Telephone: 01944 758000
Email: [email protected]
William C Durant was an unusual car designer and unlike most car manufacturers of the time, he was not mechanically inclined. However, in 1904, just a year after having learned to drive, he bought out Buick - a leading manufacturer of that time. He quickly turned Buick into what became the core brand of General Motors. In 1921 he founded Durant motors, of which the Star model C was the most popular product, being a light and inexpensive competitor for Ford's Model T.
The Star was constructed from bought-in components and featured a 'Continental' four stroke engine. Similar in many ways to the Overland Model 4, the Star, like the Overland was very simple to operate and 'with conventional' controls unlike Ford's epicyclic drivetrain equipped Model T
The range of Star cars was described as "cars with backbone" since they were fitted with the famous Durant tubular backbone chassis. By the time the star Model C was developed, Durant motors had spread across America having plants in Long Island City, Bridge Port, New York, and Elizabeth, New Jersey, where this particular car was manufactured. From the launch of the Star Model C the company grew quickly. It was said that Durant Motors did over $91 million worth of business in their first 15 months of trading, and accepted orders for 231,000 cars in this same time period.
Interest in the Model C enhanced the Company's stock value. Between 1923 and 1924 Durant shareholder numbers increased from just 68 to 54,000. Durant was described by a stock analyst in 1923 as "one of the leading experts in the motor industry and his shares are attracting speculation"
Base price for the Star Touring Car was $348 but it had many optional extras.
Star gave a notable contribution to automotive history and was described by Mr William Durant, whilst persuading his friends to become shareholders as "Just a real good car"
Our car was imported to the UK in 1992. There is little information of its early American history but the history file includes a brochure from W.G Reynolds Motor Co of Fort Scott Kansas, who were agents for Durant and Star cars. It was imported from Tennessee and had been previously used in Virginia and Kansas. Kansas registration plates are in the car's fitted trunk. On arrival in the UK the car was sent to North Wales where the new owner carried out an extensive refurbishment of the car which is detailed in the history file.
This car has largely original features and is very smart condition with the patina of an older restoration. The work carried out included:
On the road the car is very pleasant with plenty of power and has a very smooth and quiet gearbox and axle. The Continental engine which was standard to this model has a water pump and the cooling system seems very efficient. Since selling the car to a regular customer in the North West, the Durant Star has covered over 550 trouble free miles. Not only has the car had daily use, it has attended many shows and has even claimed a prize.
A very useable and attractive early ‘20s Tourer.
"The highlight has to be the trip to Angouleme in Bordeaux where the total mileage was about 1500. She never missed a beat. The totalmileage for this year must be 2500. As Mr W C Durant said in his sales bro..."
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