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Frank R. Fageol, Rollie B. Fageol, William B. Fageol, Louis J. Fageol
Associated Builders
Fageol Motors, Twin Coach, Fadgl Systems

This biography encompasses the business careers of the four Fageol (pronounced fadjl) brothers, Rollie, Frank, William and Claud, an amazingly productive family of French, Prussian and Welsh descent who held over 125 US Patents between them, many of which were influential in the development of early motor trucks and buses. The Fageols held numerous early automobile distributorships and were responsible for the manufacture of the Fadgl road train, Fageol automobile, Fageol motor truck, Fageol tractor, Fageol Safety Coach, Eight-Wheel Motor bus and truck, and the Twin Coach bus and Twin Coach/Fageol line of delivery trucks.

Before the family relocated to California in the early 1900s the Fageols had been involved in various automotive ventures in and around Des Moines, Iowa, the city where their parents (John J. Fageol & Mary M. Jones) had relocated to after their September 7, 1876 marriage in Hancock County, Illinois.

The family patriarch, John Jacque Fageol, was born on November 15, 1854 in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois to Antoine and Anna Mary (Albrecht) Fageol. Antoine Fageol (b. June 8, 1812-d.Feb. 27, 1877) was a French national and the 1850 US Census list his occupation as farmer, Anna Mary (Albrecht) Fageol was born in Prussia.

John’s siblings included Eugenia (b. 1850); Mary (b.1852-d.Oct 6, 1931 – mar. to Joseph Jamison); Frederick (b. Nov. 7, 1859-d.1860); Louis H. (b. 1866 d- 1924) and Magdaline (aka Lena) Elizabeth (b. Apr 3, 1861-mar. to Wilson) Fageol. Although Antoine and Mary were both residents of Hancock County, Illinois at the time of the 1850 US Census, they are noticeably absent from subsequent enumerations.

Mary Maria Jones (John’s wife) was born on March 16, 1857 in Appanoose, Hancock County, Illinois to William (b.1827 in Ohio) and Elizabeth (b.1834) Jones, two Welsh-American farmers. Her siblings included Alathier (b. 1859) Emma A. (b.1860); Diantha (b. 1862); and William B. (b.1868) Jones. The 1870 US Census reveals that her father William, and sister Alathier had either left home or passed away and, as in the 1860 Census, the Jones family was living on the farm of Mary’s paternal grandfather, Samuel Jones (b.1796 in Md.)

The 1880 US Census (enumerated on June 24, 1880) lists the Fageols of our story in Lincoln township, Polk County, Iowa, the household consisting of John J. (25yo) a farmer, Mary M. (23yo) keeping house and Rollen B. (2yo) Fageol.

The 1885 Iowa State Census lists the family as residents of Douglas Township, Polk County, Iowa. John’s occupation being farmer, the household consisting of John (30yo); Mary (28yo); Rollen Belle (6yo); William Burton (4yo); and Frank Raymond (2yo) Fageol.

Rollen Belle Fageol, John and Mary’s eldest son, went by various first names throughout his career, the most common being Rollie B., although Rollen and Rowley were sometimes used.

Vital statistics of the Fageol family follows:

John Jacque Fageol was born November 15, 1854 in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois and died on October 20, 1925 in St. Helena, Napa County, California.

Mary Maria Jones (John’s wife) was born on March 16, 1857 in Hancock County, Illinois and died on August 19, 1928 in Oakland, Alameda County, California.

Rollen (aka Rollie & Rowley) Belle Fageol was born on May 3, 1878 in Ankeny, Polk County, Iowa and died on April 4, 1942 in Los Angeles County, California.

William Burton* Fageol was born on July 29, 1880 in Ankeny, Polk County, Iowa and died on October 24, 1955 in Kent, Portage County, Ohio.

Frank Raymond Fageol was born on September 14, 1882 in Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa and died on August 8, 1965 in Contra Costa County, California.

Claud Harrison Fageol was born on November 6, 1888 in Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa and died on December 24, 1968 in Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon.

Hazel Elizabeth Fageol was born on March 19, 1890 in Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa and died on August 20, 1978 in Modesto, Stanislaus County, California.

*Correspondence with William B. Fageol's grandson, William Bertram Fageol III, reveals his grandfather's middle name was Bertram, not Burton, however there's some disagreement within the family as to which is correct (not surprisingly he's in the Bertram camp). Regardless, William III reports that to the best of his knowledge his grandfather never used it.

Ankeny, Polk County, Iowa – Rollie and William’s birthplace - was a northern suburb of Des Moines located approximately 6 miles from the city center.

Although numerous ‘biographies’ of the firm claim the Fageol brothers built their own 8-passenger steam bus in 1899, Frank R. Fageol, in an article entitled ‘Fageol Reviews Transit Milestone’ which appeared in a 1946 issue of Metropolitan (pp328) states they “owned and operated”, not built, the vehicle:

“My late brother, Mr. R. B. Fageol, and I each operated a small Dos-a-Dos type four-passenger steam automobile at the country fairs in Iowa in 1898, where we hauled passengers in the fairgrounds as a novelty at ten cents per ride.

“We owned and operated an eight-passenger mobile steam bus in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1899, operating between downtown Des Moines and the State Fair Grounds at Des Moines under the name of Fageol Auto Livery.”

Later that year Frank and Rollie constructed a gasoline-powered cycle car in their father’s barn (located at 1728 Des Moines St., Des Moines) that was powered by a two-cylinder air-cooled Crest engine equipped with a novel carburetor/throttle consisting of a lamp wick set in the top of the gas tank, the engine speed regulated by raising or lowering the wick in the gasoline. The Crest engine was a product of the Crest Mfg. Co. of Cambridge, Mass., a pioneer air-cooled engine manufacturer who also offered the Crest and Crest-Mobile air-cooled gasoline cars during the early 1900s. Frank recalled the Fageol bros.’ prototype in a 1954 issue of Metropolitan:

“Fageol Predicts - by Frank R. Fageol Chairman of the Board Twin Coach Company

“In 1900 F.R. Fageol and Rollie B. Fageol made and drove this first gasoline automobile to be built in Des Moines, Iowa. First, I consider by far the most important transit happening in the last fifty years to be the growth of passenger automobiles from 32,929 in 1903 to the present staggering 45 million, accompanied by some two million miles of hard surfaced.”

Frank and Rollie’s car was mentioned in the February 27, 1900 issue of the Des Moines Daily News:

“R. B. Fageol, son of J. J. Fageol of East Seventeenth and Des Moines streets has invented an automobile that promises to make a stir in manufacturing circles. It is to run by gasoline. A company is to be formed for making the machine In Des Moines. Contracts are prepared and will probably be signed soon, by Stillwell of Kansas City, Evans of the Essex block, this city, Tood of New York and W.P. Chase Co. of this city, by which about $100,000 is to be raised to start the plant. The machine weighs 350 pounds and is said to be a wonder.”

The same paper’s July 10, 1900 issue reported on a possible problem with Rollie’s patent:



“A London Machine Just Completed and Patentee Conflicts With Des Moines Auto—Settlement May be Made.

“A company recently formed for the manufacture of automobiles under the invention and expected patent of Mr. Fageol of this, city, has run amuck.

“While negotiating for a patent at Washington, the representatives of Mr. Fageol discovered a London patent, which is said to slightly conflict with the patent applied for on the Des Moines machine. As a result, negotiations were immediately begun for a settlement of the difficulty, which is now thought will be completed within a few days, after which the company will be incorporated here, and begin business.

“It was originally intended to use a portion of the Warfield-Chase building on Sixth-street, but the entire seven floors are occupied with the wholesale ware of this company. Another building will be secured with more commodious quarters, and the manufacture of automobiles begun.”

Rollie B. Fageol applied for a US Patent on the vehicle on September 11, 1900 which was awarded on June 4, 1901 (Automobile - US675379 - Grant - Filed Sep 11, 1900 - Issued June 4, 1901 – Rollie B. Fageol) but I could locate no further evidence that the vehicle got beyond the prototype stage. The most novel feature of the vehicle was its novel front and rear suspension - the front tires were mounted in twin bicycle forks – but no information was offered on its power-plant or transmission.

The 1895-97 Des Moines city directories list Rollin B. Fageol, machinist, for J.M. Ferree, sewing machines, staying with his parents at 1728 Des Moines. The 1899-1902 directories lists him as a representative of the W.P. Chase Co., a local bookstore and stationer. The 1902 directory has his occupation as machinist, but the 1903 directory lists him as president of the National Crude Oil Burner Co. The 1904 directory lists him as mech. eng., Fageol-Aldrich Mfg. Co.; res. 1115 E. Walnut.

Although the financing for his car fell through, Rollie enjoyed some success with his crude oil burner (Crude Petroleum Burner – US Pat. No. 719573 - Granted - Filed Apr 18, 1902 - Issued Feb 3, 1903 - R.B. Fageol) that was offered by the National Crude Oil Burner Co. Organized in July of 1902, and capitalized at $15,000, N.C.O.B. Co.’s offices were located at No. 604 Iowa L & T building, its factory at 214 Locust St., Des Moines. Its officers included: R.B. Fageol, pres.; J.C. Tate, v-pres. and genl. mgr.; W.F. Farrah, sec.; E.L. Forbes, treas. The firm was mentioned in his September 16, 1902 marriage announcement which appeared in the September 9, 1902 issue of the Des Moines Daily News:


“Rolle B. Fageol, Inventor Marries Miss Maylou Arthur

“A wedding of great interest will be that of Mr. Rolle B. Fageol, inventor of the Fageol Crude Oil burner, to Miss Maylou Arthur, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Arthur of Kant Des Moines. The marriage will be celebrated Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 4 p.m. The young people will leave the following day for Los Angeles to spend the winter. Mr. Fageol will represent the National Fageol Burner Co., of which he is president.”

The March 1, 1903 issue of Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal included a small article on the device:

“The Fageol Gas Pipe Burner

“The Fageol Burner is constructed of iron and the manufacturers, The National Crude Oil Burner Co., 214 W. Locust street, Des Moines, Iowa, claim that this construction gives greater durability than any metal or combination of metals. The top and bottom plates are of stack iron and formed with a forming die, the edges being joined with a lap seam. Care is taken to have the grain of the top plate at right angles to the grain of the bottom plate to insure against warping. There are 115 flues in a 14-inch Fageol burner, and each flue has reduced end portions forming shoulders. Each end is riveted on, an absolutely tight joint being made.

“The lines are smaller in diameter than is usual, and it is claimed that this prevents back-firing and therefore the usual screen for this purpose is dispensed with. The flues are made of thicker material than the plates. They, therefore, hold the heat and warm the air in the air passages, thus creating a natural draft by the tendency of the warm air to rise. The thin plates serve to radiate the heat, and the whole construction is designed to equalize expansion, as well as to economize fuel and secure quick generation. As the thin plates do not retain an excessive amount of heat there is no over evaporation. One of these burners has been in use for 18 months past, and given satisfactory service, while others have been used for various periods of shorter duration with equally satisfactory results.”

Fageol’s oil burner was a vital component in numerous steam-powered automobiles, and the device was highlighted in the July 15, 1903 issue of The Automobile Review:

“An Oil Burner for Steamers

“An Oil Burner for Steamers.

“The National Crude Oil Burner Company, of Des Moines, Iowa, have for three years been making oil burners for steam machines, and one of the original burners is still doing excellent service. The engraving shows this firm's latest design in oil burners. The burner is constructed entirely or iron, not steel or copper, or a combination of steel and copper. All experienced mechanics agree that iron can satisfactorily be worked up at a much higher temperature than steel or copper. The top and bottom plates are of stack iron, formed with a forming die, the edge of each plate meeting the edge of the opposite plate half way, the edges being joined with a lap seam or joint. This allows equal expansion and contraction. Care is taken that the grain of the iron in the top plate is placed at right angles with that in the bottom plate, thus insuring that there will be no warping.

“The top and bottom plates are held at equal space from each other by flues, there being 115 flues in 14-inch burner. These flues have reduced end portions forming a distinct shoulder on either end. This insures joints absolutely and permanently tight.

“The flues are made smaller in diameter than any other burner, thus doing away with any back draught, and obviating the necessity for a screen over the bottom plate. The screen being dispensed with a much better combustion is obtained.

“The flues are made of thicker material than the top or bottom plates, giving a construction with equal expansion and contraction, and all joints are riveted. The first burner put out has been continuously used for the past eighteen months, and is in as good condition as when first fitted on the machine. There is no sign of warping or loose flues; on the contrary, they are as tight as when first made.

“The flues on the burners are made heavy, the top and bottom plates being comparatively thin, thus radiating the heat. The flues being heavy hold the heat, warming the air passing through, and as hot air of course tends to rise, a strong natural draught is produced. The outside edges of the burner meeting half way, the burner case is shortened one-half inch, thus exposing the bottom of the burner directly to the air. For these reasons, and because of the small flues, the burner can be left in the wind, with low area and no screen without fear of back draught pulling the fire out. Further information will gladly be furnished by the makers upon request.”

The Des Moines city directories reveal the family patriarch, John J. Fageol, had a number of occupations during his time in the city. In 1894 he’s listed as a carpenter; 1895 the proprietor of a meat market at 1536 E. Grand av.; by 1897 he had taken in a partner, Owen McClay, and relocated to 1504 E. Grand Av., in the style of Fageol & McClay, Meats, 1504 E. Grand Av. and by 1899 had replaced him with N.S. Edwards, in the style of Fageol-Edwards Meats, 1504 E. Grand Av., a firm which continued into at least 1902.

The 1903 Des Moines directory lists John as foreman street sweeping dept., Board of Public Works, and the 1904 directory as President of Fageol-Aldrich Mfg. Co., 721 Walnut St. Des Moines, the official name of the family’s automobile distributorship which was financed in part by Des Moines druggist Frank S. Aldrich. The officers of Fageol-Aldrich were as follows; J.J. Fageol, pres.; W.B. Fageol, v-pres.; F.S. Aldrich, sec.; F.R. Fageol, treas.

The formation of the firm was mentioned in an April 1903 issue of the Des Moines News who reported that the Hopkins Bros., a well-established Des Moines sporting goods retailer who also carried bicycles and the some early automobiles which included Autocar, Buckboard, Oldsmobile and Winton, were in the process of selling their automobile business to a new firm composed of Fageol brothers.Although the announcement was a bit premature, the move was finalized within the year and reported in the April 21, 1904 issue of Motor Age:

“Hopkins Bros., Des Moines, Ia., have transferred their automobile and accessories business to the Fageol-Aldrich Co., at 409-411 Ninth street. The new concern will have the agency for the Oldsmobile, Autocar, and buckboard besides carrying a full line of appurtenances and supplies.”

The Fageol-Aldrich partnership dealership was short-lived as the August 17, 1904 issue of Horseless Age reported that Olds had purchased the firm’s Oldsmobile distributorship:

“The Fageol Aldrich Co. of Des Moines, la., is reported to have sold out a part of its business to the Olds Motor Works.”

The 1899-1902 Des Moines directories lists William B. Fageol’s employer as Henry Plumb, jeweler, staying with his brothers at the home of his parents at 1728 Des Moines. The 1903 directory list his occupation as machinist, and the 1904 directory states he had “removed to San Francisco.”

After a false start in Seattle, William B. Fageol migrated south to California where he got a job with the California Motor Company as a salesman (one source says mechanic), the 1905 San Francisco directory lists him at 129 Grove St., San Francisco. The California Motor Co., an early automobile distributor headed by Louis H. Bill, the former Manhattan branch manager of the H. A. Lozier Co., manufacturers of the Cleveland bicycle. Bill was the younger brother of John T. Bill, who was a partner with John W. Leavitt in the well-known San Francisco bicycle dealer Leavitt & Bill.

The October 17, 1901 issue of Bicycling World and Motocycle Review announced the formation of the California Motor Co:

“To Make Motocycles in California

“The California Motor Co. has been organized at San Francisco with Louis H. Bill, president; J. W. Leavitt, vice president, and J. F. Bill, secretary and treasurer. While automobiles are in view, the immediate purpose of the company is the manufacture of a motor bicycle invented by R. C. Marks, formerly of Toledo, Ohio, who with E. E. Stoddard and H. A. Burgess constitute the firm.”

Originally located at 2212 Folsom St., the California Motor Company eventually relocated next door to Leavitt & Bill at 305 Larkin St. (corner of McAllister), San Francisco where they sold Reading Standard motorcycles and Overland, Knox & Reo cars.

At much the same time Louis H. Bill became San Francisco’s first Rambler distributor, establishing the firm at 1331 Market St., San Francisco. Bill hired Fageol as a Rambler salesman and was soon convinced to hire Fageol’s younger brother Frank who was given a position as chauffeur/salesman with the firm.His status as chauffeur is confirmed by his 1905 driver’s license application which provides the address, 1331 Market St., as the address of his employer.

Frank R. Fageol’s employment history starts with a position as an apprentice/laborer at the Kratzer Carriage Co. of Des Moines. The heavy work did not agree with him and within the year he had taken a position as a sales associate with the W.C. Chase Co., the very same Des Moines bookseller and stationer his older brother Rollen also worked for. His first listing in the Des Moines directory appears in 1899 where his occupation is listed as machinist. His listing remained consistent until the 1904 edition which lists him as “treas., Fageol-Aldrich Mfg. Co.”

In the months preceding the San Francisco Earthquake (April 18, 1906), Louis H. Bill established a satellite Rambler agency, known as the ‘Rambler Garage’ in Oakland, putting the Fageol brothers in charge of the sales and service departments.

Within a few short months the brothers had proved themselves capable of handling the enterprise on their own, and in late 1906 acquired the Oakland Rambler distributorship from Bill, the real-estate transactions column of the October 13, 1906 issue of the Oakland Tribune announcing the sale of the property to Frank R. Fageol:

“F. R. Fageol, one-story two-room garage, southeast corner of Thirty- seventh street and Telegraph avenue; $3000.”

Frank and William Fageol were two of the many unsung heroes in the aftermath of the San Francisco Quake, and the December 23, 1906 issue of the Des Moines Daily News brought their story to the citizens of their old hometown:


“Probably no one in the recent Frisco disaster had no more exciting experience than a former Des Moines man, Mr. Frank Fageol, who for a number of years resided in this city and has many friends here. Mr. Fageol has been living in Oakland, Cal., for some time engaged in the automobile business. The story of his heroism in the awful earthquake has been related by a Des Moines woman who is intimately acquainted with the Fageol family and who has just returned from a western trip.

“As soon as the disaster occurred Mr. Fageol at once hastened to San Francisco in an automobile to ascertain the safety of his wife, who had gone there on a visit. No sooner had he reached the doomed city, however, than he was seized by a United States soldier, who ordered him to use his car in rescuing the injured. For seventy-two hours Mr. Fageol sent his big car whirling between tottering walls or climbing over masses of ruins. In this city he and his brother used up three automobiles. For three days and nights they did not get a wink of sleep. When, through sheer exhaustion, his eyes went shut he would be aroused by the soldier who, bayonet in hand, sat beside him and ever urged him to go closer to the tottering ruins.

“Scores of people were rescued by Mr. Fageol and the soldier. They came very near losing their lives in the work of rescue. At one time when they were running slowly up a street behind tottering walls, a big building came down with a crash behind them, effectually cutting off their return. A moment later and with a roar, a building in front of them came down piling a mass of brick and debris which filled the street. Thus they were hemmed in in a square of flaming ruins. Seeing there was no other way, Mr. Fageol put on full steam and sent the cur rushing at the mass of ruins in front of them. How they got over he says he does not know, but they did it and got away safely, although the car was badly crippled.

“Mr. Fageol saw many harrowing sights on this remarkable tour. People who were hopelessly pinned under burning timbers were given chloroform or put out of their misery with a merciful bullet from some soldier's rifle.”

The 1908 Oakland directory reveals that by that time the entire Fageol family had relocated to Oakland, and were all busy working at Frank’s Rambler dealership:

“F.R. Fageol, Automobiles & Garage, Agt. For Rambler Automobiles; Telegraph Av. sw cor. 37th
“Claud H. Fageol, mach. Rambler Garage, bd. 463 37th.
“Frank R. Fageol, pres. F.R. Fageol, r. r. 6425 Regent
“John J. Fageol, salsn F.R. Fageol; r. 463 37th.
“Hazel E. Fageol, b. 463 37th.
“Rolen B. Fageol, mach. F.R. Fageol, b. 720 39th
“William B. Fageol foreman, F.R. Fageol, b. 720 39th”

Claud H., the youngest of the four Fageol brothers, had various scrapes with the law, the first being a charge that he held up a fire engine, the January 1, 1907 issue of the Oakland Tribune reported:

“HELD UP FIRE ENGINES; Such Is Charge Placed Against Claude Fageol, a Local Chauffeur.

“Charged with preventing fire engines from gaining access to a hydrant, Claude Fageol, a chauffeur, was arrested yesterday afternoon. The engines answered a call at Twelfth and Broadway, where a live wire was generating some alarm, and found Fageol in his machine in front of the hydrant.

“He is said to have refused to move at the request of Fireman T. J. Roberts of Engine Company No. 2, so he was taken to Jail by Policeman Tillerson. He was later released on $25 bail.”

Frank R. Fageol’s Rambler Garage had become quite successful in a short period of time, and the May 3, 1908 issue of the Oakland Tribune reported on the sale of the business to Adams & Co.:

“The Rambler garage and salesrooms formerly owned and managed by Frank Fageol corner Telegraph and Thirty-seventh street, have been sold by Mr. Fageol and in future will be known as the Adams Company, his successors, who will maintain the high standard set by the former owner in his successful business career in the automobile business in Oakland and vicinity. Every type of the well-known Rambler will be kept by Adams & Co., and an expert force of salesmen and mechanics will be employed. Mr. Fageol is retiring from the automobile field.”

No further mention of Adams & Company was forthcoming and F.R. Fageol continued to be Oakland’s Rambler distributor for the next decade. He also took on other lines as evidenced by the September 22, 1910 issue of the Oakland Tribune:

“FAGEOL TAKES ON DETROIT ELECTRIC; Rambler Agent Will Represent Well Known Line Here.


“A most important change in the local automobile circles is the taking on of the agency, for Detroit Electric by Frank R Fageol.

“Here-to-fore this well known, line of electrics has been handled by the Western Electric vehicle company, who have relinquished it in favor of Fageol.

“The new company will be known as the Detroit Electric agency.The quarters occupied by the Western Electric Vehicle company have been secured by the new company. Mr. R.H. Morris will serve in the capacity of manager of the new agency.

“Fageol is one of the best known of the automobile dealers on the Pacific coast. Success has attended him while representative of the Rambler here. There are a number of these cars in the country. The electric industry appealing to him as one with unlimited possibilities he seized the opportunity to take on the well-known electric line.”

Within the month, Fageol folded his Detroit Electric agency into a new firm, the Electric Vehicle Co., the October 8, 1910 issue of the Oakland Tribune reporting:


“During the past few weeks final articles of incorporation were filed by the Electric Vehicle Co. which has just absorbed the Detroit Electric agency and the Bay Cities Electric Co.

“Prominent in the newly organized company will be R.H. Morris, F.R. Fageol and W.D. Vance, the first two being interested previously in the Detroit agency and the latter, Mr. Vance, in the Bay Cities Co.

“Detroit and Columbus Electrics will be handled and a high class electric garage maintained. The new concern as it now stands is one of the strongest companies on the Pacific coast.”

Fageol’s success in the automobile business was celebrated with the construction of a new garage and salesroom located three blocks south of his previous location at the corner of Thirty-fourth St. and Telegraph Ave. The grand opening was announced in the October 15, 1911 issue of the Oakland Tribune:

“Rambler Agent In New Home; F.R. Fageol Now Housed in Magnificent and Spacious Quarters.

“The latent of the local dealers to seek new and better quarters is F.R. Fageol. On Monday night he held an informal opening, to which were invited many motor car owners of this city. Present was nearly every owner of a Rambler car in the county.

“His new garage and salesroom at Thirty-fourth and Telegraph avenue, is without doubt one of the most magnificent in this vicinity. Both are spacious and provide ample room—the one to show the new Rambler models and the other to house the numerous owners of these cars.

“In point of service and representing one car Fageol now is about the oldest dealer in the State of California, the Rambler having been distributed by him for the last six years.

“Frank has made a success of the motor car agency business by his method of treating with owners, any one of whim will vouch, for his liberality in taking care of his cars. Evidence of this is the number of owners, from year to year, seek him out when buying a new model.”

Fageol added Thomas B. Jeffrey Co.’s line of 4 and 6-cylinder passenger cars in 1911, and Willys-Overland in early 1912, the January 7, 1912 issue of the Oakland Tribune reporting:

“Fageol Is Made Overland Agent; Well Known Local-Dealer Will Represent Popular Make of Motor Car.

“Through a deal of no small import, consummated during the past week, Frank R. Fageol becomes the distributor in Alameda county for the complete line of Overland motor cars.

“Fageol, at the present time is the oldest dealer, in point of active participation, in the automobile business in this county. Since his advent into the motor car agency line he has handled Rambler cars and at this time Is about the largest Individual dealer in the state.

“The Overland, which is one of the best known of the popular priced cars on the market today, could not have fallen in better hands. Present owners and prospective purchasers can feel sure of the treatment from Fageol which adds to the pleasure of motoring.

“A service department for the care of owners and a liberal guarantee with every car sold is part of the policy which has been outlined by the new representative.”

In early 1913 Louis H. Bill, Frank and William Fageol’s former employer, good friend and longtime Thomas B. Jeffrey Co. (Rambler automobile)distributor, was promoted to assistant general manager of the Jeffrey organization, in charge of both the factory and sales. Frank R. Fageol penned the following announcement which appeared in the January 19, 1913 issue of the Oakland Tribune:

“JEFFERY FACTORY INCREASES STAFF: Promotion of Coast Manager Is Source of Much Gratification

“One of the most important moves in the strengthening of the eastern motor factory organizations of the year was the announcement made recently by the president of the Thomas B. Jeffery company, maker of the Cross-Country cars at Kenosha, Wisconsin. The announcement caused much comment here on the coast through the promotion of L. H. Bill who has for years been western representative for the Jeffery factory In the San Francisco branch house and through Bill's close friendship with Frank R. Fageol who represents the car in Alameda county. Fageol says:

“‘With the beginning of the new year the board of directors includes Charles T. Jeffrey, Harold W. Jeffrey and George M. Berry, while the officers of the company are president, Charles T. Jeffery, who is also general manager; vice-president, Harold W. Jeffery; second vice-president and Treasurer, George M. Berry; secretary, Edward S. Jordan; assistant secretary, Edward S. Maddock.’

“‘The first addition to the executive staff is that of Louis H. Bill. He is appointed assistant general manager, in charge of both factory and sales. Mr. Bill has for many years been in charge of the Pacific Coast business. He was with the H. A. Lozier company in the bicycle days first as a general salesman and subsequently as New York branch manager. Following this experience he entered business for himself in San Francisco, and although actively engaged in the management of the branch of The Thomas B. Jeffery company since 1904 he continued his interest in his own business until a few months ago.’

“‘Mr. Bill is to be assisted in the management of the factory by J. W. DeCou, and in sales by H. E. Field. Mr. DeCou, who will be factory manager, has been factory superintendent for the past two years. In point of service with the Jeffery interests Mr. De Cou surpasses all of the others, having started as an employee of the Rambler bicycle factory in 1897. He served with that company until the business was sold and again became identified with Rambler business in 1903, when he was made purchasing agent for the motor car factory.’

"The business of the Jeffery company for the six months ending December 31, shows the greatest growth for any corresponding period in its history. Its business has always grown steadily and consistently, but more rapid growth for the past eighteen months makes necessary the new men and a new distribution of responsibilities."

Success in the automotive field did not escape Rollie, the eldest Fageol brother. While working for his brother’s Rambler agency as a mechanic he had developed and patented a line of aftermarket automobile bumpers whose manufacture was subsequently licensed to the Hartford Suspension Co.

In the early days of the automobile, many low and medium-priced vehicles were not equipped with bumpers from the factory, leaving the aftermarket field wide open for third party manufacturers, who sold their wares through car dealers and auto parts stores. Two of the major players in the field at that time were the American Chain Co. of Bridgeport, Connecticut and the Hartford Suspension Co., of Jersey City, New Jersey.

Fageol had originally manufactured his own bumpers under the Rollie B. Fageol Co. moniker, arranging to have them distributed in Manhattan through a third party, the Concrete Bumper Co. The April 17, 1913 issue of Motor World highlighted the problems that developed with its proprietor, Edward R.C. Struthers:


“Jersey City Company Sues for Infringement of Fageol "Concrete Bumper Design — Struthers's House His Only Factory.

“Aside from utilizing the front room of his home as a factory, Edward R. C. Struthers, who is operating in his own house at 214 West 50th street, New York City, as the Concrete Bumper Co., seems likely to have other troubles, for this week Rollie Belle Fageol and the Hartford Suspension Co., of Jersey City. N. J., filed suit against him in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, charging infringement of a bumper design patent and also alleging unfair competition. Meanwhile, Struthers is turning out his bumpers in the room which in most homes is considered the parlor.

“Complications seem likely to enter into the case in that the design patent, No. 43,740, which it is claimed is infringed, was granted to Fageol only on March 25 last, less than a month prior to the filing of the suit, whereas the manufacture of the bumpers by both parties was in progress sometime prior even to the date of filing the application, December 18, 1912.

“According to the history of the bumper, which is incorporated in the bill of complaint, the device was conceived by Fageol, who originally resided in Alameda. Cal., and who began to manufacture it under the style Rollie B. Fageol Co. It consists of a hollow metal bumper rod filled with concrete and attached to the car through the medium of a leaf-spring arm, or at least this is the form in which the design specified has been placed on the market by both parties in the action.

“Fageol states that when he began to make bumpers he entered into an agreement with Struthers, January 31, 1912, whereby the latter was to purchase the product, a certain quantity being specified in the contract, but Fageol alleges that Struthers failed to keep his part of the agreement and thereby caused damage to Fageol, who further alleges that to protect himself, the agreement having been broken by Struthers, he sold the rights under the patent to the Hartford Suspension Co. The latter, he avers, since has created a demand for the device and has made valuable the trade name of 'The Reinforced Concrete Automobile Bumper.'

“Struthers is charged with unfair competition in imitating the design of the bumper, and it is claimed that when "concrete bumper" is mentioned the car owning public immediately thinks of the Hartford product, whereby Struthers is charged with getting the benefit of the Hartford company's pioneering in this line. The complainants ask for an injunction, damages, an accounting of profits, and that whatever stock Struthers has on hand be destroyed.”

Rollie remained interested in the designs and engineering of automobile bumpers for the rest of his career, licensing many of his patented bumper designs to the nation’s leading bumper manufacturers.

His next project was the design of people movers for the planned Panama-Pacific International Exposition which was to be held in San Francisco during 1915. The Fair celebrated the completion of the Panama Canal and helped showcase the city’s amazing recovery from the devastating 1906 Earthquake. The exposition grounds encompassed 635 acres located along San Francisco Bay between Fort Mason and the Presidio extending to Chestnut St., in what is today’s Marina District.

J.H. Fort writes in The Fageol Success:

"When the Panama-Pacific Exposition was being planned, the problem of transportation within the grounds confronted the directors. Many proposals were submitted and considered, but none seemed as practical as that of R. B. Fageol and F. R. Fageol. The latter, over a period of fifteen years, had been automotive inventor, mechanic, and salesman.

"The Fageols proposed to solve the problem by building a small tractor, using the motor of a popular automobile, to draw the passenger trailers. The idea amused and appealed to the directors; the Fageols were awarded their transportation concessions"

Edward P. Brinegar, president of the Pioneer Automobile Co., one of the most influential early automobile dealers on the coast (Chalmers, Oldsmobile, Thomas, and Winton, etc.), provided Rollie with the working capital to get the project rolling, his brother Frank R. Fageol provided the workshops for their construction, and Brinegar provided an office for the firm adjacent to the Pioneer showrooms at 702 Market St., San Francisco.

The ‘Recent Incorporations’ column of the Horseless Age announced the formation of the firm in its November 11, 1914 issue:

“Fageol Auto Train Inc., San Francisco, Cal.; Capital stock $100,000; Incorporators: F.R. Fageol, R.B. Fageol, E.P. Brinegar, A.T. O’Connell.”

In a bizarre move, Brinegar, Fageol Auto Train’s president, insisted that the firm’s products be marketed as the ‘Fadgl’ Auto Train, fearing that prospective customers would have great difficulty pronouncing the actual surname of its inventor. As he was providing the cash, the Fageol brothers ceded to his request and the name stuck.

The Ford Model T was selected as the motive power unit for the auto train. The frame of the Ford tractors were modified with a beefed-up frame and a Rollie B. Fageol-designed reduction gear-set that limit its speed while providing the greatest amount of torque from the seemingly overtaxed 4-cylinder Ford engine. A clever inter-steering device made up of diagonal steering arms controlled the trailer’s steering and an automatic brake was installed the brought the vehicle to a controlled stop whenever the accelerator was lifted.

The four wheels of the double-axled trailer coaches were shrouded to protect the clothes and feet of its passengers. Both units of the tractor-trailers were constructed in a facility leased by Frank R. Fageol and located at Thirty-eighth St. and San Pablo Ave. (38th St. is now known as W. MacArthur Blvd.) during the winter and early spring of 1915.

The May 10, 1915 issue of the Automobile Journal provided a detailed description of the Fadgl ‘motor train’:


“Seventeen Ford motor engines are used in the transportation system established to haul visitors about the exposition grounds in San Francisco. They pull 17 small motor trains which run from Machinery hall to the Massachusetts building and back, a distance of three miles.

“These trains were designed and built by R. B. Fageol of Oakland. Power is supplied by small tractors, which have 36-inch tread and a wheelbase in proportion. Each one carries a Ford motor. The steering wheel is set like the usual automobile steering post, and a single seat for the driver is provided on the tractor. An inter-steering arrangement has been perfected so that by the use of a ball and socket draw bar each car steers the one that immediately follows. Brake shoes work against the surface of the pavement instead of against a drum on the cars themselves. The trains are operated with perfect safety among the largest crowds that visit the exposition.

“Around the grounds the trains run at an average speed of 10 miles per hour, although the tractors running empty are said to be able to make 20 miles an hour. The cars, two of which make a train, are like long settees placed back to back with a passage way between in which the conductor operates. The wheels have five by 25 solid tires and are completely hidden.

“The cars are very low, so that it is only a short step off the ground to a seat. This feature does much to make the conveyance popular.

“Each of the trains is travelling about 100 miles per day, at a cost of five cents for fuel, wages for the crew, and mechanical upkeep and depreciation. The fare charged is 10 cents. Twenty passengers per train is a good load, but on some days, when the crowds have been especially large, as many as 50 have been carried. Sixty-five men are employed in operating the system.”

The most detailed account of the train’s engineering appeared in the October 21, 1915 issue of Engineering News:

“A more novel means of transportation is that afforded by trackless trains operated on the driveways, each consisting of an automobile and trail cars. This system was invented by R. B. Fageol, of Oakland, Calif., and is operated by the Fadgl Auto Train Co., of San Francisco.

“The automobile, or tractor, is of special design, weighing 6,000 lb. and having 20-in. wheels with solid rubber tires. It carries four passengers. The tractor hauls three trailers, each weighing 1,500 lb. and carrying 20 passengers. These cars have 24-in. wheels and 12-ft. wheelbase. They have side seats back to back, with a passage between for the use of the conductor. At the ends the seats are raised to clear the wheels. The couplings are of special design, causing the trailers to track with the automobile. A shoe brake is operated in connection with the couplings, being lowered to contact with the ground when the couplings are slackened by reduction of speed. The speed limit is 12 mi. per hr.”

The June 1915 issue of The American Chauffeur contained a more detailed account that was originally published in the Commercial Car Journal:

“Automobile Trains At Exposition

“Viewed from outside the entrance gates a popular vote would undoubtedly select the Tower of Jewels as the chief attraction of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Inside the accurately clicking turnstiles there is nothing which so quickly catches and holds the eye as the spic and span white auto trains that are quickly skimming about the beautiful jewel City, conveying thousands of visitors over the extensive grounds, affording the former a complete and comprehensive view of the great fair in its exterior aspect which they could not otherwise obtain.

“The Fadgl Auto Train is the name under which this wheeled fleet operates. Its popularity cannot be questioned, for every train is loaded to capacity. It is a midget train by comparison, but a big thing from the standpoint of its commercial success.

“A Californian, R. B. Fadgl, invented it. He is a well-known Oakland automobile dealer. It was while in Philadelphia on a business trip three years ago that the idea had its birth.

“Being of an inventive and practical turn of mind, Fadgl set about putting into concrete form something to meet this need. The motive power was simple enough, but a passenger coach combining comfort and practicability, a mechanical complement to the engine, gave Fadgl a pretty problem.

“Followed a few weeks of the transformation of theories to blueprints and blueprints to models, until at last Fadgl produced a four-wheeled trailer, incorporated in which was a clever inter-steering device made up of diagonal steering arms.

“In detail each train consists of a special miniature Auto Tractor of 36-inch tread, with 25x5inch solid tires, and two specially designed trailers or cars resembling a double settee, with the conductor’s aisle in the center.

