It appears at least two companies attempted to sell cars with the Monarch brand name prior to 1916, the first the Monarch Automobile Company of Aurora Illinois sold runabouts with guaranteed air cooled motors in 1906 and the second Monarch Motor Car Company of Detroit Michigan was founded by Joseph Bloom in 1913.
Today’s featured car has a chassis plate identifying it as a product of the later which is said to have used the the strap line “The car with the Silver Wheels”.
Joseph Bloom employed his brother in law Robert C Hupp, later of Hupmobile fame, to design at least three models, before the company was bankrupted in 1916, two with four cylinder motors and a third which was designed for a V8 motor.
Today’s featured Monarch is believed to have been built up by Mark Walker in the early 1990’s to replicate the Curtiss powered Romano Demon Special which 22 year old Rea Lentz drove to win the first Pikes Peak hillclimb in 20 mins 55.6 seconds.
Interestingly it has emerged that the Curtiss V8 motors originally had a life of just 20 mins before they were expected to be replaced in their training aircraft application.
One of motor sports great mysteries is about the fate of Rea Lentz, he has not been heard of since his unexpected triumph on the Pikes Peak Hillclimb.
These photo’s show current owner Duncan Pittaway at the wheel of the Monarch Curtiss in and around Bristol.
Thanks for joining me on this “The Car With Silver Wheels” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at some off road action. Don’t forget to come back now !