Our exhibit hall has the whole range of transportation mechanisms throughout time, from a saddle, to a storm buggy, to a 1903 Model "A" Ford, to a 1922 Washington car. Read below to find out more about the 1922 Washington car!
The Washington Deluxe Automobile is the last remaining automobile produced by the Washington Motor Car Company, of Eaton, Ohio. During the four years that this company was in business, there were 30 hand-made Washingtons manufactured and sold, in four separate model lines.
This car was built in 1922, had an original delivered priced of $1,785, and was owned by Frank Griffis. He was a Washington Motor Car Company corporate sales representative and native of Eaton, Ohio. Mr. Griffis used the company car as a demo, and to showcase at tradeshows the manufacturing superiority of the Washington car. He serviced and maintained the car well and considered it a prized possession.
When the Washington Motor Car Company went out of business in 1924, Mr.Griffis used the car as his only mode of transportation. In 1952, he reluctantly sold the vehicle to Andrew "Bud" Coffman and Hazen Hildebolt, both natives of Eaton. Only after much negotiating did Mr. Griffis agree to part with his "pride and joy" that had served him well for 30 years.
The Washington automobile was kept in top running condition by its owners, Coffman and Hildebolt, who drove it in parades and had fun with it in car rallies. The car ran quietly and smoothly. In 1979, Hazen Hildebolt passed away, and in 1984 Coffman sold his interest to Hildebolt's widow, Anna Jane.
In 1986, Mrs. Hildebolt contracted with Unger Restoration, Lewisburg, Ohio, for the restoration of the Washington, which was completely disassembled and restored starting with the frame. Tom Unger restored the mechanics to perfection and reassembled the car including all the component parts of the continental "Red Seal" engine, clutch, transmission, and wood work. Bob Snively restored the top, Steve Loy did the body work and painting, and Thurman Steel fabricated the trim work. The restoration cost $80,000 and was completed in June 1991.
Anna Jane Hildebolt passed away in 2006. Hazen and Anna Jane Hildebolt's children now own the Washington. Anna Jane Hildebolt took great pride in the Washington being displayed for all to enjoy as it looked the day it rolled off the assembly line in 1922.
The above information was taken in parts from a brochure that is with the car.