“The braking system consists of a shoe connected midway in the draw-bar, which is forced downward when the motion of the train is slackened. the action being automatic and in unison with the tractor, making it absolutely safe in crowds. The system is an entirely new invention, which successfully solves a hitherto perplexing problem.

“The whole car is but one step off the ground, running on four invisible wheels, all controlled by a draw—bar connection to the tractor in such a way that the two cars follow in exactly the same tracks as the tractor when rounding a turn in the road. This feature eliminates any cutting off on turns or crowding of people off the road. Each train seats forty people comfortably, and the cars are most convenient in getting on or off.

“The twenty Fadgl auto trains are operated in a manner which is similar to that of a street car system. A similar chart is used and similar schedule system. This similarity of operation is carried out in all its details.”

Specifics of the auto train’s route, capacity and income were detailed in the July 10, 1915 issue of the Electric Railway Journal:

“Transportation by Fadgl Auto Train at San Francisco Exposition

“The Fadgl Auto Train Inc., has been carrying approximately one fourth of all Panama-Pacific Exposition visitors in eighteen, three car trains of sixty-six seating capacity, or 105 total capacity per train. The longest run one way is 1 1/2 miles and the shortest is 3/8 mile. The initial fare is either 5 or 10 cents, according to the character of the run. Zone fare additions of 5 cents each are charged when passengers make partial or complete circuits. On Feb. 20, the opening day, fifteen two-car trains and one one-car train carried $3,246.95 of business. Up to June 1, about 1,250,000 passengers were carried, but it is expected that heavy summer business will bring the total for the year in excess of 4,000,000. The number of fares during four days of June averaged 15,150 a day. All fare collections during this period were handled with Rooke registers.”

Between February 20, 1915, when the gates opened and December 4, when the Exposition closed, a fair number of the fair’s 18 million visitors rode on the popular Fadgl Auto trains, which took in a reported $307,000 in nickels and dimes. When the Exposition ended a number of the trains were sold to a Chicago-based firm that operated the concessions at that City’s Lincoln Park.

The total number of trains constructed is believed to have been 18 although contemporary reports list a total of 16, 17 and 20, one source mentioned a total of 30. Further exploitation of the trains was envisioned and on February 21, 1916 Brinegar and R.B. Fageol organized a second firm, Fadgl Flexible Systems Inc., in Carson City, Nevada. The firm was capitalized at $100,000 and an office established in San Francisco’s Hobart Building at 582 Market St. The 1917 San Francisco Directory listed both firms as follows:

“Fadgl Auto Train (Inc.), 702 Market St.; Fadgl Flexible System (Inc.), Hobart Bldg.”

An article in the April 13, 1916 issue of the Oakland Tribune reveals that Rollie had applied the principle of the auto train to an amusement park attraction:

“Animal Train Is New Fageol Idea

“R.B. Fageol of this city, again is the inventor of a new idea in transportation. Again he is bidding for fame and again he seems in line for a new fortune.

“His latent invention is the outgrowth of the original Fageol Auto Trains of the Exposition.

“The new Idea is an animal train, a train on which active wooden animals are mounted - a progressive merry-go-round.

“It is designed both as an amusement for the kiddies, and as a practical means of transportation. Propelled as it is, by a miniature 25-horse power tractor, it is capable of a fair speed and the trains can be made long enough to carry more than 100 persons.

“The tests are to be made at Idora Park in a few days. Should the train prove popular it will be an all-summer featured at Idora.”

Further developments were not limited to kiddie rides as the August 12, 1916 issue of Automobile Topics states that Fadgl Flexible Systems had introduced a gasoline-powered six-wheeled omnibus-trailer based on the Fadgl auto trains. The prototype was constructed at the shops of San Francisco’s Pacific Electric Co., for use as a demonstrator by the affiliated Fresno Traction Co. of Fresno, Calif.:

“Flexible Fadgl For Fresno Fares

“Six-wheeled Bus Placed in Service After 250-Mile Run Overland—Has Four-wheel Steer and Can Run Backward in Circles.

“There are a great many transportation engineers who believe the automobile is going to play a dominant part in the street transportation of the future—that is, the transportation that is now mostly taken care of by street cars running on tracks. The increase of traffic in large centers, the great improvements that have been made in mobile vehicle units and the huge expense entailed by the construction, operation and maintenance of permanent way—to say nothing of its inconvenience in the streets— all point toward the increasing use of the automobile as the ultimate successor of the trolley car. Where motor bus lines are operated under proper conditions they have rendered service such as to cause a general opening of eyes. It has been shown that the traveling public is more than willing to ride in the big automobiles—that it is even willing, sometimes, to pay double for the privilege. It has also been shown, however, that it is not necessary to ask the public to pay double in order to make a well-planned, well-managed motor bus line pay dividends.

“On the Pacific Coast—to say nothing of other sections of the country—investors are by no means eagerly grasping opportunities to put capital into street railway enterprises, largely because of the increase of expense due to paving requirements and to higher standards demanded in plant and permanent way, to the piling up of taxation and to the reduction of earnings due to the increasing number of automobile units in service. For all these and several other reasons interest in developments that promise to substitute automobiles for street cars running on tracks are accorded genuine interest.

“In Fresno, Cal., tests have been made of a six-wheeled type of bus that, while comparatively new, has been in existence for some time; in fact, at the Panama-Pacific exposition there were in service cars built by the inventor, R. B. Fageol. The Fresno demonstrations were for a special purpose —to demonstrate to traction men just what may be expected of a car built especially for street traction service. The car was built in the shops of the Pacific Electric Co. and has been put into the service of the Fresno Traction Co. as an extension of the Arlington Heights street car line.

“The system under which the car is built is known as the Fadgl flexible system, and is controlled by the Fadgl Flexible System, Inc., San Francisco. The bus is a six wheeler, and in its underlying principle is similar to the semi-trailer system used for heavy haulage. That is to say, the load is carried chiefly on a two-wheeled trailer, the front end of which rests on the rear end of a four-wheeled tractor. The resemblance ends there, however, for the distinctive feature of the Fadgl car is that the rear wheels are on steering knuckles, the same as the front wheels, and by means of an interconnection the rear wheels are positively steered. This makes it as easy to handle the car when running backward as a four-wheeler; during the test the car was run in circles backward, with no difficulty.

“The car was driven from San Francisco, where it was built, to Fresno, over the road, a distance of 250 miles over the Tehachapi Mountains and the Mojave Desert. The trip was made in 10 1/4 hours, the car making a smooth and comfortable trip, notwithstanding the rough character of much of the road surface. The gasoline consumption was a little better than 18 miles to the gallon. The easy riding qualities of the machine are ascribed largely to the fact that the rear section, carrying the passengers, is on a three-point suspension, consisting of the two rear wheels and the flexible body joint.

“Designs have been made for cars of two sizes, to carry 12 and 20 passengers respectively. The one in service in Fresno is of the smaller size. While the principles involved will permit the construction of buses of practically any size or capacity, the 20-passenger type is about as large as can conveniently be handled by one man, and for this reason it is the largest that will be built for the present. The entrance is near the front where the driver can take care of fare collections.

“The entire power plant and transmission mechanism are in the forward section which is, in fact, simply of conventional automobile construction with the necessary hauling and steering connections attached at the rear. Therefore the disablement of one section does not mean the disablement of the whole bus. In case of mechanical trouble the passenger-carrying section can be uncoupled and mounted on another tractor; and in case of trouble with the rear section, the tractor can be placed under another rear section. As the tractor carries only a light load, however—the rear wheels carry nearly all the passenger weight—it is expected that the total repairs will be a smaller item than in the case of a four-wheeled bus.

“The Fadgl flexible bus, which has been placed in service as an extension of a Fresno, Cal., street car line, has six wheels, four of which are on knuckles and are connected with the steering gear. Twelve passengers are carried in the rear section, which is attached to the front section by a single flexible joint. The driver is all the crew required. A larger model carries 20 passengers.”

The October 1, 1916 issue of The Electrical News also covered the vehicle:

“Motor Bus as Auxiliary to Street Railway

“A question which is of great interest to many municipalities is the extent to which some form of motor-bus can be used to supplement the existing street car service; in outlying districts, for instance, which it is desired to connect with the existing lines, but where it is not practicable to build expensive extensions under present conditions. A number of different designs have been developed and, from time to time, described and illustrated in the Electrical News. An innovation in motor-bus construction, however, is contained in the design illustrated herewith. It is called the “Fadgl Flexible Car.” and was developed by the Fadgl Flexible System, Inc., of San Francisco. Cal.

“The passenger body is supported on a ball and socket joint located forward of the rear axle of the engine member, thus combining the two parts in a six-wheeled, flexible coach.

“An automatic steering lever connects the middle or driving axle with the hindmost axle, the latter having the same connections between wheel and axle as the ordinary automobile front axle. In this way the hindmost wheels are made to track those ahead, and thus the limiting turning radius for the entire coach is no greater than that of the four wheels of the engine member.

“A feature claimed for this type of construction is that because the forward end of the passenger section is supported at one point, the rocking common to the ordinary four-wheeled car is absent. By having the motor on a separate chassis the passengers do not feel its vibration, and the connection is made convenient for speedy uncoupling, so that in the event of any breakdown on the engine member the rear section can be jacked up and another engine member coupled on in a few minutes. Spanning the flexible joint between the engine member and the passenger section are curtains, which operate on spring rollers. These curtains are to be painted with route signs.

“One man operates the machine, the seating arrangements being such that passengers pay their fares on leaving. The first two cars built have a seating capacity of twelve in the rear section and one with the driver These cars were built according to plans which have been worked out in detail for either twelve or twenty passenger bodies Any light automobile can be adapted as a motor The first two units and the one shown herewith were equipped with Chevrolet motors developing about 30 h.p., and it is stated they are adapted to similar light engines such as the Ford, Maxwell etc. In a cross country test one of these cars travelled 246 miles in ten hours and thirty minutes arriving in excellent condition and ready for immediate service It is believed that this coach combines the good points of the jitney such as low operating cost, curb loading, quick get away, and comfort of riding, with many of the good points of the trolley such as greater capacity, responsible management, etc. The motive power of the flexible car can be made either gasoline or electricity in fact may be adapted to use the trolley where such exists and to leave the trolley and run on its own power in outlying districts.”

The September 29, 1917 issue of the Electric Railway Journal announced that the Pacific Electric Railway was proceeding with a large-scale test of the Fadgl System omnibuses:

“Flexible Buses in Larger Sizes

“The Pacific Electric Railway has under construction additional buses of the Fadgl flexible type which will be put into auxiliary service at an early date. The first of these cars to be put in service by the company is still in use at Fresno, Cal. They were described on page 314 of the Electric Railway Journal for Aug. 10, 1916.

“The new buses will have a seating capacity of thirty passengers and there are also improvements in the design of the bus body. A more powerful motor has been used in the larger cars and by employing heavier construction throughout it is expected that the life of the bus will be materially increased. The new type is shown in the accompanying illustration.”

In the meantime Rollie B. Fageol had continued work on his successful line of automobile bumpers and in November of 1916 was forced to file another suit to protect his patents, the November 18, 1916 issue of Automobile Topics reporting:

“Bumpers Fail to Fend Litigation

“Three Patent Suits on Bumpers Bob Up —Fageol, Maguth, Hartford, Supply Depot, Lyon Non-Skid Metal Stamping and Gemco in Collision.

“Bumpers, which are steadily growing in popularity as their protective virtues are realized by motorists, this week burst into the legal limelight through three suits, filed in the United States District Court for the

“Southern District of New York. By the suits it is revealed that Rollie B. Fageol, Michael J. Maguth and E. V. Hartford are the owners of patents that they think are infringed by the Automobile Owners Supply Depot, New York City, while the Lyon Non-Skid Co., Philadelphia, Pa., and the Metal Stamping Co., New York City, have a patent that they think E.V. Hartford is infringing. Who has what, the Court will now have to decide.

“The first suit is that of Rollie B. Fageol and E.V. Hartford, Inc., of California and Jersey City, N. J., respectively, against the Automobile Owners Supply Depot, New York City. It states that Fageol secured patent No. 1,202,690 on a bumper, and gave Hartford an exclusive license. Violation is charged in the sale of bumpers made by the Gemco Mfg. Co., Milwaukee, Wis., thereby brought in as a seventh party in the tangle. The second suit brings the same complaint, save that Michael I. Maguth is the inventor who secured patent No. 1,194,405 and licensed Hartford to use it.

“The third suit is that of the Lyon Non-Skid Co. and Metal Stamping Co. against E.V. Hartford. In this, the Lyon company is the owner of the patent, No. 1,198,246, and gave the Metal Stamping Co. a license.”

Rollie’s brother, Frank continued to operate his very successful Oakland automobile distributorship which now encompassed Garford trucks and the entire Jeffrey line, which now included the Jeffrey Quad, a heavy-duty all-wheel drive workhorse that had become popular with California miners.

In 1916 Frank R. Fageol made a calculated move to get into the lucrative heavy truck manufacturing business, which up until that time had been dominated by firms located in East. His success with the distribution of Garford and Jeffrey trucks convinced him there was an increasing demand for the vehicles in the Pacific Northwest. His only competition would be from Moreland, which was located in Los Angeles, a two day’s journey from his home base of Alameda County, and almost a week from Seattle, Washington (San Francisco’s Kleiber Motor Truck Co. didn’t start manufacturing trucks until after the end of the First World War).

The first sign that he was up to something came via the announcement that he was getting out of the retail automobile business, which was included in the April 2, 1916 issue of The Oakland Tribune:

“Fageol Sells Automobile Business; Pioneer Dealer Retires; New Company Takes Possession

“Without doubt one of the most interesting topics of conversation along auto row yesterday was the announcement of the purchase by the newly formed Fageol Motor Sales Company of the automobile interests of Frank R. Fageol, Jeffery car dealers and one of the best known automobile retail dealers in the west.

“This move marks the retirement of Frank Fageol from the retail automobile business. Fageol is to devote all of his time hereafter to his other interests, chief, of which is the Fageol trains. The new company, which has been incorporated by W.C. Morse and C.R. Tate for the purpose of carrying on the business as usual took possession yesterday. No changes are contemplated by the new owners, both of whom have been with Frank Fageol in the handling of the business for years. Morse has had charge of the truck department of the business and Tate has for years had control of the accessory and supply department for Fageol. Both men thoroughly understand the business. The same lines will be handled by the Fageol Motor Sales Company as were represented by Fageol personally. The Jeffery cars and trucks and the Garford trucks constitute the motor car agency line. The new big six Jeffery cars are expected to arrive In Oakland within a few weeks’ time.”

Within the year C.R. Tate had reorganized the Fageol Motor Sales Co. as the Western Motor Sales Co., a firm which regularly advertised in the Oakland Tribune, their earliest advertisements stating:

“Western Motor Sales Co. -formerly the Fageol Motor Sales Co., 3420 Telegraph Avenue.”

Frank’s older brother William joined him in making plans for the proposed auto truck which would be offered in sizes ranging from 2 ½ to 6 tons capacity. John J. Fageol, the family patriarch, retired and his youngest son, Claud H. Fageol, found employment with another Oakland dealer, George Peacock - the April 16, 1916 issue of the Oakland Tribune reporting:

“Dailey and Fageol Join Chandler Staff

“Two of the most important of recent changes in the personnel of auto row was announced this week by George Peacock of the Peacock Auto Company of this city, who announces the acquisition to his Chandler car staff of experts C. H. Fageol and Frank H. Dailey.

“Both Fageol and Dailey are well known here in motoring circles, Fageol, who is to devote all of his time to the selling of Chandler Six cars here was for years identified with his brother, Frank R. Fageol, in the Jeffery car business.

“Dailey was formerly the Reo car agent in Oakland and later the Pacific Coast distributor for the Premier line of the motor cars with headquarters In Oakland. He also handled the Oakland car line here for a season. Dailey is to handle Chandler cars in the outside territory for the Peacock Auto Company.

“Both men are experienced in the automobile business and their choice of the Chandler car in carrying out their work is a matter of much gratification to the local Chandler people.”

Of greater significance to the truck manufacturing project were events taking place in Kenosha., Wisconsin, the July 23, 1916 issue of the Oakland Tribune announcing:

“Nash Takes Control of the Jeffery Factory

“A bigger, greater Jeffrey organization is seen by automobile world prophets as a result of yesterday's sale of the mammoth Kenosha manufacturing plant.

“Foremost among the purchasers of the Thomas B. Jeffrey Company is Charles W. Nash, of Flint, Mich., a man with a nation-wide reputation for his constructive conservatism in the motor car Industry. Nash takes active charge of the management of the big plant on August 1, at which time his connection with the General Motors Company will be completely severed.

“Announcement of the sale of the company which is capitalized at $13,000,000, came as a surprise to the automobile world. Exact figures giving the price for the entire stock were not made public.”

Nash’s takeover of Jeffery was significant as Frank R. Fageol’s longtime friend and former employer Louis H. Bill was now out of a job as Charles W. Nash wished to install his own men at the Jeffrey Works.

During the summer Bill and Fageol put together a business plan which included the construction of a showpiece that would bring attention to the firm and by association its line of heavy-duty trucks, both of which were totally unknown outside of metropolitan San Francisco. The bait, as it were, would be ‘the World’s Most Expensive Car’ which could only be powered by ‘the World’s Largest Engine’, the very same 6-cylinder Hall-Scott aero engine that would power the firm’s trucks. The 824.67-cu. in. overhead-valve straight-six Hall-Scott was guaranteed to produce 125+hp at 1,300 r.p.m.

The car and the truck, whose conventional chassis were designed by Detroit-based powertrain engineer Cornelius T. Meyers, would be marketed as the Fageol. Both would feature a distinctive row of top-mounted jagged ventilators that ran from the back of the radiator to the cowl –making it easy to identify any Fageol product from a distance. Frank R. Fageol patented the design and they remained a distinctive and endearing feature of the firm’s vehicles into the mid-1930s.

The Fageol 100 automobiles featured a distinctive sloping nickel-plated radiator while the firm’s trucks and buses used a more traditional body-colored cast radiator shell with the firm’s name embossed at the top, although nickel plating was an option.

The car was constructed in a leased factory located at Thirty-eighth St. and San Pablo Ave. (38th St. is now known as W. MacArthur Blvd.) and was first mentioned in the Oakland Tribune via an announcement that a catalog featuring the Fageol car was forthcoming:

The ‘Manufacturing and Industrial News’ column of the November 11, 1916 issue of the Oakland Tribune reported:

“The Fageol Motors Company have in preparation a catalog descriptive of the Fageol car which will be one of the finest pieces of automobile literature ever published in the United States. This catalog is to be ready for distribution at the New York Automobile Show in February, and its preparation is in the hands of K. L. Hamman.”

The ‘Manufacturing and Industrial News’ column of the November 18, 1916 issue of the Oakland Tribune announced that Fageol was going to use a locally sourced aircraft engine built by Berkeley, California’s Hall-Scott Motor Car Company:

“The first order of Hall-Scott motors to be used in the new Fageol automobile manufactured by the Fageol Motors Company will be delivered shortly. By the use of the Hall-Scott aeroplane motor it will be possible to attain a speed from 100 to 110 miles per hour with the car fully equipped.

“The Hall-Scott Motor Company made a shipment of twenty aeroplane motors to the Russian government during the week.”

The ‘Manufacturing and Industrial News’ column of the November 25, 1916 issue of the Oakland Tribune:

“The designs for the bodies of the new Fageol car – an automobile made in Oakland in which a $4,200 Hall-Scott aviation motor is to be used – have been completed. These new body designs are a step forward in the body construction, and it is expected they will attract immediate attention among automobile connoisseurs.”

The ‘Manufacturing and Industrial News’ column of the December 2, 1916 issue of the Oakland Tribune:

“The Fageol Motors Company is placing in its new factory at Thirty-eighth and San Pablo avenue the machinery to be used In manufacturing and assembling the various parts of the new Fageol car.”

The December 31, 1916 issue of the Oakland Tribune announced that the first Fageol automobile would be ready in time for a debut at the Chicago Auto Show:

“$12,000 Autos Are Oakland Product

“Frank Fageol Makes Highest Priced Cars in the World.

“150-Horsepower Motor Will Deliver 100 Miles Per Hour Speed.

“With an Oakland made six-cylinder motor that will develop 135-horsepower at a speed of 1350 r.p.m. and has horsepower range up to 150 at higher speeds, the first of the new Fageol cars is nearing completion in the Oakland shops of the Fageol Motors Company and will be ready for shipment by express in a few days for the East where it will be exhibited in the Chicago Auto Show.

“The new Fageol car is something entirely different from any motor car ever built before, either in America or abroad. It will be guaranteed to deliver a road speed of 100 miles per hour carrying four passengers and full equipment. The chassis alone will cost in the neighborhood of $8,500 in Oakland.

“Each body will be custom built and the cost of bodies for the car will range in prices from two to three thousand dollars additional. The lowest price Fageol car will exceed a cost of $10,000 to the buyer. It will be the highest priced car in the world.

“Two sample bodies are now being built for the Fageol cars, one by C. P. Kimball of Chicago, and the other by Larkin of San Francisco. These two bodies are to be used to complete the two chassis now being built for the big eastern shows. The Fageol cars will feature the famous Hall-Scott motors which are also built here in Oakland. The cost of each motor at the local plant is $4,200. They are the same identical motor that the government has specified for use in 95 per cent of the new aeroplanes. It has a 5 in. bore by 7 in. stroke. The Fageol car with its powerful 125 h.p. motor will be geared 1 1/4 on high.

“The car is the product of the Fageol Motors Company of which L. H. Bill is president; Frank Fageol secretary, treasurer and general manager and Webb Jay of Chicago, vice-president. All three men are exceptionally well and favorably known in the automobile trade throughout the United States. It is the intention of the company to market 200 of these high priced cars during the first season's production.

“Every one of these cars will be the very last word in motor car construction, every detail in the finishing of the cars shows an extravagance of attention that brings the cost of construction to a figure that the ownership of one of the new Fageol cars will be the equivalent to double ‘A’ rating in the financial world.”

The Fageol 100, as it became known, was so-named as it was guaranteed to hit 100 m.p.h., and one period road test claimed to have hit 116 m.p.h. The car shared the distinction with the Pierce-Arrow 66 (which had exactly the same dimensions, in terms of cubic displacement—over 13 1/2 liters) as being the largest displacement engines to have appeared in an American‘production’ automotive – even larger than the significantly more famous 12 ½ liter Type 41 Bugatti Royale.

The January 13, 1917 issue of the Oakland Tribune announced that the first car had been shipped to Chicago:

“The Fageol Motors Co. have completed the first two Fageol cars to be used for demonstration purposes. One of these $11,000 cars has been shipped to Chicago by Wells Fargo Express and will be exhibited at the Chicago Motor Show while the other will be exhibited in San Francisco. The Hall-Scott aviation motor is used, making possible a speed of 100 miles per hour with the car fully equipped.”

Although the Fageol automobile was the subject of much discussion in and around San Francisco and Oakland, it wasn’t until the following item appeared in the January 18, 1917 issue of The Automobile that the national automotive trade became aware of the car:

“Fageol Has 125 Hp. Motor and Sells for $9,500

“Chicago, Jan. 15 - One of the most interesting cars at the Chicago show will be the Fageol, which has one of the highest priced chassis in the world, if not the very highest.

“The chassis sells for $9,500. The will be exhibited as a four-passenger touring speedster and is equipped with Hall-Scott six-cylinder aviation motor rated 125-150 hp. A special custom is now being fitted to the chassis at the shops of the C.P. Kimball Co. The motor is equipped with Bosch electric lighting, starting and ignition apparatus and with the gearset takes up about three-fourths of the length of the chassis. Connection between the gearset and the Kardo axle is by a short shaft and universal. Light weight is a distinctive feature of the car which is different in appearance from any other on the market and is characterized by a wedge shaped radiator and an unusually low body.”

The February 1917 issue of the Hub included a description of the Kimball-built Fageol exhibited at the Salon Exhibit of the Chicago Auto Show:

“At the Salon held in the Elizabethan room of Congress Hotel there were 20 cars and one chassis. Two new cars not exhibited in New York were the Fageol and Disbrow.

“The Fageol is the product of the Fageol Motors Co., of Oakland, Cal, and sells for $9,500 for chassis alone. Body work in connection with chassis is additional, and optional with the purchaser.

“The body work of the car on exhibition is the product of Kimball, of Chicago, and is a sumptuous affair. A green-gray touring body, with eider down cushions, plush lined top and body, polished mahogany flooring, glass panel instrument board, and ivory-mounted handles on doors, contributed to an atmosphere of regal splendor. The car has adjustable front seats which slide back and forth to suit the occupants. It is fitted with a Victoria top lined with silk plush. The outside of the top is mohair. The floor coverings are also of silk plush over the mahogany floorboards. The ventilators in the top of the hood are striking and tend to relieve the long line of the hood covering the Hall-Scott aviation motor housed within. The sale price of the engine alone is $5,400. It develops 150 horsepower.

“One of the most distinctive features of the car is the sloping radiator, which overhangs the front axle, completely masking it, and presenting a most formidable appearance. It also contributes to cooling efficiency owing to the downward pitch of the air passages. The radiator shell slants backward and upward at practically the same angle as the windshield; the core is likewise slanted. In consequence, the air passages through it slant downward toward the engine, so that incoming air currents impinge directly against the walls of the passages, instead of rushing through them with only surface streamline contact.”

The February 1, 1917 issue of the Automobile described it as follows:

“Fageol Priced at $12,000

“Probably the most expensive car on the floor is the Fageol with the Kimball gray green touring body. As it stands it is listed at $12,000. It has adjustable front seats which slide back and forth to suit the occupants. It is fitted with a Victoria top lined with silk plush. The outside of the top is mohair. The floor coverings are also of silk plush over the mahogany floorboards. The ventilators in the top of the hood are striking and also tend to relieve the long line of the hood covering the Hall Scott aviation engine housed within. The sale price of the engine alone is $5,400.”

The brochure distributed at the Chicago show offered eight exclusive designs ‘suggested by America's foremost body builders.’ Two wheelbases, 135” and 145” were offered as was the choice of a four- or six-cylinder Hall-Scott, the resulting drivetrain fully occupying over 75% of the car’s wheelbase. The two prototypes known to have been constructed were fitted with the Four-Passenger Victoria coachwork depicted in the brochure. The bodies were fitted with ivory adorned hood latches, door handles and control knobs – even the ivory badge on the radiator was backlit when the lights were turned on.

Text from the brochure follows:

“The Fageol Car was conceived and created to increase the luxury of living and to satisfy the demand of the connoisseur for a car of American make that would meet idealized requirements.

“In every age and every clime man has expressed his love of luxury in his mode of travel. He has striven for perfection that he might enjoy to the full the pleasure and happiness denied to his less fortunate neighbor.

“Real luxury of motion has only come with the refinement of the motor car of quality. The queen in her open landau of gold, the prince with his gorgeously bedecked elephants, milady with her coach and four—all were stylish and splendid—yet all lacked the qualities now so necessary to real luxury of traveling.

“For luxury today is something more than style, something more than comfort, something more than speed. It is more than a combination of these three. Luxury not only Consists of the many little refined appointments, but in beauty of design—in the smart appearance of the car. Luxury means not only a motor that will propel the car, but a power plant that will instantly respond to the driver's slightest wish, be it the pace of a snail through the crowded traffic center or the onrushing speed of an aeroplane over an unobstructed highway.

“The driving of a Fageol car satisfies every sense of physical comfort, of mental ease and of love of speed, and brings to the fortunate owner the vivid realization of the luxury of motion.

“In the Fageol, you will find the excellence of construction and the close attention to details that has only characterized the production of European cars now practically impossible to obtain on account of the war.

“The use of the Hall-Scott Aviation Powerplant is a new but sound departure from the usual practice. This engine —excelling in every known test for speed and endurance—today ranks at the very pinnacle of Aeroplane motors, and its use places the Fageol Car above imitation.

“The custom made bodies are smart, original and distinctive—beautiful to look upon. There is every opportunity for the expression of the individual taste—that the car might truly express the personality of the owner.

“It is not too much trouble to build precisely what the buyer wants, and therefore the production of these luxurious Fageol cars is limited in order that much time may be devoted to each individual car.”

The ‘Progress Of Motor Car Industry’ column in the February 10, 1917 issue of Michigan Manufacturer and Financial Record included the following:

“Fageol, A Car For The Ultra Wealthy.

“Cornelius T. Meyers, of Detroit, is consulting engineer for the Fageol $12,500 car which is to be made in San Francisco. The Fageol is the last word in motor construction. Mr. Myers is at present at work on the motor trucks which the company will put out. These will be "laid down" in Detroit and will utilize Detroit made parts, but will be assembled in California finally. Fageol, Webb Jay and Louis Bill formed the company and put up $25,000 each at the start, but the organization is now a big business body with large capital to manufacture for the most exclusive trade. Even at $12,500 or $11,000, or whatever the price may be in that neighborhood, there will be sale for a limited number of the cars to the wealthy people who want the best.”

The February 3, 1917 issue of the Oakland Tribune reported that the car was being well-received in Chicago:

“The Fageol Motors Co. report the receipt of a telegram from Frank Fageol in Chicago to the effect that Fageol car now on display at the Chicago Motor Show is attracting the attention of motor car connoisseurs and dealers from all over the country and that there is no question regarding the sale of the first year's output. The Fageol car is manufactured in Oakland and is the highest priced motor car made in America.

“Hall-Scott Motor Company continues the erection of additional factory buildings, some five being- constructed during 1916 at their works. Fifth and Snyder, Berkeley. The latest construction consists of two new buildings to house department work, foundation being laid this week. Contracts are in hand to justify continuous night and day operation for a considerable period. The principal buyers are Army and Navy Departments at Washington and foreign powers—principally Russia.”

The next day’s issue (Oakland Tribune February 4, 1917) proclaimed it ‘the Hit of the Show’:

“Fageol Makes Hit Of Auto Show

“Oakland Built Car Gets Great Attention of Chicago Affair.

“Oakland was given another very substantial boost for distinction in the automobile world during the past week at the Chicago Automobile Show through the medium of the new Fageol car which was built in Oakland and exhibited in the big Chicago auto event. The Fageol car which is the world's highest priced, fastest and biggest horse-powered automobile, was the talk of the show according to Louie Bill of the Fageol Company who sent the following wire to the Automobile Editor of the TRIBUNE:

“‘Hoorah for California. We are again to the front in the automobile Industry. Fageol car most talked of machine at the Chicago show. Our car has created more interest and discussion among motorists and automobile engineers than any car ever shown in this country. Manufacturers congratulate Californians for applying famous Hall-Scott aeroplane motor to their car. We Americans now have finer product than any foreign manufacturer. We will exhibit at San Francisco show. You can use this now.’

“’Best wishes. Will see you in few days, - LOU H. BILL.’”

By the end of the week the February 5, 1917 issue of the Horseless Age was on the newsstands, who proclaimed it ‘A Car of Many Refinements’:

February 5, 1917 Horseless Age:

“What the Dealer Should Know About: The Fageol – A Car of Many Refinements

“With Six Cylinder Hall Scott Aviation Engine Cylinders Cast Singly and Machined to Form a Solid Block. A Gearcase of Bronze and Aluminum a Slanting Radiator and a Special Sub Frame

Evidently recognizing the truth the statement that ‘there is always room at the top’ the new chassis announced by the Fageol Motors Company, Oakland, Cal., is listed at $9,500: a figure which is however not excessive when the unusual specifications of the product are taken into consideration. In the first place the Hall-Scott engine of aviation type used in the Fageol is essentially similar to the regular airplane engine listed by the Hall-Scott Company at over $4,000 and throughout the entire construction of the chassis there is ample evidence of the full realization of a desire to provide the best, and the best only, in both major and minor details.

“Although the cylinders present the appearance of being a block casting they are in reality cast singly from a special mixture of gray and Swedish iron and are so machined on the sides that they form a block when assembled. Bore and stroke are 5x7 inches and it is stated that one of these engines has developed 130 horsepower at 1300 revolutions per minute during a continuous sixty-four hour factory test, at the conclusion of which every part was found to be in perfect condition. The crankshaft is of seven bearing type, with oversized bearing surfaces and steel oil scuppers and the one-piece camshaft is carried in an aluminum housing. The crankcase is of aluminum alloy and the lower oil case can be removed without breaking any oil line connection.

“Lubrication is of high pressure type and is operated by a large gear pump. Oil is first drawn from a strainer in the sump to a long jacket around the intake manifold and is then forced under a pressure of from five to thirty pounds to the main distributor pipe in the crankcase. The oil in the manifold jacket assists in the cooling of the engine and a uniform cylinder temperature is maintained by the use of internal outlet pipes running through the head of each cylinder. Slots cut in these pipes permit of cold water being drawn directly around the exhaust valves.

“Ignition is furnished by two high tension magnetos, both interrupters being connected to a rock shaft integral with the engine, an arrangement which makes outside connections unnecessary. The ignition system is so installed that should one magneto become inoperative, the other will continue to give efficient service. A twelve volt system of electric starting and lighting has been developed especially to suit Fageol requirements and a feature of interest in connection with the double Zenith carburetor is an arrangement which permits of oil being taken from the crankcase and run around the manifold to assist perfect carburation.

“A Hele- Shaw clutch in which V- grooved twin plates of phosphor bronze against steel revolve in an oil bath, is fitted and the especially designed transmission is mounted in an aluminum and bronze case. The main case and supporting arms are of manganese bronze, the former being so designed that the main and counter shafts, mounted one above the other, are in reality just half in the case and manganese bearing caps, when in position, completely encircle the bearings. Twisting and torque strains are taken up by chrome nickel studs which extend vertically through the aluminum case. These and the general layout of the transmission are shown in one of our illustrations.

“A sub frame which carries the rear engine arm and the transmission is designed to allow great flexibility for rough road traveling and the main chassis frame is of alloy pressed steel with main sills directly under those of the body to insure rigidity.

Chassis price $9,500
Cylinder number Six
Bore and stroke 5x7 inches
Carburetor Zenith
Ignition Two magnetos
Starting and lighting 12 volt system
Clutch type Hele-Shaw
Number of speeds Three
Rear axle Semi floating
Wheelbase 135 to 145 inches
Tires 34 x 4 inches

“Manufactured by the Fageol Motors Company, Oakland, Cal.”

Although he is not recorded as being involved in the Fageol Motors Co., Rollie B. Fageol’s bumper business must have been doing well as March 11, 1917 issue of the Oakland Tribune announced that he was constructing a new $15,000 home:

“New Home In Rockridge.

“R.B. Fageol, one of the Fageol brothers of automobile fame who made both name and fortune in operating the little automobile trains at the San Francisco Exposition, has had plans completed for a $15,000 residence on Alpine terrace in Rockridge Park. The new home will be of old English type, with twelve, rooms and a ball room in the attic. It will be one of the finest residences in this exclusive residence district, and work will be commenced at once. The plans were prepared by J. Hudson Thomas of Berkeley.”

The Fageol 100 was shown at a lavish presentation in the ballroom of the Oakland Hotel where, on a specially constructed 75 foot long platform, the Fageol was accelerated from 0 to 25 mph to a full stop in 40 feet with six persons aboard, the April 5, 1917 issue of the Oakland Tribune reporting:

“Claims New Record

“One of the most unique records in the annuls of the automobile industry was made Friday night in the Hotel Oakland ballroom before the members of the Manufacturers’ committee of the Chamber of Commerce when a Fageol car attained a speed of twenty-five miles an hour from a standing start and came to a full stop again all within the confines of a sixty-five foot room - taking the length of the car itself out of the sixty-five foot distance it really means that the car attained this twenty-five mile an hourspeed and came to a stop again in a space of less than fifty feet.

“Loose planking was spread across the room to protect the hardwood floors of the ballrooms. It is stated that the Silverton cord tires of the car fairly burned their way into the planking with the terrific friction engendered in stopping and starting the car on the test.”

During the next few years, Claud H. Fageol, the family daredevil, conducted most of the road-tests conducted by Fageol Motors, the April 15, 1917 issue describing his timed climb of Mt. Daiblo, a local peak that had a notoriously steep grade:

“Climbs Mt. Diablo in High Gear

“Fageol car at the end of its remarkable high gear test run up Mt. Diablo. Photo, with fir tree in background, shows the point reached by the car on the last steep pitch of the Diablo grade. This powerful motor car, carrying four passengers weighing in an aggregate of 763 pounds, and with two spare wheels with tires mounted, achieved a point on the Mt. Diablo run on a gear rations of 2 ½ to 1 high.

“CLAUDE FAGEOL pointing to the stake marking the point reached by the Fageol car on the Mt. Diablo grade in its wonderful high gear demonstration conducted under the official observance of the Automobile Editor of The TRIBUNE.”

“Reaching a point fully fifty yards further up the last steep pitch on Mt. Diablo than the record set by the present holder of the Tribune Mt. Diablo high-gear trophy a Fageol car driven by Claude Fageol, gave a wonderful demonstration of its hill-climbing abilities during the past week when it climbed practically to the Fir Tree on high gear under the rules of The Tribune and with the Automobile editor of The Tribune as an official carrying a total passenger weight of driver, official and observers of 763 pounds in addition to two spare Silverton cord tires mounted on spare wheels and all of the regular equipment.

