Earl Car & Truck Division - "Honest cars and trucks, for humble, hardworking people"
The Earl Motor Company is a large auto manufacturer, with a proud history of excellence, and a fine lineup of cars, trucks, and 4X4s for every budget available. No matter your taste, we can over you with one of our four brands: Earl Cars & Trucks, Silverhare, Hirondelle, and Steed.
Lee Harvey Earl (Americanized from Erlenmeyer) was born in 1875 in the town of Rejection, Nevada, son to German Jewish immigrants. His father wanted him to follow in his footsteps as a rancher, but Lee showed mechanical aptitude from a young age - by repairing and even improving upon machinery belonging to local farmers, blacksmiths, and the nearby silver mine. He was able to go to high school, and was at the age of 16 was accepted into the inaugural class of Stanford University, despite failing the entry exam in English. There he studied Mining Engineering alongside future president Herbert Hoover. Upon graduation in 1895 he was hired by the Gummer Mining Corporation to help supervise the construction of a salt mine in upper Michigan. After a few years of mining he became interested in the new fad of the automobile, and worked for several Detroit area manufacturers, learning from the faults of failed companies. After the failed venture of the Rapids Auto Company, in 1909 he created what would become the Earl Motor Company. His first cars were advanced but relatively affordable, offering the cheapest six cylinder cars in the country, with some of the earliest all steel bodies and underslung chassis. The Earl name would come to represent honest value vehicles, well engineered but free of much styling. Earl has advanced with the ages and adapted to a changing America, but its values have never changed.
The 1956 Lineup
In the style-focused 1950s, Earl kept up with trends, started adding two toning while maintaining a taught size, coming in at affordable prices.
The Earl E15 Workman - $1,499 - Shown in Banana Split
The E15 is the backbone of hard work everywhere. With a standard Black Smoke Six engine with 110 gross horsepower, 3 speed manual transmission, and heavy duty suspension, it can do any jobs you ask of it. It offers options to increase capability, such as an overdrive transmission, as well as niceties such as power steering and a radio.
The Earl Glenwood - $2,199 - Shown in Wash White over Blue Berry
The Glenwood is the premier mode of transport for families everywhere, with three rows of comfortable seating, versatile rear tailgate & glass hatch, and stylish chrome accents. Optional features such as a two speed automatic transmission, radio, V8 engine, and even air conditioning can make this car a machine to last through the ages.
The 1960 Lineup
Entering the 1960s, a changing country cried out for alternatives to big, chrome-laden cars. Earl Motor Company invested into four completely different ideas for “compact” car lines, two of which were sold under the Earl brand. Even the company’s large cars were revitalized with lightweight unitized construction.
The Earl Eagle Custom Wagon - $2,299 - Shown in Cherry Bomb
The Eagle is the family car of tomorrow - easy to drive, easy to park, with room for up to six in a pinch (delete option front bench required). The huge rear cargo area of a wagon only improves this capability. A standard 100 gross hp Black Smoke Six engine and 3 speed manual provide efficiency and utility, but optional 115hp engine, 2 speed automatic, and power steering can make driving a breeze.
The Earl Banshee - $3,499 - Shown in Young Turq
The Banshee is the American made car that provides the fine sporting driver’s experience of a European road car. But more than that, it maintains the comfort, value, and drivability of Earl’s finest vehicles, but most of all our company’s unmatched reliability. Truly, the best of both worlds.
The 1966 Lineup
As the 60s continued, Earl further divided its many lines to appeal to as many niche products as possible. Passenger cars came as compact, intermediate, and full size; while compact trucks and vans joined the traditional light duty full sizers. Some of these vehicles necessitated smaller engines, but on the balance, the large V8 became the default choice.
The Earl Thriftmaster - $1,699 - Shown in Fight The Powder
The Thriftmaster took Earl’s know how of making reliable, long lasting trucks, together with the skill of making smaller, more efficient and manageable vehicles from the Eagle, and put them together into a compact delivery van. The Thriftmaster is therefore hearty and capable, yet efficient and easy to drive.
