Confederate Motors

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Confederate Motors, Inc. was a boutique motorcycle design and manufacturing company that was founded in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on April 2, 1991 by former trial lawyer Matt Chambers and relocated from New Orleans to Birmingham following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The company struggled early on, filing for bankruptcy in 2002. On the weekend that Katrina hit New Orleans, Chambers was in Bahrain accepting a $1 million cash investment from that nation's crown prince. The storm destroyed Confederate's office and factory. Subsequently the company was recruited to Birmingham on the strength of the state's emerging automotive industry and the availability of the Barber Motorsports Park's race course and motorcycle collection. George Barber was active in discussions with Chambers. At the time the relocation was announced, Confederate expected to invest $10 million into a new plant which would employ as many as 100. They opened their first office and workshop at 2222 5th Avenue South.

The company's design department was headed by Ed Jacobs. Other designers have included Brian Case, Jordan Cornille, Henry Rhodes, J. T. Nesbitt and Myles Peters.

In early 2009 the company acquired the publicly-traded French Peak Resources Inc. in a reverse-merger. That company, which was formed to exploit copper resources in British Columbia, turned to focus solely on the development of Confederate's motorcycle business. Among the possibilities discussed was the introduction of an "entry level" model.

In May of that year Confederate filed a lawsuit against Jalopnik.com and Gawker Media claiming that an article published on Jalopnik in April was defamatory. During 2010 the company was offered cash incentives to return to New Orleans, but decided to remain in Birmingham.

In 2013 Confederate moved to a larger facility at 3029 2nd Avenue South in Lakeview. In late 2017 the company announced that it was rebranding as the Curtiss Motorcycle Co. and announced that its future models would be based on electric motors built by Zero Motorcycles.

The company sold its "Confederate " brands and legacy designs to Florida attorney Ernest Lee. He opened an office at 2620 6th Avenue South and rehired several former Confederate employees. He renamed his company Combat Motors" in June 2020.

Motorcycles

Confederate C3 X132 Hellcat
  • X132 Hellcat (145 horsepower square-twin) produced in 2011 and 2012
  • X132 Hellcat Combat Twin (160 horsepower combat twin), produced in 2012
  • X132 Hellcat Speedster (edition of 65), produced in 2015
  • F131 Hellcat (140-150 horsepower v-twin)
  • G1 model: 500 produced through 2001
  • G2 model: 150 produced between 2003 and 2007 at the rate of one per week.
  • G2 "Combat" model: limited edition of 150
  • B120 Wraith (125 horsepower radial twin), 250 produced at the rate of two per week beginning in 2007.
  • C120 Renaissance Fighter (129 c.i. radial twin), limited edition of 45 sold through Neiman-Marcus 2008 Christmas Book
  • P120 Fighter Combat (120 c.i. radial twin), limited edition of 120
  • "Renovatio" (135 horspower v-twin), produced in 2010
  • R131 Fighter (special order)
  • R135 Wraith Combat (limited edition of 7)
  • P51 Combat Fighter (132 c.i., 145 horsepower v-twin, edition of 31) produced in 2016
  • FA-13 Combat Bomber produced in 2017
  • Curtiss P-40 Warhawk produced in 2018
    • P-40 Warhawk Pure Final Edition

References

  • "Mean Machines" (July 13, 2006) Black & White "Urban Living 2006" special advertising section
  • Goodman, Sherri C. (April 1, 2007) "Katrina winds blow in a Hellcat." The Birmingham News
  • Goodman, Sherri C. (August 12, 2007) "Uneasy rider keeps rolling." The Birmingham News
  • Hubbard, Russell (February 20, 2009) "Birmingham, Alabama-based Confederate Motorcycles may offer cheaper model." The Birmingham News
  • "Motorcycle manufacturer sues website and writer." (May 18, 2009) Clutch & Chrome
  • Tomberlin, Michael (June 19, 2011) "Confederate Motorcycles to stay in Birmingham." The Birmingham News
  • "Confederate Motors rebranding in 2018." (November 20, 2017) Associated Press
  • Cromwell, Sydney (n.d.) "Confederate Motorcycles rebrands, changes focus to electric motorcycles." Iron City Ink