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Orient Cars

Orient Cars
Orient Cars - 1907 Orient Buckboard Runabout
Pictures of Orient Cars from car shows, car museums and classic car auctions across the U.S.

Orient Car Pictures

1906 Orient Buckboard 1906 Orient Buckboard
RM Auctions
Location: Amelia Island, FL
Auction Results Mar, 2009 $11,000

Orient Automobiles

Charles H. Metz founded his Waltham Manufacturing Company in 1893 in the well-known watchmaking city of Waltham, Massachusetts. He focused primarily on a popular line of "safety bicycles" and built the terrifying ten-passenger Orient now on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

The first car to bear the Orient name was a small electric roadster featured at the inaugural New York Auto Show in 1899. Production never began, however, and Metz turned his attention to gasoline-powered cars instead, becoming an agent for De Dion-Bouton quadricycles and tricycles. He also imported the French Aster engine, which he fitted to his own line of vehicles for 1900.

By 1902, Waltham Manufacturing began building its own engines and the Orient car entered production with roughly 50 examples sold that year alone. The Buckboard debuted in 1903 and continued in production until 1908, expanding into a variety of body styles that included three-passenger, delivery, surrey, and tonneau variants. Advertised as "The Cheapest Automobile in the World" the $375 Buckboard initially utilized the buckboard-type platform in place of a standard leaf spring suspension. The four horsepower engine could propel the little runabout at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, which was quite adequate for the unpaved dirt roads of its time.

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