The 1910 Elmore originated in Clyde, Ohio, by the Elmore Manufacturing Company, founded by Harmon Von Vechten Becker and his sons. Originally, Elmore embarked on its journey with bicycle production from 1893 to 1897. However, the allure of the burgeoning automotive industry soon led them to pivot towards car manufacturing.
Distinctive in its engineering approach, Elmore cars were powered by two-stroke engines, which notably lacked valves. This peculiarity was cleverly turned into a marketing angle, touting their uniqueness. By 1902, Elmore’s innovation took another step with the launch of the Buckmobile, a three-cylinder vehicle. Subsequent evolution was seen in 1906 with the unveiling of a four-cylinder variant. As the American automotive sector grew, Elmore positioned itself as a brand offering straightforward, cost-effective vehicles.
But as the 1910s dawned, challenges arose. Elmore’s commitment to two-stroke engines became an Achilles heel when the industry trend veered towards more efficient four-stroke engines. Consequently, its market position weakened, compounded by intensifying competition from burgeoning automobile behemoths. The novelty of Elmore’s engine technology caught the eye of Billy Durant, the infamous founder of General Motors. While on one of his notorious buying sprees, he purchased the Elmore company from the Becker brothers in 1909, reportedly for a generous sum of $500,000. Unfortunately, joining the GM empire did not help Elmore’s fortunes, and the company was dissolved after 1912 in the wake of Durant’s tumultuous ouster from GM by the board of directors.