“The car made the run via the Danville toll gate and made every inch of the way as far as the Fir Tree on the last steep pitch without once removing the high gear from mesh. After having raised The Tribune Mt. Diablo high gear cup record by about fifty yards and complying with all of the other rules and regulations governing the coveted Tribune trophy, the recognized symbol of Mt. Diablo high gear attainments, the car was examined for gear ratio upon its return and the committee appointed certified that the car was geared 2 1/2 to 1 on high gear. The committee appointed comprised the following: Charles B. Jones of the P.B. Anspacher agency; Harrison B. Wood of the Oldsmobile agency and A.G. Sommerville, automobile dealer.

“The Fageol car's claim to The Tribune cup was challenged by P. B. Anspacher, the Stearns-Knight car dealer, who is the present holder of the cup and the committee appointed to decide the points at issue sustained the challenge of Anspacher. It was held that although the Fageol car was a stock car to all intents and purposes yet it could not qualify as such under the Three A rules governing stock cars and while The Tribune contest is not under Three A sanction, yet the rules made by that governing body are to be followed on The Tribune Mt. Diablo high gear contest.

“Therefore The Tribune trophy is still in the possession of the Stearns-Knight eight-cylinder car, which will remain until the mark set by the Stearns-Knight car is passed by a car able to qualify as a strictly stock car under the Three A rulings. The committee deciding the cup challenge comprised the following automobile men: Manager C. A. Penfield of the John F. McLain Company; Manager Harold D. Knudson of the Willys-Overland of California; Homer Le Ballister of the McDondal Green Motor Company; R.G. Bartlett of the Mercer Jordan Company; M. Hessel of the H.O. Harrison Company and A.G. Sommerville.

“The Fageol is, according to Frank R. Fageol the builder and designer, to be delivered to buyers with gear ratios from 2 ½ to 1, 2 to 1, 1 ½ to 1, and 1 ¼ to 1. Yes the gear ratio given out by the company at the first, mentioned only the 1 ½ to 1 gear for high. Also the company having just started is unable, until a certain quantity production has been reached to qualify as a stock car, for under the Three A interpretation, a certain number of cars of the type in question must be built, sold and delivered to buyers before claims can be made as to its being a stock automobile.”

Claud’s run was mentioned in the May 1, 1917 issue of Motor West:

“Fageol Performs Acceleration Feat

“From Standing Start Attains Speed of 40 Miles Per Hour and Stops Within 40 Feet.

“A speed of 25 miles an hour from a standing start to a full stop in 40 feet was the remarkable record of the Fageol car in Oakland, Cal. the other night. This feat was accomplished at the Hotel Oakland at the annual banquet of the Alameda County Manufacturers before some 300 guests. Immediately following the speech of A.L. Garford, president of the Garford Truck Co., this $12,000 automobile was run into the ball room on its own power to a position near the performer’s stage. Frank Fageol, secretary of the Fageol Motors Co., announced that they would try for a world's record.

“‘We will attempt to establish what we believe will be a world's acceleration record,’ he said. ‘The runway which we have laid for the purpose is just 75 feet long. Subtracting twice the length of the car or 36 feet we have just 40 feet in which to gain the speed. It is our intention to get under way to 25 miles per hour from a standing start and bring the car to a stop before the length of the ball room is reached.’

“With Claude Fageol at the wheel and five guests as passengers the demonstration was made. The speedometer indicator reached the 25 mile point and the timers announced that just four seconds had elapsed from the time the start was made until the car came to a stop. This unique test demonstrated the quick get-away of the Fageol car made possible by the use of the Hall-Scott aviation motor.”

The publicity attached to the automobile put the focus on the upstart California firm and plans for the Fageol truck proceeded, the May 6, 1917 issue of the Oakland Tribune announcing the firm had purchased four acres for construction of a factory:

“Fageol Signs Up For New Factory

“Four acres of ground have been bought by the Fageol Motors Company of Oakland between Foothill and Hollywood boulevards and One Hundred and Seventh avenue, just north of Elmhurst for a $1,000,000 auto and truck plant. The deal was closed yesterday and the city council of Oakland has been asked to close several streets there for the improvement.

“The first unit of the plant will be built immediately at Hollywood boulevard and One Hundred and Seventh avenue at a cost of $100,000, with a floor space of more than 15,000 square feet. Thestructure will be of steel and brick and cement.

“Plans have been drawn for the entire plant, but the units will be put up as the business expands. The company will go in for the manufacture of motor trucks as well as pleasure cars, according to President L.H. Bill.

“The company will announce formally its plans within the week with reference to its expansion, according to Secretary Frank R. Fageol.”

The purchase coincided with the announcement of the Fageol Truck, which appeared in the May 15, 1917 edition of Motor West:

“Fageol to Build Trucks in Oakland

“The opening of a motor truck plant in Oakland, Cal., is planned by the Fageol Motors Co. of that city, builders of the extremely high-priced Fageol car. The first allotment will call for 150 trucks ranging from 2 ton to 5 ton in size and deliveries are scheduled to begin July 1. The first unit of the factory will be of concrete and steel construction and will have dimensions of 50x250 feet. A four acre site at Foothill Blvd. and One Hundred Seventh Ave., has been purchased. It was announced some time ago that no more Fageol passenger cars would be produced for a while since the Government has contracted for the entire output of Hall-Scott airplane engines which were used in the Fageol passenger cars.”

The May 20th, 1917 Oakland Tribune stated the:

“Fageol Plant Will Be Rushed To Completion

“The announcement recently made by the officials of the Fageol Motors Company to the effect that they will break ground for their new motor truck, tractor and automobile factory as soon as preliminary work on the plans of the plant are completed, has made a deep impression on the commercial interests of Oakland and Alameda county. Working in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce, the company proposes to make the ground breaking date a gala event and one to be long remembered in this city.

“From present indications the ground breaking will take place somewhere about the 6th of June, the exact date to be announced later. The Fageol factory will be located on 107th Ave., near the Foothill Boulevard, in the same locality as the Chevrolet plant, giving an air of motor car industrialism to this district which is apt to draw other automobile factories in the future.

“The company has ten acres of choice land on which to erect their various buildings and plans to build the succeeding units of the plant as rapidly as the need for them arises. As soon as the first unit of the new plant is completed machinery for building Fageol motor trucks, tractors and automobiles will be installed so that Oakland will be able to boast of one of the most complete factories of this type in the country.

“At a meeting held last Monday, the following committee was appointed to co-operate with the Fageol officials and see that the forthcoming ground-breaking ceremonies will be a huge success. The committee consists of Theo. Schluter, F. Williamson, Grant D. Miller, Robert Martland, Jos. Chrysostone, and Geo. W. Flick.”

The June 1, 1917 issue of Motor West reported on the ground-breaking ceremony:


“Oakland City Officials Join Company Heads in Celebrating Event - Trucks and Tractors to Be Built

“Ground breaking ceremonies for the erection of the new Fageol Motor Co. motor car truck and tractor factory in Oakland, Cal., were held recently. The event called for a large celebration in which Oakland city officials and citizens and Fageol company officials joined. The new factory heads were feted at a down town hotel followed by an automobile parade out to the factory site at One Hundred and Seventh Ave. and Hollywood Blvd. Speeches were made by John L. Davie, mayor of Oakland, Frank R. Fageol, secretary and manager of the Fageol Motors Co., and Joseph H. King, president of the local Chamber of Commerce. After the ground breaking the large gathering of spectators were entertained by three short racing events, one of them for cars fifteen years old or older. The celebration closed with a demonstration of the new Fageol tractor. L.H. Bill is president of the Fageol company and Frank R. Fageol, secretary and manager. W.B. Fageol will be associated with his brother in the company. The tractor to be manufactured by the company is the invention of Rush Hamilton who will probably direct this phase of the Fageol company's activities.”

The same periodical announced in the very same issue that the firm was ‘nearly ready’ to ship, surprising since the plant hadn’t even been constructed:

“Nearly Ready to Ship Fageol Trucks

“Cornelius T. Myers, consulting engineer of Detroit has completed the designs for the 3 1/2 ton and 5 ton motor trucks for the Fageol Motors Co. of Oakland, Cal. and quantity orders for materials have been placed. The company is pushing its truck production forward and expects to be shipping 2 ton trucks shortly.”

During the spring of 1917 Fageol Motors Co. acquired the rights to manufacture an unusual ‘Walking Tractor’ designed by Rush E. Hamilton of Geyserville, Sonoma County, California. The unusual tractor featured afront mounted power unitequipped with self-cleaning front wheels (aka grousers) behind which rode the operator and whatever implement was being used at the time albeit a plow or trailer.The grousers broke up the soil, making it significantly easier for the attached plow to turn the soil over.

The power unit was connected to the trailing implement unit via an articulated union which also served to steer the tractor, and its awkward movement gave it the appearance as if it was walking over the ground.

Hamilton was awarded three patents related to the device all of which were assigned to the Hamilton Tractor Co. of San Francisco, Calif.; Power Interrupting Device For Tractors - US Pat. No. 1220982 - Grant - Filed Nov 26, 1915 – Issued Mar 27, 1917; Wheeled Farming Implement - US Pat. No. 1235891 - Grant - Filed Nov 26, 1915 - Issued Aug 7, 1917; and Self-Cleaning Tractor Wheel - US Pat. No. 1274710 - Grant - Filed Apr 27, 1916 - Issued Aug 6, 1918.

Hamilton was provided with stock in the Fageol Motor Co. in return for the use of his patents, and was given as seat on the firm’s board of directors, who in 1917 included: F.R. Fageol, L.H. Bill, W.B. Fageol, Dr. Arthur E. Hackett, Horatio W. Smith and R.E. Hamilton.

The June 3, 1917 issue of the Oakland Tribune announced the new product to the community:

“Fageol Motors Company To Build Farm Tractor

“As soon as the Fageol Motors Company's new motor truck automobile and tractor factory is built and making of the various Fageol products under way, one of the first of these mechanical products to be turned out and placed within the reach of the farmers of the West will be the new tractor—the invention of Rush Hamilton - a farmer and mechanic of years of experience.

“Hamilton, whose experimentation with tractors and whose labors along these lines were called forth in his efforts to meet his own wants and a desire to get a tractor that would do the things he knew a farm tractor should do, after working on his Ideas for several years, invented and evolved an entire new type of farm and general tractor which, working en new principles, proved perfectly satisfactory.

“The Fageol factory officials who had been looking for a tractor which would stand up under the various and trying conditions which beset the path of farm work, upon investigating and thoroughly trying out the Hamilton found that it passed every quality claimed for it by its inventor with the result that they acquired all the rights to build and market the same.

“Built upon an entirely new principle, the new tractor does not depend upon the …..

“Big band wheel for its traction. Realizing that while these types of tractors pulled the plows or other farm machinery along that at the same time they packed the ground in front of the plow, thereby making for a greater expenditure of power.

“Hamilton provided his machine with two front wheels which have a series of steel projections about a foot long which, as the tractor advances, dig their way into the soil, thereby getting traction for the pulling of plows or whatever other machinery being used and by agitating the ground as it moves along loosens up the soil for the plow.

“Another feature of the new Fageol tractor as its adaptability to do all kinds of farm traction work. It is built so as to run in near to the ground, enabling the farmer or orchardist to plow or cultivate near and beneath his trees and bushes without harming them at all.

“‘The beauty of these new tractors,’ remarked F. R. Fageol, ‘is that they are adapted to so many farming needs, that they are economical in running expense, they use either kerosene or distillate or gasoline for fuel, and that they provide a world of power where the farmer needs it.'

“The new tractor will be demonstrated at the ground-breaking ceremonies at the Fageol new factory site on Saturday, June 9 so that all who are interest in this new machine and have a chance to see it in action.”

The September 1, 1917 issue of Motor West included a detailed article describing the new Fageol tractor to the trade:

“Fageol ‘Walking Tractor’

“Small, Light and Powerful, It is Well Adapted to Pacific Coast Soil Conditions— Listed at $ 1,085

“The Fageol Tractor, just placed on the market, is the latest product of the Fageol Motors Co. of Oakland. Cal. This company is the builder of the Fageol car —the $12,000 automobile that took the East by storm during the national show in Chicago last Winter. This company is also the builder of the Fageol truck in a number of different capacities.

“The Fageol ‘walking tractor’ embodies many distinctive and remarkable features. It is small, light and powerful— making it especially adaptable for the orchardist and small farmer.

“Perhaps the most distinctive feature is the novel but practical method of traction employed. The traction wheels—two in number—are so constructed as to ‘walkin and out of the ground.’ The long U-shaped prongs or grousers simply penetrate the ground's harder sub-soil, and in coming out break up the ground instead of packing it.

“The wheels will negotiate any kind of soil—either wet or dry. It is impossible for the wheels to stick with mud. Weighting but 1750 pounds, or slightly more than a single horse, and having the pulling power of four horses at the draw-bar, this tractor is able to accomplish results not found possible by heavier tractors of other types.

“The Fageol tractor ‘literally grew’ on a California farm. The inventor, Rush Hamilton, is a practical orchardist and farmer of ten years' successful experience, and withal a mechanical genius.

“He realized that the tractor would someday replace the horse, lie looked about for a tractor that would fill his needs. Unable to find one, he started to build a tractor on the 'walking principle' of the horse, and today the Fageol ‘walking tractor’ is the result. During his three years of experimentation on the farm, he put his tractor to every possible test. He used it for plowing, disking, hauling, etc.—in fact, he used it successfully for all work formerly done by horses.

“The Fageol tractor can be used profitably by practically every orchardist and small farmer in the country. The narrow width permits a center hitch for the plow, enabling it regardless of direction of plowing to get right up to the trunk of the tree without any side draft at all. In manipulation about the tree base, this tractor is as flexible as a single horse. In fact, the tractor and plow will turn in a 6 1/4-foot radius.

“Interesting features of construction of this machine are the enclosed bearings, dust-proof and running in oil or grease. Freedom from grease cups and from wear and tear of the excessive dust of orchard work upon exposed bearings, effect a rare combination of advantages. An ingenious band is furnished to go over the lug on the driving wheel so that the tractor can be put in shape for road driving within a few minutes.

“Transmission gears run in oil and are enclosed. The final drive is by internal gear. The pinions and the removable gears are accurately centered in the drive wheel to prevent any side strain on the axle. The gear reduction of 65 to 1 gives the tractor a speed of about 2 1/2 miles per hour, which makes possible the plowing of about four acres per day with a fuel consumption of 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 gallons per acre, depending on soil and depth of plowing

“The four-cylinder motor, with 3 1/8-inch bore and 5-inch stroke, develops 18.23 horsepower. Lubrication is by splash and pump. The cellular type radiator has an exceptionally large cooling surface, the water being circulated by the thermo-syphon system. The float-feed carburetor is provided with a patent dust arrester. Ignition is by high-tension magneto. There are two speeds—one forward and one reverse. The drive wheels are 46 inches in diameter, being about 38 inches out of the ground when in operation. There are sixteen 10-inch U-shaped grousers on each drive wheel. The over-all length of the tractor is 100 inches, and the tread 41 inches. Gasoline, distillate or kerosene may be used for fuel. The tractor is listed at $1,085 f.o.b. Oakland.”

The new Fageol automobile was put to good use during the summer of 1917 by the firm’s new sales manager, J.L. Olsen, the July 22, 1917 Oakland Tribune reporting:

“Sales Manager For Fageol Firm

“J.L. Olsen, well known in coast automobile circles, has been appointed sales manager of the Fageol Motors Company, and took over his duties in his new position last week.

“Olsen left a few days ago on a tour of California in the Fageol pleasure car, the highest priced car in America, for the purpose of getting in touch with country dealers and closing up agencies for the Fageol motor truck.

“Needless to say that wherever Olsen stops the beautiful car which he is driving will be the big object of interest in the community, but it is on the other Fageol products, the truck and the tractor, that he expects to interest automobile men from the financial standpoint.

“He will close with dealers through Central and Southern California and Arizona on this trip and return to San Francisco and from here make another trip this time to the Northwest. Olsen has a wide experience in the automobile business, having been engaged in the selling of motor trucks and cars on the coast for the last ten years.

“According to a statement made by Olsen before he left, the Fageol Company is able to make deliveries on the two ton trucks now and will be able to make deliveries on the tractor by September 1. The Fageol Company expects to be in first unit of the new Oakland factory in within thirty days.”

The August 1, 1917 issue of Motor West announced that a portion of Fageol’s new factory complex was completed:

“Build First Unit Of Fageol Plant

“Another Unit to Be Started Immediately and Six Buildings to Be Completed by End of Year.

“The Fageol Motors Co., Oakland, Cal., has completed and occupied the first unit of its new plant. The building is surrounded by a concrete roadway 20 feet wide used for loading space for incoming materials. In the factory the process of assembly is so arranged that frames will come first, axles next, then springs and so on, keeping the assembling operation moving in one direction toward a completed machine. Pneumatic tools handle all materials. To simplify the handling of smaller parts, rolling assembly tables are used, each containing a blue print number. This enables the mechanics to have sufficient material always on hand. Another unit of the plant will be started immediately and it is expected that by the end of the year there will be a group of six buildings involving an investment of approximately $500,000.”

The August 19, 1917 Oakland Tribune announced the firm’s new factorywould be using cranes and rolling assembly jigs and tables, which were standard practice before the days of the assembly line, which was still in its infancy in the days leading up to the First World War:

“First Fageol Unit Is Ready

“Company to Move Into New Quarters Before End of Week

“The first unit of the great Fageol Motors Company is now complete and before the end of the week the firm will be established in its new quarters.

“With the first building completed and the machinery installed a real start has been made by the Fageol Motors Company in the production of the various Fageol products, the passenger car, the truck and the tractor.

“The plant when completed will be one of the most modern and efficiently organized factories in America.

“Every device is included to make for continual, thorough and modern handling of truck and tractor parts, moving always towards a complete machine that will give the Fageol service under all conditions.

“The first unit is surrounded by a concrete roadway 20 feet in width which is used for loading space for incoming materials. Inside the factory the assembly leg is so arranged that assemblage will be completed in its regular order, that is, frames first, axles next, then springs, and so on, thus keeping assemblage moving in one direction toward a completed machine.

“Pneumatic tools handle all materials from the time they are hoisted into the building by pneumatic cranes, drills, wrenches, etc., forming part of the equipment of each assembly leg. This tends greatly to reduce labor and operating costs in the factory.

“To facilitate the handling of smaller parts, roiling assembly tables are used, each containing a blue-print number. This enables the mechanics to keep sufficient material on hand always. Upon completing a unit the mechanic signs an assembly card in order that the checking up may be simplified. The chief inspector carefully checks up all work and gives a thorough inspection of all parts before permitting any single piece of work to go outside the factory. This affords a double check on error or carelessness.

“A feature of interest to the general public in connection with the completion of the first unit of the Fageol Motors Company factory in Oakland last week is the special care which is taken by officials of the company for the comfort and welfare of their employees.

“Numerous recreation centers have been constructed in the first building where much healthful sports as baseball, handball, tennis and track, can be enjoyed. Locker rooms and special wash rooms and shower baths complete the gymnasium equipment.

“In the office the employees’ interests are also looked after. There is a large safe deposit vault, a part of which is devoted to the care of valuable papers, Liberty bonds or cherished valuables of the employees.”

The September 15, 1917 issue of Motor West announced the somewhat surprising news that Fageol had actually delivered one of its cars to the Hester Motors Co of New York:

“Fageol Shipping Cars To the East

“Demand From That Section Due to Display Made at the National Shows in New York and Chicago. The first Fageol motor car of a consignment of the twenty-five costly models ordered by the Hester Motors Inc., New York City, will be shipped east this week. The placing of the order is the result of the distinctive display of the Fageol Motors Co., Oakland, Cal., at the 1917 automobile shows at New York and Chicago. Twenty five Hall-Scott engines have been secured by special arrangement the Hall-Scott Motor Car Co., Oakland, being at present engaged in government work.”

Alas, the twenty-five Hall-Scott engines mentioned above, never made it to the Fageol plant, and the preceding announcement is the only evidence I could find that a ‘production’ Fageol automobile was delivered. The car in question was delivered to Dr. Antonio S. de Bustamante, Jr. of Havana, Cuba, and the remaining car, the prototype originally displayed at the Chicago Salon, was eventually sold to William Andrews Clark, Jr. ,the wealthy Los Angeles-based son of Montana ‘Copper King’ (and two-time US Senator) William Andrews Clark, Sr.

Historians familiar with the firm believe only two cars were completed – the prototype seen in Chicago, and the ‘production‘ Fageol mentioned above. A Fageol was also reported to have been displayed at the 1917 San Francisco Auto Salon which was held Dec 18-20, 1916 at the Palace Hotel, but I could locate no further information on exactly which car, if any was displayed. It’s possible the car was displayed at the 1917 Pacific Automobile Show which was held from February 10-17 at San Francisco’s Exposition Auditorium.

However, Beverly Rae Kimes & Henry Austin Clark claim there was a third car stating:

“A third, and no doubt final, Fageol was built in 1921 for company president Louis H. Bill. A custom four-passenger speedster, it was fitted with an eight-cylinder Rutenber engine and Fageol's own seven-speed compound transmission.”

A grainy picture (seen to the right) labeled '1921 Fageol Touring',  is likley the car mentioned by Kimes & Clark. The main difference between it and the earlier Fageol automobiles can be seen in the hood ventilators - the six jagged units seen on the 1917 Fageol have been discarded in favor of a more streamlined 2-ventilator setup.

Although Rollie B. Fageol was no longer involved in his brother’s business activities he remained hard at work developing heavy-duty suspensions and drivetrains for Fadgl Flexible Systems and various third parties, one of which was the Pacific Electric Railway, the September 29, 1917 issue of the Electric Railway Journal reporting:

“Flexible Buses in Larger Sizes

“The Pacific Electric Railway has under construction additional buses of the Fadgl flexible type which will be put into auxiliary service at an early date. The first of these cars to be put in service by the company is still in use at Fresno, Cal. They were described on page 314 of the Electric Railway Journal for Aug. 10, 1916.

“The new buses will have a seating capacity of thirty passengers and there are also improvements in the design of the bus body. A more powerful motor has been used in the larger cars and by employing heavier construction throughout it is expected that the life of the bus will be materially increased. The new type is shown in the accompanying illustration.”

Fadgl Flexible Systems also developed an ore train that based upon the auto trains Fageol had developed for use at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The August 26, 1917 issue of the Oakland Tribune announced the formation of a new firm that hoped to exploit the new ore trains to regional mining operators:

“Fadgl Ore Cars

“San Francisco, Aug. 20 – The Mines Transportation Company is the name of a new $200,000 concern, fathered by Rollie Fageol and Harry F. Davis of Oakland, and George W. Murphy of San Francisco, which filed articles of incorporation here today. The concern proposes to use the Fadgl car which was operated for passenger transportation at the Panama-Pacific Exposition to carry ore from mines to railroads doing away with the necessity of laying tracks. It is claimed that the Fageol machine is particularly adapted to this purpose.”

There were a number of firms named ‘Mines Transportation Co.’ active in the west, and the San Francisco firm appeared just as the Mines Transportation Co. of Murray, Utah, failed. The latter firm was a known user of Fadgl Flexible Systems ore trains and their pending bankruptcy was covered in the August 30, 1916 issue of the Deseret News:

“The Mines Transportation Company was managed by its president, James Austin, and its vice-president, Abe Mecking, both active spirits in the concern and both signing its checks. It purchased tractor engines and cars for hauling of the ores of the Cardiff Mining Company down Big Cottonwood canyon, but after a short trial found that the grades were too steep, and that the brakes were not powerful enough to hold the cars back. The contract was therefore thrown up and the California company which had supplied the engines and cars took them back and re-shipped them to California as they had only been partly paid for.”

Cardiff Mining Company’s spokesman, Ezra Thompson, had the following to say in regards to the tractor trains:

“‘The tractor trains were a failure’, Mr. Thompson said. ‘The grade proved too great for them, and they could not be operated successfully despite guarantees which were made to the contrary.’”

Although the ore train concept was sound, the product needed improvement and Rollie B. Fageol commenced to beef up the drivetrain and soon had a redesigned vehicle that found favor with a San Francisco millionaire named Commander Emory Winship.

In 1918 Winship, who owned several Magnesite mines in and around Livermore, California, hired Rollie B. Fageol to head a team of engineers to design trucks to replace the mule trains that were currently hauling ore out of his mines. Well acquainted with the problems associated with such an operation, Fageol created a number of vehicles for Winship between 1918-1920 that experimented with various combinations of axles and drivetrains.

Back in Oakland sales of the Fageol-Hamilton ‘walking tractor’ were few and far between and in 1918 Fageol brought out a totally new conventional 4-wheeled unit equipped with a unusual ‘spudded’ drive wheels that were clearly influenced by the Hamilton’s. It also included Fageol’s distinctive hood ventilators, making it easily identifiable as a Fageol.

The tractor included a Lycoming four-cylinder 3 1/2 x 5-inch bore and stroke engine and a single speed transmission - 1 forward gear and 1 reverse - that was engaged without the use of a clutch. Also included was a Tillotson carburetor, Dixie magneto and ball and roller bearings throughout. Total weight was 3,600 lbs. and the price; $1,525, rather high considering it featured only a single forward gear.

Regardless sales increased dramatically and the April 28, 1918 issue of the Oakland Tribune announced the firm was constructing a new building:

“Add Fourth Unit to Fageol Plant

“Increasing demand for Fageol products, both truck and tractor, throughout the west have made necessary a further enlargement of the big Oakland manufacturing plant. To the three units already constructed a fourth is now being built at a cost of approximately $12,000 This is in line with the original building plans of the company and the fourth unit is being constructed in the rear of the other three. It will be used as a parts and stock department, and when all of the buildings of the plant are finished according to the original plan, this unit will be in the center of the big manufacturing plant."

Frank R. Fageol suffered an acute attack of appendicitis in the fall, the September 14, 1918 Oakland Tribune reporting:

“Frank Fageol to Recover, Say Doctors

“Frank R. Fageol of the Fageol Motors Company is reported as convalescent at Merritt Hospital, where he was operated on last Wednesday by Dr. M. L. Emerson for an acute attack of appendicitis and indications point to his early recovery.”

The January 15, 1920 issue of Motor West reveals that the Fageol distribution network, which was handled by Berkeley, Calif.’s Butler-Veitch Co. in northern California, included as many as 60 individual dealers:

“Fageol Dealers Meet

“The Fageol Motors Co. recently held its second annual dealers convention at its Oakland, Cal., plant. More than sixty distributors and dealers of the Fageol truck from all parts of the Coast were present, a 100 per cent attendance.

“The company has lately announced the Fageol seven-speed compound transmission installed in its trucks, adding 36 per cent more truck speed and 91 per cent more pulling power, without added engine power.”

Details of the new transmission were published in the March 15, 1920 issue of Motor West:

“Seven-Speed Truck is Fast

“Double Round Trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles and Return, by Fageol, at 25 Miles Per Hour.

“As a forerunner of fast inter-city express freight service by motor trucks the double round trip test run of a Fageol 3 ½ - 4 ton model, between San Francisco and Los Angeles, is pointed to as indicative of what may be the performance with trucks equipped with the new seven-speed compound transmission. An average speed of approximately 25 miles per hour on the double round trip run between the two principal cities of California—a distance of 1,765 miles—was maintained with capacity loads of freight consigned to business concerns in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

“Following the California state highway along the Coast on the southward trip, the first test started from Third and Market streets, San Francisco, at 9:15 p. m., January 5, and ended 19 hours 53 minutes later at First and Broadway, Los Angeles, after 460 miles of strenuous driving. The actual running time, with stops for gasoline and meals deducted, was 17 hours 5 minutes, an average of 26.5 miles per hour. This may be compared with the schedule of the crack passenger trains on the Southern Pacific Railroad, the Lark via the coast line taking 14 hours 50 minutes, and the Owl, through the valley, doing the trip in 15 hours 30 minutes.

“The return trip was made via the Ridge Route, over the Tehachapi mountains, and through the San Joaquin Valley on the state highway. The distance was 427 miles and was covered in an elapsed time of 16 hours 39 ½ minutes. The actual running time was at 27.3 miles per hour.

“In the first round trip test run of 887 miles more than 30 towns and cities, two mountain ranges of considerable importance, and numerous ranges of hills, with varying steep grades and slow going, presented traffic and pulling tests that proved the value of the new equipment. With such hindrances to speed, even though the roads were practically all good, it necessitated making a speed of from 30 to 40 miles per hour on the open stretches of level highway.

“That such a speed is attainable with a motor truck carrying a capacity load, and can be maintained over long reaches of roadway without seriously affecting the motor or truck mechanism through excessive vibration is regarded as little short of marvelous. With the ordinary three or four-speed gearset it is a practical impossibility, as the truck and motor would be shaken to pieces. It is accomplished through the fifth forward speed—an over gear which, while not increasing the engine revolutions per minute or consuming more fuel, still gives the truck 36 per cent more speed than a truck fitted with a standard transmission.

“The steep pitches on the grades through Gaviota Pass, the long steady pull up Cuesta grade between Atascadero and San Luis Obispo, and the no less severe trip up San Juan grade, with more than four tons of pay load, showed the great advantages of the new seven-speed compound transmission when in extreme low gear. The additional low increases the pulling power of the Fageol, it is claimed, 91 per cent above the best obtainable pulling power with an ordinary three-speed transmission.

“A second round-trip test run was made, beginning in Oakland January 8, and ending with the return of the heavily laden Fageol to San Francisco, January 12, in which the actual mileage traveled was 878 miles, at an average speed of 26.8 miles per hour for actual running time.

“On the first run south, Goodyear pneumatic cord tires on steel wheels were used, coming through the hard trip without a scar. On the second run Goodrich DeLuxe solid tires on Sewell patented wooden cushion wheels were used, and one of the surprises of the two trips was the better time on the solid tires. On the pneumatics an average of 25.1 miles per hour was maintained, while on the solids 26.8 miles was the average speed. On the rear wheels, on the solid-tire trip, the tires were dual. Although on the solid-tire trip, especially on the return trip from Los Angeles to Oakland, the elapsed time was shorter than with pneumatics, this was perhaps due to several delays to the latter on the way down, including an arrest for driving through Santa Barbara at almost 40 miles an hour. The solid tires showed wear on their return trip and General Sales Manager Fort, of Fageol, believes they would not stand up under the terrific strain of the speed possible with the seven-speed transmission.

“For the speed of the two round trips and the heavy loads carried the gasoline consumption was low. On the first trip an average of 8 miles per gallon was proof of the Fageol Motor Co.'s claim that economy of operation is possible on motor trucks traveling at high speed with the help of the new seven-speed compound transmission.

“On the first round-trip test, the weight of truck and load, southward, was 17,400 pounds; on the return, 14,800 pounds. On the second round trip the total weight on the southward run was 15,500 pounds; on the return, 15,000 pounds.

“On each return trip, after arrival at Oakland, the truck was taken to San Francisco and driven over the famous Fillmore Street hill, a 25 per cent grade as shown on the official map of the city engineer.”

In order to increase their share of the national truck market, the firm needed to expand into the eastern markets, a move which was spearheaded by Frank R. Fageol – the April 25, 1920 Oakland Tribune reporting:

“Frank Fageol Goes East To Close Contract

“Frank Fageol, manager of the Fageol Motors company of this city, left for Cleveland and other Eastern points last Monday.

“As this trip is a most important one, in that it is made particularly for the closing of pending contracts which will insure the early delivery of materials required for the contemplated greatly increased production of Fageol products, and as Fageol expects to be away for several weeks, the event was made the occasion Sunday evening of a surprise party to him at his residence in Claremont, at which some hundred or more of his employees gathered and presented him with a token of their regard and esteem. Monday morning there was a large gathering at the station of his heads of departments and of the officials of Butler-Veitch, the distributors of Fageol products, to wish him God speed.”

The trip East brought about a number of changes in operations, the most important being the formation of the Fageol Motors Company of Ohio which was floated through a $200,000 stock offering that first appeared in the September 2, 1920 Oakland Tribune. The new corporation’s officers included Frank R. Fageol, president; Webb Jay, vice-president; Calvin Eib, vice-president of sales; Maj. S.E. Hutton, secretary-treasurer; A.E. Jurs, general manager and I.H. Crow, supt. of the machine shop. Its formation of the firm was announced in the August 28, 1920 issue of Automobile Topics:

“Fageol Trucks Are To Be Made in Ohio

“Fageol Motors Company of Ohio Formed in Cleveland - A Separate Company from California Plant -Oakland Men Included in Personnel.

“Fageol trucks, which for the past three years have been manufactured in Oakland, Cal., are now to be built in Cleveland. For this purpose a new organization has been formed to take over the Ohio manufacturing project. The Fageol Motors Company (of Ohio) is the name of the new enterprise and its executive personnel is made up of men who were formerly identified with the California company. A plant in the Ohio city, formerly occupied by a motorcycle manufacturer, has just been secured, and additional factory units will be added, according to present plans. Limited production is to start in September, gradually increasing the output until the proposed schedule of 60 trucks a month by January is attained.

“F.R. Fageol, founder of the Oakland company and largely responsible for the truck’s design and its development, is president of the newly formed company, having resigned as president of, although retaining an interest in the California plant. Fageol, for a number of years a car and truck distributor himself, has learned by such experience just what the demands of the truck user are, and also the value of factory cooperation with the dealer. This plus his truck and tractor building experience fits him for his new post.

“Calvin C. Eib, who, as told in these columns last May, left the management of the Denver branch of the Willys-Overland Company to direct the sales of the Ohio plant, although it was not known at that time that a separate company would be formed, assumes the post of vice-president in charge of sales. The other executives Fageol brings with him from California, they being I.H. Crow, who was superintendent of machine shop production for the Oakland Fageol plant.; Major S.E. Hutton, secretary and treasurer of the Ohio company, and A.E. Jurs, general superintendent of production. Webb Jay, whose name is well-known in connection with the vacuum tank, is a director and vice-president.

“The Ohio company, while entirely friendly to the Oakland organization, is to be conducted as an independent enterprise.Under the arrangement consummated, the Cleveland plant will turn out exactly the same truck as made on the Coast, and has at its disposal the engineering department of the Oakland outfit, which, incidentally, will carry on all the development work for the two companies. The Ohio company has exclusive rights to all territory east of the Rockies and such export sales as are ordinarily handled from the Atlantic seaboard. The eastern organization will concentrate on but two of the Fageol truck modes, a medium duty, 2 ½ - 3 tons capacity, and a heavy duty, for loads from 3 ½ tons upward. Both of these feature the Fageol seven-speed compound transmission, which has been described previously in Automobile Topics.”

The September 25, 1920 edition of Michigan Manufacturer and Financial Record announced the new firm had leased the former plant of the National Bronze & Aluminum Foundry Co.:

“Fageol Locates In Cleveland

“It is announced in Cleveland that the Fageol Motors Company, of Oakland, Cal., maker of trucks, has taken a short time lease on the plant formerly occupied by the National Bronze & Aluminum Foundry, and will use the 35,000 square feet of floor space as a branch plant pending the erection of a factory. The Cleveland business will be entirely independent of that in California, and for this reason the Fageol Motors Company of Ohio has been organized, in which men well known in the automobile industry of Cleveland and elsewhere are financially interested, among them being F. C. Chandler, founder and president of the Chandler Motor Car Company. At the Cleveland plant only two Fageol models will be made—a 2 ½ to 3-ton model and a heavy duty model for loads of from 3 ½ tons up. The vehicles will be duplicates to those made on the coast.”

September 15, 1920 issue of the Commercial Car Journal included further details of the new firm as well information about the firm’s new 7-speed transmission:

“Fageol Trucks Now Also Being Built in Cleveland

“The Fageol Compound Truck which for the past three years has been built in Oakland, Calif., is now being manufactured also in Cleveland, Ohio, in order to meet the demand that has been coming to the California plant from truck buyers of the east and middle west. Fageol trucks are built in four sizes 1 ½, 2 ½, 3 ½ - 4, and 5-6 tons capacity. Detailed specifications will found in the specification table in this issue. The Fageol organization has for several years been convinced that the truck of the future must be capable of a wider range of operation. The following description tells their solution of the problem:

“The 7-speed compound transmission which is largely responsible for Fageol success on the Pacific coast, gives the truck a range of power declared by its makers to be 91 per cent greater than is possible with the conventional 4-speed type of transmission, as well as 36 per cent more road speed, without in the least increasing the speed of the engine. The Fageol transmission, used exclusively in this truck, is in appearance quite the same as the 4-speed type, having exactly the same number of gears, shafts, etc. Yet the Fageol transmission provides five speeds forward and two reverse.

“The extra speeds or gear ratios of the Fageol are obtained through a very simple device developed and perfected by F.R. Fageol, and the engineering department of the Fageol Company. This device, upon which patents are pending, makes it possible to run the countershaft of the ordinary transmission at two speeds instead of one. The fifth forward, or high, is an over-gear which, while not increasing the number of engine revolutions per minute, gives the truck 36 per cent more road speed, thus reducing the gas consumption per mile. The first speed forward in the Fageol is an extra low gear which gives the truck 91 per cent more pulling power.

