The Strange Story Of
EDDIE RICKENBACKER, W.C. DURANT,
&
THE SHERIDAN

Sheridan Owned by National Auto Museum (Bill Harrah Collection)

Sheridan Owned by Emil & Rose Winterhalder (Golden Era Automobile Association)
(Only Two Cars Known to Still Exist)
SHERIDAN MOTOR CAR COMPANY
Muncie, Indiana
1920-1921

Click For More Sheridan Photos
A Summary of My Research with Speculation & Conclusions
by Rick A. Jorgensen


Introduction

Since I was about 10 years old back in North Dakota, I always had a great interest in the past. I could sit for hours listening to the old folks tell me stories of their lives and what they saw and experienced.
Invariably, some of the stories would center around an old car. a Model “T” Ford, an Essex, a Pan or whatever. I became hooked on old autos, trucks, tractors and steam engines. Wherever I saw one I would have to see it close up. (And wish it were mine)
As I grew up, I acquired several vintage automobiles, 1929 Graham-Paige, 1924 Chrysler-Maxwell, 1927 Essex Super Six, 1928 Nash and many Model “T” Fords.
My interest was always in the unusual cars. In my later years, both in North Dakota and later in Washington, I drove Kaiser, Frazer, Hudson, Nash, Packard and finally AMC products.
I was always rooting for the underdog. However I always wanted the one car that I had as a youngster, a 1927 Essex Super Six Sedan DeLuxe. I located one and spent much money in making it presentable and roadworthy. My wife and I have had a lot of fun with that old car.
In the spring of 1998 I was working at Hagen’s Auto Parts of Puyallup, WA, a firm that specialized in antique and vintage automotive parts. I rebuilt many odd engines while there, some very rare makes. Knowing many of the customers, I suggested we start a club that encompassed all makes of cars and trucks 1915 to 1942. No hot rods or rest-o-rods. The Golden Era Automobile Association was the result. We now have members as far away as New York, Minnesota, Florida, California, and now Canada & Australia.
One night while searching the internet for old cars, I accidentally stumbled on an obscure website that featured the liquidation of a car collection. There were a few cars from the thirties, many from the fifties, some Model “A” Fords and...... a Sheridan? The text stated that it was one of only two known to exist. What is the Sheridan? I researched it, found out it was very uncommon, and since I did not have the funds at the time, I suggested that GEAA Club member Emil Winterhalder should buy it. That he did and I have gladly serviced it.

Summary of Newspaper Accounts

In late 1919 or early 1920, Mr. D.A. Burke of the Buick Division, came to Billy Durant, then head of General Motors, to suggest a new concept for a motor car. Up to that time, GM had always bought out other companies and basically let them run as before with limited guidance as long as the profits continued. This would be the first car that GM would design and introduce. Durant approved and the Interstate plant in Muncie was purchased for the project.
In May of 1920, GM announced the new Sheridan would be built at Muncie, Indiana with D.A. Burke as it’s President and General Manager. The car will have both four and eight cylinder in two different lines. The four would fit nicely between Chevrolet and Oakland and the eight would fit between Buick and Cadillac, thus filling in some gaps in coverage. They hoped to get the production up to 300 cars a day and production starting by August of 1920.

In September of 1920, elegant ads began appearing extolling the virtues and attributes of the incredible Sheridan Motor Car, It States...... The Sheridan—a car of smooth, velvety power — represents a combination of refinements that justify us in calling it the car complete. Knowing that the trade wants cars that are better built, better trimmed, more complete in the details of equipment, we have held to certain ideals. No temptations in the form of lower-priced materials have been permitted to enter against the achievement of quality. This policy of quality first applies to all parts which bring operation, upkeep, appearance and comfort as near as possible to perfection. In the Sheridan, you will find proper application of every steel analysis required; highest grade upholstering materials;, seat construction insuring both lounging comfort and durability; many distinctive conveniences in electrical equipment; latest developments in bearings and lubrication; greatly improved riding qualities because of scientific body and spring design. The entire equipment and mechanism-of the Sheridan insures extra years of satisfying service. A car of character is the Sheridan—developed out of experience covering all the years of the motor car industry—without excessive cost The model shown above is the four-cylinder, five-passenger open. Others in the line are the five passenger sedan, eight-cylinder open and sedan models for seven passengers, with roadsters and coupes of both four and eight-cyiinder types. The Sheridan is now in production

Eddie Rickenbacker, home from the war had gone in for barnstorming and auto racing. It was time to settle down. Norm Miller tells a bit more of the Rickenbacker story.
Although the Sheridan was only built for two years, 1920-1921, it played an important role in Automotive History. The Sheridan was produced in Muncie, Indiana by none other than General Motors. In 1920 Billy Durant was running G.M. At the same time, over in Detroit, Captain Edward V. Rickenbacker was back home from the war and thinking about building his own car. He had Barney Everett and Walter Flanders of E.M.F. fame and Harry Cunningham design a car to his specifications. He put Walter Flanders in charge as president and he took the job as sales manager. Capt. Eddie knew he needed experience in this line of work so he applied for the California agency for the Sheridan car and got it. Rickenbacker worked out a plan to sell Sheridan by using aviation. He was the first sales manager to cover his area by plane. He would fly into a California community, land in a cow pasture near town, and be met by the Sheridan dealer driving a new Sheridan. Of course he got big write up in the paper in big black letters saying Sheridan is coming. Then everyone would be asking, “Who is Sheridan?” He would then take out a full page ad announcing that Sheridan is here, with a picture of the car. In a year Rickenbacker built up an organization of 27 dealers and sold more than 700 Sheridan.


