The Crane Automobile & The Crane Motor Car Co.

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The Crane Motor Co.
Bayonne, NJ 1912-1915
The Crane Motor Car Co.
New Brunswick, NJ 1915

The first Crane automobile was equipped with a large T-head four cylinder engine, was completed in 1907 and two more cars were built in 1908, but production did not start until 1912.

The 1912 Crane Model 3 was an American Automobile built by The Crane Motor Co. in Bayonne, NJ. Crane automobiles were built there from 1912 to 1915. The Crane Model 3 was equipped with a six cylinder engine that developed 46 horsepower. It had a four speed transmission and shaft drive.

Only the chassis was built by Crane and it was priced for $9,000.00. Crane favoured Brewster & Co. as a coachbuilder and most Crane automobiles were bodied by that firm. Only about 20 Crane Model 3s were made in 1912 and 1913. By 1914 a Model 4 was produced by Crane. It differed in having the cylinders cast in two blocks of three instead of three pairs.

1915 Crane Engine
1915 Crane Engine

This new six cylinder design attracted the attention of the Simplex Automobile Co. of New Brunswick, NJ. The Simplex needed a more refined design than the large chain drive fours cylinder automobiles it was producing. In September 1914 the Simplex Automobile Co. purchased the Crane Motor Car Co. acquiring at the same time the services of Henry Middlebrook Crane. The Crane Motor Car Co. became The Simplex Automobile Co.

1915 Crane-Simplex Touring Car
1915 Crane-Simplex Touring Car

In 1915 the Simplex Automobile Co. produced the Crane-Simplex Model 5 shown above. Production was in the Simplex factory and by 1917 about 500 chassis were built at a cost of $5,000.00. Bodies were built by a variety of coachbuilders including Brewster, Healey, Holbrook and Demarest.

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