“The range of power and speed made possible by this transmission has been found especially desirable by truck owners of the Pacific coast where are found the most exacting traffic conditions in America. There, a successful motor truck must be able to haul a full load up 25 per cent to 30 per cent grades over all kinds of mountain road. It must be capable of withstanding the rapid transition from summer heat to freezing temperature to compensate for lowered efficiency clue to high altitude—25 per cent at 7000 ft.—it must have a reserve of power far beyond sea level requirements.

“In addition to its compound transmission, the Fageol embodies also ease of control and comfort for the driver. The truck is said to steer with unusual ease. All operating levers such as throttle, brake and gear-shaft, are most conveniently located and so constructed as to insure comfort when being maneuvered.

“The driver is relieved of the necessity of continuously oiling springs, etc., by the oil reservoir spring hangers which keep all of the springs on the truck lubricated. A very complete set of tools is conveniently located in a substantially built tool box. To provide for the driver's comfort a well upholstered form-fitting seat is furnished.

“The Fageol Motors Company (of Ohio) as the new Cleveland company is known, is headed by F.R. Fageol, founder of the California company, who is largely responsible for the development of the truck as well as its success west of the Rockies, where it is one of the three or four big leaders in the trucking field. Mr. Fageol attributes much of his success as a truck manufacturer to the fact that for a number of years he was a distributor of cars and trucks. This experience, he declares, has been of inestimable help in enabling him to build a truck which meets the demand of the truck user and consequently is easily handled by the dealer. This same experience has taught him the value of factory co-operation with the dealer. Associated with Mr. Fageol is Calvin Eib, who will assume the position of vice president in charge of sales for the Fageol Company (of Ohio). Mr Fageol has brought with him from California, I.H. Crow, who has been the superintendent of machine shop production for the Oakland plant, Major S.E. Hutton, secretary and treasurer of the new company, and A.E. Jurs, general superintendent of production. Webb Jay, of Vacuum Tank fame, is a director and vice president of the company.”

In partnership with a San Francisco-based father & son team - Samuel A. & Horace W. Moss - Rollie B. Fageol formed the Fageol-Moss Shock Absorber Co. late in the year.Organized with a capital stock of $150,000 in order to manufacture shock absorbers, Fageol-Moss’ factory was located at 3512 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, Calif. Samuel A. Moss is better known today as the developer of the Moss Supercharger, a Rateau-type of turbo compressor developed for the Liberty aero engine during his tenure as chief of turbine research at the General Electric Co. Exactly what products were developed by Fageol-Moss is unknown and the firm disappeared by the time the 1923 Oakland directory was published.

Rollie’s younger brother Claud continued to work in Oakland’s retail automobile business as manager of the Oakland Scripps-Booth and HCS distributor and at the end of 1921 as manager of the Pacific Nash Motors Co., the August 24, 1921 issue of Motor World reporting:

“Claude Fageol, Oakland, Cal., one of best known men in the motor car industry of northern California, whose connection with the automobile business dates back to the days when the old Rambler was the car of the day, has been appointed sales manager of the Pacific Nash Motors Co. with headquarters in Oakland.”

The November 20, 1921 issue of the Oakland Tribune marked the official unveiling of Rollie B. Fageol’s most famous creation, the eight-wheeled motor bus:

“Car Builder Is Pioneer In Bus Designs

“Rollie Fageol, builder of the Fadgl trains which served as the transportation system within the exposition grounds during 1915, has designed and completed for the American Highway Transportation Company of San Francisco an eight-wheeled, twenty-passenger motor bus which gives excellent promise of revolutionizing the present type of motor buses.

“Twenty-five hundred miles of service has thus far brought to light only a few minor changes in construction and the Fadgl bus will still work its way through the experimental stage by being subjected to 27,500 additional more miles in order to reveal any hidden bugs.

“Increased riding safety and greater riding comfort are the two main points advanced by Fageol as the basic reasons for future success his eight-wheeled motor bus will experience. Increased safety is possible because skidding has been eliminated and little danger of accident is likely from tire trouble even when the bus is traveling at a high rate of speed.

“Greater riding comfort comes from the use of the four extra wheels and because of the smaller tires used.

“Fageol declares that the eight-wheeled idea is an evolution of the six-wheel type, which, in turn, he says, was an evolution of the successful Fadgl motor train.

“On the first experimental run, from Oakland to Los Angeles, via the coast route, the Fadgl bus made the run of 455 miles in fifteen hours on a gasoline performance which showed ten miles to gallon as an average.

“The four front wheels steer in tandem and Fageol states that this system provides a safer and easier control of the car.

“In the present job a Continental motor is used, but on the next and subsequent buses a special Hall-Scott motor will constitute the power plant. The wheel base is sixteen feet in length and the length over all is twenty-six feet. The bus turns on a twenty-six foot radius. The present experimental bus weighs 8,000 pounds and this weight will be considerably reduced on the next job that is turned out.

“From the 32 x 4 1/2 tires Fageol uses he expects from 25,000 to 30,000 miles of service and if this record is obtained passenger bus operators will get a somewhat rude shock, inasmuch as 10,000 miles is considered a fine showing on the existing large sized tires equipped on present day four-wheeled types.

“Fageol is trying the eight-wheeler out today on the experimental track at Pittsburg in order to find out just what road shocks it produces and to what extent, if any, it affects the longevity of concrete roads. Because the road impact is lighter than four-wheel type produces, Fageol believes his new passenger-carrying vehicle will show up favorably on the accurate recording instruments that are in use on the Pittsburg course.

“An equalized load, almost perfectly balanced, is obtained under any driving conditions.”

The eight-wheeled truck/bus chassis was not a new design, the July 1917 issue of Popular Science Monthly included pictures and schematics of a ‘Ten-Ton Motor-Truck on Eight Wheels’.

The January 1922 issue of The Timberman included an article on another new Rollie B. Fageol design, a six-wheel-drive road train constructed for Col. Emory Winship,a San Francisco-based mine owner:

“Six-Wheel Drive Road Train

“System of Transportation Said To Rival Three Separate Trucks and Drivers

“By distributing the load over a number of trailers, and by developing a power unit with traction on all six of its wheels, Emery Winship of San Francisco, has evolved a system of motor haulage calculated to give greater efficiency than three separate trucks and three individual drivers.

“Train With Six-Wheel Drive Unit

“This road train consists of a 10-ton truck with 6-wheel drive and two 5-ton trailers of special design. There are four wheels and two axles in the rear of the power unit over which the load is carried. By putting the 10-ton load over the four wheels in the rear instead of over two as in the 4-wheel trucks it doubles the bearing surface of the train and only brings half the pressure on any one point of pavement. This practice will greatly increase the life of roads and pavements. The 6-wheel drive eliminates the slippage and gives a traction of 100 per cent.

“The fact that one man can drive the train without assistance and more economically than three drivers for three trucks reduces the gas consumption and overhead.

“The power unit steers on the two front and two rear wheels. All steering wheels intersteer so that when the front wheels are turned the rear wheels automatically turn in the opposite direction so that the train is practically on a pivot, giving a very short turning radius. All four wheels of the two trailers intersteer, and follow in the exact path of the wheels of the power unit, consequently one driver can drive the train around a sharp corner without looking around to see if the trailers are striking anything.

“The power unit is equipped with a hydraulic steering gear which automatically throws into hand gear should anything happen to the hydraulic steering device. This enables the train to be steered with a minimum of effort on the part of the driver.

“Each wheel of the motor truck and trailers have their own brake which is a combination of pneumatic and hydraulic device, and is so arranged that should one or more of the trailers get loose the brakes are automatically applied. There is also a device that automatically puts the proper amount of brake on the trailers when they are crowding the power unit in going down grade.

“Various devices are installed on the trailers which absolutely eliminate any wobble in the trailers, thereby eliminating the menace to other traffic. The road train is 62 feet in length and can be turned in a circle 60 feet in diameter.

“For a better understanding of some of the features of the road train, a series of photographs is reproduced.

“No. 1 shows the method of connecting the front trailer to the power unit. It also shows the hose for controlling the brakes on the trailers. No. 2 shows how the power unit can run over obstructions. This block is 12 inches high, and the truck run up onto the top and back again without any trouble whatever. The front wheels were held in this position for several minutes, while the photo was being taken. This photo also shows the cylinder and mechanism of the hydraulic steering device.

“Four-Ball Universal Joints.

“No. 3 at the arrow at A. shows one of the four-ball universal joints on the drive shaft. These universal joints are covered to retain grease. The universal joint consists of a driving fork, double slotted ball and driven fork. Two forks are arranged to accommodate the gear in one case and the driving member of the wheel in the other. The slotted ball acts as transmitter of power between the two fork members. This is so arranged as to permit the front wheels to turn at an angle of 30 degrees.

“The arrow at B, in photo No. 3, shows the shaft for steering the two rear wheels. The arrow shows two universal joints in the shaft which permits the two rear wheels to turn to an angle of 14 degrees. in the opposite direction from the front wheels, when turning corners. Tires used on the equipment are 36 x 7 inches.

“The Rogers-Unit Drive Corporation, Sunnyvale, Cal., is the builder of the 6-wheel type of truck and trailer attachment.”

The eight-wheeled bus pictured and described in the November 20, 1921 issue of the Oakland Tribune was featured in the February 1922 issue of Bus Transportation:

“Eight Wheels Improve Riding Qualities

“An eight-wheel bus, which is a radical departure in both design and construction has just made its appearance in California. Instead of a single axle at both front and rear, the vehicle has double axle construction so that virtually it has two trucks. The front four wheels steer in unison, while the drive to the four rear wheels is through two sets of worm and gear axles. The rear worm is driven from the front through a shaft with universals at both ends. The two axles making one unit are placed at centers of about 3 ft.

“Double semi elliptic springs on each side between each pair of axles support the chassis frame. This suspension allows the ascension or depression of any one or any combination of wheels, because each set of wheels behaves somewhat similarly to a single car of short wheelbase and any distortion or rocking motion of that unit is not imparted to the chassis frame. It is claimed that this sort of design which is made possible by the use of eight wheels, has produced a machine with riding qualities which surpass those of any four-wheel vehicle. The car is driven by a special 60 hp. four-cylinder motor designed by Mr. Hall, the designer of the Hall-Scott airplane engine. The bore and stroke of the cylinders are 4 1/2 x 5 1/2 in. With this power a maximum speed of 50 m.p.h. is possible. An economy of 10 miles per gallon of gasoline was obtained on a fifteen hour trip made between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The car, which weighs 8,000 lb., is fitted all around with 32 x 44-in. tires which need be inflated but to the customary pressure of 70 lb.

“The length over all is 26 ft. and the seating capacity is twenty, with the six seats extending entirely across the body with an individual door for each on the right-hand side. The small size of the wheels combined with the off-set chassis frame construction over the two rear axles has prevented this novel construction from increasing the body height over the usual height. Because of the cross-seat construction it has been possible to provide a large space in the rear for baggage. Both front and rear of the car are protected by heavy steel bumpers.

“The machine was designed and constructed by R. B. Fageol of the American Highway Transportation Company, San Francisco, Cal.

“No. 1—The high-speed eightwheel twenty-passenger interurban bus.

No. 2—Each axle conforms independently to inequality in road surface.

No. 3—The bus is steered with all four front wheels.

No. 4 — Chassis showing the raised frame over the rear axles.”

An illustration of Rollie’s eight-wheeled bus appeared on the cover of the February 1922 issue of Popular Mechanics which also contained an article by H.A. Lane that referenced the vehicle inside:

“Motor Bus Travel Attains World Scope

“Astonishing Developments in This Mode Transportation – Tourists of the Future may Prefer Busses To Railroads – Motor-Car Touring will be Brought Within the Reach of All.

“by H.A. Lane

“Noteworthy departures from the usual manner of travel by tourists, have been evidenced by the constantly increasing demand for reservations on motor busses operating in various parts of the world. And equally remarkable have been the developments in the construction of these busses, until at the present time there have been incorporated into them sumptuous appointments which rival the best accommodations available on railroad trains or steamship lines. If present indications may be taken as a prophecy, the bulk of tourist migration in the future will be handled by this method of transportation.

“Ancient and medieval ruins, together with historic and romantic localities, will always be the Mecca of tourists, and pilgrimages to these placed are being made more pleasurable each year by the facilities offered by the motor bus. While pleasure seekers annually migrate to all sections of the country, in advance of inclement weather, California is undoubtedly the greatest magnet for this class of people, and it is fitting that the latest development of the motor bus should emanate from there. The innovation consists of an eight-wheeled car, with a seating capacity of 20 persons, and a spacious compartment for the luggage of the passengers. For safeguarding the traveling public, the eight-wheel bus possesses many advantages over the four-wheel type. The new machine steers on all front wheels, which are fastened together by a special spring suspension, and constitute a truck, as likewise do the rear wheels. The car is driven by, and the brakes applied to, the four rear wheels, so that it superiority is obvious. If when running at top speed, one front or rear axle should break, the other axle would maintain the weight of the car.Likewise if under the same conditions a front tire blows out, the machine can be steered on the three remaining tires, thus avoiding an accident. Although the bus weighs 8,000 lb., the pavement strain is considerably less than would be the case of a four-wheel car of the same weight, because of the eight bearing points, and because an air pressure of only 70 lb. is used in the tires, in comparison with the 90 lb. of the four-wheel type. Extensive test made with this machine have satisfactorily proved that it will not skid, that it ride more comfortably than any four-wheel motor car, than an average of 10 miles can be made on one gallon of gasoline. The eight-wheel bus has five cross seats for passengers, with a door for each seat, while the driver’s seat has a door on each side. Although the interior of this new departure in motor-bus building is comfortably upholstered, there can be no comparison between it and some of the luxuriously arranged busses in Europe.”

Coincidentally, Rollie’s brother Frank had just constructed a bus of his own that would become far better known than his older brother’s eight-wheel creation, the January 6, 1922 Oakland Tribune reporting:

“Fageol Truck Distributors in various parts of California are in Oakland today and tomorrow attending a convention of Fageol Dealers which is being held at the local truck factory on the Foothill boulevard. A banquet will be held tonight at the Hotel Oakland.

“Plans for the coming year were discussed at today's meeting and tomorrow the Fageol Dealers will be conveyed to Pittsburg in the ‘High-way Cruiser,’ a new motor passenger vehicle designed by the Fageol factory.

“The Fageol Maintenance Truck which is also another Fageol product will be demonstrated to these dealers on the experimental track at Pittsburg.”

The rechristened High-Way Cruiser, now known as the ‘Silver Fox’ made a promotional trip to Los Angeles, the January 31, 1922 Bakersfield Morning Echo reporting:

“New Motor Bus Is Out On Test Jaunt

“‘The Silver Fox’, first of a new fleet of specially designed passenger buses, built by the Fageol Motor Co. of Oakland, hit the concrete trail for Los Angeles yesterday, bearing greetings from the mayor of Oakland to the mayor of Los Angeles.

“A film actress christened the new car as it rolled away. The car will make a stop in Bakersfield. Frank Fageol is in charge of the test trip. The bus is due to arrive in Los Angeles tonight or Wednesday morning.”

Frank R. Fageol submitted the following motor coach sales pitch to the people of Oakland via the February 19, 1922 issue of the Oakland Tribune:

“Convenience Not Cost is Vital Issue

“By F. R. Fageol, Fageol Motors Company.

“Much has been said and written about the relative costs of transportation - either passenger or freight - over railroads as against automobiles or motor trucks. As automobile and motor truck manufacturers, we wish to admit that we do not consider automobiles or motor trucks will ever transport either passengers or freight as cheaply as do the street railway companies and the railroads. But we do not believe the question of cost really enters into or is a part of the consideration.

“The great consideration is convenience.

“The progress of the world, to date, has been marked not necessarily or primarily by reduction in first, costs, but rather by ways and means that create greater convenience – greater convenience, on the whole, tending toward higher standards of living, more industry and more prosperity for everyone concerned.

“By way of a few simple illustrations: No man ever rode from his home to his office in his automobile cheaper than he could have ridden on a street car. But the cost was not a consideration; it was convenience. It would be cheaper to heat your water in a teakettle, pour it in the washtub and take a bath in that manner (as they did in the olden days) than it is to spend a lot of money equipping a house with plumbing, bathtubs, etc. But no one seriously considers doing this, because the bathtub is more convenient. And so on, one could so with examples, indefinitely.

“Index Of Cheapness.

'Show me a land inhabited by a people who do not know or do not care about convenience and where everything is extremely cheap, and I will show you a non-progressive, backward people.

“I herewith quote the results of some very interesting figures (compiled recently by Mr. B. V. Buckwalter) covering traffic conditions on highways versus railroads between Pittsburgh and Bedford, Pa. Condensed, these figures show that there were 6,000 people per hour being transported by motor transportation over the highway as against 4,400 people per twenty-four hours via railroad. Considering the railroads were only operating twelve hours, which time covers the dense travel on the highway - they would be transporting approximately 360 people per hour. In other words, on account of convenience wherein cost is of no consideration, there are as many people being transported by motor-driven equipment over our highways every three and a half minutes as there are over the railroads every hour! And it is our opinion that the great tonnage of freight will in time be transported in about the same proportion.

“The railroad companies have during recent years indulged in a great deal of talk that they were being discriminated against by motor truck operators and treated very badly in several, on the following grounds:

“The railroad companies maintained that they keep up their own railroad tracks and rights of way and that the general public keeps up the highways over which motor truck and motor bus transportation travel. It is the writer's contention that these claims are based largely on false reasoning, in that the general public - the consuming public, you, I and everyone else – maintain .and keep up all railroads and all highways, and all of everything commercial that exists, and if the railroads do not derive their revenue for keeping up their rights of way, etc., from the general public—just where do they get it? They must have found an ever-flowing fountain of gold and have guarded their secret well.

“The public really maintains the railroad rights-of-way and all of their equipment by a direct tax in the form of freight on every article they purchase. Whereas, they partially maintain our great highway system by a direct tax on all articles transported over them and through the indirect tax which they pay on property, motor licenses and otherwise.

“The great point is that the consuming public must pay for everything—it can come from no other source, and should come from no other source. As to just how or through what manner they pay, it matters little. However, if we are going to work on the theory of letting the man who can afford it pay most, then, they certainly come nearer doing it in the maintenance of the highways than they do when paying for the maintenance of the railroads—as the highways, at least, are largely kept up by the tax on property owners and those who use them most, whereas railroads are kept up by direct tax in the form of freight on everything you consume, handle or wear that has ever been transported over a railroad.

“Please do not assume from the above remarks that we have any quarrel with the railroads—far from it. We greatly admire them, feel that they have in the past and always will fill a great need.”

The March 1922 issue of Bus Transportation included pictures of the new Fageol intercity limousine-style coach:

“California Maker Produces Limousine Design

“The Fageol Motors Company, Oakland, Cal., has brought out a bus designed specially for long distance service. The Fageol intercity bus seats twenty although it can be furnished in twelve or sixteen passenger capacity. The two rear seats are arranged back to back and carry three passengers each, the next three seats four passengers each, while two passengers can be carried at the side of the driver. Each seat has an individual side entrance.

“Features of this new bus are the inclosed running board, individual entrances for each seat, and the engine designed by Col. A.E. Hall of aircraft fame. A luggage space is provided at the rear, inside the body. The condensed specifications of the Fageol bus are:

“Body: Aluminum with limousine type doors and drop windows. Seats of Marshall double-deck springs covered with leather.
“Engine: Hall-Scott four-cylinder. Bore 4 1/2 in. Stroke 5 1/2 in. Overhead cam and valve. Delivers 62 hp. at 1,800 rpm., the governed speed.
“Ignition, Starting, Lighting: Delco, with oversize generator and battery.
“Fuel Supply: 30 gal.
“Chassis Lubrication: Automatic.
“Transmission: Brown-Lipe four-speed. Direct on third. Geared up 25 per cent on fourth. Thermoid and Spacer universal joints.
“Rear Axle: Timken-Fageol under-slung worm and gear. Reduction 5 2/5 to 1.
“Brakes: Duplex internal on two rear wheels. Diameter 21 in.; face 4 in.
“Wheels: Disk type. Tires 36 x 6 in. cord all around.
"Gage: Special 68 in.
“Wheelbase: 188 in.
“Overall Dimensions: Width, 81 in.; length, 260 in.; height, 75 5/16 in.”

Although he remained a car salesman, Claud Fageol occasionally served as a test driver/chauffeur for Frank & William’s business operations, the March 5, 1922 Oakland Tribune reporting:

“Elks Travel In New Safety Bus

“One of the new Fageol safety buses conveyed twenty-two Oakland Elks to Palo Alto Base Hospital last week to entertain, the soldier boys there. This was the first trip that the bus has made with a capacity load of passengers. Though the roads were slippery and wet, it was not necessary to use chains.

“The frame of the Fageol is but 13 inches from the ground, which factor gives a very low center of gravity. Two mid-ship bearings are used in order that the sections of the drive shaft may be short to prevent whipping.

“Solid comfort for the traveler was the main, thought by the designer, also ‘Safety’ upon which the future popularity of stage lines depends.

“The ventilation was not overlooked. Two adjustable ventilators have been provided on the floor on each side of the body, and three adjustable ceiling ventilators are used, also a special windshield ventilating device.

“This new stage is unique in many respects and, according to Claude Fageol, who drove the party of Elks to the college city, some orders are now being taken in the southern part of the state. ‘Every stage company official who has seen the bus hopes to be in position-to equip with them in the near future," he says.’”

An article in the March 1922 issue of Pacific Service Magazine puts the number of employees of the Fageol Motors Co. at 105:

“At present the Fageol Company is putting out a new type of highway maintenance trucks, passenger busses and stages. The Fageol inter-city stage was recently introduced. During the present year and next year the company will continue with its truck and tractor development and will bring out a full line of highway stages, gas street cars and deluxe cars for estates and ultrafine service. Approximately 105 employees are now employed at the Foothill Boulevard plant.”

Pictures and a description of the aforementioned highway maintenance truck appeared in the March 1, 1922 issue of the Commercial Vehicle:

“The Complete Road-Mender Truck: Motor Truck Tried Out in California Equipped with All Types of Machinery Used in Road Work

“The adaptation of the motor truck to special uses has reached a high point in the vehicle shown below. The truck was designed and built by the Fageol Motors Co. and is now in operation on road district No. 4, Kern County, California.

“The truck carries a twin cylinder air compressor, operated by a belt from the forward drive shaft; a rotary concrete mixer, driven by an auxiliary shaft from the transmission; a 150 gal. steel water tank, located just back of the material bins; a tar or road oil heating tank with a capacity of 50 gallons and heated by a gasoline or fuel oil burner arranged under the tank; a large pneumatic jack hammer, with assorted chisels, tampers, etc.; a pneumatic post hole digger, for use in erecting fences along the highway; and a large grading plow, drag and an extension side arm or boom from the front of the truck for grading.

“The water tank can be filled by means of a centrifugal pump provided with a self-priming device and a suction hose.

“In addition to the above equipment, the truck has combination material bins, with capacities of 1000 lbs. of cement, 1 cubic yard of sand and 2 cubic yards of gravel or rock. Gravity feed from all the bins is controlled by hand operated gates to the mixing apron. There is also a draw bar attachment on the rear of the truck for hauling trailers or for operating the grading plow, and a syphon nozzle for spraying hot tar or oil.

“The above equipment is designed to fulfill functions in road construction and repair work too numerous to enumerate here. But with its equipment, the truck is possibly the most complete vehicle for any class of detailed work yet designed. It is expected that within a short time some interesting data will be available regarding the saving, with this truck, over the old method of road maintenance.”

The May 1922 issue of the American City also included a feature on the Fageol Highway Maintenance Truck:

“A New Highway Maintenance Truck

“The Board of Supervisors of Kern County, Calif., has been using for some time a Fageol highway maintenance truck made by the Fageol Motors Company, Oakland, Calif. This truck was purchased immediately after the demonstration test given at the concrete highway test track, Pittsburg, Calif. Stanley Abel, chairman of the Kern County Supervisors, stated that in one day's operation of this truck 27 patches were made on the highway, and after charging off the very liberal depreciation with full operating expenses, the cost of doing this with the maintenance truck showed a saying of $67 as compared with the cost of the same amount of work done by the usual method. It is expected that this truck will pay for itself within the first year's operation.

“The Fageol highway maintenance truck consists of a heavy-duty motor truck equipped with an air compressor with a capacity of 80 cubic feet per minute with air receiver and 200 feet of I-inch air hose and connections. There are combination material bins having a capacity of 1,000 pounds of cement, I cubic yard of sand, 2 cubic yards of gravel or rock, all gravity operated and controlled by hand-operated gates to the mixing apron. The water-tank has a capacity of 150 gallons, and discharge is effected by gravity or pressure. The rotary concrete mixer is driven by an auxiliary shaft from the transmission. The centrifugal pump has a self-priming device and suction hose for filling the watertank from wells, rivers, and other sources. It has a draw-bar attachment for hauling trailers, and a power-driven niggerhead winch for service when needed. A tar or road oil heating tank with gas burners is included, having a capacity of 50 gallons and equipped with a siphon nozzle for spraying bituminous material under pressure with hose. A large pneumatic jack-hammer with assorted chisels, tampers, etc., a pneumatic post-hole digger and hose, are also provided.

“There is an extension side-arm or boom placed at the side of the truck, which is used in hauling a large grading plow with drag or grader when necessary. Additional equipment includes a steel wheelbarrow, one lo-ton jack and bracket, 200 feet of i-inch manila rope, 25 feet of tow chain, steel stencils for lettering highways, three shovels, two picks, one large sledge, two crowbars, ten red lanterns, ten 'At Work' signs and ten red flags.

“The truck is thus fully equipped for repairing ruptures or breaks in reinforced or plain concrete, macadam or various bituminous types of streets, as well as erecting fences, assisting in the construction or repair of steel, wooden or concrete bridges and culverts, beveling, grading, and other maintenance jobs on highways, stenciling traffic or ordinance signs, chipping out cracks on concrete highways and sealing with hot bituminous material under pressure, cutting asphalt paving with the pneumatic chisel or jack-hammer, spraying trees and shrubbery in parks with fungicide, and putting out fires along highways. With suction hose and centrifugal pump it can be used to good advantage in pumping out caissons, etc.”

A detailed article in the March 15, 1922 issue of the Commercial Vehicle introduced Frank R. Fageol’s Safety Coach to the trade:

“Fageol Designs New Stage; Low Hung Frame Gives a Runningboard height of But 16 in.

“A new motor stage has been developed by the Fageol Motors Co., Oakland, Cal., to take care of suburban service and passenger traffic between cities out on the Pacific Coast. There has been a large development in the use of motor stages in California, and many of the western railroads are using them as feeders to and from their divisional points.

“Development in the motor bus and stage field has been toward the use of specialized equipment. It is now recognized that the converted motor truck chassis cannot be made to do double duty in the specialized field of commercial passenger transportation. Motor bus operation in many cities has shown that standard truck chassis are not suitable for motor bus construction and service for the following reasons: Excessive weight; too much unsprung weight; high center of gravity; rigidity of suspension; unsuitable gear ratios; narrow treads; large turning radius; stiff steering gear; high top clearance; high passenger floor; too short wheelbase, causing dangerous overhang.

“The designers of the new Fageol stage had in mind a vehicle that would not only be safe but one that would combine comfort and convenience.

“Comparing the newest with the average stage, a number of details combine to make it safe and attractive. The runningboard is but 16 in. from the ground, because of the unusual low center of gravity which prevails in the design throughout. It is claimed as a result that it is difficult to overturn this vehicle. The weight of the stage is 6800 lbs.

“The big feature in the design of this new vehicle is the frame construction. The designers have brought about the desired reduction in the ground clearance of the body by making the frame underslung between the rear axle and the power-plant. This has been made possible by cutting the frame at the rear end and then connecting the two sections by a bridge structure over the rear axle. This bridge structure is shown in the accompanying illustration. It will be noted that the front frame cross member serves also as a bumper or guard.

“In order to gain the desired lowering in the center of gravity, the designers have used an under-worm type of axle, details of which may be had from the accompanying illustration. The rear axle ratio is 5.2 to 1.

“The wheel tread, instead of being 56 in., the usual width, is 68 in. This is another factor in insuring greater safety in operation. Inter-city work usually calls for speedier running than in the city and as a result all due precaution must be taken against overturning, etc.

“The equal distribution of weight brought about in the design of this motor stage has enabled the designers to use 36 x 6 in. tires all around. The wheelbase is 218 in.

“The body, with a carrying capacity of twenty, is a luxurious creation, built of aluminum. All seats have individual backs and the upholstery is of high grade leather over curled hair. The ceiling is lined with silver cloth, with lights in the sides reflecting an indirect light from the top.

“Low Appearance

“Aluminum construction of the body throughout gives extreme lightness in comparison to the capacity. Big economy in operation and long life are claimed by the manufacturer as important points brought about by lightness in weight.

“The unusual low appearance of the vehicle makes it look radically different from the average stage type of motor vehicle. The doors are of full width and are as deep as the body. Disappearing adjustable windows are provided. Particular attention has been paid to ventilation and as a result, the body has been provided with six ventilators in the ceiling and in the floor line of the doors. These ventilators are hand controlled.

“In long distance operation in passenger transportation it is particularly important that the passengers be made as comfortable as possible. Engine and other vibrations should be cut to the minimum. The engine and driveshaft in this new motor stage have been supported on fabric and rubber pads, thus forming, it is claimed, an insulation against vibration. There is no metallic contact between the propelling mechanism and the body. Thus, the humming sound of the engine is not heard by passengers as is the case in the average bus.

“The engine is a specially constructed Hall-Scott. It has a bore of 4 1/4 in. and a stroke of 5 1/2 in. The S.A.E. horsepower is 28.9. There are but five parts or sub-assemblies in this engine. These assemblies are as follows: (1) lower crankcase; (2) upper crankcase; (3) cylinder block; (4) cylinder head with rocker shaft and arms, cam shaft and valves, timing gear with governor; and (5) rocker arm shaft and valve mechanism cover.”

The May 1, 1922 issue of the Commercial Vehicle announced that construction of Rollie B. Fageol’s eight-wheel bus that was introduced in February was also progressing:

“To Produce Fageol 8-Wheel Bus

“San Jose, Cal., April 17 - A 3-acre tract at Long Beach has been purchased by the National Axle Corp., this city, upon which a factory will be built to assemble the eight wheel motor buses made by the National company under the Fageol patents. The axle plant will remain at San Jose.”

Curiously the name of the manufacturer of the Fageol bus had changed from the American Highway Transportation Co. to the National Axle Corp. Further details of the latter vehicle were published in the September, 1922 issue of Power Wagon:

“Eight-Wheeled Truck and ’Bus Chassis in Production: Considerable Fuel Savings Claimed

“The National Axle Corporation of San Jose, California, is beginning the manufacture of the 8-wheeled motor ‘bus, street-car and truck for California, Oregon and Washington, under contract with the Eight Wheel Motor Vehicle Company, of 350 Post Street, San Francisco. The ‘bus is designed to carry 24 passengers in interurban stage service. The street-car for 31 passengers has full headroom, cross-seats on each side of a center aisle, arranged for ‘pay-as-you-enter,’ and one man control. The truck is of a 4-ton capacity for fast transportation.

“The advantages of the 8-wheel principle have been proven by actual operation of a full-sized ‘bus which was built a year ago and has been driven over California highways and mountain roads for over 13,000 miles. The first 2,500 miles of road-testing developed what few minor changes were needed in the design and construction. The completed stage was operated under regular working conditions in all kinds of weather in full satisfaction.

“The chassis are built with four front steering wheels and four rear driving wheels, designed so as to give extreme flexibility in both the front and rear sets of wheels. The load is thus distributed over eight wheels, each wheel carrying half as much load as would be the case if there were only the usual four. Indeed this difference is even greater, from the fact that special attention was given to designing the eight-wheel trucks so that the center of gravity of the load is much farther forward than on the ordinary four-wheeler. In the latter the two rear wheels usually carry about 85 per cent of the total load, while in the 8-wheel truck the four rear wheels carry only about 55 per cent., and the four front wheels about 45 per cent of the load. Therefore, wheels and tires may be comparatively small, effecting economy and safety of operation. The center of gravity of the car being correspondingly low, these vehicles are not likely to slide off the road, or overturn on sharp curves taken at continuous speed.

“The two front axles are connected by springs on either side, so arranged that the axles oscillate about a central trunnion bar. If one tire blows out—indeed if a whole wheel comes off—the loss is so taken up by the interrelation of the four wheels of the front set, that the steering ability is not materially affected. Since the load is so distributed, normal tire pressures are sufficient for the 8-wheel vehicle, giving great resilience, as well as security against skidding and blowing out.

“The flexibility of the 8-wheel construction is such that when the wheels on one axle roll over a bump, the body is raised only half as high as would be the case with the ordinary 4-wheel chassis. Considering the 8-wheel vehicle, suppose the leading wheel of the front set goes into a. hole in the road four inches deep. Its axle drops four inches. The following wheel of the front set still remains on the level, so its axle does not drop at all. Therefore, the trunnion, midway between the two axles, drops but two inches. Yet the time it takes the leading axle to drop four inches is the same as that taken by the trunnion in dropping two inches. Therefore, the velocity of drop of the axle of the leading wheel is twice as great as the velocity of drop of the trunnion. Now, the force of impact is directly proportional to the energy of motion, which in tum is directly proportional to the square of the velocity, according to the formula E=% m vs. Therefore, since the velocity of drop of the axle is twice as great as that of the trunnion, the energy of its motion would be as the square of 4 is to the square of 2, or as 16 is to 4. In other words, the bump or jolt upon the body of the 8-wheel car is only one-quarter as great as is the case with a 4-wheeler, or the 8-wheel principle makes for four times as great riding ease than is possible with the 4-wheel principle, say the makers. The collective supporting effect of all eight wheels is on the centerline of the chassis, instead of at the corners of the frame.

“Since there are four rear driving wheels on the ground, the tractive effort is double that of the usual two—wheel drive. Also, by the inter-construction of the driving axles, each wheel holds the road well. This eliminates skidding and slippage. When an ordinary chassis runs over a bump, or jumps a rut, one or both rear wheels will be slightly off the road, and tend to run ahead or behind the rest of the car, according to whether the motor is pulling, or the brakes holding back. Upon return to the road a slight skidding or slipping occurs, which not only jars the passengers uncomfortably, but causes extra wear on the tires. Through the prevention of this slippage and other economies a saving of 15 to 25 per cent in gasolene consumption is said to be made possible.

“Heretofore it has been the practice to have the two front wheels of all automobiles ‘toe in,’ in order to offset the drag due to the plane of revolution of the wheel being outside the pivotal point of the steering knuckle. Neither of the front wheels runs parallel to the direction of motion of the car, so there is a sliding effect on the tires, causing wear. This feature has been eliminated in the 8-wheel construction, by making the tires revolve about a point directly under the steering pivot. Therefore, the wheels run straight, and the wear on the front tires is avoided, according to the makers.

“There is a separate brake upon each of the eight wheels. Furthermore, the brakes are operated by compressed air, in the same manner as those on a. railroad train. Thus, the driver is enabled to stop a full loaded 'bus quickly, and without physical exertion, no matter what the condition of the road. Also, since the brake area is so great, the effect required of each brake lining is correspondingly less.

“Another innovation in the 8-wheel vehicle is a transmission providing 8 speeds forward and 2 reverse. In every speed the transmission is practically noiseless and free from vibration. Passenger-carrying service requires frequent stops, so that the only way to maintain a fast schedule, without traveling at too high a speed, is by quick acceleration in starting. Also, it is desirable to operate the engine at its most economical speed.

“Safety for passengers is accomplished by the low center of gravity, and constant traction, which insure against skidding and overturning; by the eight small tires and wheels, enabling sure control of the car in spite of blow-outs or loss of wheel; by the eight air-brakes, for quick stopping in emergency; and by the provisions for comfortable and easy operation, leaving the driver untroubled to watch the road with the vigilance essential to safety.

“Comfortable riding is provided by the reduction of bumps and shocks; by the elimination of transmission noise and vibration, whether running in low or high gears; by the resilience from moderate tire pressures; and by the cushioning of all working parts.

“Economy of operation is attained by use of small wheels, and stock car tires; by enlarging the brake area, with consequent saving of brake -linings; by prevention of excessive wear of tires, with elimination of slippage and skidding-particularly of rear wheels—and by making unnecessary the ‘toeing-in’ of front wheels; by 15 to 20 per cent saving of gasolene, due to positive traction, and to prevention of slippage, and racing of engine by elimination of torsion stresses, and consequent long life of frame and body; and by the eight ratio transmission, enabling maintenance of proper engine speed in all gears.”

The September 16, 1922 issue of Automobile Topics announced that Col. Winship had organized a firm to exploit his eight-wheeled motor coach whose name was more descriptive than the American Highway Transportation Co.:

“Eight Wheel Motor Vehicle Co., San Francisco, Cal. To manufacture eight wheel motor vehicles. Capital $200,000. Incorporators: Emery Winship, R. B. Bonn, B. H. Beecher, and others.”

