< 1926 1928 >

1927

Last Jewett-built Paige

Nameplate: Paige Paige Paige Paige Paige
Model: 6-40 6-45 6-65 6-75 8-85
Cylinders: 6 6 6 6 8
Horsepower SAE: 43 43 64 68 80
Wheelbase: 109 109 115 125 131-1/2

The year 1927 was one of dramatic change for Paige-Detroit that culminated in a change of ownership.

1927 Paige

1927 6-45 5-passenger sedan. Mrs. Helen M. Paige, daughter-in-law of Frederick O. Paige, and 8-year old son Frederick O. Paige III, Hammond, Indiana, 1927 (Richard Paige collection)

First, the Jewett name was retired, and all cars were again Paige automobiles. This decision must have been made late in 1926, because the nearby January 1927 Ladies Home Journal ad mentions Paige-Jewett motor cars.

The 6-40 and 6-45 models had the 109-inch wheelbase of the previous year's Jewett. One of them, a 5-passenger 6-40 phaeton, may well have been simply a 1926 Jewett with a Paige radiator badge. The Paige 6-65 Series had the 115-inch wheelbase that had been introduced during 1926 for the 2-door Brougham sedan, and it now included three models: landau brougham, sedan and roadster. Finally, the Paige 6-75 Series rode on the 125-inch wheelbase carried over from 1926 and included six models: 5- and 7-passenger sedans, limousine, cabriolet, 7-passenger phaeton and coupe.

There were a total of 14 models in all, priced at the time of introduction from $1,150 for the 6-40 up to $2,245 for the 6-75 seven-passenger limousine. Most models had two-tone bodies, some offered disc wheels as standard, all came with a spare demountable rim but no spare tire. Bumpers were optional on all. All enclosed cars had the continuous roof visor. Choices of colors included: for the 6-40 blue and gray; for the 6-45 sedan two-tone blue with cream striping; for the 6-65 2-door, five-passenger, landau brougham a dark green landau top with the lower body in blue; and for the 6-75 four-passenger coupe, which was styled much like the cabriolet roadster of 1926, two tones of blue with wheels and upholstery to match.

Second, in March Paige announced the Straightaway Eight Series, powered by a Lycoming L-head straight eight-cylinder engine with 298.6 cubic inch displacement that developed 80 HP at 3000 RPM. The wheelbase on these was back up to 131-1/2 inches, last used in the Paige 6-70 of 1925. The Straightaway Eights included a Warner Hi-Flex four-speed transmission, introduced for the first time in these models. Third gear was high gear. Fourth was actually overdrive that could be used on runs that required very little torque or propelling force to maintain speed. With fourth gear in use, a driver could reduce gasoline consumption by about 20%.

1927 8-85 RHD

1927 8-85. Note the right-hand drive on this custom Australian Paige. (Neville Storey collection)

The new 8-85 series included six models with prices ranging from $2,315 up to $2,905. Company sales literature stated this series resembled the 6-75 in most respects except for the larger engine and the transmission. Some models featured three-tone finishes, others just two. Wood wheels were standard, but discs were a $15 option. Bumpers remained optional, too. The seven-passenger sedan with disc wheels and sturdy bumpers made a truly imposing sight. A bulletin in the April 21,1927, issue of Motor Age indicated that the Paige-Detroit Co. of New York had ordered 500 Paige cars on April 16, including 64 of the new Eights, with a total value of $753,740.

Finally, the company was about to change hands. For years the company had been highly prosperous but had recently shown declining earnings. For 1926 net profits were a fraction of those for 1925. Sales for the first quarter of 1927 were one-third of those for the first quarter of 1926, and the company was losing money. In The Wall Street Journal, May 5, 1927, President W. A. Wheeler said:

Despite the unfavorable conditions under which the company operated earlier in the year its loss for the entire quarter was slight compared with the losses sustained by the subsidiaries, because the selling season was slow in getting under way. . . Outlook for the remainder of the year [is] good. There has been a steady increase in the sale of all models since the selling season opened, particularly on the new eight cylinder model. . . The eight cylinder model with its new transmission has met with decided public approval in both domestic and foreign markets. The increased number of models manufactured by the company has given it a greater market and has met with the approval of Paige dealers.

Whether it was the trend in sales, the profitability of the company or the challenge of manufacturing a well-engineered automobile, Harry Jewett began began considering his options. In the meantime, Paige-Detroit attracted the notice of truck-making brothers Joseph, Robert and Ray Graham. The Graham brothers had sold their automotive interests in the previous year, and they were looking for an opportunity to get back into the industry.

