< 1914 1916 >


Model: 25 36/"Four-36" "Six-46"
Cylinders: 4 4 6
Horsepower SAE: 22.5 25.6 29.4
Wheelbase: 110 116 124

When Paige-Detroit first announced its 1915 models the Model 36 and the Model 25 were carried forward unchanged. Within a few months prices were lowered on cars in both lines. The decreases presumably came from improved efficiencies in the more modern plant and from economies in purchasing larger quantities of materials. Three Model 36 autos were advertised, compared to the six models offered in 1914.

1914-08-15_thumb 1915 Models
A Greater Paige for 1915, Collier's, Aug. 15, 1914 Why We Know It's the Greatest Value in the Automotive Industry, The Saturday Evening Post, Sep. 2, 1914

A perceptive observer might have deduced from these price reductions and model changes that the company was in a period of transition. In January of 1915 this became clear when Paige dropped the Model 25 line entirely. Model 36 autos continued as "Four-36" models. Paige claimed the Glenwood touring car and its companion roadster had given given universal satisfaction, required no changes in design or high experimental and engineering costs, and offered either for the new, lower price of $1,075. The four-passenger Montrose Coupé was no longer advertised.

The big news was a new six-cylinder line, consisting initially of the Fairfield touring car and later the Meadowbrook roadster. The Company modestly described the new line as the "Ultimate Six" and the standard by which all other "Sixes" were to be judged.

Paige Company Enters the Field of Sixes

One more of the prominent manufacturers of moderate priced four cylinder cars has recently added a six to its line for the 1915 season, the Paige-Detroit Motor Car Co., of Detroit, Mich., having just announced such a model, known as the Six-46. It is a seven passenger car, two extra folding seats being provided in the tonneau, which disappear in the back of the front seat when not in use. The car has a wheel base of 124 inches, and among its most characteristic features is rear suspension on floating cantilever springs. It is stated that since the motor space is comparatively short and the body extends well back of the rear axle, ample seating room is provided for the accommodation of seven passengers. The seats are deep, with high backs and sides, and the leather covered upholstering is over-stuffed.

The motor is of the en bloc type, and the upper half of the crank case is cast integral with the cylinders, a practice that has been gaining in popularity for some time. The bore is 3-1/2 inches and the stroke 5-1/4 inches. As is customary where the cylinders and the upper half of the crank case are cast integral, the cylinder head is made separate. By removing the head one gains access to all valves, to the pistons and to the water jackets. It facilitates decarbonizing and regrinding of the valves; and, most important of all, it insures accurate setting of cores. All valves are on the right-hand side and the intake manifold fold is cast integral with the cylinders, being located directly under the exhaust outlets. This insures preheating of the charge while passing through the inlet manifold by the exhaust gases. The valve mechanism is of the rocker arm type, and a hardened steel roller is used as a cam follower. Aluminum plates fastened over the valve chambers permit of running the valves in a bath of oil.

The camshaft is driven through helical gears on a cross shaft at the front of the motor. This cross shaft is driven by a large diameter bronze helical gear on the front end of the crankshaft. Through helical gears at both ends of the cross shaft are driven the Bosch magneto, which is located at the right, and the centrifugal water pump and Gray & Davis lighting generator, which are located Oil the left. The left end gear also drives the fan belt pulley. The Gray & Davis starting motor is mounted at the rear on the right hand side near the flywheel.

The lower half of the crank case Is in the form of a pressed steel pan, which acts as an oil reservoir. From this reservoir oil is drawn by means of a plunger pump actuated from the camshaft, and is circulated to all main hearings. Cooling water is circulated by means of the centrifugal pump already referred to. Great care has been exercised in the design of the cylinders to insure that all portions of the cylinder wall exposed to the hot gases are surrounded by cooling water, so that the entire cylinder is kept at a uniform temperature and distortion is prevented.

The motor and three-speed sliding change gear form a unit power plant which is suspended from the frame at three points. The front end is bolted to a 5-inch channel section cross member of the frame by two 5/8-inch steel bolts spaced 4 inches apart. At the rear end two arms extend from the motor, which are bolted direct to the frame side members. In addition, a steel channel cross member runs under the motor and helps to carry the weight.

