The Historic Vehicle Association (HVA) now has an ongoing display here at the AACA Museum, Inc. with the ability to share a variety of historically significant vehicles throughout the year with visitors to the Museum. The 1933 Graham Blue Streak 8 Sedan was the first vehicle on view through mid-January 2018. The second automobile, is a 1920 Anderson Six Convertible Roadster, now on display through early June. This ongoing exhibit will feature other significant vehicles that will be changed out 2-3 times each year.
A Rare 1920 Anderson Six Convertible – One of only seven known survivors of South Carolina’s first automobile company that operated between 1916 and 1922. It was added to the National Historic Register for its local and regional historic significance. It is currently owned by Paul and Kathleen Ianuario of Duncan, South Carolina.
From 1916 to 1925, a total of approximately 5,500 Anderson cars were produced in Roch Hill, SC, in direct competition with offerings from the North. Featuring the motto, “A little bit higher in price, but made in Dixie,” Anderson cars were indeed the South’s luxurious alternative to Detroit’s mass-market vehicles, featuring mahogany, South Carolina hickory, premium leather and top-quality trim and materials. The cars also introduced exciting color schemes to the automotive industry, tempting buyers with the rich palette of purple, blue, yellow and other alternatives to the more fundamental color schemes of Northern competitors.
John Gary Anderson, the industrialist and inventor behind the company, was also a poet and sculptor. His cars featured numerous innovations, including an electric windshield wiper years before Ford offered the technology. Other firsts included power convertible tops, a floor-installed headlight dimmer switch (which he invented), and a unique review mirror. There was also an onboard air compressor driven by the car’s transmission for pumping up tires and a toolkit integrated into the side door for on-the-go-repairs. The radiator cap featured a thermometer know as a “motor meter,” that was visible to the driver. However, customers paid the price for all this innovation and luxury, with an Anderson ranging in cost from $1,650 for the five-passenger touring car to $2,550 for the sedan, compared to a $345 to $760 price range for the contemporary Model T Ford.