MACHINERY: Extra Equipment and Stock, Office Furniture. 5 Devilbliss Spray Booths, Compressors. Lumber, Screws, Paints, Trucks, etc.

“Most of the Equipment is Modern and in first class condition.

“Terms of Sale, Net Cash. A cash deposit equivalent to 25% of Amount purchased must be maintained throughout the sale. All bills must he paid for by Tuesday noon and goods must be removed by Wednesday, November 29th.

“107 W. Redwood Street, Baltimore, Md., Phone Caf. 2680

“THE HARRY L. MILLS CO. Auctioneers”

Two Moller-built taxicabs are known to exist. A 1925 Astor formally owned by John E. Harbaugh remains somewhere near Hagerstown and is occasionally displayed at local car shows.

2014 Update - Doug Valentine reports that the Luxor taxi and last two surviving Dagmar’s are all on display at the Washington County Rural Heritage Museum, at 7313 Sharpsburg Pike, Boonsboro, MD (just 4 miles north of the Antietam Battle Field). Check their website for hours (currently weekends from 1 to 4) and directions.

A 1925 Luxor, which may or may not be built by Moller, is currently owned by the Larz Anderson Museum of Transportation in Brookline, Massachusetts. The car was purchased new by Anderson who painted it red and converted it for use as a private limousine.

Although Luxor cabs were all sold through the Luxor Cab Manufacturing Co., and shared the bulk of their parts, it’s difficult to tell by a visual inspection if the museum’s car was built in Maryland or Massachusetts. However, museum records state that the car was delivered to Anderson at the Framingham factory so it’s more than likely it was built there as well, which likely leaves the former Harbaugh-owned Astor as the only surviving Moller-built taxicab.

© 2004 Mark Theobald - with special thanks to Keith Marvin






Arthur Lee Homan and Keith Marvin - The Dagmar and the Möller Motor Car Company: an automotive enigma, The Automobilist Vol. X. No. 1, February 1960

Thomas J.C. Williams - History of Washington County, Maryland: from the earliest settlements to the present time, including a history of Hagerstown. Volumes 1&2, pub 1906

Jay P. Spenser - Bellanca C.F.: the emergence of the cabin monoplane in the United States, National Air and Space Museum, pub 1982

Donald J. Narus - Great American Woodies and Wagons

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

Fred Crismon - International Trucks

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