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The Winton Motor Carriage Company was a pioneer United States automobile manufacturer based in Cleveland, Ohio.
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The company was incorporated on March 15, 1897 by Scottish immigrant Alexander Winton, owner of the Winton Bicycle Company. Their first automobiles were built by hand. Each vehicle had fancy painted sides, padded seats, a leather roof, and gas lamps. B. F. Goodrich made the tires for Winton.
By this time, Winton had already produced two fully operational prototype automobiles. In May of that year, the 10 hp model achieved the astonishing speed of 33.64 mph on a test around a Cleveland horse track. However, the new invention was still subject to much skepticism and to prove his automobile's durability and usefulness, Alexander Winton had his car undergo an 800-mile endurance run from Cleveland to New York City.
On March 24, 1898 Robert Allison of Port Carbon, Pennsylvania became one of the first persons to buy an American-built automobile when he bought a Winton after seeing an advertisement in Scientific American.
Later that year the Winton Motor Carriage Company sold twenty-one more vehicles, including one to James Ward Packard, later founder of Packard automobile company (after Winton challenged a very dissatisfied Packard to do better).
In 1899 more than one hundred Winton vehicles were sold, making the company the largest manufacturer of gas-powered automobiles in the United States. This success led to the first automobile dealership being opened by Mr. H. W. Koler in Reading, Pennsylvania. To deliver the vehicles, in 1899, Winton built the first auto hauler in America.
Winton produced the 1902 Winton Bullet, which set an unofficial land speed record of 70 mph in Cleveland that year. The Bullet was defeated in another Ford by famed driver, Barney Oldfield, but two more Bullet race cars were built.
In 1903, Dr Horatio Nelson Jackson made the first successful automobile drive across the United States. He purchased a slightly used Winton touring car and hired a mechanic to accompany him. The trip took 64 days, including breakdowns, delays while waiting for parts to arrive, and hoisting the Winton up and over rocky terrain and mud holes. Jackson's Winton is now part of the collections at the National Museum of American History.
As dozens of new automobile companies started up rapid innovation and intense competition led to falling sales in the early 1920s.
Winton Motor Carriage Company ceased automobile production in 1924. However, Winton continued in the marine and stationary gasoline and diesel engine business, an industry he entered in 1912 with the Winton Engine Company.
Winton Engine Company became the Winton Engine Corporation, a subsidiary of General Motors on June 20, 1930