February 05, 2017


Auto Vehicle Co. (1902-1909)

California Automobile Co. (1909-1910)

Los Angeles, California

This is a Tourist radiator script (c1906-1910)    mjs
Size; 410mm wide

The Tourist was built by the Auto Vehicle Company, which was established in May 1902 with a factory in Los Angeles, California. The first Tourist car was a 7hp single-cylinder touring model, which was followed by a two-cylinder model in 1903, with a four-cylinder model appearing in 1906. Volney S Beardsley was sales manager and yearly sales grew from 17 cars in 1903 to nearly 500 cars by 1907. Most Tourist cars were sold in California and were very popular. The Auto Vehicle Company also built trucks and a fire fighting vehicle was produced in 1908 for the Hollywood fire department.

But all was not well. By November 1909, the Company was having trouble obtaining parts and in December 1909 the Company was sold to the California Automobile Company with Volney Beardsley as president. Tourist cars were built for the 1910 model year but by September 1910 it was all over and Tourist production ceased. Volney Beardsley returned to motor vehicle manufacturing in 1914 with the Beardsley Electric.


From about 1906, the Tourist displayed a large cast brass radiator script attached by threaded rods passing through the radiator core. The original Tourist radiator script shown above is very rare.

By 1908, the Tourist also carried a small brass nameplate in the center of the radiator tank top, see original factory photo below:

This is a Tourist factory photo showing a radiator emblem and script (1908)   hcg

This Tourist radiator emblem is a brass Tourist nameplate, see painted example shown below. There are reproductions of this Tourist nameplate but original nameplates are very rare.

This is a Tourist radiator emblem (1908-1910)     dkc
Size: Unknown

If you have a better photo of the Tourist radiator emblem shown above, please send details in order to update this post.

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