In the last half of the 19th century numerous engineers and inventors in Europe and America began what became known as "The Motor Age".

Engine design and car design were integral activities and almost all of the engine designers also designed cars. A few went on to become major manufacturers of automobiles. These inventors made notable improvements in the evolution of the internal combustion engine, which in turn inspired their desire to go faster and further.

Initially, these inventors and engineers found themselves limited by a lack of money and most bankers at the time were too conservative to back such new motorized experiments. So they turned to a number of young men for financial backing who had made or were making a lot of money in lucrative ventures during the opportunistic last quarter of the 19th century. Their fascination with these new machines turned into an insatiable quest for speed, out of which came the sport of racing. The general public saw this as a rich mans hobby and became the spectators of the sport. These young entrepreneurs and investors, along with the engineers, realized that a lot of money could be made if they would further back the development of an automobile adapted to the streets that was attractive, sturdy, dependable, affordable, and ultimately a necessity for all social and economic levels.

As the result many marques were developed quickly and a flood of cars became available to the general public. Needless to say marketing was the key to selling these cars so manufactures began flooding the newspapers, magazines and radio media with their names and claims. The Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company was no exception.

When the Jewett was first built in 1922 dealers in every section would sponsor both individuals and team drivers (pilots), with their mechanics, and put their cars through spectacular demonstrations of all kinds winning scores of competitive races, hill climbs and endurance runs. Some also sponsored events in Canada, Mexico and New Zealand. In the year's following, this sturdy Paige-Built "Six" won a most enviable name for outstanding performance. It was a wonder on speedy acceleration. It had all the speed any law-abiding driver could ask for. It took hills and mountains in high gear and also won slow speed contests. Using the results of these events they provided their dealerships with testimonial brochures to hand out in their showrooms and at trade shows.

The following are excerpts taken from some of those brochures and other ephemera and books in the Registry's collection.


Interestingly enough, during the first decade of business the Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company didn't produce or sponsor a Paige for competitive events or speed trials. But, that changed in 1921 through 1923. They built the sleek, fast, 70hp, 6-66 Paige "Daytona" two-passenger "Speedster" designed to race and or appeal to the sporty street driver. The factory campaigned a fender less prototype in 1921 that won races from coast-to-coast in the States and abroad, that in turn attracted many buyers. A gentleman in Australia now owns that famous car and only a few of the street models still exist.


Don't miss reading about the famous Jewett Endurance Race in New Zealand, Auckland to Wellington with the Record-Breaking Jewett Car, April 6, 1923.

This story was copied from a special 1923 collectable booklet sent to the Registry by Jewett "Six" owners Basil and Linda Sharp of Wellington, New Zealand.

Click here to download a copy.


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