Dorris - St. Louis Missouri (1906-1926)

1926 Dorris

In his native Nashville Tennesse George Preston Dorris had built an experimental gasoline car between 1896-1897. He decided in 1898 to head north to St. Louis Missouri where he joined his friend John L. French to organize the St. Louis Motor Carriage Company and serve as chief engineer. When French elected to move the company to Peoria Illinois in 1905, Dorris decided to stay in St. Louis and form his own company under his own name. The Dorris Motor Car Company took over the original St. Louis Company's plant and produced its first automobile an ohv 30 hp four-cylinder Dorris touring car with a 101 inch wheelbase which introduced at the New York Automobile Show in January 1906. Through the years they became more advanced and more powerful. With an 80 horsepower engine, and a 132 inch wheelbase, also had a price tag of $7000 for the closed cars. Before World War I the first truck production began. In 1917 the capital stock in the company was increased from $300,000 to $1,000,000 for the purpose of expanding the company. Dorris president H.B. Krennning stepped aside "because of needed rest" for W.R. Colcord to take over as president. George Preston Dorris was the real force in the Dorris Company, he preferred not to exercise his power from the president's chair. In 1920 the Dorris Company bought the Astra Company also, a St. Louis Company and reorganized as Dorris Motors Corporation. In 1923 there were rumors that Dorris, Haynes and Winton Companies would merge to form a new company, but the plan fell through. Also, in 1923 was the last full year of production for the Dorris automobile. Production virtually ceased, the Dorris, which the company advertised as being "practically hand-built" was hand-built to special orders through 1926.