While over 5,500 cars were built, only a handful are thought to remain worldwide. One, a unique 1920 Anderson Six Convertible Roadster, will receive a special honor this year. The car, owned by Paul and Kathleen Ianuario of Duncan, SC, will join an exclusive group of automotive icons as it is the fine representation of the "100 Years of Automotive Excellence" at the 2020 Gasparilla Concours d'Elegance.
This noteworthy vehicle is registered with the HVA (Historic Vehicle Association) National Historic Vehicle Register. All historic reference materials – exhaustively studied, documented and verified by HVA as well as the College of Charleston's Department of Historic Preservation – have been added to the permanent archives of the U.S. Library of Congress.
From the state's earliest success with designing and assembling cars that led the industry in advanced technology to today's latest models from long-time South Carolina-based manufacturer BMW and now Volvo, we're looking forward to a thoroughly intriguing journey through the decades.
From 1916 to 1925, a total of 5,553 Anderson cars were produced in Rocky Hill, SC, in direct competition with Henry Ford's Model T. Featuring the motto 'A little higher in price, but made in Dixie,' Anderson cars were indeed the South's luxurious alternative to Detroit's mass market vehicles, featuring mahogany, South Carolina hickory, premium leather and other top-quality trim and materials. The cars also introduced interesting color schemes to the automotive industry, tempting buyers with the rich patina of purple, blue, yellow, and other alternatives to Ford's basic black palette.
John Gary Anderson, the industrial genius behind his name sake marque, was a true visionary – as well as a poet and sculptor. His cars featured numerous innovations, such as an electric windshield wiper years before Ford offered the technology. Other firsts included power convertible tops, a floor-installed headlight dimmer switch which he invented, and a unique review mirror. There was also an on-board air compressor driven by the car's transmission for pumping up tires and a tool kit integrated into the side door for on-the-go repairs. The radiator cap featured a thermometer known as a 'motor meter', that was visible to the driver. Unlike the Model T' Ford's single-color palette of black, Anderson cars came in a wide variety of colors. However, customers paid a price for all this innovation and luxury, with an Anderson ranging in cost from $1,650 for the five-passenger touring car to $2,550 for the sedan, compared to a $345 to $760 price range for the Model T Ford.
The Ianuario’s are proud to display their Anderson at the 2020 Gasparilla Concours where it will be on display at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in beautiful downtown Tampa, Florida for the Friday Night "Cars in the Park" Cocktail Party and Charity Auction. The celebration of the centennial vehicle will continue when it later escorts the Grand Marshal and other dignitaries to the Opening Ceremonies on Saturday. It will be most appropriate to see her standing in her glory with the Color Guard of the Rough Riders. The 1920 Anderson was placed on the National Historic Vehicle Registry for the USA by the Historical Vehicle Association which works with the Department of the Interior and the Library of Congress.
There such a rich history to celebrate.