The Glory Years
Model 95 Custom Coupe
The practice of two production runs for one model year was continued in 1928. Production for the 1st series would start on July 15, 1927, the 2nd series was released the beginning of 1928 and would be continued into the 1929 production cycle. Styling greatly improved for the 2nd series, along with lower prices and greater horsepower. With these new selling points the company felt sales would increase to new levels. Despite this effort sales remained low.
With fifteen different models to choose from; Gardner meant to have something for anyone above the low price range. Looking at the photograph below, it's hard to believe that the cars are the same year and from the same manufacturer.
In the photo on the previous page the two four-door sedans have different styling, bumpers, even the headlights are different size. In this chapter two magazines present the same car one refers to it as a '29 model 75; the other a '29 model 120. It is in fact a 1928 model 75 or a carry-over 75 into 1929. 1928 would see styling brought to new heights, particularly with the 85/95 Roadster and Custom Coupe. While the engines retained the same cubic inch displacement as 1927; the power was increased with changes with the carburetor and manifolds.First Series offered in the summer of 1927:
Model Base CID Brakes
75 122 226 Mechanical
80 122 226 Mechanical Deluxe equipment
85 122 247 Mechanical
88 130 247 Mechanical Phaeton only
90 130 299 MechanicalSecond Series offered on Jan 1, 1928:
75 Std 122 226 Mechanical
75 Dlx 122 226 Mechanical
85 125 247 Hydraulic New styling
95 130 299 Hydraulic New styling
Note: that with the coupe there is no running board splash apron. The doors start at the running board.
This was also called the collapsible coupe.
The dash board for the 85 and 95 models was bronze and elaborate.
Bumpers were balcrank (tubular) on the 85 & 95 models, bar type on the 75.
With 15 body styles and 50 color combinations an attempt was made to build a car for all tastes in the mid-price range. If you were unable to find your color of choice within the group of 50; you could for a fee have the car painted any color you wanted.
At 115 horse power the model 95 was advertised as the most powerful stock car in America. With the roadster a high speed rear end was used, a common practice at the time with the lighter model.
The spare tire on the back of this roadster was the only view competitive racers would have of this car.The black and white drawing is from one of the first advertisements of the new roadster.
Today looking at the styling and performance of the car, it is hard to imagine that sales for 1928 were only 3,937.
The article to the left reports that sales and profits were up in the first quarter of 1928. Motor Age 5/10/28
"That distinctively different motor car"
An era of change, this was the third griffin in four years.
Early advertisements listed "Four eights for 1928"
a fifth model the 88 was built for export. By January the ads listed 3 distinctive series; with an incredible 15 different body styles to choose from.
Not every body style was available in every series. Wood wheels were standard, wire and disc were available on the 85 and 95 models.
Model 75 Model 80 Model 85 Model 95
Roadster $1,195 $1,295 $1,695 $2,095
Victoria $1,295 $1,395 N/A N/A
Sport Coupe $1,295 $1,395 N/A N/A
Club Sedan $1,390 $1,490 N/A N/A
Sedan $1,495 $1,595 $1,895 $2,295
4-Door Brougham N/A N/A $1,875 $2,275
Custom Coupe N/A N/A $2,095 $2,495
Phaeton $1,895 - Model 88
Serial Numbers - FEDCO
75 and Deluxe 75 5TF33 - 5AE01
80 All 5SP01 and up
85 and 88 5TF64 and up note: this would use the 75 series
90 5TU16 and up
85 - 2nd Series and 95 GRL017 - GRR-01
Total Production 3,081 MoToR, 3,937 J. I. Godshall, 3,177 - R. L. Polk