Avon Resident Writes Book about Connecticut's Automobile History
Paul Pellerin, an Avon resident of 30 years and lifelong Connecticut resident,has written his first book about Connecticut's car history, in recognition of the 25th Silver Anniversary of the Connecticut Council of Car Clubs and New England Air Museum.
Paul Pellerin's book, Connecticut Created Cars Credit Paul Pellerin
It took Avon resident Paul Pellerin about three years to complete his first book, and now Connecticut Created Cars is published and available to the public.
He spent the first two years doing research, ultimately discovering 184 different automobiles manufactured throughout the state.
"Most people are amazed when you tell them how many cars were built in Connecticut," Pellerin said. "There’s maybe 41 built in Hartford and 21 in Bridgeport."
Pellerin, an Avon resident of 30 years and lifelong Connecticut resident, wrote Connecticut Created Cars, in recognition of the 25th Silver Anniversary of the Connecticut Council of Car Clubs, or 4Cs, and New England Air Museum Car Show & Aircraft Exhibit, which will be held on the first Sunday in June.
Pellerin's book provides a brief history of the 4Cs, a detailed list of automobiles created in Connecticut, sorted by city with over 90 accompanying illustrations, and information on major car shows and cruise nights throughout the state.
Daniel Nichols, a Connecticut Automobile Artist, provided the illustrations.
Connecticut’s car history begins with George B. Selden, who applied for a patent for the Horseless Carriage in 1879. Two years later, he sold his patent rights to William C. Whitney, Electric Vehicle Company. Whitney and Selden then worked together to collect royalties from other up and coming automobile manufacturers.
“At the turn of the century, Hartford was the Detroit of the United States,” Pellerin said.
Unfortunately for Whitney and Selden, Henry Ford fought the Selden patent in court and ultimately succeeded in having it overturned. Had the courts made a different decision, Hartford might have continued on as America’s automobile capital.
“Henry Ford had the mass production and the railroad and eventually our automobile expertise ended up in Detroit, but the remains of the automobile history are still in Connecticut,” Pellerin said.
Selden Automobile Number 2 is on display at the old Pope Manufacturing building at 450 Capitol Avenue and there’s a Pope Hartford in West Hartford’s AAA Building.
Pellerin has “always been involved with automobiles.” He owns Antique & Classic Car Services and has been a member of the 4Cs for 14 years, serving as treasurer for the last 12 years.
His passion for cars first developed when he had a paper route with The Hartford Courant during the 1950s. While delivering papers on Washington Street, he would look into the showrooms of various car dealerships and admire the new cars.
Since that time, he has owned more than 23 classic and exotic cars and has been involved in the classic car hobby for over 40 years.
A portion of the book’s proceeds will go toward the 4Cs, an organization that has acted in the best interest of antique, classic and special car hobbyists since 1973.
Pellerin hopes this book will familiarize readers with the “historical significance of Connecticut in the automobile history” and give them a “better appreciation for what was accomplished in Hartford during the automobile revolution.”