44 50 Fore Door Battleship Roadster


Words By:
Dr. Fred Simeone

Why The American Sports Car?

This series intends to bring to light the interesting sports cars that American manufacturers proposed in their sales literature, in a failing attempt to interest American buyers. Nevertheless, these stillborn vehicles were of interesting design and their memory should be revived. Fortunately, our library has an extensive collection of sales literature which, besides illustrating the cars and their features, hawk a sporting motoring experience.

The Abbott-Detroit Motor Company was founded in 1909 with the intention of producing high-quality motorcars.

The 1912 output was sold from blueprints before the first car made its appearance. The radiator pointed and its body construction is substantial with rows of rivet heads showing it is essentially a car of power and endurance. Its engine developed from 45 to 50 hp. This was the first year the cars had a self-starter but otherwise the engine was of standard design with L-type cylinders cast in pairs and a 3 speed transmission.

They described it as “the only car type in the world. While this car may be considered radical it is a pleasing design and has received greater recognition and more favorable comment than has been accorded any car of any make in recent years.”

Abbot Detroit Roadster

The Battleship Roadster

The Battleship Roadster did not sell and was catalog for only one year.

44 50 Fore Door Battleship Roadster

The 8-80 Roadster

Not to give up, Abbott Detroit for 1915 made another distinctive sports car, the 8-80 Roadster. “This is the finest appearing to passenger roadster in America that has all the style finish and equipment of the most expensive roadster ever marketed. The body is finished in a fire red with the wire wheels in white enamel”. This time the car used an advanced Hirschell-Spillman V-8 cylinder motor that generated 80 hp, quite powerful for its time. The special roadster was cataloged for only one year and sales must’ve been very weak. The company went out of business in 1919 years of making high-quality cars.

The Abbott Detroit Eight Eighty Roadster Header

Hours and Info

6825 Norwitch Drive
Philadelphia, PA 19153
Tuesday – Friday 10AM through 6PM
Saturday – Sunday 10AM through 4PM
Closed Mondays and Major Holidays

About the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum

Located in Philadelphia, PA, the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum is one of the world’s greatest collections of racing sports cars. Through our theme, “The Spirit of Competition”, we celebrate the history and evolution of these magnificent machines.

Assembled over 50 years by Dr. Frederick Simeone, the Museum contains over 75 historically significant cars including Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, Mercedes, Jaguar, Bentley, Porsche, Aston Martin, Corvette, Ford, and more.

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