A multiple disc clutch with cork inserts is used, the discs being of saw-blade tempered steel. It is housed in the flywheel and runs in a bath of oil. The change gear is provided with an aluminum casing, and its gears are made of open hearth nickel-vanadium steel, heat treated. The primary shaft of the transmission is supported in F. & S. annular ball bearings, and the countershaft in Hyatt roller bearings. The reverse Idler gear is mounted on a hardened shaft and is provided with a phosphor bronze bushing.

A three-quarter floating type of rear axle is used, with a malleable iron housing. It Is stiffened by a 5/8-inch under-running truss. Both sets of brakes act on rear wheel drums, the brake shafts being carried by heavily ribbed bronze brackets. The service brakes are external contracting and are operated by a pedal, while the emergency brakes are internal expanding and operated by a hand lever. Both sets are fitted with equalizers. The brake drums are 14 inches in diameter and have a 2-inch face. The front axle is an I-section drop forging with integral spring seats shaped to fit the bottom of the semi-elliptic front springs.

As already pointed out, the rear springs are of the floating cantilever type; they are 48 inches long by 2-1/2 inches wide and each spring has eight 5/16 leaves. Before assembling, the leaves are covered with graphite for purposes of lubrication. Both driving and braking strains are taken up by these springs and transmitted to double torque arms. Each spring is mounted on the frame by two brackets, and two bolts pass through double eyes at the rear end, anchoring the spring to the rear axle. All spring eyes are bushed with Tobin bronze bushings, which are provided with helical grooves packed with graphite lubricant. This arrangement is said to insure lubrication throughout the life of the spring.

The frame is of channel section pressed steel, being made from cold rolled stock. Its side members are 4 inches high, with a 3-inch flange which tapers at both ends and has a kick-up over the rear axle. The frame is narrowed in front to permit of a shorter turning radius. The frame stock is 5/32 inch thick. Five cross mem- bers are used, together with liberal-sized gusset plates, thus insuring a very rigid frame. All rivets are driven hot.

The radiator is of the V-type, of cellular construction, and has a capacity of about 10 quarts. It is made of bronze metal and encased in a brass frame with a rounded edge. A small bead stiffens the edge and adds to the appearance of the radiator. The gasoline tank is located under the cowl, is provided with a gauge and has a capacity of 15 gallons. Goodyear or Firestone tires are fitted, non-skids in the rear, the size being 34x4 inches all around. A tire carrier is mounted in the rear of the car.

The body is of the streamline type with full U-shaped doors and is leather upholstered. Among the equipment may be mentioned foot and robe rails, two disappearing auxiliary seats, one man top, quick adjustable curtains, slip cover concealing bows, automatic rain vision windshield, Gray & Davis lamps with dimmers, demountable rims, including an extra one; a tire iron, license bracket, electric horn, pump, jack, tools and tire repair kit. The fenders are crowned and the running boards are of pressed steel, linoleum covered and aluminum bound. The starting and lighting system is the new Gray & Davis system. A Willard 90 ampere-hour storage battery is used and the wiring is carried out on the ground return system. Ignition is by a Bosch magneto.

The Horseless Age Magazine, December 23, 1914

1915 Six

1915 "Six-46", The Saturday Evening Post, Jan. 2, 1915

The Paige-Continental engine had an aluminum crankcase and cast iron unit block with a detachable head that enabled the car to throttle down to three miles per hour in high gear, then speed up within 30 seconds to 50 miles per hour. The streamlined body on the longer 124 inch wheelbase set it apart from the semi-streamlined Model 36 of 1914, and it made the straight-dash 1913 Model 36 look old-fashioned in comparison. The Six-46 had a zig-zag, cellular radiator. In addition, the radiator was v-shaped, which was a distinctive trademark that Paige used through 1923. The company claimed to have "again set the standard of value in the moderate priced field."

1915 Meadowbrook

1915 6-46 Meadowbrook Roadster (Richard Kobelt photo)

The buying public and auto critics received the new, larger Paige autos very well. The trend was definitely toward six-cylinder cars. During the course of the year further enhancements were made to the original "Six-46" models. The bodies were done in Richelieu Blue, and the wheels were now finished in a deep, rich red. A narrow bead of red added a touch of distinctive individuality to the front of the radiator. Company literature stated,

The strikingly beautiful body design of the "Six-46" is now set off with a painting finish so rich and lustrous that it is positively mirror-like. To secure this lasting brilliancy requires 24 days of painting and hand rubbing until it is ready for the final exquisite finish.

