August 12, 2020


Dile Motor Car Co. (c1913-1916)

Reading, Pennsylvania

This is a reproduction Dile radiator script   bmhv

The Dile was named after Fred K Dick and Irvin D Lenger by taking the first two letters of their last names. They established the Dile Motor Car Company in late 1913. 

The Dile was a small 11 hp four-cylinder, two-passenger sport roadster, sometimes advertised as a cyclecar. The first Dile may have been assembled in 1913 but production did not start until 1914, when the car was advertised for sale at $485. In June 1914, it was announced that the Dile Motor Car Company had "recently put out a roadster" and was planning to increase production to five cars a day.  

A 30 hp four-cylinder model appeared in 1915 and by early 1916, the Dile was offered as a two-passenger light roadster, a two-passenger 30 hp roadster, a two-passenger 30 hp touring car and a 1000-lb delivery car. The light roadster used wire wheels, the other models used wood spoke wheels.

However, all was not well and the Dile Motor Car Company declared bankruptcy in mid-1916 with problems arising from material shortages due to the First World War cited as reasons for the difficulties suffered by Dile. It is estimated that only 31 Dile passenger cars and an unknown number of delivery vehicles were built. 

It took until the fall of 1918 before the Dile assets were finally sold to Belmont Motors Corporation.


There is a surviving 1914 Dile Model A on display at the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles. This car has a brass "Dile" script attached to the radiator core, as shown above at the top of this post. However, this script is a modern reproduction specially made to decorate the vehicle.

Original period photos and catalog illustrations show that the Dile did not carry a radiator emblem or a radiator script, see examples shown below:

Dile Light Roadster showing the radiator (1915)   daec

Dile Model A Catalog    daec

Close up showing Dile Model A radiator   daec

However, the Dile name was displayed on the hubcaps, see wood wheel example shown below:

This is a Dile hubcap (c1913-1916)    bmhv

There is very little information readily available about the Dile and I am most grateful to Donn A. Eskey, the present owner of the Dile Motor Car Company, for his helpful advice and for providing original photos and other information about the Dile motor car.

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