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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • ABOUT PARIS, 1895

Scripps-Booth: 1921

Scripps-Booth: 1921

Washington, D.C, 1921. "Scripps-Booth Sales Co., 14th Street N.W." And one very shiny sedan. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

 

Old car prices

I own a 1919 Scripps-Booth, these don't go for Duesenberg prices. Rare doesn't equal expensive. Most cars of this era are actually relatively affordable, going for about the same price as a mid-range new car. Although SBs are rare (we have 50-100 still remaining), by 1918 or so they are almost identical to Oaklands and Buicks of the same year. I actually think all of that's a good thing, because I can use my car and enjoy it. While I can't go to NAPA to buy parts, there are enough owners of similar cars so I can get replacements for some things.

Typo!

That should be MARTY, fire up the Deloreon!

[Ahem. "Deloreon"? - Dave]

Mary, fire up the DeLoreon!

I want to go back in time with a couple of thousand dollars and buy one of these new. I could resell it and pay for both kids' college educations and pay off my house!

These are relatively expensive cars for the time. A Model T was about $600.00 at the same time.

1012 14th Street NW

Car Openers

Note how those suicide doors are aptly equipped with hearse handles!

Scripps-Booth Hybrid

The 1913 Scripps-Booth Bi-Autogo, a 3,200-pound motorcycle-roadster with a steering wheel and V-8 engine. It never took off.

The brakes!

The keen buyer will notice the generous-sized contracting band brakes - operating on the rear wheels only! Guaranteed to stop you in less than 250 feet from 30 mph!

Scripps-Booth Near Its End

Scripps-Booth assembled its last cars in 1922 with leftover parts, around a year after this picture was taken. By that time it had become a fairly ordinary car.

Some of the earlier models were rather unusual (first as lightweight cyclecars; later as full-sized cars with V-8 engines, etc.) and innovative for their time. By 1919, shortly after becoming part of General Motors, Scripps-Booth cars became fairly conventional and were based on GM's Oakland (the forerunner of Pontiac) chassis.

The paint finish used on the pictured 1921 Scripps-Booth would most-likely have been a japan or varnish-based paint. The first production car using lacquer was, ironically, the Oakland, in 1924. It featured Dupont's Duco, a nitrocellulose lacquer that saved the carmakers weeks of paint-drying time and the space needed to store the drying bodies, which then had to be tediously hand-polished before final assembly.

Incidentally, I have a picture of the 1914 Scripps-Booth Rocket, Tandem Roadster, but, unfortunately, since my scanner landed on the floor a few days ago, I can't submit the image.

That Mirror Finish

This Scripps-Booth was no doubt painted with DuPont's new lacquer, Viscolac, which was introduced in 1921. It was the predecessor of DuPont's famous Duco automotive lacquer. Both Viscolac and Duco could be rubbed out to a beautiful mirror-like finish.

Scripps-Booth Pricing

Scripps-Booth autos appear to have been built to appeal to a consumer mindful of fuel costs (lightweight frame, economical engine). Is the pictured vehicle an example of a luxury appointed 1920s American econobox?


Washington Post, May 29, 1921.

Scripps-Booth Passenger Cars

"The Utmost in Light Weight Construction."

Touring Car: $1295
Roadster: $1275
Coupe: $1950
Sedan: $2100

F.O.B. Factory

Scripps-Booth six-cylinder, valve-in-head passenger cars are noted for their beauty, distinctiveness, durability and economy of operation.

They are a General Motors Product

Scripps-Booth Sales Co., Inc.

1012 14th Street N.W.
Franklin 5831

Boring!

Now, if you could only find a picture of the Scripps-Booth Rocket...

Paint job

Hand rubbed lacquer.

Is it a "1920 Velie Six"

OK, I think the car with the suicide doors is a "1920 Velie Six." Am I close? I thought Essex for awhile.

[It's a Scripps-Booth! - Dave]

I see London, I see France

I see the Photographer's Pants, and some of the Tripod.

If he had left the window up we could see the rest of him.

Piano Finish

How did they get that car to shine like that?

 
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