Tuesday 24th July 1917
The Pullman Motor Car Company was liquidated. Total production is estimated at anywhere from 12,000 to 23,000 cars. The Pullman automobile was named by industrialist A. P. Broomell to reflect the quality and luxury of rail cars and coaches made by the Pullman Company, but the two organizations were not related.
Pullman automobiles were sold as luxury vehicles, using advertising slogans such as “Not Only The Best at the Price But the Best at Any Price.” While not as expensive as the high-end motor coaches the cars were purported to match in quality, they were considerably more expensive than the contemporary Ford Model T. The Model T introduced in 1909 was $1850, but the price dropped to around $500 by 1914. A Pullman advertisement from 1910 lists four touring car and roadster models for $1650 to $3200.
One unusual Pullman, built around 1903, featured six wheels. However, unlike other six-wheelers, even up to the March 2–4-0 in Formula 1 in the 1980s, these axles were evenly spaced, so that while the endmost two axles were in their conventional fore and aft locations, the middle two wheels were directly under the passenger seats. When the car reached a particularly high spot in the road, it had a tendency to see-saw. It was not a success, and crashed into a telegraph pole within the year it was built. The vehicle was torn apart and items such as the engine were rebuilt in a more conventional four-wheel configuration.
Other models started mass-production in 1905. These proved moderately successful. In 1908, one vehicle was driven from the York factory to San Francisco and back over a period of about a month to prove its reliability. This was no mean feat, as the roads that make up the cross-country Lincoln Highway which ran through York had not been fully organized or completed. There are about 27 known Pullman automobiles still in existence, about half of which have been restored.
Pullman went bankrupt and ceased operations in 1917. The original building which housed the Pullman factory still exists in York, Pennsylvania.