The National Axle Corp. inserted a display ad picturing the ‘Pacific 8-Wheeler’ in the December 1922 issue of Bus Transportation:

“Pacific ‘8 Wheeler’

“Built for carrying passengers

“The Pacific ‘8 Wheeler’ is not a ‘made-over’ machine in any sense of the word. Form the very beginning of the work which resulted in the development of this superior vehicle, safety, comfort and economy in carrying passengers has been given prime consideration. Write for full details on Pacific ‘8 Wheelers’ and tell us about the conditions under which you must operate.”

The April 1923 issue of Popular Mechanics included a picture of a Rollie B. Fageol-designed eight-wheel motor truck accompanied by the following article:

“San Diego Motor Truck Runs on Eight Wheels

“An eight-wheel motor truck in use in San Diego, Calif., with a speed of 35 miles an hour, is designed for fast freight service. The chassis is built with four rear driving wheels and four front steering wheels. The two front axles are connected by springs on either side, so arranged that the axles oscillate about a central trunnion bar. Better distribution of weight and greater stability are claimed for the construction, which throws only 55 per cent of weight on the rear wheels, instead of the usual 85 per cent. Owing to the arrangement of the front wheels, steering is not greatly affected if a tire blows out or a wheel comes off. Also much less pressure in the pneumatic tires is required. This is an application to a freight truck of the principle embodied in the eight-wheeled California motor bus described in the February, 1922, issue of Popular Mechanics magazine.”

Caption states the vehicle is a product of the Eight-Wheel Motor Car Co. 350 Post St., San Francisco, and also mentioned the National Axle Corporation, San Jose, Calif.

April 15, 1923 issue of Motor West:

“A picture in the March 1 issue, of two eight-wheelers, was described incorrectly. One, a truck, was not a Moreland but, like the other, a passenger bus, was built by National Axle Corp., San Jose, Cal., for Eight Wheel Motor Vehicle Co., 350 Post St., San Francisco. Emory Winship, of the company, says the San Jose concern ‘has not now any eight-wheel work in its shops, nor has it any manufacturing rights or licenses from us. These cars, and all patents and designs pertaining to the eight-wheel art, are owned by our company. The models now are undergoing exhaustive and severe tests, to discover any points of weakness before production on a commercial basis is begun.’”

In fact, Winships’ ‘Eight-wheel Coach’ shared the same drivetrain as the ‘Pacific 8-wheeler’ being offered by the National Axle Corp., and he was also the man behind the American Highway Transportation Co. which introduced a nearly identical vehicle in November of 1921 using Rollie B. Fageol’s patents.The Colonel tried to clear up the confusion via the following article that was published in the June 15, 1923 issue of the Commercial Car Journal:

“Winship Clears Up Confusion on 8-Wheel Vehicles

“Owing to some confusion as to the manufacturer of the Pacific Eight-Wheel Coach, Emory Winship of San Francisco has been asked to clear up this matter. Mr. Winship has replied through Ray J. Barber as follows:

“Mr. Winship is the sole owner of the Eight-Wheel Motor Vehicle Company. Last year he made a tentative arrangement with the National Axle Corporation of San Jose, California, under which they built one 10-ton 8-wheel truck and one 31 passenger 8-wheel motor street car. These vehicles were made to Mr. Win-ship’s order, the National Axle Corporation simply acting as a contract shop for him. * * * Now the National Axle Corporation had no 8-wheel work in their shops, nor any connection with the 8- wheel program.

“The Eight-Wheel Motor Vehicle Company, which, as above stated, is owned by Mr. Emory Winship, controls all of the fundamental 8-wheel patents that have been issued, as well as many applications for patents that are still pending. Negotiations are now nearing completion for the commercial production of 8-wheel buses, street cars and trucks in the immediate future, so that they bid fair soon to become an important factor in highway transportation.”

Although production of the Fageol-Winship eight wheel trucks didn’t get beyond the prototype stage, Col. Winship remained interest in the technology and purchased Rollie Fageol’s patents relating to the vehicles. The ‘Pacific 8-wheeler’ pictured in the National Axle Corp.’s advertisement was actually the coach that the firm had been constructed for Winship’s American Highway Transportation Co. in 1921. The second eight-wheel motor coach and matching eight-wheel stake-bed truck constructed by National Axle were built for Winship’s second firm, the Eight-Wheel Motor Vehicle Company.

Frank R. Fageol’s far more successful bus building activities were totally unrelated to his brother Rollie’s and during the summer of 1922 his firm was busy readying an exhibit for the annual A.E.R.A. Convention (American Electric Railway Association), which was being held in Chicago, Illinois from September 2 to 5, 1922. The October 1922 issue of Bus Transportation reported on the firm’s exhibit as follows:

“Buses Prominent at the Electric Railway Convention

“The parlor coach of the Fageol Company attracted much attention because of comfortable chairs which can be moved as desired by the passenger. These chairs are kept from sliding by rubber suction cups on each leg.”

“Fageol Motors Company, Oakland, Cal., which exhibited four complete models and motor at the convention of the American Electric Railway Association at Chicago, September 2 to 5, has just issued an eight-page pamphlet describing its Intercity Model Safety Coach; its Street Car Model, and its Parlor Car.

“The Intercity Model is made for twenty or twenty-three passengers and has been developed with safety and comfort the predominant note. When loaded the body has a height over all of 6 ft. 3 ½ in. The Street Car Model seats twenty-seven or twenty-nine passengers and driver and is a pay-enter type. The Parlor Car is designed for extra fare service. Eight individual upholstered wicker chairs with adjustable backs, interior wall finish of silk mohair plush, extra-wide limousine doors and plate glass windows are the attractions offered by the company in this model. The running board in all models is 16 in. from the ground. The Fageol motor was designed and built by Col. E.J. Hall, co-designer of the Liberty aeroplane engine. The pamphlet says that the engine can drive the safety coach fully loaded at 50 m.p.h., and withstand this according to specifications, for 300,000 miles.”

Deliveries of Fageol Motors buses were noted in various publications during the fall of 1922.

September 1922 issue of Bus Transportation:

“Puget Sound Purchases Eight Buses

“The Puget Sound International Railway & Power Company, operating the street railway system in Everett, Wash., has purchased eight motor buses to be used by the company in carrying into effect its plans to motorize the transportation system in Everett, according to Manager George Newell who recently returned from California.

“The buses have been purchased from the Fageol Company, Oakland, Cal., and their purchase is the culmination of extensive investigation by company officials of bus types for railways throughout the United States.

“The order provides for shipment of cars every fifteen days, the first to arrive on Oct. 14, and the last on Dec. 1. The cars will be twenty-nine passenger capacity of the pay-as-you-enter type with cross-wise upholstered seats of standard make. The machine possesses a low hung body low center of gravity and a wheel base fourteen inches wider than the standard. The Fageol Company modified its original body design upon the advice of C.O. Birney, Stone & Webster, car designer.

“The Puget Sound International Railway & Power Company has started work on the construction of a large garage and car shed to house the new motor buses and is building a machine shop to repair the cars. The sheds and garage to be built will also house the auto stages now employed by the company in its co-ordinated stage and electric interurban service from Everett to Mount Vernon. The garage will be 132x60 ft. in size with capacity of twenty four cars.”

The sale was noted in the September 24, 1922 issue of the Oakland Tribune:

“New Fageol Cars Shipped

“The Fageol Motor Car company is commencing delivery of eight ‘pay as you enter coaches’ for the P. S. T. T. Railroad and Power company of Washington on the 15th of the coming month. This northwest transportation company plans to replace its present traction equipment with gasoline buses.

“The total sale to this company amounts to $75,000 and deliveries are promised as follows: two cars on October 15th, two November 1st, two November 15th and two December 1st.

“Sample Fageol Inter-City buses, which are gaining favor very rapidly throughout the west, have been purchased quite recently by the Pacific Electric company of Los Angeles, the city of San Diego and the city of Highwood, Illinois.

“These buses are equipped with Fageol chassis, Hall-Scott motors and Westinghouse electric air-brakes.

“The body design has been OK'd and approved by Birney.”

The November 1922 issue of Bus Transportation provided a detail description of the bus the firm had on display at the A.E.R.A. Convention:

“Wicker Chairs in This De Luxe Bus

“What is said to be the most luxurious public vehicle ever constructed is announced by the Fageol Motors Company, Oakland, Cal. The ‘Parlor Car’ has recently been finished for use between suburban hotels and resorts in southern California.

“The body is completely inclosed with plate glass and the windows lower completely into the doors or side walls as in the best limousines. Owing to the unusual height of the glass, the passengers enjoy a greater range of vision and even tall men do not have to stoop to see out the opposite side of the vehicle. It is cooler in summer than the ordinary automobile, because of the great extent to which the sides may be opened to the breezes and on account of the insulating effect of the thickly padded roof.

“In the color effect of the Fageol Parlor Car an effort has been made to achieve distinction also. The soft pleasing Mojave brown of the body is beautifully contrasted and set off by the black trim on the top fenders, hub caps and wheel rims. The use of the velvet finish liquid pyroxylin enamel carries out the same idea of harmony and refinement that is now the vogue in the better class of custom built automobiles. This enamel creates an egg-shell finish that does away with the glare of varnish and can be cleaned with either water or gasoline.

“The driver's compartment is separated from the rest of the body by a two-section sliding, plate-glass partition. It has a continuous cross-seat accommodating butler and maid when used in private service, or hand baggage when used as a public vehicle. There is a door on either side of this section, and the body proper is entered through a limousine door on the right-hand side just back of the door to the driver's compartment. These doors extend to the running board which is only 16 in. from the ground, and afford easy entrance and exit.

“The rear seat is an overstuffed Turkish lounge, and seats for the rest of the passengers consist of eight flat reed wicker chairs with adjustable backs. The upholstery of the lounge and the chairs is seal grain brown Madagascar calf. Each of the chairs is held securely in place on the Magnesite floor by rubber vacuum cups attached to each leg. By pulling a silken tassel the passenger may break the vacuum and move the chair about to any position.

“In the interior three cut-glass dome lights, with special hangings to prevent side glare, provide ample light for night riding, and the interior is well ventilated by adjustable ceiling ventilators. Cut-glass flower cornucopias are attached to the corner posts by silver brackets and a thermos drinking water carafe makes it possible for the passengers to have cool refreshing drinks.

“One of these parlor car models was exhibited at the Electric Railway Association convention in Chicago early in October and was afterward taken on a 5,000-mile trip through the Central and Eastern States. The chassis design was similar to that described on page 190, March issue of Bus Transportation, with the addition of Westinghouse air brakes.

“This type of vehicle will be welcomed it is believed by country and golf clubs, private country estates, resorts and hotels, sightseeing tours deluxe, and for many other uses.”

The November 5, 1922 Oakland Tribune noted that future U.S. President, Herbert C. Hoover, had taken a ride in a Fageol coach while serving as Secretary of Commerce under President Warren G. Harding:

“Hoover Rides In New Fageol Bus

“Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, the members of the Interstate Commerce Commission, Gordon Lee, chief of the automotive division of the Department of Commerce, and several Eastern railroad presidents were the guests of Frank R. Fageol, general manager of the Fageol Motors Company, for an afternoon's ride around Washington in a Fageol parlor car.

“Fageol has been touring the East in the parlor car for the past three weeks, and reports that the machine is making a big hit wherever it is shown. In many parts of the East the inhabitants have never seen the type of high speed intercity stage that is so common on our highways.”

‘The Knave’ a ghost-written column that regularly appeared in the Oakland Tribune did his best to publicize local firms whenever the opportunity presented itself. His November 12, 1922 column follows:

“Fageol Motors Company, Hollywood Boulevard, Oakland, Nov. 1, 1922.

“To ‘The Knave’

“The enclosed copy of a letter from a prominent San Francisco business man, written from New York a few days ago, is self-explanatory.

“We are naturally gratified that he was so impressed that he -wrote the letter to us.

"We pass it on to you because we think that this is evidence of a growing spirit of pride in our state which seems to be taking hold or the people of Northern California in the past few months. It is the spirit that has put Southern California and Los Angeles in the mouth of every man east of the Rocky Mountains.

“While we like to claim the credit for the development of the ‘Parlor Car California,’ in a broader sense the vehicle is a natural evolution of the automobile, and was brought into being by the splendid system of improved highways in this state. It is a long, low, powerful highway Pullman, built on a Fageol Safety Coach, chassis, and provides a large limousine body with separate, moveable, adjustable chairs for a dozen passengers. I tell you this merely as a prelude to what follows.

“Mr. Fageol took a trip through the East, driving the parlor car, visiting most of the important centers of population in the northern and eastern states. On part of the trip, he had as his guests, Claus Spreckels, Jr., of San Diego, and Webb Jay, millionaire inventor of the Stewart-Warner vacuum system used on about 90% of the automobiles in America. Mr. Jay is probably better known to the older generation of motorists as the driver of the famous White steam racing car, ‘Whistling Billy,’ in which he twice raced and defeated Barney Oldfield.

“The party rolled into Detroit one afternoon, and proceeded to disembark. As usual, the crowd of curious spectators began to assemble. Spreckels, a large imposing young man on whom the cares of directing the San Diego street car system have left the indelible mark of authority, was the first to step out of the car. Straight to him came a dapper young traveling salesman, and without any formalities started in, ‘How long does it take your bus to make the trip to California? What is the fare? When do we leave ?’

“And when Mr. Spreckels explained that it was a private party, traveling in a private car, the young man roundly abused him for misleading the public — for was it not painted right on the front door, ‘Parlor Car California?’

“Mr. Spreckels took it as courteously as the conductors on his street railway are instructed to receive the complaints of the traveling public.

“Trusting that the incidents related above may serve as the basis for one or two of the interesting sketches that make your page one of the high lights of the week for so many of us, we are.

“Respectfully, Carl Abell, Manager, Promotion Department.”

“The inclosure mentioned in the foregoing is a copy of a letter written by Tallant Tubbs, member of a very well -known California family long prominent in the life and affairs of Oakland. It is as follows:

“Hotel Belmont, New York, Oct. 22, 1922.

“The Fageol Motors Co, Oakland, Cal:

“As a Californian, I thought you might be as interested in learning, as I was m seeing, the excitement caused by our Fageol-Hall-Scott equipped ‘Parlor Car California,’ as the car was named. It was parked at the corner of Vanderbilt avenue and Forty-third street this morning. Traffic regulations were temporarily demoralized," and I noticed that several policemen themselves took a few minutes off to inspect the motor and furnishings of the car. Crowds lined up on the sidewalk outside the Grand Central Terminal and waited their turn to see this product.

“To me the best part of it was that the car carried a California dealer's license. Yours truly, (Signed) Tallant Tubbs, Member Pacific Union Club, San Francisco.”

A typical Fageol display advertisement from December 1922 issue of Bus Transportation is transcribed below:

“Replacing A Street Car System

“The Puget Sound International Railway and Power Company has announced that it will transform its street car system in Everett, Washington, to a motor bus system, tearing up the car tracks and disposing of the street cars now in operation.

“For this replacement, the Fageol Safety Coach was chosen. Here is what Manager George Newell says about it:

“‘After careful study an initial order for eight city type cars was placed with the Fageol Motors Company of Oakland, California. This decision was based particularly on the low type of construction of these cars, and their inherent safety features. The body design was the product of cooperation between the officials of the operating company and the manufacturer, and the present type of car is an adaptation of many features of the Birney Safety Car construction to a properly designed bus chassis.’

“We value this recognition by a member company of the great Stone & Webster organization. Their judgment of the Fageol Safety Coach is backed up by that of several other street railway companies who have said it with orders.

“Mr. Newell's analysis of the conditions which made the change from street cars to motor busses necessary will be of interest to every street railway operator in America, because the same problems face all traction companies to a greater or less degree. Ask for a copy.

“Fageol Motors Company, Oakland, California.”

The December 17, 1922 edition of the Oakland Tribune extolled the virtues of the Fageol City Service Safety Coach over a typical street car of the day:

“The Fageol ‘P.A. Y.E.’ Bus Supplanting the Street Car.

“To offer a feasible solution of the traffic and transportation problems that vex every growing city, the Fageol Motors Co. of Oakland has developed a new type of its famous safety coach, designed especially for city street motor bus service. The new vehicle is a one-man pay-as-you-enter type, with regular street car seats, standing room, advertising card rack, safety gate, and all the features of comfort and sanitation such as are found in the very best one man trolley cars.

“The first shipment of the new safety coach street cars has already been sent to Everett, Wash., where they will take the place of the trolley system now being operated by the Puget Sound International Railway and Power Co., in the town district of that city.

“The conditions which prompted the traction company to make the change from the trolley system to the trackless variety are the same as exist to a greater or less extent in every growing city - a traffic congestion that is not only making travel through the main streets slow, but adding danger for every person and vehicle on the streets. Accidents in traffic were becoming too frequent, and the liability claims which were being collected from the street railway company were coming to be very burdensome.

“The installation of a bus system is expected to relieve the traffic congestion because the buses pull to the curb when stopping, leaving the street open for vehicular traffic, instead of holding up a whole line of automobiles as does a stopped street car.

“It is claimed that motor busses have a higher average rate of speed through congested districts, as they can weave in and out through traffic; they get under way faster, and stop more quickly on account of their light weight; while express service can be run without affecting normal traffic.

“Motor busses load and unload at the curb - statistics show that most of the accidents occurring to street car passengers happen as the result of the passenger being thrown to the street in boarding or alighting, due to the height of the street car steps, or else the person is run down by an automobile in going between the curb and the street car in the middle of the street. Accidents from both these causes will be practically eliminated by the use of the safety coach street car.

“In 1910, the number of passengers carried by the Fifth Avenue Coach Company in New York City was 6,503,175. In 1920 the number increased to 42,552,709, a gain of 710 per cent. During these same 11 years the passengers carried on the surface street cars increased only 20 per cent. The tremendous gain of the busses was achieved in spite of the fact that the fare was nearly double that on the street cars.

“Large fleets of motor busses are also operating in Chicago, St. Louis, Toronto, Cleveland, Detroit, Tulsa, Baltimore, Pittsburg, and a score of other cities. Most of them have transfer privileges, and in many cities the bus systems are operated by the traction companies in connection with their street railway systems.

“The Fageol plant is gathering orders from many cities where the street car systems are in difficulties and extensions cannot be made. These cars are in operation between Oakland and San Jose.”

In 1923 Fageol Motor Co.’s tractor manufacturing assets were acquired by Horatio W. Smith, a former Fageol production engineer who resigned from the firm in 1920 to take a position as vice-president with H. Clyde Kyle’s National Axle Co. in San Jose, Calif. Smith subsequently formed Great Western Motors, Inc., and from 1923-1925 manufactured small numbers of the Fageol 10-15 tractor which was rebadged as the Great Western 10-15.

Fageol Motors start the year with a sale to Wisconsin’s Gray Motor Stage Line, the January 6, 1923 Janesville Daily Gazette reporting:

“Gray Stage Line Adds $9,000 Bus

“Attractive Car, Well-Equipped, Makes First Run to Water town.

“Because of constantly increasing business, the Gray Motor Stage Lines have added a new bus, which arrived from Oakland, Cal., Wednesday and has been put into operation, on the motor route between Janesville and Watertown, making three trips a day.

“The bus is designed for comfort, safety, and is attractive in appearance.

“Costing $8,000 at the Oakland factory of Fageol-Scott-Motors Company, and $9.000 by the time it reached here, the bus is an immense und beautiful car with a wheel-base of 218 inches and a 70-inch axle length. It has capacity for 23 people and is outfitted with leather seats, each holding four people. The interior is upholstered in brown leather, has electric lights and a heater, which, with the heavy springs, give the comfort of a railroad car. It is equipped with plate glass windows. The outside is done in light blue, with a streak of white about the body. The center of gravity is so low that it is said the bus can make a right angle corner, loaded, at 45 miles per hour, with safety.

“The new bus has been christened the ‘Blue Goose’. It made its first run Thursday night. Others similar will be added to the line later, Swan Sundstrom, one of the partners says.”

According to the September 2, 1923 San Antonio Express Four Safety Coaches were sold to a San Antonio operator:

“Fageol Safety Coach Attracting Much Attention in San Antonio

“The first Fageol Safety Coach to be seen in San Antonio, has attracted a great deal of attention here for the past week or 10 days.

“W.W. Hicks of Dallas, State distributor, has been giving demonstrations with this new departure in the way of these new safety coaches here.

“The outstanding feature of the Fageol coach, which is manufactured in California, is its long, low body, low center of gravity, speed and wonderful riding ease.

“The coach being shown here, known as ‘Miss Texas,’ is 24 feet overall, has a 218-inch wheel base and a 70-foot tread. The coach weighs 7,000 pounds and the one here has a speed governor attached which places a 45-mile an hour limit speed capacity.

“The coach will seat 28 people in addition to the driver and when loaded the floor hoards are only 19 inches from the ground. The coach is powered with a four-cylinder Hall-Scott motor, also a California product.

“Four of these Fageol coaches are in use on the run between Houston and Galveston, and according to Mr. Hicks, an order has recently been placed for three mere for the same run. The running cost of these coaches is said to be so low that they can easily compete with cars running on rails.

“The Fageol coach, of which a large number are already in satisfactory use in California, is designed especially for bus work, and is built on specifications that will enable it to run for 300,000 miles and still be in good shape, provided ordinary care is taken in its operation. The motor will average 12 to 14 miles to the gallon of gasoline.

“The low hung body gives a comfortable swing, quite distinct from the pitching and tossing that is characteristic of high-bodied vehicles. The long wheel base, with the rear axle under the back seat, eliminates the customary overhang, with its attendant ‘whipping.’ To this is added luxury of extra deep upholstery.”

The Fageol Motors Co. of Ohio was formed just as the truck market collapsed due to the postwar recession of 1920-21. However things improved during 1922 and in 1923, Fageol Motors Co. of Ohio leased the former Thomart Motor Co. factory in Kent, Ohio for use as their Eastern assembly plant. The West Main St. plant began assembling the firm’s popular Safety Coach, using locally-built coachwork and chassis shipped from the West Coast to the tune of 30-40 vehicles per month at its peak. The September 2, 1923 Oakland Tribune reporting:

“Units Of Autos Made Here Finished In East

“Truck and Bus Frames Constructed in California And Bodies Added.

“California is now building transportation units for Eastern cities, building the chassis and motors here, sending them East, and the bodies are there placed on the machines.

“This is the word received from the Fageol Motor Company here.

“The Fageol Motor Company of Ohio was organized in 1920, but little was done with it until this year, when it again became active. Gordon Lee, formerly chief of the automotive division of the United States Department of Commerce, has been appointed general manager. Frank Fageol of this city is now in Cleveland arranging details of the deal and preparing to start production.

“The company will have a plant somewhere in the East, possibly in Cleveland, where bus bodies will be built. The chassis will be built in the Fageol plant here and shipped East.

“Many completed buses, of the safety coach type have been shipped East so far, and the factory officials found it advisable to assemble the chassis here and ship them to the body-building plant and there place the bodies on.”

Fageol Motors Co. placed the following display advertisement in the November 11, 1923 issue of the Oakland Tribune:

"May we also call your attention to the publicity that this one product is securing for Oakland? Among: the national and trade magazines which have carried our publicity are the following (22): Literary Digest, Scientific American, Popular Mechanics, Forbes, Bus Transportation, Electric Railway Journal, Electric Traction, Auto-Body, Motor World, Motor Record, Motor Life, Motor Transport, Automotive Industries. National Taxicab and Motor Bus Journal, Commercial Vehicle, The lumberman, World's Carriers (England), El Automovile Americano (Latin America), La Hacienda (Latin America), Motor Land, The Radiator, Motor West. This circulation runs into millions.

“And here are facts of this great Oakland concern's production, operation and distribution: Present monthly volume of sales, $250,000; present volume of sales per year, $3,000,000; number of states in which coaches now operate, 27; per cent of production to date sold east of Mississippi river, 60; per cent of customers during first eighteen months who had ordered additional coaches in that time, 71; number of companies in California operating Fageol safety coaches, 21; number of companies operating Fageol safety conches in the United States, 78; largest number owned by one operating company, 21; number of electric railways using Fageol safety coach fleets, 5; municipal bus lines using Fageol safety coach fleets, 2.”

Fageol’s Southern California distributor displayed their new ‘Observation Coach’ at the 1924 Los Angeles Auto Show, the November 30, 1923 Winslow Mail reporting:

“Observation Parlor Car Attracts Notice at Show

“An exhibit that attracted more than passing interest at the Eleventh Annual Los Angeles Motor Show was the big Observation Parlor Car model of the Fageol Safety Coach exhibited by H. J. Ruddle, Southern California Fageol Distributor.

“This particular model represents what is probably the latest and most advanced type of motorbus construction, and although but a recent development of the Fageol Motors Company, it is already being used by a large number of fleet operators throughout the country. Delivery has just been made of six of these busses to the Chicago, Milwaukee and North Shore Railroad for use on their feeder lines.

“‘The Observation Parlor Car model’, says Mr. Ruddle, ‘has been developed to meet two definite needs - first, for a large capacity coach that will enable the operator to offer a service of extreme luxury and cater to a high class patronage, and, second, to provide a type of Motor vehicle with which it is possible, to develop the field of long distance tours without fatigue to the passenger, a factor which has, up to this time, been a stumbling block in furthering motorbus development.’

“The model exhibited is a 6-cylinder model - mounted on a standard Fageol Safety Coach chassis, providing every fundamental for comfort and safety. The motor is a Fageol-Hall-Scott motor, capable of developing ample power and is an adaptation of the principles of the famous Liberty Motors used in airplanes.

“In addition to every possible refinement in body construction and finish, including heavy plate glass observation windows, there are individual wicker chairs with double spring deck upholstery and adjustable backs which provide accommodation for twenty four passengers.

“The bus is equipped with Goodyear All-Weather Tread Cord tires with duals on the rear. In this connection it is interesting to note that Goodyear tires are equipment on a large number of the motorbuses operating throughout the country and are used in such large fleets as the Fifth Avenue Coach Company, Motor Transit Company, Detroit Motorbus Company, Chicago Motorbus Company, as well as the huge fleets of the sightseeing cars and busses operating in the Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Yellowstone National Parks.

“Another point of interest is the fact that both the Fageol Observation Parlor Car bus and the Goodyear tires with which it is equipped are California products, the bus having been manufactured in the Fageol factories at Oakland and the tires in the big factories of Goodyear at Los Angeles.”

Little news was forthcoming from either Fageol organization during 1924 save for a notice that a California banking syndicate had acquired an option to purchase the firm and their engine supplier, Hall-Scott Motor Car Co.

The 1925 edition of Walker's manual of Far Western corporations & securities lists the corporate makeup of the firm circa 1924:

“Fageol Motors Company - Authorized $500,000

“Organized under the laws of Cal., Nov. 20, 1916. Manufacturersautomobile trucks and coaches at Oakland, Cal. Owns* Fageol Motors Company of California located in Kent, Ohio, which company acts as distributor for Fageol Motors Company in all territory east of the Rock Mountains, and the Fageol Motor Sales Company, a California corporation organized as a selling company located at Seattle., Wash.Officers— L. H. Bill, Pres.; & Treas.; F. R. Fageol, 1st Vice-Pres.; W. B. Fageol, 2nd Vice-Pres.; Webb Jay, 3rd Vice-Pres.; J. H. Fort, Sec; F. J. Wuepper, Asst. Sec. Directors— L. H. Bill, Robt. Dalziel, Jr., F.R. Fageol, W.B. Fageol, J.H. Fort, Arnold Haase, Stuart S. Hawley, Webb Jay, Charles H. Wood. Head Office – 107th Ave & Hollywood Blvd., Oakland, Cal.”

(* an error, the Ohio firm was corporately unrelated to the California firm although the two firms shared some officers and directors.)

As the sales of interurbans and streetcars started to decline in the early 1920s two major Eastern rail- and street-car manufacturers became interested in acquiring stock in the motor coach manufacturing industry. Officers of the American Car and Foundry Co. of St. Louis, Missouri, and the J.G. Brill Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, hoped to acquire control of the Hall-Scott Motor Car Co. and the Fageol companies of California and Ohio in order to obtain an integrated bus manufacturing business.

On May 5, 1924 Samuel M. Curwen, president of the J.G. Brill Company, convinced its board of directors to commit to a $100,000 investment in Fageol, purchasing 1,000 shares of Fageol Motors Co. of Ohio common and 1,400 shares of Fageol Motors Co. of Ohio preferred. The purchase was suggested by Day & Zimmermann, a Philadelphia-based engineering consultancy that had also made an investment in the firm - believing their designs superior to competing firms. Brill also purchased a significantly smaller amount of White Motor Co. stock at about the same time as their Kulhman subsidiary already supplied the firm with motor-bus coachwork.

The investment was not Brill’s first involvement with the automobile industry. In 1904 they constructed 10 furniture lorries for a New York customer and since that time Brill and its subsidiaries (in particular Kulhman) had constructed small numbers of van and bus bodies for their numerous rail transportation customers.

Curwen stated that he 'had been in touch with what Mr. Fageol had been doing for over two years and … felt that the Fageol bus was attracting more favorable comment...than any other at this time.'

In August of 1924 Hall-Scott and Fageol of California had given a bankers' syndicate a one-year option to purchase their assets or a controlling interest in their stock. No action was taken and on August 8, 1925 the option expired.

William H. Woodin, the president of American Car & Foundry Company, had been thinking along the same lines as Curwen and when he learned that Fageol and Hall-Scott’s shares were about to be available, he developed a complicated scheme to acquire a controlling interest in the two firms.

On May 5, 1925 J.G. Brill Co. acquired a controlling interest in the Fageol Motors Co. of Ohio which put it in a significantly better bargaining position with ACF’s Woodin, who wanted to buy all of Fageol’s operations.

Woodin and Curwen discussed the matter during June of 1925 and a plan was consummated whereby American Car & Foundry and Brill would combine their assets and put a deal together where they would control both Hall-Scott and the California and Ohio branches of Fageol. The complex transaction would result in the end of Brill’s autonomy but Curwen believed the resulting scheme was not only in the Brill Company’s best interest, but was in the best interests of its stockholders as well.

A surprising number of Fageol buses and bus chassis were delivered to Australian rail and surface transport operators due to the efforts of Fageol’s sales manager J.H. Fort. The arrival of the first Safety Bus to the continent was announced in the December 3, 1924 issue of the Adelaide Register:

“Luxurious Fageol Bus To Be Landed on Friday.

“The attention of the public is being forced more and more on to the question of motor transport, and as the private motor car has been greatly improved and developed during the past few years, so is the public motor bus being developed. On Tuesday the writer was informed by the South Australian agent for Republic and Fageol trucks, (Mr. F. B. Frinsdorf) that there would arrive in Adelaide by the Melbourne express on Thursday morning, the American representative of the Fageol truck (Mr. J. H. Fort) whose mission was to place that vehicle on the South Australian market. The first Fageol production to arrive in this State would be landed at Port Adelaide by the steamer Echuca on Friday morning, after which it would be assembled in readiness for a run to Victor Harbour. The heads of various public utilities and others would be invited to make the trip. This vehicle is described as being most luxurious in its appointments, with seating accommodation for 32 passengers, a speed of 60 miles an hour, Westinghouse brakes, Hall-Scott motor, and double springing, so that the bus rides equally comfortably with three as with 30 passengers. The bus is a single-decker, and it is stated that the manufacturers offer a reward of 10,000 dollars to anyone who can capsize it! Mr. Frinsdorf states that shipments of Republic trucks are due to reach Port Adelaide, in January."

An article in the August 23, 1925 Oakland Tribune providing additional details of his lengthy sales trip:


“Large Oakland Company Reports Sale to Australian Railways of Fleets of Busses, Parlor Cars, Chassis

“The Oakland, California, plant of the Fageol Motors Company is completing several additions and improvements to its already extensive plant. A two-story handsome brick administration building is being completed this week, which will give the executives, office force and engineering department much larger and commodious quarters. The present administration wing of the main building will be changed over into a production department, with offices for the factory superintendent. A recent survey shows that:

“The production of the Fageol Safety Coaches, both four and six cylinders, and also Fageol compound motor trucks in five capacities is increased practically every month, and as compared to last year, is an increase of over 100 per cent.

“The greatly increased production makes it necessary to employ a large crew of men and Fageol is recognized as being one of Oakland's foremost home industries.

“The California plant has produced and shipped over 150 complete coaches to the Kent, Ohio, plant to far this year to help out the demands made on the eastern factory, notwithstanding that the production at both the Kent, Ohio, chassis and body plants is being steadily increased.


“J.H. Fort, secretary and sales manager of the California company, has just returned from an eight months trip to Australia. Fort reports wonderful possibilities in that commonwealth for modern motor busses, especially Fageol safety coaches and he succeeded in selling the first all-American modern motor coach complete with body, ever seen in the commonwealth, a fleet of six-cylinder parlor cars to the South Australian Railways, a fleet of street car chassis to the Brisbane Tramway Trust, Queensland a number of chassis to independent operators in Sydney and other parts of New South Wales and also a fleet of Frisco double-deck busses to a large independent operator of Sydney. The first long distance bus run with modern equipment, has gone into service between Sydney and the new federal capital, 150 miles distant, with Fageol six-cylinder parlor cars, equipped with Westinghouse airbrakes. This equipment is attracting a great deal of attention throughout the commonwealth and is the beginning of an evolution in motor bus equipment there.

“They have consistently turned out a machine of such efficiency and durability that the last four years has witnessed a steady increase in press business from $1,200,000 to approximately $5,000,000. With the company firmly established in the field and with an increasing demand for motor busses, the continued growth of the Fageol company seems assured.

“The prosperous financial condition of the Fageol company is reflected in its securities listed on the San Francisco Stock Exchange, leading the field of industrial stock for the past several weeks.

“It is interesting to note that this company, which originated on the Pacific coast, has now assumed International proportion in that its products have been shipped to a number of foreign countries and recently created quite a sensation in London. An English motor Journal of recent issue devoted several pages to a full description of the Fageol debut In London, and it claims it as the acme of the luxurious highway transport.”

As the ink was drying on the aforementioned newspaper article a simple stock transaction resulted in the purchase of a considerable portion of Hall-Scott Motor Car Company stock by Brill and A.C.F., which was the first step in Curwen and Woodin’s four step plan.

On August 29, 1925 the directors of the American Car and Foundry Co. and J.G. Brill Co. agreed to purchase with their own cash reserves 667 shares of stock of Hall-Scott Motor Car Co. Out of a total of 1,000 shares outstanding (worth approximately $4 million), American Car and Foundry purchase 556 shares and J.G. Brill, 111 shares – the remaining 333 shares remained in the hand of third parties which included Hall-Scott’s directors and executives, of which a handful were directly connected with the Fageol Motors Co.

The remaining stock was held by various third parties, who were offered a substantial amount of money (or stock in ACF) for their shares earlier in the month. As the deadline approached an overwhelming majority of the shareholders approved of the swap and on August 29, 1925 A.C.F. and Brill were able to acquire approximately 66% of Hall-Scott’s shares. American Car & Foundry spent approximately $2.5 million J.G. Brill contributed about a half million ($500,000).

Step two occurred on Aug. 31, 1925 when the Fageol Motors Company of Ohio purchased the plant and inventories of the Fageol Motors Company of Cal. located at Kent, Ohio. The Fageol Motors Company of Ohio agreed to pay a minimum royalty of $75,000 per year and a maximum of $300,000 per year for 10 years or until a total of $3,000,000 has been paid to the Fageol Motors Co. of Cal. The Fageol Motors Co. of Ohio also obtained the exclusive rights to the distribution of Fageol products east of the Rocky Mountains.

The September 1, 1925 issue of the Oakland Tribune reported on the transaction as follows:

“Giant Motor Merger To Form Here

“Battle for Control of Fageol Company in Oakland Has Caused Jump of $15 Per Share on Wall Street

“Buying of Stock Seen As Move In Formation of Great Industry in Eastbay and Expansions on Large Scale

“A merger of giant industries, affecting millions of dollars invested in Oakland and foreshadowing future expansions was forecast today in the New York stock market which turned its eyes upon Oakland as the focal point for a battle for control of the Fageol Motor Company of Oakland.

“Fageol common stock jumped to $15 per share today.

“The battle for Fageol, following close upon the heels of the purchase of the Hall-Scott Motor Company of Oakland by the American Car & Foundry Company, is asserted to be another move in the formation of a gigantic industry centered in Oakland with millions invested and with future expansion on a large scale.


“The price of the Hall-Scott company at its recent purchase was between $4,000,000 and $5,000,000, half in cash and the other half in stock of the American Car & Foundry company. As the Fageol company used many Hall-Scott motors and had close business connections with that concern and were practically inter-dependent, it is asserted that the control of the Hall-Scott was but a prelude to the control of the other, making one great concern.

“That there is intense rivalry for participation in Oakland industry is shown in the feverish movements in the New York stock market where it is asserted that both the American Car & Foundry company and the J.G. Brill company of Philadelphia, have clashed in competition for the control of Oakland’s motor bus plant.

