Piedmont Motor is the only automobile company ever chartered in the State of Virginia. The company’s primary vehicle was a touring car with either a 6 cylinder (Model 6-40) or a 4 cylinder (Model 4-30) engine. Both models carried 5 passengers.
During its brief period of existence, the Piedmont Motor Car Company produced approximately 3,000 vehicles. At its peak, output reached 5-6 automobiles per day. Although the company claimed that the cars were not “assembled” (from purchased parts manufactured elsewhere), only the body was produced at the Lynchburg plant. Piedmont was the brand name of cars sold through the company’s network of agents. However, cars were also produced for other companies such as Bush (Chicago), Lone Star (Texas) and Alsace (Europe).
Piedmont’s short life is attributed to price and management issues. The vehicle had no special features or performance advantages, yet it was priced (at $1,500 – $2,000) hundreds of dollars higher than the popular Ford Model-T. Sales agents for Piedmont frequently complained that delivery of vehicles was poor because international markets and other companies consumed production capacity. Unable to deliver ordered cars to their customers, the agents began to focus on other lines.
Only three Piedmont vehicles are known to exist. The Virginia Museum of Transportation is proud to exhibit one of the three, a 1923 Piedmont 4-30 Touring Car.
- Manufacturer: The Piedmont Motor Car Company. Lynchburg, VA. The only automobile manufacturer ever chartered in the state of Virginia
- Production era: 1917 – 1922
- Passengers: 5
- Top speed: 45 mph
- Cost: $1,395. Wire wheels (instead of wood) an extra $00
Museum display model
- One of only three known to exist
- Found in New York state after a 17 year search by Tom Cox, Co-Chair of Star City Motor Madness and former President of the Museum.
- Gift of the Star City Motor Madness Committee in 2010
- Number of cylinders: 4
- Horsepower: 30
- Carburetor: Carter, with hot air manifold
- Transmission: Unit type selective – 3 forward gears, one reverse
- Weight: 2,450 lbs.
- Tires: 32 x 3.5 inches
- Special features highlighted in the company sales brochure
- Color: Green. Other colors at additional cost
- Body: Steel and wood. Carrying space under front seat
- Control: left hand drive by throttle and spark levers Also a foot accelerator.
- Equipment: One man top, curtains, trouble lamp, rub-rail