Elwood Haynes had his start in the automobile business in 1893 when he purchased a Sintz marine engine, which he intended to install in a horse buggy. Lacking the necessary machinery to make the transmission and other mechanical parts he approached the Apperson Brothers machine shop and by July 4th 1894 drove his car down the streets of his hometown of Kokomo Indiana. Haynes and Apperson began building cars in 1898.
Haynes was fond of telling people that he built “the first car in America” a story he told for years. But the Duryea Brothers are credited with being the first to build a production vehicle in 1893. Haynes is credited with inventing stainless steel and the thermostat.
This 1917 model 37 Light Six roadster features a unique body, having two doors and what appear as very early bucket seats for the front passengers and a passageway to the back seat. Haynes moved the gearshift forward in 1916 to allow this unusual seating arrangement.
Powered by an in-line six cylinder engine of 288 cubic inches, this car had a top speed of 60 mph. The company produced cars from their Kokomo factory until 1924, when creditors petitioned the US federal court to declare Haynes bankrupt. Elwood Haynes died in April of 1925, and the hope of saving the company died with him.