“The entrance of the Brill company into the field, it is prophesized, may boost the securities of the Oakland concern even higher.


“The Brill company is known to have made an offer for the Fageol holdings about eight days ago, but was refused. New York dispatches intimate that this concern may have gone into the market to gather in the 20,000 loose shares said to be available, thus precipitating the battle.

“Pending final reports, it is admitted that control of the company may have passed in the fluctuations of the buying, but this is denied by many.

“The battle for the control of Fageol, it is admitted, is a logical sequel to the Hall-Scott purchase, and there are rumors that other vehicular industries, outside the biggest auto corporations, may be involved.

“The actual purchase price of Fageol, it is admitted, would be several hundred thousand dollars, and observers assert that possibly a giant merger may be under way, involving more than $10,000,000 in Oakland industries.”

Step three of the ACF-Brill takeover commenced on September 29, 1925 when J.G. Brill’s board of directors authorized President Samuel M. Curwen to form a holding company with American Car & Foundry Co. whose purpose was to acquire a controlling interest in Hall-Scott, the Fageol Motors Company of Ohio, and the corporately unrelated Fageol Motors Company in Oakland. A maximum amount was set at $1.5 million which included the previous $500,000 already spent on Hall-Scott shares one month earlier.

In the midst of the ongoing corporate negotiations with ACF and Brill, the Fageol brothers lost their beloved father, John. A small obituary was included in the October 21, 1925 issue of the Oakland Tribune:

“FAGEOL — in St. Helena, California. October 20, 1925. John J. Fageol, husband of Mary M. Fageol and father of Rollle B.,William B., Frank R., and Claud H. Fageol and Hazel Fageol Martin, and brother of Fred Fageol, Mrs. Mary Jamison, and Mrs. Lena Wilson. A native of Illinois, aged 70 years, 11 months, 5 days.

“Funeral services at the chapel of the California Crematory, 4499 Piedmont avenue, Oakland, Thursday, October 23, 1925, at 2:45 o'clock p. m. Remains at the chapel of Grant D. Miller, 2372 E. 14th street, Oakland, until 1:30 o'clock p. m., Thursday."

On October 15, 1925 a majority of outstanding preferred and common stockholders of The Fageol Motors Company, of Ohio, accepted an offer by J.G. Brill Co. to exchange their holdings for stock in a new corporation to be organized at a later date. However the sale or exchange of the stock of the corporately unrelated, but similarly-named firm in Oakland was another matter entirely. The November 20, 1925 issue of the Oakland Tribune provided details of the proposed takeover of the Fageol’s Oakland operation:


“Stockholders of Fageol Motors will receive in a day or so details of the plan worked out by American Car and Foundry and J.G. Brill & Company to merge Fageol into a new company which it is reported will yield stockholders $14 a share of the new securities for each share of common stock. The plan approval of two-thirds of the stockholders, but it is believed this will be forthcoming. A new company, Fageol-Hall-Scott Motor Company will be formed. It is planned, with capitalization of 100,000 shares of $100 par value preferred stock and 300,000 shares of no par value common, but which it is expected will have a market value of $50 a share.

“Stockholders of the present Fageol Company will receive, it is understood, the full par value of $10 on the common and in addition will be given an additional amount of approximately $4 a share for the surplus of the company, which is being determined by an auditor at present.

“The stockholders will receive one new share of $50 common for each five shares of $10 common now held and one new share of $100 preferred for each twenty-five shares of common held. This makes the common worth $14 in the exchange. The preferred stockholders will receive one new share of preferred for each ten shares now held at the closing. In the event the proposal is not ratified, the company will receive a royalty from the Fageol Motor Company of Ohio on each bus the new company manufactures inasmuch as the Fageol of Ohio has ratified the deal, final approval having been given yesterday.”

Although President Louis H. Bill and most officers and directors of the California branch of Fageol supported the deal, many Oakland-based shareholders were reluctant to relinquish control of the firm, and the deal was not accepted by the required two-thirds majority. Consequently, Fageol Motors Co. did not take part in the ACF-Brill merger/takeover and remained unaffected by the goings-on of the similarly-named firm in the east as did its wholly-owned subsidiary, the Fageol Motor Sales Co.

However ACF & Brill were able to acquire 90% of the Fageol Motors Co. of Ohio’s shares and on December 23, 1925 step three was completed and the American Car and Foundry Motors Company (ACF Motors) was incorporated in the state of Delaware. Although the new firm did not own any property, it controlled, through stock ownership, the Hall-Scott Motor Car Co. and the Fageol Motors Company of Ohio.

At a meeting of its board of directors on December 31, 1925 resolutions were passed approving the acquisition by the American Car and Foundry Motors Company of the entire capital stock of the Hall-Scott Motor Car Company and The Fageol Motors Company from their respective stockholders in exchange for the issuance to the latter of preferred and common stock of the American Car and Foundry Motors Company.

The fourth, and final step of the ACF-Brill takeover took place on January 26, 1926 when a Delaware holding company named the Brill Corporation was formed for the purpose of acquiring the entire stock of the American Car & Foundry Motors Co., and the J.G. Brill Company.

Brill Corp.’s American Car & Foundry Motors Co. subsidiary owned 100% of Hall-Scott Motor Car Co. and 90% of Fageol Motors Co. of Ohio. ItsJ.G. Brill Co. subsidiary owned 100% of the American Car Co.; the Kuhlman Car Co.; the Wason Mfg. Co; and Cie J.G. Brill.

The January 6, 1926 issue of the Oakland Tribune explained the recent transactions to their interested readers:

“Hall and Fageol Made Officials of New Concern

“New York, Jan. 6. — (AP) — The American Car and Foundry Motors Company, which recently was organized to take over control of the Hall-Scott Motor Car Company of Berkeley and the Fageol Motor Companv of Oakland and Fageol Motors Company of Kent, Ohio, today announced that W.H. Woodin has been named chairman of the board of directors and C.S. Hall, president.

“Colonel E.J. Hall, one of the co-designers of the Liberty Aeroplane engine, and head of the Hall-Scott Company, was made a vice-president together with Horace Hager, W.L. Stancliffe, G.R. Scanlon and F.R. Fageol. H.C. Wick is secretary and S.A. Mallette, treasurer.

“The J. G. Brill Company of Philadelphia, builders of municipal railway cars, through its interest in the Hall-Scott and Fageol Companies, is represented on the board of directors by …..”

“F.R. Fageol, noted bus designer and builder, is vice-president in charge of sales, with headquarters in New York.”

The February 10, 1926 issue of the Oakland Tribune announced that:

“Fageol Motors Had Good Year

“Gross sales of Fageol Motors in 1925 were $5,345,688, while profits before charges were $546,214, and net profit was $310,124, according to the report of President L. H. Bill at the annual meeting of stockholders yesterday afternoon. Charges included $111,988 for reserve; $65,848 for federal taxes, and $37,651 for dividends, including checks mailed this month. The surplus as of December 31 last was $511,142. President Bill said that the company's outlook for 1926 on the Pacific coast, Hawaii, Australia and Central America is promising. He reported that during the last year the company had placed three new models on the market.

“In its contract with American Car & Foundry Fageol will receive a minimum royalty amounting to $75,000 in 1926, it is reported. There were no changes in officers or directors.”

On March 22, 1926 the Associated Press announced that American Car & Foundry Motors was consolidating its bus-building operations in Detroit:

“Motor Co. Plant To Be In Detroit

“Huge Combine Will Have Central Factory in Eastern City

“(Associated Press Leased Wire)

“DETROIT, March 22. - The American Car and Foundry Motors Company, combining the resources and staff of the Fageol Motors Company of Kent, Ohio, and the Hall-Scott Motors Company of Berkeley, is a $24,000,000 development, will have its main plant for the manufacture of motor busses and motor coaches here, S.C. Sale, president, announced today.

“The American Car and Foundry plant, occupying 45 acres here, will begin operations at once, building up in 60 days to a schedule of 15 completed units dally.

“Col. E. J. Hall, collaborator with Col. Jesse G. Vincent in designing the Liberty motor, will be vice-president of engineering in charge of operations. F.R. Fageol will be vice-president in charge of sales with headquarters in New York.

“The J.G. Brill & Co. of Philadelphia, builders of municipal railway cars, through its interest in the Hall-Scott and Fageol companies, is represented in the new organization by its president, S.M. Curwen, who is director and member of the executive committee of the American Car & Foundry Motors Company.”

The news coincided with the placement of a full-page advertisement in the Detroit newspapers announcing the firm was commencing production of Fageol Safety Coaches in Detroit.

Apparently American Car & Foundry Motors continued their efforts to acquire the Oakland-based operations of Fageol Motors Co., the May 7, 1926 Associated Press newswire reporting:

“American Car Buys Fageol Motors, Said

“(Associated Press Leased Wire)

“New York, May 7.— Private dispatches received in Wall street from San Francisco state the sale of the Fageol Motor Company of California to American Car and Foundry again is reported as near completion. Directors of Fageol are understood to have approved an offer for exchange of stock, a decision on which is expected not later than May 10.”

Once again their efforts failed, the May 13, 1926 issue of the Oakland Tribune reporting:

“Fageol Motors common sold off 50 cents to $5.50 on strength of New York reports that American Car and Foundry had turned down its recent offer to sell or combine on a basis of $5.00 for Fageol. This would seem to have concluded the negotiations which have been under way for many months and which resulted in Fageol going from $3 to $15 a share during some exciting days last fall.”

Fageol announced a new entry in the light truck field in the August 15, 1926 issue of the Oakland Tribune:

“Oakland Firm Outs New Light Truck On Show

“Fog of mystery, which has completely surrounded a rumor recently current that the Fageol Motors Company would come forward with a new truck, has been suddenly lifted to disclose Fageol's entry into the light truck field.

“The Fageol ‘Flyer’, which is announced today and which is on display at the Fageol Motors Company salesrooms, East Twelfth street at Eighth Avenue, is a truck of one to two or more tons capacity and according to the announcement, marks a radical departure in light truck production in that it is characterized as being of ‘heavy duty design’.

“‘Heavy duty design’, in the words of T.L. Baumgartner, Fageol branch manager, means that the Flyer's, engineering is based upon that of Fageol trucks of greater tonnage, the basic thought underlying its conception being to produce a truck of unusual strength and stamina, according to Baumgartner.

“The great strength of the Flyer, as well as its other qualities, is evidenced by its specifications.

“It is powered by a Waukesha four cylinder motor having a-four inch bore and five inch stroke and is fitted with the popular Ricardo head, the English invention controlled exclusively by the Waukesha Motors Company. This head has as its feature a high turbulence combustion chamber which, it is claimed, increases engine power 15 to 20 per cent. Provision for atmospheric variations is made by a dynamic thermostat –controlled intake manifold which permits even motor operation under all condition.”

The October 31, 1926 issue of the Oakland Tribune announced Fageol’s a plan to construct trucks and buses in Australia:

“Fageol Motors Planning Plant in Australia

“Fageol Motors of Oakland now is conducting negotiations with Australian interests looking to the setting up of a plant in Australia for the manufactured of Fageol trucks and buses. Fageol proposes to retain 50 per cent common stock control in the new company, to furnish executive and technical experts at a charge of 10 per cent based on earnings, to distribute the preferred and half the common stock in Australia, and to grant rights for all Fageol patents, according to Dow Jones & Co.”

Fageol’s balance sheet for 1926 appeared in the March 21, 1927 issue of the Oakland Tribune which also announced a pending lawsuit with the Fageol Motors Co. of Ohio:

“Fageol Sales in 1926 Reported at $2,693,586

“Lawsuit to Collect $120,000 for Supplies Follows Sale of Ohio Plant

“Sales of Fageol Motors Company for 1926 are reported at $2,693,586 and net profit before dividend at $141,394, according to the annual report of President R. B. Bill.

“Aftermath of the sale of the Ohio Chassis plant at Kentfield, Ohio in 1925 to American Car and Foundry Company is a lawsuit for $120,000 against Fageol Motors Company of Ohio on alleged failure to pay for supplies delivered.A letter to stockholders today contains this account of trouble and of trade prospects generally.

“Our balance sheet shows that after paying our preferred dividends we have added to our surplus some $25,000. We have also set up a reserve of $50,000 for lawsuit. This $50.000 was really additional earningand should rightfully appear in….. We have been fortunate in our dealings with American Car and Foundry Motors Company who have refused to pay us for merchandise sold to the Fageol Motors Company of Ohio, to the amount of $120.000. We have been compelled to file a lawsuit against the Fageol Motors Company of Ohio to collect this amount, and for the purpose of prosecuting this suit we lm e set up this reserve of $50,000.

“The year 1925 was a difficult one for this company. Selling the Ohio bus plant left us with an overstock of merchandise, which has been reduced since then by nearly $500,000. However, there was some shrinkage and also we had to pay interest to carry this merchandise.

“In the meantime the truck business has undergone a change, in that the trade demands six-cylinder motors instead of four cylinders, and this has necessitated a new layout for each model of truck. Also, there is a decided demand here for six-wheel trucks for heavy duty service and we have developed a six-wheel truck of a ten-ton capacity. We have also added to our line of trucks a ton and a half model. We expect to resort at the next annual meeting that we have increased our sales of trucks from 322 in 1326 to 730 during 1927.”

ACF’s move to Detroit, announced earlier in the year coincided with Frank R. Fageol’s resignation as vice-president of sales at American Car & Foundry Motors Co., a move that was prompted by the firm’s refusal to build his latest coach, a twin-engine flat-floored transit coach he christened the ‘Twin Coach’. Construction of the 43-seat prototype ‘Twin Coach’ commenced in the Fageol Motors Co. plant in Oakland and Frank and William Fageol set about arranging for the purchase of the now-vacant Fageol Motors Co. of Ohio factory located at 789 Stow St., Kent, Ohio from ACF Motors.

In collaboration with Paul H. Brehm, the Fageols formed the Twin Coach Co. in January of 1927 with Frank R. Fageol, president; William B. Fageol, vice-president and Paul H. Brehm, secretary-treasurer. Brehm’s father was a well-known Minneapolis truck distributor (Brehm-McMullen Co.) and Paul had served as manager of the Minneapolis Fageol Safety Coach office. Twin Coach’s formation was announced on April 14, 1927 via the Associated Press Newswire:

“Plans Kent Bus Concern

“Cleveland, O., April 14—(AP) Frank. R. Fageol, who established the Fageol Company in Kent, O., several years ago, which later was sold to the American Car and Foundry Company and moved to Detroit, plans to re-establish a bus company In Kent.”

The June 30, 1927 issue of the New York Times reported that lawsuit between the Oakland, Calif. and Kent, Ohio Fageol operations had been settled out of court:

“FAGEOL SUIT SETTLED; Action Against Ohio Company and American Car Canceled.

“The suit instituted by the Fageol Motors Company against the Fageol Motors Company of Ohio and the American Car and Foundry Motors Company has been cancelled and an amicable settlement has been effected by L.H. Bill, President of the Fageol Motors Company, it was announced yesterday. The statement adds that the amounts due the Fageol Motors Company, as well as past due royalties, are being paid, and that the company has allowed a satisfactory amount to take care of field service.

“The agreement between the Fageol Motors Company and the Ohio Company called for a minimum annual royalty of $75,000 and a maximum of $300,000, until such time as $3,000,000 in royalties had been paid to the parent company.

“For the last eight months negotiations have been underway with the American Car and Foundry Motors Company, which has acquired all the stock of the Ohio Company. The proposal of the purchasing company contemplated the exchange of the securities of the parent company for the securities of the American Car and Foundry Motors Company, no cash consideration being involved.”

On July 31, 1927, a little more than six months after the formation of the firm, the first prototype Twin Coach rolled out of the old Fageol Motors Co. factory in Oakland.Twenty-five orders were received in a short time and within the year the firm had delivered several hundred of the new vehicles.

Advertisements were placed in the trades during the Fall including an 8-page spread in the September 17, 1927 special AERA show edition of the Electric Railway Journal:


“HERE is the answer to the automobile's challenge to street cars. It is built by Frank R. Fageol with the single thought of furnishing the traction operator an effective business weapon with which to meet automobile competition.

“Capacity — the long sought for characteristic in motor coach design is here — not through impractical double-decking; not through unwieldy wheel base; not through a freak and uncomfortable seating arrangement and not by adding weight to the vehicle.

“Street car capacity is achieved with riding qualities which bring ejaculations of surprise from every new load of patrons. This is not mere sales enthusiasm: The Chicago Surface Lines' Twin Coaches are carrying on a Diversey Avenue feeder line from 90 to 100 passengers at a time.

“The Milwaukee Electric Railway's experience is available to everyone — the photographic proof from Milwaukee newspapers is to be had for the asking.

“One of the best known men in the railway field who drives the most expensive motor cars, he ordered a Twin Coach especially equipped for long distance touring. That is rider appeal!

“Rider appeal and street car capacity in a motor coach with 30% less weight per seat and depreciation - defying body, built integral with the frame, calls for immediate investigation.

“Every wide-awake traction or steam operator owes it to his property to know whether the statements made here are legitimate. Made by Frank R. Fageol, father of most of the forward steps in the bus industry, they strike a note of caution to every prospective buyer of the present conventional coach design. What Frank R. Fageol's famous Safety Coach did to revolutionize coach travel the Twin Coach bids fair outdo. idled the latest advance in coach equipment by Frank R. Fageol.

“EVERY automotive superintendent should be keenly interested in reporting to his superiors on this newest development.

“Note the load arrangement and balance, here-to-fore unknown in a motor coach because of longtime habit in locating the power plant; order the complete inter changeability of parts; that rear axle without a differential and weighing a quarter of a ton less; brakes which can be relined without disturbing the wheel bearings; that amazing body idea; and the twin cylinder engines giving a maximum of power but thereby reducing the strain and cost of its application throughout the entire vehicle — lessening upkeep in a truly practical manner.

“The superintendents of coach traffic know the public already is looking for greater lounging room. It wants leg room, elbow room, head room, parcel room, greater cubic air space and the mechanical quiet of the private enclosed car.

“You can read with perfect ease in the back seat of a Twin Coach. You can get in and out without a dent in your hat. Head room: 6 ft. 5 in. That is what is meant by rider appeal. Peculiar way to say it, but can you think of a more expressive one?

“The Twin Coach removes the last alibi a street car man has for letting somebody else sell over his counters — the streets of his district. Here is the capacity and the answer to the automobile.

“This new tool can be put into regular peak hour service, or with the addition of deluxe interior equipment it makes the roomiest and most extraordinary parlor car job on the road.

“At the Cleveland AERA convention space 468-472. The factory is only 25 miles south of the convention hall. Come over! If you are not going to the convention possibly a demonstration is scheduled for your district. Write us about this today.”

The same issue included pictures of the new ACF Fageol Motor Coach, essentially the same vehicle the Fageol brothers had introduced five years previous. ACF continued to market and produce the Fageol bus under that name until 1929, although a slightly heavier and more powerful chassis debuted in 1927 that was marketed as an ACF with no mention of Fageol.

Cleveland’s Lang Body Co. produced much of the coachwork for ACF’s motor coaches and it is believed they also supplied the Fageol Motors Co. of Ohio with bodies prior to that firm’s takeover by ACF.

The Fageol name disappeared from all American Car & Foundry Motors Co. advertising in 1930 although they continued to manufacture Fageol-style coaches into the early 30s. More modern buses appeared in 1930 and their fist under-floor engine transit coach in 1935, fully 7 years after the debut of the Twin Coach.

The September 3, 1927 issue of the Electric Railway Journal mentioned that Twin Coach was using composite wood and metal panels supplied by the Haskelite Mfg. Co of Chicago:

“Haskelite Manufacturing Corporation, Chicago, announces that in the new Twin Coach designed by F. R. Fageol, Plymetyl is used for 75 per cent of the surfaces, while Haskelite is used for the floor.”

The revolutionary Twin Coach attracted attention wherever it went, the October 29, 1927 issue of the Waterloo Evening Courier (Iowa)describing the arrival of a ‘brilliant yellow’ demonstrator:

“‘Twin Coach’ Flashes Thru Waterloo Streets

“En route to Los Angeles, Cal., where it will be placed in passenger service, a brilliant yellow ‘Twin Coach’ manufactured by F.R. Fageol, Kent, O., was causing comment today from passersby on the streets of Waterloo.

“Nearly as large as a street car and similar to one in appearance, the Twin Coach is a new departure in the bus line. Three men from the factory at Kent are in charge of the bus and are demonstrating it at various cities on their route. They demonstrated the bus to officials of the W.C.F. &N. today. It accommodates 40 passengers.

“The bus is powered by two six-cylinder motors that are synchronized so that both pull evenly while the bus is operating. Either engine may be operated alone. There is one clutch pedal and one throttle for the two engines. The engines are placed, one on each side, in the center of the car and beneath the seats. Air brakes are on all four wheels.”

In 1928 Charles C. Pyle, the legendary sports promoter, agent and huckster, sponsored a coast-to-coast foot race with $48,500 in prizes to be awarded the top finishers, with the winner getting $25,000 of the total. Accompanying the 275 entrants was Pyle’s travelling P.T. Barnum-style sideshow from which Pyle hoped to make his profit. Pyle outlined his business plan as follows:

“It will be the greatest free show ever offered the American public. The runners will go through hundreds of towns, each of which will be assessed for advertising. Thousands will flock to these towns to see the runners. We'll sell them programs and tickets to our traveling side show.”

Pyle chose a luxuriously appointed double-deck Fageol Safety Coach for his travelling headquarters which was outfitted with a mobile broadcast studio to keep the public abreast of progress of the contestants. The coach was outfitted with reclining blue mohair chairs that converted into beds, a lavatory and shower, a kitchen with a sink, stove and refrigerator, and a mobile office with a collapsible table, writing desk, phonograph and radio set. The rear sleeping compartment was fitted with two double Pullman-style convertible seats that slept four. The open second-floor observation platform was fitted with a windscreen and transformable awning with seating for six as well and compartments that held the water and propane tank that fueled the on-board stove, refrigerator and water heater.

The March 1928 issue of Bus Age described the reportedly $25,000 coach, which was christened ‘America’ as a: “De Luxe Traveling Coach” with “complete transportation, sleeping, bathing, eating, and toilet facilities for fourteen people.” A second Twin Coach motor coach accompanied the first, upon which rode the numerous ‘race officials’ and ‘reporters’ that accompanied the runners who spent each night in a travelling tent city that accompanied the side-show caravan.

The side show component of Pyle’s ‘Bunion Derby’ failed to turn a profit and the ‘Most Stupendous Athletic Accomplishment in All History’ lost a reported $150,000.

Early production Model 40 Twin Coaches used 6-cylinder Waukesha engines and in 1928 the firm introduced a new Fageol-designed power-plant supplied by the Hercules Engine Company of Canton, Ohio. The September 20, 1928 issue of the Oakland Tribune reported that Twin Coach had constructed 300 coaches in its first 14 months of operation:

“F.R. Fageol, president of the Twin Coach Co., of Kent, Ohio, makers of the 40-passenger Twin Coach, a new type of street car motor bus, reports sales exceeding $2,000,000 for the first eight months of this year and profit of $255,000 before Federal taxes. More than 300 Twin Coaches are now in operation on leading electrical railway properties in the United States.”

The September 20, 1928 issue of the Montana Standard reported that like two of his brothers, Claud Fageol was also associated with Twin Coach:

“Motor Coach Builder Is Visitor In Butte

“Claude Fageol, Seattle distributor for the Twin Coach Manufacturing Company of Kent, Ohio, and J.E. Hawley, Spokane, manager of the Interurban Motor company, stopped in Butte yesterday to visit Emil Torgerson. The pair are on their way to Cleveland, where they will attend the American Electric Railway association's national convention.

“Mr. Fageol, who is one of the foremost figures in motor coach building, was formerly associated with his brother In the Fageol Safety Coach Manufacturing company, the largest builders of wide-tread safety coaches.

“The business was recently sold to the American Car and Foundry company. A twin motor coach, very similar to a street car, which will run on tracks or without, is now being sold by Mr. Fageol. It is an invention of his brother and has a seating capacity of 40. The car is a light weight with the luxury of a Pullman car, Chicago and other cities are equipped with such coaches.”

Shortly after the firm’s two-year anniversary, Frank R. Fageol announced sale for its first full year of production totaled $4 million:

“KENT, O., Feb. 22.—The coaches of the Twin Coach company, organized in 1927, are in use by fifty-eight transportation and utility companies according to President F. R. Fageol, he announces sales in the last year total $4,300,000.”

A smaller 21-seat Twin Coach debuted in 1929 that was powered by a single 6-cylinder as did a combination rail- and road-going car, the Ruston Daily Leader of September 7, 1932 reporting:

“Motor Bus Now Runs On Tracks

“CHICAGO, (U.P.) — An ordinary motor bus, or trucks, fitted with an attachment by which it can run on railroad tracks as well as highways, was demonstrated here to a group of railroad men as the answer to their transportation problems.

“The equipment that permits the bus to travel on rails consists of four sets of guide wheels with wide flanges which hinge the rails. They are placed in front and in back of the rubber tired wheels, and are raised or lowered for operating by a lever at the driver's seat.

“F.L. Wilson, president of the Wilson Engineering Corporation who demonstrated the machine, said that it would be a simple matter for a shipper to send his merchandise to the dealer, no matter where he was located, without changing busses.

“Outlining the new transportation plan, Wilson said that the trucks would be loaded at the factory, and would proceed to a railroad freight station, where they would be coupled to any number of other trucks, and placed on railroad tracks.

“The device is the invention of Frank R. Fageol, president of the Twin Coach Corporation of Kent, O., and developer of the Fageol safety coach, first of the modern busses now used for cross country trips.”

Between 1927 and 1934 Twin Coach built more than 1,100 motor buses, including 21 with gas-electric drive. During the early thirties they branched out into the route delivery business with a popular line of dairy and bakery delivery trucks with modular power units. Trolley buses were also manufactured as were units powered by diesel and liquid propane.

Back in California, the Depression caught up with Fageol Motors Co. Despite the firm’s well-earned reputation for building rugged, reliable trucks, it was forced to file for bankruptcy in 1929. Barely staying afloat for the next two years, they went into receivership in 1932. The Oakland Tribune reported that G. H. Gilbert has been appointed temporary receiver of both the Fageol Motors Company, and its subsidiary, the Fageol Motor Sales Company of San Francisco, Calif., on a petition filed in the federal court by the Waukesha Motor Co. and the Central Bank of Oakland.

The Waukesha Motor Co. and the Central Bank of Oakland operated Fageol from 1932 until 1938 when its assets were purchased by Sterling, who flipped the property and operation to T.A. Peterman, a logger and plywood manufacturer from Tacoma, Wash. Peterman had been rebuilding surplus army trucks and modifying old logging trucks for use in his business. By 1938, his lumber operations had expanded beyond the capabilities of his fleet. So he purchased the Fageol assets in order to build custom chain drive logging trucks.

In November 1938, Sterling Motors acquired most of Fageol’s assets from Waukesha in order to get a foothold in the northern California and Pacific Northwest heavy truck market.Seattle’s Fageol Motor Sales Co., 717 Dexter Ave., became the region’s Sterling distributor and a metro San Francisco Sterling showroom and garage was subsequently established at 470 Bayshore Dr. in San Francisco.

Sterling wasn’t interested in the Oakland factory complex which was subsequently acquired from Waukesha by T.A. Peterman, a wealthy Tacoma, Washington-based lumber dealer and hauler.

“Sterling Buys Fageol Truck Division

“Sterling Motors Corp. has acquired the assets of the truck division of the Fageol Truck & Coach Co. A Sterling factory branch will be opened at 470 Bayshore Boulevard, San Francisco, about February 1st.”

A lumber magnate from Tacoma, Wash., named T.A. Peterman came to the company's rescue. He purchased Fageol in April 1939 to build a chain-driven logging truck. Two units were built and neither worked, but regular trucks continued to be made and to sell well, and soon, they were renamed 'Peterbilt.' Tradition has it that the ‘bilt’ half stemming from the ‘Bill-bilt’ moniker that was sometimes connected with the Fageol trucks, the Bill referring to the firm’s longtime president Louis H. Bill.

During the war Peterbilt constructed control cabins for blimps and tail assemblies for Corsair aircraft, eventually establishing an aircraft subsidiary in Buffalo, New York.

Originally equipped with 4-cylinder Waukesha motors, the Twin Coach changed quite early to Hercules engines when Waukesha declined to re-engineer the engine to meet Fageol’s demands. Hercules was more accommodating and the resulting Fageol-Hercules engine was used from 1928 to 1943.

As the Depression wore on Twin Coach introduced a series of diminutive transit coaches, the 26-passenger Model 30, Model 20 and 15-passenger Model 15, all of which were available as a single door parlor car or in transit configuration with a second door just behind the rear wheels. They shared the front-engine architecture, chassis and sheet-metal of the firm’s forward-control delivery trucks and were powered by a single six-cylinder Fageol-Hercules engine located above the front axle. Its lower price and lower gasoline consumption made it a favorite of cash-strapped surface transport operators and between 1931 and 1935 over 900 Model 30s and 100 Model 20s were delivered.

Small numbers of custom-built rail-going vehicles were constructed during the early thirties ranging from streetcars to rail buses and track maintenance trucks. A few non-standard delivery trucks were also constructed some with front-wheel-drive and others with hybrid gas-electric and full electric power.

The firm’s original transit coach, the twin-engined Model 40, was discontinued in 1934 and replaced by the all-new Model 37R. Powered by a single transversely-mounted 126 hp. Fageol-Hercules engine at the rear, it became the firm’s most popular model. Smaller pusher Twin Coaches followed in 23- and 30-passenger configurations as did the option of diesel-power.

Twin Coach’s first diesel-equipped bus was introduced in the October, 1934 issue of Transit Bus:

“Time and Money Saver – Rear Engined Bus Using Diesel or Gasoline Plants

“In the illustration is shown a new type Twin Coach that attracted a great deal of attention at the recent Cleveland exhibit of the American Transit Association. It is known as the model 37-RM, seats 37-passengers with a large standee capacity, and weighs 13,500 lbs. The low weight with great strength is obtained by the liberal use of nickel and aluminum alloys.

“Of most interest, however, is the location of the engine which is transversally mounted across the rear end. A point of further interest is that the bus has been designed so that whenever it is desired, a Diesel motor may be submitted for the gasoline motor. Placing the motor in this position make it easily accessible for any servicing necessary or for inspection.

“Another feature of this new bus is that the air for ventilation is taken in through a duct in center of the roof instead of from the dusty area at the rear of the vehicle.

“The main body frame comprises two full-length longitudinal, specially shaped pressed-steel channels reinforced with ample cross members and special Nickel ‘Z’ shaped cross sills for supporting floor and outside lower body rail comprising rigid bridge-type truss frame construction.

“Doors are of the four leaf type, folding out, with National Pneumatic control, entrance door 30 in. opening, exit door 27 in. opening.

“The six cylinder engine has a 4 ½ in. bore, 5 ¼ in. stroke, and 529 cu. In. in displacement. The compression ratio is 5.4 : 1, the torque is 350 ft. lbs. at 1,200 r.p.m., with a brake horse power of 126 at 2,000 r.p.m.When a diesel engine is desired, the new Hercules DXR Series type is used.

“Braking equipment includes a Bendix Westinghouse 6 cu. Ft. compressor. Brakes are standard Twin Coach large size, 16 ½ by 4, with Westinghouse equipment.

“A unique system of ventilating the motor is provided. The radiator is a special Young tubular type, mounted directly above motor in rear of motor compartment. All air for radiator is drawn from the roof and exhausted at each side of the motor housing, the motor being contained in a dust-proof sealed compartment which eliminates all roads dust, as the only air entering the compartment must come from the roof where the air is clean. Air is thrown out of the motor compartment by a shrouded fan on each end of the power plant which forces air out through the body sides adjacent to the rear corners. Fans are driven direct on the engine crankshaft and transmission main shaft.”

Five convertible Model 23R coaches were constructed for Motor Stage Inland Motor Tours of Catalina Island, California in 1936. The coaches included a canvas top that rolled rearwards giving its passenger a mostly uninterrupted view of Catalina’s magnificent palms trees, hilly terrain and beautiful blue skies.

The first diesels were delivered in 1935 and the firm’s hybrid diesel-electrics were popular with numerous metropolitan New York City operators, who acquired 300 of the units prior to the Second World War.

The Fageol brothers (Frank R. and William B. Fageol) also spearheaded the 1936 purchase and reorganization of the Continental-Divco Co. from its parent, Continental Motors Corp.At the time Continental-Divco manufactured route delivery vehicles under the ‘Divco’ brand name, and the Fageol brothers hoped to strengthen their position in the field through the purchase of their chief competitor.

The Divco dated to the early 1920s when George Bacon, chief engineer of Detroit Electric Car Co., constructed a prototype electric route delivery vehicle that could be operated from four points; the front, rear, left- or right- hand side. Testing revealed the limits of its storage batteries and in 1926 a gasoline-powered version was tested, and Bacon and a group of investors formed the Detroit Industrial Vehicle Company who christened it the ‘Divco’ and commenced manufacture at a small factory on Fort Street West, Detroit. The prototype used a 4-cylinder LeRoi engine, but production Divcos were fitted with Continental 4-cylinders mated to Warner 4-speed transmissions. In 1927 the firm was reorganized as the Divco-Detroit Corp. and production relocated to 2435 Merrick Ave., Detroit. Sales of the diminutive delivery truck grew amongst dairies looking to replace their horse-drawn milk wagons with more modern equipment and substantial numbers of Divcos were delivered to regional dairies into the early days of the Depression when the firm entered into receivership.

In September of 1930 Divco-Detroit purchased the Step-N-Drive Corp. of Buffalo, New York in order to obtain the firm’s patents, but the firm was already hopelessly insolvent, and the purchase helped put the firm into receivership. A creditor’s committee auctioned off the firm’s assets in April of 1932 and the winning bidder, Continental Motors Corp., won the bidding with a $90,000 offer.

Continental created a new subsidiary, Continental-Divco Co. - headed by W. R. Angell, and relocated Divco’s assets to Continental’s 12801 East Jefferson Ave. plant and relocated the Step-N-Drive operations to Detroit. Continental-Divco operated at a loss until 1935 when a 300-unit sale to the Borden Company put it into the black for the first time.

Twin Coach’s involvement with Divco dated to a 1933 patent dispute between Continental-Divco and Twin Coach that was resolved via a dual licensing agreement. In 1936 a complicated series of transactions between two Manhattan investment bankers and the two firms resulted in the establishment of a new firm, Divco-Twin Corp., which combined the assets of Twin Coach’s route delivery truck division with that of Continental-Divco’s. Twin Coach owned a 17% share of Divco-Twin stock, the remainder being controlled by representatives of Reynolds & Co. and Laurence M. Marks & Co.

Production remained at Continental’s East Jefferson Ave. plant until July, 1939 when the firm moved into a new factory located at 22000 Hoover Rd., in the Detroit suburb of Warren, Michigan.During the interim an all-new Divco had been designed, and the factory was purpose-built to construct the snub-nosed milk truck that remains popular to this day.

The new design proved popular and continued in production through 1986. In January 1944 the ‘Twin’ was dropped and the firm became the Divco Corporation. Although the Fageol brothers sat on Divco-Twin’s board, they had little to do with the firm’s day to day operations.

In 1957 Divco Corporation bought Wayne Works, a school bus builder in Richmond, Indiana, and renamed itself Divco-Wayne Corporation and for a number of years Frank R. Fageol served as president of Divco-Wayne.

In 1938 Twin Coach introduced an unusual four-axle motor coach/trolley coach that was christened the ‘Super Twin’, the June 18, 1938 Daily Princetonian (Princeton, N.J.) reported:

“Twin Coach Company, Kent, Ohio

“Kent, Ohio, June 15—The largest, capacity passenger vehicle for public carrier service, without the use of tracks, has been announced this month by Frank R. and William B. Fageol, President and Vice President, respectively, of the Twin Coach Company of this city. The vehicle seats 58 passengers on a single deck, and will transport readily, a passenger load of 120, including standees. The unit is designed to operate as an electric trolley coach or by Diesel-electric propulsion. The vehicle has four axles, eight wheels and bears its lead on 12 tires, the four center wheels taking dual rubber equipment. It weighs 27,500 pounds and is known as the Super-Twin.

“This unit will be capable of 50 miles per hour top speed, and, therefore, in regular schedule traffic, should have no difficulty in maintaining average schedule speed of 13 to 14 miles per hour, which is within one or two miles per hour of the average speed on principal subway lines.

“The new vehicle, on the fiftieth anniversary of the operation of electric trolley cars operating upon steel rails in the United States, immediately becomes a threat to continued large city street car operation, because it is the first seemingly practical unit created as a rubber tired public carrier capable of equaling the capacity of the largest city street cars, and at the same time, being able to turn on a radius no greater than the many 35-passenger gasoline coaches already in service in great numbers in this country. This is done by means of the synchronous steering of the front and rear wheels. The four wheels at the center of the job operate on the principle adapted to the many six-wheel vehicles already in use.

