Apperson Brothers Automobile Company (1902-1926)

Apperson Logo

Apperson Motors was founded by the brothers Elmer and Edgar Apperson in Kokomo, Indiana in 1902. This was shortly after they left Haynes-Apperson where they had been building cars since 1896. The Apperson brothers had started using their Riverside Machine Works for producing the first cars with Elwood Haynes as early as 1893.

Their first car, that came out in 1902, used a stintz two-cylinder engine (called a twin). The 1903 car featured a four-cylinder engine and the twin was dropped in 1904. These cars would sell for between $2000 and $5000.

In 1904, Apperson started selling two models. The first was the Touring Car. It seated 6 passengers and had a tonneau when not using the rear seats. It featured a vertical mounted Straight-4 and produced 40 hp. One unique feature was the electric running lights. It sold for $6,000. The other was a runabout with a smaller displacement producing only 25 hp. This was fine since it weighed in at 1800 lbs, 1000 lbs less than the Touring Car. It sold for $3,500.

Restored Apperson Chummy Roadster

From 1907 to 1912, Apperson produced one of its most popular vehicles, the Jackrabbit Speedster. It sold for $5,000 and had a 60 hp engine. In 1913, they came out with their first two 6-cylinder models, the 6-45 and the 6-55. These were essentially Jackrabbit models with 6-cylinder engines producing 45 or 55 hp. Later they would drop prices to under $2,000 for these models.

1926 Apperson Jackrabbit Touring

1916 was the best year for Apperson. Sales after that declined steadily. Even with new offerings with Lycoming V-8 power could not turn the tide. When Elmer died in 1920 the end was in sight. Lower priced models would still come out, namely the 6-23 (1923) and be priced at $1,535. Yet, they were still losing ground to the mass-produced vehicles from Ford and Chevrolet.

An attempted revival happened in 1924 with a re-organization of the company and an infusion of some outside capital. But, by July 1926, the company was closed.

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