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Fuller Automobile

Charles Fuller, a pioneer automobile maker, built his first car in 1898 in Angus, Nuckolls County. Angus in 1900 had a population of five hundred and supported twelve businesses. Today the town is gone. But from 1907 to 1909 it was the home of the Angus Automobile Company, employing forty craftsmen that produced over six hundred cars in its short life. Only one is known to have been restored.

Charles Fuller left Angus in 1902 to work for the St. Louis Motor Company and afterwards worked for the Buckeye Manufacturing Company of Anderson, Indiana, where he was instrumental in building the Lambert car. Fuller returned home with a Lambert and convinced investors that he could build a better car. He organized the Angus Automobile Company with a capitalization of $50,000, each share selling for $10. On February 16, 1907, production of the Fuller car began.

There were four models of the Fuller car. The best seller was a five-seater touring car that sold for $2,500, a comparatively high price for that day. The Fuller car used only genuine leather upholstery, had sixteen to eighteen coats of paint, and the best engine then available. Its brass needed to be cleaned frequently, and owners noted that when cleaned, the car shined "bright as gold in the sun."

Unfortunately the success of the Fuller car was short-lived. In 1908 a demonstration was held at the Nuckolls County Fair in which a Fuller car completed two laps of the fairgrounds racetrack in sixty seconds, averaging sixty miles per hour. The performance was so exceptional that a group of Omaha businessmen offered to buy the Angus Automobile Company. Charles Fuller wanted to accept the offer, but the other stockholders did not. The resulting dispute resulted in Fuller's decision to sever all ties with the company. Without his inventive ability and drive, the business did not long survive.

Beginning May 26, the only known restored Fuller car will be on display through August at the Nuckolls County Museum in Superior, Nebraska, open Monday, Thursday, Sunday, and by appointment.

(May 2001)



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