The prices were reduced $100, to just $1295. A permanent winter top was available for the touring car for only $250, which was "beautifully proportioned to match the Paige foreign-like beauty and made to fit the body with absolute accuracy." This top was made from a composite material called Agasote, "which will withstand any weather condition; just like metal, at the same time it is lighter in weight, is more soundproof; is rust-proof; therefore, preserves the paint finish." The top could be easily attached "by any one of limited mechanical ability."

1915 Models

Timing Gears of the New Paige Six Engine, The Horseless Age, Jan. 6, 1915

Four closed models were also added to the series:

The town car had room for a driver and one passenger in the open driving compartment and in the enclosed back section for three passengers on the back seat and two on auxiliary folding chairs. The town car "is a vehicle of pleasure and utility for the folks whose social position in a community demands exclusiveness and the ownership of the finest equipage." The driving compartment was upholstered in hand-buffed French glaze long grain leather of select quality.

1915 Glenwood

1915 "Four-36", The Saturday Evening Post, Jan. 9, 1915

Three distinct combinations of color and upholstery were available that would certainly have suited potential buyers in that day and age:


1915 Paige "Fairfield" (Company brochure)

The automobile industry in general was thriving! People everywhere were eager to replace their horse and buggy with an automobile. In 1915 Paige-Detroit wasn't the only manufacturer providing more car for less money. In the mid-priced range of six-cylinders cars it had plenty of competition, including Hupmobile, Studebaker, Buick, Overland, Moon, Auburn, Hudson, Velie, and Mitchell. A few, such as the Grant and the Saxon, cost less. And among higher priced six-cylinder autos were the Oakland, Kissel Kar, Apperson, Chalmers, National, Haynes and the air-cooled Franklin.

Paige-Detroit Increases Dividends. The Paige-Detroit Motor Co., Detroit, has increased its dividend from 4 to 7 per cent. a month, that for April having been at the rate of 84 per cent. a year. The company is capitalized at $250,000 and there are only 18 stockholders. The stock has a par value of $100, the last sale having been made on a basis of about $325. The company's net earnings are about $750,000, leaving a surplus of about $500,000 after the payment of dividends. The annual production is from 7000 to 8000 cars, including "fours" and "sixes." H. M. Jewett is president; E. H. Jewett, vice-president; William B. Cady, secretary, and Gilbert W. Lee, treasurer. (The Horseless Age, April 21, 1915)

Executives 1915_Paige copy_thumb
Paige-Detroit Executives. The Horseless Age, May 19, 1915 Gray & Davis System on 1915 Paige

The Penalty of Leadership

Cadillac ad

Paige-Detroit announced its new six-cylinder Paige autos in the January 2, 1915, issue of the Saturday Evening Post magazine. In that same issue the Cadillac Motor Car Co. placed the adjacent ad with the title "The Penalty of Leadership".

In September of 1914, after previously standing behind its four-cylinder engine and stating that it had no intention of marketing a six-cylinder car, Cadillac made the stunning announcement of its eight-cylinder, "V-type" engine. After the passage of several months Cadillac, in the person of Theodore McManus, who wrote Cadillac's advertising, presumably felt an explanation was in order.

Ninety years later "The Penalty of Leadership" remains famous. Compared to ads from Paige-Detroit and other auto makers, it is plain, but this was typical of McManus's work for Cadillac during this period. His ads were packed with text and only occasionally even showed a car. This one's provocative title, however, is as stiking today as it must have been then. The ad makes no extravagant product claims but instead warns the potential Cadillac customer that he must be willing to endure the envy of others for being in the forefront. And, yes, we know Cadillac makes motor cars, but nowhere in it is the reader told what exactly Cadillac is selling, other than status.

Whatever impact "The Penalty of Leadership" had on the public, it certainly made an impression on the advertising industry! Nothing quite like it had been seen before. It defined the Cadillac and made it stand out from other cars. Perhaps the best compliment to Cadillac, the self-proclaimed "Standard of the World", is that it is a style of ad that has been imitated many times since the original was published so long ago.

Four years later Cadillac repeated the ad in a different format in the January 11, 1919, issue of the Saturday Evening Post magazine.

Elsewhere in 1915:

  • The Budd Co. produces an all-steel body for Dodge.
  • The Scripps-Booth Model C places the horn button in the center of the steering wheel; the car is also the first with electric door latches.
< 1914 1916 >