The Premier Motor Manufacturing Company was organized in 1903 by George A. Weidely and Harold O. Smith in Indianapolis. The company initially built automobiles with air-cooled engines. A 1903 Premier is on display in the Speedway Museum in Indianapolis and a 1918 Premier is on display at Space Farms Zoo & Museum in New Jersey. A1916 Premier is on display at the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum.
The Premier was one of the best-built American automobiles of the pre-World War I era. By 1910, when this automobile was built, the Premier had completed three Glidden Tours (essentially, endurance runs) with perfect scores - a significant accomplishment. By 1910, Premier offered two models including a 60 horsepower six-cylinder model and a 40HP four. The 40HP model featured a T-head engine, four-speed transmission and a shaft drive rear axle. Selling for $2,500, the Premier was available as either a roadster or a tourer.
Like many automotive companies of its era, the Premier Company believed in racing to improve the brand. The company entered an air-cooled machine in the Vanderbilt Cup Race, but was disqualified for being 60 pounds overweight. They did run three entries in the 1916 Indianapolis 500 race, and did receive a perfect score in three consecutive Glidden Reliability tours.
This particular example is a 40hp Premier with open front bodywork, a full complement of polished brass, a two-man top, large wheels, and a hearty T-head engine. It wears an older restoration that has held up remarkably well. The upholstery is the correct grained leather with stiff horsehair stuffing, the paint has the proper sheen and color combination and the top material is the correct grained vinyl. It is fitted with an electric starter.
It is one of a handful at best in existence.