Preston Motors Corporation
The Preston Motors Corporation was organized in 1919 to manufacture automobiles in Birmingham. R. A. Skinner was president and chief engineer. With $1,000,000 in capital, the company built its Preston Motors Plant No. 1 on Vanderbilt Road at 18th Avenue North (near the present Tallapoosa Street exit off I-20/59) where it built five-passenger touring cars.
Preston's Premocars were built on steel frames with water-cooled Falls engines, 3-speed manual transmissions, Timken axles, Borg and Peck clutches, Wagner starters and lights, Connecticut ignitions, Spicer universal joints, Stromberg carburetors, Muncie gearsets, Willard 6-volt batteries, and Stewart vacuum feed assemblies. Standard wheels were 32" diameter by 3 1/2" wide. Each vehicle was equipped with a Klaxon horn and a Stewart speedometer.
The carriage bodies were fabricated by hand in Birmingham, using kiln-dried wood with mortised and glued joints, braced with iron. The standard color was maroon with cream-color wheels, but custom colors were available as an option. Because it was built on the same 117" wheelbase chassis, the roadster had a roomy rear compartment which could enclose steamer trunk under the fold-down roof.
During his 1921 visit to Birmingham, President Warren Harding was chauffeured around the city in a white-painted 1921 Premocar Touring Car. The 1922 models featured an improved "Magic Six" valve-in-head motor.
Premocars were priced higher than comparable products from other manufacturers, limiting demand. It is estimated that only about 300 vehicles were ever produced by the company (none of which survive). The company fell into receivership and closed in 1924.
- Premocar 4-80 A Touring Car (4 cylinder, 5 passenger)
- Premocar 6-40 A Touring Car (6 cylinder, 5 passenger)
- Premocar 6-40 C Coupe
- Premocar 6-40 S Sedan
- Premocar 6-40 R Roadster (6 cylinder, 3 passenger)
- Premocar 6-40 X California Top (6 cylinder, 3 passenger)
- "Premocar Roadster" (December 1921) Motor Record
- Weeks, J. D. (2013) Premocar: Made in Birmingham. Raleigh, North Carolina: Lulu Press. ISBN 9781304496874
- Every Now and Then: The Premocar video feature on myfoxal.com