The ornate Horseless Age magazine logo from the Jan. 31, 1912 issue that reported on the successful 12th annual Chicago Auto Show. The show ran from Jan. 27-Feb. 3, 1912. A color postcard illustrated the castle-like exterior of the Coliseum. A sampling of the vehicles displayed: Auburn, Buick, Cutting, Hudson, Kissel Kar, King, Lion and Moon. Growing trends witnessed at the 1912 show include left hand steering, center location for gear shift, four-door models and the proliferation of makes (70) that offer a self starter. More than a dozen cars are battery powered.
Advertised as the most remarkable exhibit at the 1912 Chicago Auto Show was an exact model of the Stoddard-Dayton ‘Silent-Knight’ engine. Anyone could work it himself, as fast or as slow as he likes and, thereby watch the movements of every part of this wonderful motor. Little electric lights flashed when people turned the wheel. This showed in turn the four different cycles of the engine design, such as drawing in fresh gas, compression stroke, explosion stroke (shown by red lights) and the exhaustion of exploded gases. On the right is a photo of the 1912 auto show lapel badge featuring Mercury, the mythical god of trade, profit and commerce. These were worn by show officials, dignitaries and members of the press.
American of Indianapolis produced the Underslung Roadster, which featured axles above the frame, as pictured in the company’s exhibit during the 1912 show. An inline four-cylinder engine produced about 50 horsepower and came mated to a four-speed manual gearbox.
An elevated view shows the 1912 Buick exhibit with various models on display, including an exposed chassis to examine. Joining Buick were brands like Hudson, Auburn, Maxwell, Cutting, Kisselkar, King, Lion and Moon.