A Brief History of Durant Vehicles

Someday, perhaps, I will write the definitive history of the Durant Vehicles. For now, however, all I can offer is a time line, a bit of model information and a list of links to sites that have at least some mention of Durant and his cars..... Terry

Time line

1921

Product line: Durant.

  • January 12 - Durant Motors is incorporated in New York. It would later be reincorporated in Delaware.
  • March 1 - A prototype of the first car (A-22) had been designed, built and demonstrated.
  • March - Durant buys the Long Island City, New York plant, a former Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company factory.
  • April - Durant buys the Muncie, Indiana plant from General Motors. This is the plant that GM produced the Sheridan automobile.
  • April - Durant Motors of Indiana is established.
  • May - Durant Motors of Michigan is established
  • Summer - Durant Motors of California is established
  • Summer - Durant Motors of Canada is established.
  • Reports vary some say availability of the new four-cylinder Durant (A-22) is in May others say it is available late fall of the year.
  • By the end of 1921 Durant has established facilities in New York (Long Island City), New Jersey (Elizabeth), Indiana (Muncie), Michigan (Lansing), California (Oakland) and Canada (Leaside).

1922

Product Lines: Star, Durant.

  • January - A new six-cylinder Durant, the B-22, is introduced. The car is built in the Sheridan plant (Muncie, Indiana) bought from GM, but the press reports that it is not the Sheridan.
  • February 1 - The Locomobile Company is placed in receivership paving the way for Durant's acquisition.
  • February 15 - Star car is announced as a competitor to the Ford Model T.
  • March 1 - First car built at Leaside, Canada plant
  • March 8 - First Star car shown in Washington.
  • June - Durant purchases the Willys-Overland Elizabeth, NJ plant. The purchase includes the pilot model of a car that became the Flint 6 (model E-55).
  • July 28 - Durant is the sole bidder at a receivership sale of the Locomobile Company. The Locomobile Company of America Inc. is established.
  • July - Flint Motor Car Company is established.

1923

Product Lines: Star, Durant, Rugby, Flint, Locomobile, Mason Motor Trucks

  • January - The Princeton is announced and a prototype is displayed at the New York Automobile show. The car is to be built in the Muncie plant.
  • The Mason Truck Company is established.
  • June - Production of the Flint E-55 begins
  • July - Sales of Rugby cars begin in Australia. An advertisement of the time explains that Durant was unable to use the Star name for cars sold in the British Empire as a company in Wolverhampton had the rights to the name.
  • Summer - Durant announces the Princeton will be built at the Locomobile Bridgeport plant. The car is eventually produced under the Flint name rather than the Princeton name.

1924

Product Lines: Star, Durant, Rugby, Flint, Locomobile, Mason Motor Trucks

  • March - the Flint H-40 is introduced.

1925

Product Lines: Star, Durant, Rugby, Flint, Locomobile, Mason Motor Trucks

1926

Product Lines: Star, Durant, Rugby, Flint, Locomobile, Mason Motor Trucks

  • Six cylinder Star R is introduced.
  • The Flint 60 is introduced
  • The Flint 80 is introduced. The Flint 80 is based on the previous year's Flint E-55.
  • Summer - Durant sells the Flint Michigan factory, production of Flint cars continues at the Elizabeth factory.

1927

Product Lines: Star, Flint, Locomobile, Mason Motor Trucks

  • A one-year break in Durant car production.
  • Flint production ends.
  • Mason Truck production ends.

1928

Product Lines: Durant, Rugby, Locomobile

  • January - The Durant 55 is introduced. It is based on the previous year's Star R, which is no longer produced.
  • January - The Durant 65 is introduced.
  • January - The Durant 75 is introduced.
  • April - production of Star cars ceases. The popular four cylinder Star car (model M2) would be rebadged the Durant-Star (M-2)
  • September 4 - Durant announces it will no longer sell trucks under the Durant name. Instead, trucks would be sold under the Rugby name.
  • September - production of the Durant M-2 ends
  • September - production of the Durant 55 ends.
  • Late October - deliveries of the new Durant M-4 begins. The M-4 replaced the M-2 in the Durant lineup
  • Late October - deliveries of the new Durant 60 begins. The 60 replaced the 55 in the Durant lineup

1929

Product Lines: Durant, Rugby

  • January - Durant 60 gets a new larger engine.
  • January - Durant 63 is introduced.
  • January - Durant 66 is introduced.
  • January - Durant 70 is introduced to replace the Durant 75

1930

Product Lines: Durant, Rugby

  • January - Durant announces an entirely new line for 1930.
  • January 4 - the Durant 614 is introduced
  • The Durant 617 is introduced
  • August - Durant announces a plan to manufacture and sell the French Mathis car in the USA.
  • September - the Durant 610 is introduced
  • October 7 - the Durant 612 is introduced.
  • December 17 - the Oakland, California plant (Durant Motors of California) stops making Durant cars.

Product Lines: Durant, Rugby

1931

  • January 3 - Durant Motors of California is renamed to De Vaux - Hall Motors Corp.
  • January 3 - the De Vaux car is introduced.
  • March 14 - Charter granted to Dominion Motors Ltd.
  • April 1 - First De Vaux 6-75 rolls off the production line.
  • May 4 - Durant Motors of Canada dissolved, replaced by Dominion Motors Ltd.
  • May - the Durant 619 is introduced
  • Late summer - all production of Durant vehicles at the Lansing plant had stopped.
  • Late summer - an "improved" De Vaux 6-75 announced offering 'free-wheeling" as standard equipment.

1932

Product Lines: Durant, Rugby

  • January - the Durant 621 is introduced
  • January - the Durant 622 is introduced
  • January - the De Vaux 80 is announced.
  • January 30 - Durant Motors files for bankruptcy.
  • February 10 - De Vaux - Hall Motors Corp. files for bankruptcy.
  • February 18 - Continental Motors Corp. purchases the De Vaux name and the Michigan assets of the De Vaux - Hall company.
  • March - the Continental De Vaux Company is incorporated.
  • April - the Continental-De Vaux model 80 is introduced.

1933

Product Lines: Durant, Rugby

    .

  • Durant Motors declares bankruptcy.
  • December - Dominion Motors ceases production.

Where did the Makes fit in?

By the mid twenties Durant had a vision of a Durant motors with an offering in every price range. The following table shows where both actual and planned products were to fit.
Make Price Competitor Notes
Star $ Ford Model T  
Eagle $$    
Durant $$$ Chevrolet  
Flint $$$$ Chrysler  
Princeton $$$$$ Packard  
Locomobile $$$$$$    
Mason Road King Truck   Ford light trucks  

Year/Make/Model Chart

  Star Durant Rugby Trucks Rugby (export vehicles) Flint Locomobile Mason
1921   A-22       48  
1922 C A-22, B-22       48  
1923 C A-22, B-22  

C
E-55, 48 ?
1924 C, F A-22, B-22  

C,F
E-55, H-40 48 ?
1925 F A-22  

F
B-40, E-55, H-40 48, Junior Eight, Junior Six ?
1926 M, R A-22  

M,R
B-60, E-80, Z-18 48, 90, Junior Eight ?
1927 M, R    

M,R
B-60, E-80, Z-18 48, 90, Junior Eight ?
1928 M 55, 65, 75, M2, M4 L,T

M
  ?  
1929   40, 60, 63, 66, 70 L, S-4, T, X, 401

40
     
1930   407, 610, 612, 614, 617 614, 615, 616

?
     
1931   407, 612, 614, 618, 619 S-4, 406,616

?
     
1932   621, 622 615        

References