“Because of its 47 foot length, the body is hinged perpendicularly at the center, and the space covered by a newly developed flexible rubber hood, the perpendicular articulation allowing it to take with ease, bridge, viaduct and other sharp grades oftentimes found within the confines of the metropolitan area. There is no horizontal articulation and the width of the vehicle may be made to equal that of the large capacity trolley cars. The floor has no obstructions of any kind.

“As in a trackless trolley coach, the propulsion is through two 125-horse-power electrical motors placed under the floor of each body unit and driving into the two center axles. The first vehicle for practical demonstrating purposes is a Diesel-Electric vehicle with 175-horsepower Hercules Diesel motor with electric generator in the rear compartment, supplying current to the two electric motors located under the floor adjacent to the two center axles. The electrical equipment has been supplied by General Electric Company.

“The oil-electric propulsion equipment is generally the same as that used to run the Diesel-Electric Zephyr and other crack high speed transcontinental trains. It is much easier for the operator to handle than the ordinary bus on account of the simplicity of controls which consist of a reversing lever to get forward and reverse directions and a foot accelerating pedal which operates the same as your automobile. As you press the pedal down it adds more fuel to the Diesel motor, thereby causing the motor to revolve at higher speed and it being connected to the electric generator, there is an immediate increase of motive power from the generator to the motor. In other words, the action on the propulsion motor, when the fuel accelerator is pushed down, is similar to the result when the motorman on a street car turns his controller around. The further he goes with the handle, the more electricity is put in the motors and thus the increase in speed.

“The Diesel motor differs from the gas motor in that it has no spark plugs, therefore, no electric ignition. The fuel used is what is known as distillate or oil similar to that used in oil furnaces.

“The ignition of the fuel is brought about by high compression temperatures and through properly governed and timed oil injection into the cylinders.

“The springing of the job is taken care of by a newly designed type of cantilever spring giving the rider the impression of that of a boat rather than the short, quick impacts of urban rail transportation.

“Control of the new vehicle by the operator is exactly the same as on a conventional motor coach or trolley coach. The steering of the front and rear wheels is accomplished through linkage and the use of air which automatically supplements the manual effort on the driver's wheel, and trolley buses are in use on urban operating systems, a complete transition to rubber tired vehicles has been held back by the lack of a tired unit capable of carrying as many as a large trolley car. This has been due to inability to produce a trackless vehicle of that size capable of making the necessary street intersection turns.

“It will be recalled it was the Fageol Brothers, who, in 1927, introduced the first transit or metropolitan type gas coach, namely, the box type body with motors inside instead of under the hood as in the old type vehicle. That style of design, in the past ten years, has become universally adopted on major operations.

“Some idea of the significance of this new Fageol development may be gained by such economic facts as the following, pointed out by Ross Schram, Sales Manager for the manufacturer:

1. According to the statistical record of TRANSIT JOURNAL, there were 75,777 urban public carrier vehicles in use December 31st, 1937, and 34,190 of these were street cars, mostly of the large capacity size, while many of the 25,614 motor coaches would have been purchased in larger capacity had there been an available unit.

2. Modern trolley car road bed and track cost per mile is $100,000 for double tracks.

3. The average expenditure per mile for trolley car road-way maintenance in American cities during normal times is 3½ cents per mile.

4. The reduction of fuel cost over gasoline, if Diesel-Electric power plant is adopted.

5. Tremendous sums and engineering efforts have been focused on the development of a new automatic transmission for large trackless gasoline units with questionable results thus far. In this new unit, as in other trolley coaches and Diesel Electric vehicles, there is immediately available the perfect answer to this quest.

6. The large capacity rubber tired trackless ‘street car’ of this type is no longer tied to a strip in the center of the street, and thus traffic weaving, the greatest of all street hazards, should be reduced to a minimum. Recent studies reported by the Director of the American Transit Association show that considering the full capacity of a single traffic lane as 100%, a second lane, where channelized traffic is not enforced is actually only 78% efficient; that in the third lane without channelized enforcement the efficiency is only 56% compared with the first lane. Thus is statistically illustrated the waste of street space caused in traffic in our large cities where automotive traffic is weaving in and out between street cars. Of course, it is impossible to furnish accurate figures on the increased safety if all public carrier passengers were enabled to load and unload from a large capacity public carrier operating adjacent to the curb, but such protection would tremendously reduce deaths and injuries in the street.”

Unlike most articulated buses that followed, the joint between the ‘Super Twin’s front and rear compartments only allowed for the vertical movement of the two attached coaches, no horizontal action was allowed with the turning being accomplished via coordinated action between the two steerable axles – one located at the front, the second at the rear.

Twin Coach was not the first articulated motor coach/trolley bus, the Italian Stanga-Stanga-BBC, Type Isotta-Fraschini TS40 of 1940 preceded it, although it was articulated horizontally and steered by the front wheels only. Unfortunately no orders resulted for the lengthy vehicle and it was sold to a Cleveland operator who used it as an electric-powered trolley-bus.

Although the articulated trolleybus was not successful,Twin Coach manufactured fully one-third of all the trolley buses manufactured in North America, manufacturing 670 trolley coaches during its 25 years in business.

An anonymous posting on the bustalk forum ( by user ‘Q65A aka Bob’ provides a detailed account of the numerous firms who utilized Twin Coach transit buses in and around New York City in the 1930s and early 1940s:

“These operators included Brooklyn Bus Corp., North Shore Bus Co., Surface Transportation System, Jamaica Buses Inc., Steinway Omnibus Corp., and Queens-Nassau Transit Lines. Except for ST, who purchased a single diesel powered Model 35-D in 1954 (STS #6000) none of these operators of pre-war Twins bought postwar Twins. The all-time rosters of Green Bus Lines and Triboro Coach Corp. indicate that these operators did not own any Twins. Not surprisingly, no postwar Twins were bought by FACCO and NYCO (both loyal Yellow Coach/GM customers) or Avenue B & East Broadway Transit (a perennial Mack devotee).

“Unquestionably, the largest operator of Twin Coaches in the NYC area was the NYC Board of Transportation. When the BOT was formed in 1940, it acquired 212 used Twins from Brooklyn Bus Corp. The following year, the BOT purchased 250 new Twins, of which 60 units (BOT #’s 1300-1359) were diesels. Regardless of engine type, these units used electric transmissions and were assigned to routes in Brooklyn. All 190 gas-electric Twins were repowered with Hercules diesel engines in 1945. They only lasted a few more years and were retired in 1948.

“Like their Brooklyn neighbors, North Shore Bus Co. in Queens owned a large 219-unit fleet of Twin Coaches built between 1930 and 1946. When the City of New York acquired North Shore In March 1947, the BOT took in the entire fleet of North Shore Twins. In the same year, the BOT purchased 125 Twin Coach Model 41-S transit buses (BOT #’s 1400-1524). They also placed an additional order for 180 larger Twin Coach Model 44-S’s from 1947 to 1948 (BOT #’s1525-1575; 1700-1829). All 305 postwar Twins were equipped with underfloor-mounted gas engines and Spicer torque converters.

”They were not especially large or heavy buses: the Model 41-S was 32’11.5” long and weighed 14,850 pounds, while the Model 44-S was 34’10” long and weighed 15,570 pounds. They used a B.F. Goodrich “Torsilastic” torsion bar suspension, which also was used on postwar Flxible parlor buses and on all Eagle buses. All BOT Twins were 96” wide. They used 6-hole 10-stud cast steel disc wheels and were delivered in the standard grey-over-green BOT livery.

“Postwar Twins had several distinctive styling features that set them apart at a glance from contemporary GM’s and Macks. Two-panel sliding doors were used front and rear (as compared to 4-panel jackknife doors used on most transit buses of that period). The Model 41-S used a small side destination sign positioned directly over the entrance door header; BOT #’s 1400-1499 also had a small circular ‘Next Bus’ lamp mounted below the lower edge of the right-hand windshield. Later Model 41-S’s and all Model 44-S’s lacked this lamp, and used side signs mounted more conventionally at the top of the first curbside passenger window.

“As with Mack C-50DT’s, postwar Twins had a fluted horizontal aluminum trim panel that encircled nearly the entire bus. Standee windows were not used; large side window sashes dropped vertically into bodyside pockets.

“Perhaps no feature is more associated with postwar Twins than the unique 6-panel front windshield assembly. Consisting of two large upper main windshield panel, two smaller lower windshield panels, and two triangular side window panels, this design later was used on all Flxible transit buses until 1978. BOT’s postwar Twins used dual wipers mounted on the windshield header, a feature sometimes used on certain models of school buses but rarely seen on modern transit buses. Such wipers were not used on any other postwar BOT/NYCTA buses.

“The BOT Twins initially were assigned both to Queens and Brooklyn depots, but Queens buses (#’s 1525-1575) were moved to Brooklyn by 1949. Gas-powered buses were considered undesirable in the mid 1950’s, and the BOT/NYCTA Twins were scrapped beginning in 1956. No examples were preserved.

“Twin seemed to be ahead of its time, and was an innovator in many ways. Curiously, a Twin Coach Model 58-DW “Super Twin” artic demonstrator was tested by BOT on certain Brooklyn routes in late 1947. The 60-foot unit also had dual engines. The BOT elected not to purchase the big bus, and it was returned to Twin unsold.”

Frank R. Fageol did no limit his investments to the automobile field and in 1937 acquired a controlling interest in a Brownsville, Texas tobacco warehouse, the September 24, 1937 issue of the Brownsville Herald reporting:

“Fageol Invests In Lower Valley

“Twin Coach President Heads Compress Company

“BROWNSVILLE—Frank R. Fageol, Ravenna, Ohio, is president of the Brownsville Port and Compress and Bonded Warehouses, Inc. Fageol came to Brownsville in April and again during August. His findings resulted la the purchase of the 850-acre tract formerly known as the Piper Plantation. Fageol, president of the Twin Coach Company, Kent, Ohio, one of the largest bus manufacturing companies In the United States, is considered a leader in the mass transportation field and is one of the foremost authorities on the subject in the nation.”

A face-lifted Twin Coach debuted in 1939 that included a substantially larger windscreen for the driver.

1940 Model 41-GE (Gas Electric) Twin Coach

The August 28, 1943 Massillon Evening Independent announced the sudden passing of Frank R Fageol’s son, Oren :


AKRON, Aug. 28—Oren B. Fageol, 39, son of Frank R. Fageol, president of the Twin Coach Co. of Kent, in neighboring Portage county, died suddenly Friday at his home in near-by Silver lake. Formerly west coast sales manager for Twin Coach he had been general manager for the company the last five years.”

Bus production was put on hiatus during the Second World War, and the firm was awarded contracts to build pontoon boats and served as a Goodyear subcontractor for whom they constructed control cabins for Goodyear’s K-class airships. Over 134 K-type blimps were constructed between 1938 and 1944 for the purpose of anti-submarine patrol and convoy export duty. A surviving K-type gondola can be seen at the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida.

They also established a satellite plant at the massive Curtiss-Wright complex in Cheektowaga, New York in which they constructed tail sections for P-40 pursuit fighters and C-46 cargo planes. When Curtis-Wright closed the facility Twin Coach leased the plant and in August 1946 commenced limited production of the firm’s post war transit coaches for customer located in the northeast.

Twin Coach announced an entirely new post-war lineup of single- (Model 34-S, 38-S, 41-S) and double-(Model 44-D) engined coaches designed by Dwight Austin. The design included a 6-paned windshield constructed of flat safety glass that provided the operator with a remarkable field of vision.

A 1944 advertisement heralded its introduction:

“Bomber Nose! … For Transit Buses

“When the new Twin Coach models appear, their driver compartments may startle you because of a marked similarity to the nose compartment on certain of our aircraft. The visibility and position of quarters required for an operator of a large transit bus more nearly approach that of air pilots and bombardiers than any other individuals.”

The Post-War coaches utilized B.F. Goodrich’s new ‘torsilastic’ rubber spring suspension (used on the Tucker automobile) and included an all-new 168 hp. Fageol-branded 6-cylinder engine that rested on its side beneath the floor to conserve space and provide optimal weight distribution.

Sales of the post-war dual-engine Model 44D were disappointing and the coach was discontinued in favor of a single-engined 44-passenger transit coach, the Model 44S.

Small number of dedicated rail coaches, such as the Model 41 SRC (S=single engine; RC= rail coach) were constructed after the War, two known SRC users were the Missouri Pacific Railroad and the Beaumont, Sour Lake & Western Railway who utilized them to transport passenger and maintenance crews to and from work sites and remote spur lines. Number 701 (one of six numbered 701 to 706) is not convertible as it only operates on rails and is gasoline powered coupled with a mechanical transmission. These buses were generally used to ferry company maintenance crews to work sites and, in some cases, to transport passengers from remote spurs to main line stations.

At the height of the post-war boom, three factories were constructing postwar Twin Coaches: the original factory in Kent, Ohio; the satellite plant in Cheektowaga, New York; and a third facility located in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada. The latter plant was owned by Fleet Manufacturing & Aircraft, Ltd., who constructed US-designed coaches for Twin Coach of Canada, Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary that marketed the firm’s coaches from 1948-1951.

Twin Coach sold 700 buses in 1946 and 2,200 in 1947 with sales increasing from $11.7 million to $34.6 million. But, in 1948, sales slipped to 1,050 or $21.8 million.

The January 30, 1948 Massillon Evening Independent:

“Twin Coach Will Lay Off 203 Men

“KENT—The output of the Kent Twin Coach Co. plant here will be reduced by a coach a day and 203 workers with seniority of 10 months or less will be laid off Feb. 1, company officials Thursday said.

“Action is to be taken at this time in order to mulch output with incoming orders, L. J. Fageol, president, declared.

“He also announced that a comparative reduction will be made in the personnel and output of the company's Buffalo plant. Officials' asserted that the supply of busses has met the demand for the first time since World War II.”

The April 15, 1948 Massillon Evening Independent:

“Twin Coach Calls 500 Back To Work

“KENT. O.— The Twin Coach Co. will call back 500 employees within the next few weeks company officials announced Wednesday. As the company gets materials the men will be called back for opening of the production line.

“With the reported employment of 700 at Twin Coach service department and Fageol Products now the addition of 500 would total 1,200, 800 less than the 2,000 employed last January.

“First bus is to come off the assembly line at the end of April, with two or three busses a day expected to be produced after April.”

Convinced that the pre-war articulated concept was a good one, a second perpendicularly articulated prototype was constructed after the War. Originally outfitted with a gasoline engine, it was converted for trolley coach use in 1948 and leased to the Chicago Transit Authority in 1948. Remarkably the 1946 ‘Super Twin’ survives, unrestored, at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Illinois.

A 1949 advertisement for the post-war Super-Twin claimed:

“Greater Carrying capacity per man-hour is one of the reasons why the U.S. Post Office Department ordered a Super Twin Highway Post Office for service between Baltimore and Washington D.C. Omaha’s Super Twin motor coaches have been in regular service now for six months. The new Super Twin Trolley Coach has been leased to the Chicago Transit Authority.”

Dover (Ohio) Daily Reporter March 7, 1950

“Bus Plant May Be Lost By Kent: Removal To Buffalo Under Consideration

“KENT— (AP)— The head of Twin Coach Co.. this Portage-co city's largest industry, is thinking about consolidating the firm's bus manufacturing operations in Buffalo.

“In a 10-page memorandum to company officials and representatives of the CIO United Automobile Workers local, F. B. Fageol, chairman of the Twin Coach Co. board, said the firm could save $150,000 a year by the move.

“‘Closing of the bus plant here would mean withdrawal of a payroll of about 500 from the community. Fageol said output of motor buses and trolley conches last year totaled only 350. There is little hope for increasing bus demand this year’, Fageol said.

“‘If we are going to save the Kent bus plant,’ Fageol added,’ increased production efficiency is necessary.’ He proposed a ‘cooperative arrangement with the union in establishing a fair and reasonable number of hours required to build each coach.’”

April 7, 1950:

“Omaha. Council Bluffs St. Ry. Get 10 More ‘Supertwins’

“Omaha – The Omaha and Council Bluffs Street Railway Co. recently received ten more 58-passenger Twin Coach ’Supertwins.’

“Last year the company tested five of the vehicles. Experience proved that more people could be moved in less time at lower cost. Traffic congestion was also reduced, one ‘super’ bus replacing two smaller units. Omaha people liked the big buses too.

“Cost $250,000

“The new vehicles, representing an investment of $250,000, were immediately put into rush-hour service on the company’s principle routes.

“They were announced to the public with a 1,078-line advertisement in the ‘Omaha World-Herald’ and smaller ads in all of the city’s weekly and foreign language papers. Take-one folders describing them were placed in all busses and streetcars.

“Relive Traffic Problem

“The advertising program not only stressed that the new buses would give Omaha riders faster and more convenient to-and-from work transportation, but also pointed out the relief ‘super’ buses provided for the city’s difficult traffic and parking problems.

“The ads emphasized that each ‘super’ bus carried as many passengers as 20 to 35 private cars, yet took the street space of only three automobiles.

“The company plans a series of ‘student tours’ to acquaint Omaha’s future citizens with ‘super’ buses and the company’s maintenance operation. Mechanical classes from the city high schools will be invited to make an inspection trip through the company’s garage and shops.”

Frank Fageol’s son, Lou, became a famous speedboat racer during the 1940s and ’50s, winning the 1951 Gold Cup in Slo-Mo-Shun V (powered by a Rolls-Royce engine). He also was interested in racecars and developed twin-engine, 4-wheel drive Indy cars. The big hit of the 1949 Indianapolis 500 was the Fageol Super Sonic, a wildly futuristic concept car built by Lou Fageol and his son Ray. Powered by a 404-cubic inch, 6-cylinder Fageol engine that turned 275 hp, the sleek coupe was test driven by Indy president Wilbur Shaw, who made several laps around the Brickyard at an average speed of 93 mph, only slightly slower than the eventual winner of the race. The build was originally started by Joel Thorne and Art Sparks at Thorne Engineering Racing Shop in Burbank, California in 1938 as a Land Speed racing car. They abandoned the project, and sold the uncompleted build to Fageol.

Olean (NY) Times Herald May 6, 1950

“THIS ‘CAR OF TOMORROW’ was built by L. J. Fageol of Kent, Ohio, to test the efficiency of 125 octane propane as a motor fuel. Named the ‘Supersonic Special’ by its designer—president of the Twin Coach Company—the motor develops 275 h.p. on propane against 180 on commercial gasoline. The machine has been clocked at 135 m.p.h. and saves up to 30 per-cent on fuel costs. Twin Coach has just announced a complete line of urban and city buses to operate on propane.

“New Propane Fuel Will Power Busses

“KENT. O. — A complete line of standard motor vehicles for operation with 125 octane propane fuel has been announced by Twin Coach Company.

“Propane is said by the company to be the world's lowest-priced motor fuel. It is anticipated by them that its use will greatly reduce operating costs of the nation's bus transportation systems.

“The new Twin Coach propane-powered line consists of seven standard bus models of thirty-four to fifty-eight passenger capacity. These will be driven by Fageol Twin Coach engines with a ten to one compression ratio, according to Chairman F.R. Fageol.

“The Fageol engine was designed six years ago by L. J. Fageol, company president. It is capable of operating at a fourteen to one ratio it desired. Its conversion to propane operation requires only a few minor accessory changes, he says.

“Average savings of up to two cents per mile on fuel alone, as compared with diesel or gasoline coaches, we reported by the manufacturer. Another advantage claimed for propane is the doubling of time between engine overhauls.

“The supply of propane, otherwise known as L.P.G. (liquid petroleum gas), far exceeds the foreseeable demand, according to Fageol. Delivered fuel costs (before taxes) average from twenty five to fifty per cent less than gasoline and from ten to forty per cent less than diesel fuel in mid-continent sections of the country, he said.

“Leading refiners are said to have indicated willingness to supply propane, once a waste product of the refining industry, at approximately two and one-half cent per gallon at the refinery on long term contracts.”

General Motors diesel coaches had begun to take over the industry in the late 1930s and the onslaught intensified after the War. Although sales were good for all interested players from 1946-1948, by 1950 few firms could compete with GM’s one-two punch of a good product and aggressive (some say nefarious) marketing. Numerous small-to mid-sized motor coach manufacturers either went out of business or entered another line of work. Twin Coach opted for the latter.

Twin Coach sold only 420 coaches in 1949 and the following year’s sales were abysmal (only 30 reported deliveries).Creative minds at the firm decided to introduce a new tractor-less trailer, the October 4, 1950 Massillon Evening Independent reporting:

“Bus Firm Plans To Make Trailers Without Tractors

KENT, Oct. 5—(AP)—The Twin Coach Co., one of the nation's leading bus manufacturers, announced today that it has entered the motor truck industry with production of a new line known as Fageol super freighters.

“The freighters actually are self-propelled trailers. Through a pancake design originally developed for buses, the engine is located under the floor and the conventional tractor unit is eliminated.

“L. J. Fageol, company president, said the new trucks provide more payload space than any standard motor truck and have the same-load-carrying capacity as tractor-trailers.

“Because the tractor unit is eliminated, however, they weigh from 5,000 to 3,000 pounds less than tractor-trailers and are from eight to 10 feet shorter, he added.”

Zanesville Times Recorder January 27, 1951

“Bus Manufacturer gets Army Order

“Akron, O. Jan. 26 – (AP) Twin Coach Co. declared today it had received the biggest single bus order ever placed with one company.

“The $21,450,000 contract is for construction of 1,650 Army vehicles which can be used as buses, trucks or ambulance.

“The firm at nearby Kent, O., said delivery would be made to the Highway Transport Corps., the Air Force, and the Surgeon General’s Office.

“L.J. Fageol, Twin Coach president, said his firm had developed designs for the vehicle in cooperation with technical men from the various services.”

Massillon Evening Independent May 26, 1951:

“Stockholder Files Suit

“Ravenna, O. (AP)— A stock holder has accused officers of the Twin Coach Co. of Kent of forming a new company in order to ‘divert profits from Twin Coach Stockholders.’

"Frank Benjamin of New York said Twin Coach President Louis J. Fageol ‘conceived the plan to enrich himself at the expense of the company’ (Twin Coach).

“In a petition filed in common pleas court here yesterday, Benjamin said Twin Coach passed up a chance to make a new type of vehicle, a convertible coach.

“The Twin Coach officers organized the Super Freight Truck Development Co. which got a government contract for 1,509 convertible coaches, Benjamin said. The convertible coach was tested and developed with Twin Coach funds, facilities and personnel, the suit charged, and Twin Coach agreed to manufacture the new coaches and pay the new firm a percentage of the sales price.

“Beside the president, Twin Coach officers named as defendants were Board Chairman F.J. Fageol, executive vice-president, W.B. Fageol; and directors C. W. Enyart, Alfred G. Wilson, H.L.F. Kreger and John G. Burge.

“F.J. Fageol said ‘I don’t think there is anything to it. I don’t know what Benjamin is trying to do.”

Coshocton (Ohio) Tribune June 3, 1951:

“Flxible Company to Turn Out Buses for Government

“More information on the convertible bus defense contract that was awarded jointly to the Twin Coach Co at Kent and the Flxible company of Loudonville by the U.S. Army was released by officials of Flxible.

“Flxible will produce several hundred of the 1,650 orders placed by the Army with the Twin Coach firm and will make most of the 60,000 seats included in the order.

“The new unit will be powered with a six-cylinder Fageol engine. The bus will be built to seat 37 passengers and can be converted quickly from a passenger bus to an ambulance, a cargo truck or a combination bus-truck.

“Seats of the convertible bus can be removed in about 20 minutes. The backs fold down and legs fold so that all seat units may be carried in the forward part of the bus when it is used for cargo.

“Designed by the Army’s ordinance department the bus will carry 27 litter patients on the Army-type litters when all the seats are removed. When the coach is set up to carry seated soldiers, it will have inside luggage racks and there will be a four-foot space behind the rear seats for extra equipment or rations.

“The convertible’s basic under-structure is being made by the Fruehauf Trailer Co. and the body under framing is basically of Fruehauf design.

“Officials of Flxible announced that every effort is being made toward the production and delivery of as many regular domestic buses as possible before the army production is begun. The company also intends to continue building as many intercity buses as material allocations permit.”

A propane-powered coach was rushed to market and 1951 sales increased to 751 units, albeit 500 were a fleet of propane coaches for the Chicago Transit Authority. The propane coaches were followed up by 1952’s Fageoliner, a new coach based on the Model F-32 convertible coaches they had constructed for the US Army.

Founded in Loudonville, Ohio in 1913 as a builder of motorcycle sidecars, Flxible had made a name for itself through the manufacture of ambulances, funeral cars, and intercity coaches, yet had never been a player in the transit coach field. That changed in September of 1952 when Flxible and Twin Coach joined forces to build a small run of transit coaches for a Brazilian operator, the September 5, 1952 issue of Passenger Transport reporting:

“Twin Coach, Flxible Team Up On Production – Pool Engineering and Manufacturing Facilities To Speed Output

“Kent, O. – Two of the nation’s leading motor bus builders this week announced a cooperative manufacturing program designed to speed deliveries, cut production costs and assure more uniform production schedules.

“Principals in the plan, which will pool engineering and manufacturing facilities on some types of transit vehicles, are the Twin Coach Co., Kent, O., and the Flxible Co., Loudonville, O.

“Under the plan, each company makes constantly available to the other certain portions of its manufacturing capacity so that this can be utilized in the filling of large orders or in the meeting of urgent delivery dates. The result is that the potential production of each company is substantially increased without additional capital investment for new equipment or the employment of additional workers. Furthermore, many of the production peaks and valleys, common to the bus manufacturing industry, are eliminated for each company by this pooling of available work.

“The plan, according to L.J. Fageol, Twin Coach president, was inaugurated early in 1951 when that company received a U.S. Army order for 1509 ‘convertible’ bus-trucks. In order to facilitate deliveries on the urgently-needed vehicles, the Twin Coach Co. approached the Flxible Co. to request that the latter take over the production of certain parts of the vehicle. As a result of arrangements effected with T.P. Butler, Flxible vice-president, a smooth-working cooperative production plan was devised which permitted the building and delivery of the ‘convertibles’ in record time.

“Based on the success of the ‘convertible’ program, the companies again recently joined forces to build 22 deluxe intercity buses for Vicao Cometa S/A, Sao Paolo, Brazil. On this order, work was carefully divided so that each company performed those production tasks for which it possessed the best facilities and most open production capacity.

“The result was rapid, efficient production of coach combining the outstanding features of both Twin Coach and Flxible. In the production of these vehicles, Twin Coach built the chassis and body shells. These included Twin Coach windshield and front end design. Buses were powered by Fageol 210 h.p. gasoline engines which had been previously employed in 42 other Twin Coaches owned by Cometa. The latter operate between the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo, Brazil, covering 246 miles in less than six hours scheduled time.

“In the new coaches, The Flexible Co. installed it streamlined side paneling, its 72-inch sliding windows and 36 of its standard recliner seats. All interior trim was handles by Flexible.

“Representatives of Cometa and Twin Coach and Flxible officials are quoted as being delighted with the appearance and performance of the new vehicles.”

Frank R. Fageol even testified before a congressional subcommittee in regards to General Motors’ aggressive marketing and unfair business practices, but the investigation came too late and in 1953 Twin Coach literally gave away their transit coach business to Flxible, who at the time were still major players in the intercity coach business.

In 1952 Twin Coach’s 49-passenger Model FS-40 (gas) and FL-40 (Liquid Propane) Fageoliners debuted using the same architecture used on the firm’s 1951 Military order. Leaf springs replaced the Torsialastic suspension on the first post-war Twins and the coaches were made available with a choice of under-floor Diesel engines from Cummins, Fageol-Leyland or Mack. Available in lesser capacities, the FS/FL-series was a commercial failure and only 155 Fageoliners were delivered.

Eventually 1,034 'Flxible Twin Coach' transit buses were built between 1953 and 1960. These units had traditional Twin Coach design features (most notably a unique 6-piece windshield assembly) mated with classic “Old Look” body styling, but most were delivered to the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), and none were sold to NYC bus operators.

Flxible was experiencing serious competition from General Motors’ intercity coaches and believed a more robust offering would help it to compete. They felt the move to transit coach production was so important that they temporarily discontinued construction of their popular line of Buick-chassised funeral cars and ambulances, re-entering the professional car field in 1959 with a totally new series of coaches designed around Buick's new X-frame chassis.

Between 1952 and 1959 Flxible/Twin Coach delivered a total of 900 liquid propane-fueled coaches to the Chicago Transit Authority. Most were the Model FT2P-40, a slightly modified version of the Twin Coach designed FL-40 Fageoliner introduced in 1952. Total production of all ‘Flxible Twin Coach’ transit buses reached 1,034. All coaches constructed ruing the period bore a Flxible/Twin Coach badge under the distinctive 6-paned Twin Coach windshield.

According to the Motor Bus Society: “Total Twin Coach bus production was approximately 14,700 vehicles (plus trucks of an unknown quantity in the 1930's), divided as follows: dual-motor and front-engine designs of 1927 to 1936, about 2,700; rear-­engine buses of 1934 to 1943, about 6,200; and postwar buses, about 5,800.”

Under Louis J. Fageol, the Fageol Products Co. remained in the engine business producing Fageol gasoline and propane engines for third party truck and bus manufacturers. In 1950 the firm commenced the manufacture of Fageol-Leyland Diesel engines under a reciprocal licensing agreement with Leyland Motors of Canada Ltd. who commenced the manufacture of Twin Coach buses and trolley coaches at its Longueuil Quebec, Canada facility. The facility was later the home of Canadian Car, and Hawker Siddeley of Canada.

Elyria Chronicle Telegram March 25, 1954:

“Experimental Van On Display Here

“A new type of truck van, which will transport a greater payload in comparison with the size of the vehicle, is now on exhibition at the Elyria Truck & Implement Co., Oberlin Rd.

“Developed by L. J. Fageol, president of the Twin Coach Co. of Kent, the new van is the only one of its type. It is the result of two years experimentation by the Fageol Co. Among its many outstanding features, the 31-foot van with a four foot cabin will carry a gross payload of 30,000 pounds, or 15 tons.

“Normally, it'd take a conventional van 45 feet long to transport the same load. This is the principal advantage of the Fageol van, which was designed for economy, although it will probably retail for approximately $15,000 when commercially available.

“Power Steering, Brakes

“Another noted feature is the use of air power steering and brakes, which makes operation both easy and safe. All air equipment for the van was developed by Bendix-Westinghouse Corp.

“The van has 12 wheels — eight in back and four in front. The basic body structure, chassis and driver's compartment are all joined into a single, strong, lightweight truck. Extensive use is made of high tensile steel, die-formed members and tubular shapes to provide maximum strength with minimum weight. It carries a gasoline tank that will hold 200 gallons.

“It has an International engine of 450 cubic inches displacement and has an International tandem drive. The van part of the truck was built by Fruehauf Trailer Co. of nearby Avon Lake. It win be on exhibition for another week and the public is invited to study the experimental model.”

The first 'sit or stand' vans used by the Post Office Department were built by the Twin Coach Company of Kent, Ohio. The design gave carriers the option of standing up while driving short distances or sitting down for longer distances. The sliding side panel doors allowed carriers easy access to mailboxes along the route. By 1955, 3,791 sit or stand vans were being used by carriers across the country.

Lima News October 25, 1955

“Kent Executive Dies

“KENT, Ohio (AP) — William B. Fageol, 75, co-founder of the Twin Coach Co., died at his home here last night after a long illness.”

Lima News April 5, 1956:

“Engine Firm Buys Company In Akron

KENT, Ohio (AP) - Fageol Products Co. here Wednesday announced the purchase of the Progressive Engine Products Co. of Akron. The Akron firm makes superchargers for boats and automobiles. Its personnel and facilities will be moved to Kent within the next two weeks. Fageol Products is a subsidiary of Twin Coach Co., manufacturer of bus, truck and marine engines.”

Progressive Products was acquired to provide Fageol with a supercharger for his soon-to-be released VIP 44 4-cycle marine engine. While recovering from a competition boating accident in 1955 Fageol came up with an engine that bridged the gap between currently available inboard and outboard marine engines, the V.I.P. or ‘vertical inboard power’.

Up until that time Fageol Products had been offering large 200- and 225-h.p. gasoline marine engines based on Twin Coach’s transit 6-cylinder bus engines with limited sales success.

He acquired the rights to manufacture the 44 Crosley Cobra 4-cylinder automobile engine from General Tire, and by equipping the vertically-oriented block with an outboard motor-type lower unit which swiveled as one complete unit, created a lightweight 35 hp. 4-cycle marine engine at a popular price – only $818 at the time of its August 1956 introduction.

The VIP 44 was the U.S.’s first large 4-cycle outboard made available to recreational boaters and within a year of its introduction over 30 pleasure craft manufacturers offered it as a factory option.

In 1958, Louis J. Fageol retired, selling Fageol Products marine engine division to the Crofton Mfg. Co. of Los Angeles. Twin Coach kept its successful Cheektowaga aircraft plant which was kept busy constructing wing and fuselage assemblies for Boeing, (B-52), Grumann, North American and Republic. In 1962, stockholders approved a name change for the company, and the Twin Coach became the Twin Industries Corp.

Back in Ohio small numbers of the firm’s Fageol gasoline and Fageol-Leland Diesels were constructed, and the firm eeked out an income building delivery van bodies and bidding on government contracts for postal vehicles and the like.

In 1960 Joseph T. Myers, a Kent, Ohio businessman (president of Davey Tree Experts) and Twin Coach director, saw an opportunity, and leased a portion of the factory for his own firm, the Highway Products Co., which was formed to construct small-to-medium sized vehicles for the U.S. Post Office and other agencies. Myers constructed delivery trucks, Parcel delivery vans, mobile post offices, small boats, missile launchers, etc., bidding on whatever government contracts were appropriate and in 1962 purchased a portion of the former bus plant from Twin Coach/Twin Industries.

In addition Cummins and Fageol-Leyland-powered 40 ft. Highway Post Offices, the firm produced the Compac-Van, a medium-sized forward-control 18,000-26,000lb. G.V.W. van produced under a contract with Cleveland, Ohio’s White Motors Co.Highway Products assumed the sales and marketing of the Compac-Van in 1965 and in 1968 introduced a 25-passenger Chrysler V-8 powered pusher coach that they marketed as the Twin Coach in order to capitalize on a new series of mass-transit grants recently made available to small cities by the Federal government. A 29-passenger Twin Coach joined the Highway Products lineup in 1969 and in 1970 Joseph T. Myers sold his interest in the firm to Alco Standard Co., who subsequently used the facility to construct Class-A motor homes under the Cortez Motor Home brand name. Highway Products went bankrupt in 1975 after approximately 900 Twin Coach buses were constructed.

Lou Fageol

Frank R. Fageol’s son Lou was a well-known motorcar and speedboat owner and racer, who sponsored two Post-War Indianapolis 500 Fageol/Twin Coach Specials in 1946, 1948 and 1949. He also constructed a small stable of sports cars for his own use that included a former land-speed racer and two twin-engine Porsches. However Lou Fageol’s main claim to fame was as an unlimited powerboat racer.

The ‘Boatman Of the Month’ column in the April 1957 issue of Popular Boating, provides a short history of Louis J. Fageol’s motor boat racing career, courtesy of its author, Bill Wallace:

“Louis J. Fageol, inherited the reins of the Twin Coach operation when his father, Frank R. Fageol retired during the Second World War.

“Fageol spent 15 formative years as a young engineer on the West Coast, and it was there that he began his lengthy racing career.

“‘My first outboard was an Evinrude racing job,’ he recently recalled. ‘I bought it on time. In California I was one of the early ‘hop-up’ fans, stepping up automobile and outboard engines.’

“The first boat race he ever won was an outboard free-for-all at San Joaquin Calif., May 26, 1928.

Additional outboard trophies followed and in 1929 he stepped up to inboard runabouts, associating himself with the PMB Trophy Class where he championed a successive series of boats that were all named ‘So-Long’.The Pacific Motor Boat Trophy was the West coast’s equivalent to the American Power Boat Association’s Gold Cup on the East coast. His Gold Cup Class ‘So-Long’ amassed number of PMB Trophys from 1939-1941 and in 1942 his ‘So-Long Jr.’ won in the APBA’s 225 cu. in. class.

He entered ‘So-Long’ in the 1939 APBA Gold Cup race at Detroit, but a damaged propeller and thrust bearing put him out of the competition.

National powerboat racing was put on hiatus during the Second World War, but at War’s end Fageol returned with a vengeance.In the interim his father had resigned as president of Twin Coach, and he was elected his successor. Although his new position took up more of his free time, it also allowed for an advertising budget, some of which he diverted to motorsports. Sponsorship of an APBA Gold Cup speedboat was off the table, but Twin Coach board’s leapt at the chance to sponsor a racecar at America’s premier motoring event, the Indianapolis 500.

Like his dad, Lou Fageol had a fixation with twin-engined vehicles and it was mutually decided that Twin Coach’s racecar would be twin-engined too. I could not locate any information as to who designed and constructed the vehicle, but its components and specifications are well-known.

