Monday, July 16, 2012

Meteor Motor Car Company Bettendorf, Iowa

Can anybody out there tell me anything about the Meteor Motor Car Company in Bettendorf, Iowa?  This ad  is for the 1909 Model D.  At $3,000 it was over four times the price of most cars on the market.  A Google search returns roughly twenty listings, but very little actual information.  Any background info would be greatly appreciated.

3 comments:

  1. Try this: http://books.google.com/books?id=gmExAQAAMAAJ&pg=RA1-PA57&dq=%22the+meteor+automobile+works%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=kCs5Uu76GImAygG5zoDADg&ved=0CDgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22the%20meteor%20automobile%20works%22&f=false
    and this:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=aJQ9AQAAIAAJ&pg=PA101&lpg=PA101&dq=%22the+meteor%22+runabout+bettendorf&source=bl&ots=U7Bfcjmnem&sig=YnOX5y1RVH_r1gkaAbS-XsphD4U&hl=en&sa=X&ei=wTA5UozGBurK2gWd74CQAQ&ved=0CD0Q6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=%22the%20meteor%22%20runabout%20bettendorf&f=false

    The then Tri-Cities -- Rock Island, Moline and Davenport, plus Bettendorf and East Moline, were important manufacturing (and just previously, lumbering -- Weyerhauser and Denkmann started there and are buried there) towns. Many family scions of new wealth, first generation -- Deere, Velie, Petersen, and others -- started building cars. An expensive, fun, ego-satisfying project then as now. As then, as now, it involved driving cars, events, spectaculars, and so on, but unlike now, they were not jaded. They had not previously seen it on TV. It was fresh, exciting, novel and dangerous. The perfect wealthy man's pursuit. Glamorous and expensive. The guys who started with a lot of money, like Petersen and Velie, built cars for people like them. So premium finishes and details, art, were important. Unlike Ford, they weren't thinking about simplicity or market share.

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