In December 1920, the Sheridan Motor Company of California was established with R.C. Durant, (Billy’s son), as President, C,M. Steves as Assistant Sales Manager and Captain Eddie Rickenbacker as Vice-President and General Manager. The California sales territory would prove to be the most aggressive in sales of the Sheridan.
About the same time as this announcement came word of Durant’s resignation from General Motors to be replaced by Pierre Du Pont. Durant’s interests were reported to have been worth $40,000,000. Billy was not about to go into retirement!
Meanwhile, back on California, one of the most aggressive auto dealers, Mr. George Goodrum was appointed to head up the Los Angeles area Sheridan Dealership. Los Angeles was a great place to sell any good automobile. The Commercial Car Company was the dealership’s name.
By December 12, 1920, the first of the Sheridan Fours were displayed at the Hotel Alexandria in Los Angeles and Eddie Rickenbacker was there to meet and greet. The interest was overwhelming and several purchase contracts were signed for the new Sheridan.
Later that month Rickenbacker went back to Muncie to see the Sheridan Factory on his way to the New York and Chicago Auto Shows. He states that the first of the new Sheridan Eights that the public has been clamoring for are on their way will arrive at George Goodrum’s dealership shortly.
At about the same time came word from Muncie that Durant’s resignation would not affect the direction of the Sheridan Motor Car Company in any way. D.A. Burke, Sheridan President stated that the increasing demand for the new Sheridan car has put the company somewhat behind in it’s orders. Over 2,000 orders have already been received!
At the start of the New Year, rumors were flying that the two former auto racers, Rickenbacker and R.C. “Clif” Durant would be re-entering the racing field with a Sheridan.
By the middle of January 1921, Durant announces the formation of Durant Motors with the intention of manufacturing quality cars bearing his own name. A four-cylinder car is proposed with a cost of less than $1,000 to be built at a plant somewhere in the west. R.C. Durant resigns as head of Chevrolet Motor Car Company of California to organize for the Durant on the Pacific Coast. He is now involved with both Sheridan and Durant.
At the end of January, Rickenbacker was at the Los Angeles Auto Show with two Sheridans, one Sheridan Four and one of the big Sheridan Eights. By May one output at the Muncie plant will be 100 cars per day and 11 or 12 eights.
Twelve carloads of Sheridans have already been delivered to California dealers by January 30, 1921 and George Goodrum offers to take every one of the Sheridan Eights. Rickenbacker tells him no. The Eights will be spread around the district to other dealers too.
In the meantime much speculation and interest is being shown for the new Durant Four which should hit the market by August 1, 1921. The first Durant Four is being built in Long Island City and when completed will be put into production, possibly in Flint.
Around March 1, 1921 R,C. Durant wires James Appleby, Los Angeles Durant Dealer and Rickenbacker to come back east to check out the new Durant Four. Rickenbacker could not get away as the Sheridan sales were picking up and he was needed to oversee the ever increasing sales of the Sheridan. R.C. stated the new Durant was a wonderful car. Construction of the west coast Durant plant will now begin.
An April article in the Oakland Tribune has Rickenbacker telling reporters that Sheridan sales are enormous and that production cannot keep up with the demand. He has several orders for more of the Sheridan Eights and he just can’t get them right now. Rickenbacker states that he will not be racing a Sheridan because the factory does not have the time to build a race car at this time. In Oakland, the P.K. Webster Company opens it’s new facilities as another Sheridan Dealership.
About the 24th of April, R.C. Durant wires C.M. Steves, Vice-President of Sales for Durant of California and Eddie Rickenbacker who is associated with R.C. in the Sheridan organization. R.C. wants them both to come back to New York to inspect the new Durant Four. Rickenbacker is to road test the car before it is put into production in the Long Island plant. After seeing the car for himself, Rickenbacker decides to buy stock in Durant Motors. On the way back to California, Rickenbacker then stops at Muncie to speed up production for several carloads of Sheridan Eights and the closed cars which are overdue.
In late May of 1921, several interesting things happened. Eddie Rickenbacker, R.C. Durant, and engineers of Durant Motors went to Muncie to look over the Sheridan plant and declared it suitable for purchase. At about the same date the deal was made for Durant to buy the Sheridan Factory from GM through D.A. Burke for five million dollars. It was then revealed that in January of 1921, Durant had already tried to buy Sheridan from GM but the offer was rejected at that time.
Rickenbacker said that there will soon be two Durant operations, Durant and Sheridan. He stated, “The future of the two concerns is already established.” The two companies will be under Durant ownership but will have separate management. The Durant will be built in Oakland and the Sheridan in Muncie and the Sheridan will then be constructed and sold under the direction of Captain Eddie Rickenbacker!
The Janesville Daily Gazette for May 26, 1921 states that the Sheridan Motor Car Company will be in the Durant group and that the Muncie facilities will be greatly enlarged for the manufacture of more Sheridans.
On the 31st of May both Durant and Sheridan announce plans for factories in Oakland, California and prices are reduced on the Sheridan. George Goodrum expresses surprise at the price drop but seems upbeat about progress. Meanwhile, Sheridan cars are setting road records and proving their reliability at various places in California. The final transfer of the Sheridan Factory from GM to Durant will take place on August 1.
On June 24th, 1921 and again on July 7th, Rickenbacker announces that he has been authorized to introduce the new Sheridan Six. When he was back in Muncie last, he saw the new Sheridan Six which will come into production by December 1. The Durant built Sheridan will then encompass the Four, Six and Eight cylinder models which will cover the entire automobile market.
On July 10th, it is printed that Earl C. Anthony Inc. of Los Angeles, the oldest and most prestigious automobile dealership in all of California will sell Durant Motor Cars.
A bombshell explodes on August 8th with the surprise announcement that Eddie Rickenbacker has closed all his affairs with the Sheridan Motor Car Company to head for Detroit where he will form the Rickenbacker Motor Co. with B.F. Everett and Walter E. Flanders of EMF and Studebaker fame.
The Oakland Tribune on August 8th does an article that states that there will be no changes in the Sheridan line. There have been rumors that Durant would discontinue the Sheridan Four but P.K. Webster states that Durant said otherwise. The Sheridan Four will not be discontinued.
George Goodrum is alarmed enough with orders waiting to head back to Muncie to see what is going on. Sheridan sales are still increasing but cars cannot be had. The Los Angeles Times for August 21st reported that Goodrum stayed in Muncie and saw to it that he got his quota for the month and the first shipment has just arrived. Sheridans were still being built in Muncie in August even after the Durant takeover.
However, in the first part of September, Goodrum must have seen the writing on the wall and he opened a Dort Dealership under the name of Mission Motors. There is no mention of the status of his Sheridan Dealership.
There are several articles now of the new Durant Six to be built in Muncie but no mention of the final production of the Sheridan. On the 25th of December a small article states that Mr. D.A.Burke who purchased the Sheridan plant along with W.C. Durant has sold the major part of his holdings to the Durant Motor Company of Indiana. He is supposed to get an important position in Durant of New York.
On October 6th of 1922 an ad put out by Studebaker relies on data provided by the Motor Registration News. In the listings of new cars sold in 1922 are 12 Sheridans! Now where were these hiding?
On May 5th of 1924 the Charleston Gazette announces that Mr. D.A. Burke has been installed as President of the Peerless Motor Car Company......

