Most renowned for its victory in the inaugural Indianapolis 500 race in 1911 with Ray Harroun, Marmon was known for its thoughtful engineering and well-finished, reasonably priced vehicles in the luxury market. However, the 1920s Great Depression hit the luxury segment hard, forcing many companies out of business.
To adapt, Marmon ventured into the sub-$1000 market with the short-lived “Roosevelt,” named in honor of Theodore Roosevelt. The line featured two base models, a sedan, and a basic coupe, both priced at $995. These were the first American straight-eight cars priced under a thousand dollars. The Roosevelt line also included slightly pricier coupes.
Notably, the Roosevelt’s horn button served three functions: honking, starting the engine, and controlling the headlights. Sales in 1929 reached around 24,500 vehicles, an impressive debut for a new brand. However, production ceased in 1930, and Marmon closed its doors for good by 1933.