The Earl Eagle Special Sedan - $1,999 - Shown in Wash White
The Eagle may be a compact car, and indeed, it is an affordable car; but you get far more than what you pay for. It is a capable, efficient machine, with options like a 216 cubic inch six cylinder engine and 2 speed automatic continuing to make it perform like a larger car, all while maintaining peak efficiency and easy of handling. The Eagle offers many equipment levels to suit every need, but this Special model is available for little more than a used car!
The 1972 Lineup
As Earl entered the 70s, the economy was strong despite civil unrest, so sales continued to grow despite greater competition from imports than ever. Performance was becoming less important thanks to insurance rates, with luxury starting to become the new focus, plentiful, cheap, and leaded gas were still the norm… new regulations and crises were still on the horizon.
The Earl Jupiter Estate - $2,999 - Shown in Wash White
The thorough redesign of Earl & Silverhare’s midsize entries carried through to 1972, and the Jupiter remained a top choice for family vehicles. This basic Jupiter Estate is a safe and efficient wagon for modern families, representing a great value proposition. This model features the standard 150 gross (118 net) horsepower six, AM radio, cross ply tires, and front and rear bench seats.
The Earl Executioner - $2,499 - Shown in Dark Night
While the muscle car market started to die out partly due to insurance premiums, the already “refined” muscle cars, the Silverhare Spear GTA and Earl Rio Grande gradually began to soften into personal luxury, but the purposefully obnoxious Earl Executioner remained. Clad in black on black with a subtle, unique graphic, this engine uses a Manchester 4 barrel carb allowing the 444 cubic inch Langhorne V8 to produce 400 gross (300 net) horsepower, accelerating the car to 60 in under 7 seconds and providing surprisingly good gas mileage and handling when optioned with the Radial Tire & Suspension Package, as shown here.
The 1977 Lineup
The Earl Vista S
In 1974 it became apparent to Earl executives that the RWD live-axled Beano subcompact, while competitive with domestic alternatives, wold not hold up to the next generation of imports. All development resources were poured into the company’s first transverse front wheel drive architecture with the help of Earl of Europe, making better use of space and providing better performance and economy. While a new 16v overhead cam four cylinder engine family was considered, the OHV Black Smoke Four when paired with a four speed manual proved to have similar performance and economy for less money and helped enable a shorter development period. The final product was launched in a dramatic advertising blitz, with a coordinated ads on all three networks, singing gospel music praises withe Vista perched on a mountaintop.
The Earl Thriftmaster 4WD
The unibody, mid–engined first gen Thriftmaster was replaced by a larger, more truck-based generation in 1975, with the drive train mounted under an actual hood instead of the front seat. The running gear components shared with the E-15 pickup enabled this four wheel drive version to be introduced new for 1977. This model features the 303 V8 and automatic transmission to go with the 4X4.
The 1981 Lineup
The Earl Vista Value
After the original base model Vista, while successful for downsizers, proved to be a little to luxurious for the hyper-miler, the Vista Value was announced alongside the 1980 front end refresh. Every feasible expense was spared, including the radio, rear middle seat, and back doors. Fuel injection, despite the expense, was included, allowing the same power in a slightly downsized Black Smoke Four, but with excellent fuel economy considering the comparatively large size of the Vista.
The 1987 Lineup
The Earl Vista Value Plus
The Vista Value turned out to be a huge success, so before a full Vista/Eagle replacement would arrive in 1990, little was changed. A cheap radio was added as was a five speed transmission, and the engine was returned with multiport injection to provide slightly more power but much better economy.
The Earl Pilgrim S
Fortunate to catch the minivan wave on the front end in 1985, Earl caught the winning front whee drive formula and built the Pilgrim and a matching Silverhare on the Vista/Eagle chassis, including using the Black Smoke engine. Available all the way from cargo vans to turbocharged sports models and V6 wood paneled monstrosities, the S model was the fairly basic version many families opted for.