QUESTIONS RAISED

A. Did Durant intend to scuttle Sheridan when he purchased the plant in May of 1921? Somehow I seem to think not. And here’s why.
1. The promises of production, and then more new dealerships established during the summer.
2. Rickenbacker’s continued support of both Sheridan and Durant Motors would be unlikely had he not been assured of his and the Sheridan’s future.
3. The Announcement of the proposed building of a Sheridan Assembly Plant in Oakland along with the Durant Factory in Oakland.
4. Who, in their right mind would engineer a new Sheridan Six in the summer of 1921 when GM was walking away and Durant taking over? Sheridan could not even keep up the demand for the Sheridan Fours not to mention the backlog on Sheridan Eight orders. Approval would have almost certainly have to come down from Durant himself. Remember, the Sheridan Six was announced in June 1921.
5. Something happened on or about the first part of August that made Rickenbacker change his mind so fast. After all he was looking forward to being the new President and General Manager of Sheridan in Muncie as he so proudly announced in May.
6. George Goodrum, Los Angeles Sheridan Dealer goes back in late August of 1921 to secure his quota of Sheridans. He had to wait there as they were being built and did not leave until he got his cars. I wish I knew when the last Sheridan rolled off the line in Muncie and I’d like to know how many Sheridan Eights were built. I wonder what happened to the Sheridan Six and were any produced? We know that at least 700 Sheridans were sold in California and at least one Sheridan Eight and maybe more. But, how many Sheridans were actually built nationwide? Well, I know where two of them are.....

A Surprise E-Mail from D.A. Burke's Great Grand-Niece

Hello,
I noticed an article on your site by Rick Jorgenson regarding D.A. Burke and his involvement in the Sheridan Motor Company. I was so surprised and absolutely delighted to find an article with so much informative information. D. A. Burke was my great, great uncle and I have been searching for years for information about D.A. and Sheridan. I found volumes in your article!

My grandmother, Pauline Burke, told us a story before she died and we have never been able to put all the pieces together. According to her, her father, Casper (Cash) Burke and his brother, Dennis A. Burke were involved in the automobile industry for years. She mentioned their friendship with Eddie Rickenbacker and business dealing with Durant. Grandmother said D.A. and her father designed a car and sold the rights to Durant. She said when all was said and done, Durant swindled (her words) her dad and uncle. They lost everything they had.
Now, just where her dad, Casper, was in the picture, I don't know for sure. I do know they lived very ,very well in the same cities as Dennis (Dan) and after whatever happened they suddenly had to move to Alabama where Casper managed a country club that he visited before as a guest. Many well to do northerners visited this club.
Dennis stayed on in Chicago and I have heard of his being associated with Peerless Motors, but have no idea what happened to end that. He died in Sept. 1926 in Chicago. He left his friend, H.C. Maley a note stating "things will just not work out" and put a bullet in his temple. The death certificate states he had been brooding over financial affairs.
Now, Grandmother was a teenager when all of this happened so I don't think she knew all the details and that is why my story is so sketchy and I am sure, full of errors. I do know somehow her father, Casper had his money tied up in this deal too, but it may have been through D.A. As far as D.A., something did happen and he lost everything, including the woman he married sometime in the early 1920s, Louise was her name. She was over twenty years younger than D.A.

Dennis' life has fascinated me ever since the day my grandmother told me this story. I just wish I had asked so much more before she died.
Your article was wonderful to find and I would like to thank you, even if you had no idea there was someone out here searching for information on D. A. Burke and the Sheridan. The photos of the Sheridan Automobile were amazing.

