Frontenac Motor Company

                  1915 - 1924

The Frontenac Motor Company was established in late 1915 for the sole purpose of engineering, building, and racing high performance automobiles.  Following the team’s victory at the 1921 Indy 500, a group of investors affiliated with the Stutz Company approached Louis Chevrolet with the idea of producing a touring car under the Frontenac name.  A new Frontenac Corporation was set up in the State of Delaware, and Louis started building a prototype passenger car.  Less than a year later Allan A. Ryan, (the mogul behind the Stutz investment group), was embroiled in a huge Wall Street scandal.  The Delaware Corporation collapsed, and Louis was stuck with all the developmental costs of the prototype car.  Louis had no choice but to seek bankruptcy protection, and the original Frontenac Motor Company folded.

 

Shortly thereafter, a group of Chicago business men formed yet another Frontenac company, and Louis Chevrolet was involved in designing a 2nd prototype car.  This time the Frontenac featured the Argyll single sleeve valve engine, (the same power plant which was later used in the da Vinci project).  The new company was not able to sufficiently raise capital, and never got past the prototype stage.  The Frontenac name then faded into obscurity.  The following documents pertain to both the racing enterprise, and passenger car businesses.

12/17/15 - Detroit, Michigan

Louis Chevrolet organizes the

Frontenac Motor Company

(Archives of Michigan)

7/12/17 - Detroit, Michigan

Schematic drawing of 300 cubic inch 

Frontenac racing engine

(The Automobile and Trade Journal)

12/01/20 - Indianapolis, Indiana

Louis Chevrolet & C.W. Van Ranst

write technical paper on 183 Frontenac.

Part 1 of 4 

(Society of Automotive Engineers)

12/01/20 - Indianapolis, Indiana

Louis Chevrolet & C.W. Van Ranst

write technical paper on 183 Frontenac.

Part 2 of 4

(Society of Automotive Engineers)

12/01/20 - Indianapolis, Indiana

Louis Chevrolet & C.W. Van Ranst

write technical paper on 183 Frontenac.

Part 3 of 4

(Society of Automotive Engineers)

12/01/20 - Indianapolis, Indiana

Louis Chevrolet & C.W. Van Ranst

write technical paper on 183 Frontenac.

Part 4 of 4

(Society of Automotive Engineers)

7/21/21 - Indianapolis, Indiana

Bennett Hill writes to Alton Soules about

tuning & race set up on Frontenac

(Museum of American Speed)

11/08/21 - Indianapolis, Indiana

Louis Chevrolet solicits Tommy Milton

for the upcoming 1922 racing season

(Racemaker Press)

12/23/21 - Indianapolis, Indiana

Louis Chevrolet writes to garage about

prospective Frontenac dealership

(ebay Auction)

December 1921 - Indianapolis, Indiana

Louis Chevrolet writes Fred Wilson about forthcoming Frontenac car

(ebay Auction)

1/10/22 - Indianapolis, Indiana

Louis Chevrolet writes to garage about

upcoming New York Auto Show

(ebay Auction)

1/10/22 - Indianapolis, Indiana

Louis Chevrolet writes to garage about

Frontenac dealership application

(ebay Auction)

January 1922 - Indianapolis, Indiana

Frontenac passenger car catalog is

distributed at various cars shows

(Indianapolis Motor Speedway)

January 1922 - Indianapolis, Indiana

Frontenac passenger car catalog is

distributed at various cars shows

(Kem Robertson  Collection)

3/27/22 - Indianapolis, Indiana

John G. Holtz write to prospective

dealer about Frontenac automobile

(Kem Robertson Collection)

5/31/22 - Indianapolis, Indiana

Advertisement for new Frontenac which appeared in the Indy 500 program

(Indianapolis Motor Speedway)

2/24/23 - Indianapolis, Indiana

Louis Chevrolet writes David Rodger 

about bearing performance

(Muzzy-Lyon Advertisement)

4/14/23 - Indianapolis, Indiana

Frontenac Motor Co. files for

bankruptcy protection from creditors 

(National Archives)

8/14/23 - Chicago, Illinois

Group of Chicago businessmen form new Frontenac company in Delaware 

(Delaware State Archives)

Circa 1923 - Indianapolis, Indiana

Stock prospectus for new Frontenac Co.

Louis Chevrolet has a "clean" liver 

(Billy Dunbar Collection)

3/03/24 - Indianapolis, Indiana

Frontenac Motors Corp stock certificate

signed by E.L. Jacoby 

(Billy Dunbar Collection)