Front Wheel Drive & More Power
1929 had been a wonderful year for styling, power, and consumer choices, but a very bad year for sales. Even before the crash in October '29 the company was thinking of closing its doors. So the 1930-31 models would be the end of the line. The 1931 cars were built in the last 5 months of 1930. On Dec 30, 1930 it was official Gardner would no longer make motor cars, funeral hearses would be built for two years.
The six cylinder was back for 1930; the new model was the 136 and replaced the small eight (model 120). The six was announced in April 1929, but does not appear to have been produced until the introduction of the 1930 cars. The new six was listed at 70HP only 6 less than the model 120, and it's 122 in wheelbase was two inches longer. In addition the six had a four-speed transmission as standard equipment. The 125 was replaced with model 140 and had a HP of 90. The 130 was replaced with model 150 and had a HP of 126. The headlights were deeper, and cars equipped with cowl lights now had fender lights. The belt molding was reduced to 3 inches and continued to the center of the cowl where it terminates in a pointed design. The prices were reduced $200 to $300. In all 24 different body styles were available in 1930. The big news was the introduction of a front wheel drive sedan, powered by a Continental six. This car had a wheel base of 133" and 80HP. Changes for 1931 were minor, the roadster no longer had the extra door molding beneath the belt line. The radiator shell had a black insert and the year 1931 at the bottom. A radiator guard was added for 1931.
Unfortunately Gardner did very little advertising the last two years. With the end in sight cost cutting took priority. Gardner would produce only 1,080 cars for 1930 - 1931. Today few of these cars exist, and very few advertisements testify to the magnificent styling of these two years.
"Speed where most cars can't get through"
"New and Fascinating Style...Fast, Powerful Cars
...Speed With an Extra Margin of Safety"
The above is the very rare Model 158 Roadster.Even more rare than the car is a "Gardner Expert" - Ed Jacobowitz.