2020 St. Louis Auto Show Exhibit

Information for the Exhibit by the Horseless Carriage Club of Mo., Inc.

Photos by Dr. Gerald Perschbacher, all rights reserved



1903 DYKE Gasoline Runabout

Owner: Guy Randall

Price New:  $630

Engine: One-cylinder, 129.9 cubic inch displacement, 5 ¼ by 6 inch bore-and-stroke

Wheelbase: 80 inches with a 56-inch track

Weight: 1,200 pounds

Note: This car was sold through A.L. Dyke Automobile Supply Co., 1402 Pine, St. Louis, Mo.  The motor was made by the St. Louis Motor Carriage Co. (George P. Dorris).  These cars were sold as kits for assembly.  Formerly from the Harrah’s collection, this car is one of only 3 known survivors and is the best restored.


1922 MERCER Series 5 Runabout

Owners:  Al & Sharon Mercer

Price New: $3,950

Engine: 298.2 cubic inch, 4-cylinder, 70 hp.

Wheelbase:  132 inches

Weight:  3,860 pounds

Note: The engine has a roller cam and lifters, plus is equipped with factory installed exhaust cut-out.  The car has a 4-speed transmission and 2-wheel brakes.  Mercer cars were manufactured in Trenton, New Jersey, from 1910 to 1926. This Runabout was one of its sportiest offerings.


1931 MARMON SIXTEEN Convertible Sedan

            Custom Body by LeBaron

Owner: Charles P. Gallagher

Price New: More than $6,000

Engine: 16 cylinders, 490 cubic inches, with hardened steel cylinders virtually wear-proof

Wheelbase: 145 inches

Weight: 5,300 pounds

Note: Marmons were made from 1902 to 1933 in Indianapolis.  The aluminum-bodied Sixteen could out-accelerate a Duesenberg Model J and was far less costly to operate.  Due to its power, this very car was used for a short time by a deputy sheriff in a small town.  In 1931 there were 3,812 Marmons made in 46 models and body styles.  Very rare Sixteens were made on order.



Owner: Charles P. Gallagher

Price new: $2,150

Engine: 306 cubic inch V-12 delivering 130 hp.

Wheelbase: 125 inches

Note: This is one of 200 Continental Coupes built in 1942 before car production ceased in the switch to wartime armament.  A golden finish enhances interior appointments.  In 1942, the president of Lincoln was Edsel Ford, son of Henry.  Continentals were offered only in two body styles: coupe and convertible.


1963 AVANTI COUPE by Studebaker

Owners:  The Martin Luepker Family

Price New: $4,500+

Engine Options: R-1 V-8, 289 cubic inch displacement, or R-2 Supercharged

Wheelbase: 109 inches

Weight: 3,148 pounds

Note: The Avanti was the sportiest car made in South Bend, Indiana.  Body was of fiberglass, there was no grille but an innovative under-bumper air intake, and production reached 3,834 cars.  A later version was named Avanti II from 1965-1975, then had a spotty career in later production under different ownership until 2006.



Owner:  Jim Gormley

Price New: $2,750

Engine Options: 1200cc, 1300cc, or 1600cc Fiat Four, top speed 75-93 mph

Weight: 1,808 pounds

Wheelbase: 2.4 meters

Note: The Volkswagen KarmannGhia was made from 1955-1974 as a combined design of the Type 1 Beetle with Italian styling by Carrozzeria Ghia and hand-built bodywork by Karmann of Germany.  More than 445,000 were made in Germany (plus 41,600 in Brazil,1962-1975).  The concept was influenced by Virgil Exner, designer of Chrysler’s Forward Look that also impacted General Motors.



Owner: Ken Crowder

Price New: $6,889.80

Engine: 400 cubic inch V-8 with 4-barrel carb. (175 hp)

Wheelbase: 121.5 inches

Weight: 4,342 pounds

Note: This was the last full-size, luxurious, and powerful Chevrolet convertible (8,349 made).  It shows Chevy’s final use of round headlights and the first use of the catalytic converter.  A frame-off restoration was done in 2017.  It is the winner of many trophies and awards.



