The Lozier name is one that immediately conjures images of the swashbuckling era of Brass automobiles. Lozier Automobiles sit in the immortal category alongside others of its ilk.
The Lozier Motor Company was a brass era producer of automobiles in the United States of America. The company produced luxury automobiles from 1900 to 1915.
The company was founded in Plattsburgh, New York by Henry Abrahm Lozier, an Indiana-born sewing machine and bicycle manufacturer. After selling his bicycle business, Lozier moved to Plattsburgh to manufacture boat engines. In 1900, he entered the automobile business. At his death in 1903, his son Harry took over the company.
While some were interested in the mass market, Harry Lozier was always firmly directed towards the luxury and sporting genre. By 1902 the interest had turned to Motor cars. By 1903 the concept for what Lozier wanted was developed after sending their engineer John Perrin to France, the hub of the motorcar industry. The first prototype car was completed in 1904. In 1905 the first model known as B was introduced for $4500. In 1906 they produced 56 cars and the price went up to $5500. In 1907 their 4 cylinder was producing a whopping 60hp.
That same year Lozier entered their first 24 hour race with a local choir boy who started with Lozier at the age of 16. Ralph Mulford was his name, and he won. In 1908 Mulford broke the world’s twenty-four-hour record driving the Lozier 1107 miles, and only a month later Lozier broke their own record. Then in 1909 they broke their own record 2 more times, and Mulford was now at 1,169 miles. In 1910 a Lozier broke the World’s stock chassis record at 62.5mph for 300 miles on twisty dirt roads. By 1910 the Lozier was the winningest car in America beating out all the European completion. In 1911 Fiat racing challenged Lozier to a head to head 100 mile race at the Los Angeles Motordome. They brought their monstrous 90hp racing only Fiat and the famous Ralph DePalma to drive. The Lozier with its stock 4-cylinder won by more than 6-laps and shattered the track record.
Also in 1911, one of his cars was entered in the first running of the Indianapolis 500 and became a champion race car in America, with at least half a dozen world records. Driven by Ralph Mulford, a driver who would become synonymous with the race, the Lozier-Lakewood model placed 2nd in the inaugural 1911 Indianapolis 500, after leading for the first 450 laps, an accident with a sequence of events forced a second place behind the infamous Marmon Wasp. Many argued back then and diehards continue today, that the Lozier actually won and lapped the Marmon.
They went one better winning the Elgin Cup that same year, and in 1911 secured the Vanderbilt Cup. These successes filled the order books and so with capacity peaked out at his Plattsburgh factory, he was c
The Lozier was involved in racing for only 5 years, but in that short time it achieved one of the best racing records ever! Mercedes, Fiat and Isotta-Franschini all had cars built for racing competition only (not for sale). All racing Lozier’s were right off the showroom floor, just stripped of fenders, lights and heavy bodywork.
November of 1911 was Lozier’s last race, the prestigious Vanderbuilt Cup Run, of which it also won, with DePalma in his Mercedes running 2nd.
Results like this, a reputation for quality, and limited production (which rarely exceeded 600 units in a calendar year) put Lozier’s name in the history books such that it still resonates strongly today.
“A lot of people say they have never heard of the Lozier, but in the early 1900’s it was well Known as one of the largest and best built automobiles”, says Henry B. Lent, author of “Car of the Year”, naming the Lozier as America’s Car of the Year in 1906. Within a few years after this, Lozier would become the sporting car of rich, horsey, and yachting crowd. No other machine would have quite the snob appeal.
H.A. Lozier was a perfectionist type of pioneer, and he made some of the best motorcars that ran the roads during the first two decades of the twentieth century.
SOME OF THE SPECIAL FEATURES AND PATENTS MANY LOZIER CARS POSSESSED:
- 4-speed sliding gearbox and a beautiful 2-1/2 to 1 gear ratio in fourth. 70mph was not a problem.
- Water cooled drum brakes delivered water via a driver controlled pressurized tank
- The first 36” wheels of any manufacturer, later to become common place.
- The only pawl-and-ratchet brake system, allowing the car to stand motionless on steep hill with the clutch in to prevent roll-back.
- One of the first ever all-ball-and-roller-bearing engines. Crankshafts were a work of art. Machined from a great solid chunk of vanadium steel rotated on massive ball bearings.
- Frames made of nickel steel heat treated in a bath of molten lead
- Nickel-steel forged axles
- All-aluminum bodies
- Chassis sprung on 5 springs
- Solid copper 26 gallon gas tank.
- The entire underside of the car was enclosed by a tough aluminum alloy casting
- Valves were forged from a nickel alloy
- The accelerator pedal controls a movable oil trough beneath the connecting rods. At higher speeds the linkage raised the trough to allow the rod ends to dip further into the oil, claimed to give near smokeless exhaust.
- Every car was given a rigorous 500 mile road test before any body was applied
- Gear driven fan that disengages at 40mph
In 1912 and with their racing dominance proven, Lozier now sought higher production numbers at their new high tech Detroit plant hoping to produce 1200 cars per year, but economic conditions worsened and the new financial investors forcibly took control of the company. H.A. Lozier lost control and quit because the speculators wanted to compete with main stream high-end cars like Cadillac.
In 1914 John Perrin the companies lead engineer left and that led to its slow demise. This 1914 designed by Perrin, is the latest model known to exist and it is a 1 of 1 car. No other Model 84 runabouts exist today.
While no one knows exactly how many Loziers were built, it is believed the number was between 3500-4000. Today, there are only 40 left and are highly sought by automobile enthusiasts.
In 1918, the factories offically shut the doors for good because of the worsening ecomony and World War 1. It’s written that the last 500 chassis may have been sent to Europe to fight the war.