Sincerely, Donna Christian

A Surprise E-Mail from Lea Gapsky Durant's Great Niece
Hello Rick;
Thanks for writing back, I do appreciate it. That was a great article you wrote!!!! Very well documented, and written. Thank you for posting it on the web. After I read it, I decided to start looking into the dates of when things transpired and that's when it got interesting for me.
I've been researching my great aunt Lea Gapsky Durant's life, she was Cliff Durant's 3rd wife, for over 8 years now. As I'm sure you know Cliff's 2nd wife was Adelaide Frost Durant, who later married Eddie Rickenbacker. What makes that interesting is that they were an "item" before the divorce which is why I think the Sheridan failed. The Sheridan, and Adelaide and Eddie's romance were all happening at the same time. As that would have been a great scandal at the time, it was covered up, but if you check newspaper articles of the time, it's pretty clear what was going on. I got a lot of the info from the Oakland Tribune.
From about 1920 when Eddie is staying with the Durant's at their home, at Cliff's airfield in Oakland, and as a starter at the Los Angeles (Bev. Hills Board Track) of which Cliff is co-owner and President., Eddie is there and with Adelaide. Add this to the fact that the Sheridan is mysteriously abandoned for no good reason other than what was going on behind the scenes, with Eddie and Adelaide, I feel is the answer to your question.
The date of their relationships' beginnings has been brought up before, but never answered. However, if you read the old papers and check the dates of when things were happeneing I feel it is pretty clear. There is no way the Durants would put Eddie at the head of one of their car companies when he was having an affair with Cliff's wife.
So Rick that's my take on your question. Hope that helps.


Best Wishes - Michele

 

An E-Mail from Richard Lichtfeld of The Peerless Automobile Club regarding D.A. Burke

Rick,
D. A. Burke, born in Imlay City, Ill. on a farm and worked on the family farm. He left the farm to become a clerk in a hardware store, from there he worked for the Champion Harvester Company as a road salesman and became the General Agent for the company in Terra Haute, Ind. He then went with the John Deere Plow Company and became sales manager. He left John Deere to become sales manager for the Buick branch in Cleveland and did such a good job that they transferred him to the Chicago Buick branch as sales manager, in 1919 he went with General Motors as sales manager.. [1919: Burke suggested to William Durant the building of a new car called the Sheridan in Muncie. Was general manager of Sheridan until August 1921 when Sheridan production ceased to make way for the Princeton (never produced) and the new Durant Six.] In October 1921, when Collins, who was president of Cadillac, took over control of Peerless brought Burke with him. Collins president and Burke vice president and general sales manager of Peerless. Dec. 1923 Collins reigns under a cloud and Burke is named general manager. April 24, 1924 Burke is elected president of Peerless. Feb. 11, 1925 Burke resigns from Peerless and Mr. VerLinden takes over as President. I have no information on what happened to Burke after this. There were several stock take overs of Peerless during the 20’s and changes of management.
[ ] Editor's Addition

Hope this is of some help. Richard H. Lichtfeld

An Email from Ray Bell regarding His Grandfather's Photographs

Rick,
I am going through my grandfathers negatives. He learned to fly at March Field about 1920. Eddie Rickenbacker was a frequent name that came up at family gatherings when the stories were being told. My entire family grew up in Southern California in the airplane business (Lockheed, skunk works, Pacific Aeromotive, Douglas, etc.) Not sure who this is but as I go through the negatives, mostly from March Field, few in the photos are wearing suits. It looks like the plane belonged to Sheridan Motors of California?? Ray Bell

Editors Note: This has to be Eddie Rickenbacker's Plane during the time he was involved with Sheridan Motor Co. of California


An Outline Of Sheridan’s History From Newspapers Of The Era

1. 20-05-13 (The Capitol Times)
GENERAL MOTORS PUTS OUT A NEW CAR, “SHERIDAN”
General Motors Announces a new car to be called “Sheridan” with Mr. D.A. Burke as president. Mr. Burke was formerly employed by Buick Motor Co. The Sheridan will be powered by both four and eight cylinder engines with a full line of body styles in both lines. The plant will be located in Muncie, Indiana in the former Interstate Automobile plant. Plans are to produce about 300 cars per day. Production was expected to begin in August 1920.

2. 20-08-20 (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette)
CLASSIFIED AD
An ad was placed for a Multigraph Operator. Contacting person was Mr. Robertson of The Sheridan Motor Car Co. in Muncie, Indiana.

3. 20-09-05 (Atlanta Constitution)
SHERIDAN CAR IS NEWEST UNIT OF GENERAL MOTORS
Announcement of the new Sheridan to be produced in Muncie on an 850 foot assembly line. Estimated the as production smooths out a car can be turned out every three minutes. Plans are to work up to a production of 150 cars per day.

4. 20-09-12 (Oakland Tribune)
FULL PAGE AD
Elegant full page ad for the new Sheridan, “The Car Complete.” Offering both four and eight cylinder motor cars. Footnote in ad states, “The Sheridan is now in production.”

5. 20-12-05-1 (Los Angeles Times)
SHERIDAN OFFICERS NAMED
The Sheridan Motor Company of California includes R.C. Durant (son of W,C. Durant) as president, C.M. Steves as assistant sales manager, and Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker as vice-president and general manager. Details of the car’s standard equipment in both four and eight cylinder models is mentioned.

6. 20-12-05-2 (Los Angeles Times)
DURANT OUT, DU PONTS IN
The announcement of W.C. Durant’s resignation from the presidency of General Motors. Pierre DuPont is elected president of General Motors. Durant’s interests in General Motors purchased for $40,000,000. (Forty Million Dollars). Also a brief history of Durant’s role in the creation and control of General Motors.

