Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Monarch of the Road [ca.1913]

From our collection ... the Monarch of the Road ... King of the Speedway ... National Automobile ... these vintage ads are from approximately 1913 ...

"Nothing classier in the automobile world than this
four-passenger, fore-door toy tonneau, mounted on the
famous National 40 chassis. $2,600."
Our collection is mostly trains and ships, but we could not resist throwing in a few old cars for good measure. And, in that caption above, it's not a typo, the ad calls it a "fore-door" ... apparently because the doors were "forward" from where you were sitting? Is that correct?

"The seven-passenger body is longer and roomier. It is
mounted on the National 40 chassis, which has ample
power to carry twice as big a car. $3,000."

"The popular and convenient open-front type of body may
be had in either the five-passenger touring car or four-passenger
toy tonneau. $2,500."

"Faster than anything you will meet on the road, carrying
you hundreds of miles without a stop, it is small wonder that this
car is the favorite of men who want and can have the best
in motordom. $2,500."
Yes, in the caption above, quoted from the ad, we know it says favorite of "men" ... like many of you have commented, these old ads frequently make us aware of the stereotypical culture of the day. We are not saying we approve of it, just showing it the way it was.

Unless you wanted the limo model (below) it looks like you would be getting an open top. We have to wonder what it was like driving those cars in a heavy rain, or even worse, snow storm.

"Luxury is embodied in every line and movement of the National 40,
seven-passenger limousine. Its appointments are as complete
as it is possible to make them. $4,000."
 We like the little drawings at the bottom of the ads.

"Carrying four passengers in perfect comfort, the National toy
tonneau has won its recognition as one of the neatest,
trimmest body designs in motordom. $2,500."
Thank you for stopping by John's Island.


  1. I was just wondering how many file cabinets it takes to hold your collection.


  2. Hello John, Cool ads for these vintage vehicles.. Nice post, have a happy day!

  3. Good morning John and what a grand post. I have always loved old cars and would be happy to own any one of these. They always look so regal.

  4. I wonder where they kept the car during rainstorms. It was too early in the evolution of automobiles to have had garages, I suspect. Did they cover it with a big tarp? Very expensive, too, I might add! :-)

  5. National was made in Indianapolis and was one of the 4 brands that built what is now the Indianapolis Speedway as a test facility.

  6. very cool. loved the 'fore-door' explanation.

  7. Those cars are kind of cool,but I'll take my 4-wheel drive anytime.

  8. Probably was quite the car back in the day. My dad loved his old car many years ago, he had a need for speed.

  9. As a teenager I used to collect anything that
    had to do with vintage cars. My favourite was
    then a Bugatti :))
    Love these ads - they are much like art :)
    And just like Mac I'm wondering where you all
    put all this stuff :) Maybe you digitalize and
    publish them and then sell the originals? You
    must have boxes and more boxes :))
    Have a great day John!

    Tinna ✐

  10. If only they knew what we know now!!! How surprised they would be.

  11. What fun it would be to drive one of these around today.

  12. Cars sure have come a long way. : )

  13. It's hard to imagine that they were modern at one time. :))

  14. I would very much love to see one of these for real!

  15. These are all old beauties. I like the first one best but then as you say it wouldn't be much fun in the rain and snow.

  16. Enjoyed the ads! I wish I could purchase a new car for $3000 today!

  17. The Monarch looks royal indeed...
    Thanks for sharing!

  18. $2,600!!

    I'm sure there are reasons our money changes value (Economics 101...yawn!) but isn't it strange?


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