1909 Lambert Model A1

In 1891, when he test-drove his self-designed, three-wheeled, surrey-topped, gasoline-powered runabout, John Lambert was the owner of a grain elevator, lumber yard and hardware store in Ohio City. Despite the mechanical success, the car was a marketing failure. Priced at $550, no one bought his vehicle. Feeling discouraged, Lambert then turned his attention to the manufacture of stationary gasoline engines, organizing the Buckeye Manufacturing Company, in Anderson, IN for that purpose.

Still wanting to market a successful car, Lambert built another car in 1898 but it, too, failed to be manufactured. Finally, in 1902, he formed the Union Automobile Company to produce his gearless, friction-drive, rear-engine automobile. Completing his design in 1897, Lambert pioneered the friction-drive transmission.  The friction-drive transmission would be the feature of all of Lambert’s cars. This car was the Union

In 1906, the Union was phased out and Lambert introduced the first of a very successful line called the Lambert. The 2 cylinder Lamberts were virtually the Union renamed but he also marketed a 5 passenger Tonneau body Model7/8 that featured a four cylinder, 34 hp, engine, on a 98 inch wheel base, with friction speed change and bevel gear drive to a divided rear axle. The price for the Model 8 including mats, horn, tools and five lamps was $3000.

This 1909 Lambert Model A1 is a four passenger, Surrey version with a 2 cylinder engine that developed 20 Hp. It sits on a shorter, 95 inch wheelbase and had a factory price of $875.