7. 20-12-12 (Los Angeles Times)
GOODRUM GETS CHOICE PRIZE
Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker has appointed George Goodrum of the Commercial Motor Car Company to be the Los Angeles area Sheridan dealer. The first shipment of the “complete line” of Sheridan cars is on display at the Commercial Car headquarters. Both the four and eight cylinder cars are mentioned and all the standard equipment is listed.

8. 20-12-16 (Los Angeles Times)
FLOCK TO SEE SHERIDAN CAR
Sheridan on display at the Hotel Alexandria lobby and draws a huge crowd all of Sunday. Five or six signed purchase contracts were completed. In addition to those on display at the Alexandria, the roadster was also on display in the showrooms of the Commercial Car Company.

9. 20-12-26-1 (Los Angeles Times)
RICK BLOWS EAST TO SEE FACTORY
Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker embarks on a trip to the Sheridan Factory in Muncie, Indiana and will also take in the New York and Chicago auto shows. Rickenbacker announces that the first of the eight cylinder Sheridans were en route to George Goodrum of the Commercial Motor Company.
10. 20-12-26-2 (Oakland Tribune - two articles)
COMPANY NOT TO CHANGE PLANS
The election of Pierre DuPont to replace Billy Durant will not affect the direction and plans of the Sheridan Motor Car Co. D.A. Burke remarks on growing demand for the new car which has put the factory somewhat behind in production. The factory has received orders for more than 2000 cars already. The eight cylinder car is due out this month. (December 1920)
DURANT ASKS EXECUTIVES TO REMAIN LOYAL
Durant asks all GM employees to remain loyal to GM and carry on his legacy

11. 21-01-02 (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette)
RAILBIRDS HAVE NEW ENTRY FOR BIG RACE
Racing legends Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, vice president and general manager of Sheridan Motor Car Co. of California and Cliff Durant, (son of Billy Durant) the president of Sheridan Motor Car Co. of California are rumored to be contemplating racing a Sheridan Motor Car.

12. 21-01-14 (Los Angeles Times)
DURANT HEADS NEW MOTOR CONCERN
Billy Durant undertakes the organization of a new company to be called Durant Motors Incorporated. Durant Motors has a capitol of $5,000,000 consisting of 1,000,000 shares of stock at no par value. Durant intends to build a four-cylinder car for less than $1000. Durant intends to establish a plant somewhere in the west.

13. 21-01-16 (Los Angeles Times)
DURANT WILL PUT OUT CAR
The new Durant Four will compete with Ford and Chevrolet. Location of factories to be made known soon. R.C. Durant, son of Billy Durant will resign as head of Chevrolet Motor Company of California and will start an organization for the new Durant car on the Pacific Coast.

14. 21-01-30-1 (Oakland Tribune)
NEW AGENT TO MAKE DEBUT AT BIG SHOW
Eddie Rickenbacker is being kept busy tending to the affairs of the Sheridan Motor Car Co. of California. Rickenbacker will postpone his trip east to attend the Auto Show [in Oakland?] Two Sheridans will be on display, an eight cylinder and a four cylinder. Rickenbacker has been busy signing up dealers and allotting territory for the Sheridan. Production of the Sheridan cannot keep up with the demand. Rickenbacker says by May 1 the daily output of the Sheridan plant in Muncie will 100 fours and 11 or 12 eights. The Sheridan four is claimed to be the first car ever built by General Motors to it’s own design. All the other GM cars were taken over using someone else’s designs. The Sheridan eight is second genuine GM product.

15. 21-01-30-2 (Oakland Tribune)
DEALER WANTS BIG ALLOTMENT - 1921 OUTPUT ALREADY SPOKEN FOR
The Sheridan Eight has arrived for the Auto Show. Twelve carloads of Sheridan [Fours] have already been delivered to California dealers. Sheridan dealer, George Goodrum has offered to take the entire allotment of Sheridan Eights for the 1921 season. Rickenbacker, however, states that he will spread the Eights around to all the dealers.

16. 21-02-13 (Los Angeles Times)
MUCH INTEREST IN NEW DURANT MOTOR
Billy Durant says that Durant Motors is to be in active operation by August 1, 1921 to produce a car for less than $1000.

17. 21-02-20 (Oakland Tribune) (Two Articles)
CHIEF GLOOM IS BURIED BY AUTO TRADE - Facts And Figures (Third Paragraph)
At a meeting of Automobile Association Dealers, Eddie Rickenbacker told how a rival ridiculed the Sheridan and said the company was going out of business. The prospect was so disgusted that he bought a Sheridan in spite.
AUTO SHOW KEEPS RICKENBACKER HOME
Rickenbacker was to referee a race on the Los Angeles Speedway on February 22, but he was too busy at the Auto Show and the registration of the new General Motors masterpiece, the Sheridan, show that he is getting results.

18. 21-02-27 (Los Angeles Times)
INFORMATION ON DURANT’S NEW CAR
A model of the Durant Four is being built at Long Island City and will be completed soon. Production to begin in August, possibly in Flint, Michigan. Agents will be selected based on past sales records in other lines. No agents who have sold other cars will be considered.

19. 21-03-27-1 (Los Angeles Times)
C. DUNHAM JOINS DURANT INTERESTS
Charles Dunham resigns from Chevrolet and joins with Durant. Dunham is handling the Scripps-Booth interest in Oregon & Washington. He will be handling the Scripps-Booth, Sheridan & Durant automobiles for Billy Durant. Charles Herrall of the Portland Chevrolet branch has also joined the Durant group and he is also manager of the Scripps-Booth branch in Portland.

