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Continental Motors Company
Fate Take over/merger
Successor Teledyne Continental Motors formerly Continental Motors Corporation
Founded 1905
Headquarters USA
Industry automobile engines, automobiles
Products Engines

Continental Motors Company was a American engine and automobile manufacturer. The company produced engines for various independent manufacturers of automobiles, tractors, and stationary equipment (i.e. pumps, generators, machinery drives) from the 1900s through the 1960s. Continental Motors also produced Continental-branded automobiles (cars) in 1932/1933. The Continental Aircraft Engine Company was formed in 1929 to develop and produce its aircraft engines, and would become the core business of the Continental Motors Corporation which became Teledyne Continental Motors. Sister company Wisconsin Engine Co. still deals in Continental branded parts.

Company history

  • 1905 Continental Motors is born with the introduction of a four-cylinder, four stroke cycle L-head engine operated by a single camshaft.
  • 1906 Type "O" 45 hp (34 kW) engine is developed to power aircraft.
  • 1929 A-70 radial, seven-cylinder engine is introduced. 170hp@2000rpm 4.625x4.625 = 543.91cuin (8.91L)
  • In August 1929, the Continental Motors Company formed the Continental Aircraft Engine Company as a wholly owned subsidiary to develop and produce its aircraft engines.[1]

Continental Motors entered into the production of automobiles rather indirectly. Continental was the producer of automobile engines for numerous independent automobile company's in the 1910s and 1920s, including Durant Motors Corporation which used the engines in its Star, Durant, Flint and Rugby model lines. Following the 1931 collapse of Durant, a group having interest in Durant Motors began assembling their own cars, using the Durant body dies, in Oakland, California under the De Vaux brand name. When De Vaux collapsed in 1932, Continental assumed automobile assembly and marketed the vehicles under the Continental brand name.

Continentals were marketed in three model ranges, the six-cylinder Ace, the Flyer and the low-priced four-cylinder Beacon, none of which met with success in the depression era economy. At this same time, Dominion Motors Ltd. of Canada was building the same Flyer and Beacon cars under arrangement with Continental for sale in Canadian market, and importing the larger Ace models. Dominion then converted to building Reo brand trucks. The Ace and Flyer models were discontinued at the close of the 1933 model year. Finding that its cars were unprofitable, Continental stopped assembling even Beacon automobiles during 1934.

During the late 1930s, early 1940s the Gray Marine Motor Company adapted Continental engines for maritime use. On 14 June 1944 the company was purchased by Continental for US$2.6 million. John W. Mulford, the son of one of Gray's founders was appointed general manager of Gray by Continental. Gray's continued to make marine engines in the post-war period until its closure by Continental in about 1967.[2][3]

During the 1950s, the A-65 was developed into the more powerful 90 hp (67 kW) C-90 and eventually into the 100 hp (75 kW) O-200. The O-200 powered a very important airplane design milestone: the Cessna 150. By the 1960s turbocharging and fuel injection arrived in general aviation and the company's IO-520 series came to dominate the market.

In 1969, Teledyne Incorporated acquired Continental Motors, which became Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM).[4] That same year, the Continental Tiara series of high output engines were introduced, although they were dropped from the line after 1978. The company brought the TSIO-520-BE for the Piper PA-46 to market in 1984 and it set new efficiency standards for light aircraft piston engines. Powered by a liquid-cooled version of the IO-240, the Rutan Voyager was the first piston-powered aircraft to circumnavigate the world without refueling in 1986.

NASA selected Continental to develop and produce GAP in 1997, a new 200 hp (150 kW) piston engine to operate on Jet-A fuel. This was in response to 100-octane aviation gasoline becoming less available as a result of decreased demand, due to smaller turboprop engines becoming more prevalent.

In 2008, Teledyne Continental's new president, Rhett Ross announced that the company was very concerned about future availability of 100LL avgas and as a result would develop a diesel engine in the 300 hp (220 kW) range for certification in 2009 or 2010.[5] By the fall of 2009 the company was feeling the effects of the economic situation and the resulting reduced demand for aircraft engines. The company announced that it would close its plant for two one-week periods in October 2009 and January 2010. Salaried employees would move to a four-day work week with one week vacations for Thanksgiving and Christmas, with the aim "to protect as much of our valuable employee base as possible".[6]

On December 14, 2010, Continental's parent Teledyne announced that Teledyne Continental Motors, Teledyne Mattituck Services and its general aviation piston engine business would be sold to Technify Motor (USA) Ltd, a subsidiary of AVIC International, for US$186 million in cash. AVIC is owned by the Chinese government. In May 2011, the transaction was reported as complete and the company renamed Continental Motors, Inc.[7][8][9]

On 23 July 2013 the company bought diesel aircraft engine manufacturer Thielert from bankruptcy for an undisclosed sum. Thielert will become an operating division of Continental and will be renamed Technify Motors GmbH.[10]

Vehicles using Continental engines

See also

References / sources

  • based on an article originally from wikipedia
  1. Leyes, p. 87
  2. A brief history of the Gray Marine Motor Company
  3. Grayson, Stan. Engines Afloat, Vol. II (Marblehead, MA: Devereaux Books, 1999), p.116.
  4. Gunston, p. 225.
  5. AvWeb Staff (February 2008). "Teledyne Continental Plans Certified Diesel Within Two Years". Retrieved on 2008-02-18.
  6. Pew, Glenn (October 2009). "TCM Announces Temporary Plant Closures, More". Retrieved on 2009-10-05.
  7. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Avweb14Dec10
  8. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named BW14Dec10
  9. Niles, Russ. "China Lays Out Its GA Plan", AvWeb. Retrieved on 5 May 2011. 
  10. Bertorelli, Paul (23 July 2013). "Continental Buys Thielert Aircraft Engines", AVweb. Retrieved on 14 July 2013. 
  • Foss, Christopher F. (1974). Jane's Pocket Book of Modern Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles. Collier Books, 45-49. 73-15286. 
  • Leyes II, Richard A.; William A. Fleming (1999). The History of North American Small Gas Turbine Aircraft Engines. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution. ISBN 1-56347-332-1. 

External links

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