Downtown 1958

Downtown 1958

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Harris Six

August 4, 1923 Appleton Post-Crescent
The Harris Six is probably unique in American automotive motordom as being the only automobile produced under court order to help defray bankruptcy proceedings. The car was named after G.D. Harris, vice president of the US Tractor Company who was instrumental in adding a line of passengers cars to the existing output of tractors. Plans for this production were outlined late in 1922 when patterns for the design of the recently discontinued Winther car were purchased from the car's parent company, the Winther Motor Truck Company of Kenosha.

The announcement of the Harris Six appeared in the 30 April issue of the Menasha Record, in an advertisement including a sketch of the projected Touring Phaeton and a listing of the various models to be built and their corresponding prices. The Harris Six design called for
a rather good looking car with disc wheels and matching side-mounts. Its wheelbase measured 120 inches (3046 mm), and power was by a 6 cylinder Herschell-Spillman Model 40 L-head engine. Prices were set at $1275 to $1675.

Its delay in getting into production killed the venture and the US Tractor Company was reorganized, becoming the Wisconsin Automotive Corporation, with bankruptcy proceedings immediately following. The court decided that production of the intended cars was impracticable and decreed that the corporation complete as many cars as possible from existing parts. An estimated 9 cars- all disc-wheeled sport phaetons- were thereby completed and sold for what they could bring to local purchasers, the proceeds being used to pay court costs. Thus ended the Harris Six and the US Tractor Company. G.D. Harris moved to Appleton and became more successful in the manufacture of snowplows.

info courtesy of gclayton at

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