FW: Re: Australia's first horse tram
  Noel Reed

I was told by a friend formerly with the South Australian Railways that the
early SAR Motor Inspection Car (MIC) hauling the double-deck horse trams was
a "DORT".

Josiah Dort was an early car maker in Michigan USA and was at one time
associated with Chevrolet before the latter was acquired by General Motors.

Dort cars used Lycoming engines, a make which was also associated with




Dort demonstrates its durability in the 1920s era advertising image.

The Dort was an automobile built by the Dort Motor Car Company of
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flint,_Michigan Flint, Michigan from
1915-1924. Dort used http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycoming_engine
Lycoming built engines to power their vehicles. Dort Motor Car traced its
history back to its founding as the Flint Road Cart Company in 1884 by
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Crapo_Durant William Crapo Durant and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josiah_Dallas_Dort Josiah Dallas Dort, who
sold wagons, built by local suppliers for $8 apiece. In 1900, the company,
which by now was making 50,000 wagons, carts, and carriages annually,
changed its name to
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durant-Dort_Carriage_Company Durant-Dort
Carriage Company. Dort was a Director and Vice President of
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet Chevrolet in 1912; in 1913 Dort
stepped down and by 1915 he and Durant cut their business ties. By 1917,
Dort was offering four models: a closed
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedan_(automobile) sedan at $1,065, a
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convertible convertible sedan at $815, a
five-place open http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touring_car tourer at $695,
and a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleur-de-lis Fleur-de-Lys
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roadster roadster at $695.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dort_(automobile)#cite_note-1#cite_note-1 [1]
By contrast, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Model_T Ford Model Ts were
selling for $440 in 1915.
e_note-Georgano1985-2> [2]

Dort continued manufacturing cars until 1924, when the mounting price of
development and distribution of the vehicles made it impossible to compete
in the automotive markets of the 1920s. Josiah Dallas Dort's death in 1923
sealed the fate of Dort Motors.


It is likely that the American Dort automobiles were obtained for the SAR
during the 1922 - 1929 period when W A Webb was Chief Commissioner. Only a
few were imported, most being fitted by the SAR with flanged wheels for use
as railway motor inspection cars.

The picture showing the Dort MIC hauling two double-deck horse trams is on
level track. It would be interesting to consider its haulage and braking
capability to and from the Victor Harbour line via Mount Lofty. I believe
however that these transfer journeys were made using the Brill - Service
Motors Model 55 railcars.

Noel Reed.


The South Australian Railways had quite a few horse worked passenger
services and the Victor Harbour line is just the last remnant.
Here's a pic of a couple of the vehicles being transferred by non-equine
horse power.


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