The Cole Motor Car Company was founded in June 1909 by Joseph Jarrett Cole, who was born near Connersville, IN in 1869. After graduation from the Richmond Business College, he accumulated significant experience in the horse drawn carriage industry including manufacturing, advertising, and sales. The first Cole Vehicles were 2 cylinder and of the high wheel variety. In 1910, the series 30 cars were introduced in 4 body styles. these were completely modern cars that often won in racing circuits of the day. Th success of these resulted in rapid increases of production and variety of offerings. in 1913 a 6 cylinder engine was added and in 1915 Cole introduced its 346 Cu In V8 Engine-which rapidly displaced the 4 and 6 cylinder engines also being offered.
Although the Cole cars were company designed J. J. Cole believed the best components could be obtained from specialist producers in their respective fields. Therefore many of the Cole Components were manufactured by the best known names in the industry such as Delco, Stromberg, Johnson, Schebler, Timken, Columbia, Spicer, Gemmer, Stewart, Houk, and Firestone. The Cole designed motors were all manufactured by Northway Division of General Motors. Thus Cole liked to call their car "The Standardized Car".
Cole body configurations were always currently stylish. The Springfield Convertible hard top body was featured in 19i6-18 and the cutting edge Aero 8 Styling was introduced in 1918 along with pioneering use of balloon tires. In 1920 Cole incorporated bodies supplied by custom body builders Rubay and Willoughby.
J.J. Cole's experience in advertising was a prominent part of the Cole sales program, and in 1924 Cole paced the Indianapolis 500. He was never interested in the lower priced auto market. in 1919, Cole production was second only to Cadillac among America's Higher priced makers.
in the depressed economy after WWI luxury car sales declined. Rather than orient to smaller lower priced vehicles, J.J. Cole elected to liquidate the company rather than jeopardize his personal fortune. the last Cole vehicles were made in 1925. The Cole plant still stands on East Washington St in Indianapolis.
Of the 40,717 Coles Manufactured, 75 are known to remain.
This car was found in 1990 in Cincinnati in a storage building with about 20 other derelict cars. The car left the Cole Plant as a 7 Passenger Tourster, however at some point the body work was severed just behind the front seat and a wrecker hoist unit was installed on the rear frame of the car. The use of the wrecker was finally terminated when the ring and pinion gears broke.
A replacement body section was with the car- apparently from an earlier year and model of Cole- and numerous other parts were missing. The car was given a complete mechanical and cosmetic restoration, Replacement gears were found for the Columbia rear end and an overdrive unit was added to improve its low speed gearing. The replacement rear body section was modified to match the style and dimensions of the original Cole body except as a 4 passenger Sportster versus the Tourster configuration. Many of the missing parts were manufactured from scratch due to the rarity of replacement parts.