20. 21-03-27-2 (Los Angeles Times)
NEW DURANT MOTOR GETS FIRST TRYOUT
R.C. Durant (Billy’s son) wires James Appleby, Scripps-Booth manager for Los Angeles area that the new Durant had been tried out. R.C. drove the car and Capn. Eddie Rickenbacker, head of Sheridan Motor Car Co. of California was to have accompanied R.C. Durant but the Sheridan business is developing so fast that he could not leave. R.C. Durant wired back, “The new car is a wonder. Will start construction new Coast plant as soon as I return.”

21. 21-04-10-1 (Oakland Tribune)
ALL DEALERS REPORT GOOD BUSINESS (About halfway down the first column)
Capn. Eddie Rickenbacker states Sheridan sales are enormous and that there is a decided shortage of automobiles right now. Los Angeles has order for several Sheridan Eights and he states he is unable to get them.

22. 21-04-10-2 (Oakland Tribune)
PHOTOGRAPH AND CAPTION
Shows photograph of the P.K. Webster Co., Sheridan dealer on Webster Street in Oakland. It houses Sheridan Fours & Sheridan Eights. The dealership is recognized as among the finest in the country.

23. 21-04-17 (Los Angeles Times)
DENIES RUMORS OF A COMEBACK
Capn. Eddie Rickenbacker says he will not race again. Rumors are untrue. He’s too busy selling Sheridan Cars. R.C. Durant is heavily involved with W.C. Durant and the new Durant company. Rickenbacker states that the Sheridan company is having a hard enough time filling orders and does not have the time to develop a Sheridan racer.

24. 21-04-24 (Oakland Tribune) (Two Articles))
STEVES GOES EAST TO TRY NEW DURANT
R.C. Durant sends a wire to C.M. Steves, vice president of sales for the Durant Motor Co. of California and Capn. Eddie Rickenbacker who is associated with R.C. Durant in the Sheridan organization, to come to New York to inspect the new Durant. Tuesday is the day of final decision on the location of the West Coast Durant plant. Rickenbacker will assist in the final road test of the new Durant before it is put into production at the Long Island plant. On the way back, Rickenbacker will visit the Sheridan factory in Muncie and endeavor to speed up shipments of several carloads of the new Sheridan Eights and the enclosed models which are now overdue.
RICKENBACKER BUYS STOCK IN DURANT Co.
Rickenbacker Buys Stock in Durant Co. of California. Rickenbacker will not relinquish any of his interests in Sheridan.

25. 21-05-25-1 (Oakland Tribune)
BIG INDUSTRIES BEING PLANNED BY OAKLAND MEN
Capn. Eddie Rickenbacker states that the proposed Durant factory will make Oakland the automobile center of the Pacific Coast. It is further stated that in January 1921, Durant attempted to buy the Sheridan that he had designed and established but the negotiations failed. In the latter part of March 1921 the vice-president of Durant Motors with a group of financiers secured an option on the car. R.C. Durant, Rickenbacker and engineers of Durant Auto Company toured the Sheridan Factory and declared it suitable for purchase. Rickenbacker stated, “We are going to make Oakland the main distributing center for both the Durant and Sheridan motors on the Pacific Coast. The decision of the two companies to locate in Oakland indicates the confidence the two companies have in the future of Oakland - - the future of the two concerns is already established.” He further stated that within two or three years the Sheridan company will be turning out 3000 to 4000 cars per year. The two companies will be under the Durant ownership but Durant and Sheridan will be under separate managements. The Durant will be built in Oakland and the Sheridan which is built in Muncie will then be constructed and sold under the direction of Captain Eddie Rickenbacker.

26. 21-05-25-2 (Indianapolis Star)
SYNDICATE TO PURCHASE MUNCIE CAR PLANT
The Sheridan Motor Car Co. has been sold to a syndicate of automobile financiers headed by William C. Durant and D.A. Burke President & General Manager of the Sheridan Motor Car Co. It is understood that the deal involved $5,000,000. Three other Muncie manufacturers were to be included and whose output will be used in the new Sheridan car.

27. 21-05-25-3 (Trenton Evening Times)
SHERIDAN COMPANY SOLD
Sheridan Motor Car Company sold to W,C. Durant and D.A. Burke, president of the Sheridan Company and others. Price reported involves $5,000,000.

28. 21-05-25-4 (Fort Wayne News and Sentinel)
FIVE MILLION DOLLAR DEAL AT MUNCIE
(Basically the same as above)

29. 21-05-26-1 (New York Times)
SHERIDAN PLANT BOUGHT BY DURANT (Basically the same as above with the additional information as follows)
Thomas W. Warner of the Warner Corporation is pooling most of his manufacturing interests with Durant in the formation of the new syndicate. There will be no change in the presidency of Sheridan with Dennis A. Burke who is also the general manager. The three auto part manufacturers will furnish parts for the Sheridan. The forthcoming Lansing Durant plant will have a capacity of 40.000 cars annually. E, VerLinden will be President and General Manager of the new Michigan plant. Durant recently acquired the Collins Motor Car Company of Detroit. Durant stock is up 24-1/2 at about $12 per share.

30. 21-05-26-2 (Janesville Daily Gazette)
SHERIDAN AUTO PLANT TO BE IN DURANT GROUP
First of new group - Sheridan plant will be greatly enlarged with greater facilities for the manufacture of Sheridan cars. Arrangements are already underway. The Sheridan production and sales are on the increase.

