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ΙΟ to December 10 I drove the machine upward of 7500 miles over all sorts of roads. The machine was kept at a garage, and the items appearing in the bills give a fair idea of the things a motor owner has to pay for. I bought my gasoline and oil outside at wholesale. prices.
In addition to the price of the car, $50
Ce-half hour on tires.
5. One-half hour adjusting..
6. One and one-half gallons gasoline.
8. 19 hours overhauling car.
was spent for liability insurance and $45 for July 3. Five tire lugs..
The items of expense in the three principal bills follow:
March 2. One pair of mud splashers.
8. One gallon of gasoline...
Two hours adjusting carburetter.
10. One-half hour adjusting.. 12. Five gallons of gasoline..
One hour adjusting..
Two dozen cotter pins and 50 rivets.
One new wrist pin for rear cylinder piston
10. 20 hours' time assembling and adjust
12. 14 hours' time cam shaft and bearings. 7.00 13. One half-inch bolt..
One ignition spring.
15. One hour's time on chain.
14. Nine hours' time adjusting and regu
13. Two and a half hours adjusting. 15 One 32 x 4 inch inner tube.
16. Front wheel hub cap to replace one lost
One hour's time repairing inner tube. 17. Express charges on shoe to New York.. 18. One extra inner tube.
19. 10 pounds of carbide.
One hour adjusting.
19. One-half hour repairing spark plugs. 20. One-half hour adjusting valves.
25. One hour adjusting.
27. One hour adjustin.
29. One hour adjustirg.
Storage for half month.
One outer casing..
50 gallons gasoline, 5 gallons oil.
Two-thirds hour fitting mud splashers.
One hour adjusting....
Expense for the month.
7. Express charges on tire to New York. 9. One gallon of gasoline..
10. Nine and one-half hours' time overhaul
EXPENSE ON A I000-MILE TOUR.
On August 13 of that year I made a 42.00 1000-mile tour in the car through New Jer38 sey and Pennsylvania. The expenses in1.00 curred on the trip were $140.40, itemized as follows:
7.50 Mechanic's time at Asbury Park.
.25 New batteries, eight cells.
New batteries, four cells, bought at Philadelphia, Pa..
New ignition spring.
1.00 New spark coil, to replace one that gave out
11. One hour's time assembling.
12. One ignition spring block
New driving chain, to replace worn one.
19. Two hours' time on valves.
.50 Spark point clip.
20. One new exhaust valve..
3.00 Overhauling before the start.
22. One-half hour adjusting.
26. One can cement for patching tubes.
27. One cover for oiler tank to replace one lost
Tips and incidentals.
One hour repairing tire.
28. One tire lug..
30. Two and one-half hours on oiler for
The expenses for the year were finally classified and divided under the following heads:
Express charges on shoe.
.23.63 First cost...
One month's storage.
30 25 per cent. depreciation for use.
Five gallons lubricating oil.
Interest on investment at 6 per cent.
This is a moderate cost for automobiling. Some people are more fortunate and economical than I have been, and, on the other hand, the sport can be made to cost any sum that a man's purse will stand.
Ten years seems a long time for an automobile to last when judged by the horseless vehicles of the past, which at best have been one and two season cars. But until two years ago the man who bought an automobile did so with the realization that the next season might bring forth a car of entirely different body and machinery construction that would make his car a "back number." To-day popular demand has called for a car of certain type, design, and style, and the manufacturers have produced it. The machinery parts of motors have been so perfected that
My own figures, which probably come close to the average man's experience, are illuminating as far as they go, but it is practically impossible to tell just what it will cost any given man to run an automobile. There are two very important and vexing factors to be considered,-viz., the ability of the driver and luck. Place the same car in the hands of two men, run it the same number of miles at the same speed, over the same the changes of the coming years will probaroads, and with the
same weight, and one car will be in good shape and the other racked horribly, the difference resulting entirely from the skill of the respective operators. It is this condition of affairs that makes the laborer worthy of his hire when it comes to automobile driving.
Thus this item of expense is to a great extent controlled by the individual himself.
bly be inconsiderable, while the side entrance tonneau has come as a permanent design. DOES AN AUTOMOBILE COST MORE THAN
Usually when a man abandons horses and takes up automobiling four or five horsedrawn vehicles are displaced. The average well-to-do stable will contain a buggy or runabout, a surrey, a depot wagon, coupé or other closed carriage, and a trap. The man with the motor makes his car perform the services of all these. The steady increase in the sale of automobiles may preclude the purchase and use of about 150,000 horse-drawn equipages in 1907.
It is my intention to compare the average cost of keeping the two most popular types of automobiles with the average expense of keeping horses and vehicles, in order to arrive at their relative efficiency.
Leave the man who buys the $10,000 or $12,000 car out of the question, for the item of cost does not figure with him, and take the typical American car costing from $2500 to $4500. The machine would probably be purchased by a man of comfortable income, who, if he lived in the city, would not own
a team of horses, but if his home was in the country would have a stable. The first-class American car seats from five to seven people. It has an engine of from 22 to 40 horsepower and is capable of a speed varying from 5 to 45 miles an hour. The average depreciation of an American car seems to be about 50 per cent. in two years.
