History of the Pa Dutch Region and the Upton

PA Dutch Region

The PA Dutch Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America was chartered in October 1984 by AACA.  The purpose of this region is to supplement the activities of AACA and to provide actual enjoyment of its members.  It provides a region for local people to join who have not affiliated themselves with any other AACA region.

The membership of the PA Dutch Region are residents of Berks, Lancaster, Lebanon, and Schuylkill counties.  These counties represent the heartland of the Pennsylvania Dutch community.  The Upton automobile was built by the Lebanon Motor Works in Lebanon, PA from 1905 to 1907.  To honor the heritage of this automobile, the Region selected it as their logo.

upton-1905-2
The Upton Motor Company
12th & Walnut Streets,
Lebanon Pennsylvania

Upton started in Beverly, Massachusetts. From 1900 until 1904 they produced a vehicle using their own motor and transmission and providing parts for other assemblers of automobiles.  It’s unclear at this time why the manager left Massachusetts, taking his name with him to relocate in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. The original company went on as the Beverly Automobile company.

The Lebanon Upton Motor Company produced its first vehicle in 1905. While the company in Massachusetts produced several models including heavy trucks, the company here focused on a single model, a five passenger touring car with 30 hp motor. Sales totaled to around fifteen units. In 1906 the vehicle was enlarged and 10 horse power was added to the motor and production remained low. With poor sales and increasing pressure by higher volume manufacturers, both Beverly and the new Upton ceased production in 1907. The building Upton occupied in Lebanon still stands and is in use by Jubilee Ministries.

This small and brief touch in the American manufacturing landscape is celebrated still today. While many small companies existed making cars in Pennsylvania, the Upton was chosen as the automobile featured in our regions logo.