GRAHAMS IN CONTROL OF PAIGE-DETROIT

Jewett Interests Sell

. . . At a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company, held in Detroit yesterday, a contract was entered into between the company and Messers. Joseph B., Robert C. and Ray A. Graham, which contract, when ratified by the stockholders of the Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company, will pass the controlling interest in and the management of the company to the Graham Brothers, [who] will acquire at this time all of the common stock now owned by the Jewett interests. . . .

The Paige-Detroit Motor Car Company is a Michigan corporation, which has, since its origin in 1909, manufactured motor cars in the medium price field. Within the last three years it has completed one of the most modern plants in the industry. . . .

The Graham brothers entered the motor truck industry in 1916, when they established the Indiana corporation Graham Brothers, which has since become the largest exclusive manufacturer of motor trucks. In 1925 the Graham bothers went into Dodge Brothers as the chief executive officers and withdrew from that company in 1926, when they sold their entire interests in Dodge Brothers and Graham Brothers Truck Company.

The present Paige line of eights and sixes, offering a selection of twenty body types on four chassis, will be continued.

New York Times, Thursday, May 5, 1927

On June 10, 1927, Harry Jewett and the rest of the old management retired. Joseph B. Graham became the president, Robert C. Graham became vice-president, and Ray A. Graham became the secretary-treasurer.

After leaving Paige-Detroit Harry M. Jewett was president of Colonial Laundry Co. of Detroit. He died of a heart attack, June 16, 1933, in his sixty-second year.

In 1944 the State of Michigan acquired a 4300-acre tract of land in Ogemaw County, 140 miles north of Detroit, that had belonged to Jewett. A 12-acre lake on the property, originally named Dollar Lake, was renamed Jewett Lake. Today this lake and others in the area comprise Michigan's Rifle River State Park.

1927-01_Jewett_6-45_thumb 1927 8-85 Coupe with Rumble Seat_thumb 1927 8-85 Coupe_thumb 1927-01_Paige_6-75_thumb
1927 Jewett Five-passenger Sedan, Model 6-45, MoToR, January, 1927 1927 Paige 8-85 Coupe with Rumble Seat, (AACA Library photo) 1927 Paige 8-85 Coupe, (AACA Library photo) 1927 Paige Five-passenger Sedan, Model 6-75, MoToR, January, 1927
1927 Jewett 1927 Paige 1927 Paige 8-85 Sedan_thumb
1927 6-75 Roadster (Neville Storey collection) 1927 8-85 Sedan (Neville Storey collection) 1927 8-85 Paige Sedan, (Charlie Kidder collection, Neville Storey photo)
1927 Paige 6-75 Sedan_thumb 1927 Paige 6-75 Sedan 09_thumb 1927 Paige 6-75 Sedan 10_thumb
1927 6-65 Sedan, (Fritz Bosma collection)
1927-01_P132_thumb 1927-01_P125_thumb 1927-01_P136_thumb
1927 Jewett cabriolet roadster and 1927 Paige four-passenger coupe, MoToR, January, 1927 1927 Paige 4-passenger Cabriolet Roadster, MoToR, January, 1927 1927 Jewett Four-door Sedan, MoToR, January, 1927
1927 Jewett 192 Paige 1927 Paige 1927 Paige 1927 Paige 1927 Paige 1927 Paige
Free $10,000 in cash for a name, Saturday Evening Post, October 2, 1926 Now - more than ever before - The Most Beautiful Cars In America!, Saturday Evening Post, October 23, 1926 All the Style and Smartness of Paige - at its lowest price!, Saturday Evening Post, November 6, 1926 A Veteran Among the Leaders of the Industry, Saturday Evening Post, January 29, 1927 Motor Cars That Match Milady's Mode - Yes, Her Every Mood! The Ladies' Home Journal, February, 1927 Paige Enters its 18th Successful Year, Saturday Evening Post, February 12, 1927 Great size, Great performance, Great luxury, Saturday Evening Post, May 21, 1927

Elsewhere in 1927:

  • Ford ceases Model T production after 18 years and more than 15 million cars.
  • Harley Earl designs the LaSalle for Cadillac.
  • Chrysler produces the first Plymouth and DeSoto motor cars and buys Dodge.
< 1926 1928 >