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Inside Cleveland's Crawford Auto Museum

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1903 Hoffman General Utility Rear-Entrance Tourneau
Inside Cleveland's Crawford Auto Museum
(© 2006 S. Mitchell; Licensed to About, Inc.)

In the late 19th century, Frenchman turned Clevelander Louis Hoffman was a successful bicycle manufacturer. Like many bicycle makers, he was intrigued by the new automobiles being crafted in Europe. In 1900, he opened the Hoffman Automobile and Manufacturing Company in Cleveland on Lake St. and Marquette Ave.

The first Hoffman cars, available in 1902, were steam-powered, but the company gradually switched to the more popular gasoline-powered engines. Mr. Hoffman sold the company in 1903 and it became known as the Royal Motor Car Company.

The 1903 Hoffman General Utility Tourneau (pictured above) is a single-cylinder gasoline-powered car. It seats four passengers and the engine is located under the driver's seat to leave the front available for storage. It is one of 100 such cars produced in 1903. The sticker price was $925.

(Last updated on 11-09-07)
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