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Potomac Garage: 1922

The Potomac Garage in 1922. 3307-3309 M Street N.W. "Just phone West-344." View full size. National Photo Company Collection glass negative.

The Potomac Garage in 1922. 3307-3309 M Street N.W. "Just phone West-344." View full size. National Photo Company Collection glass negative.


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The Premier That Wasn't

I do not believe that the Potomac Garage vehicle is a Premier as stated below.

The way that the hood and cowl come together on the Premier are not even close to matching the Potomac Garage truck and the sides of the hood are also completely different.

At first I thought it was a Columbia Six, but the hood is not quite right for that vehicle either (but very close). The Owen-Magnetic, Crane-Simplex, Auburn Beauty Six, and even very obscure makes like the Zent all have some characteristics of the Potomac Garage truck, but I have not found anything that matches exactly.

There is a possiblity that this is actually a mixture of vehicles - parts put together from many cars/trucks to make a working vehicle. The hood does not come down to the chassis, the seat looks like it was haphazardly installed and does not sit level, the front fender doesn't quite match, and the bodywork behind the cab looks like it was sized to fit instead of purpose built by a factory.

We need to keep searching for who made it.

For a closer look at a Columbia Six that comes close to matching the hood see the following Shorpy photo. The hood is too short and the louvers are not wide enough.

1911 Premier Touring

I think this car has been ID'd. There's a thread here that I started on Antique Automobile Club of America, and someone said it's a 1911 Premier 6-60 Touring car.

Looks like a match to me!

Washington Wrecker

Great photo! That car was something special when new, the hood louvers are the major identification tip. Most likely a Pierce, or Locomobile or other big six cylinder car of the 1912-14 era.

A father's comments

I sent this picture to my father, as my grandfather had a garage in Belgium from the 10's until WWII. My father grew up around cars and worked in the automobile industry for close to 40 years.

Here's what he wrote:

Interesting picture. The car doesn't seem to have brakes in the front only in the rear which to me would make it a pre-WWI automobile except that the US didn't engage in the war until 1917 so the car, being an american make, could have been manufactured up to 1917 for - I would say - that front brakes weren't installed until right after WWI. Did you see the ad "Battery Repair" which is something we did during WWII out of necessity, unthinkable today. Thanks for this interesting mail. Love, Dad.

Thanks for all the wonderful trips down memory lane.

Car Barn

No, this was not the car barn, which was a little farther west. There was a stone wall next to the barn of about 50-70 feet. Seemed 200 feet to a kid trying to climb it 65 years ago. As far as I know, the barn is still there.

[It's mostly office space now. - Dave]


You can tell it used to be a horse stable, what with the "hay door" above the entrance.

What Make?

I sure would like to know the make of the car converted to truck here. It looks circa-1914, might have originally been a high-powered speedster or runabout. Those hood louvers are pretty distictive, maybe someone can i.d. it. Or enlarge the hubcap detail 500% or something. I love this picture, another great car/architecture study.

Car Barn today?

I wonder if this the car barn building in Georgetown? Looks to be by the address--I'll scope out the building and take a picture.

[I've been to the Car Barn. It's huge. - Dave]


Here's a perfect illustration of the second life served by a lot of large luxury cars well into the '30s. A cheap used large sedan with a high powered motor and heavy chassis is a natural to be cut down for a service truck. Pickup and other specialized body types were usually an extra cost aftermarket option into the '20s. The shape of the radiator makes me wonder, is it a Simplex or one of the gilt-edge assembled brands of the 'teens?

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