The car that costs about $2600 is by far the most popular, and I shall take that as a basis. Gasoline will cost, say, 20 cents a gallon, and will give 10 miles to each gallon. This would make our gasoline cost us $120. Three hundred dollars additional may be added for tires. This sum may be too high or far too low, depending on luck and management. A man with a car of this type would probably keep a chauffeur paid $25 a week, who would make most of the adjustments and repairs on the car. The yearly expense would figure about as follows:
$1,477 The chauffeur is presumably eliminated. In
is kept at a livery stable.
Depreciation of horse, carriage, and harness. .$110
It may be seen that there is a balance in favor the case of the horse we will presume that it of the horse of just about half, or $1412. But in order to get at a really satisfactory comparison we must examine the utility of the two, and the amount of ground each can cover. A team of horses averaging 20 miles a day would be doing phenomenal work. This would give them a mileage annually of 7300 miles. The range of an automobile would be 60 miles a day, or 21,900 miles a season, presuining that both were driven every day. This is three times the work of the horses, at about double the cost, still leaving the automobile a 33 1-3 per cent. margin of economy.
Next let us consider the man in more
Here the horse wins again by $227, but we can safely figure the efficiency in miles of the car as three times as great as that of the horse, although it costs only about onethird more. With the automobile, then, a man has three times the opportunity to keep in touch with his friends, to get out in the country and enjoy nature and to do it safely, quickly, and comfortably, but it will cost him
from 33 1-3 to 100 per cent. more than a cor- power is the best one to buy. This may and responding horse-drawn equipage.
may not be true. It all depends on what the car is wanted for; what sort of country it is to be used in, and what sort of work you are going to make it do. Power costs money. That is the keynote of the situation. If a light-weight car, well built, with 20 horsepower, will do your work, doesn't it look foolish to buy a heavier one of 40 horsepower for the same purpose?
In a very hilly country one must have more power than on level roads, and if one must have speed, power is necessary. But it costs heavily in maintenance.
LOW VERSUS HIGH POWER.
I have in mind as I write two friends of mine who became motor enthusiasts at the same time, both purchasing cars. They were neighbors and each had a wife and two children. The one man bought a 28-horsepower touring car carrying five passengers and weighing 2250 pounds, which cost $2500. The other bought a 40-45 horsepower touring car carrying seven people and weighing 3400 pounds at a cost of $4500. At the end
I have referred to a high-grade car and in that category may come any first-class touring car ranging in price from $2500 to $6000 or more and one built by a reliable concern. Such a car will contain only the best materials and will be well designed and put together, and this means much to the man who is investing his money in a horseless vehicle. Remember always that a cheap automobile is the most expensive type to buy. By a cheap car I mean one that is turned out in a careless, slipshod manner by a manufacturer who has gone into the business with the idea of making a quick "clean up" and quitting. As much judgment should be displayed in of the first season both had completed about selecting your manufacturer as in selecting your car. Let the other fellow buy the experiment. Stick to the machine that you know, the one that you have seen in use. Hundreds of people are led away by the idea that the car that will do the most spectacular things is the one for them to buy. Let the other fellow have this brilliant performer and you buy one that you see your neighbor running 365 days in the year, the motor that isn't always in the repair shop, that brings its passengers home, and that isn't always" all right but for some little thing that doesn't count." It is these little things that "don't count" in automobiles that cause all the trouble on the road, that are responsible for many long walks and subsequent expensive tows, and that eat up the owner's bank account for mechanics' time in adjusting.
Look for a simple car and remember that it isn't always the car that seems the most for the money that is really the best bargain. Avoid buying a lot of machinery, and consider this important fact, that the simpler a machine is and the fewer parts it has, the more desirable it is to own. You will never have to spend money to repair or replace the parts that you haven't got.
There is a mistaken idea among people who are just beginning to take an interest in automobiles that the car with the most horse
the same distance, between 4000 and 5000 miles. It was the custom of the two men to take about the same rides at each week-end, and the man with the seven-passenger car found no difficulty in filling it. The result was that he almost invariably carried seven people. The owner of the five-passenger car also had his full complement of passengers. The machines were about of equal speed and hill-climbing ability, but the man with the $2500 motor found his liability and fire insurance less, his interest on investment less, and his tire, gasoline, and repair expenses enormously less, and yet he covered the same territory as the friend with the larger car. The big machine used up two sets of tires in the season, while the lighter one got along with one, and they were not worn out at the time the comparison was made. All together there was something like $800 difference between their operating expenses for the same mileage. I simply give this as an illustration of the importance of knowing what kind of a car to select. Putting aside style and excessive speeds, it may be generally said that high horsepower means high expense; in selecting your car be sure to have enough power to do your work, but if economy in operation figures with you at all, avoid having an engine of a horsepower that is greatly in excess of your needs.