Category Archives: Alexander
Alexander Automotive Engineering Company of Inglewood, California.
Production is believed to have begun in 1937, and the company’s advertisements, which were quite elaborate for the day, referred to the miniature racer as the “Alexander C.A.R.” It is thought that “C.A.R.” stood for “Champion Auto Racer.”
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Colonel E. Alexander’s company (Colonel was his first name!) produced speed parts for full-size racers, including overhead valve conversions for the Model A Ford. A few such conversions were also built for the early Ford V-8s. Alexander was a sprint car owner and a frequent entrant at Ascot and other Southern California tracks.
Like many of his fellow racers before the war, Alexander decided to build miniature gas-powered machines as an adjunct to his business of supplying full-scale racing equipment. It appears he was no more successful in a commercial sense than most of the others—he turned out a couple hundred kits over several years, including the period just after World War II.
Any lack of success on the part of Alexander Automotive was not due to poor promotion, however. The company’s advertisement in prewar issues of Model Craftsman featured a beautifully rendered cut-away of the Super DeLuxe model and announced the availability of a large full-color brochure.
An example of this promotional piece in the collection of Don Edmunds describes four variations of the Alexander available at the time. The “Miller Front Drive Standard,” with a heart-shaped grille opening that ended at the top of the frame rails, was listed at $25.00. The DeLuxe version was an additional $2.50. The “Indianapolis Special,” with a detachable plated grille fitted to a nose piece that extended below to cover the front drive housing, was also $25.00, or $32.50 in deluxe configuration.
An inked notation on this brochure indicates “30 day delivery” and the unavailability of the $15.85 “Racing Motor,” which Alexander had at one time offered as a modified version of the popular Dennymite. In terms of today’s values, the Alexander prices and those of other makes seem absurdly low. Remember, however, a depression was just ending, and $25.00 “toys,” even for big boys, were not exactly in the mainstream of disposable income-spending! Is it any wonder so few producers survived more than a couple years?
All production Alexander cars were front drive, although patterns and some castings exist that reflect an intention to produce a rear drive variant. Do any complete examples exist? There is at least one other type of Alexander in existence, a smaller car with a one-half inch shorter wheelbase.
Engineering Company of Inglewood, California.[/spoiler]