The Earl E-15 Xtra Cab Base
While Earl would introduce compact trucks and utilities in the 1980s, the full size E-15 was still a dominant market force. Extended and even crew cab models became popular, as well as a new four door SUV. Yet basic trims like these still served worksites everywhere, beloved in their ability to handle loads (and people) too large for compacts.
The 1991 Lineup
The Earl UFO Turbo
While the traditional Silverhare Chupacabra remained popular in its RWD pony car format, Earl showrooms got a new FWD sports 2+2 in 1989. The “UFO,” named as such from a public poll from its unusual appearance, was offered with a naturally aspirated or turbocharged four as well as a small V6. This Turbo model features a 2.4 liter with a turbocharger and a 5 speed manual transmission, offering good acceleration but high mpg at a low price.
The Earl Pioneer LE
Earl introduced the compact E10 truck platform in 1985, launched with the Palomino pickup and the Prancer two door SUV, but soon the Pioneer four door model was released and outpaced its brother. Slightly refined and having lost its wood paneling by 1991, this V6 powered SUV was ready to replace the station wagon in the driveway of many a faux outdoorsy family.
The 1996 Lineup
The Earl Vista Peon
Slightly rounder and smaller but not altogether superior second generations came out to the Vista and Eagle came out in 1990. The pushrod Black Smoke Four was finally dropped for a modern SOHC four. Somewhat cheeky but not completely inaccurate trim levels for the Vista were coined, with this Peon model having a radio and an 80hp 1.8 liter engine.
The Earl Conqueror Lakota
The full size E15 trucks were restyled for the 90s with more dramatic and less boxy styling, and so were the requisite Conquistador two door and Conqueror four door SUV. The aged Caliber V8 was replaced by a new but very similar Cannon V8, after prototypes for OHC V8s proved underwhelming. This high trim Lakota model provides high comfort and family versatility as well as off road capability, albeit at a price in the showroom and at the gas pump.
The Earl Jupiter Space 3.5
The second generation of FWD Earl Jupiter / Silverhare Spear came about in the mid 90s, with very conservative styling, almost boxier than the first generation. While appearing bland, the enlarged 3.5 liter V6 provided models like this one with good acceleration despite a 4 speed automatic, various comfort features, and maintaining good fuel economy.
The 2002 Lineup
The Earl Eagle Peasant
The Vista hatchback and Eagle sedan were jelly-bean-ified in a year 2000 redesign, gaining better rustrproofing and a 16 valve engine for most models. Styling was controversial, with the front end often being compared to “a sad puppy.” This moderately equipped Peasant trim for the Eagle features a 2 liter engine and a automatic transmission but still delivers 33 mpg for under $16,000.
The Earl Pioneer LE-6
The first generation of the Pioneer midsize SUV remained very popular through the 1980s and 90s but was in need of replacement come the new millennium. Rather than stick with a truck based platform, it became a semi-unitized chassis with independent rear suspension. Performance was acceptable with the new Demeter inline 6 engine designed for both transverse and longitudinal use, but not exciting; though off road prowess was unmatched and gas mileage fair. This LE model features a mixed cloth-leather interior and a CD player.
The Earl Jupiter Space LE
While the boxy Jupiter/Spear twins of the 90s sold well they had a decidedly dowdy image. For 2001, a brand new generation in sedan and wagon only was introduced with long rounded lines, if a somewhat questionable front end design on the Jupiter. The real engineering kick was a very wide but longitudinally-short engine compartment designed for most trims to have small, transverse inline six engines, instead of the larger, rougher V6s used previously. This reasonably equipped LE model has such a feature, but the one that wowed reviewers was the EXE model with a 24v turbocharged six. Otherwise the vehicle was not especially technically advanced - for example, ABS still remained an ala-carte option.