Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Marathon Motor Cars

Marathon Motor Cars by William 74
Marathon Motor Cars, a photo by William 74 on Flickr.

Having grown out of the Southern Engine and Boiler Works of Jackson, Marathon Motor Cars were built in Nashville, Tennessee for just four years, between 1910 and 1914. Then as now, it was common for auto manufacturers to buy in parts and assemblies, but Southern chose to engineer and make everything in-house.

Initially badged as Southerns, the company changed the name to Marathon and moved to a new factory in Nashville. The cars were well regarded-probably because of the total control the company had over it's engineering-and demand soon outstripped supply. However, like so many other early auto manufacturers, management didn't keep up with engineering, and within a few years the company ceased automobile production.

The factory complex on Clinton Street in Nashville still stands, and has been partially converted to retail and gallery space. In addition to some old signwriting, some old logos have been lovingly recreated on the factory walls, including this beauty.

Marathon Motor Cars

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