Owner: Howard Hesketh

Price New: $9,985

Engine: Ford 351 Windsor (175 hp@3800 rpm)

Wheelbase: 96 inches

Weight: 3,470 pounds

Note: With bodies constructed of acrylic resin bonded to fiberglass, this is one of the last Bricklins made (#2594 of 2,906) and has the only self-powered gull-wing door design every produced.  This top trophy-winning car appeared on Motorweek Television Muscle Car Memories, May 28, 2019.  Bricklins were made in 1974 and 1975 (assembled in New Brunswick Canada).


1981 DeLOREAN DMC-12

From: the Automobile Collection of Michael & Susan Ebert

Price New:$25,000 plus $650 for automatic

Engine: 2.85 L, 2849 cc, 130 hp V-6 of PRV design (Peugeot-Renault-Volvo)

Wheelbase: 94.5 inches

Weight: 3,180 pounds

Note: About 8,500 were made in Ireland near Belfast.  This gull-wing car is under its second ownership with 12,000 miles on the odometer.  Body is of SS-304 Grade brushed stainless steel (no clear coat or added finish).  A flux capacitor was optional.  Investors included Johnny Carson and Sammy Davis, Jr.


Nine Historic Super Cars are Coming to the 2020 St. Louis Auto Show

A special exhibit of nine totally SUPER CARS ranging from the years 1903 to 1981 will grace the 2020 St. Louis Auto Show, January 23-26, at America’s Center & The Dome.  Each has a place in automotive history, including a resounding impact on the greater St. Louis region.

Visitors to the event will be thrilled by the originality of a car model favored in the BACK TO THE FUTURE motion pictures.  A low-mileage original 1981 DeLorean with gull-wing doors will entice visitors to see what those cars really were like before Hollywood performed its cinematic magic.

Another gull-wing car, a scarce and prize-winning 1975 Bricklin, will also be displayed as a SUPER CAR in its own right.  To capture the thrill of full-size and power-brimming motoring in 1975 will be a pristine Chevrolet Caprice Classic convertible.  On the small side among SUPER CARS is the 1972 Karmann Ghia, representing a design effort that rocked the market with its combined German hand-rendered craftsmanship plus Italian styling along with honest speed at a practical price.

But there is much more to the exhibit than cars of not-too-recent memory.  Several more reflect the decades when the American car market was dominated or influenced by a variety of other brands that faded into legends.

“We selected additional representative brands and models that defined the concept of SUPER CARS even before the dawning of ideas for the cars of the 1970s and 1980s,” says Dr. Gerald Perschbacher, longtime coordinator of special exhibits fielded by members of the Horseless Carriage Club of Missouri, Inc. (HCCM), the largest and most experienced club of its type in the region.  “Had a company like Studebaker of South Bend, Indiana, not envisioned the dynamically designed Avanti in the 1960s, later SUPER CARS may not have had their following.  A 1963 Avanti is expected to be at the show to let generations of car lovers see what that means.”

He adds, “There are other ways to define SUPER CAR status, such as size and shape.  An extremely rare 1942 Lincoln Continental Club Coupe is slated for the exhibit.  Being one of a mere 200 made, its path to stratospheric SUPER-stardom was shortened when wartime production brought a halt to passenger car production in February of that year.  Yet, it added luster to the idea of SUPER CAR.”

HCCM Members also are dusting off other impact-full SUPER CARS for the show.  A 1931 Marmon sixteen-cylinder convertible sedan with custom body by LeBaron will ease into the show for the HCCM exhibit.  Hardly any car, later or earlier, definitively defined SUPER CAR status as this Marmon, adds Perschbacher.  “This massive beauty was the stuff of dreams.  When the Marmon’s massive horsepower hardly broke into its stride, it even out-accelerated the venerable Duesenberg Model J.”  HCCM officials coordinating their energy to assist with the exhibit also take pride in displaying a unique and sporty red 1922 Mercer Runabout and a nearly one-of-a-kind and locally made 1903 Dyke one-cylinder motorcar that was among brands which introduced the public to what it meant to OWN a car.  “If THAT doesn’t define the SUPER role some cars played in automotive history, then nothing else will,” emphasized the HCCM exhibit coordinator.

Members of the HCCM will be on hand throughout show times to converse with visitors, answer questions, and provide insights purely as a not-for-profit educational service.  For more about the HCCM, go to www.hccmo.com.