Marathon Motor Works (1881), view #1, 1306 Clinton St, Nashville, TN, USA

Marathon Motor Works (1881), view #1, 1306 Clinton St, Nashville, TN, USA

originally built as Phoenix Cotton Mill aka Nashville Cotton Mill • by 1910 building vacant • that year, Jackson TN’s Southern Engine & Boiler Works (photo) — said to be top US producer of boilers & gas engines — sold its 4-year-old Marathon motor car division to Nashville investors, who moved it to this building in 1910

historic marker:
MARATHON MOTOR CAR
The marathon motor car was manufactured here 1914*–1918 by Southern Motor Works (later called Marathon). Four models, all touring cars, were powered by engines of four cylinders, 30/35 hp and Sixes of 50 hp, with wheelbases from 9’8" to 12’5". The plant closed operations in 1914 due to financial difficulties but continued a parts & service business until 1918.

*production actually began in 1910-11

• Marathon motor car originally introduced as Southerner, 1907 • Nashville plant began with 75 employees and plans to produce 5 cars/day • actual production eventually averaged 60 cars a month • total Marathon production unknown; 8 cars known to exist • all parts manufactured in-house • conceived as low-powered car at exceptionally low price • cars sold well via nationwide & international dealerships

• offered models w/4-or-6 cylinder engines producing up to 50 hp • by 1914 model names based on an Olympic theme: Champion, 45 hp, 123" wheelbase, seven-passengers, $1,800; Winner, 35 hp, 118" wheelbase, $1,350; Runner, 25 hp, 106" wheelbase, $950 • each model came in touring car and roadster versions • adjustable windshields, gas headlamps & two side oil lights • 4 cylinder engines standard on all models

• by 1914 all Marathons equipped with electric lights • 1915 models were last built at this factory • company went bankrupt, 1914, due to mismanagement and legal issues • Herff-Brooks of Indianapolis — distributors and stockholders in company — took over & produced Marathon motorcars one more year • vacated building later housed Werthan Bag Company, 1922-28 • Werthan’s were family depicted in 1989 film, Driving Miss Daisy

• Marathon building purchased by Barry Walker, 1987, converted to
studios, brewery, etc., renamed Marathon Village • 4 block complex of artists’ & photographers’ studios, offices, radio station, fitness center, distillery, taproom, artisan shops, Antique Archaeology, more…

• 2014 Southern Engine & Boiler Works photo • After Bright Future, Marathon Sputters OutTennessean • Marathon history • Wikipedia • Historic Marathon Motor Works village rises from rubble -Auction Central News • history • National Register #95001482, 1996

Posted by lumierefl on 2012-08-31 15:59:41

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