31. 21-05-29 (San Antonio Express)
D.A. BURKE ENTERS IMPORTANT DEAL WITH W.C. DURANT
D.A. Burke has purchased Sheridan Motor Car from General Motors. Associated with the transaction is W.C. Durant. Sheridan production to increase.

32. 21-05-31 (Oakland Tribune)
Under PROGRESS OF EASTBAY Etc.
Construction of a great factory for the Durant Motor Car Company. - Sheridan Motor Car Co. announces plans for an assembling plant in Oakland. Durant Motors Corporation, office 1102 First Savings Bank Building, Oakland.

33. 21-06-01 (The Constitution - Atlanta Georgia) An Ad -
THE SHERIDAN Reduced Prices in “The Car Complete”
"Announcement now made of the new and reduced prices on the Sheridan clearly shows that Mr. Durant and his associates intend to put this Car DeLuxe within reach of all those desiring a High Class Car.” (Georgia Motor Company)

34. 21-06-05 (Los Angeles Times)
REDUCTION IS SURPRISE
Photograph of George Goodrum with a Sheridan Four that just completed an Automobile Dealer’s Reliability run to Big Bear Lake. The Sheridan received a perfect score. New prices to take effect on June 1 with reductions in cost of from $100 to $200 depending upon the model. George Goodrum, Los Angeles dealer for the Sheridan expresses surprise at reduced pricing on the Sheridan, The article implies that many other auto manufacturers have already lowered prices. The article states that this policy had been mapped out some time ago by the Sheridan management.

35. 21-06-12-1 (Los Angeles Times)
OAKLAND TO RENO IN RECORD TIME - Sheridan “Four” Steps Over The Route Without Lingering
Oakland to Reno in ten hours and fifty minutes. Remarkable time was made over the difficult Placerville Road with a stock Sheridan Four Touring Car driven by G.A. Hebart, sales manager of the P.K. Webster Company, Sheridan dealers in Oakland. The timing was done by the Postal Telegraph Company of both cities. Riders included Floyd Lonkey of Reno, Al Margrath of Oakland and Phil Sheridan, a San Francisco newspaper man. Hebart told Eddie Rickenbacker that he could make the run in less than 12 hours leaving Rickenbacker skeptical. The run was made as soon as the road opened for the season.

36. 21-06-12-2 (Los Angeles Times)
SHERIDAN TRANSFER IS DUE IN AUGUST
Actual transfer of the Sheridan plant in Muncie will take place August 1 according to D.A. Burke, president of the Sheridan Company. He will continue as president of Sheridan after the takeover. GM will continue production up until that date.

37. 21-06-24 (Oakland Tribune)
NEW MODELS WILL BE SENT WEST DECEMBER 1
Eddie Rickenbacker, head of Sheridan Motor Car Company of California recently announced that the first of the new Sheridan Six Cylinder models made with the Durant organization will be delivered on the coast about December 1.

38. 21-06-25 (Janesville Daily Gazette) An Ad
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CAR IN EXISTENCE - THE SHERIDAN - NOW IN JANESVILLE
Appears to indicate the formation of a new Sheridan Dealership.

39. 21-07-03 (Oakland Tribune)
NEW SIX IS PLANNED BY NEW CONCERN
Official announcement that the Sheridan line will now include a six cylinder within a few months. Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker informs that he has been authorized to announce the Sheridan Six by the officials of the Sheridan Motor Car Factory. Rickenbacker saw the new six cylinder Sheridan when back at the factory in Muncie recently. With the addition of the Six with the four cylinder model and the eight cylinder which rivals the highest priced models on the market, the Durant interests will offer in the Sheridan the most complete line of quality cars manufactured by any one company in the country.

40. 21-07-08 (Oakland Tribune) (Two Articles)
SALES MANAGER IS VISITOR IN SOUTH C.M. Steves, sales manager of the Durant Motor Company of California is covering Southern California in the interests of the Durant line which will make it;s debut about August 1.
RICKENBACKER LEAVES TO REFEREE RACES Eddie Rickenbacker left Oakland for Tacoma where he is to referee at the Tacoma Speedway. While in the Northwest he will spend some time in the interests of the Sheridan Motor Car Company which he controls on the Pacific Coast.

41. 21-07-10 (Los Angeles Times)
TO HANDLE DURANT HERE - Earl C. Anthony, Inc. Awarded Important Territory Throughout State
R.C. Durant announces distributors at four locations for the new Durant. “The Car That Durant Finally Puts His Name Upon.” R.C. Durant heads the Durant Motor Car Company of California

42. 21-08-07-1 (Oakland Tribune)
NOTED ACE WILL SPEED HIS NEW CAR
Captain Eddie Rickenbacker is closing his affairs with the Sheridan Motor Car Company prior to returning east where he will arrive in Detroit to form The Rickenbacker Motor Co. Work has already begun on the production of the new Rickenbacker with the association of B.F. Everett and Walter E. Flanders. Rickenbacker is disposing of his stock in the Sheridan Motor Company of California to R.C. Durant and C.M. Steves.

