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The Ideal American Car: Moon Motor

Built to Last:
Dorris Motor

Built to Last: Dorris Motor

After leaving the St. Louis Motor Carriage Company in 1906, George P. Dorris founded the Dorris Motor Car Company with the financial backing of H. B. Krenning. The automobiles produced from this company were priced close to twice that of the average motorcars of the time, which was reflected in its motto, Built to Last. During this time Dorris continued to strive for excellence in engineering, developing at least 12 new patents for automotive improvements.

The later motto, Built Up to Standard, Not Down to Price, accurately described Dorris’s uncompromising commitment to building quality (Dorris cars were priced over $2,000), not quantity (competitors such as Ford were mass producing cars for under $400). However, this contributed to the company’s slow decline, and by 1916 the company remained in business with only the truck and bus production. By 1924, the Dorris Motor Car Company had dissolved. The following year, Dorris established Dorris Motors Incorporated, a company that focused on buses. However, it lasted only until 1926.

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1924 Dorris 6-80 Touring Car

This Dorris 6-80 was originally built for William G. H. Ballwin of St. Louis, Missouri. His name and address are written on the frame of the car. This Dorris has changed owners several times over the years, including being owned by the Harrah's Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada for a short time, before moving on to new owners in California, Texas, and finally back to Missouri in the I980s.


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Dorris Motor Car Company employees, 1909.
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1919 Dorris Truck

This 1919 Dorris truck began as a 6-80 touring car and was later converted to a truck. It was used for many years by the Debrecht market and grocery store in St. Louis. The truck has a six-cylinder engine and 80 horsepower and was purchased new for $5,400.

This Dorris truck is owned by the St. Louis Museum of Transportation and was recently conserved.
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Dorris Motor Car Company Plant #3 located on Forest Park Boulevard, 1919

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Ad from The Auto Review for Dorris motor car, 1906.

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