- Rare Indiana-built high-wheel runabout
- One of two known survivors
- High-quality restoration
Solomon Mier’s family were early settlers of Noble County, Indiana. His Mier Carriage and Buggy Company had the distinction of erecting the first three-story building in Ligonier, one of two cities in the county. His son, A.B. Mier, joined him at the company around the turn of the twentieth century. Although their buggy business was very successful, their attempt at automaking was less so and lasted but two years.
In 1908 they added a vertical two-cylinder water-cooled engine, friction transmission, and double chain drive to one of their buggies. They installed wheel steering and solid tires, then sold 100 of them. There were two models: Model A had a stylish “duck tail” at the stern; Model B was squared off. The following year brought a doctor’s Stanhope and a longer-wheelbase model available as a two- or four-passenger runabout. At year’s end, however, father and son decided to concentrate on their core business of horse-drawn vehicles, forsaking automobiles altogether.
One of two Mier automobiles known to survive, this car was acquired by the Merrick Collection in 2003. Previously owned by Jerry Cammisano of Kansas City, Missouri, it was completely restored about four years earlier. Painted green with yellow pinstriping, it has 16 inches of road clearance, thanks to five-leaf full-elliptic springs. Hickory-spoke wheels are 32 inches in front, 34 inches in the rear, with 1.5-inch solid rubber tires. The seats are upholstered in diamond-pattern buttoned black leather. In contrast to many high-wheel vehicles, which used under-floor engines, the Mier has an upright powerplant under a hood at the front, giving it a more conventional appearance.