Front and left hand side view. Green four door Tourer style body with a 4-cylinder Lycoming engine, 21 hp rating. The front and rear axles are linked by semi-elliptical springs (Acme Spring Suspension System).
Title: 1924 Summit Tourer
Date Created: 1924-01-01/1924-12-31
Provenance: In 1921 Christian Fredriksen and business partner William T Kelly travelled to the United Kingdom and the United States to demonstrate and sell Fredriksen's invention - the Acme Spring Suspension System. Using two sets of three cantilevered leaf springs, the system spread shocks along the length of the car for a smoother ride over rough surfaces. Already proven on the difficult Australian road conditions, in 1921 the system was offered as a factory fitted extra on the Australian assembled Lincoln Six. Despite many attempts to sell the international manufacturing rights to various motor car producers, better road conditions experienced in Britain and the United States meant that the benefits of the system were not as apparent.
Convinced of the need for the improved suspension, Kelly's Motors began production of the Summit motor car in August 1923. Though assembled mainly from imported American parts, it featured Fredriksen's suspension system. The Summit marque was financed by prominent Australian tobacco manufacturer, newspaper proprietor and philanthropist, Sir Hugh Robert Denison. The Summit had a four cylinder Lycoming engine and was well equipped for its time with a clock, cigar lighter, sun shield, wind deflectors and nickel plated bumpers as standard. However, the base price of £475 was higher than more powerful Australian-bodied imports.
In a competitive market, by the end of 1925 the company had ceased trading. It is thought that 500 Summit motor cars were produced with 5 cars surviving and the remains of another 10 identifiable chassis in various degrees of completeness. The model held in the National Motor Museum was the subject of a comprehensive restoration at the Museum in 1988, funded by the Australian Bicentennial Authority.
Rights: History Trust of South Australia, CC-0
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