The Autocar Company is an American specialist manufacturer of severe-duty, Cab Over Engine vocational trucks, based in Hagerstown, Indiana. Started in 1897 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as a manufacturer of Brass Era automobiles, and trucks from 1899, Autocar is the oldest surviving motor vehicle brand in the Western Hemisphere.
The last cars were produced in 1911 and the company continued as a maker of severe-duty trucks. In 1953 Autocar was taken over by the White Motor Company which made Autocar their top-of-the-line brand. White was taken over in turn by Volvo Trucks in 1981 with Autocar continuing as a division. In 2001, Autocar was acquired by GVW Group, LLC, which revived Autocar as an independent company. Autocar now builds three models of custom-engineered, heavy-duty trucks and has regained leading positions in several vocational segments. Autocar experimented with a series of vehicles from 1897, with a tricycle, "Autocar No. 1", now in the collection of the Smithsonian. In 1899 Autocar built the first motor truck ever produced for sale in North America. The first production Autocar automobile was a 1900 single cylinder chain drive runabout. About 27 were made. In 1901 Autocar built the first car in North America to use shaft drive. This vehicle is also now in the Smithsonian collection.
The 1904 Autocar was equipped with a tonneau, it could seat four passengers and sold for US$1700. The horizontal-mounted flat twin engine, situated at the front of the car, produced 11 hp (8.2 kW). This was a somewhat unusual engine design for the time, with most companies producing inline designs. A three-speed transmission was fitted. The steel and wood-framed car weighed 1675 lb (760 kg). The early cars had tiller steering. In 1905 the company was selling the Type XII car for $2,250 and another it called the Type X for $1,000. It discontinued the Type XI and sold the last of them in 1905. The cars then had a wheel steering with left-hand drive.