The 1946 ‘Fageol /Twin Coach Special’ was powered by two supercharged 91 cu. in. Offenhauser midget engines mated to a pair of 1935 Miller front-drive transaxles, one driving the front wheels – the other the rear. A tailfin topped off the somewhat bulbous yet aerodynamic coachwork and veteran midget and Indy driver Paul Russo qualified the car at 126.810 mph, putting him in the front row between pole sitter Cliff Bergere and Sam Hanks. However victory was not in the cards that year and while coming out of the north turn on the 17th lap, Russo spun and slammed into the concrete retaining wall, suffering a broken knee and several broken ribs.

Fageol resumed powerboat racing in the new 7-litre Class with the ‘So-Long Jr.’, taking the Silver Cup at the 1946 APBA races in Detroit. Unfortunately the 225 h.p. 404 cu. in. Fageol bus engine was no match for the 1710 cu. in. Allisons and the 7-litre class was abandoned toute de suite.

Twin Coach took 1947 off, but returned to Indianapolis in 1948 with a 225 h.p. Fageol engined car, piloted by fellow power boat racer “Wild Bill” Cantrell. The conventional front-engined, rear-drive Kurtis-style racer bore the No. 36 and qualified 7th with a speed of 123.733 m.p.h. The ‘Fageol/ Twin Coach Special’ was forced to retire on lap 162 due to a steering problem. The car also made a short appearance in the 1948 Mickey Rooney feature film,’ The Big Wheel’, as the un-numbered white racecar.

Bill Cantrell and the No. 36 ‘Fageol/ Twin Coach Special’ returned to Indy in 1949, and qualified for the race, but the car was ‘ousted’ (aka disqualified) and Cantrell hitched a ride with the No. 79 car which started in 30th place, finishing 21st after a broken driveshaft took him out on lap 96.

However, the big hit of the 1949 Indianapolis 500 was Fageol’s personal car, the ‘Fageol Super Sonic’, a Thorne Engineering land-speed racer that had been converted for street use by Fageol and his son Ray. Powered by a 404-cubic inch, 6-cylinder Fageol engine that turned 275 h.p., the sleek coupe was test driven by Indy president Wilbur Shaw, who made several laps around the Brickyard at an average speed of 93 mph, only slightly slower than the eventual winner of the race.

The build was originally started by Joel Thorne and Art Sparks at Thorne Engineering Racing Shop in Burbank, California in 1938 as a Land Speed racing car. They abandoned the project, and sold the uncompleted build to Fageol after the War.

Fageol continued to utilize the car for advertising purposed and in 1950 converted it to run on liquid propane, to help publize the firm’s new line of propane-powered transit coaches, the May 6, 1950 issue of the Olean (NY) Times included a picture of the car with the following description:

“THIS ‘CAR OF TOMORROW’ was built by L. J. Fageol of Kent, Ohio, to test the efficiency of 125 octane propane as a motor fuel. Named the ‘Supersonic Special’ by its designer—president of the Twin Coach Company—the motor develops 275 h.p. on propane against 180 on commercial gasoline. The machine has been clocked at 135 m.p.h. and saves up to 30 per-cent on fuel costs. Twin Coach has just announced a complete line of urban and city buses to operate on propane."

In June of 1950 Fageol bested Sir Malcolm Campbell’s 141.740 m.p.h. world water speed record driving Stanley S. Sayres’ Slo-Mo-Shun IV, attaining the then-unheard of speed of 160.86 m.p.h. He followed up the record-breaking run with a victory at the 1950 Harmsworth International Regatta, once again piloting the Ted Jones-designed / Anchor Jensen-built Slo-Mo-Shun IV.

In 1950 Sayres commissioned Anchor Jones to construct the Slo-Mo-Shun V, a new Rolls-Royce-powered boat with which Fageol hoped to win the 1951 APBA Gold Cup.

The event was held in Seattle, and on the first lap of the first heat Fageol set a world lap speed record of 108.633 m.p.h. Although the fatal crash of Quicksilver cut the event short, Fageol’s Slo-Mo-Shun V was declared the winner and Sayres retained the Gold Cup for 1951 as Slo-Mo-Shun IV had won the previous year’s event in Detroit although Ted Jones was the driver on that occasion.

Fageol joined powerboat legends Gar Wood and Fred Burnham as being the third person in history to win both of North American Power Boat racing’s crown jewels, the Harmsworth trophy and the APBA Gold Cup.

Sayres retained the APBA Gold for the third year in arrow when Stanley Dollar Jr., emerged victorious in Slo-Mo-Shun IV. Fageol had cracked his block in the first heat, ending his chance at a back-to-back Gold Cup victory.

Victory eluded Slo-Mo-Shun V in 1953 when Fageol’s boat threw a propeller blade during testing, a disaster that just missed seriously injuring the driver while putting the boat out of contention. However Slo-Mo-Shun IV won Sayres the Gold Cup for the third year in a row, and Fageol shared the victory with his friend ‘Wild Bill’ Taggart as he had piloted Slo-Mo-Shun IV during its second heat.

At much the same time Lou’s son Ray constructed a sportscar from the remains of the 1946 Fageol Twin Coach Indy car. Powered by a 225 h.p. Twin-Coach 6-cylinder engine, the ‘PataRay’ featured Goodrich’s Torsilastic suspension and appeared on the cover of the May 1953 cover of Mechanix Illustrated as the ‘Fageol Special’.

The senior Fageol had recently become enamored with Porsches, and in 1952 acquired a distributorship in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. He shoe-horned a pair of stock 1500 c.c. Porsche engines – one in the front, one in the back- into a 1952 356 Coupe (the front cooling duct was covered with a late-model Packard front grill) and campaigned the car in numerous SCCA events across the country as the No. 33, ‘Porsche Special’.

Fageol’s power boat career reach a pinnacle in 1954 when he piloted the Slo-Mo-Shun Vto victory in all three heats of the Gold Cup race in Seattle, providing boat-owner Stanley Sayres with his fourth consecutive Gold Cup.

A second twin-engine Porsche debuted in 1953 that was featured in the March-April 1954 issue of Sports Car Magazine. This car was constructed in the Twin Coach factory and featured a purpose built box channel frame in which a pair of stock 1,500 c.c. Porsche 4-cylinder engines was installed. The aerodynamic coachwork was courtesy of a pair of Fletcher Aviation drop tanks with a hinged canopy covering the driver.

The rear-mounted engine propelled the rear wheels in typical Porsche fashion, the front engine drove the front wheels via a custom system constructed using Porsche outer housings and CV-joints. The twin engines, clutches and transmissions were controlled via a complex system connected to standard controls with the exception of a novel combination brake-accelerator pedal specifically designed for heel and toe maneuvers.

Originally constructed with a standard intake system, Fageol added twin superchargers in 1954, adding two chainsaw engines to power them and in the process creating the very first four-engined racecar - almost a full decade before the debut of Tommy Ivo’s quad-engined Showboat dragster in 1961.

The vehicle served as a test-bed for the PEPCO supercharger, a 4” Rootes-type blower manufactured by Progressive Engine Products Co. for 4-cylinder Volkswagen and Crosley engines. Fageol liked what he saw and purchased the firm to acquire their technology for use in Fageol Products’ VIP- 44 marine engine. The racing experience also led to the development of a larger 6” supercharger designed specifically for Porsche and MG engines.

Fageol successfully campaigned the supercharged car (No. 73 ‘Fageol Porsche’) across the country into 1955 when - during the April 1955 race at Pebble Beach - one of the two transmissions fell into a different gear, sending the car into a violent end-over-end tumble, landing on its roof. Rescuers discovered him hanging upside down in the overturned car, calmly smoking a cigarette.

Accidents plagued Fageol during the year and while qualifying for the August 1955 PBA Gold Cup race at Seattle, the Slo-Mo-Shun V entered into the fatal rocking-chair action that all racer’s dread, and the increasing pocket of air under the craft sent it skywards.

Fageol fell from the cockpit during the boat’s almost perfect inside loop, suffering a collapsed lung when he landed. Remarkably the boat was largely unharmed and Fageol spent the next few weeks recovering before he announced his permanent retirement from motorsports.

He retired from business after the sale of Fageol Products in 1958 and passed away on January 18, 1961, the Associated Press wire service announcing his death as follows:

“Race Driver Dies

“SAN DIEGO, Calif. (AP)-Louis J. Fageol, 54, noted hydroplane race driver and retired bus manufacturer, died Monday of a heart condition, and other ailments. He retired in 1958 as chairman of the Twin Coach Bus Co. of Kent, Ohio. He was born in Oakland, California.”

Some sources indicate ‘Lou Fageol’ was somehow involved with Albert H. Stein’s Bill Cheezebourg- piloted Twin-engined Porsche that made an unsuccessful qualifying attempt at 1966’s Indianapolis 500. As Fageol was dead at the time, his involvement is doubtful; although his influence could be seen in the car’s drivetrain which like his 1946 ‘Fageol Twin Coach Special’ used twin engines and four-wheel-drive.

After 1927 the Fageol family had no corporate or personal relationship with American Car & Foundry Motors Co. A short history of ACF/Brill activities follows.

Although for all intents and purposes American Car & Foundry and Brill had been operating as a cohesive unit for well over a decade, the collapse of the firm’s rail and interurban business prompted rumors of a consolidation in late 1940, the December 8, 1940 edition of the Oakland Tribune reporting:

“Amer. Car-Brill Merger Proposed

“NEW YORK, Dec. 7.—Stockholders of Brill Corporation and American Car & Foundry Motors Company have been called to a special meeting January 8 to act on a merger plan recommended by directors. Charles J. Hardy, president of each company, announced today. Brill Corporation will be the surviving concern, according to the plan.

“The proposal contemplates that Brill Corporation will become an operating company with manufacturing activities centered in Pennsylvania and, through its holding of Hall-Scott Motor Car Company stock, also a holding company.

“At present American Car & Foundry Motors Company controls Hall-Scott Motor and is in turn controlled by the Brill Corporation. American Car & Foundry Company owns about 65 per cent of the class B voting stock of the Brill Corporation.”

The merger wasn’t accomplished until 1944, the July 16, 1944 Oakland Tribune reporting:

“A.C.F.-Brill Offer Stock

“Philadelphia, July 15. – (AP) – The A.C.F.-Brill Motors Company, N.Y., registered today with the Securities and Exchange Commission 280,138 shares of $2.50 par value common stock to be offered at $12.50 per share to warrant holders prior to 1950 and at $15 between 1950 and 1955.

“Warrants are to be issued to holders of ‘B’ stock of the Brill Corporation and to common stockholders of American Car and Foundry Motors Company.

“Merger Agreement

“The new company formed under a June 19 agreement between American Car & Foundry Motors Company and the Brill Corporation, owns no physical properties but is the sole stockholder of its operating companies – the F.G. Brill Company, Philadelphia; the A.C.F. Motors Company; Hall-Scott Motor Car Company, Berkeley, Calif., and the Fageol Motors Company, manufacturers of trolley coaches, steel metal pressings and engines.

“American Car and Foundry Company and a subsidiary, American Car and Foundry Investment Corporation, will own about 45 per cent of the common stock under the merger agreement, exclusive of the 280,138 shares registered for purchase on the exercise of warrants. American car and Foundry Investment will also he issued warrants for 178,072 shares of common stock under the merger agreement. A total of 1,250,000 shares are authorized to be issued.

Officers of the Firm:

“Officers of the company are Charles J. Hardy, New York, chairman of the board; Ronald L. Monroe, Philadelphia, president; Lester A. Blackford, New York, vice-president, and K. L. Oerter, Philadelphia, secretary and treasurer.”

Ripe with cash from massive wartime contracts, Conslidated Vultee Aircraft Corp. purchased a controlling interest in A.C.F.-Brill in early 1946, the February 1, 1946 of the Altoona Mirror announcing:

“Consolidated Purchases Brill And Subsidiary

“NEW YORK, Feb. 1.—Consolidated Vultee Aircraft corporation, announced today it has purchased controlling interest in A.C.F.-Brill Motors company, Philadelphia, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Hall-Scott Motor company, Berkeley, Calif., from the American Car and Foundry company for about $7,600,000 cash.

“Irving E. Babcock, chairman of Consolidated, said the purchase is part of a post-war diversification move by the company, one of the nation's largest producers of Aircraft.

“Consolidated will acquire from American Car 445,139 of the 962,378 common shares outstanding of A.C.F.-Brill, and 160,464 warrants of 280,044, outstanding. Each warrant carries the right to purchase one common share at $12.50 to Jan. 1, 1960, and $15 to Jan. 1, 1955.

“Babcock, who is expected to become chairman of Brill, has been engaged in motor truck and bus production for more than twenty-five years. Until a year ago, he was president of Yellow Truck and Coach Manufacturing company and a vice president of General Motors corporation.

“Ronald R. Monroe, president of Brill, will continue in that capacity, Babcock said.

“Brill is currently building two models of buses, one for city – and the other for inter-city operation.

“The company's backlog of unfilled orders is said to be more than $50,000,000. Plant facilities include 804,000 square feet of space on 29 acres of ground in Philadelphia.

“Brill has a license agreement with Canadian Car and Foundry company, whereby the latter produces Brill designs for the Canadian market. American Car and Foundry, in divesting itself of all interest in Brill, will not manufacture buses or trolley coaches for city operation, or buses, for inter-city operation, Babcock said.

“The Hall-Scott, company, at Berkeley, Calif., produces bus, marine and industrial engines. Babcock said surplus plant capacity of the aircraft company may be used to augment Brill's facilities.”

The February 2, 1946 issue of the Oakland provided details of the acquisition which directly affected the operations of the Hall-Scott Motor Car Co. in nearby Berkeley, Calif.:

“Hall-Scott Motor Car Company out in Berkeley which has built truck and marine engines for a good any years was sold to Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation the other day for $7,500,000. The purchase price includes the controlling interest in the A.C.F.-Brill Motors Company of Philadelphia of which Hall-Scott is a subsidiary.

“Both the Berkeley and the Philadelphia companies were owned by the American Car and Foundry Company. A.C.F.-Brill is one of the largest United States manufacturers of motor busses, trolley coaches, and specialized engines.

“The purchase marks the first entrance by a major aircraft company into the field of automotive surface transportation. Consolidated, as so many of you guys know, built the now famous PBY ‘Cats’ which did such yeoman duty during the war. Consolidated-Vultee also built many other types of heavy aircraft for such duties as anti-sub patrol, training and reconnaissance, and Army and Navy bombardment craft. Somewhere in the group are the famous B-24 ‘Liberators’.

“It is expected that Vultee will begin producing buses along with other types of heavy equipment shortly.”

Just prior to his passing Rollie B. Fageol introduced a new bumper that premiered in the March 1942 issue of Popular Science:

“To cushion the impact of colliding auto bumpers, a type equipped with a pair of resilient buffers has been worked out by Rollie B. Fageol of Beverly Hills, Calif. Passing through the center of each doughnut-shaped buffer, a bolt fastens it and a shock-absorbing mounting block to the main part of the bumper. A recess in the buffer permits the bolt to be sunk well behind the cushioning face. Danger of injury to passengers, which may be pitched forward or backward in even a minor collision is declared to be minimized by the additional protection. In addition, the inventor maintains, the buffers offer a safeguard against marred, bent, or broken bumpers, and are not themselves easily damaged.”

© 2013 Mark Theobald for

Appendix - Fageol brothers patents:

Automobile - US675379 - Grant - Filed Sep 11, 1900 - Issued June 4, 1901 – Rollie B. Fageol

Crude Petroleum Burner - US719573 Grant - Filed Apr 18, 1902 - Issued Feb 3, 1903 - R.B. Fageol

Inclined Suspended Railway - US817699 Grant - Filed Nov 28, 1903 - Issued Apr 10, 1906 - R.B. Fageol

Pleasure Railway - US927517 Grant - Filed Feb 10, 1908 - Issued Jul 13, 1909 – Frank R. Fageol

Manufactured of Filled Bumpers - US1189675 Grant - Filed Sep 5, 1911 - Issued Jul 4, 1916 – R.B. Fageol

Vehicle - US1160499 - Grant - Filed Jan 5, 1915 - Issued Nov 16, 1915 - R.B. Fageol

Vehicle Body - USD47287 - Grant - Filed Jan 5, 1915 - Issued May 4, 1915 - R.B. Fageol

Vehicle - US1212616 - Grant - Filed Jul 26, 1915 - Issued Jan 16, 1917 - R.B. Fageol

Transportation System - US1219276 - Grant - Filed Jul 26, 1915 - Issued Mar 13, 1917 - R.B. Fageol

Amusement device for bathers - US1190743 - Grant - Filed Aug 17, 1915 - Issued Jul 11, 1916 - R.B. Fageol

Vehicle Body - USD48778 - Grant - Filed Dec 28, 1915 - Issued Mar 28, 1916 - R.B. Fageol

Flexible Vehicle - US1226958 - Grant - Filed Jan 3, 1916 - Issued May 22, 1917 - R.B. Fageol

Vehicle Body - USD48968 - Grant - Filed Feb 15, 1916 - Issued May 2, 1916 - R.B. Fageol

Flexible Road Train - US1226962 - Grant - Filed Jul 25, 1916 - Issued May 22, 1917 - R.B. Fageol

Vehicle Body - USD49959 - Grant - Filed Sep 12, 1916 - Issued Nov 28, 1916 - R.B. Fageol

Tread for Tractor Wheels - US1268445 - Grant - Filed Apr 16, 1917 - Issued Jun 4, 1918 – R.B. Fageol & Charles A. Smith

Automobile Radiator - USD50270 - Grant - Filed Sep 21, 1916 - Issued Feb 6, 1917 – Frank R. Fageol

Automobile Hood - USD51492 - Grant - Filed Jun 20, 1917 - Issued Nov 20, 1917 - Frank R. Fageol

Bumper for Motor Vehicles - US1329517 - Grant - Filed Nov 9, 1917 - Issued Feb 3, 1920 – R.B. Fageol

Coupling for Vehicles - US1407019 - Grant - Filed May 26, 1919 - Issued Feb 21, 1922 - R.B. Fageol

Power Transmission Gear Mechanism - - US1463389 - Grant - Filed Dec 15, 1920 - Issued Jul 31, 1923 – William B. Fageol

Automobile Bumper - US1427275 - Grant - Filed Mar 31, 1921 - Issued Aug 29, 1922 - R.B. Fageol

Motor Vehicle - US1660189 - Grant - Filed May 18, 1921 - Issued Feb 21, 1928 - R.B. Fageol assigned to Eight-Wheel Motor Vehicle Co.

Motor Vehicle & Fender Assembly - USD59728 - Grant - Filed May 26, 1921 - Issued Nov 22, 1921- R.B. Fageol

Torqueing Arrangement for Tandem-axle Vehicles - US1739355 - Grant - Filed Nov 2, 1921 - Issued Dec 10, 1929 - R.B. Fageol assigned to Eight-Wheel Motor Vehicle Co.

Road Vehicle - US1660188 - Grant - Filed Nov 2, 1921 - Issued Feb 21, 1928 - R.B. Fageol

Vehicle - US1763767 - Grant - Filed Jan 20, 1922 - Issued Jun 17, 1930 - R.B. Fageol

Automobile Body - US1452369 - Grant - Filed Feb 16, 1922 - Issued Apr 17, 1923 – Frank R. Fageol

Bumper Mounting - US1500380 - Grant - Filed Jan 31, 1923 - Issued Jul 8, 1924 - R.B. Fageol

Bumper For Automobiles - US1482226 - Grant - Filed Jan 31, 1923 - Issued Jan 29, 1924 - R.B. Fageol

Clamping Device for Automobile Bumpers - US1519399 - Grant - Filed Apr 10, 1923 - Issued Dec 16, 1924 - R.B. Fageol assigned to American Chain Co.

Road Vehicle - USRE17889 - Grant - Filed Apr 23, 1923 - Issued Dec 2, 1930 - R.B. Fageol - assigned to Eight-Wheel Motor Vehicle Co. (re-issue)

Automobile Brake - US1633776 - Grant - Filed Jun 18, 1923 - Issued Jun 28, 1927 – William B. Fageol assigned to Rollie B. Fageol

Tandem Drive Axle - US1933667 - Grant - Filed Sep 25, 1923 - Issued Nov 7, 1933 - R.B. Fageol assigned to Eight-Wheel Motor Vehicle Co.

Resilient Radiator Shield - US1628131 - Grant - Filed Oct 15, 1923 - Issued May 10, 1927 - R.B. Fageol

Motor Vehicle - US1947337 - Grant - Filed Feb 11, 1925 - Issued Feb 13, 1934 - R.B. Fageol assigned to Automotive Engineering Corp.

Automobile End Fender - US1581432 - Grant - Filed Feb 18, 1925 - Issued Apr 20, 1926 – R.B. Fageol assigned to American Chain Co.

Combined Fender Guard and Bumper - US1595390 - Grant - Filed Feb 18, 1925 - Issued Aug. 10, 1926 – R.B. Fageol assigned to American Chain Co.

Bumper for Automobiles - US1595391 - Grant - Filed Feb 18, 1925 - Issued Aug 10, 1926 – R.B. Fageol assigned to American Chain Co.

Fender Guard - US1637770 - Grant - Filed Feb 18, 1925 - Issued Aug 2, 1927 - R.B. Fageol assigned to American Chain Co.

Design For A scooter - USD71011 Grant - Filed Mar 3, 1925 - Issued Sep 7, 1926 - R.B. Fageol

Parallel Bar Bumper - US1623583 - Grant - Filed Jun 3, 1925 - Issued Apr 5, 1927 - R.B. Fageol assigned to American Chain Co.

Vehicle Bumper - USD67952 - Grant - Filed Jun 3, 1925 - Issued Aug 11, 1925 - R.B. Fageol assigned to American Chain Co.

Bumper Tip - US1678853 - Grant - Filed Jun 10, 1925 - Issued Jul 31, 1928 - R.B. Fageol assigned to American Chain Co.

Multibar Bumper - US1620334 - Grant - Filed Jun 10, 1925 - Issued Mar 8, 1927 - R.B. Fageol assigned to American Chain Co.

Multiple Wheel Road Vehicle - US1871432 - Grant - Filed Jun 11, 1925 - Issued Aug 9, 1932 - R.B. Fageol assigned to Automotive Engineering Corp.

Vehicle Body - USD74261 - Grant - Filed Jul 22, 1925 - Issued Jan 17, 1928 - R.B. Fageol

Spring Vehicle - US1727759 - Grant - Filed Mar 8, 1926 - Issued Sep 10, 1929 - R.B. Fageol

Toy Vehicle - US1679819 - Grant - Filed Mar 17, 1926 - Issued Aug 7, 1928 - R.B. Fageol

Convertible Wagon and Sled - US1654284 - Grant - Filed Aug 9, 1926 - Issued Dec 27, 1927 - R.B. Fageol

Child’s Spring Vehicle - US1704315 - Grant - Filed Aug 9, 1926 - Issued Mar 5, 1929 - R.B. Fageol

Bumper - US1723774 - Grant - Filed Apr 27, 1927 - Issued Aug 6, 1929 - R.B. Fageol assigned to American Chain Co.

Snubber For Vehicle Springs - US1771560 - Grant - Filed Sep 14, 1927 - Issued Jul 29, 1930 - R.B. Fageol

Vehicle Snubber and Spring Suspension - US1781631 - Grant - Filed Oct 11, 1927 - Issued Nov 11, 1930 - R.B. Fageol

Rail Car - US1883357 - Grant - Filed May 29, 1928 - Issued Oct 18, 1932 – William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Multi-wheel Road Vehicle - US1913799 - Grant - Filed Sep 27, 1928 - Issued Jun 13, 1933 - R.B. Fageol assigned to Automotive Engineering Corp.

Rail Car Construction - US1880953 - Grant - Filed Feb 13, 1929 - Issued Oct 4, 1932 – William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Multi-wheel Road Vehicle - US1981449 - Grant - Filed Mar 18, 1929 - Issued Nov 20, 1934 - R.B. Fageol assigned to Automotive Engineering Corp.

Multi-wheel Road Vehicle - US1981593 - Grant - Filed Jun 3, 1929 - Issued Nov 20, 1934 - R.B. Fageol

Multiwheel Twin-Motor Road Vehicle - US1973144 - Grant - Filed Jul 18, 1929 - Issued Sep 11, 1934 – William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Dual Drive Road Vehicle - US1992365 - Grant - Filed Aug 3, 1929 - Issued Feb 26, 1935 - R.B. Fageol assigned to Automotive Engineering Corp.

Multi-wheel Road Vehicle - US2006800 - Grant - Filed Aug 3, 1929 - Issued Jul 2, 1935 - R.B. Fageol assigned to Automotive Engineering Corp.

Low Bed Delivery Truck - US2018443 - Grant - Filed Aug 28, 1929 - Issued Oct 22, 1935 – William B. Fageol

Motor Coach - US1861001 - Grant - Filed Oct 18, 1929 - Issued May 31, 1932 – William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Internal Combustion Engine - US1887998 - Grant - Filed Oct 21, 1929 - Issued Nov 15, 1932 – William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Universal Joint - US1932400 - Grant - Filed Nov 7, 1929 - Issued Oct 31, 1933 – William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Device for Interconnecting Axles - US1936834 - Grant - Filed Dec 3, 1929 - Issued Nov 28, 1933 - R.B. Fageol assigned to Automotive Engineering Corp.

Dual Drive Multiwheel Road Vehicle - US1949830 - Grant - Filed Dec 5, 1929 - Issued Mar 6, 1934 - R.B. Fageol assigned to Automotive Engineering Corp.

Traction Regulating Means for Multiwheel Road Vehicles - US1926273 - Grant - Filed Dec 7, 1929 - Issued Sep 12, 1933 - R.B. Fageol assigned to Automotive Engineering Corp.

Multiwheel Road Vehicle - US1924984 - Grant - Filed Dec 12, 1929 - Issued Aug 29, 1933 - R.B. Fageol assigned to Automotive Engineering Corp.

Multiwheel Vehicle of the Tandem Axle Type - US1926274 - Grant - Filed Apr 26, 1930 - Issued Sep 12, 1933 - R.B. Fageol assigned to Automotive Engineering Corp.

Cooling System For Self-Propelled Vehicles - US1969172 - Grant - Filed Sep 6, 1930 - Issued Aug 7, 1934 – Frank R. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Sealing Device - US1931724 - Grant - Filed Sep 23, 1930 - Issued Oct 24, 1933 - R.B. Fageol & William E. Leibing

Electrically Driven Road Vehicle and Method of Operating Same - US1972333 - Grant - Filed Oct 16, 1930 - Issued Sep 4, 1934 – William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Railway Rolling Stock - US1916470 - Grant - Filed Oct 20, 1930 - Issued Jul 4, 1933 – Frank R. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Passenger Carrying Motor Vehicle - US1861002 - Grant - Filed Nov 8, 1930 - Issued May 31, 1932 – William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Fuel Control Apparatus - US1982049 - Grant - Filed Mar 20, 1931 - Issued Nov 27, 1934 – Robley D. Fageol assigned to Leibing Automotive Devices Inc.

Flexible Guard for Road Vehicles - US1825344 - Grant - Filed Apr 1, 1931 - Issued Sep 29, 1931 – William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Motor Vehicle - USD84576 - Grant - Filed May 7, 1931 - Issued Jul 7, 1931 – Frank R. Fageol & William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Fruit Juice Extracting Press - US2010629 - Grant - Filed Jun 15, 1931 - Issued Aug 6, 1935 – R.B. Fageol & Huston Taylor

Motor Vehicle Control - US2003431 - Grant - Filed Aug 21, 1931 - Issued Jun 4, 1935 - William B. Fageol

Headlight Mounting For Motor Vehicles - US2007599 - Grant - Filed Sep 22, 1931 - Issued Jul 9, 1935 - William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Trackless Trolley Vehicle - US1988073 - Grant - Filed Oct 23, 1931 - Issued Jan 15, 1935 - William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Motor Vehicle - USD87875 - Grant - Filed Nov 3, 1931 - Issued Oct 4, 1932 – William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Vehicle Drive and Control Mechanism - US2097391 - Grant - Filed Dec 16, 1931 - Issued Oct 26, 1937 - William B. Fageol assigned to Divco-Twin Truck Co.

Dumping Vehicle - US1996540 - Grant - Filed Apr 15, 1932 - Issued Apr 2, 1935 - William B. Fageol & Frank R. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Road Vehicle Body Frame - US2039215 - Grant - Filed May 3, 1932 - Issued Apr 28, 1936 – William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Pneumatic Tire Combination Rail and Highway Unit - US2027684 - Grant - Filed May 26, 1932 - Issued Jan 14, 1936 – William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Carburetor - US2034048 - Grant - Filed Sep 28, 1932 - Issued Mar 17, 1936 – William E. Leibing & Robley D. Fageol assigned to Leibing Automotive Devices Inc.

Pneumatic-Tired Highway and Rail Vehicle - US2140421 - Grant - Filed Nov 14, 1933 - Issued Dec 13, 1938 – William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Motor Vehicle - USD91556 - Grant - Filed Dec 20, 1933 - Issued Feb 20, 1934 - William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Universal Joint Construction - US2025502 - Grant - Filed Jan 29, 1934 - Issued Dec 24, 1935 - William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Unit Section Automotive Vehicle - US2128930 - Grant - Filed May 18, 1934 - Issued Sep 6, 1938 - Frank R. Fageol & William B. Fageol; one-fifth assigned to Strauch & Hoffman (William A. Strauch & James A. Hoffman, attorneys)

Motor Vehicle and Vehicle Power and Drive Mechanism - US2083059 - Grant - Filed Jun 5, 1934 - Issued Jun 8, 1937 - William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Motor Vehicle and Vehicle Driving Mechanism - US2118810 - Grant - Filed Apr 6, 1935 - Issued May 31, 1938 - William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Driving Mechanism - US2118811 - Grant - Filed Apr 9, 1935 - Issued May 31, 1938 - William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Driving Mechanism - US2118812 - Grant - Filed Apr 9, 1935 - Issued May 31, 1938 - William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Cooling Apparatus for Automotive Vehicles - US2123991 - Grant - Filed Jan 14, 1936 - Issued Jul 19, 1938 - William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Vehicle Driving Construction and Arrangement - US2232105 - Grant - Filed Jun 4, 1936 - Issued Feb 18, 1941 - William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Panel Mounting - US2173435 - Grant - Filed Mar 8, 1937 - Issued Sep 19, 1939 - William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Smoker’s Accessory - US2183425 - Grant - Filed May 10, 1937 - Issued Dec 12, 1939 – R.B. Fageol

Non-hook, Non-skid Bumper Construction - US2173642 - Grant - Filed Sep 20, 1937 - Issued Sep 19, 1939 - R.B. Fageol

Passenger Vehicle - US2251584 - Grant - Filed May 25, 1938 - Issued Aug 5, 1941 - Frank R. Fageol & William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Reinforced Vehicle Body Construction - US2239089 - Grant - Filed Dec 29, 1938 - Issued Apr 22, 1941 - William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Toy Vehicle - USD115668 - Grant - Filed Jan 5, 1939 - Issued Jul 11, 1939 – R.B. Fageol

Shock Absorbing Element - US2243462 - Grant - Filed Jun 19, 1939 - Issued May 27, 1941 – R.B. Fageol

Automobile Buffer - US2257495 - Grant - Filed Sep 18, 1939 - Issued Sep 30, 1941 – R.B. Fageol

Automobile Bumper Guard - US2259440 - Grant - Filed Sep 18, 1939 - Issued Oct 21, 1941 – R.B. Fageol

Governor - US2300378 - Grant - Filed Nov 24, 1939 - Issued Oct 27, 1942 – Robley D. Fageol & William E Leibing assigned to Leibing-Fageol Co.

Vehicle Spring Suspension - US2344983 - Grant - Filed Dec 28, 1940 - Issued Mar 28, 1944 - William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Vehicle Spring Suspension - US2330482 - Grant - Filed Mar 26, 1941 - Issued Sep 28, 1943 - Issued Mar 28, 1944 - William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Carburetor - US2443464 - Grant - Filed Jun 7, 1943 - Issued Jun 15, 1948 - William E. Leibing & Robley D. Fageol assigned to R.D. Fageol Co.

Vehicle Suspension - US2404794 - Grant - Filed Aug 7, 1943 - Issued Jul 30, 1946 - William B. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Oscillating Van Rotary Pump - US2526621 - Grant - Filed Dec 23, 1944 - Issued Oct 24, 1950 - William E. Leibing & Robley D. Fageol assigned to R.D. Fageol Co.

Fageol Child’s Vehicle - USD144703 - Grant - Filed Aug 8, 1945 - Issued May 14, 1946 - William B. Fageol

Flexible Drive - US2491820 - Grant - Filed Sep 17, 1945 - Issued Dec 20, 1949 - William E. Leibing & Robley D. Fageol assigned to R.D. Fageol Co.

Wheeled Vehicle for Children - US2423590 - Grant - Filed Oct 1, 1945 - Issued Jul 8, 1947 - William B. Fageol

Engine Attachment - US2466090 - Grant - Filed Mar 1, 1946 - Issued Apr 5, 1949 - Robley D. Fageol assigned to R.D. Fageol Co.

Pressure Actuated Transmission - US2634709 - Grant - Filed Feb 2, 1949 - Issued Apr 14, 1953 - Robley D. Fageol assigned to R.D. Fageol Co.

Speed Response Governor for Internal Combustion Engines - US2651316 - Grant - Filed Apr 12, 1949 - Issued Sep 8, 1953 - Robley D. Fageol assigned to R.D. Fageol Co.

Pressure Actuated Transmission Control Unit - US2584995 - Grant - Filed Apr 12, 1949 - Issued Feb 12, 1952 - Robley D. Fageol assigned to R.D. Fageol Co.

Method for the Production of Vehicles - US2773304 - Grant - Filed May 5, 1953 - Issued Dec 11, 1956 – Louis J. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Method for Construction of Self-Propelled Vehicles - US2791826 - Grant - Filed May 19, 1953 - Issued May 14, 1957 – Louis J. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Single Lever Control for Power Plant Carburetor and Transmission - US2808733 - Grant - Filed May 24, 1956 - Issued Oct 8, 1957 – Louis J. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Vertical Shaft Inboard Marine Power Plant Installations - US2976836 - Grant - Filed May 24, 1956 - Issued Mar 28, 1961 – Louis J. Fageol

Internal Combustion Engines and Methods of Manufacturing Such Engines- US2852837 - Grant - Filed Dec 4, 1956 - Issued Sep 23, 1958 – Louis J. Fageol assigned to Twin Coach Co.

Marine Power Propulsion Assemblies - US3164122 - Grant - Filed Feb 26, 1962 - Issued Jan 5, 1965 – Louis J. Fageol deceased by Caryl Morris Fageol assigned to Textron Inc.







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

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Collection – Indiana University -Purdue University, Indianapolis Library

James B. Holm & Lucille Dudley – Portage Heritage: A History of Portage County, Ohio; its Towns and its People, pub. 1957

Fageol Brothers History - Antique Automobile, January-February 2002 issue

William A. Luke - Fageol & Twin Coach Buses, pub. 2002

Francis Bradford & Ric Dias - Hall-Scott: The Untold Story of a Great American Engine Maker, pub. 2007

Debra D. Brill – The History of the J.G. Brill Company, pub. 2001

Eli Bail - Frank Fageol and his Twin Coach, Bus World, Spring 1988 issue.

Eli Bail - Fageol, Motor Coach Age, Nov.-Dec. 1991 issue

Frederick A. Usher - Fageol’s Folly: An Automobile Superlative, Automobile Quarterly, Vol. 22, No. 1

Andris Kristopans - Chicago Part 2: Chicago Transit Authority Takes Over: 1947–1958, Motor Coach Age, April–June 2000 issue

Winfield Scott Downs - National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. XLIII, pub. 1967

Edward Kaminski - American Car and Foundry Company, pub.1999

William Luke - Buses of ACF, pub. 2003

William Wagner - Continental!: Its Motors and Its People, pub. 1983

Bryan Hill - Made in Kent; the Fageol Bros. & The Twin Coach Co. (DVD)

Fred Farley - The Lou Fageol Story,

Ayer, Robert L. Ayer - Kenworth, Motor Coach Age, Vol. 33, No. 8/9, Aug.-Sep. 1981 issue

189 F.2d 704: ACF-Brill Motors Co. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Argued April 5, 1951, US Court of Appeals Cases F.2d, volume 189, published 1952

Frank R. Fageol - Problems in the Development of the Motor-Coach Body and Chassis, SAE Journal, Vol. 18, No. 1, pub. 1927

Jim Reisler - Cash and Carry: The Spectacular Rise and Hard Fall of C.C. Pyle, America's First Sports Agent, pub. 2009

Harold W. Pace & Mark R. Brinker - Vintage American Road Racing Cars: 1950-1970, pub. 2004

Geoff Williams - C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America, pub. 2007

Eugene T. Sawyer - History of Santa Clara County, California, with Biographical Sketches, pub. 1922

Joseph Tyrone Derry- Story of the Confederate States, pub. 1895

Press Reference Library - Notables of the West; Vol. II, International News Service, pub. 1915

Bill Vossler – Fageol Tractor History Begins In the Midwest, Polk’s Antique Tractor Magazine, May-June, 1996 issue

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