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 some 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.


The first Tourist cars displayed a small rectangular maker's nameplate, see example below. Beware, there are reproduction Tourist nameplates. Original Tourist nameplates are very rare.

This is a Tourist nameplate (c1904)     sam
Size: 90mm wide 40mm high

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

The following Tourist factory photo from 1908 shows the Tourist radiator script and the rectangular Tourist nameplate attached to the radiator tank top:

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

The following is an interesting painted brass Tourist emblem, which may have been carried by a commercial Tourist vehicle but I cannot confirm this. This Tourist emblem is very rare.

This is a Tourist emblem (dates unknown)     lktec
Size: Unknown   MM: Unknown


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