43. 21-08-07 (Oakland Tribune) (Two Articles)
VISITORS CHARMED BY HILLS DRIVE A Sheridan Sedan was used in this long drive.
COAST CONCERN TO ADD NEW MODELS - RUMORS OF CHANGES ARE DENIED The Sheridan Four which has made such a record in the past few month will, in the future be built under the Control of W.C. Durant. P.K. Webster, Sheridan dealer states that Durant plans to build fours, sixes and eights according to the automotive trade journals. “There have been rumors that Durant would discontinue the building of the four cylinder Sheridan but these have been set to rest by Durant’s own statements.” “The Sheridan was first announced at the Oakland show last February and since that time sales have been increasing in leaps and bounds. -- The Sheridan Four will not be discontinued.”

44. 21-08-07-3 (Oakland Tribune) An Ad
THE SHERIDAN
“W,C, Durant, the master motor builder has taken control of the Sheridan Motors Company. He assures us that he will continue to build the famous Sheridan four, which has made such a remarkable record for sales all over the country.” Etc.

45. 21-08-21 (Los Angeles Times)
FACTORY VISIT BRINGS RESULTS - Sheridan Dealer Goes East And Returns With The Goods
George Goodrum, Los Angeles Sheridan Dealer received the first section of his full monthly allotment of cars. George Goodrum spent some time at the Sheridan factory at Muncie to devise a plan to get more cars for his territory. The article reports that the Sheridan is increasing in popularity and Mr. Goodrum needed more Sheridans to fill his orders. Mr. Goodrum says he can now make immediate delivery on all models of the Sheridan for the first time in more than a month.

46. 21-08-26 (Oakland Tribune) An Ad
THE SHERIDAN - The Car Complete - STAMINA
This ad by the P.K. Webster Company of Oakland extols the virtues of the Sheridan’s power and quality.

47. 21-08-27-1 (Capitol Times)
RICKENBACKER, FAMOUS ACE, BANDIT VICTIM DETROIT
A lone bandit held up a paymaster for the Rickenbacker Motor Company on the company’s office on Saturday and escaped with $6,500. Rickenbacker was in an adjoining office and saw the bandit escape.

48. 21-09-04 (Los Angeles Times
ANNOUNCE NEW DEALERS
George Goodrum opens a Dort dealership called Mission Motors with himself as president. A Mr. Petrie will be the vice-president of Mission Motors and he comes from the Dort Motor Company of Flint, Michigan where he was employed as assistant general sales manager. Mr. W.G. Chandler who has been associated with Mr. Goodrum for some time will be secretary and treasurer of the new Dort dealership. [Mr. Dort is a good friend of W.C. Durant]

49. 21-10-05 (Oakland Tribune)
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE MOTORING WORLD
W.C. Durant has secured exclusive rights to the Ansted Six Cylinder engine to be used in the Durant Six. The engine was designed for The Lexington Dispatch. The new six cylinder car will be made at the Muncie plant and should sell for less than $2000. The factory is ready for manufacture and the new six should be on the market by November.

50. 21-10-16 (Los Angeles Times)
DURANT SIXES ON THE MARKET SOON
(Basically the same as the previous article)

51. 21-12-04 (The News-Sentinal - Fort Wayne Indiana)
MUNCIE PLANT MADE READY FOR DURANT MANUFACTURE
First Experimental Car Driven To Hoosier City This Week On Test Run. Willits Heads Company. The first six-cylinder car to be turned out by Durant engineers and which will serve as a model for manufacturing operations at Muncie, Indiana left the experimental department of the New York plant this week to be driven to Muncie. W.R. Willitt is president of Durant Motor Company of Indiana was at the wheel. Durant Motor Company of Indiana will build all of the six cylinder cars in the Durant line and Mr. Willit’s first task is to equip the former Sheridan Motor Car Company to take care of this business.

52. 21-12-25 (Oakland Tribune)
BURKE IS SLATED FOR HIGH PLACE IN CAR COMPANY
D. A. Burke, who purchased the Sheridan Motor Car company from the General Motors corporation, with W. C. Durant and associates a few months ago, has sold the major portion of his holdings to the Durant Motor Company of Indiana. He will continue, however, to be a stockholder in the Indiana company, and also in Durant Motors, Inc. There will be no severance of relations with Durant, and it is understood that he soon will accept a high position in the parent Durant organization in New York.

53. 22-01-08 (Los Angeles Times)
HUNDRED CARLOADS EN ROUTE - Big Shipment Of Durants Is Evidence Of California’s Prosperity
Less than a year ago the Durant Motor Company was formed. One hundred carloads of Durants are coming to California. Etc.

54. 22-04-16 (Los Angeles Times)
NEW DURANT ON DISPLAY - Six To Take It’s Place At Side Of Four
Durant has built more six-cylinder cars than anyone else. Working unhampered by old designs of equipment, W.C. Durant has produced a car that embodies his exact idea of what a six of medium price should be. The Durant Six goes on exhibition at the Earl C. Anthony showrooms tomorrow morning and is expected to kick up as much of a riot as the Durant Four did last winter.

55. 22-10-06 (Oxnard Daily Courier) An Ad
STUDEBAKER LEADS - Tips From Motor Registration News Total Sales of Passenger Cars in State of California
For the First Seven Months of 1922 - Sheridan - 12 units sold.

56. 24-05-11 (The Charleston Gazette)
PRACTICAL WORKER HEAD OF PEERLESS -
Recent Election of D. A. Burke As President, and General Manager of Motor Manufacturing Marks Rise. The recent election of D. A. Burke as president and general manager of the Peerless Motor Car company places at the heart of that organization a practical automobile man, who has an intimate knowledge of every phase of the business. While he has for a long time been engaged in the successful merchandising of automobiles, Mr. Burke has also been intensely Interested in Motor car engineering and manufacturing.

More Sheridan Photos