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1917 Elcar Model E Cloverleaf Roadster

William and George Pratt were the principals of Indiana’s Elkhart Carriage & Harness Manufacturing Company. In 1909 they began building a quality touring car, which they sold under the name Pratt-Elkhart. They dropped Elkhart from the name and began selling Pratt cars from their re-organized Pratt Motor Car Company. Then, later in 1915, they renamed the company once again as the Elkhart Carriage and Motor Car Company. Its product was called the “Elcar,” a four-cylinder car with a Lycoming engine that sold for $795. They advertised it as “The Car for the Many.”

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The Pratts sold out to some Auburn executives in 1921 and retired, but Elcar manufacturing continued into 1931, latterly taxis, both for the Elkhart company and private-label cabs, among them Elfay, Martel, and Royal Martel, for other taxi-operating companies.

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Story by RM Sotheby’s